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For those who have been following us at Wish Upon A Planner for a while (whether that be on Instagram or through our free weekly Listletter), you might remember us referring to booking occasional Disney resort stays through Priceline.
Consider this post a friendly PSA: Checking Priceline for resort deals can work great – especially if you’re visiting during the slow season.
Using one of our upcoming fall or winter trips as an example, here are a few points to consider when you’re looking for resort deals at Disney.
Pause before booking your Disney stay
We knew months in advance we’d be visiting Disney in October, but we waited to book our Disney accommodations until recently for two main reasons:
- Initially, Coronado Springs, our preferred choice, did not have full availability for our dates + room type in October.
This is an important point to note because if you have a specific resort in mind and it isn’t available, keep checking back! People cancel trips all the time, or Disney will sometimes release more rooms depending on the season and availability.
- “Back to school” marks the beginning of a slow season at Disney, with September normally being lighter on crowds and, sometimes, on the wallet.
This means that the weeks preceding slower times of year are a great time to keep your eyes peeled for Disney deals – both at resorts and with park ticket prices!
Subscribe to keep tabs on discounts and deals
Around the time we started our research (late August), Disney had announced up to 25% – 30% off certain resorts for dates between October and December.
To keep a pulse on deals like this – even if you have already booked your accommodations – you can subscribe to free newsletters like MouseSavers or use a pro travel agent who can help you book and rebook at lower rates (good ones will usually automatically do this for you if it’s available)!
Eligible for the 20% discount, Coronado Springs had availability at that time that fluctuated in price for as little as $300 per night up to about $340 for a standard room.
Yes, but we’ve learned that it’s worth…
Cross-referencing your Disney deals
Because of the success Wish Upon a Planner has had in the past (and partially out of curiosity), we headed over to Priceline to see if there were any advantages to booking a stay at Coronado Springs there versus directly through Disney.
Luckily enough, in this instance, Priceline’s quote for a standard room at Coronado Springs was $270, while Disney’s quote – discount included 😮 – clocked between $300 and $340 for the same room.
Pros to Priceline
If you’re convinced it’s worth a try to check out a third-party site before booking your next Disney resort stay, here are a couple of reasons we personally like Priceline as an option:We often find great deals booking through Priceline during the slower times of the year than through Disney.
- Priceline’s cancellation policy gives you a full refund up to 48 hours* prior to check-in, whereas Disney will only offer a full refund up to 5 days prior to check-in for room-only reservations.
- Priceline offers Express Deals, which is another “hack” we’ve used to secure ourselves the Disney accommodations we’ve wanted at an often steep discount (typically for the Swan & Dolphin). But just remember, these bookings are nonrefundable and hidden so it’s not for the faint of heart.
- Finally: It’s a piece of cake to link your confirmation number to your My Disney Experience account so you can access things like online check-in and make your room requests!
*For standard bookings at the time of publishing this blog. Always check to see which cancellation policy covers your booking!
Need more pro tips like these in your life? The Complete Parks Strategy Playbook is bursting with our best park recommendations, tried and true vacation itineraries, plus everything else you need to put the fun back into Disney planning!