There is a rumor floating around online, in facebook groups and forums, about getting Disney World Resorts for less than the list cost.
So naturally I had to explore and see what it was all about because we know this can be accomplished through a variety of means, like Annual Passholder Discounts and BounceBack offers- but there’s another way!
A way that I’ve now used successful 3 different times (but it also has it’s downsides!)
Looking for something else besides hotel hacks? Discover how you can visit characters without a Disney World park ticket!
So here’s the scoop
Get out your credit card, because when you’re ready to get a deal, you need to already have an account made and be lightning fast about it! And really- if you get an awesome room, and then pair it with all of the Free Stuff at Disney World, plus you have a bucket list planned out so you save a bunch of time, you’ll feel like a Disney World Planning Superstar!
So let’s dive in. In a nut shell…
You go to Priceline.com, Select ‘Disney World’ and check out ALL of the rooms available (this is an important part)
They then give you ‘deals’ with certain percentages off based on availability and what resorts they need to fill up. It’s a kinda fun, kinda stressful way to grab a resort at a lower cost especially if you are doing it last minute.
THEN- you work you magic using the techniques below to grab a crazy good deal!
The goal is to match up the regular deals with their express deal counterparts BUT you also want to make sure that you get a Disney World hotel, ya know, for those 60 day fastpasses!
Here’s it in action July 2019 (update- grabbed one in Jan 2020 too!!)
Since we are looking for something for tonight, and we didn’t have any preferences based on location, it was time to experiment.
I was aiming for a few resorts.
I wanted to stay at either Art of Animation, Pop Century or the Swan/Dolphin on the Boardwalk. I’ve heard the Port Orleans is listed on the priceline express deals, but I haven’t seen it yet. I’ve also heard that some of the values are listed and occasionally some of the deluxe resorts. But you never know! (I did snag a value suite for 77% off the list price in January 2020)
We really like the Pop/Art set up because of the awesome Gluten Free offerings, and the options for our family. But I would have loved to stay at a deluxe or moderate resort! I was looking to keep it under 200/150, but I would be reallyyyyy happy to keep it under 100 total (including taxes and fees!)
So here’s what I did.
Is this a better deal than renting DVC points?
Renting DVC points has been on my list for a long time, and I’m going to officially do it in the next few months. Since I’ve been watching the prices on points (and havent purchased yet) I will say this.
If you want the cheapest last minute route- Express Deals are likely the best solution.
If you have time to plan, want to be at Disney World for more than a few days and want to know exactly what you are getting, renting DVC points is the best option.
What about the BounceBack offer that Disney Offers, is this a better option?
This is entirely dependent on what they are offering. You get a bounceback offer when you are staying at the resort and plan your next trip.
Express Deals tend to be better the closer you are to your vacation.
I’ve had bounceback offers that were awesome, and then ones that were only for packages with the dining plan at deluxe resorts. It’s entirely dependant on what they have to offer!
Picking a Disney World Resort when you can’t tell what the name of the resort is
The reason that Priceline express deals are discounted is that they don’t reveal the name of the hotel until AFTER you purchase (and there are no returns or cancellations)
While this sounds kind of risky (because it is!) we can use the process of elimination and a few helpful tools if we want to snag a good Disney Deal! This is not quite the same as using a third party hotel to book a room at Disney.
Here’s some of the criteria to keep in mind
You do NOT want the resort if it has any of these listed:
-If you click through and there is an additional resort fee- it’s not a Disney owned Hotel
-If it says, “Guests under 17 are free” – it’s not a Disney owned hotel
You DO want these options
These MAY OR MAY NOT help
-Spa/fitness center may or may not be a giveaway- this is common in moderate and deluxe resorts, but also common in hotels not owned by Disney World.
-pets allowed- because some values and moderates allow pets
Step By Step how to use Priceline Express
I’ve been eyeballing this method for MONTHs! I always have the tab open, but I was too afraid to take the leap.
We needed a quick jaunt over to Disney World and I wanted to stay the night.
It was time to put our Priceline express deals to the test.
I’m looking for a resort that does NOT have free parking, free breakfast or free hotel in room. I made my selections (bonnet creek and free internet) and I found this listing.
I clicked through- there was NO additional charge (and this is HUGE!!! because this is 95% a disney owned hotel).
So I figured, based on the map it was likely Pop, Art, or one of the All Star Resorts.
Hotel Canary (a Chrome Plugin Extension) also gave me those suggestions as likely matches. (UPDATE 2020- I can’t get this extension to work at all the entire month of january- I flew blind and managed to grab an all star music, but I would love for this extension to work again!)
I reallyyyyy wanted to get swan or dolphin on the boardwalk- but I was scared it was going to be the Waldorf Astoria, so I opted for this one instead.
Held my breath.
I got POP!
My total, including Taxes and Fees was 92.97
Which is REALLY awesome considering that the current going price is around 150.
So I was able to score this listing for almost half off if you factor in the taxes and fees.
Here’s what would have been my price if I had purchased it directly from Disney for tonight.
So here’s what you do to repeat my process.
Pull up Priceline, put in Walt Disney World, select the areas of Disney Springs and Bonnet Creek if you are just interested in Disney Hotels. ONLY bonnet creek if you want a truly Disney Owned Resort.
See what’s available. Make note of how many stars your hotel is, and what features are listed . (see above for that list of yes, no and maybe items to look out for!) Pull up the Disney Site and see what the rack/list price is.
*** take notes*** so you don’t get confused and you know what’s a good deal!
Then hop over to priceline express button and *remember* to select the areas again, see what’s available.
Click the hotel, see if it has any additional pricing and if it matches the criteria of your hotel you wanted on the regular priceline.
Will I use Priceline Express Deals Again?
That’s the million dollar question… is it worth it? It can definitely be a deal grabber if you can find the dates- but it seems to work best about 2-3 weeks out which can be anxiety-inducing for those of us Type A planners.
Still feeling alittle high over the fact I got POP for 92 dollars 🤪 I also scored a room at Art of Animation for under 100, and then a suite at All Star Music for 90 dollars.
This is my new favorite way as a local to grab a good room- and my friend used it with success for a 3 night reservation!