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Old 19 Aug 20, 11:59 AM  
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ElsieT
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Booking WDW resort hotel independently - best websites?

hello

Are there any websites that are particularly good for booking hotel rooms @ WDW? We're thinking Art of Animation and Caribbean Beach.

Or do the usual hotels.com etc do the job?

Is booking direct with Disney ever a good idea?

TIA
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Old 19 Aug 20, 12:30 PM  
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Tiggers Pal
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We had a single night in a Cars suite at Art of Animation booked via hotels.com for this year. When we booked a suite there was cheaper than booking direct with Disney however Caribbean Beach was cheaper to book through Disney. I would check all options and if there wasnít much in it Iíd probably book direct with Disney.
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Old 19 Aug 20, 12:45 PM  
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Dr.JumbaJookiba
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Worth bearing in mind that booking on the Disney US site (needs VPN) offers much more flexible cancellation terms than most others. One night deposit required and can be cancelled without loss five days out. Five days out to check in you are still only on the hook for the one night deposit. You are at the mercy of the £/$ rate though.
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Old 19 Aug 20, 01:40 PM  
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sky13
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I've stayed at WDW several times and almost always book directly with Disney USA for room-only booking. They have by far the best change/cancellation terms - as mentioned above. If I don't remember wrongly, the booking terms are 1st night's deposit, remaining nights charged upon check in; no penalty for cancellation until 5 days' out (and even then you can still alter the booking I believe, and I have done this once with no issues.

In addition, my experience with WDW has been that they are fantastic when unexpected circumstances occur. I was unfortunate enough to have been at WDW just before Hurricane Irma in 2017 and what they said was that if I had to leave early, I just had to let the front desk know once I left my room and they would refund all remaining nights; if I had to stay for longer, they were offering extra nights for a discount off rack rate. I'm sure they would have done something similar if I had booked via a third party but it might have been more of a hassle having to deal with refunds through a third party (if this is even possible? Not sure).

Some third party websites do have good cancellation policies and may have good ongoing discounts/cashback so worth checking them out too. Have also seen priceline mentioned but you have to be careful with using priceline to book.

Also, Disney very occasionally does change the prices of their rooms or adds discounts. If booking room-only, you could always just make a booking, pay the first night's deposit, then keep checking back on the website (USA) to see if there are any rate changes or new types of room that have opened up, and change the booking if this is the case.

Of course all of the above is my experience pre-COVID-19, so I'm not sure what the current best advice would be...
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Old 2 Sep 20, 09:43 PM  
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Brythonic 14
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Originally Posted by sky13 View Post
Also, Disney very occasionally does change the prices of their rooms or adds discounts. If booking room-only, you could always just make a booking, pay the first night's deposit, then keep checking back on the website (USA) to see if there are any rate changes or new types of room that have opened up, and change the booking if this is the case.

Of course all of the above is my experience pre-COVID-19, so I'm not sure what the current best advice would be...
They only do this on the US version of the site, not the one we get? Variable room prices and discounts I mean
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Old 2 Sep 20, 09:56 PM  
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Dr.JumbaJookiba
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Originally Posted by Brythonic 14 View Post
They only do this on the US version of the site, not the one we get? Variable room prices and discounts I mean
The US one usually offers deals/promotions every 3 to 4 months. For example one has just been released with deals up to Dec 25th.

Being an annual pass holder is usually the best deal, but others are valid for everyone.
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Old 3 Sep 20, 09:51 AM  
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YorkshireT
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Originally Posted by Dr.JumbaJookiba View Post
The US one usually offers deals/promotions every 3 to 4 months. For example one has just been released with deals up to Dec 25th.

Being an annual pass holder is usually the best deal, but others are valid for everyone.
Thanks for that info.

Iíd had to cancel my Boardwalk 1 bed DVC on the run up to Xmas ( we leave for the Gulf coast on the 23/12) to bank my points.

Had booked a suite at Swan for 6 nights instead at a pretty good price of $2400 on their AP deal.

Just seen Caribbean Beach deal though, with 5th sleeper for $1500. Itís a little basic but guaranteed 5th bed for one of my kids and itís $900 in my pocket.

Probably will not go ahead but Iíll keep both reservations on and make a decision closer to the time.

Sky 13s memory re terms as set out above is spot on.
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Old 3 Sep 20, 10:03 AM  
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Dr.JumbaJookiba
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Originally Posted by YorkshireT View Post
Thanks for that info.
No problem, we're due to check in to BLT on 23rd Dec and I'm considering doing something similar. I wish I was more confident about getting there
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Old 3 Sep 20, 10:15 AM  
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YorkshireT
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Originally Posted by Dr.JumbaJookiba View Post
No problem, we're due to check in to BLT on 23rd Dec and I'm considering doing something similar. I wish I was more confident about getting there
I have a Feb use year so had to bank by end of September and thought I may as well do it now as it will be no clearer by then. If you are not constrained by that Iíd maybe book somewhere cancellable now on these good deals, and wait until 30 days out, if still not clear cancel off BLT. I was in BLT over last NY in a 1 bed, itís great but too many points to lose.
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Old 3 Sep 20, 10:25 AM  
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Originally Posted by YorkshireT View Post
I have a Feb use year so had to bank by end of September and thought I may as well do it now as it will be no clearer by then. If you are not constrained by that Iíd maybe book somewhere cancellable now on these good deals, and wait until 30 days out, if still not clear cancel off BLT. I was in BLT over last NY in a 1 bed, itís great but too many points to lose.
We're August UY and they're current points so no banking issues yet but don't want to end up with points in holding if/when it returns.
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