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Old 02-19-2013, 09:26 AM   #1
RnbwSktles
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Question Re-booking when discounts are available

I am planning a trip for Jan 2014 and although I have been to WDW many many times, this is actually my first time staying on property. So, I am new to the room booking process.

I would like to stay at POR (1 night in a Royal Guest Room and 7 nights preferably in Alligator Bayou). Since I will be arriving on Marathon weekend and leaving MLK weekend (and because I am super excited and can't wait any longer) I'd like to reserve the rooms ASAP.

Here are my questions. I apologize for the length!
1) If I book now and a room-only discount comes out later, how does that work? Do I call and have the original reservation canceled and then re-book the same hotel with the discount? Or, does the CM just discount my existing reservation?

1a) If the original is canceled, what are my chances of not being able to get the same room types upon re-booking? Will the CM tell me what is available before I end up canceling? Is it possible to snatch up the same room that I just canceled?

1b) Since my original ressie will technically be two "linked" reservations, should I just leave the 1 night in the Royal Guestroom alone, and just concentrate on getting the next 7 nights discounted? Or is that really not that complicated?

2) How many times can you re-book without penalty? If a discount becomes available 6 months early and I snatch it up, but then a better one becomes available 3 months out, can I do it all over again?

I guess I am a little confused because when looking at the discount calendars, it seemed like some discounts were offered early on, and some more last minute.

I should also add that the Dining Plan doesn't seem to be practical option for DH and me. However, if a free dining plan package became available and it ended up being cheaper overall, I would consider it.

Any advice would be appreciated, even if it's to say that these are really stupid questions!

Thanks!!
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:21 AM   #2
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One for the experts

These are great questions, and very clearly laid out. I can't answer your questions, but I am eagerly awaiting responses from the "experts" who know much more about the reservation process. Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:32 PM   #3
AJ1983
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I booked back in October for this May, and called just today to shorten my stay by one night. I asked if there was still a room only sale on, she said there was and applied it to the existing reservation, no problem. Hope this helps!
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Old 02-23-2013, 04:19 PM   #4
DJorJD88
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You would have to call reservations as soon as the new deals or discounts come out. Deals like free dining are only offered for a certain amount of rooms in each resort. The sooner you call after a deal is released the better the chances of you not have to change your reservations. I am not exactly sure what the booking CM does on their end but in the past we have called up to add free dining and they have just added it to our reservation. If no more rooms are available for that deal or discount at the resort or specific room you want you may have to change resorts to get the deal.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:02 AM   #5
LadyPinno
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Free Dining

When and where d oyou normally fine free dining?
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:46 PM   #6
DMDaisy31
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Where do you find any of the deals and discounts as time gets closer?

Staying at Coronado Springs Resort in August... made reservation through Priceline...does that matter? First time staying at an actual Disney resort... thanks!
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:32 PM   #7
zy144622
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We booked in sept 2012 for feb 2013 before discounts were released. They day they released early nov I think...I called and the discounts were added. We did have to upgrade our room type to qualify but no canceling and rebooking was needed.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:42 PM   #8
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You can add, change or cancel your reservation at any time without penalty until the 45 day mark. If you are inside the 45 day mark, there is a $50 change fee to update your reservation so if you get a discount that saves more than the $50 fee, it still makes sense to do it.

You do not need to rebook your reservation. Any discounts or changes that come along will be updated when you call and provide the PIN or promo code.

I assume you would need to apply the promo code to both reservations. Not sure if there is fine print in there anywhere that says you can only use on one reservation, I doubt it.
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:36 PM   #9
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I believe that the 45 day period only applies to packages. Room only reservations can be changed without penalty up to a much closer date, like maybe a week, I think.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:26 PM   #10
danceintherain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RnbwSktles View Post
I am planning a trip for Jan 2014 and although I have been to WDW many many times, this is actually my first time staying on property. So, I am new to the room booking process.

I would like to stay at POR (1 night in a Royal Guest Room and 7 nights preferably in Alligator Bayou). Since I will be arriving on Marathon weekend and leaving MLK weekend (and because I am super excited and can't wait any longer) I'd like to reserve the rooms ASAP.

Here are my questions. I apologize for the length!
1) If I book now and a room-only discount comes out later, how does that work? Do I call and have the original reservation canceled and then re-book the same hotel with the discount? Or, does the CM just discount my existing reservation?

1a) If the original is canceled, what are my chances of not being able to get the same room types upon re-booking? Will the CM tell me what is available before I end up canceling? Is it possible to snatch up the same room that I just canceled?

1b) Since my original ressie will technically be two "linked" reservations, should I just leave the 1 night in the Royal Guestroom alone, and just concentrate on getting the next 7 nights discounted? Or is that really not that complicated?

2) How many times can you re-book without penalty? If a discount becomes available 6 months early and I snatch it up, but then a better one becomes available 3 months out, can I do it all over again?

I guess I am a little confused because when looking at the discount calendars, it seemed like some discounts were offered early on, and some more last minute.

I should also add that the Dining Plan doesn't seem to be practical option for DH and me. However, if a free dining plan package became available and it ended up being cheaper overall, I would consider it.

Any advice would be appreciated, even if it's to say that these are really stupid questions!

Thanks!!
1. It depends. If you at any time switch between a room-only and a package, you will have to cancel your original reservation and be re-booked into a new one. This is only relevant if any particular discount requires the addition of tickets (ie. Free Dining). Otherwise, you should keep your same reservation # and be able to use the same deposit.
Keep in mind that your current room will have to be available with the discount, or you may end up having to change room categories etc.

1b. It should be the same process. You will likely have to decide which one you want to try for first, but it shouldn't be an issue as long as there's availability.

2) As many times as you want, until you reach your applicable cancellation window (45 days for packages and 5 for room-onlys - if I'm remember correctly). Usually they only charge you a change fee within your window, if you are making a change that lowers the cost. Discount availability usually gets smaller the closer you get to your dates, so most people don't run into this problem. (ie. a discount offered 6 months out will have 100 available rooms and by the time they reach the 3 month mark they'll only have 20 rooms to fill etc)

Now it's important for you to understand how Disney determines their discounts. At some point they look at occupancy for a specific time frame. If it's not where they would like it to be, they will offer a discount. This varies drastically from day to day, from resort to resort, and all the way down to specific room types. When you book a particular room category in advance, they're already expecting you to stay there, and may not offer a discount for it for your dates at all. I'm sure they do take into consideration people canceling and re-booking, but this does not guarantee that the availability for a specific room at a discount will change.
People are often very frustrated when their particular room category or resort altogether isn't available at a discount for their dates. This is particularly common for limited categories. For example, Port Orleans - French Quarter isn't an option at all for some dates during the current "Spring Discount."

The same thing could happen to you. For that reason, it's usually only advisable to book a room in advance if it will be what you want, even if you have to pay full price for it. If a discount is more important to you, then you should wait to book until the discounts are released. That way, the chances of a discount being released for what you want are higher.

Obviously, there are other circumstances. I booked my honeymoon 6 months in advance, because that's when I booked my airfare, and I wanted to be able to book my ADRs. I got lucky, and I qualified for a discount that fit me well around 3 months out.

Keep in mind, that if you're going during a time frame that usually offers discounts, it's likely that there will be some discount available for your dates somewhere. It may not be exactly what you want. If the whole resort is going to sell out in advance, then you likely won't end up having any discounts available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DMDaisy31 View Post
Where do you find any of the deals and discounts as time gets closer?

Staying at Coronado Springs Resort in August... made reservation through Priceline...does that matter? First time staying at an actual Disney resort... thanks!
Yes. Priceline controls your reservation, and you will be subject to their cancellation policy AND possibly Disney's cancellation policy.
It's most likely that you're stuck.
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:09 PM   #11
andee515
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What happens if you are paid in full, when the discount? Do they put the difference back on cc or gc that you paid with or give you a credit?
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