View Full Version : How far in advance do you book your hotel and has anyone booked for March or later?

08-12-2007, 10:08 PM
Just wondering because on most sites like Expedia etc when I do a search for March I get "nothing available". When I checked 2 specific hotels websites I could book a standard room but not a King mini suite. When I phoned the hotel directly that had the kings I was told they won't have the prices up until December or January. I read on another post somewhere that someone was trying to book for the end of March and a lot of hotels were already full. We are planning a trip for the 12 thru 15th. Also it seems alot of people book packages but it doesn't appear anybody has any packages available for 2008 yet or do they and I just don't know where to look??????????????

We already have our flights booked so we have to stay those dates but what should I do? Do I just book a standard room somewhere? What happens if the room I really want comes up later or a good package deal? Is it hard to cancel a room or upgrade later??

08-12-2007, 11:20 PM
I go through this aggravation every year. Each October we have a trip and when we get back, I want reservations for the next year. Can't make them. For the past month I've been waiting and wanting reservations for February, can't make them.

Honestly, I just sit back and keep checking in to see if they're available yet. Usually sometime in August or September, bookings for the next year become available. Just keep calling, and actually I've never had a problem getting what I wanted - I have always gotten the hotel, the room, etc. No problems. I think one year we had to do PP because DLH was booked for a convention - but that ended up being good for us since we hadn't tried PP yet.

Now this past year, I booked a February trip during the month of November - due to slow to decide family members. Drove me nuts because I'm a planner, but we had no problems.

If you don't have APs - go to Costco, AAA, WDTC, or getawaytoday.com - these places seem to have the best packages available.

08-12-2007, 11:43 PM
Last August '06, I was able to book Camelot Inn for January '07 and April '07 from their bei-hotels website. Didn't have any problems at all.

08-12-2007, 11:47 PM
I think it might just be the Disney hotels - we never had problems with the Sheraton either. lol...a CM told me last week something about them trying to fill up through the end of the year before they booked next year. Didn't make much sense to me but okay.

08-13-2007, 01:49 AM
Thanks very much! It's hard because I live overseas now so I can't use AAA. Still a slight possibility of getting my mom, who still lives there, to get a costco package BUT they all expire at the end of December. Did check Getawaytoday and could do the DH (yea! finally found one!) but it's about $1000 more than the Camelot which I tried to get. I think I've read enough about conceriege too that I would want that so add another $600. Is an extra $1600 really worth it to stay at DH???? Hmmm....will have to start a new thread on that one! All soooooooo frustrating!

08-13-2007, 08:13 AM
I booked GC in January for September, I call the hotel direct, that way seems to work for me.:)

08-13-2007, 03:42 PM
LOL well for me I got up at 4:30 AM my time 30 mins after the phone lines opened the first day they opened 08 packages, and booked my Daughters Princess trip for her birthday. I was nervous March would book up fast, so I called right away got what we wanted for early March. I am noticing online it says Paradise Pier has nothing left for my dates now, so you might want to call as soon as you decide which resort you would like.

08-13-2007, 04:35 PM
I book about 9 months ahead, this is early enough to be able to get the best deal. I surf the net searching on that particular hotel until I find the best deal advertised from one of the resellers, this then gives me a benchmark on what is going to be this hotels bottom line price. I then email the hotel requesting a room at that rate (ie can I have a room at the advertised $?? rate). Once confirmed I phone the hotel with my Credit Card details and confirm the rate again at the time. A couple of points here:
1. Don't expect to be able to get a very good rate for stays of less than one week
2. Have options, research more than one hotel and don't be afraid to play one hotel against another (only works with significant stays)
3. By organising early the hotel doesn't yet know exactly how full its going to be also you are negotiating on this years rates not next years.
4. Travel shoulder season, ie we go to DL late June through to early July for about 15 days. Hotel was not full when we arrived but had by the time we left, Hotels will be reluctant to negotiate during their peak times.
5. Document everything, take with you the email from the hotel with your booking reference and the price, record the date you rang to confirm and who you spoke to, I have never had a problem but its better safe than sorry.

Our last trip to DL we got a twin Queen room at the Carousel for $69 per night, we saved $40 a night!

We are off to the Gold Coast in Australia next year and using the above strategy got the room at half the rack price for a stay in peak season.

08-13-2007, 04:59 PM
We will be booking at 11 months before as we are using DVC points and this is when you can start to book using points.

08-13-2007, 11:01 PM
ok, now I'm even more confused about why the guy at the Camelot told me they don't know the rates....seems like most people have been able to book! I also searched through the Disney site and absolutely everything I was interested in said 'no availability"....gee, I hope that doesn't mean everything is all booked out already....well, I have 3 hotels in mind so hoping at least one will do....kind of reluctant to do DLH though....just seems too much money for only 4 nights! Thanks for that added tip Kiwitravel!! I live about 5 hours from the Gold Coast.....will you be doing Dreamworld, Movie World etc? Hope you have a fantastic time!

08-13-2007, 11:16 PM
Thanks for that added tip Kiwitravel!! I live about 5 hours from the Gold Coast.....will you be doing Dreamworld, Movie World etc? Hope you have a fantastic time!

Yes, we are travelling with two other families and we are going to hit the theme parks. We have been there before and know they're no DL but its a lot cheaper to do than USA and we have scheduled our next DL trip for 2009.

Give the Carousel Inn a call or email, I know we could book there nine months out and got a really good rate. You won't get as good a rate for four days but will be way better than DLH...

08-13-2007, 11:46 PM
It's not the Camelot - call again and keep calling. It's WDTC - they don't open up 2008 for reservations - and sometimes Disney as well. If you don't do the Disneyland.com website (which is WDTC actually), you should be able to get some rates for things - other than Disney hotels.

Disney hotels ARE worth it - for us at this time anyway. Love the location and close proximity, we still have a napper and that's a true benefit for us! Love the extra Disney feel. Love the added benefits that are more catered towards kids. We love the Sheraton - but seriously, try finding toddler foods for a picky eater in a pinch. We love the service there too - typically it's exceptional. The character meals can't be beat and that's the ease of walking from your room to breakfast!

08-14-2007, 03:06 AM
Don't forget that old fashioned thing the travel agent! We are also based in New Zealand and have booked disney accommodation (in particular the disney hotels) through an agent. They offer wholesalers allocations, which can be very good deals indeed, and don't necessarily have the same timing problems.

I'm happy to use the internet sometimes, but it's not always the best means, particularly if you are not in the states itself.
Just another way to look at things!

08-14-2007, 11:55 AM
Definately check back in like Aug/sept. They will have much more up by that point. Also check Orbitz and Travelocity. Those are my 2 favorite sites that are a lot cheaper then Expedia. Or find the hotel that you want to stay at and call them directly. They can always put your name on a wait list incase someone back out of their reservations.

08-14-2007, 03:40 PM
I booked a week and a half ago for May 2008 at the Grand Californian.

08-14-2007, 04:22 PM
Don't forget that old fashioned thing the travel agent! We are also based in New Zealand and have booked disney accommodation (in particular the disney hotels) through an agent. They offer wholesalers allocations, which can be very good deals indeed, and don't necessarily have the same timing problems.

Hey a fellow kiwi.... I agree that corporate hotels like the DLR ones are probably better booked through a Travel Agent as it is very hard to get a good price out of them direct. But I fear the Travel Agents days might be numbered, as more and more of the world becomes internet savy and airlines pursue the internet shopper. Whilst Hotels still don't advertise cheap rates for fear of being cut off by wholesalers, the time is rapidly approaching when direct bookings will start to outnumber wholesaler bookings and the hotels will chase the higher profit direct market. I have never had a problem negotiating rates direct that are often as much as 20-30% less than Travel Agent rates quoted here in NZ.

08-14-2007, 06:03 PM
There is definitely a place for internet booking - but when you can't get what you want, a travel agent may well have it. Our last trip in June 2007 was Europe via US, hence the little disney stopover. Europe accomodationwe booked through the web, but DLH we booked through our agent, who could keep the request sitting with wholesaler, even though the hotel was showing full. And of course the booking cleared - rates were 50% of rack, high season.

HAve also found in previous trips that you can book out further.

So I guess my point is , it's worth it if you can't book it another way. And though the world is moving towards the web, a savvy agent can ferret out things the web still can't,because the consolidated travel market is still alive and well, especially to places like Disney.

08-14-2007, 07:49 PM
We do have an agent checking a couple of things for us....she did give me a price for the Carousel that was higher than the Carousel website price but the website price didn't include the 15% tax....and didn't even think at the time to ask the agent if her price included all of that...if so, maybe hers actually was cheaper. The prices quoted for the disney hotels in the travel brochures we got were just WAY WAY too much money.

I have finally found price quotes on disney.com for a package at the Camelot which I am really leaning towards but going to just quickly check out that orbitz and travelocity too....thanks for that!

Oh I will be oh so happy when this is all organised......

btw.....we won't be hiring a car so will take either Disneyland Express (does it go to the good neighbour hotels??" or super shuttle or taxi (if we can afford that one!)....has anyone taken either shuttle and have a preference?

08-14-2007, 07:54 PM
KIWITRAVEL: Forgot to ask you another silly question..........when you stayed at both the Carousel and Tropicana (I think you said you had standard rooms?).....was there room to put your luggage or hang things up. We'll have probably 3 big suitcases (probably more on the way home because I go shopping mad over there!)....anyway, that is DH's big concern.....is there any place to put the suitcases and get into them without tripping all over them in the room????

You'll have to let me know how the parks are over here....isn't that sad...I haven't been to them yet! Have been to Australia zoo though...that was pretty good....I think about an hour or 2 from the GC.

08-14-2007, 10:34 PM
The Carousel was the bigger room and we were 1 teenage girl, 1 9yo boy and two adults there for 16 days and we had plenty of room. We unpacked our bags into the drawers for the most but there was plenty of room for the suitcases to be out. There was good hanging storage in the wardrope off the bathroom. Tropicanna was only a bit smaller but its layout didn't help, it had a smaller fridge and microwave and they weren't built in to a cabinet so seemed a bit more cluttered.

Shame on you for not getting to the GC theme parks.... this will be our third trip but then travels our thing. Trying to organise a rental car at the moment, didn't realise it was so complicated over there with the CDW insurance then single vehicle insurance on top of that:scared: admin fees... gst etc

08-14-2007, 11:20 PM
I know....pretty pathetic of me isn't it! Really, we've just been waiting until DD is a bit older as she's scared of most rides, places etc...just wouldn't be worth it yet. Since we have to travel to the US next year for business I thought DL would be a good entry into amusement parks for her. I look forward to Dream World though....I think it's probably more like Magic Mountain in California where I grew up.....I always loved it because it had all the good rollercoasters and fast rides!

Yeah, costs are a pain but I'm beginning to appreciate GST being nicely built into most things here rather than having to remember to add on tax in the U.S.

and most importantly....THANK YOU for the info.....I did see on a virtual tour of the camelot that the very tiny microwave is on top of the vanity and the fridge underneath which kind of takes up space that I will need (hmm...perhaps I could do some furniture re-arranging whilst there HA HA). Did also see a little spot to hang thing and maybe put suitcases (except they might be in the way of the fridge then)....hard to tell with some of the photos/tours the 'real' effect.

08-15-2007, 12:11 PM
I started trying to reserve our room for March 12-15 when we got back form our May trip. I was able to do it about a month or so ago.

I just keep checking prices to see if I can find a better deal. Thus far, the price for a hotel room in the same hotel has gone up $30/nt.

Short answer I guess is that I book our hotel as soon as the rates are available.