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GoofyFairie
10-09-2008, 06:10 PM
Can anyone tell me about their experience booking a room through the AAA website? Do you have control of your reservation or does TA? I appreciate any advice you would be willing to share.

disneyin2008
10-09-2008, 06:26 PM
Can anyone tell me about their experience booking a room through the AAA website? Do you have control of your reservation or does TA? I appreciate any advice you would be willing to share.

If you want to make any changes to your AAA booking, whether made by phone, in person or through their website, you will have to contact your AAA agent.

The problem some people have come up with is when a code comes out....instead of calling Disney right at 7am when the code takes effect, they have to wait until their AAA office opens (which on the west coast could be hours after Disney opens)....then if their agent isn't available, they have to wait some more. Then some people have reported having their agent tell them there is no such code (even though there are numerous reports on DIS by this time of success with the codes)...or that they're "sure" it won't save you anything over the rate you already have....etc, until people have to insist or even demand that the agent try it. I guess you could guess that my recommendation is not to go through AAA if you don't have to! If you want just a AAA room rate, you can get that yourself by calling Disney and asking for it, they'll need your AAA number so have it handy. If you want a package, that is, tickets and/or dining plan, then unfortunatley you have to go through AAA. BUT...if your trip is still a ways into the future (i.e. right now, if it's in January 2009 or beyond), I wouldn't recommend booking a package yet.....that way you can do a room only through Disney, and then wait until the codes for January come out to see if you even want to use the AAA discount.....it's not uncommon for the general public rates to be just as good.....and private pin codes that you might be emailed/postal mailed will almost always beat AAA too. And the recent Disney VISA free dining for Nov/Dec beat them all for many people (depends on your dates/resort of choice of course). But having your options open is wise! You can add the AAA package items a few weeks before your trip if no better deals come along....and by keeping it originally with Disney YOU will have the power to make the changes instead of relying on someone else who may not be versed in the urgency of acting quickly when codes are released!

Now.....all that said, there are SOME AAA agents that have a clue when it comes to Disney....but you have to hunt for them because they tend to be few and far between. The good news is that it doesn't matter if that Disney-wise agent is in your state or not....everything is conducted by email/phone/snail mail, so their location doesn't matter like it used to in the olden days, lol. So....if you want to book the package through AAA, then please, ask on this board for recommendations of AAA agents that are well versed in Disney....then call and talk to them to see if you agree! It saddens me, and scares me, the misinformation that AAA agents are reported as giving customers.....many DISers have had to educate their agents (or sit and gasp in horror as they overhear the agent giving totally incorrect information to someone in line in front of them at the AAA office). One of the scariest seems to be agent saying there is no need to make dinner reservations...you can just walk up and get a table. Anyone who has read this board for more than hour knows that will NEVER happen at 80% of the restuantants in Disney at the slowest of times.....and even the other restaurants it isn't likely most other times. And if those folks have paid big money for a dining plan only to arrive and find their choices to use the TS credits is nearly non-existant, I can only imagine their disappointment, frustration or anger! And some of the other misinformation is just as awful. Reading any of the zillion guidebooks in the library or bookstore would give you better information.

As I said, not all AAA agents are scary when it comes to AAA, but you need to do your research, footwork and interviewing if you're going to trust them with your reservation. There is just too much money riding on a Disney vacation to do otherwise!

GoofyFairie
10-09-2008, 06:47 PM
I do not want to use a TA, I want to have control of my reservation. I liked the price I was seeing on the AAA hotel box and wondered what kind of experience I would have booking it through the computer. I am trying to find a way to cut costs. If I have done my research correctly on the DIS then I should be be able to get a discount on my room if I make a room only reservation. If I buy my tickets seperately through AAA then I should be able to get a discount on those as well right? If I don't cut costs then there is no hope of going in 2009. I NEED to get to WDW!

Baltazar
10-09-2008, 07:48 PM
I advise to call Disney directly.

Call them and just talk if you want, I doubt any travel agent can do better.

disneyin2008
10-09-2008, 08:33 PM
I do not want to use a TA, I want to have control of my reservation. I liked the price I was seeing on the AAA hotel box and wondered what kind of experience I would have booking it through the computer. I am trying to find a way to cut costs. If I have done my research correctly on the DIS then I should be be able to get a discount on my room if I make a room only reservation. If I buy my tickets seperately through AAA then I should be able to get a discount on those as well right? If I don't cut costs then there is no hope of going in 2009. I NEED to get to WDW!

If you want control, then definitely call Disney yourself to book. Even with a Disney knowledgeable AAA agent you will still not have control of your reservation, though it should at least be easier to convince them when a deal comes up, you still have the potential problem of contacting them on a moments notice when codes are released.

If you're looking to purchase tickets at a discount, I can recommend Undercovertourist.com. Their prices include taxes and they offer free shipping, so be sure to take that into consideration when comparing prices as the Disney website and my local AAA website don't include taxes (which I believe are 6.5%).

If you're truly looking to save money.....you might want to consider not staying on site. This will be my first times staying on site and I'm doing it only because my children really want the experience....and there is that to be considered of course. But to save a lot of money, rent yourself a condo (or house if your family is large) off site. The website vrbo.com was where I found our rentals, and was extremely happy to save a LOT of money, being able to stay longer because of the savings, AND having all that wonderful space instead of a cramped little hotel room. Having a kitchen was wonderful for me, as my family loves to cook together, and therefore we saved quite a bit of money on food.....some people only use the kitchen for breakfast, but even that can make for a substantial savings over eating out locally or even more so eating on WDW property. We have stayed in a wonderful 4 bedroom home, then decided the next time around that was more house than we really needed for vacation and got a 2 bedroom condo which was still more than enough room. The house was about the same price as a non-discounted value room....but came with all that extra space, full kitchen, private washer/dryer, and a private heated swimming pool. The condo was $399 a week, and while we had to share the heated pool, it still had a washer/dryer available, so we didn't have to haul everything we owned, lol.

You will need to rent a car, but watch the transportation board here on DIS or visit mousesavers.com for great deals/coupons/codes and you should be able to rent a car and still save money over staying on site (including having to pay for parking if you don't have an AP), over a moderate on site.

There are lots of other ways to save a little here and a little there, but housing and transportation tend to be the big ticket items and most times saving there means you don't need to nickle and dime the rest of the trip. At least for us!

lmillercrew
10-09-2008, 08:44 PM
I just joined AAA last week so that I could get there discount. When I called CRO to book room only ressies, I'm only saving $4/night. I'm going in June, which might have something to do with it, but come ON! It's almost not even worth it. My AAA office said that if I buy my hopper passes at their office I can save $11/adult ticket. I have heard of people having problems with packages purchased thru AAA and then when they want to change anything, they have a hard time doing so. Just do it yourself and then you don't have the middle man. I've always been very pleased dealing with Disney Reservations directly.

disneyin2008
10-09-2008, 09:17 PM
I just joined AAA last week so that I could get there discount. When I called CRO to book room only ressies, I'm only saving $4/night. I'm going in June, which might have something to do with it, but come ON! It's almost not even worth it. My AAA office said that if I buy my hopper passes at their office I can save $11/adult ticket. I have heard of people having problems with packages purchased thru AAA and then when they want to change anything, they have a hard time doing so. Just do it yourself and then you don't have the middle man. I've always been very pleased dealing with Disney Reservations directly.

Your trip isn't until 2009, so realize that the pricing will likely change (and I just looked at my paperwork for 2008, and it says that 2009 is subject to change once those prices are released).

So...your AAA discount may be quite a bit more once those prices are released. Typically in November/December so it won't be too long. Plus, with a room only discount, you can make as many changes as you want (until 5 days before arrival) without any extra charges.....with a package some changes can incur fees, including applying codes!


To give you an idea.....I originally booked POP (value) for 9 nights room only with AAA and got a $21 a night discount over rack rate.......the AP rate came out and was $27 a night discount over rack rate so I switched....then Disney VISA free dining came out, and now I'm getting $74 a night PLUS free dining. None of those changes cost me anything. But now that my package is paid for, if I want to change anything it's going to cost me $100!! My other dates weren't part of the free dining so they are still room only and I can change them however I want (and have with various codes) without charge. They're both AP with codes now, not AAA, so if I really wanted to I could add dining, but I doubt I will. It's much more expensive than we typically spend in a day.....so it'll be interesting being on the free dining to see if we can actually eat all that food, lol. I moved our ADRs so that the most expensive dinners are those during free dining, so I actually am gonna save during our non-dining plan time as well!

Finding discounts is a bit of a game really.....you have to keep an eye on the DIS board and be ready to act on a moment's notice, lol. It helps to have a good idea of what you are willing to spend....a lot of people book values or moderates but then the codes come out and while they're still more money, the deluxes become more affordable to some people. Me, I doubt I'll ever be able to justify spending even close to $200 a night just to sleep, lol. The rack rate of moderates is too high for me, lol. But....for some it's worth the cost.....so they are thrilled with the room codes that bring the deluxes into their budget.

lmillercrew
10-10-2008, 06:48 AM
What price changes are you talking about? AAA discounts or room? The room rates for 2009 are already out. We are staying at POR and I definately booked the room myself. I have yet to book a complete package. I find it a better deal if I just pay for things a little at a time. And you're right, if I want to change or cancel my trip, as long as I do it 5 days before, there's no fee.
Thanks for responding.

disneyin2008
10-10-2008, 07:15 AM
What price changes are you talking about? AAA discounts or room? The room rates for 2009 are already out. We are staying at POR and I definately booked the room myself. I have yet to book a complete package. I find it a better deal if I just pay for things a little at a time. And you're right, if I want to change or cancel my trip, as long as I do it 5 days before, there's no fee.
Thanks for responding.

I stand corrected....looking at my reservation from both September and August it talks about the 2009 rates being subject to change. I realize now they did come out....it's the codes that won't be out until Nov/Dec for January dates. Sometimes I really should sleep instead of write, lol. Sorry for the confusion.

AAA discounts/codes for June won't be out yet.....just the basic "rack rate" discount that AAA offers, so keep an eye out for POSSIBLE additional savings.

lmillercrew
10-10-2008, 08:57 AM
I stand corrected....looking at my reservation from both September and August it talks about the 2009 rates being subject to change. I realize now they did come out....it's the codes that won't be out until Nov/Dec for January dates. Sometimes I really should sleep instead of write, lol. Sorry for the confusion.

AAA discounts/codes for June won't be out yet.....just the basic "rack rate" discount that AAA offers, so keep an eye out for POSSIBLE additional savings.

Thank you. I didn't know that AAA discounts/codes changed, or came out at different times of the year. So, as far as AAA codes, do I call sometime after the first of the year and ask if there are any additional discounts associated with AAA?

GoofyFairie
10-11-2008, 06:14 AM
I had no idea that AAA had codes! I was just interested in the rate that I saw quoted on their website for a room in Feb. I want to stay in control of my reservation, but will probably just do room only and get some tickets seperately from somewhere else. I am not interested in dining. Does anyone have the phone number for making a room only reservation?

disneyin2008
10-11-2008, 06:54 AM
Does anyone have the phone number for making a room only reservation?



407-939-7675

GoofyFairie
10-11-2008, 08:31 AM
407-939-7675

Thank you! :goodvibes