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Ravenne 04-11-2013 11:16 PM

Room only discounts
 
I'm a little confused on the room only discounts. I'm hoping you guys can help me figure it out please. :)

When Disney releases the 30% off deluxe room discounts, for example, how exactly do you book it if you want park tickets and dining plan? Is adding those things an option with the discount? So can you just book the room, get the discount, then add park tickets and dining plan later? What are the pros and cons to booking room only vs packages that includes tickets and dining plan?

Thanks!

purple figment 04-12-2013 01:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenne (Post 48081640)
I'm a little confused on the room only discounts. I'm hoping you guys can help me figure it out please. :)

When Disney releases the 30% off deluxe room discounts, for example, how exactly do you book it if you want park tickets and dining plan? If you want tickets and the dining plan you have to book a package.

Is adding those things an option with the discount? Sometimes a discount is offered on the room rate. You can apply the discount to the room rate portion of a package.

So can you just book the room, get the discount, then add park tickets and dining plan later? No, a room only reservation and a package reservation are 2 different things and are booked through 2 different offices/reservation systems. If you have a room only reservation and you decide you want tickets and dining plan you would have to book a package, pay a new deposit and cancel the room only res. Your room only deposit would be refunded to you. If you start by booking just a room + tickets, that would already be a package and you can add a dining plan later on. The deadline for adding or modifying the dining plan is no later than 3 days before arrival.

What are the pros and cons to booking room only vs packages that includes tickets and dining plan?

Room only: deposit is 1 night's room rate, balance is due at check in. Cancellation up to 5 days before arrival with deposit refunded.

Package: deposit is $200, balance is due 45 days before check in. Any changes within 45 days of arrival may incur a change fee, typically waived if your new total is higher, but the additional cost is due immediately. Packages cancelled within 45 days of arrival lose the deposit.


Thanks!

My answers in red.

Some other things to keep in mind:

-If a special is offered, you need to call Disney to apply the special. It won't be applied automatically.

-You can book your vacation and if a special is offered later you can apply it if your resort/room category is included in the special, rooms for the special are still available and you meet all the criteria for the special (e.g. number of nights, dates the special is being offered, etc.) Already having a room or package won't guarantee that you'll qualify for the special offer.

-You cannot stack discounts so choose the one that is best for you.

-Your example of 30% off room rates at a Deluxe is something we've taken advantage of in the past. For our family of 3 adults 30% off at a deluxe with a paid dining plan is better than Free Dining with a room at rack rate. For others, FD might be a better choice. You just have to do the math.

-If you have an Annual Pass or are booking with military rates you can have a paid dining plan on a ticketless package. DVCers can also have a paid dining plan without tickets.

Wood Nymph 04-12-2013 07:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenne (Post 48081640)
I'm a little confused on the room only discounts. I'm hoping you guys can help me figure it out please. :)

When Disney releases the 30% off deluxe room discounts, for example, how exactly do you book it if you want park tickets and dining plan? Is adding those things an option with the discount? So can you just book the room, get the discount, then add park tickets and dining plan later? What are the pros and cons to booking room only vs packages that includes tickets and dining plan?

Thanks!

You don't have to buy the tickets or add the dining plan until five days before your check in date when you book a room only discount. You won't lose the discount on your room if you add the items later. That is what we did when we booked the Wilderness Lodge last year. We made the reservation in July, got a room only discount in October, and then added the park tickets and dining plan about ten days before our February trip. Just make sure the CM keeps your room discount when you add the tickets and dining. Most of them know to do this now. :)

mickeynut1 04-12-2013 07:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wood Nymph (Post 48082781)
You don't have to buy the tickets or add the dining plan until five days before your check in date when you book a room only discount. You won't lose the discount on your room if you add the items later. That is what we did when we booked the Wilderness Lodge last year. We made the reservation in July, got a room only discount in October, and then added the park tickets and dining plan about ten days before our February trip. Just make sure the CM keeps your room discount when you add the tickets and dining. Most of them know to do this now. :)

Just wanted to clarify that you have 3 days prior to arrival to add the DDP. However, it's not as easy as just "adding" the DDP and tickets to a room only reservation. As purple figment posted, the room only would have to be cancelled/refunded, and the package booked, requiring a new $200 deposit or payment in full if you are less than 45 days from arrival. Room only and packages are different reservation systems, so money paid toward one cannot be applied to the other. If you have a room discount and the promo has expired and/or there is no longer availability for your resort/room type, guest services will have to make the change in order for you to keep your discount (at least that's how it has worked for me several times in the past).

Wood Nymph 04-12-2013 08:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mickeynut1 (Post 48082915)

Just wanted to clarify that you have 3 days prior to arrival to add the DDP. However, it's not as easy as just "adding" the DDP and tickets to a room only reservation. As purple figment posted, the room only would have to be cancelled/refunded, and the package booked, requiring a new $200 deposit or payment in full if you are less than 45 days from arrival. Room only and packages are different reservation systems, so money paid toward one cannot be applied to the other. If you have a room discount and the promo has expired and/or there is no longer availability for your resort/room type, guest services will have to make the change in order for you to keep your discount (at least that's how it has worked for me several times in the past).

Yes, everything you said is true. But all of that is really just a matter of sitting in a nice comfortable place while the CM you are talking with on the phone handles it all. And the reason I always tell people five days for the dining plan instead of three is because that is what the CM told me. I would feel really bad if I told someone three days and then it turned out that they called a few hours too late and missed out on getting the dining plan. :)

ETA: I have looked for an "official" last date to add the dining plan on the Disney website and haven't been able to find it anywhere. So I have to go with what the CM told me. Does anyone know where Disney might have written the rules for this?

sharadoc 04-12-2013 08:11 AM

If you book online, and choose the room discount/specials link, you have the option of adding tickets and dining plan. Easy, and you don't have to worry about "room" or "package" or whatever. That's how I would do it, if you want to do it all at the beginning. If you want to add it later, then you'll need to call and that's when there will be those hoops to jump through.

TDC Nala 04-12-2013 08:12 AM

If you're switching a room only to a package, technically you are cancelling the room only, and you incur a penalty (loss of deposit) if you cancel one within 5 days of arrival. Maybe the CMs can fix that, but 5 days is a good time to keep in mind for this particular change. Because you're rebooking a package, you would have to pay it in full as soon as you change it - no more paying the balance at check-in.

If you already have a package and are just calling to add the dining plan, you can do that up to 3 days out.

Disney is not terribly clear on the difference between a room only reservation and a package, and on the fact that any reservation with a dining plan added must be a package reservation (except DVC).

Wood Nymph 04-12-2013 08:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TDC Nala (Post 48083223)
If you're switching a room only to a package, technically you are cancelling the room only, and you incur a penalty (loss of deposit) if you cancel one within 5 days of arrival. Maybe the CMs can fix that, but 5 days is a good time to keep in mind for this particular change. Because you're rebooking a package, you would have to pay it in full as soon as you change it - no more paying the balance at check-in.

If you already have a package and are just calling to add the dining plan, you can do that up to 3 days out.

That is a very good point. :).

suffieldhockeymom 04-12-2013 09:01 AM

http://di.sn/t3n use this link to the Summer Room discount and then add the options you want

Ravenne 04-12-2013 11:00 AM

So in cases where if I were to book way in advance, before discounts are released, is it more beneficial to book it as a package (we typically get DDP and tickets) and ask to have any room discounts applied later if and when it gets released? Typically, we stay at a value, or a moderate, but if they come out with a 30% room only discount for deluxe we'd be interested in switching to a deluxe. If we had a value or moderate booked, would it be possible to switch to a deluxe and have the room discount applied assuming criterias such as length of stay is met?

mickeynut1 04-12-2013 11:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenne (Post 48084820)
So in cases where if I were to book way in advance, before discounts are released, is it more beneficial to book it as a package (we typically get DDP and tickets) and ask to have any room discounts applied later if and when it gets released? Typically, we stay at a value, or a moderate, but if they come out with a 30% room only discount for deluxe we'd be interested in switching to a deluxe. If we had a value or moderate booked, would it be possible to switch to a deluxe and have the room discount applied assuming criterias such as length of stay is met?

Yes, if you would eventually get tickets and DDP, you're better off booking a package from the beginning. It is easy to change resorts and take advantage of a discount as long as the resort and room type you want to change to is available under the discount. You would have to call and have the discount applied/change resorts as modifications can't be made online.

TDC Nala 04-12-2013 11:43 AM

I agree that if you are going to want the tickets and DDP anyway, you're better off booking a package to start with. Usually when they come out with "room only" discounts, these are applicable to the room portion of your package. Call and ask about adding the discount to your reservation. Remember you can't stack discounts, so if you find a later discount that you like better it will cancel out the previous discount.

What you might have to do in order to apply a discount is switch resorts or room categories, if it so happens the resort or category you originally booked is not available with the discount, or if you can get a bigger discount by switching to another resort or room category. The switch is easily done.

If you know you will want a package and you want to delay the final payment past 45 days from arrival, you can do the room only and then switch it to a package, but don't wait until the day before you arrive to do that. I'd do it at least a week before arrival.

mickeynut1 04-12-2013 11:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TDC Nala (Post 48083223)
If you're switching a room only to a package, technically you are cancelling the room only, and you incur a penalty (loss of deposit) if you cancel one within 5 days of arrival. Maybe the CMs can fix that, but 5 days is a good time to keep in mind for this particular change. Because you're rebooking a package, you would have to pay it in full as soon as you change it - no more paying the balance at check-in.

I never thought of the penalty for cancelling a room only reservation so close to arrival, but it does make sense. This is probably what Wood Nymph is referring to with the CM saying 5 days prior to check in.

iheartjuppy 04-12-2013 01:15 PM

Also if you book during a special offer (or PIN) with a "book by" date, it gets a little more complicated.

For example, we had a 35% PIN (room only) for standard room at AKL for stays through some time in May (I think) but rooms had to be booked by some time in January or February. I called and booked (Arusha, which dropped the discount down to 20% on the room but was still more than the Spring Offer) and added my tickets right away. This made it a package but kept the Room Only discount on the room portion.

When I was thinking about adding the DDP, which would be ~$600 for my family for our stay, I called and asked and they quoted me a price almost $1500 more than what I paid. I mentioned that I'd had the PIN and the DDP was only $600 and they said that once the booking period for a PIN is passed, they can't access the info so if you make a major change (adding DDP counts) you lose your discount altogether. So they could have booked me under the newer offer but that was ~$900 I'd lose so I skipped the DDP and left things alone.

That said, I was able to upgrade my tickets (MYW to Park Hoppers) and my room (Arusha to Club Level) without losing any discount, so it may just be adding something NEW but if you booked room only and tried to add tickets later or DDP you MAY not be able to keep your room discount.

I'd make sure to run your numbers and know what you THINK you should be paying before making any changes, and booking what you can up front is probably the safest option.

mariamouse 04-12-2013 02:33 PM

How discounted are tickets typically when you buy a package? Less expensive than through Undercover Tourist?

And at what point does the DDP typically become economically advantageous for a familly?

Despite being Disney World veterans, we have never booked a package. I am in the process of helping my relatives (family of 4 including a young daughter) plan a 4-night trip at the end of August. They will likely stay at the WL/BC, although a moderate is a possibility. They would like to book maybe three character dining reservations.

Thoughts on whether or not it would just be cheaper to book the room-only once released + pay out-of-pocket for meals + Undercover Tourist tix (four 4-day park hoppers)?

Thanks! :)


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