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Old 12-06-2012, 11:21 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by sarahkate60120
Thanks aaarcher86. I sometimes feel overwhelmed with all the info out there. I thought this was the case and needed confirmation.
Definitely lots and lots of info! Happy planning!
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:59 PM   #17
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For another thing, it means you can't get a package reservation if you book through third party reservation brokers. So you are not able to add a dining plan if you want one.

You WILL have the same general stuff that comes with any Disney-owned resort room - free parking, free wifi, Extra Magic Hours.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:42 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by daf View Post
Thank you all for your responses.

1 -- I had no idea there was a special offer page on Disney. I knew there was a discount on our dates, but I thought that the normal booking page already includes the discount (p.s. - Why doesn't it??).

2 -- By the way, Disney do take all the money in advance when booking less than 45 days prior to the arrival (which is the case here).
1. Disney is a for profit company and they are making money for their stockholders. There are a number of people who will pay the rack rate and not look for the discounts like people on this board do. That's okay with me.

2. The 45 day rule is only for packages. If you are booking a room only reservation, you will be charged for one night of your stay. And, you can cancel until 5 days. Packages and Room Only reservations are different. Make sure that when you're looking at the Disney reservation site, you've selected "book a room" as opposed to book a package.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:44 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by daf View Post
...but I still don't understand what the difference is between the different rates on hotels.com for the same room type.
I imagine (not from working for TAs but for websites that get automatic info from other companies) that they get the "feed" from Disney, and they get all of the room types, and that's what shows up on their site. The Disney pages are among the least "pretty" pages, IMO, and I imagine it's probably because it's two systems not playing well together that that happens.

I could be wrong, but that's what I think is happening.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:51 AM   #20
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Generally I would book directly with Disney if the price is the same. However I booked with hotels.com last month because they had a 10% off code on top of the discount Disney was already offering.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:11 AM   #21
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Another disadvantage of non-Disney sites is that you normally cannot use on-line check-in. To use on-line check-in you need the reservation number from the Disney system which most times the external sites cannot give you.
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:06 PM   #22

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Originally Posted by bumbershoot

I agree 100%.

I booked two nights through hotels.com for the end of our Feb stay, and noticed the difference...I think it's just incomplete info. I fully expect to have free parking and free wifi.

We're using them because we have free (or what hotels.com calls free) nights with them and I wanted the stay to be cheap.

I was able to book ME through ME's website (which is given on the hotels.com website way down at the bottom of the main page for that hotel), using the reservation confirmation number hotels.com gave me. I have not, however, been able to get it to show up on disneyworld.com. I plan to contact hotels to get the disney confirmation number (for my records, mainly) and I'll see if I can get it onto My Reservations.
I'm trying to find the ME page that you're talking about but I can't seem to find it. I think I'm missing it.....
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:48 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by winthropf View Post
Another disadvantage of non-Disney sites is that you normally cannot use on-line check-in. To use on-line check-in you need the reservation number from the Disney system which most times the external sites cannot give you.
Not true for all sites. I've booked three times through Expedia. Each time, I was given an Expedia itinerary number, and the Disney confirmation number. I used the Disney confirmation number to do online check in without any problems. The Disney confirmation number appears in the itinerary a day or two after the booking. You would also use the Disney confirmation number to have your third party stay appear under My Vacations on the home page of the Disney website (I find it works best if you select "other" instead of selecting that you booked through a travel agent when adding a new reservation to the list).

Also, you get all the benefits of being a Disney World resort guest, including the free parking and the wifi. It may be that the third party just isn't listing all of the benefits under every resort, but I wasn't treated any differently booking through Expedia than I was when I booked direct with Disney. Same parking pass, same resort ID, and the few room requests I made were met.

If the difference in price is small, I generally will book direct with Disney, just so I don't have to go through a third party to modify or cancel the reservation (if necessary). But I'm not a big resort changer anyway, so that hasn't really been an issue. The few times I have booked outside of Disney it's been because I could save a significant amount of money (which overrode any concerns over changes or cancellations) or because I needed a Disney TA that would watch for discounts for me because I had a lot going on at the time (I've booked through Disney TA's twice).

I do think the biggest thing is the fact that you typically do have to pay for the trip up front with most online third parties, and many people may not be prepared to do that, or if you want to book packages that the third parties don't always handle. Each family has different requirements when it comes to flexibility and payment, so you have to do what works best for you.
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