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Old 12-25-2012, 11:25 AM   #1
Montegut
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Last minute trip, any chance to stay on site?

Talking with parents of young kids at a Christmas party who said they would love to just put the kids in the car and drive down to Disney and stay on site. Hearing how far ahead of time reservations have to be made, wonder if it's ever possible to just call Disney, say, We're on our way, where do you have availability, and then head on down. I'm assuming park tickets can be bought on site, and food can be purchased out of pocket. With so many resorts and at so many different levels, is it possible to stay on site without months of planning?

Also, if you wanted to stay at a Vacation Club property, not as a member, but maybe renting points, can that be done on short notice as well? A lot of these people are families with a bunch of kids, so they'd like the kitchen and larger facilities at the Vacation Club facilities.

I was wondering if this was possible because of my friend's experience after Thanksgiving, where she requested a move from Carribean Beach, and they put her up at the Contemporary! Obviously, there was an empty room at the Contemporary, which was quite surprising, since I thought you had to book that a year in advance. Are there last minute cancellations that leave usually hard to find rooms open if you're lucky?

Thanks for any input!
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:46 AM   #2
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There's always a chance. Lots of times last minute on property will end up at rack rate. Renting points can be done, but it would be really hard to do on the drive down. There's a lot of back and forth that goes on with renting points typically.

The less busy the time frame, the better your chances of a last minute opening.
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:56 AM   #3
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Renting points is not really a last minute thing as you are going to have to make payment prior to the trip and the owner has to get the reservation made.

I wouldn't leave before I had a room secured that I wanted and could afford.
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:19 PM   #4
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There are almost always rooms available on site for day-of booking, and no, you don't need to book your resort a year in advance. Some people on these boards like to plan months or years in advance, but that's because they want to, not because they have to. Lots of people do spur of the moment trips, call on the way down, take whatever's available at the resorts, and buy their tickets when they get there.

DVC resorts are a bit different; as timeshares, the system is designed to keep the resorts at high occupancy, and owners tend to book 7-11 months in advance, so last minute availability can be very tough to find. Renting points wouldn't work on the way down, in part because there might well be nothing available. Also, you need to find an owner that has the points you need, arrive at an agreement for payment and terms, etc.
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:54 PM   #5
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We have booked trips a couple of weeks ahead, sometimes just a week. We usually book with an AP discount too. We have left home a day early and called that day for a room and gotten one. This has been in either Jan./Feb. or June/July. I would say it would be near impossible during Christmas or Spring Break. We never book a trip 6 months in advance.
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Old 12-25-2012, 04:34 PM   #6
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Twice we have decided on our next to last day at WDW to add a couple of extra days to our trip. No problem at all. One time at the Poly we did have to change rooms because they had scheduled remodeling in the building we were staying at. We got a much nicer room with a view of the castle for the same price as our original room. We didn't ask for an upgrade, I think they felt bad because we had a very sick child hospitalized in the middle of our stay and couldn't visit the park for a couple of days...hence, the reason for staying a bit longer. The second time we were at PORS and got to keep the same room. We have had friends go to Orlando for a conference and at the last second decided to stay at a Disney resort with no problem. I would imagine it depends on the time of year.
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Old 12-25-2012, 05:14 PM   #7
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Last year, we booked December 22 through 25 less than a week before, and we were able to get a discount - either AP or FL resident.
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Old 12-25-2012, 05:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montegut View Post
...Also, if you wanted to stay at a Vacation Club property, not as a member, but maybe renting points, can that be done on short notice as well? A lot of these people are families with a bunch of kids, so they'd like the kitchen and larger facilities at the Vacation Club facilities....
Not many members will sell a reservation (rent points) less than 31 days out. And around this time of year, DVC resorts get booked up pretty quickly. The member will want payment in full no less than 31 days out to make sure they don't have a problem with their points if they have to cancel the reservation (like if the non-member decides not to purchase the reservation at the last minute or if they need to cancel - which most members will not refund any money for cancellations).
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montegut View Post
Talking with parents of young kids at a Christmas party who said they would love to just put the kids in the car and drive down to Disney and stay on site. Hearing how far ahead of time reservations have to be made, wonder if it's ever possible to just call Disney, say, We're on our way, where do you have availability, and then head on down. I'm assuming park tickets can be bought on site, and food can be purchased out of pocket. With so many resorts and at so many different levels, is it possible to stay on site without months of planning?

Also, if you wanted to stay at a Vacation Club property, not as a member, but maybe renting points, can that be done on short notice as well? A lot of these people are families with a bunch of kids, so they'd like the kitchen and larger facilities at the Vacation Club facilities.

I was wondering if this was possible because of my friend's experience after Thanksgiving, where she requested a move from Carribean Beach, and they put her up at the Contemporary! Obviously, there was an empty room at the Contemporary, which was quite surprising, since I thought you had to book that a year in advance. Are there last minute cancellations that leave usually hard to find rooms open if you're lucky?

Thanks for any input!
I stayed at the Contemporary in March of last year (Spring Break time). We booked our trip in January. Not the day before, but certainly not a year out.

I would think that most days, there would be some type of room available on site.
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:04 PM   #10
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Just for the heck of it, I put in Dec 26 to Jan 1 on Disney's website. No values available but most of the others I checked had standard and above available.
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:54 AM   #11
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Given the fact that WDW has placed a permanent road sign advertising hotel rooms on the southbound side of World Drive and the fact that WDW has tens of thousands of hotel rooms on property, I'd be surprised if all of WDW is ever completely sold out.



Now the values and moderates may sell out. Likewise, there may be weekends when the only rooms that are available are the one bedroom suites on the tower level of the contemporary, but there are rooms available.

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Old 12-26-2012, 07:45 AM   #12
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we arrive onsite Jan 1, staying at the Dolphin with discounted rooms <$200 per night per room. Move to AKL the 2-5 with a general public discount. Two rooms, each under $200 per night again, pool view. I started looking to upgrade room categories, nothing even at rack rate but a couple of Moderates, no Deluxe properties, no VIllas, no values. Will check back within the five day cancellation time to see if anything opened up but not very confident!
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:10 AM   #13
Montegut
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Convention hotels easier?

I was wondering if some of the convention type hotels, like Coronado, Contemporary, and maybe even Grand Floridian or Polynesian, keep spare rooms available in case convention goers do want to stay on site and bring family at the last minute. I was wondering if that is how my friend was able to get a Contemporary room, in the main tower, not the garden wing, when they were dissatisfied with their Caribbean room.

I'm not too versed on the Vacation Club, but I wonder if there are members who just cannot use their rooms because of other reasons and would welcome a needy traveler taking their rooms off their hands. At a price, of course. I would imagine that money could be wire transferred if prepayment was an issue. Just wondering if anyone had experience with this.

Also, my question is not for this time of year, but any time, in particular. For instance, our friend was facing the kids returning to school and they had not taken a trip yet that summer because of other obligations, so, spur of the moment, decided to take the kids to Disney. Only Port Orleans was available, but given it was what I would call peak time, ie, kids still out of school, I was surprised they were able to get on property at all.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I've called that number, on a whim, and secured a Bay-lake view Tower room in the Contemporary for an overnight stay...
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:01 AM   #15
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years back we were staying offsite in DTD as we were actually in the area for a big aviation event in Lakeland. WDW was a bonus. As we sat on the tram for the parking lot waiting as a tram driver argued with a family that refused to close their stroller, hubby said "move us NOW!" I called and was able to secure a wing room at the CR during Easter week at rack rate. Money well spent!
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