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Old 10-30-2013, 11:53 AM   #1
jrtoastyman
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Booking/Travel Strategy -- Last Minute Changes

We're currently slated to leave WDW on December 13, but we're not flying out until December 15 (morning) because we're spending some time with family in the area. Long story short, there is now a decent chance that they will need to leave town themselves around that time (grandchild's birth expected right around then), which would essentially strand us for a couple of days. Unfortunately, we won't know if this is even going to present a problem until we're on our trip, most likely.

So, in the event it does end up being a problem, I want to have a plan of attack. We'll have 3 people, and are annual pass holders (and DVC members, although I don't think that will be particularly useful), flying to Orlando on Southwest using points/miles. Would you:

1. Just change the flight and go home on the 13th. Since the flights are booked on points, however, I'm assuming I'd have to take the points back into my account and pay cash, which will run around $440/person for last-minute, full fare tickets.

2. Keep the flights as is and stay another couple of days at WDW, paying cash for a room. I have never booked a room at WDW for a room that close to the time I would intend to use it and have no idea what it would run. Any insight here? Do you still get a passholder discount on that kind of short notice? We're staying at BLT for our trip, and would probably want to stay at a Deluxe if we stayed over, FWIW.

3. Keep the flights and stay for a night over at Universal, again on short notice, and spend a day there before leaving on December 15. This is somewhat appealing to me because the 13th would be our 8th day at Disney on this trip and our 19th this calendar year, so going over to Universal might be a nice change of pace.

4. Maybe something else entirely.

What would you all do? Anyone ever been in this situation?
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:54 PM   #2
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I probably would not mess with changing the flights. But I am also not sure why you couldn't use your points on a new flight. Unless the new flight costs more, or low fares are already booked. I'd price out RO reservations for the nights of the 13th and 14th at Royal Pacific (cheapest universal on site hotel, usually) plus tickets for the 14th and RO reservations for the cheapest Disney hotel you would be willing to stay at and then book RO based on costs. Then you have up to five days before your second check in to cancel without penalty...and you may know by then whether it's likely to be necessary to cancel or not. It's often easier for me to make a decision if I know roughly what things will cost.
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:10 PM   #3
jrtoastyman
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The problem with the point thing is that I booked it quite some time ago, so the points I used to book these flights wouldn't even cover one of our flights booked on very short notice. So yes, I could still use them, but they wouldn't go very far, so I'd probably want to save those until I can get more value out of them and just pay cash for the flights.

Good idea re booking a RO thing and just cancelling if need be. That may be the way to go.
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:19 PM   #4
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Yep, I'd book a room-only reservation and then cancel if need be. All you have to do is put down one night's cost as a deposit, then cancel five days beforehand for a full refund.

Or, absolute worst case, if you were really stuck and cost was an issue, there are a ton of low cost (well under $100/night) hotels/motels near WDW (or Universal) that are at least acceptable. A lot of them even have free shuttles to the parks. Not a perfect solution, but at least you wouldn't be homeless for two days, or having to spend several hundred+ dollars extra at the last minute.
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