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Old 10-10-2013, 10:50 AM   #1
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How far in advance do you book

Was wondering how far in advance most folks book. Do most people book the room only in the hopes of a discount later, or wait until the discount or free dining comes out and then book their stay/package??

We are thinking of an early December 2014 trip and was wondering if its best to book the room sooner rather than later or just be patient and wait to see if a discount comes out.

Can you book ADR's without having a room reservation? I know we could book them in June for a December trip.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:29 AM   #2
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I booked this year when the new rates came out for 2014 and have called several times to change my reservation. I kind of wish I would have waited and saved myself a few phone calls, but I'm very impatient and like to make sure I have all my ducks in a row

You can make ADRs without a room reservation, however you will not be eligible for the 180+10 which was a huge benefit for me since I had an ADR that I felt was very important on day 2 of my trip!
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:34 AM   #3
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Generally, we book as soon as we know the dates we want and/or there is a discount available to make our trip the desired cost.

Typically we are booked about 1 year in advance, because we like to make monthly payments and have it all paid off well before the actual trip.

We booked our August 2014 trip back in early August.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:43 AM   #4
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We go almost every December and usually book our package (room and tickets) by April.
I would recommend at lest getting things booked before your 180 mark so you are able to get all of the dining that you want. (if you have a package you can book your entire vacation at the 180 mark (180 + 10 days) If you don't have a package you will have to call every day at the 180 mark to book that day's dining.

I would also get room (with tickets) booked before summer, since this is usually the time that Disney increases ticket prices. I know that calling back and having to change plans can be a pain, but I have always found that I have gotten what I wanted saved money by starting early.

on a side note, make sure to do the math and make sure getting the dining plan is the right call for your family. This year our December trip week is not on the Free dining plan and after doing the math, we will end up saving a good amount of money by not doing the dining plan.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:49 AM   #5
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I'm going in January and still havent made reservations...
DBF wanted us to save up money before we booked, but we've only been planning this since like, July. So we haven't been planning for THAT long, really.

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Old 10-10-2013, 11:50 AM   #6
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We book our package as soon as the flight schedule is available (for the econo aitlines we like to use) and we've booked our flight. Which was at about 8 months this trip.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:50 AM   #7
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My family are always procrastinators, so we usually haven't decided where we want to stay,etc, before the 180 day mark and don't book until after that time. We are pretty flexible with the dining times, so I just reserve the restaurants each day from 180 day mark on that I can, and haven't had any problems getting the places I want. I can tell you though that when I reserve breakfast places, there aren't usually any 1st time slots where you can get into the park before it opens that come up. It's ok for us, because we have small kids and it's hard to make those anyways, but if you are looking for those prime times, probably the people with the 180 +10 get all of those.
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:52 PM   #8
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I booked my upcoming trip at 380 I think? Only reason is we booked a bounce back offer so we already have our discount and just have to wait until next September
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:13 PM   #9
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We book our room as soon as we have firm dates. This is almost always 9-10 months out. We book the resort and room category that we can afford at that time. If a discount comes out later that we can apply, we do so. But our trip is never dependant on a possible future discount.

We book room only reservations, since we have found the dining plan ill fitting to our style of dining. And we always prefer a room only discount to free dining. I usually make all of our ADRs on my 180 day and then can forget about them until we arrive.

We're in a comfortable place with our Disney visits now. My WDW vacation planning only takes (at the most) 2-3 hrs to do. Unfortunately, I think MDE and FP+ is going to at least double that in the future.
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:25 PM   #10
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We book a few days before 180 days just so we can schedule our dining all at once at 180 days. We started planning our May 2014 trip when we got home from our April 2013 trip but haven't booked anything yet. We will soon! Last year we did the same and then in January they released a room only discount- we called and had it applied to our reservation.
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:28 PM   #11
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If it is a busy time of year, we book at least a year in advance and use the AAA discount. Then we adjust if necessary.
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Old 10-10-2013, 04:09 PM   #12
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Six months beforehand is the typical amount of time for me. We visit each spring (April or May) and fall (always the last week of October) so I tend to book the next trip as soon as we return home.

That isn't always the case though. If I know we're going to be going the route of a room that goes fast I will book prior to the six month mark. In those cases it's always been when renting points for a DVC villa as I wanted to make sure the villa we wanted was secured.

In August I'm taking my little one to DLR for the first time and began planning that vacation on Tuesday. By the end of the week I'll have our resort booked, or at least I hope to. The three on-site options are fantastic but so are most of the off-site ones (and for a lesser price tag, too). Decisions, decisions!

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