Book through AAA or Disney?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by skhermsmeyer, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. skhermsmeyer

    skhermsmeyer Donald's #1 with my kids! Go figure!

    Sep 3, 2008
    Hi everybody! Thinking about booking a trip for late next year, but have a quick question.

    Last time I booked our trip through Disney. Now I found out about the AAA discount. Here's my question.

    If I book through AAA, can I apply a discount for free dining or room later on? Or is it just a AAA discount? Or, if I book through Disney and later get a pin or something for free dining or room discount can I use it and still use the AAA discount? :confused3 I don't know how it works and I'm looking for the best deal (there are 6 of us going).

    Also, how far in advance do most people usually book? We booked ours three months before we were due to go last time (it was kind of a "hey, this would be fun for Christmas thing"). Should I wait until later to book it? We're looking at the end of August/ beginning of September 2010.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! :worship:
  2. cglaura

    cglaura DIS Veteran

    May 22, 2007
    You can usually only use one discount. So, either AAA, free dining or general pin code (or one emailed just for you).

    For a room only AAA discount you can go directly thru Disney. But for a AAA package you have to go thru AAA.

    You can get the free dining or general code thru either Disney or AAA (unless it is some special AAA thing).

    I'm an uber planner. I've been booked since I could book a room only...for our January 2010 trip I booked October 1, 2008. :rolleyes1

    Now if you book, and then a better deal comes out, you can always try to get that deal applied instead of what you have. Caveat: if you have a room only, and it is a package or free dining deal, then they have to cancel your room only and book a package....your initial deposit will be refunded and you'll have to give a new one.

    If you are changing room only to room only they can transfer the deposit.

    I *think* changing a package to a package will transfer also, but I've never done a package so not too sure.

    We usually get a AAA rate, then our parkhoppers thru Mousesavers/Undercovertourist, and pay for our meals as we go. We only make 2 or 3 sit down dinners, so the ddp isn't really good for us.

    I hope some of that mess helped you!
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  4. cjnix29

    cjnix29 DIS Veteran

    Sep 1, 2005
    I agree with PP. Personally, benefit to booking through AAA is getting all their perks....parking passes, extras, etc. I just booked our trip with the email pin code I got.
  5. mistysue

    mistysue DIS Veteran

    May 26, 2009
    You need to look at exactly what you want.
    We really wanted a ddp, so we booked during free dining and AAA added a $10 fee and made it harder to manage adr's. We aren't taking a car so the ONLY thing we get out of AAA is a $10 fee and additional complications with planning.

    If you want to do your ADR's right at the first possible moment- don't use AAA. They will not be up at 6am to do them online for you, the agents wait until they are in the office on their shift and then do it when they have time. If you want to do your own 90+10 adr's you usually can't do it online because the system won't let you log in. Some people say they can but I can't and I've even had my agent call disney with me on the line and we all tried to organize the information so I would be able to do it but it doesn't work.
  6. badblackpug

    badblackpug <font color=blue>If you knew her you would be shoc

    Oct 18, 2005
    I have booked through AAA (hated them) and Disney. I now book through Dreams Unlimited. In all fairness the AAA mess may have been that I got a bad TA, but I never got any of my paperwork in the mail and I couldn't contact the TA. I had to pick up my paperwork that another TA "found," at the office the day before the trip. With Dreams Unlimited I put down a deposit and make payments as I go. I book waaaay out (like a year) I give my DU agent my list of ADR's and she makes them for me, and I always get my requests, including CRT and LeCellier. In addition, Dreams Unlimited will automatically apply any discount that comes out to your package. This year it was $980!! :cool1:
  7. MissRoseDarrensAngel

    MissRoseDarrensAngel Will Turner's Pirate Princess

    Jul 15, 2009
    I went to AAA and sat down with an agent as me & my mother are members then gave my mother the details. My mother went in and actually booked the package deal after I gave her my findings. I did alot of research online before going to our local AAA office.

    Our agent has been extremely helpful with our questions/concerns, and got us an excellent package deal with round trip airfare, park hopper passes, DME, and staying at POP Century. My mother paid around $2100 including taxes and the travel agent's fee then AAA gave my mother a $100 rebate check (that will be used towards some food) as the trip was $2000+ total. Plus AAA has given us some vouchers for a few things (for discounts and/or free stuff) and the diamond discount card to use during the trip too.
  8. leamom2princesses

    leamom2princesses DIS Veteran

    Apr 15, 2008
    I think it really comes down to the TA. We typically book through Disney but decided to take advantage of our AAA card and booked through them this year. The experience with AAA was great at first but our TA was let go and the subsequent TA was awful. It took days to get calls back etc. I had to make my own ADR's because like a PP stated they aren't getting up at 6am to handle it for you. I also found out that if Disney is running an offer you can't double dip- you can't take advantage of the AAA discount plus free dining. It's one or the other. The best part of booking through them was the Storybook Experience. My girls loved it and best part it was free. I will probably book through Dreams Unlimited or Disney over AAA.

    I booked a package through Dreams Unlimited but had to cancel-because of paycuts. I must say that my TA through them was fantastic. Based on my experience with (Stacy) I would go back to them to book my next trip.
  9. thebeesknees

    thebeesknees DIS Veteran

    May 29, 2009
    I booked through AAA this time and probably won't do it again. You can either choose the promotion Disney is currently offering, or the AAA discount, so we took the free dining option. Since I booked with AAA, I don't have access to my reservation online and any changes need to be done through my agent. She's done an OK job, but when I wanted to change something on the weekend, I was out of luck and had to wait until she got back into the office on Monday. I was able to make dining reservations online, but they cannot be tied to my room reservation (because AAA guests are booking through a travel agent), and I think I would have preferred to be able to access it all at once and have it all in one place. The only difference I could see from booking with AAA was that we get a storytime option that regular guests don't have access to, but honestly, I'm not sure we are even going to do that. AAA gives you a parking pass, but you can park for free if you stay on property, anyway, so I'm not sure why they tout that as an extra perk, unless you booked some sort of package with them that had you staying off property.

    Long story short, you just have to compare the discounts and decide which on is best for you. If the AAA room discount is best, book through them. If the free dining is better, then I'd book directly with Disney.
  10. skhermsmeyer

    skhermsmeyer Donald's #1 with my kids! Go figure!

    Sep 3, 2008
    Thanks for all the advice. We don't have AAA to begin with, but were going to sign up if it seemed worth it. Since our little ones won't really enjoy the story time I think we'll just end up booking through Disney. Thanks! :goodvibes
  11. RALuck

    RALuck Earning My Ears

    Jan 9, 2009
    We booked through AAA on our last trip and I considered doing it on my own this time until my 12 year old pointed out that one of her favorite things on our trip three years ago was the story time. She wanted to do it again for her younger sister :angel:. The fairy godmother read the story and then signed autographs, she gave each child who was there (only a few) lots of individual attention. It was a fabulous time and I am really looking forward to it ;)

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