Maybe not wise, but is it possible?


Dec 28, 1999
I realize of course this would take some time, but if one had time, could one go "hang out" at a large airport such as Houston Intercon., wait for a flight about to leave for Orlando and get a discount ticket for a seat which did not sell on that flight? Even if it took several hours of waiting could one save alot of bucks? Then arrive in Orlando, rent a car or do the shuttle service thing, go to a resort on property and check for a vacancy. Could the resort have rooms available due cancellations which CRO does not know about yet? If no vacancy, try another one or have the desk people check for you. They might have a better chance of finding you a room especially if you are at an All Star with so many rooms and many more next door. Then purchase tickets, etc. If one had plenty of time, liked adventure and the thrill of the unknown, could travel light, would this work? Certainly not with kids, but would it work? Help please.


It depends on how flexible you are, and how much time you have on your hands. Flying standbye is a risky concept, but it can provide you with significant discount if there are open seats on a flight. I have never heard of a hotel that will not sell a room if it has a vacancy. If it is part of a chain or association, such as disney, then it would likely help in checking other associated properties for a vacancy for you. As well, if you end up late in the evening, a wise hotellier would give you a significant discount, for an unused hotel room is wasted inventory that can never again be sold. I'm not sure if Disney gives its front office people such discretion or not. You have to be flexible, be prepared to wait, be prepared to be disappointed, and be prepared to negotiate and comnpromise.

Christmas 1979 offsite
July 1989 offsite (Marriott World Center)
July 1996 Offsite (Daytona Adam's Mark)
August 1999 Offsite (Fairfield Star Island)
March 2000 Offsite (Fairfield Cypress Palms - new owners)
2001 - TBD
It certainly won't work for an airline ticket. Airlines don't operate like that. That's the most expensive way to fly. You pay full price. From Houston Intercontinental to Orlando, that's more than $1100 roundtrip. :) On Southwest, out of Hobby, it's probably around 0.
Ecdubfan, it's really best that you don't provide inaccurate info. such as you have about flying standby without purchasing a ticket in advance. It would be terrible if someone relied on your information, only to find out they couldn't afford the trip at all. :(

WishUponAStar, I applaud your sense of adventure. I've also been tempted many times to try something similar. My first trip to WDW was taken when the boiler broke down at college. Three of us threw sleeping bags in the car and headed south. This was when the Magic Kingdom was the only park and on site hotels were limited.

I've never tried the airline bit, but have shown up at WDW looking for a discount room. Unfortunately only the deluxes were available and even with the discount it was more than I wanted to pay. There's always someplace nearby to stay.

I love reading the information and ideas posted on these boards. You get a wealth of different ideas and perspectives. I believe posting contradictory information is fine and lets the questioner decide which information to investigate further. I also believe it would make posting ones ideas to the board much more comfortable if posting of contradictory information was done with tact.


Tact - A keen sense of
what to do or say in
order to maintain good
relations with others or
avoid offense.
I went to the Orlando airport (MCO) and had to pay 5 times as much for a ticket to get home immediately.

I had to go, so I didn't question the price. I didn't have the option to not pay such a high price for the ticket.

I've never heard of anyone getting a "deal" at the last minute.

Good Luck!

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WishUponaStar-- Just curious but why not just drive? The time you are spending waiting for a flight you could be spending getting there. We are driving from around the Houston area. (With 5 of us we have figured it cheaper to drive.) You are about 2 and 1/2 hours closer to Disney then we are. :rolleyes: Once again I was just curious. May God bring you many Blessings.
A couple years back, I arrived in Orlando, went to check into my hotel...there were many problems with the room so I went and asked for another...even more I promptly checked out and went looking for another hotel. It was about 11:30 PM so the hotels were pretty much not going to fill any more rooms than they already had. With this in mind I stopped at a medium quality (two star) hotel on Irlo Bronson. I was familiar with their rates from checking on the internet, so I expected to get a comperable rate. I walked in and asked if they had rooms available...'yes'.
I then asked for their BEST rate. They quoted me full rack rate ($120). Is that the best you can do? I said. 'Yes'.
Then the room will have to sit empty tonight, I said as I left. I went elsewhere and found a decent - but not rock bottom rate. SO don't plan on walking in and getting a discount.

<h5>DISNEYLAND: 5/99</h5> <h5>WDW:6/96,5/97,5/98,7/98,6/99,1/00,7/00,<font color="red">2/01,7/01</font></h5>

One time Dh and I took a road trip to Maine. (What fun!) We had no ressies anywhere just took what we could get. Anyway we were near freeport Maine and DH had to go to LLBEAN! we were in there until after 1AM with no hotel to go to! I'm sleeping on a bench as he happily shops. We finally leave start to look and can't seem to find something. went to one asked the rate first, $49 but no room. Went to the next one across from them. It was a drive through check in! Their comment. Did you try anywhere else? what were they charging. We told them the cheap rate and he said fine! Not sure what that was all about! But I would always make Disney ressies or at least throw a tent in!
Last December, I had scheduled evening flights. Because my niece and nephew were not going to be able to go at the last minute, I considered going earlier in the day and trying to fly stand-by. I had checked with USAir, and was told I would have to pay the $75 fee to change my ticket. As for the hotel, depending on when you plan to travel, there may not be any rooms available. Last March when we were at WDW, the Contemporary was completely booked over the weekend and even guests from other WDW resorts couldn't change into the Contemporary
Airline ticket agents/gate agents don't have the power to just change airfares. I'm sure they could, but, if they get caught they could lose their jobs.

It would be nice to think that we could all go the airport the day of departure and get on 1/2 price or something, but, I guess if that worked everybody would be doing it.

Airline ticket agents/gate agents can waive penalty fees, maybe offer an upgrade etc... but don't count on them to offer you a discounted ticket the day of travel.
My first trip to WDW was in 1996. We had booked a package through Southwest Airlines during their 25th Anniversary (The airfare was only $25 each way per person!). As it turned out, the "hotel" they booked us in was a dumpy motel and we wanted out of it immediately upon seeing it. This was at 9:30pm. We called Southwest and they told us they had no other accomodation available in their system of hotels. They offered to refund the hotel portion if we'd like to find our own room. We said yes and called Disney. We got a room at Port Orleans for $114 - which at the time was the full rack rate. There were no last minute discounts. I would not count on finding any great deals at the last minute at a Disney Resort.


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1995: Disneyland Every Weekend!
Oct 1996: Port Orleans
Nov 1999: Wilderness Lodge
Aug 2000: Disneyland!
May 2001: Dolphin Concierge</font>

I flew to Las Vegas about 4 weeks ago on America West. I had a ticket for the 9:30 AM flight; there was a flight at 6:30 AM. I was able to switch to the 6:30 flight with absolutely no problem and no extra fee. I think it depends on the airlines and if there's a seat available.

But, no, I've never tried to fly standby without a ticket. I have to make an emergency trip to West Palm Beach on Saturday, and I bought 7-day advance airfare for $300 round trip (with a stop).

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STANDBY AIRFARE is not discounted (as per previous posts)
CAR RENTAL COMPANIES give bigger discounts for advance bookings. It is entirely possible there'll be no cars available, it's unlikely you'll get an exceptional rate.
DISNEY HOTELS tend to have high vacancy even if you can get a room discounted rooms may not be available.
Forget IT !!!!!!! If you want a travel adventure take off for Europe on a discount flight,as I did several years ago,without any hotel reservations.I utilized my Eurailpass to train anywhere and everywhere that I pleased.It was quite easy finding reasonable accomodations in each city via traveler's bureaus at the major train stations.

other ideas: trekking thru Nepal, white-water rafting,climbing El Capitan (Yosemite)!!

good luck,


Risk vs. Reward.
A Bird in the Hand vs. Two in the Bush.
Life vs. Death.

As has already been pointed out so sweetly by TravelSheryl, airlines no longer offer low "stand-by" fares. However, as FergieTCat mentioned, if you already have a ticket many airlines will let you "stand by" and take an earlier flight the same day you are ticketed for at no additional charge. There is no guarantee of a seat using this method like there would be if you changed your ticket.

Hotels are a different matter. As others have said, the liklihood of getting a great discount at a WDW resort is pretty low, but in the past same-day discounts could be had from the AAA Travel Center in Ocala. Actually, I think I heard that Disney took this facility over, but it used to be called the AAA Travel Center.

Here's a technique I've heard about for negotiating a hotel rate. Instead of just asking "what's the lowest rate?" or "can you do better?" you might want to try "naming your price." Just decide how much you are willing to spend to stay at that hotel and ask the person at the front desk if they have a room for that rate. That way they don't have to try to guess what will get you to stay there.
I was unaware that the Standby practice had been discontinued. I do know that it USED to exist. I have been out of school for a few years now, but we did have a discussion about this style of travel in one of my travel and tourism classes. The key for finding the rooms is to in your price. Remember, this product is very perishable. Disney may not accept it, but I bet 3 hotels in 10 would. I've tried it several times when travelling long distances and finding myself drifting to sleep as I drive.

Thanks again for the scolding. Nothing like taking away some of the Disney magic on this board. :mad:

Christmas 1979 offsite
July 1989 offsite (Marriott World Center)
July 1996 Offsite (Daytona Adam's Mark)
August 1999 Offsite (Fairfield Star Island)
March 2000 Offsite (Fairfield Cypress Palms - new owners)
2001 - TBD


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