Getting the best price game plan

As most of you probably know by now, my wife and I are planning our big 25th anniversary trip for December 2020. The hopeful plan is to do three nights at Bay Lake Tower, and then 5 nights at the Boardwalk Villas, assuming we can get a DVC rental.

But, I want to plan for all eventualities, taking into consideration the possibility we would NOT get one or both of the DVC rentals.

I know that rooms are available typically 499 days out. DVC rentals are 11 months out. So, if I want to ensure we get to stay at either Bay Lake or The Contemporary, and the Boardwalk Villas or Boardwalk Inn, I feel I need to be prepared well ahead of time. Ultimately, I’m also trying to get the best deal I can as well.

So, here are my thoughts. I’m wondering if this all seems reasonable, or if anyone has any other ideas.

  • At 499 days out (or thereabouts), book a 3 night stay room-only stay at The Contemporary and 5 night stay at the Boardwalk Inn. This guarantees we have a “spot”.
  • At 11 months out, attempt to book the Bay Lake Tower villa and Boardwalk Villa for the same dates. If this pans out, I can then cancel the previously booked non-DVC-rental rooms.

Now, a couple questions:

  • At some point, Disney offers discounts for rooms on the dates we are planning to go. Granted, The Contemporary and Boardwalk Inn aren’t as high of discount. But should such discounts materialize (even if only 10%), can I call them up and retroactively apply the discount? Or do they “punish” planners and not allow them to get the discount?
  • Since I plan to also get an Annual Pass for myself, I know that somtimes they also offer discounts to Annual Passholders. The same question applies here…if I get an annual pass, can I retroactively apply any room discounts?

I was playing around with the Disney website today, looking at roughly the same dates in 2019 that we would be going in 2020, and I’m shocked that some of the room options are either not available, or what is left are $1700/night rooms!!! So, I want to be prepared. (This might be due to people anticipating the opening of SWGE, however, and might not be AS bad the following year.)

ETA: I should mention that the time period we plan to go is the first week in December. Probably checking in on a Thursday at Contemporary/Bay Lake and then switching to Boardwalk on Sunday.

In the past Disney has retroactively applied the discounts, but you had to call right away as they would only apply it if your room class was still available at the time you called (as if you were booking a new reservation). This could be difficult for certain resorts, as the discounted room inventory may be limited and TAs are clogging up the lines getting discounts for all their client reservations. Also, they may decide to no longer do this, because Disney.:roll_eyes:

As far as I know, yes. Hopefully an AP holder can chime in here to confirm.

I’m going to send you a PM. Those are the two places we just stayed… renting points. The woman I rented from was not via David’s or any external company. She does her own rentals, and we’ve gone with her 3 times, now. Her prices are slightly cheaper than the rental companies, and she has 11-month availability for both of those resorts.
I’ve been impressed with her (obviously, since we keep going back). She has a legal form to fill out, which made me feel better that it was above-the-board. If you go with her, you may not feel like you need to get standard rooms and deal with the cancellations, etc.

As brklinck said, as long as the room is available you can rebook the new room at the discount. Finding the room can sometimes be a challenge. They announce the discount and there are times there is very little in terms of availability, especially with the AP discounts. If I don’t get the room or resort I want when they are first released, I put a reminder in my calendar every morning to go in and check the discounts. That’s actually how I ended up at Boardwalk the last time. I checked for a good month after the discounts were released and just came upon one that day and moved from AKL. I have had good luck with this approach in the past.