HELP! Resort/booking questions

WDW Newbie here! This is a full-time job trying to plan this vacation and I’m mad that I have to stop researching to go to my real job!!

We are headed to DW November '16 and are flexible with the dates (looking at either the week of 11.07 or 11.14); there are 5 of us (DH, DS5, DD7, DD9). Please help me maximize our savings for this trip! Here are some factors I cannot wrap my head around:
~ I think I’ve narrowed our resort down to CB or POR (any recommendations welcome here)
~ How likely is it that we will either get free dining or a Disney Visa cardholder room discount for that time frame?
~ What is this Orbitz discount I have read about? We plan to do a package (room, parks, dining) - do I have to book through WDW for a package?
~ I’ve also read a recommendation to go ahead and book a room at both resorts and wait for any discounts, then cancel one of the resorts. Is that a good idea??

I’m certain the answers to my questions are already posted somewhere, but I’m so overwhelmed with how much time/reading I’ve put into this already and I can search no more! I don’t want to stress so much about it that I ruin my vacation!!


Check out for historical discount information

You can book room-olny reservations through Orbitz that have all the current WDW discounts applied to them. Orbitz regularly offers discounts that add an additional discount on top of that, sometimes as much as 15-20% off. If you want a package you jave to book through WDW.

Yes, people often book at a resort, and then have the discount applied to their reservation when it is released. Note that the discount may not apply to the resort/class of room that you have booked.

If you want to book a dining package then yes, you must book through Disney or a travel agent that books with Disney. If you do not want a dining plan then you can book a room through Disney or Orbitz and then buy discounted tickets separately.

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If you are hoping for free dining, I would wait until it is announced and then book. Have your list of hotels by priority. Watch on touring plans- people here tipped me off ahead of time last year. Last year when they announced, those that didn’t have reservations could just book on the website or call their travel agent to make a new reservation. I had reservations with a travel agent and the travel agent change line was crazy. It took her 6 hours to get through. In the end, I got free dining at the resort I wanted, but the message boards were full of people who had non-refundable plane tickets and were not arriving in the correct time frame or whose travel agents couldn’t get through to change their reservations.

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I wonder if that new modify button in MDE will work during FD?