New Way to Book Discounted Disney World Hotel Rooms!

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One discount travel website that I have been a huge, huge fan of for years now is Undercover Tourist. They not only have legitimate discounted Disney World and other theme park tickets available, but now they also have discounted official Disney Hotel rooms, too!

For many of our Disney trips I enjoy spending Starwood points to stay at the Swan (a Westin) on Disney property to keep money in my pocket, but sometimes that isn’t possible, or you just want the full Disney experience or packages that you can only get at true Disney Resorts. For that, you will now want to check Undercover Tourist to find discounted Disney World hotel rooms at all 28 Disney hotels and resorts. This includes not just standard rooms, but also larger rooms and villas, too!

While of course the discounts available will vary, I randomly picked a two-night weekend stay at the end of February to see what discounts were available, and there were huge savings to be had. For example, if you book directly with Disney at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in a room with a standard room, the room-only price came to $927 all-in for those two nights. The exact same room on the exact same dates via Undercover Tourist came to just $660.49. You won’t always save that much, but sometimes you will! I’m honestly sort of in shock.

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I priced these rooms on the Disney site directly to be sure that the savings were really that significant and the $927 price displayed by Undercover Tourist was 100% spot-on to what Disney was charging. Maybe now I’ll finally be able to afford a stay at the Polynesian or the Contemporary right on the monorail like I have always wanted to do!

As a reminder, staying at a Disney resort gets you the following perks:

  • The ability to book FastPass+ reservations up to 60 days in advance of check-in
  • Free MagicBands
  • Free transportation to the theme parks
  • Free airport transportation
  • Extended theme park hours with Extra Magic Hours

You get some of those perks staying at the Swan or Dolphin, but the only way to get the free MagicBands, airport transportation, and ability to make dining reservations 180 days from the first day of your trip (for up to 10 days) is to stay at a true Disney Resort. If you wanted to double dip with saving money you could pay for the UnderCover Tourist charges with the appropriate card and then use points to pay for the charges (as per this FT thread it codes as a Travel Agency charge).

I’m curious as to whether some of you other Disney junkies have had a chance to price out Disney hotels via the Undercover Tourist site since they added the hotel booking option? If so, what do you think of the discounts?

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Comments

  1. It’s still cheaper to rent Disney Resort rooms from DVC owners. Of course this method introduces risk of being ripped off and takes more time to perform. Each person must weigh what you’re comfortable doing vs cost.

    • Totally – that is a good method to keep in mind, but you are right that method takes more time/effort and does involve a higher risk tolerance though I know many do it successfully.

    • Agreed! Renting points is absolutely the way to go. We have rented from owners lots of times and never had a bad experience. To me the biggest drawbacks are lack of flexibility and how far in advance you have to book to get the more popular resorts. How good are the deals? We paid about $1350 all in for 6 nights in a studio at Polynesian in earlier December.

  2. We also took advantage of the Amex Offer for Undercover Tourist which ended December 31st. It was $30 off for purchases of $150, I think. Can be a great way to save on tickets if you have multiple Amex cards. Hopefully they’ll bring it back again in the future.

  3. Going for Spring Break. The Disney Dining plan is a great perk to staying on property. But…. We’ll be on points so not this time. They do Free Dining a few times per year which was totally worth paying for so free is just awesome!

    • Lynn, true re: tourist attractions, but other charges like travel agencies are fine. That linked FT thread in the post had a positive experience from October 2015 with UnderCover Tourist coding as a Travel Agency and not a tourist attraction.

      • Yes, I used Undercover Tourist to buy a ticket on my Barclay Arrival, then applied points to pay for the ticket. Then with the 10% rebate on points spent I was able to get more money off buying a second ticket from Undercover Tourist on a separate transaction.

  4. We did 5 days mid December at the Swan. I bought one of our park tickets with the Amex offer from UT, and then paid for the other two with Barclay points. We flew on Jetblue miles, stayed on SPG points, so our out of pocket was just the ticket charged to Amex (less $30) and food. REALLY took the sting out of Disney.

    We also order a lot of 50 pins from Amazon/Ebay for trading away, which is great if you have a pin trading kid and don’t want to shell out for the in park prices.

    We sometimes stay at the Polynesian or Boardwalk (and once Animal Kingdom on a grown-up only trip), but I don’t find the on property benefits worth the expense for us when the SPG redemption is cheap and easy. They waive the resort fee for Plats and give a breakfast amenity, plus we’ve been greeted the past few times with sparkling wine in the room.

    I usually book closer in, so the reservations isn’t an issue for us, and I don’t miss charging to my band or the hassle of the Magical Express timing when Uber and Lyft are so easy now in Orlando. My Lyft rides to and from the airport were around 23 bucks last weekend! I also like the Swan and Dolphin because of how easy it is to walk home from Hollywood Studios and Epcot.

    Just my two cents!

  5. If you can go at the end of August, Magical Vacations Travel has great deals on Luxury disney hotels (Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Yacht/Beach Club ) for a little over $200/night. Their 4-day tickets are also cheaper if you get the package and you get a free Waterpark day. http://www.magicalvacationstravel.com/

    Another trick for Disney and Universal Studios orlando hotels is to check on Orbitz or Cheap tickets. Use their current code for 15- 20% off but make sure you only book the hotel room for adults only. You can call and add the kidos later and skip the per person service charge. Not always cheaper but pays to check.

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