Orlando theme park and hotel deals offered for summer 2017

Posted Monday, June 12, 2017 9:05 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Orlando and the theme parks may be many a tourist’s choice for a summer destination, but that isn’t stopping hotels and resorts from offering up travel deals.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Monday, June 12, 2017 4:21 PM

My impression has been other than for the few peak peak visitation periods of the year, WDW continually offers some sort of resort discount. However I think this is the first summer (peak) season there are deals going on as well. I wonder if it is a sign of WDW struggling to fill rooms to their normal 90%+ occupancy levels or just a pricing strategy.

Specific to the deluxe resorts, and lesser so for the moderates, I'm always amazed at the rack rates that WDW is charging for their rooms; with some deluxe rooms north of $400-$500 a night. Perhaps WDW is taking a pricing strategy out of the big box retailers' book where the rack rate is simply an artificial benchmark working along with discounts so the consumer feels they are getting a deal. Kinda like when you go to Marshals and buy that $80 shirt for $19.99. It was never worth $80 to begin with, but you still feel like you got a bargain.

Love me any of the monorail resorts any day of the week. But those rooms and amenities come no where close to commanding a $500/night rate when compared to other lodging options in the industry.

Monday, June 12, 2017 5:27 PM

I don't think that they're struggling to fill rooms, which is to say none of the discounting that they do is reactive, but is absolutely proactive. They have actuaries that figure all of this stuff out. I don't think that they're surprised very often or mixing it up based on unexpected circumstances.

Agree though that the monorail hotels aren't $500 rooms. Maybe some in the Grand Floridian, maybe. I've spent $400 per night at the Grand Hyatt in Kauai, and I would imagine that the Grand gets at least close to that.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 1:09 AM

I have never paid to stay at a Disney hotel but have been lucky enough (or unlucky depending on how you look at it) to stay at the resorts for work in the past. The last one was a couple nights at the Grand and after looking up the price for the room I was staying in, it certainly wasn't something I would ever spend for a hotel room. I love the hotel experience and I am a total hotel snob but for the rate they charged I would have expected much more if I were a guest. But just like at Cedar Point and The Breakers, you are paying for location. You really can't beat waking up and just taking the monorail to the park.

Last edited by 99er, Tuesday, June 13, 2017 1:12 AM
Tuesday, June 13, 2017 9:17 AM

Location is the reason I love the Beach/Yacht Club and Boardwalk locations, because you can walk into Epcot. My last vacation as a non-local put us in Beach Club, and according to Google Maps, we were quite literally 1,000 feet from the hotel door to the Epcot gate. We were on the dining plan, so we ended up at Epcot a lot of nights, and on the full day I did drink-around-the-world, the location was just awesome for taking a break. Unless Magic Kingdom is the most important thing on the planet to you, those hotels are a much better (and cheaper) option.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 9:28 AM

Its a $500 room if enough people are willing to pay that rate. Corporate buys can be at discounted rates but also often come with less sensitivity to price. Room is only one part of the pricing equation. As noted, location typically is a significant driver. $150 room in Cleveland is often $500 or more in NYC or Chicago.

I stayed at Beach Club several years ago. Cannot remember much at all about the room. Do remember the pool area (which my kids totally loved) and walking to/from Epcot and from Studios.

Stayed at Coronado Springs a couple weeks ago. $150/night. We surprised at how few people we saw walking around the resort. Ongoing construction presumably is part of that. Also just not a very crowded time of year from what I understand (a lot of kids are still in school).

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 1:32 PM

I have always enjoyed the Boardwalk area so I suppose if I ever do pay for a Disney resort it would likely be that one. I do like the fact that I could be in my room with some A/C within minutes of leaving the park on a hot afternoon. Still though if I am going to drop $400+ on a hotel room Id rather it not be attached to a theme park.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 11:54 PM

Heck, the "Red Roof Inn Downtown Chicago Magnificent Mile" has rooms stsrting at $180, in early November. And apparently they know what they're doing, as the random dates I checked in July, August and September, the hotel was sold out.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 9:11 AM

Totally agree that unless you plan to camp out at the MK the entire time (and even if you don't), the Epcot resorts are hands down the best choice factoring in location, convenience and relative price compared to the monorail resorts.

While I have stayed at Yacht/Beach multiple times, recently, I've actually preferred Swan/Dolphin. First, they are deluxe business class properties and if you time it right, you can often get rooms there for less than $200 a night. They are convention hotels so there are less kids running all around (which I prefer), and they have great restaurants and amenities, a fantastic pool complex, and you still can still take advantage of being within walking distance from the Boardwalk, Epcot and Studios. Plus they are Starwood properties so you can use/earn Starwood points during your stay (obviously WDW has no loyalty program).

The only drawback with Swan/Dolphin is they don't participate in the Magical Express program (which I hate anyway) so factor in an extra $100 or so to cab/Uber to/from MCO.

But yea, Swan/Dolphin are hidden gems in my opinion...

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 9:41 AM

Swan/Dolphin are total dumps. I stayed in one with a friend a couple of years ago and was appalled at the condition. I was also super annoyed that they charged for parking. Bus service to the hotels is terrible, and the one restaurant I ate at there was terrible in terms of service and food quality.

Thursday, June 15, 2017 1:21 AM

Whoa...they charge for parking?! Thats jacked up!

Saturday, June 17, 2017 5:26 PM

Yeah. They should just raise the price of the room some and make parking free, so that people don't think that they're getting nickled and dimed.

However, there might be a good reason to charge for parking... Maybe to prevent non-resort gusts from parking at the property instead of the theme parks? Perhaps? Maybe parking is limited? I don't know.

Saturday, June 17, 2017 6:41 PM

You can't generally park in the resort hotel lots, though it depends on the time of year. If you have reservations at a Boardwalk restaurant, usually it's OK. They wouldn't let me park at the Polynesian once to rent a boat because they were allegedly full.

Saturday, June 17, 2017 11:46 PM

In my experience the holiday season is really the only time they enforce the lot parking to registered guests only. I tried visiting Boardwalk with the hopes of eating at ESPN this past December and they told me the only way was to pay for the valet ($20), that self-park was closed to only hotel guests. Outside of a few random dates, its almost always easy to get into a hotel lot without having a room. That said there really are only a couple hotels that you could park at and get to a park without having to board a bus. But even then its still a hassle so its not worth the $15 bucks you save in my opinion.

Thursday, June 22, 2017 11:50 PM

Jeff said:
Swan/Dolphin are total dumps. I stayed in one with a friend a couple of years ago and was appalled at the condition. I was also super annoyed that they charged for parking. Bus service to the hotels is terrible, and the one restaurant I ate at there was terrible in terms of service and food quality.

"Dumps". Really? You make them sound like a Motel 6.

Perhaps you had a poor experience there one time but I just disagree. Have you had a steak at Shula's?

Many of the rooms and common areas have been recently refurbished in the past year and all of my stays there have been perfectly fine. Especially when you factor in the fraction of a cost price point of the other Epcot "Disney" resorts.

Friday, June 23, 2017 8:15 AM

I don't eat red meat, and no, I don't think "dump" is exaggerating. Carpet worn and gray with dirt, scuff marks on the hallway walls, damaged hard goods in the rooms, an "interesting" odor in the elevators... I wouldn't even rate them as 2-diamond on AAA's scale. Those places were built on the cheap, and they're maintained that way. If you want to pay less, great, but I'll take the better hotel even at $50 more a night.

Friday, June 23, 2017 10:28 AM

My wife and I stayed at the Swan and Dolphin a few years ago and enjoyed it. I think we used points so maybe our guard was down? The pool was nice and had craft beer options which at the time was a luxury.

*a few years ago: Probably a lot more than a few...

Last edited by eightdotthree, Friday, June 23, 2017 10:29 AM

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