There’s a weird quirk of the Disney World website that it doesn’t always immediately show the best available prices when you conduct a search. In this post, we provide a quick example of such a result and show you how to see the best prices when searching the Disney World website.
Searching Disney Hotels On the Disney Website
If you’re interested in booking a Disney hotel at Walt Disney World, you’re probably going to start with a search on the Disney website. In particular, if you’re looking to get the best deals on your Disney hotel, you’re going to need to compare Disney’s best offers.
Disney Doesn’t Show The Best Prices
This post is going to proceed entirely by way of example. I was searching for a week stay in April 2019 via the Disney World website. An “All Resorts” search pulled up the following results:
The first thing to know is that I did this search in an “incognito” Google Chrome window. That is, none of my search history or account information was shared with Disney. Apparently they used some sort of location trick to pin that I was searching in Florida, and they showed me the Florida Resident Spring offer prices.
I am not a Florida Resident. Nor did I ask to see those offer prices. Disney immediately gets to work trying to show you the “best” offer prices.
The second thing to realize is that the Art of Animation price is way out of whack. You might look at that and think “Art of Animation is supposed to be a value resort! Why are the standard and offer rates so high?” Well, when you click through to “Art of Animation”, you’ll see why:
Here are three things to notice about that page. First, there are other offers going on that Disney could have shown me prices for, but didn't. Second, the prices it was showing in the initial results were for the Family Suites—the way more expensive set of Art of Animation rooms. Third, the standard room is not eligible for the offer Disney is showing me results for (even though I didn't ask them to).
Checking For Alternative Prices and Availability
If I scroll to the left (in that top red box) and select “Room” to see the prices without the discount, I’ll see that there actually are standard rooms available at the standard rate:
So when I first ran the search and Disney gave me the prices for Art of Animation, it wasn’t showing me the lowest prices at Art of Animation. Instead, it shows the lowest price available under the deal it chose to show me and the standard price for that room.
Basically, if you want to see the best price available through the Disney website, you’ll need to click through to your selected hotel and compare the different offer rates.
We don’t know how Disney choose what offer to show you on the results page. Because different offers have different availability, it’s incredibly rare that one offer has the lowest prices for every hotel. Usually it will be beaten by some other ongoing offer at some hotels or, as in the example above, by a lower room rate that isn’t accessible via the offer.
All Your Other Disney World Planning Questions Answered
Don't be overwhelmed by Disney World planning! Take a second to check out our most important content and you'll not only be an expert, but you'll save big $$$ along the way. If you're still picking dates, we've got everything you need to know about Disney crowd calendars. For picking your hotel, check out our Walt Disney World hotels guide.
Don't forget to master your Disney World FastPass+ strategy a few months in advance. We'll keep you out of long lines so you can maximize the magical time in the parks! We've got park-specific guides as well: Magic Kingdom FastPass, Epcot FastPass, Animal Kingdom FastPass, and Hollywood Studios FastPass.
Finally, before you head out, be sure to check out our to-the-point packing list, 10 essentials you forget to pack for every Disney trip. And if you're interested in saving, there's no better list than our 53 Ways to Save on your Disney trip from start to finish.