A funny title, I know. But it's quite true. Sometimes, even for travel professionals, it seems that nothing we do or nowhere we look will gather discounts for us and our clients. I have a friend...we'll just call him MS for now..however, who seems to have most of the answers when it comes to discounts. He is nothing short of amazing when it comes to finding deals and then taking advantage of those deals to make a magical trip for his family.
Here are a few of his tips to finding the best deals....and then I'll add my own below! :)
1) Register on the Disney Website and make sure you log in and are active. Price trips, save trips, order planning DVD's. All of these things get you noticed and will, occasionally, prompt them to send you special Pin Numbers via email for various room/package discounts or even free dining (without it being public!)
2) Be active on all the message boards. Disboards, Disdads, Allears, etc. all list multiple places where you can look for discounts and special offers. It never hurts to look, and sometimes you'll get lucky.
3) Be patient! If you are looking to plan a trip, begin looking early. Know what you'd LIKE to pay and be prepared to book when you see it. He's going in November and just booked air a bit ago at, what I believe, will be the lowest we will see. He knew what he wanted, waited for it, and pounced when it was available.
4) Be quick to act. If a discount comes along, it's definitely not there forever. If you see one you're looking for, book it right then...don't wait! Disney routinely offers only a certain number of discounts for each promotion, so if you don't book right away, it's possible the discount won't be available to you later.
5) Try to travel off season. By his admission, this is harder now that our kids (we have kids the same age) are in school. It was much easier when they weren't in school and days off didn't matter as much. Mid Spring, and Mid Fall on weeks that don't fall on events such as The Flower and Garden Show or the Food and Wine Festival are great times to travel, and you can usually find great deals!
6) Take advantage of Bounce Back deals. When you finally do pull the trigger on the your magical vacation to Disney, before you check out, ask about Bounce Back deals. Many times, if you reserve a trip for another time before you leave, they can offer great rates, or even free nights. It never hurts to ask.
I think that's all I've learned from him. If he gives me any more, I'll be sure to steal them....uhhhhh...post them here for you all to see. :)
One of my biggest tips would be (and this is in no way self serving...I've taken advantage of this before as well) is to use an Authorized Vacation Planner. A Disney Vacation Planner can take your reservation and, if a discount comes along for the time you are going to be there, can apply the discount to your reservation with no hassle. Sometimes...not all of the time...if you book yourself through Disney.com or another travel site, it's difficult to add the discount to the package because you've paid your entire balance. Using a travel planner, you can pay a deposit, and then not pay the full balance until closer to your travel date.
Do you have any tips for finding discounts?? Feel free to comment below. I'll try to compile them for everyone and post them here.
Have a magical day!!