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This is a guest post by Nate Parrish, cohost of WEDway Radio, a podcast covering the history of the Disney theme parks and the Disney company, as well as the cohost of Betamouse, a podcast about the convergence of Disney and technology. He vacations to Disneyland regularly with his family.
There’s a great booking trick that my wife has been using for years for getting a hotel near Disneyland. But first, a few disclaimers:
- You will have to live with you get. This method uses Priceline and Hotwire. You’ve probably heard of them but you may not know that once your bid has been accepted, it is yours and you will be charged.
- This doesn’t work for any of the three Disney Resorts, but there are many hotels within a few miles.
First let me introduce you to the website: Betterbidding.com. This site is a message board that allows travelers to post their recently accepted bids on either Priceline or Hotwire so others can see either what hotels are sold by the two sites. When you go to the site you’ll want to select the state (in this case California). The first post is a list of the hotels being sold. You’ll need to scroll down to your desired region, then you will see all the hotels that have been reported by different bidders.
Also in the message boards you will find:
- Bidders post their recent accepted bids along with the booking hotel and dates so others can see what bids have been accepted at specific hotels.
- Bidders post what hotels they were awarded, along with the price, dates, and amenities.
BetterBidding is probably geared better toward the Hotwire crowd rather than the William Shatner (aka Priceline) crowd, simply because it has broken down all of the different hotels that you could possibly get. BetterBidding lists hotel amenities which correlate with the amenities listed by Hotwire. With some but not complete assurance, this allows you to know which hotel you’ve been awarded before receiving your confirmation email.
It might be wise to have two browsers set up on your desktop while going through the bidding process. You can view the different hotels sorted by star rating and amenities while viewing recent bids or looking at what is available on Hotwire or Priceline.
Other ways of categorization that help you with your bidding:
- Stars: You can bid on a hotel (in this particular region) from two to four stars.
- Price: Hotwire gives you the price up front.
- Region: Priceline allows you to select from a certain region (Anaheim, Garden Grove, Costa Mesa).
Have fun saving money!