Booking Walt Disney World Resorts Through Third-Party Websites

There are a few fairly obvious ways to book a room at a Walt Disney World resort. Their official website, their telephone reservation number, or your local travel agent are three of the more common ones. Another option that you may not have experience with is third-party hotel booking websites. Third-party websites are those that offer a list of hotels available for booking without dealing directly with the hotel chain’s own websites or reservation lines. These include “name your own price” services like Hotwire and Priceline as well as the more simple and transparent sites like Hotels.com, Orbitz, Expedia, and a host of others. You may have used one of these sites to book hotel rooms in the past but never realized that they also offer Walt Disney World Resort hotel booking.

Some of the Disney Resorts on Hotels.com

What value does booking through a third-party website hold? For one thing, many discounts are automatically applied on these sites’ listings. There is no need to utilize any special “codes,” for instance. Also, in the case of most room-only discounts at Walt Disney World, a select number of rooms in each resort are allotted to the third-party sites alone. So when a popular resort like Port Orleans French Quarter is sold out of discounted rooms through Disney, some rooms may be available on a third-party site. It is always worth checking around if many of your more-desirable resorts are sold out directly through Disney during a discount period–you might find that perfect room on the third-party site. Lastly, you may even be able to get extra bang for your buck as website-specific sales, specials, and loyalty programs can sometimes be added ON TOP OF Walt Disney World’s already discounted rates. (Or just used on their own if Disney doesn’t have a discount available for your travel dates.)

So what is the catch? Mainly that third-party websites are only going to be useful for booking room-only reservations. That means no package deals like “free dining” or, for that matter, any Disney Dining Plan whatsoever, and no adding on length-of-stay park tickets directly. Also the discounts offered through these sites are usually going to be less than those offered with pin codes or for annual passholders, Disney Visa cardholders, and so on. As mentioned above as well, Disney only allots so many rooms to these websites, so not every resort is going to always be available. If your child must stay in a princess room at Port Orleans Riverside or your husband must have a room within walking distance of Trader Sam’s, this may force you to book through Disney.

If you do decide to book your resort hotel room through a third-party site, there is one final important thing to know. You will need to manually link your reservation to your MyDisneyExperience account after booking. Once you do this, you will be able to have all of the perks of being a resort guest, including being able to book FastPass+ reservations at the 60-day window, reserving a spot on Magical Express, customizing MagicBands, and utilizing online check-in. To do this, you may need to do a bit of detective work.

Entering your confirmation number on MyDisneyExperience.

Disney provides a confirmation number to each booking and this number will be DIFFERENT from the confirmation number you are given through the third-party site. Some sites might bury the Disney confirmation number in the fine print of your confirmation e-mail, and others will require you to call them directly to get it. Disney confirmation numbers are twelve digits long and are entered by navigating to the MyDisneyExperience section of DisneyWorld.com, choosing “My Reservations and Tickets”, and scrolling down to “Link Resort Reservation.”

So the next time you are looking to make a room-only Walt Disney World Resort reservation, make sure to check out some of the options besides the usual Disney-provided channels. You may find a discount you didn’t know you could get before.

Neil Trama

I've been a fan of Disney films and television since before I could read or write, I've been visiting Walt Disney World whenever possible since 1993 and I've been obsessively vacation planning since I bought my first Unofficial Guide in 1999. When I'm not blogging, I'm a radio host, event DJ, and professional travel planner. I'm a fan of Patriots football, Yankees baseball, professional wrestling, cold beer, hot wings, and Aaron Sorkin. My wife and I watch Friends reruns every night on Nick at Nite and clap along to the theme song every time. Even our puppy thinks we're goofballs.

8 thoughts on “Booking Walt Disney World Resorts Through Third-Party Websites

  • July 12, 2018 at 9:29 am
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    Can you provide any direction on how to find/book a 2-bedroom villa on these third party websites? Every time I do my search (looking at Bay Lake Tower as an example) the only rooms that come up are the studio or 1-bedrooms. The only place I’ve been able to find the 2-bedroom to book is on Disney’s own website.

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    • July 12, 2018 at 11:44 am
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      I have seen them on Redweek, which has timeshares-for-cash bookings. This is different from renting DVC points. You do have to keep your eyes open, and if your dates are flexible, you might get lucky. It’s also a great place to look for a timeshare to rent in Italy or Vail or . . . . ! 😉

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    • July 12, 2018 at 1:00 pm
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      It could be that the dates you chose were not available. I just booked a two-bedroom Villa at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge through Expedia and found that orbitz had the same deal and saved 100’s of dollars.

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  • July 12, 2018 at 11:49 am
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    I regularly book the Swan from the SPG.com site using my Starwood points. A regular room is 12,000 points, when available. After you get your confirmation number from Starwood, wait about 24 hours, and then you can input your reservation number, identify the hotel, and as if by magic, it really does show up in your MyDisneyExperience itineraries.

    Thanks for opening some new possibilities, Neil!

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  • July 12, 2018 at 2:59 pm
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    This article is so timely for me, but I am hoping folks can help me out with this twist: what about booking a hotel for a conference and getting the info on-time to make dining or FP+ reservations? Here is the issue: the time I tried to book a Disney hotel through a conference provider they were not providing me with a Disney confirmation number two months out. I think it was because the third-party service had a generous cancellation policy, and I am assuming they would not have even given my info to Disney until very late (not sure, because I ended up not going with them). Has anyone had experience with a conference booking like this? I really want that 60-day FP+ window!

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    • July 16, 2018 at 2:20 pm
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      Dottie: I have never personally done this but I have an idea that MIGHT work. Have you considered booking the room on your own before the window begins, and then calling to have the reservation transferred to the conference block? I don’t know how this will work with whatever deal you might be getting by booking through the third party conference provider so don’t take my word for it that it will work but it might be worth investigating. I would call both Disney and the conference people and see what they have to say.

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      • July 16, 2018 at 2:25 pm
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        Thanks for the idea! I will check the rates and see if this could work. Thank you.

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        • July 16, 2018 at 2:27 pm
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          And I mean, it might even be worth it for you if you could only book 1 or 2 days that way and at least get the harder to get reservations you might be looking for like Flight of Passage or Slinky Dog Dash. Maybe you will pay $50 more for the room but you might value getting onto those rides more.

          Reply

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