How To Get the Best Hotels at the Cheapest Rates in the Disneyland Area

Everyone’s heard of Priceline.com and their ‘Name Your Own Price’ option. I’ve used it successfully for the past 2 years after hearing about it from a close friend of mine who has been a DL AP for over 20 years. Every time I use it I get either the Marriott Anaheim Suites (and yes you get a 2 room suite) or the Crowne Plaza. There is 1 catch with these 2 hotels – a $12 per day resort fee. The Crowne Plaza automatically charges it to everyone but you get free internet/wifi in your room and a free shuttle to and from Disneyland. The Marriott Suites only charges the fee if you tell them you are parking your car on property. If you stay at the Marriott, you will be charged for internet/wifi access if you use is and you can take the Anaheim Resort Transit to and from Disneyland for a few dollars.

Other hotels that have come up for my friends have been the Doubletree, the Anaheim Marriott, the Anaheim Hilton, and the Sheraton. I haven’t had that happen to me yet so I can’t say what additional fees they might charge.

Now here’s a step-by-step on how to use the Priceline feature so you don’t mess up.

1. Go to Priceline.com. On the main page click ‘Hotel’

2. Scroll down to where it says ‘Name Your Own Price for Hotels’

3. In the ‘City’ bar enter ‘Disneyland’

4. Select your check in and check out dates and how many rooms you want

5. Click ‘Bid Now’

6. It will open a new screen that says ‘Please Help Us With a Little More Information’

7. Under ‘Select a City’ choose ‘Disney Land – Anaheim, California, United States’

8. Click ‘Next’

9. Now you’re at a screen that says ‘Step 1: Choose Where You Want To Stay’

10. Select option 5 ‘Disneyland – Anaheim’. This area is the Good Neighbor Hotel Area of the Disneyland Resort

11. Scroll down and you will see ‘Step 2: Choose the Star Level for your hotel’

12. Select ‘3 ½ Star – Upscale Plus’

13. Now comes ‘Step 3: Name Your Own Price’

14. Here’s the trick. Just enter ‘50’. That’s it – 50 bucks a night is all I ever pay for top notch hotels Disneyland.

15. Now scroll down and enter your First and Last name and click ‘Next’

16. The next screen shows a review of your request. It shows how much you ‘bid’ per night plus the taxes and fees (roughly $13 a day) and a total for your stay. It gives you the option of buying Cancellation Insurance for $5 per night of your stay in case you can’t make it or need to leave during your stay. Keep in mind, once you book a hotel room this way, IT IS NON-REFUNDABLE and the dates can’t be changed. There are some other terms and conditions to review.

17. If you are sure you can make these dates and want to book a room, initial in the box and click ‘Next’

18. The next screen is the billing screen. Enter your billing information as it appears on your credit card statement. Enter and re-enter your email address and then Uncheck the box underneath your email address that says ‘Yes Send me updates’. I recommend this because we all hate spam email.

19. Now enter your credit card info. Don’t worry, the info is safe (we are talking about Priceline and not some hack site). Your card is not charged, authorized, or placed on hold. The only way the card gets charged is if your bid is accepted.

***** Ok now here’s where everybody freaks out. “What if my bid isn’t accepted? I thought you said I could get a room for $50 a night?” I never said you would be guaranteed a room at $50 a night I just said I’ve never paid more than $50 a night. My friend that uses this option about 6 times a year has never paid more than $60 a night and that was in July of 2005 DURING the 50th Anniversary week. Depending on the time of year and what is going on, the acceptable pricing fluctuates a little.*****

20. You DO NOT have to register with Priceline or create an account that is OPTIONAL.

21. Now is the moment of truth. If you click ‘Buy My Hotel Room Now’ and your bid is accepted, your card is immediately charged and your room is booked. It states both HERE and ON THE PAGE – PLEASE REMEMBER, ONCE YOU CLICK “Buy My Hotel Room” YOUR REQUEST CANNOT BE CHANGED, CANCELLED, OR TRANSFERRED AND REFUNDS ARE NOT ALLOWED. Don’t say you weren’t informed in advance.

22. If you click to buy the room, Priceline will take you to a wait screen while it ‘processes’ your request.

23. If your bid is successful, you will see a screen congratulating you on a successful bid and it will have the details of which hotel you will be staying at – Name, etc. Congratulations to you on saving some serious money and getting to stay at a really nice hotel. I hope you enjoy it.

24. If your bid is NOT successful you have 2 options:

a. Option 1 – Wait 24 to 48 hours (I believe it’s only 24 but I haven’t had a bid fail in a while so I’ve forgotten) and use the same email address and credit card to bid again.

b. Option 2 – Use a DIFFERENT email address AND a different credit card and bid again right now.

25. If your bid has failed (and sometimes they do) increase it by $5 a night. So a $50 bid becomes $55.

There you guys go. That’s the best tip I can give on how to save money and get a good room at a good hotel. At the time I wrote this, my last stay was at the Marriott Suites from December 18th to December 21st 2009. I paid $45 a night plus fees. I also included a copy of my receipt for that stay to MW so you guys know I’m not just blowing smoke.

OK Admin. That’s my tip/secret on how I can be an AP living in Phoenix, AZ and make several trips a year to Disneyland affordable. If you want me to re-write anything or if I can give this to you in another format, please let me know. I’m attaching my last trip receipt/itinerary so you can confirm that I really did only pay $45 a night at the Marriott Suites. I am also including a direct link to the receipt on Priceline so you can see I didn’t fake anything either.

https://www.priceline.com/hotels/Lang/en-us/status/accepted.asp?session_key=5C0011AC5D0011AC20100222233325149661023910&plf=pcln

Thanks,

James Mennes aka ‘Jaimz’

15 Comments

  1. I stayed at The Disneyland Hotel one Tuesday night with my Annual Passholder discount was $159 plus all this tax totaling about $183. They offered me the next night for $129.00 plus tax and stuff. But I had to book it then after I was already there. The trick is to book one night and wait for their offer the next morning in an envelope in front of your door with the newspaper.

    Reply
  2. I just used this method yesterday and got a room at the Holiday Inn for $50 for
    next Monday night. I did start my bidding a little lower at $40 for 3 1/2 stars and when it wasn’t accepted I dropped it to 3 stars and increased the price. I am pretty excited considering we usually spend about $200 for a hotel on site and rarely use all of the amenities. We really just need a nice, safe place to sleep.

    Reply
  3. This is fantastic! Thanks Jaimz!

    Reply
  4. Thank u for the info. My girlfriend and I just got two nights at holiday inn for $40 a night! Last time we stayed at this hotel I paid $117 for one night thank u once again

    Reply
  5. Just booked another night for $50 at the Anaheim Hilton – checked their website and the cheapest room available is $232. I am amazed!

    Reply
  6. Beware of chain’s loyalty programs – they won’t allow you to use room rates on web sites such as priceline.com. Instead, if you plan on racking up points, use it if using hotel’s additional services like room service, laundry, movies, etc.
    Also, if you have a room type preference or need items like a crib, wait a few hours after booking and call the hotel’s local number and request these items. Make sure you get that person’s name! I always notice that they tend to forget because they see how you’ve booked your room.

    Reply
  7. I have used this 3 times now. Each hotel has been a 31/2 star hotel. We have not paid over $64.00 a night. Thanks for the great tip!

    Reply
  8. Does that only work with a regular 2 adult stay? What if you have kids? Is there anyway to make it so you can choose how many guests? That’s what scares me about the process. What if I do this and then get down there and they charge me more for the kids?

    Reply
  9. Did this for a ten night stay over Christmas and it worked great. Paid 60 per night at the Doubletree Suites.

    Reply
  10. Just did this today and I was able to get a room at the Marriott Anaheim Suites for $57/night!! This is real!! Thanks y’all!

    Reply
  11. I wanted to respond to the comment about charging for kids. Most hotels above the limited service line (motel 6, ez8 etc) do not charge by the number of people in the room, this is especially true for full service hotels. Some hotel, will charge for additional adults but not kids. I work for Marriott and trust me, the motto is, “Service, Service, Service.” Besides, wosrt come to worst, leave the husband and kids in the car, check in then go get them. By that time its too late for the hotel to charge for more people.

    Reply
  12. Hi- I hope this is still an active posting.

    I did the 1st few steps and was able to find a Hotel for $40 a night easily.
    However I will be flying as well. Any tips on how to get ‘deals’ for flights?
    I usually use Orbitz or JetBlue & get a flight + hotel ‘deal’.
    Thanks

    Reply
  13. I have a question: All the hotels listed as winning bids are all well outside of the area boundaries of the map on Priceline.com. It’s listed still as area 5 but as Disneyland Anaheim North. Did they change the boundaries since this article was written or was everyone getting hotels that were outside the listed area? We’re going to have several toddlers on our trip so we dont want to be TOO far away and have a really long shuttle ride to and from the park. Just trying to get as much info as possible. Thanks.

    Reply
  14. I have a question re: step 16. When I get to that screen, it says rooms will accommodate up to 2 Adults. We have six kids. A two room suite should be fine but something smaller wouldn’t be okay. We could book two rooms but I am guessing through Priceline, they aren’t adjoining. Any thoughts or insights to get around this? Thanks.

    Reply
  15. Wes, we’ve never done priceline for Disneyland but we do use it several times a year and whenever we’ve booked 2 rooms they have been put next to each other if not always with an adjoining door. The hotel tends to treat it as a regular booking when placing your rooms. 8 people in 1 room would be pretty squishy (especially if you have multiple girls getting ready. I speak from experience as 2nd of 6 kids, 4 of which were girls) so I would reccomend booking two rooms. The hotels are usually very helpful in accommodating your needs as they ARE nicer hotels. There are no absolute guarantees with name your own price but I think the odds of not getting rooms next to each other are slim. You might ask yourself if it’s worth paying at least double the price for half the star rating though.

    If it’s not worth the risk of being split up you might look into the Eden Roc. We booked a week there for this October because a few people recommended it. It’s supposedly pretty barebones but clean, really close to the park, with a very friendly staff and the suites are very good price.

    Price line does give you the option to extend your stay for the same price though so it might be worth it to book one night and see what happens. A lot of hotels will let you cancel up to 24 hours before arrival so you could book a back up and cancel if price line works out.. Worst case scenario you and your spouse have to sleep in different rooms the first night if you dont get rooms put together.

    Reply

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