Priceline Express Deals: Swimming with the Dolphin

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If you’re thinking about a Disney trip this Spring, you may want to swim over to Priceline Express to look for some Dolphin deals !

We’ve spotted a pod of Dolphin deals that run most days starting April 2, 2020, into the first week of June. As usual, there are some dates without deals while some days rise up into higher rates.

But the good news is you can find deals as low as $131 a night, which is fairly nice for a 4-star resort. (Just don’t forget the Swan and Dolphin both have daily resort fees of about $30 tacked onto those rates.)

While some of these rates may not be the super-discounted deals we saw for All-Star Sports and Coronado Springs in February, when I compared the Express Deal costs to some of the same dates on the Marriott site, I found they saved about $40 to $50 per night, all things included.

An easy way to spot the Dolphin in Express Deal results is to look for a 4-star, 7-guest rated resort in Bonnet Creek with 700 reviews. It is the only resort with that combination of ratings and reviews.

NOTE: The photo they show in the deals may not be the actual room from the resort you are booking. But, I’m pretty sure there will be pillows. #protip

Just be aware that guest ratings and reviews can change over time. The Dolphin, in particular likes to flip-flop between a 7 and 8-guest rated resort as new reviews are added. (Its actual guest rating right now is 7.9 with 748 reviews.) But, even if it jumps back up to an 8-guest if more positive reviews come in, it will still be the only resort with that unique combo.

An interesting thing I’ve noticed on some deals lately is the ability to “Choose your Room” for the Swolphin and some other resorts. That can make booking a hidden Express Deal a little more comfortable for some people I imagine: technically Priceline only guarantees room for 2 people on their deals. However, since the vast majority of Disney resort rooms accommodate 4 people, booking them is not much of an issue to worry about. But, you’ll find that when Priceline gives you a choice, you can eliminate that worry entirely!

Now that you have the tools to go out and find these deals you can use these calendars to go find some for yourself. Happy hunting! (In an environmentally friendly, hunting for rooms not actual dolphins way.)

If you’re excited about booking any of these deals, let us know in the comments!

John Tierney

Security. Genealogy. Dad. Husband. Securigenealodadsband. Also: Disney fan who likes deals. and numbers. and churros. You can find his tweeter @JJT and his Instagram is @johnjtierney

10 thoughts on “Priceline Express Deals: Swimming with the Dolphin

  • February 7, 2020 at 9:14 am
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    Thanks for doing this. We almost booked all star based on your last report. Any chance you can do for the Universal Orlando resorts or any hints for that since it is more complicated to make sure you get a Lowe’s/UOR resort?

    Reply
    • February 7, 2020 at 9:29 am
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      I’ll see if I can put together another Universal resort post – but I did write one up last year you might want to look through.

      Long story short: All of the UOR resorts are rated either 3.5* or 4*, and all have guest ratings of 8 or 9. (Sapphire Falls is the only 9.) The only other 4* resort at all in Priceline’s UOR area is the Doubletree, but is is rated 7.7. The Doubletree also stands out because it has over 1,300 reviews, while the Universal resorts have only 10s or 100s of reviews.

      (BTW: When I wrote my post last year, they had the lower resorts as 3* on Priceline, but they changed to 3.5* at some point since. And, the Family Suites at Cabana Bay is no longer it’s own listing, so I assume they rolled it into the regular Cabana Bay resort.)

      Reply
  • February 7, 2020 at 11:00 am
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    As I play around for the week of 5/17, it seems like I get Swolphin cheaper going 1 night at time. For instance, if I plug in 5/19-5/23- I get Dolphin for 177. If I do a single night of 5/21, I get Swan for 168.
    Should or could I, do 4 1 night ressies?

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  • February 7, 2020 at 11:01 am
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    Having never stayed at either, which do people prefer? Thank you!

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  • February 7, 2020 at 11:25 am
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    Hey Scott,

    When you book multiple days of Express Deals, what you get is the average of the individual nightly rates, so for any particular resort there usually should be no effective difference in rates by booking anything one night at a time.

    *However* you may notice in some cases that as you add days to an Express Deal booking, the Priceline fees built in to that “Taxes and Fees” line item on the booking page may not increase linearly.

    i.e. Sometimes you might see that the “fee” portion that Priceline tacks on is less per day when you book multiple days at a time – kind of like shipping fees: Buy 1 item, shipping is $9.95, buy 5 items, shipping is $12.95.

    Other times you might see the fee will be about the same per day regardless. Priceline likes to randomize things. #pricelineweirdness

    As for picking a resort: I sadly have not stayed at either myself – but the Swan does have a higher 4.5* star rating and higher guest ratings (8.5 vs Dolphin’s 7.9)

    Reply
  • February 7, 2020 at 11:27 am
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    Those prices for Memorial Day weekend are great!

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  • February 7, 2020 at 11:30 am
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    You know, I somehow didn’t even realize Memorial Day weekend was in there – that is pretty nice!

    Reply
  • February 18, 2020 at 12:59 am
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    HI John
    Listened to Len and Jim now found your blog. I am heading to wade for March 17 to 19. Any chance we will see yacht or beach resort on express? Thank you

    Reply
  • February 18, 2020 at 11:50 am
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    Hi Todd,
    My original intention when I started studying and recording Priceline deals was to figure out the patterns. Sadly, at this point all I can say are: there do not seem to be any.

    When I think there will not be any deals because a busy vacation time is coming up, BAM they drop some deals. When I think, “Well, September is pretty quiet, bet we see some good deals!” – CRICKETS.

    All I can suggest is you keep checking daily – plus watch for our blog posts. 😉
    A good tip: search your dates on Priceline Express, set it up to filter for only Bonnet Creek and Disney Springs, then sort from lowest to highest. Then, just bookmark that page – you can search it again daily super fastly using the bookmark after that.

    Reply
  • February 19, 2020 at 2:53 am
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    Thank you again! Much appreciated for the prompt reply.

    Reply

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