Hotwire Deals: Pop On Over For A Visit

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These days I feel a bit like a bouncing ball in a big game. If you feel the same, maybe it is time to think of taking advantage of some Hotwire hidden Hot Rate deals for Disney’s Pop Century Resort!

Once there, you can pretend you are in the world’s largest game of foosball. (Wait, what is a “foos”, anyway?)

With a little detective work over on Hotwire, you can find a nice drop of hidden Hot Rate rooms at Pop for $75 to $89 in both August and September. We haven’t seen rates like that for Pop since some Priceline Express deals dropped for a few weeks in Spring, 2019.

For comparison, I checked one of the $79 deal days: the regular Hotwire and Disney direct rates were both $170, while Undercover Tourist had Pop for $160. The Disney Annual Pass rate for the day was $119, which is still pretty nice these days.

To help you find them, I’ll quickly run through a few techniques to identify the resort, then I’ll add some deal calendars so you can see them all at a glance.

Just like Priceline Express, I always suggest you sort search by price from low to high so you can compare similar rated resorts to each other. You’ll also want to use the search filters to limit results to 3-star and 4-star resorts.

When you’ve gotten the feel of searching on Hotwire you might also want to select the “Hot Rate” tab to only see the hidden deals. But, some people may like to keep “All Hotels” selected so they can compare non-hidden deals right alongside the hidden ones.

Finally, you want to limit things to just the Bonnet Creek and Disney Springs areas, which is where all of the Disney resorts are located. (Remember, there are also other hotels in these spots too, so finding deals there is no guarantee it will be a Disney resort. You’ll want to compare all the factors.)

You can use the Areas drop down in the search filter bar, but I find that a little annoying to use because it is a large pop up menu.

An easier way is to simply click on Bonnet Creek and Disney Springs in the map.

In our Pop Century example, we’re looking for a 3-star resort in Bonnet Creek. When searching hidden deals, some reconnaissance is a good way to help you in the process.

So, I suggest you visit Pop Century’s Hotwire page, where among other things you learn that it is rated 4.3/5 by guests. (UPDATE: As of the last week of August, Pop Century’s overall guest rating has increased to 4.4.)

Well, whaddya know, there’s a deal right here in the search I just ran!

Now, from much clickety-clicking I have learned that right now on Hotwire there are actually three 3-star resorts in Bonnet Creek that have a 4.3 guest rating. In addition to Pop, the others are Art of Animation and All-Star Sports.

So, we need some more data to bring our possibilities down. If you click “Which hotel can I get?” on the right side of the deal, it will open a window below with additional info.

In non-Disney deals deals you’ll also often see the number of reviews it has – but only rarely appears on Disney resorts. But, the Overview section here will tell you some more detailed guest ratings at the resort – usually the four items shown below.

Guess what? If you listened to my suggestion to go reconnoiter (I have never typed that word before in my life) Pop’s Hotwire page, you’ll find that those sub-guest ratings look pretty familiar.

Now, you might notice there can be a little wiggle-room in these guest reviews – sometimes the hidden deal will have a Room cleanliness rating of 4.4 while the resort’s page is 4.5, as we do above. This is likely due to new reviews that haven’t synced up within the system. Still – it is usually fairly obvious which resort is which since we are comparing an overall rating and 4-sub-ratings.

To really help you feel confident in your decision that this is, indeed, a Pop Century deal I’ll assign you some self-study: head over to the Art of Animation and All-Star Sports pages and compare their guest-ratings to the hidden deal as well.

The last tool in the comparison toolbox is the number of guest reviews that have been left for a resort. This one is a little more loosey-goosey (foosey loosey?) lately. Hotwire uses Expedia’s review system on their resort pages and over the last few months many of the review counts have swung wildly around, like me trying to aim the Buzz Lightyear ride vehicle at Zurg while eating a churro.

So, I suggest you use reviews in a pinch to help break a tie, but be wary. Just yesterday I noticed that the Swan had almost 2,800 LESS reviews than the last time I checked! A head scratcher.

Having said that, I’ll offer one last tip: even though Disney resort deals don’t always have reviews listed on Hot Rate deal – when you click on it to show the full listing, it often has the reviews listed as a range. In this Pop Century deal, you can see if the Hot-Rate deal review range compares to those listed on regular deal for the resort. (Yes, 1,287 is between 1,000 and 1,500.)

 

Now that we’ve finished our quick class on Hot Rate resort identification – here are the Pop Century deals out there in August and September.

If you’re looking for a good deal – these are among the best out there now. If you’ve booked one and/or know exactly what a foos is – 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

28 thoughts on “Hotwire Deals: Pop On Over For A Visit

  • August 12, 2020 at 9:41 am
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    Another big hint that Hot Rate hotel is Pop, is that they have murphy beds. All-Stars is closed and I don’t know of other hotels with murphy beds.

    FWIT, I just booked two nights in September for $84/night using your tips.

    Reply
  • August 12, 2020 at 9:46 am
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    Ooh, good point! Never occurred to me.

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  • August 13, 2020 at 12:25 am
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    I am able to find what I believe is Pop Century when searching. However, the “Hot Deals” I am seeing over the next couple of weeks is $119 – $129 a night. Not $75 – $89 you posted in the calendar above. I am doing something wrong? Or have rates increased because of an increase in searches and bookings at that hotel?

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  • August 13, 2020 at 9:20 am
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    Hi Eric,
    A few people reported the same thing to me yesterday – we found that if you clear your browser’s Hotwire cookies, or even easier, open Hotwire in incognito mode the deals didn’t increase.

    Also note that if you add more than 2 people to the room when you search that will affect the price. Sad thing is that can happen even when adding children though Disney doesn’t charge extra for them.

    I know that to avoid that extra charge people often use the tactic of just booking with 2 adults in the room, then calling Hotwire or the Disney resort later to add the kids. (Sometimes that tactic can lead to finger-pointing between the two about who is supposed to modify the reservation, so be ready for a little back and forth if it happens.)

    Good luck!

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  • August 13, 2020 at 9:24 am
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    Same thing happened to me. Clearing cookies helped, or going incognito.

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  • August 13, 2020 at 9:28 am
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    How does a person go “incognito” mode?

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    • August 13, 2020 at 9:33 am
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      Incognito in a browser is also known as a “private window” – in most browsers you click the hamburger menu (3 lines or dots at top right of the browser, then choose New Private Window in the menu that pops up. It will open a new tab that ignores any cookies or cache you have from previous sessions. (So, you won’t be logged into *anything* in the private tab.)

      Reply
  • August 13, 2020 at 9:45 am
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    Oh, I figured it out! I can now see the 52% off rate of $79/night. Thank you!

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  • August 13, 2020 at 9:47 am
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    Woohoo!

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  • August 13, 2020 at 5:35 pm
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    Was able to book 9/10-9/13! I previously had a 2 night stay booked at AoA for that weekend, which was switched to Pop…but adding a third night with the help of this article STILL ended up being cheaper than my previous reservation (which was booked with an AP discount!). Thanks for the info!!

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  • August 14, 2020 at 9:59 am
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    Brian, Great news!
    Love when a good deal not only saves money but makes the vacation longer.

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  • August 15, 2020 at 9:08 am
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    Thanks for the tips! As for the foosball question, I’ve always thought that it maybe came from a German word for soccer. In place of the “s” is a character I don’t have on my keyboard that looks like a bit like a capital “B” and whose sound is a combo of “s” and “z”. I could be totally wrong.

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  • August 15, 2020 at 3:12 pm
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    Alice, Sounds like a good theory! 🙂

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  • August 18, 2020 at 9:48 am
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    Hi John –

    Follow up question – do you know how to locate the Disney confirmation number needed to link the Hotwire reservation to My Disney Experience? I’ve done it before on Priceline but I can’t seem to locate the same info on Hotwire.

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  • August 18, 2020 at 10:00 am
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    I’m not exactly sure if Hotwire includes the MDE-linkable info in your email or in an account confirmation. I do seem to recall someone online pointing to a buried spot in the Hotwire reservation listed on one’s account for that info, but I can’t find that thread.

    I see a lot of people saying if you contact Hotwire and/or the resort they should be able to give you a valid MDE confirmation number, although there might be a lag time between booking and that info appearing in their systems.

    Finally, the Disney Wholesale team might be a good place to try as well at 1-407-939-7671.

    Reply
  • August 18, 2020 at 11:23 am
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    Thank you! I did some more digging and found that Hotwire issues two numbers: a confirmation number and an itinerary number. The confirmation number is the one that is linked to MDE. As mentioned above, it can take up to 72 hours for that number to be active in MDE but that’s the number to look for. I had to log in to my Hotwire account and click on the trip details section in order to find that number.

    Thanks again!

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  • August 18, 2020 at 11:27 am
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    Brian, Terrific! Thanks for reporting back with that info, it helps us all!

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  • August 20, 2020 at 2:22 am
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    John

    I’m now seeing a 3.5 star all suits resort inside Bonnet Creek listed for $84 per night the first week of September with a 4.6 Expedia rating and 500-1000 reviews. There’s no resort fees listed when you click on it to purchase. What’s your best guestimation on this? Art of Animation? Because the WDW website says Art isn’t open now – however it could be opening September 1…?

    Reply
  • August 20, 2020 at 11:08 am
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    Hi Joseph,
    None of the Disney resorts will be listed as “All Suites.”
    I’m going to call that one as TownePlace Suites Orlando at Flamingo Crossings.

    When I searched the one night 9/1 check in, TownePlace appeared as a regular deal right next in line to the Hot Rate on the list.

    In general, when resort fees are applicable, Priceline Express can be hit or miss on including them, but I haven’t looked at that on Hotwire as much, so not sure how much they leave them off. But, when I went right to that resort’s own booking page I didn’t see a resort fee there either.

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  • August 21, 2020 at 3:21 pm
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    Gotcha, I see it now. Thanks so much for all your posts and work on these deals, I appreciate it a lot.

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  • August 26, 2020 at 3:36 pm
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    Hi John,
    Is it possible for there to be a Hotwire Hot Rate deal for Pop but no full price availability for it? I’m looking at Sept 27th but don’t see Pop listed for standard rate to compare. Thanks!

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  • August 26, 2020 at 3:54 pm
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    Hi Lori,
    Yes, as I understand it various rooms for sale are available in blocks – so there might be Hot Rates for a resort but not regular room blocks.

    Oddly, if you go directly to a particular resort’s page on Hotwire and use the search box at top, it doesn’t seem to search for that resort but all Hot Rates. (I just tried it to see if I could force out some regular rates for the 27th.)

    When I was researching the article and I spot checked a few full prices, they all seemed to be in the range of double the Hot Rate.

    Over on Priceline Express, you can search a single resort – I just tried it out for Pop and they are selling that night for $170, while Disney has it for $189. (AP Passholder rate is $132 if you have one.)

    Reply
  • August 28, 2020 at 3:16 pm
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    I also read that any hotels in the Bonnet Creek area with an airport amenity shuttle will be a Disney hotel, as they are the only hotels to offer transportation so far away from the airport. Armed with that information, the information from this article and the “Murphy bed” clue, I was able to book Pop Century for 4 nights in September for $82 per night. Thanks so much!

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  • August 28, 2020 at 3:21 pm
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    @Kelly, Woohoo!

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  • August 29, 2020 at 1:00 pm
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    An update to anyone following this post: Pop Century’s overall guest review on Hotwire has increased to 4.4 as of some time this week!

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  • August 30, 2020 at 4:12 pm
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    Thank you for all the info and hard work you put in!

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  • September 14, 2020 at 9:44 pm
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    Hi there – is this something that I should continually keep checking or if it’s not showing for my trip dates then I’m out of luck? Thanks so much!

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  • September 15, 2020 at 8:59 am
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    Heather,
    Things do change all the time, so worth trying back once in awhile. My usual advice (current odd times notwithstanding) is to start checking once or twice a week about 3 months out – usually you can search your dates and bookmark it in Priceline Express and Hotwire to check more quickly each time.

    When you get closer to your trip, perhaps about 6 weeks out, I’d increase to checking every few days.

    Deals have been few lately, but keep an eye on the TP blog and twitter feed and I’ll do my best to keep reporting when ones do show up! 🙂

    Reply

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