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Hotwire Deals: Some Christmas POPpers

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Do you hear what I hear? The sound of POPping at Christmas?

Well, Hotwire is back at it again: You can find Hot Rate deals for Pop Century throughout December for $75 to $129, as well as Yacht Club running from $252 to as high as $346 heading into Christmas and New Year’s.

Before we get started, I want to mention that the Coronado Springs deals we mentioned last time are still available and the coupon code RMN8NOV20 will take another 8% off of any deals you book over $100.

Now let’s take a look at some rate comparisons to see how good these deals are. Below, I chose a random date in the middle of the month and calculated the all-in price versus Disney’s rates.

Looking at the Pop standard room, you can see the Hot Rate even beats the current Magic is Here rate by $76.18 per night! You’ll notice I included two tables for Yacht Club comparisons: Hotwire doesn’t offer any clues to what type of room these hidden deals are for. But over on Priceline Express, where it appears the same rooms are also showing up, there are clues that they are another batch of Water View rooms like the last set.

So, to be conservative here I compared rates for both room types – even if these Hot Rate Yacht Club deals turned out to be standard rooms you’d be saving $114.23 per night vs the Magic is  Here rate. But, if I’m correct and these are water view rooms, that nightly savings jumps up to $214.71!

Merry (Insert Holiday You Observe Here)!

Interlude: A Few Hidden Deal Warnings

Now, it can be easy to get stars in your eyes when looking at all the hidden deal savings. But, I want to remind you that it is always a good idea to run these comparisons. I won’t go into detail in this post, but if you slide your searches out to January you’ll probably see some Hot Rate hidden deals for Caribbean Beach and the much rarer Bay Lake Tower. Let’s take a look!

Well, $169 for a moderate room at Caribbean Beach seems like a fairly good deal! But, that rate is just high enough that the combination of Hotwire fees plus taxes brings the all-in price very close to Disney’s current Early 2021 deal. If I’m going to book hidden, non-refundable deal, I personally want the savings to be much greater than that. Otherwise, I’m going with Disney on this one.

The same scenario occurs with the Bay Lake Tower deals – and notice also on both that if you used an annual pass discount, the non-refundable Hot Rate would cost you more!

The second warning I have has to do with resort amenities: Don’t count on ’em. Yes, for Disney resorts on Hotwire looking to see if Airport Shuttle is listed is a strong indicator it is a Disney resort. (Swan and Dolphin also have it listed, by the way.) But, hidden deals on both Priceline and Hotwire regularly have amenities that are just flat-out wrong.

For a few months in 2018 Port Orleans Riverside had Room Service as an amenity. (NARRATOR: There is no room service at Riverside.) Right now on the Yacht Club Hot Rate deals you’ll see both Free Parking and Beachfront Hotel listed.

You may be aware that Disney resorts charge for parking these days. Also….


And We’re Back: How to Spot These Deals

To find these deals, you’ll want to enter Orlando in the location search box of course, and then I suggest you make the results easier to scan through by sorting by price and selecting just 3 and 4-star rated resorts in the filter box.

Then limit the results even further by selecting just the Bonnet Creek area in the map.


Pop Century will be a 3-star, 4.4-guest rated resort and is the only resort with that combination of Hotwire ratings in Bonnet Creek at this time. It will look like this in results:

Yacht Club will be a 4-star 4.5-guest rated resort in Bonnet Creek. For some reason it is listed as a “New to Hotwire Hotel”. *shrugs*

You may notice that the sub-ratings on these Yacht Club deals are all 0.0 – that’s a bug that has been occurring on several Disney Hot Rate resort deals lately. Annoying, as they can help identify a deal where there are several resorts with the same main ratings. In this case, there are three other resorts with a 4-star, 4.5-guest rating in Bonnet Creek: Animal Kingdom Kidani, Beach Club Villas, and Boardwalk Inn. Because of the pricing and their rarity, I believe it is a pretty safe bet that this deal is not for the first two resorts.

While technically, Boardwalk would still be in the running here based on ratings alone, it has rarely shown up on Hotwire, if at all. Also, there have been a LOT of Yacht Club deals on both Priceline and Hotwire this Fall, which is a strong lean towards that resort. But, more definitively: Boardwalk is not open for business at this time. (While there was an announcement that it would open at some point, Disney reversed that plan.)

OK, I can see some eyes glazing over out there now, so let’s cut to the chase: here is the Calendar of Deals for the month. Happy Hunting!

If you’ve booked any of these deals or have any questions, let us know in the comments…

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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 “Hotwire Deals: Some Christmas POPpers

  • I continue to keep tabs on deals, but nothing really out there for a long while now.

    You may catch some Caribbean Beach and Bay Lake Tower (rare!) hidden deals on Priceline, but you’ll see that they are fairly high priced for Express Deals. If you compare them with all fees included to the current Disney direct deals they’ll be within a few dollars of those or sometimes more than Disney’s prices!

    You may also see some Dolphin and Swan deals pop up, but many of those also are close to the Swan/Dolphin’s own deals. Plus there’s a Priceline bug on some dates that doubles or triples the resort fees on the hidden deals, so always check the fees!

    We’ll be sure to post any deals we do find ASAP! 🙂

  • Hi! Anything showing for this year yet? I’m looking mid March but no luck yet.

  • Worked perfectly. Thank you for your assistance.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • So, just to be sure. I am on Priceline and everything seems to match to the express deal for the Yacht Club. I check a price on a particular day and it matches the price on your calendar. Odds are high I will be booking at the Yacht Club? Sorry just a bit nervous on a blind booking for thousands of dollars. Thank you.

    • Hi Larry, If you’re seeing a 4-star 9-guest rated resort in Bonnet Creek that is priced in the mid $200s to $300s, it is very likely Yacht Club. If you take a look at my September post on CSR and YC deals, you’ll see me go into some detail on identifying the possible 4-star 9-resorts.

      TL;DR: there are only 4 resorts with that rating in Bonnet Creek. Boulder Ridge Villas and Boardwalk are rare. The Villas would likely have a higher rate even when discounted and Boardwalk is still not open. The other resort is the JW Marriott which tends to have hidden deal prices in the mid $100s (although it can jump up on weekend and holiday days) – and it will have a $25 mandatory resort fee while Yacht Club will not.

      The last tell for a Yacht Club deal right now is that many Disney resorts on Priceline Express now have Airport Shuttle in amenities. In general I warn people about relying on amenities as an indicator as they can change over time, but in conjunction with other clues can be a useful dealbreaker.

      Hope that helps – let me know if you have any other questions, I’d be glad to help! 🙂

  • This post makes me miss Arrested Development.

  • Thank you for keeping up with this and sharing your research! I will be following in hopes that some these good deals are available in March 2021.

    • My pleasure! 🙂

  • Great info. Thanks for the breakdown. Even as a travel agent, I found a better deal at Yacht Club on Expedia than the TA discount Disney offers.

    • You’re welcome! and Nice!


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