We have been quiet over here in the hidden hotel deal cubicle of TouringPlans headquarters, shining up our red Swingline stapler and peering out of the window waiting for deals to arrive.
If you are a regular Hotwire user, you have almost certainly noticed that THERE AIN’T NO DEALS. Well, that might be an overstatement: you will see hidden deals in some areas, but almost all of the usual deals one would expect to see in Bonnet Creek, where the bulk of Disney resorts live, are just gone.
You may recall back in April there was a short period or two where all of the Disney resorts went *poof* and disappeared from Hotwire. This time is a decidedly larger *poof* – in fact it may be a *poof* of epic proportions – an *epicpoof*, if you will.
Because, this time, except for a few resorts, the Bonnet Creek hidden deals are gone – whether Disney resorts or not. And wait! There’s More!
Not only have the bulk of hidden deals been missing for weeks – Hotwire also has absolutely NO standard resort deals listed for ALL of Orlando! *audible gasp*
Their people there were unfailingly nice and offered to look into things – but after my detailing how much was missing, their response was essentially “Nope, no problems on our side.”
Now, I find it very hard to believe that every single hotel in Orlando either sold out or decided to pull all of their resorts from Hotwire at the same time. I also find it hard to believe that I’ve used the word *poof* multiple times in a blog post and so far have not been called out on poor writing technique. But, here we are.
Proof That My Suspicions Are Founded
Before we move ahead with my bulleted list of
FORTY THREE reasons (editor: 2, maximum please) TWO reasons why I am right and Hotwire’s tweeter folks are mistaken, I would like to entice you to read on with hope that I will eventually offer you some useful info to actually find a deal or two in these dark, hot(wire) times.
My first tactic was to go directly to some of the resort pages for locations that recently had deals available. For example, I found that using Hotwire’s Coronado Springs Resort page to search for deals (as opposed to their home page), I was able to tease out some standard rate deals in a desktop browser.
And I visited the standard rate deal to verify they are indeed bookable rooms.
I also noticed a fun thing – You may notice at the top of those deals there’s another set of date pickers where you can change things. While this didn’t happen for many of the resorts I checked, I found that for Coronado Springs at least, clicking in the date field popped up a handy dandy calendar with all of the standard pricing visible.
Pretty nice perk there. I wonder if this is a new feature they are trying out. Hmm. I’ll be peeking back at these in the future to see if they help with any booking tactics.
Reason Two: Finally Some Actionable Information
As I pondered over the last few weeks of cold HotRate pages, I continued my usual search tactics. Just last night found that some random Coronado Springs hidden deals were again appearing in results. While you may see the rare one show up when using the resort page search I showed up above, I found that the old “Draw” technique in the Hotwire app was much more consistent at teasing out the HotRate deals.
You might want to jump over to my previous post Hotwire Deals for April: Another Pop Drop for a short primer on using the Hotwire Draw feature.
You can also view my short video below to see Draw in practice. I first searched a date and found only a 5-star resort deal in Bonnet Creek. I then zoomed in on the map, clicked the Draw button and drew a circle around Coronado Springs – Voila! A $155 per night deal appeared for the 3.5-star, 4.4-guest rated resort.
When searching right now, I do suggest you temper your expectations: the dates these Coronado deals appeared on seem fairly disjointed. Also, they come and go very quickly. Last night I strung together a nice 5-night test booking at the end of July, but sadly, this morning when I checked again I could only get Coronado to spring out on one of those days.
So, as I’ve said often before: be patient when searching, try moving your search date window around if your travel dates are flexible – and keep at it. Hopefully you’ll find a good deal!
If you’ve been successful finding a good deal in these trying times, let us know in the comments!