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Priceline Express – Let’s Get Appy!

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If you’ve been hoping to book a Disney resort deal on Priceline Express lately, you have probably been closing your unfruitful desktop browser search results with defeat and angst. Yes, you can still find Dolphin resort deals in April and May, but when your heart is set on Disney and none are found, ennui can’t be far behind.

Well, that was kind of a downer – so, Let’s get appy! No, that’s not a typo!
(But admittedly it is a really silly catch phrase. I’ll assume it worked since you are reading these words. and these words too.)

Lately when helping people search for Disney resort deals, I’ve been tipped off by a few of them finding deals in the Priceline app that just aren’t showing up when you search using a desktop browser. I haven’t been able to find any large drops of deals in the app – but it seems that if you are looking for some short-term deals on Priceline Express, the app may be a tool to keep in your back pocket.

(Although your keeping it in your back pocket will make it really hard to use.)

Here’s a run through of a quick technique to scope out Disney resorts in the Priceline app.

But First, a Not Really Too Ominous Warning

In my past posts, I’ve offered tips on identifying resorts – the most basic and useful being that you should note the location, star and guest ratings, and number of reviews listed on a deal. Then you can compare them to the information you can find on Priceline’s page for each resort. In almost all cases each resort has a unique combination of those factors so you can identify a resort with very strong confidence.

In a pinch, you can also compare the amenities listed on an Express Deal if you need an additional factor as a tie breaker. I’m looking at you Contemporary Resort and Beach Club! Both of those resorts right now are 4-stars, 8-guest rated and have reviews in the 50s, which can confuse things if you see a deal with those ratings. But, I have it on good authority (myself) that the Contemporary has Fitness Center among its amenities, while Beach Club has Business Center.

However, the app is a different animal – you may see slightly different combinations of the same amenities listed on desktop browser deals. Also, they tend to leave the number of reviews off of hidden Express Deals, which can really cramp your deal finding muscle.

The good news is – there are some techniques that can still help you feel un-angsty about what resort you suspect a deal is for. They may not be perfect techniques, so just be sure to take this info with a grain of salt and not as absolutes.

An Example

First, let’s search for a date next week and see what pops up in Express Deals.

Without going into too much detail I can tell you that none of these three deals are Disney resorts. While there are a couple of 3.5* Disney resorts in Disney Springs, none of them have reviews in the 300s.

Now let’s take a quick run through on how to search using the most useful settings in Priceline app. The first step is simple- enter Orlando, FL, choose your dates and hit search.

Orlando is much too large an area to sift through and you’ll see quite a few results. So next we’ll set up some filters to narrow things down. On the bottom right corner of the app, click the blue circle to open up the menu, then select Filter.

Scroll down on the filters page until you find Neighborhoods, then select either Bonnet Creek or Disney Springs. (The app only lets you select one at a time, which is ann-oying!)

In this example we’ll look at Bonnet Creek.

After you click Apply Filters, you’ll see less results but they still could use some tweaking. Open the menu using the blue circle again, then click Sort By, followed by Price and click OK.

Now we’re cooking!

Pro Tip
You’ll notice up at the top of the app you can select to just see Express Deals – but I would avoid doing that. If you do, it will remove all of the location filters you have selected and won’t let you add new ones. (That is bad design mojo, IMHO.) Anyway, we actually want to see both “regular” Priceline and Express Deals side by side.

Do you see what I see? I’m guessing YES since I marked them up in red circles and squares and stuff. Well, well, two 3.5* star resorts in Bonnet Creek with 8-guest ratings. (An 80-89% Guest Score translates to an 8 on the desktop version.) Without any additional info, I’d say there’s a pretty good chance that $158 deal is going to be Coronado Springs.

If we select the hidden deal, we can see the amenities listed.

Having looked at many a deal and the Coronado Priceline page, I can tell you those amenities are very similar to the ones you’ll see on desktop deals for that resort. The only thing missing is “Handicapped Rooms” – which so far in my explorations appears to be left off on app Express Deals.

Now, let’s back up a page then go take a look at the regular (unhidden) Coronado deal on the app.

Here you can see the same amenities – plus the addition of “Handicap”. If you click on the Show 1 More button, you’ll see Business Center rounds things out. That is the *exact* amenity set you’d see on a desktop Express Deal.

If you take a little time to go through these steps, the whole process becomes fairly easy. There have been a few reports of deals appearing on the app several weeks or more out even when they don’t show up in desktop browser searches. But, most of the ones I have spotted were in the 2 – 4 week range.

I hope this info provides an edge for you to find some additional deals – if you find any good ones, 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 “Priceline Express – Let’s Get Appy!

  • I have been on these sites all day using your advice and I don’t think I’ve spotted one yet! Think you could give me some advice? Dates are Nov 6-9, 2020. I’m an ICU nurse desperately needing a little vacay! Thanks so much for this, really appreciate your blog!

    • Hi Mary, Thanks for your service! 🙂

      Deals for Disney resorts are far from being out there consistently, and until recently we had a nice long lack of them for obvious reasons.
      Your best best for knowing what is out there now is to look at my most recent posts. (You can do that by clicking my name at the top of any post.)

      Right now the only deals I’m aware of in November are the Yacht Club deals on Priceline Express. If you use the tips I outline there, I think you’ll find you can book Yacht Club for $270 for your dates. Now, $270 a night is not a “cheap” deal – but if you see in my post, compared to the current deals out there you’d be saving a significant amount of money over those options. I keep me eye out for new deals as they drop and they can happen at any time. So, my advise is to keep watching both Priceline and Hotwire, (plus this blog!) and you might find other deals appear for your dates – you never know what they’ll drop!

  • Incredibly helpful! Thank you so much!!!!

  • Howdy Kerry!

    Yes – Disney properties can be found in both Bonnet Creek and Disney Springs. I believe there are only 4 Disney resorts in Disney Springs: Old Key West, Saratoga Springs, and both Port Orleans resorts.

    There are, of course Non-Disney resorts in both areas as well. I keep a handy-dandy spreadsheet updated to help me keep track of things.

    So, in DS, a 4*7 with 900 reviews is going to be Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista in the Walt Disney World Resort. (Yes, that is the WHOLE name of that joint!)

    A 3.5*8 with 100 reviews is Doubletree Suites by Hilton Orlando – LBV
    A 3*7 with 600 reviews is going to be the Best Western LBV, DS Resort Area.

    Right now for some reason while there are no deals when you search PL with a desktop browser, deals DO appear when using the Priceline app. Note that on the Android app, the number of reviews doesn’t often appear on the deal listings, which can sometimes make resorts harder to identify.

    But, on the iPad app reviews do appear, so always good to play around with different versions if possible to see what clues Priceline reveals. 🙂

    BTW, one last tip: If you see a mandatory fee (aka “resort fee”) tacked onto the deal’s booking page amounts in addition to the Taxes/Fees line- then the deal is most certainly NOT a Disney resort.

    Swan and Dolphin will have mandatory fees ($33.75 usually) – but they are technically Marriott resorts.

    Also, sometimes Priceline leaves mandatory fees off of deals even if the hidden resort charges them – so the lack of a mandatory fee does NOT mean it is a Disney resort. You’d have to look at all the variables.

    Hope that info helps!

  • Hi, John! Thanks, as always, for your help! Quick question! I’m a little confused about which Disney hotels are in the Bonnet Creek vs Disney Springs area? I’m looking at three potential deals right now, all in Disney Springs: a 4* 7+ with 900 reviews, a 3.5* 8+ with 100 reviews, and a 3* 7+ with 600 reviews. Would any of those be Disney hotels, or are all Disney properties in Bonnet Creek? Thank you SO MUCH! Love and appreciate the blog!

  • Thanks as always, John. Rereading now that I’m thinking of booking. Bad app mojo is kind of an understatement. I don’t understand why the app PE deals and the desktop PE deals aren’t the same? Weird.

  • Hi Todd,

    Both CR and BEACH Club are 4* 8-guest resorts with reviews in the 50s.
    YACHT Club is currently a 4* 9-guest with reviews in the 60s.

    In general, some resorts appear less frequently than others in Express Deals – several of the 4* resorts like those mentioned above probably are in the less-frequent group. But of course, every once in awhile you see one show up in a nice large deal drop, like Yacht Club did earlier this year.

  • John really appreciate this blog! So as I try to find yacht or contemporary for the week of March 17 (flexible) I will do the above steps and look for hotels that “are 4-stars, 8-guest rated and have reviews in the 50s,”? thanks Todd

  • My pleasure! 🙂

  • Thanks again John. Always enjoy your style of writing and taking advantage of the deals you unearth.


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