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.
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!
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!