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About MIChessGuy

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    Disney World...Universal Orlando...chess
  1. Sorry, I did not know it took extra steps to see all the amenities in Hotwire. Their interface could use some cleaning up, in my opinion. Anyway, as it turns out, I went in a completely different direction: I used a coupon code for cheaptickets.com to book Universal's Cabana Bay Resort instead. The breakdown for seven nights: 7 nights (Jan 17-24, 2015) $663.02 Discount applied -132.60 Taxes and fees 86.20 Total due at booking $616.62 This works out to less than $100 per night (including the $10 nightly parking fee) for a brand new, on-site resort that includes early entry to the Universal theme parks. I couldn't resist. :D Thanks for all your help. I will take another look at Hot.wire soon to make sure I know how to see all the information for a particular property.
  2. I am considering a "Hot Rate" hotel, $43/night, for January 17-24, 2015 with these amenities: 3* Orlando/Universal Orlando I-Drive North Free Parking Fitness Center Self Service Laundry Free Internet Pool(s) Resort Restaurant(s) Smoke Free Rooms Business Center Also says it is "70% recommended" and has a resort fee of "about $0.00" which seems like an odd way of saying there is no resort fee. Any guesses?
  3. I wasn't too happy with the PRICELINE EXPRESS deals currently on offer. So, I utilized a 5%-off coupon they sent me (expiring tonight) and won the following Name Your Own Price deal instead: Bid $32.00 for 2.5* Universal Orlando Resort Area - Intl. Drive North, 5 nights (Jan. 26-31, 2014) Waited a loooooooong time with Bill Shatner staring at me....finally got a strange message about the search taking longer than expected and please wait 15 minutes or some such, which I've never seen before. I assume tons of people were slamming the site at once. Anyhoo, after doing a 'check status,' I found that I had been upgraded to the 3* Four Points by Sheraton Orlando Studio City! Even with the $10.00 nightly "facilities fee" they charge , it is still a very good deal. Free parking, free internet, and according to mousesavers, some rooms even have views of Universal. Looking forward to it. Below are the details. As always, thanks for all your help. Offer Price: avg. per room, per night $32.00 Rooms: 1 Nights: 5 Room Subtotal: $160.00 Taxes & Fees: $30.10 Priceline Hotel Coupon: -$8.00 Congratulations! Your 5% coupon successfully applied! Total Charged to Card: $182.10
  4. Hmm, I thought I saw it again when re-doing the same search a moment ago, but upon selecting it all I got was "Pricing and inventory changes often and the deal you selected is no longer available." D'oh. Anyway, at least I remembered to use the PRICELINE link both times. :)
  5. I do not know the Maingate West area that well and was wondering what property this 2.5* Priceline Express might be -- "$33/night for Jan. 26-31, 2014 Additional mandatory fee: $19.75 [i take that to mean $3.95 nightly resort fee] Free Breakfast Free Internet in room Outdoor Swimming Pool Free Parking Restaurant Guest Score: rated 7.0/10" Thanks for your help!
  6. As of 14 December 2013, Expedia reports that the resort fee at the Wyndham Orlando Resort is $15.95 per night (!). Ouch. I believe this is the "Wyndham" listed under the Universal-I Drive North header.
  7. Yellowdog was spot on: this was indeed the Extended Stay Deluxe Lake Buena Vista. It gets a good rating in the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. I am quite pleased. Here are the details: Price: avg. per room, per night $39.00 Rooms: 1 Bed Type: Deluxe Studio 2 Queen Beds Sleeper Sofa Kitchen Dining And Work Area Nights: 5 Room Subtotal: $195.00 Taxes & Fees: $34.95 Priceline Hotel Coupon: -$9.75 Congratulations! Your 5% coupon applied! Total Charged to Card: $220.20 I did use the board's link to PRICELINE Express, but I've forgotten how to reproduce that link correctly in this post. Sorry about that.
  8. Hmm, you're right, now the Universal zone listing has vanished. These listings are more dynamic than I thought. I will need to mull this over a bit more; my last visit to an Extended Stay was not so great, though I believe the LBV location is better than average. I will remember to post the final outcome here, whether it involves PRICELINE, booking direct, cancellation, etc. Thanks for your help.
  9. Yes, I just took another look and the same listing is offered. When I click on it, the "Review Important Information" section on the info page references a mandatory $3.00 fee. That sounds low for a resort fee -- maybe some kind of energy surcharge or something. While I'm here, could I also inquire about another listing for a 2* in Downtown Disney/Lake Buena Vista with the following amenities (same dates, $39/night): Free breakfast, internet and parking Indoor or outdoor pool Pets allowed Fitness center "Guest Favorite 8.0" Deluxe Studio 2 Queen Beds Sleeper Sofa/Kitchen Dining and Work Area And I did click on the links.
  10. I have never used the PRICELINE EXPRESS side of the service and was wondering which hotel this might be -- Free internet and parking Indoor or outdoor pool Restaurant Airport Shuttle Business Center Fitness Center Bed Choice Available $37 per night Check-in 8/18/13; check-out 8/23/13 Thanks for any input!
  11. PRICELINE emailed me $7.00 per night bonus cash early this morning. I bid $33.00 for a total offer price of $40.00 and got the LaQuinta, which I thought was most likely. I stayed there once before and it was quite good: free parking, free internet, free breakfast, and no resort fee. Used the board's PRICELINE link. Room Cost (avg. per room, per night): $33.00 [plus $7.00 bonus cash] Number of Rooms: 1 Number of Guests Per Room: 2 Number of Nights: 1 Room Subtotal: $33.00 Taxes and Fees: $13.25 Total Charged to Card: $46.25
  12. It will be interesting to see if this results in any significant reform. Some of these cockamamie 'resort fees' are getting totally out of hand, approaching $20 or $25 per night at some Orlando hotels for example. It has forced me to limit my Priceline bidding to those zones where (so far as I can tell) there is a minimum of resort fee-charging hotels. It's one thing if you really are a resort-category accommodation, which in Orlando would be places like the Grand Cypress, Omni Resort at ChampionsGate and the like. But come on: Econo-Lodge is a 'resort'?? The fees have trickled down to accommodations that obviously have very few, if not zero resort offerings. I would very much like to see this practice stopped. Then again, I'm still amazed that the airlines got away with their nonsensical 'baggage fees', so I am not optimistic.
  13. I was trying for the Hyatt Place or the Four Points Sheraton with a bid of $43 plus $7 Cyber Monday "Bonus Cash." My board research indicated that some bidders had won these hotels around this bid level. However, I got the Holiday Inn Maingate/Universal instead. This is actually a very good lodging that I've used before: no parking fee, no resort fee, high-speed internet included, fridge in room, and walking distance to Universal. I suspect that I'll need to come up to the 50s or 60s in future bidding to have a real chance at the more premium lodgings. (Avoiding MLK Jr. Day weekend would probably help, too.) I did use the PRICELINE link. Bonus cash: $7.00 Offer price: $43.00 Rooms: 1 Nights: 5 Room subtotal: $215.00 Taxes & fees: $43.00 Total: $258.00
  14. I agree with this assessment. Resort and parking fees have burned me up for a while now, but they aren't going anywhere. You can still get a pretty good deal with PRICELINE even if you happen to win a hotel with fees. I try to stick with zones that have a relatively low number of such properties, going by the list in this thread, and it usually works out pretty well. The really colossal resort/parking fees are limited (for now! heh) to high-end properties that I would not bid on directly -- keeping in mind that PRICELINE can upgrade you as many star levels as they wish.
  15. I have one more update for the Rosen Plaza. When I stayed there last month (June 24-29), the front desk guy advised me upon check-in that he would "reduce" the self parking fee to $7.00/night. The fee is clearly posted at the main entrance drive as $13.00/night, so this was quite a deal. Of course I cannot say how often this reduction is offered, but if you should win the Rosen Plaza for your next Orlando visit, keep your fingers crossed!