Resorts

Average Nightly Rates for Disney's Gran Destino Tower

Walt Disney World’s newest hotel, Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is set to open on July 9, 2019. Reservations for Gran Destino are now available online, through your travel agent, or by calling 407-W-Disney. To book a room at the Gran Destino Tower online, look under Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.


In addition to several room categories, including Club Level and suites, Gran Destino Tower will also house a restaurant: Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood. According to Disney it will feature beautiful views of Walt Disney World Resort and offer a lounge with indoor and outdoor seating.


Average Nightly Room Rates for Disney’s Gran Destino Tower:


Tower - Standard View $255

Tower - Water View $312

Tower - Standard View - King Bed $324

Tower - Water View - King Bed $334

Tower - Standard View Club Access $363

Tower - Executive Suite - Club Access $632

Tower - One Bedroom Suite - Club Access $1073

Tower - Presidential Suite - Club Access $1503


Most rooms sleep up to 4 adults with 2 queen beds. King bed rooms sleep 2 adults. The Executive Suite and 1-Bedroom suites both sleep 4 adults. The Presidential Suite sleeps up to 6 adults.


Related:

Disney’s Newest Hotel Resembles Aladdin Las Vegas

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort Brochure

Disney's Newest Hotel Lacks Imagination

Disney’s Gran Destino Tower resembles the now defunct, Aladdin Hotel and Casino is Las Vegas.

Disney’s Gran Destino Tower resembles the now defunct, Aladdin Hotel and Casino is Las Vegas.

Disney has recently announced that bookings for the new Gran Destino Tower will become available on November 27, 2019. The resort officially opens in July 2019, but no work yet on an exact date.

I’ve been writing about Disney for over a decade and have always been impressed with Disney’s projects. But I can’t help but think this hotel lacks true Disney imagination. Is it just me or does Gran Destino Tower look like the defunct Aladdin Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas? At the very least, it looks like a Holiday Inn. Is this the best Disney Imagineers could do?

I think Disney is known for building amazing and unique hotels. Think about Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Polynesian refurbishment, and even Art of Animation. These resorts represent the Disney Difference, truly unique hotels with over-the-top attention to detail, especially in regards to time and place.

So what happened with Gran Destino Tower?

Details on Disney's Riviera Resort Coming to Walt Disney World

Disney's Riviera Resort | Walt Disney World

Details on Disney's Riviera Resort Coming to Walt Disney World ©Disney

Disney’s Riviera Resort is projected to open Fall 2019. As you can see from this newly released rendering, Disney Vacation Club Members and other Guests will have a great view of fireworks spectaculars and easy access to the Disney Skyliner, which will have a station at the resort.

No word on a completion date but stay tuned! Disney’s Riviera Resort is not yet fully registered or available for sale.

by Darren Wittko

Disney Skyliner Opening Date

Walt Disney World Skyliner

Walt Disney World Skyliner

Previously I shared that the new Disney Skyliner gondola system will be operating at the Walt Disney World Resort in the coming year. We now know that it will begin service in the fall of 2019.

The Disney Skyliner will offer a new way to experience Walt Disney World Resort with unique views only available from the sky.

Disney’s new Skyliner system will connect Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot to four resort hotels-

  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort

  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

  • Disney’s Riviera Resort.

By Darren Wittko


Big News for Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

Big news for Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort this week! All 1,800 rooms have now been fully updated with new fixtures, furnishings and lighting.

If you’ve ever stayed at Coronado Springs you know it’s a long walk from many of the rooms to the main lobby. Disney announced that new walkways will stretch across the lake will help shorten the trip. Plus a new restaurant is in the works and will be situated on an island in the middle of the lake!

The new tower, to be completed sometime in July 2019, will serve as the new main entrance at Disney’s Coronado Springs resort, and will add 545 Guest rooms and 50 suites, as well as feature a two-story lobby.

A second themed table-service restaurant is also planned for Coronado, this one at the top of Gran Destino Tower, which will offer views of the Walt Disney World Resort.

Finally the Disney Skyliner will be operational sometime in the Fall of 2019.

You’ll be able to book the Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort soon, according to Disney. Stay tuned.

by Darren Wittko

September 2019 Walt Disney World Offer Update

Disney's Beach Club Resort

Disney's Beach Club Resort

SEPTEMBER 14 - SEPTEMBER 27, 2019

Magical Vacations Travel - Offer ESEP19 - Disney's Pop Century Resort, Disney's Port Orleans Resort French Quarter, Disney's Port Orleans Resort Riverside (Standard View and 5th Sleeper), Disney's Polynesian Village Resort (Standard View and Garden View Club Level), Disney's Beach Club Resort, Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort

>> View All Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Offers

New Character Dinner Coming to Disney's Wilderness Lodge

b90ea565-a598-401d-a2fd-81a2a3c88e75.jpg

Storybook Dining at Artist Point inside Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort will invite guests to venture into an Enchanted Forest-like setting inspired by Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” There, you’ll enjoy a delicious meal of fantastic fare with visits from Snow White, Dopey and Grumpy. Delightful music and activities will help bring the classic fairytale to life, and they’ll even have an opportunity for an encounter with The Queen.

This immersive character dinner takes place amidst the rustic elegance and exceptional dining that Artist Point is known for. You'll enjoy a uniquely themed prix fixe menu, including shared starters, a choice of individual plated entrees and ‘sweet spells’ to finish the meal.

I'll have more information to share soon, including menu offerings, an opening date and when you can book reservations as well as where Guests might be able to find select fan-favorite Artist Point menu items in the future.

Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White is slated to begin this winter.

Darren W. specializes in Walt Disney World Resort travel.

Big News From Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort

Recently Walt Disney Imagineering shared some details about new dining options coming to Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort. 

Old Port Royale nearly complete and the former Shutters Restaurant will reopen in an all-new location as Sebastian’s Bistro. I am really looking forward to this as Shutters was one of my least favorite restaurants in all of Walt Disney World. 

Sebastian’s Bistro will feature scenic views and a menu that blends Latin and Caribbean flavors from market-fresh ingredients. Decor and theme will be based on a tropical beachfront home. 

Sebastian’s Bistro at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort | Walt Disney World Resort

Sebastian’s Bistro at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort | Walt Disney World Resort

Centertown Market will be expanded to create an indoor street market vibe. The market will feature open shutters, wooden light posts, awnings, ornamentation and unique seating areas. Guests will also have access to the Grab n’ Go market for specialty coffee and quick bites.

Centertown Market at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort - Walt Disney World Resort

Centertown Market at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort - Walt Disney World Resort

If you're looking for a great offer on Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, be sure to check out the Offers Page. You can enjoy special rates Oct 3-7 2018 and Nov 13-23 2018.

Darren Specializes in Walt Disney World Resort Travel

Disney World Offer Alert: March, April 2019

New Walt Disney World Agency Exclusive Offers posted today

New Walt Disney World Agency Exclusive Offers posted today

Today I'm happy to share with you that two new Walt Disney World offers have been posted to SaveAtWDW.com from Magical Vacations Travel.

March 4 - 12, 2019 - Disney's Pop Century Resort, Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter, Disney's Port Orleans Riverside, Disney's Beach Club, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort. 

April 13 - 28, 2019 - Disney's Pop Century Resort. More hotels may be added so be sure to keep checking the Resort Offers page. Also, you can follow updates on Facebook, Twitter and Google+

To view all available offers for Walt Disney World, check out the Offers Page

Darren specializes in travel to Walt Disney World Resort

Select Disney World Hotels will Remain Pet Friendly

I love animals so when I shared with you that some of the Walt Disney World hotels would allow pets, I didn't think twice about it. But then I began hearing from my clients who had raised concerns that I had not thought of. Some even asked to change hotels. Fortunately I was able to address each concern by working directly with Disney. And I have not heard one complaint or negative experience since the program started.

Dog Friendly Hotels at Walt Disney World

Today Disney announced that they are going to continue with this program and allow pets. In my experience, I have learned a few things that are worth pointing out regarding pet friendly rooms at Walt Disney World: 

  • Rooms that accommodate pets are designated "pet rooms" and are not typically offered to guests without pets. 
  • Disney performs a thorough cleaning of the room after a pet checks out.
  • All pets must be registered at the front desk and no more than 2 pets per room are allowed (more on this below).
  • Rooms that allow pets are confined to one particular area of the resort
  • All dogs must be on a leash - no exceptions. 
  • Disney has a very strict policy regarding animal behavior. Unofficially speaking, I've been told that if Disney receives a complaint about an animal, the pet's owner will likely be asked to board their pet at Best Friends Pet Care or Disney will assist the guest in finding another hotel. This includes excessive barking and aggressive behavior.  I've been told there are no second chances given once a complaint reaches the front desk. 

When a guest registers his/her pet with the front desk they will receive notification of the pet policies they must adhere to. These include reminders about proper care and behavior, as well as the need for the dog to remain on a leash at all times while in public spaces. Guests must be able to provide documentation that their dog’s vaccinations and inoculations are up to date, upon request.

Pet Friendly Hotels at Walt Disney World

  • Disney’s Art of Animation ResortDisney’s
  • Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
  • Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
  • Disney's Yacht Club Resort

For more information on Pet Friendly hotels at Walt Disney World, call (407) 934-7639

Related:

Darren W specializes in Walt Disney World Resort

Benefits of Staying Club Level at Walt Disney World

Club Level Lounge at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort | Walt Disney World

Club Level Lounge at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort | Walt Disney World

Staying Club level can actually have a lot of value even though it costs more. The added benefits are designed to save you time while offering you some VIP treatment. Perhaps the biggest benefit to staying Club Level at Walt Disney World Resort is access to the hotel lounge. But a new benefit has recently been added that allows you to purchase additional FastPass selections making a Club Level stay even more valuable. 

Club Level Instead of the Dining Plan?

If you typically purchase the Disney Dining Plan, you may wish to compare the cost of staying Club Level without it. Having access to the lounge is a terrific benefit and for many, the continental breakfast, snacks and beverages (including unlimited beer and wine) may supplement many of your meals. If you have a larger family, in particular, you can actually save money just by having access to the lounge and forgoing the Disney Dining Plan. 

Lounge Access

You can start your day with a continental breakfast, hot coffee and fresh juice. Breakfast offerings typically include pastries, yogurt, cereals, granola, bagels, oatmeal and fruit. It's a great way to get your day started and can really be a savings compared to dining at a restaurant every day. During the daytime, snacks are provided in the lounge that usually include Gold Fish crackers, cookies, candy, pretzels and beverages like beer, wine, soda and water. Evening service includes a buffet of light appetisers, usually from one of the featured restaurants at the hotel. Once again a wide array of beverages are available. For late-evening you'll find an assortment of desserts and beverages. 

Sometimes Disney will schedule private events like a wine and cheese tasting - all included with your stay. 

Additional FastPass Selections

Earlier this year I shared with you that additional FastPass selections can be made when staying Club Level. When staying Club Level you'll have the option of purchasing a FastPass Premium Option where each member of your party will get to select three additional FastPasses 90-days in advance for a total of six FastPasses per day. I anticipate this being especially valuable once Star Wars comes online over at Disney's Hollywood Studios. 

The cost for the Premium FastPass Option is $50 per day/per person. 

Read more about the benefits of staying Club Level here. 

Darren W specializes in Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Refurbishments

Resort-Wide: Children's Activity Centers

Children's Activity Centers - Closing Permanently 
July 31, 2018 will be the last day of operation for the Children's Activity Centers. Kid's Nite Out will remain available for Guests looking for a child or babysitter service.


Disney's All Star Movies

Rooms Refurbishment - Through Early 2019
During this time, it is possible that Guests may see or hear construction, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9:00am. All resort amenities including dining and merchandise locations will remain in full operation

Disney Skyliner Resort Transportation

Disney Skyliner Resort Transportation

Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Disney Skyliner - Until further notice
Disney has embarked on creating a new transportation system, Disney Skyliner, which will give Guests a bird's-eye view of Walt Disney World Resort while traveling via gondolas. During this time construction noise may be seen or heard throughout the resort, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9am.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas

Jambo House - Rooms Refurbishment - Mid-August 2018 - Fall 2019
During this room refurbishment, it is possible that Guests may see or hear construction, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9:00am.

Jambo House - Uzima Feature Pool - September 2018 - Early December 2018
Uzima Springs Pool and Uzima Springs Pool Bar are scheduled to be closed for refurbishment. During this time Samawati Springs Pool and Maji Pool Bar at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village will be available. Brief rides via shuttle transportation will be provided to and from Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House. During this time, it is possible that Guests may see or hear construction, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9:00am.

Jambo House - Payment Policy Pilot - February 12, 2018 - TBD
Beginning February 12, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House will participate in a pilot where transactions will be handled with convenient, cash-free options. All purchases and services at the resort will accept MagicBands, credit cards, debit cards, Disney Gift Cards, Disney Rewards Redemption Cards and contactless payments such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay.

Disney's Boardwalk Resort

FriendShip Boat Service to Disney's Hollywood Studios - May 7, 2018 – Mid-Summer 2018
Refurbishment work is taking place on the bridge near the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels. As a result, there will be no FriendShip boat service to or from Disney's Hollywood Studios. Service to and from Epcot and Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts will not be interrupted. Additional Disney bus transportation will be operating to and from both Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot during this time. The pedestrian walkway across the bridge will remain open.

Disney Skyliner - Until further notice
We have embarked on creating a new transportation system, Disney Skyliner, which will give Guests a bird's-eye view of Walt Disney World Resort while traveling via gondolas. During this time construction noise may be seen or heard throughout the resort, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9am.

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort

Disney's Riviera Resort is being built inside the Caribbean Beach complex and will be added to the Disney Skyliner. 

Disney's Riviera Resort is being built inside the Caribbean Beach complex and will be added to the Disney Skyliner. 

Old Port Royale Food Court, Shutters Restaurant, the pool bar, arcade and gift shop are unavailable. 

There will be a variety of dining options available for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  • Centertown, a dining location, will serve an all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet for breakfast and dinner, and a la carte options for lunch.
  • A selection of grab-and-go meals will be conveniently available for purchase throughout the day in three new island markets, located in the Aruba, Jamaica and Martinique regions of the Resort.
  • Additional a la carte offerings will be available at mobile food vending locations.
  • In-room dining will remain available. The menu includes pizza, sandwiches and pasta.
  • Disney dining plans will be accepted.
  • We will make every effort to assist with dietary needs.

The pools will remain available. Also recreation activities and entertainment will remain available.

During this time, multiple construction projects will be seen and heard throughout the resort, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9:00am.

Additional information is available in this 2017 Disney Parks Blog post.

Disney Skyliner - Until further notice
We have embarked on creating a new transportation system, Disney Skyliner, which will give Guests a bird's-eye view of Walt Disney World Resort while traveling via gondolas. During this time, multiple construction projects will be seen and heard throughout the resort, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9:00am.

 

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

Construction of a new 15-story tower is underway at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

Construction of a new 15-story tower is underway at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

Pepper Market - Now through Summer 2019
During this time, the quick-service restaurant, Pepper Market, will undergo minor refurbishment work, but will remain in operation. If Guests would like to experience one of the other dining locations, they can visit Maya Grill, Las Ventanas, Café Rix, Laguna Bar, Siestas Cantina and the newly reimagined space, Rix Sports Bar & Grill, featuring a variety of sandwiches, salads and refreshing beverages. All amenities will remain in operation, including the Dig Site pool area, La Vida Health Club, Salon & Spa and the Iguana Arcade.

The Dig Site (including Feature Pool) - September – Mid-December 2018
The Dig Site, home to The Lost City of Cibola Pool, volleyball court, playground, Iguana Arcade and Siestas Cantina, will be closed for refurbishment. While this work takes place, our other exceptional amenities, including three leisure pools, dining and merchandise locations, La Vida Health Club, Salon & Spa and recreation activities, including Movies Under the Stars and Campfires with Marshmallows, will remain available.

General Construction/Rooms Refurbishment - Ongoing until further notice
During this time, amenities including dining locations (such as the newly reimagined Rix Sports Bar and Grill) and merchandise locations, pools, La Vida Health Club with the spa and salon, and recreation activities such as beach volleyball, Iguana Arcade, Movies Under the Stars and more, will remain available. Please note that noise will be heard while our Resort is undergoing refurbishments, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms prior to 9:00am daily.

Additional information is available in this 2017 Disney Parks Blog post.

Disney's Old Key West Resort

Room Refurbishments - Through Spring 2019
Guests may see or hear work in progress and certain pathways may be unavailable. During this time, the Resort will be in full operation with all amenities available including dining and merchandise locations, pools, and recreation activities. It is possible that construction may be seen or heard, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9:00 am.

Turtle Pond Leisure Pool April - Early July 2018
Turtle Pond Pool, Turtle Shack Snack Bar and Flying Fish Gameroom will be unavailable due to refurbishment. During this time, it is possible that Guests may see construction. In addition, Sandcastle Pool, featuring a waterslide, kiddie pool and a variety of dining and recreation locations, will be available.

Disney's Pop Century Resort

Room Refurbishments - Through Summer 2018
During this time, Guests may see or hear work in progress and certain pathways may be unavailable. To minimize disruptions, we will attempt to limit all work until after 9:00 a.m. daily.

Disney Skyliner Ongoing until further notice
We have embarked on creating a new transportation system, Disney Skyliner, which will give Guests a bird's-eye view of Walt Disney World Resort while traveling via gondolas. During this time construction noise may be seen or heard throughout the resort, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9am.

Disney's Port Orleans Resort Riverside

Leisure Pool Refurbishment - July 2018 through Fall 2018
One of the Alligator Bayou leisure pools will be closed for refurbishment, but the feature pool, Ol' Man Island, and four other leisure pools will be available. During this time, it is possible that Guests may see or hear construction, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9:00am. All dining and merchandise locations will remain in full operation.

A newly refurbished room at Disney's Pop Century Resort

A newly refurbished room at Disney's Pop Century Resort

Room Refurbishments - July 2018 through Early 2019
During this room refurbishment, it is possible that Guests may see or hear construction, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9:00am. All dining and merchandise locations will remain in full operation.

Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

The Turf Club Bar & Grill – Kitchen Refurbishment - Late July - Early August

Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Hotels

FriendShip Boat Service to Disney's Hollywood Studios - May 7, 2018 – Mid-Summer 2018
Refurbishment work is taking place on the bridge near the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels. As a result, there will be no FriendShip boat service to or from Disney's Hollywood Studios during this time. Service to and from Epcot and Disney's BoardWalk Resort will not be interrupted, with the exception of May 14 – May 25, 2018, during which time the FriendShip boat dock at these hotels will also be undergoing refurbishment work. Additional Disney bus transportation will be operating to and from both Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot during this time. The pedestrian walkway across the bridge will remain open.

FriendShip Boat Service - May 14 – May 25, 2018
Refurbishment work is taking place on the FriendShip boat dock. As a result, FriendShip Boat Service to and from the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels will be unavailable during this time. Additional Disney bus transportation will be operating to and from both Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot during this time.

Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resorts

FriendShip Boat Service to Disney's Hollywood Studios - May 7, 2018 – Mid-Summer 2018
Refurbishment work is taking place on the bridge near the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels. As a result, there will be no FriendShip boat service to or from Disney's Hollywood Studios. Service to and from Epcot and Disney's BoardWalk Resort will not be interrupted. Additional Disney bus transportation will be operating to and from both Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot during this time. The pedestrian walkway across the bridge will remain open.

Disney Hints at Star Wars Hotel Location

Families visiting the new Star Wars-inspired hotel coming to Walt Disney World Resort will board a starship alive with characters and stories that unfold during their voyage through the galaxy – and every window has a view of space. 

Families visiting the new Star Wars-inspired hotel coming to Walt Disney World Resort will board a starship alive with characters and stories that unfold during their voyage through the galaxy – and every window has a view of space. 

Disney has not yet announced where the new Star Wars hotel will be located other than it’s “under development.” We know that it is going to be somewhere near World Drive and on the south side of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We also know that Disney plans to build it near Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to “allow the experience to be seamlessly connected.”

Disney Star Wars Hotel concept

Disney Star Wars Hotel concept

The Star Wars hotel will be different from other Disney resorts in that families will board a starship that will take them to their destination. While onboard, Star Wars characters will appear, stories will unfold for them, and views outside the “windows” will have views of space. 

Disney Star Wars Hotel concept

Disney Star Wars Hotel concept

Guests who plan a multi-night stay can participate as a resident of the Galaxy and even dress in Star Wars traditional garb. 

Stay tuned for more information. 

Darren W specializes in Walt Disney World Resort

Four Seasons Walt Disney World Now Has Extra Magic Hours Access

four-seasons-orlando

Through Dec. 31, 2018, Guests at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World, with a valid theme park ticket, can take advantage of Extra Magic Hours benefit as each day, one of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks opens early or extends later for Guests to enjoy select attractions.

Guests staying at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort are also able participate in the following through Dec 31, 2018

  • Disney's Magical Express
  • Disney FastPass+
  • Disney Dining Plans

Darren specializes in Disney Destinations

 

Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Parking Rates 2018

disney-hotel-parking-rates

Earlier today I shared with you that there will be a fee to park overnight at Walt Disney World Resort hotels. I have been in contact with Disney and was given the following rates: 

Nightly Parking Rates for Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

Disney Value Resorts: $13 per night
Disney Moderate Resorts: $19 per night
Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $24 per night

Disney Vacation Club:
Members will not be charged for standard overnight self-parking when staying at a DVC Deluxe Villa, regardless of whether they use vacation points or another form of payment. Members also will not be charged to park when using vacation points to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel.


Guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort hotels will now have to pay a nightly parking fee. Effective for reservations made March 21, 2018, and thereafter, standard overnight self-parking will no longer be free. The parking fee will be applied to the guest's hotel folio upon check-out. 

Related: Disney Imposes Nightly Parking Fee at Resort Hotels

Darren specializes in Disney Destinations

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Going Cashless

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House

Beginning Feb. 12, 2018, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House will participate in a pilot where transactions will be handled with cash-free options. 

All purchases and services at the resort will ONLY accept MagicBands, credit cards, debit cards, Disney Gift Cards, Disney Rewards Redemption Cards and contactless payments such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay.

Check out current offers for Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Darren specializes in Disney Destinations

 

 

Policy Change for Disney World Resort Hotels

Photos courtesy: @Fireworks_Fairy/Twitter

Starting this week, a new policy is being rolled out across Walt Disney World Resort hotels regarding "Do Not Disturb" signs and room checks by housekeeping staff. 

This new policy requires housekeeping to enter a room once per day. Also, "Do Not Disturb" signs will be replaced with "Room Occupied" signs. This comes in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre where the gunman displayed a "Do Not Disturb" sign on his hotel room door for several days as he prepared for the shooting. 

This policy is currently being introduced at the Magic Kingdom Area resort hotels first. 

Personally, I seldom had a "Do Not Disturb" sign in my room, or if I did display it on my door, some other guest would inevitably take it as a souvenir. The problem is, these new "Room Occupied" signs will make even better souvenirs. 

Darren specializes in Disney Destinations

New Benefits Extended to Disney Springs Area Resorts

Disney Springs Resort Area hotels now eligible for some new package benefits

Disney Springs Resort Area hotels now eligible for some new package benefits

Beginning January 1, 2018, Guests staying at one of the Disney Springs Resort Area hotels, which are designated Official WALT DISNEY WORLD hotels will be able to participate in Extra Magic Hours.

Scheduled to begin Jan. 10, 2018, Guests who book a Walt Disney Travel Company package staying at one of the Disney Springs Resort Area hotels, which are designated Official WALT DISNEY WORLD hotels and who have booked a Walt Disney Travel Company package, will be able to link their hotel reservation on My Disney Experience and can utilize a 60-day booking window for FastPass+ selections.

The Disney Spring Resort Area hotels include: 

Darren Wittko specializes in Disney Destinations

 

 

Inside Look: The New Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort

Disney_Caribbean_Beach_Resort_2018

The Disney Parks Blog released concept art for the enhancements currently underway at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort

Old Port Royale

The former Old Port Royale will now become the lobby which makes more sense being that it's centrally located within the property. Additionally, it will offer more convenient access to resort amenities and dining, including an all-new Centertown Market for casual eats, an all-new Shutters restaurant offering waterfront dining adjacent to the new Banana Cabana outdoor bar and lounge, and Calypso Trading Post for shopping.

Centertown Market

Centertown Market will be expanded and enclosed, creating a single quick-service restaurant with an indoor street market vibe. Guests will enter the space under a large palapa-like structure, accented with glowing colored light pendants made from glass bottles. The market will feature open shutters, wooden light posts, awnings, ornamentation and unique seating areas. Guests will also have access to the Grab n’ Go market for a specialty coffee and quick bites.

Shutters Restaurant

Shutters, the resort's table-service restaurant, will now be located on the waterfront of Old Port Royale. Leaves and floral design motifs will fill the space, celebrating the natural beauty of the Caribbean. No word yet on the menu but this restaurant typically scored very low in ratings so hopefully Disney will make improvements here.

Banana Cabana

Banana Cabana will be a new poolside bar at Caribbean Beach. Cabana-style drapes will flank seating areas and re-purposed steel drums will illuminate a central communal table made from a wooden boat.

On a personal note I'm so happy to see these changes. Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort was in desperate need of enhancements. It's one of Disney World's most popular hotels as the crossover resorts with a narrow gap between rates for Value Resorts and the Moderate resorts.

by Darren Wittko, Specializing in Disney Destinations