Sunday, January 21, 2018

3 Recent Changes at Walt Disney World


1.  Dog-Friendly Resorts

WDW is currently allowing guests with dogs (two per room) to stay in select rooms at four resorts.
  1. Art of Animation
  2. Port Orleans
  3. Yacht Club
  4. Fort Wilderness Cabins
Be forewarned that dog-friendly rooms only apply to reservations through October 15, 2018.  This is very much considered a pilot program right now.  For guests with allergies or those concerned with this change, Disney has stated that only certain rooms and/or sections of these resorts will be dog-friendly.  In addition, dogs are only allowed in very specific common areas.  For example, you will not find dogs at the pool or in restaurants.

When this test program was announced in the fall, there was an incredible amount of backlash.  Disney fans were outraged at the thought of dogs on property at Disney resorts.  The general consensus is that Disney was not expecting this type of reaction and will most likely make major changes after the pilot program ends.

2.  "Room Occupied" Replaces "Do Not Disturb"

Disney resorts are replacing Do Not Disturb signs with those stating Room Occupied.  The following is noted on the signs: "staff reserve the right to enter your room for any purposes including, but not limited to maintenance and repairs, or checking on the safety and security of guests and property."  It appears that either housekeeping or maintenance will enter each resort room once a day.  This has currently been rolled out at the three monorail resorts - Polynesian, Grand Floridian and Contemporary.

Why the change?  Disney will not say exactly but many believe this is related to the tragic Las Vegas shooting.

3.  Purchase of Additional FastPasses

Starting last week, guests staying in club-level rooms with at least three day park tickets (or annual passes) are able to purchase two additional FastPasses per day.  The two additional FP cost $50 per day per person and can be booked 90 days in advance.  If you are staying on Disney property, FP can be booked 60 days in advance.  

It will be interesting to see how this affects the pool of available FastPasses.  There is a concern that hard-to-get FP will fill up faster than ever now.  Others argue that not many guests will take advantage of this and availability will remain static.  If you're a family of four with four day park tickets and you decide to purchase these two additional FP per day, your cost will be $800.  Perhaps guests will only purchase additional FP for certain days of their stay and we won't see much change in availability.



Bree at Clarity Defined said...

I was one of the ones that wasn't pleased to see that Disney was allowing dogs, though I didn't say anything anywhere. I spend hundreds of dollars a year on allergy shots to make being around dogs bearable, but that doesn't mean I want to end up around dogs more than I need to be. That said, I'd just avoid ever staying at the resorts that allow them if it remains. Personally, I can't imagine *wanting* to take my dog to Disney (they still can't go into the park).

I didn't know about the other two changes... interesting. I imagine your guess for the "room occupied" switch it probably right.

Anonymous said...

We stayed at AofA the week before Christmas and got an email about the dogs pilot program but we didn't see or hear a dog the entire time. For people who are allergic to dogs I can see this being a huge problem as simply cleaning the room when one leaves, isn't necessarily sufficient. I'll admit I was a little annoyed at the thought of hearing dogs bark but we didn't see any except service dogs- there were a lot of service dogs and I don't know that I've noticed that on prior vacations.

Anonymous said...

I would be willing to guess that the upgraded FP+ will be required to apply to all days of your ticket. ie, if you buy a 5 day ticket, you can not add the park hopping option to only 2 of those days, you'd have to add it to all of the days. I imagine the same will be required for the additional FP's.

Sarah said...

It looks like you can purchase a minimum of 3 days of additional FP+. And the days do not have to be consecutive.

Sarah said...

Adding. So many of you have 5 days of park tickets, you can buy additional FP for 3,4 or 5 of those days.