Home Disney World Is Disney about to begin charging a “Resort Fee?

Is Disney about to begin charging a “Resort Fee?

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Is Disney about to charge a Resort Fee?

I love to travel, but I despise “resort fees.”  You find a hotel you like at a price you find agreeable, then you get to the final check out to find they charge you an extra $15 or $20 per day you weren’t expecting.  A recent Disney survey suggests that Disney is toying with this idea.

In a recent guest survey, many were questioned concerning Disney moving into the lucrative cash flow known as “resort fees.”  Here’s a sample question from the survey:

A standard room in a deluxe resort such as Disney’s BoardWalk Inn or Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort with an average nightly rate of $350

Includes:

  • Unparalleled Guest service
  • Close proximity to theme parks
  • Transportation to and from the parks
  • Online check-in

A resort fee of $15 per night would be assessed which includes:

  • Disney’s Magical Express
  • MagicBands
  • Priority Disney Fastpass+ planning up to 60 days prior to arrival
  • Resort entertainment and children’s activities
  • Wi-Fi
  • Extra Magic Hours
  • Parking at the resort and theme parks

It’s an exact, word-for-word, copy of the main question.  Note that they are asking for a flat fee, not $15 per item.  I’m sure it would be proposed to you as reducing the actual cost per night or something, but the reality is they are asking you if you are willing to pay them an extra $15 per night to receive the same benefits you are currently receiving in your regular room rate (which is already considerably higher than any other in the area).

The survey in demonstration above would go on to ask if you use social media or blogging and, if you answer yes, you get bounced mysteriously out of the survey.  I would presume it’s because they don’t want any more of the survey to appear on sites like this.

I’ve always enjoyed the fact that I can see the real cost of my stay in a Disney resort live, and not have to find the hidden fees like Loewes Universal resorts, who charge $20 per night for parking.  I understand when booking a Disney vacation that all that stuff was already rolled into the cost of the room.  All the recent increases like an extra $2 or $3 for cheeseburger, various manhour cuts and now this leave me scratching my head lately.  Disney isn’t broke, they are still making billions, they just need more cash to pay for Shanghai and you’re left paying for it.  What will happen if Chinese guests don’t support the park like Euro Disney experienced for decades?

If Disney implements this extra fee, it would provide at least an extra $375,000-400,000 per day in cash flow from 30,000 Disney World hotel rooms alone, assuming the room rates remain the same.  I wouldn’t mind an extra $140 million in my stocking this Christmas.

So, how would you answer this survey question? 




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34 COMMENTS

  1. We have already started staying off property in a condo. It is not worth it to pay so much for a room that you are rarely in. We are a family of 5 so the cheapest room we can get is Port Orleans and with a discount that is usually around 230.00! We paid a fortune only to have long waits on really crowded buses.Walt is rolling over in his grave for sure! Middle class people like me can hardly afford it and now it is getting more and more ridiculous. We are a Disney family with minnie and mickeys on the back of our van, but if they don’t stop raising prices we will have to look elsewhere for a vacation. Disney better watch out, they are making a lot of people really mad. Look at Easter week this year, no extra EMHs! I think if they go through with a resort fee, that will be the last straw for many people. I think Disney thinks they are invincible. We will see!

  2. How do we start a petition to stop this ridiculousness or where can we post our feelings about this? Disney needs to know! I guess because they are losing so much money on the overseas location, they want to recoup their losses from us. Everyone reading this – let’s email Guest Services and let them know we don’t want these fees. Hopefully, they will pass them on to the Corporate bigwigs who are considering this.

  3. Perhaps Disney is considering this because of the tax implications and not a greed issue. Okay, so aside from Disney increasing prices every time someone sneezes, Room rates are taxed. They then have to draw from that pool of money the amount needed to pay for items that are tax-deductible on their end. The winner here is the state of Florida as they make money off of items that otherwise should not have been taxed.

    Now, to make this transition go better what Disney needs to do is reduce room prices by $15 as they add the fee – but we know Disney’s calculators do not have a minus sign.

  4. Disney is milking their cash cows (Us) dry.Mr. Iger and friends need to learn to manage the money that they already get instead of holding us upside down to shake the last nickel out of our pockets. Sinking a fortune into a likely financial disaster in China and making up the deficit by gouging their American customers will result in Americans taking their discretionary dollars elsewhere. I have relatives who are complete Disney addicts but are going to Universal and the beach for their FL vacation this Summer.

  5. No way we would pay a resort fee at WDW, we already have had to face ticket price increases and bigger crowds,May be enough to make us try other vacation spots.

  6. Disney seems to believe that they are so wonderful that they can get away with anything. I always stay in the “value” resorts because I don’t want to pay a lot for what to me is a bed and a shower. I run the numbers, for my last trip (January) the price of a similar room off Disney, plus the 20$ fee to park, was the same as staying in the Pop Century, so I stayed on Disney. Add a 15$ resort fee, the math changes. I always have a car because Disney transportation sucks.

    I agree that Disney is becoming too expensive for middle class families, and the experience is not as enjoyable as it used to be. I hate the my magic plus app because I don’t want to schedule every minute of my day when I am on vacation. All the dining reservations are gone months before you get there. Fastpass+ is idiotic, Fastpasses are gone months before you get there. They are turning the whole experience into a very expensive rat race.

    I have been to Disney about 30 times over the last 30 years. (both World and Land) my last trip was easily my least enjoyable. I don’t know what is going on at Disney, but the parks were dirty, cast members unhappy, and service wasn’t as good as in the past.

    My wife and I were so disappointed with our Disney World vacation, that we extended our vacation by a few days, checked into a off Disney hotel, and went to Universal for a few days. We had a better time at Universal. (Universal Orlando is not quite as good as Universal Hollywood though)

    I think that it will be many years before we consider Disney World again. I don’t need to be “strip mined” for every nickel in my pocket while I get a less enjoyable experience.

  7. I wonder if this will be something that is excluded for DVC members or will include them also. I do know we are going towards the end of April. Staying at DVC resort booked through RCI. If this is something they change soon and try to tack that on our bill I will not be paying it. Not this trip! Then we will take all into consideration if we book Orlando again in the future. I do know if I were a current DVC member and this became a ‘requirement’ I would be irate!!

  8. Really not the value it once was. Our favourite place for over 12 years. However with all the changes they have been doing, all the construction all over the place, then added the to price of things. It just might be time to move on, to a different vacation place.

  9. I believe we would just have to stay at cheaper resorts, instead of at Poly or CR. We are a family of 5 so we would probably stay at Art of Animation.
    Plus soon we will be bringing a fiancé with us!

  10. I, too, am really upset to hear Disney is thinking of going this route. The fact that all of these items are included in the resort room rates makes me feel that it’s worthwhile to stay on property. But this type of sneaky underhanded fee, which I think is similar to all the extra fees the airlines charge for every little thing, is something I thought was beneath Disney. Come on, Disney! Rise above it!

  11. i thought they have been chargen a resort fee already thats going to make alot of people mad,this year we are staying off site in a condo with own pool way cheaper todo

  12. Disappointing! I won’t go as far as to say we would stay offsite but it would likely affect the length of our stay. Dropping 1 night would negate a good amount of the fee even staying value as we do.

  13. This makes me mad! Raise the price of the room? Fine. That helps me to make an informed decision. Tack on a “surprise” resort fee? No thank you. I’m not paying a surprise fee for the benefits already included in the exorbitant room cost!!

  14. Resort fees always annoy me. If you want me to pay more, then be upfront about it and charge more for the room. Fees tacked on at checkout make it more difficult to compare prices, but I still do. Also, when you include something for “free” (yes, I know it is in the room price) with your room that you don’t use it does not bother me, but if you charge me a separate resort fee for items I don’t use these is much more irritating. I currently stay on property because I can justify the higher room costs based on these included services. If I have to start paying for them and this results in higher costs overall, then it will become more likely that I stay off property. I also find it irritating that my season pass includes theme park parking, and they would be double charging for parking if they also include it in the resort fee.

  15. I live a few hours from Disney Paris and yet would choose to go to WDW because of all of the other benefits being in Florida has (for us who have dreary year round UK weather!) but this is getting ridiculous. Never yet stayed on site but had been planning to next time we can (afford to) go but this would be a deal breaker. I travelled in 2012 and again in 2014 and noticed between those 2 trips significantly greater crowds and poorer CM interactions/service and assumed it was a coincidence but I’m now beginning to wonder.

  16. Yet another cash grab by Disney. I love, love, love Disney, however, the decisions they have been making lately has tainted that adoration. In fact, for my 40th which I honestly thought I would spend there, we have chosen to cruise (not Disney). Disney used to be about the magic for me, however it is losing the magic in my mind, and becoming all about the money. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s a business and they are there to make money, but not unnecessarily and not at my expense!

  17. This is utterly ridiculous and irresponsible on the part of Disney Management! Walt would surely turn over in his grave to see his park, now out of the reach of many middle class families become even more so if this increase is added to the already high prices one pays to stay inside the park. I have been to Disney World over 45 times and have a visit coming up in April, however, I will not be staying in the park this time and will be using some of my “unexpired” tickets. However, this may be the last time I visit as everything I’m reading indicates that many rides/attractions are closed and cast members/characters are being reduced along with show availability. Without a dining plan, which was originally an option for the higher priced packages has now become a “forced” option because prices increased 2 to 3 fold after this plan was started and eating at the park is now very expensive for the average family. The idea of adding “parking” fees if one wants to park at a resort to dine or use the shops, or even to see or be involved in different activities/entertainment is also a blow if enacted. Money, money, money … that’s the bottom line at Disney regardless of value given – the last time I was at Magic Kingdom (2 years ago) I waited for over 90 minutes in Ariel’s Grotto in the heat with no announcements telling us why the line was not moving – no cast members either to assist us … finally, after arriving at the ride, a cast member informed us (not over a microphone) that the ride was experiencing “technical difficulties.” Parents with small children wanted to know WHY no announcements were made – the cast member walked away – we were then seated on the ride and it stopped again – nightmare! Outside, the sign indicated a 45 minute wait – everyone exiting told the people in line to forget the ride as they would waste almost 2 hours for nothing! To get anywhere on the park transportation, it now takes forever as you can’t get there from here!
    I hate to be so negative to someone who has never been to a Disney park, however, there are now other options for an “all inclusive” vacation option for your family which cost much less and do not hold you captive with ever increasing prices! The latest ticket price increase on park hopper passes was approximately $25-30 … that’s quite an increase especially with all the closures and construction going on and the “tired” feel of many of the older attractions. While Disney Springs sounds inviting, everything I’m hearing from friends who live in Orlando as well as friends who have just visited the park, it takes forever to get there by Disney transportation and if you drive, parking is hard to find. Maybe the addition of parking decks 2 & 3 will alleviate that problem?
    The prospect of tier-pricing for the multi-day passes will certainly be the straw that broke the camel’s back! Disney is trying to follow the airlines with their price gouging strategies and we all know what’s happened to the airline industry … is this what’s in store for Disney, I think so!!

  18. I’m staying off property if they do this. It already costs a fortune to go to Disney and they keep taking things away. We are a family of 6 so we are limited already as to where we can stay but each week it’s something new. An increase here, a decrease in cast members. I almost wish they would see a decrease in guests so they can truly see how they are screwing up! People can’t afford to go anymore. Wasn’t Walt’s vision was to have a place where families could go and spend time together? In 1971 it cost $3.50/day to visit, 1990 was $31 and 2000 was only $46. They really have gotten greedy and lost sight of things. Shame on Disney!

  19. If I have to pay a resort fee, I might as well stay offsite and pay for daily parking. I hope the number crunchers do the math and compare total package vacations to offsite options. Walt would be heartbroken to know that the average American family is getting priced right out of the World!

  20. We would vacation elsewhere or stay offsite more if they implemented a resort fee. The resorts are already overpriced for the area and we justify paying to stay onsite because of the MBs, FP+, EMH, bus service…etc. If they are going to charge us extra for those things, it’s not worth it anymore.

  21. I’m already paying a premium for the items listed and being on property. I’ve justified (to myself) staying on property because of free parking at the parks, but this fee would negate that benefit.

    We could save about $500 (plus food savings) by staying off property and this would be another $100 for the “convenience.” We wouldn’t be priced out of a WDW hotel, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

  22. This is absolute nonsense. It makes me angry. They screwed up in Shanghai, and we get stuck helping them foot the bill? Later Disney. I’ll take my money elsewhere.

  23. A separate resort fee is ridiculous. All these price increases will hurt Disney in the long run. Just wait until the next recession. Disneys hotel/theme park attendance as well as their over-inflated DVC prices will fall like a rock. The economic is cyclical. Every 5-10 years there’s a recession. The next one is not too far away. This is part of the reason Disneys stock had been taking a hit. Investors know that these price increases are unsustainable and will ultimately hurt demand and attendance long term. I would not be surprised if they did this. Next will be a fee to use the rest rooms at the parks.

  24. I’d answer it no. Disney resort rates, which are higher than other surrounding hotels, already include the cost of these “features” and have since they opened. My husband and I, and I’m sure others, pay the higher nightly costs so we can enjoy things like transportation, wristbands, and the feeling we’re still at Disney when we go to sleep. However, if we’re having to pay a resort fee, it makes no sense to have to pay that higher nightly cost.

    In my opinion Disney is seeing just how far they can push people into spending more money but getting the same if not less amount of product/entertainment in return. Really hating that it’s all because of a new park that the majority of U.S. citizens will never get to enjoy.

  25. This makes me really upset. I only recently visited Disney for the first time but I still read you blogs and many other sites dreaming about going again some day. But things like this will probably make it really hard for my family to go again. I feel like every time I turn around it costs more. Thank goodness we got one trip in last year. It may literally have been the trip of a lifetime.

  26. If they start charging a resort fee it will be the last time i will stay with disney! The bonus of getting the free parking at both hotels and the parks will be gone and the queues for the busses can be long and slow so not a perk in my eyes having to wait 20 minutes on average for a crammed over full bus during busy times

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