Though the great price hike (and subsequent switch to variable pricing) of 2016 is now behind us, Disney isn’t quite done making changes to pricing around the resort. This week Disney announced price hikes for one of their most popular add-ons and credible rumors circulated about a new fee that will probably be levied on resort guests in the next few months. Although the trend is for prices to go up, at least one special event is actually seeing a price reduction, albeit for only a select few guests.
If you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World any time in the near future, here are all the rumored and confirmed price changes that are happening all across the resort right now.
1. Walt Disney World considering adding resort fee to on-property stays
Though surveys aren’t exactly gospel when it comes to price changes, they have been a useful tool in the past when it comes to predicting what Disney will do next. For instance, back in 2015 a survey went out that mentioned variable pricing and asked guests how they would feel about Disney Introducing a tiered-based system to determine prices. Fast-forward to 2016 and a system almost identical to the one originally mentioned in the survey has indeed been implemented at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort.
With that in mind, it seems newsworthy to report that another survey has gone out, and this one seems to imply that Disney is considering adding a nightly “resort fee” to on-property hotel stays. In the survey, Disney says that this fee would “include” amenities like MagicBands, Disney’s Magical Express, priority FastPass+ planning (60 days before arrival), parking at the hotel and Wi-Fi around the resort.
Of course, anyone who has ever stayed at a Walt Disney World hotel knows that these are all things that are currently complimentary across the resort. Assessing a $15 fee for these previously included features would definitely be a controversial move, and its unclear if guests trying to stay on budget would have a way to “opt-out” of these amenities to avoid this fee.
It might be worth mentioning that many other hotels charge a resort fee for various amenities (including the Swan & Dolphin, which charges guests a $22 resort fee), and these add-on expenses are almost never optional. Though Disney has certainly bucked the trend of resort fees in the past, many guests have assumed that they have opted not to add these charges previously because their room rate is much higher than the average for central Florida. So while adding a resort fee might bring the Walt Disney World resort in line with policies in place at other hotels, it's not exactly comparable, as this fee will only make Walt Disney World's already exorbitant room rates even pricier and make guests pay for something that has previously been free.
We’ll keep this newest development tagged as a rumor for now, but as mentioned previously Disney surveys have been a very reliable way to predict pricing changes in the past, and we wouldn’t be surprised if news of a mandatory resort fee breaks in the next few months as Disney continues to raise prices around the resort.