Most Walt Disney World visitors know that there is far more to this vacation destination than just theme parks. Walt Disney World hotels offer world class dining locations, plenty of fun activities and some expert theming that will delight those who venture beyond the theme parks, whether or not they are actually staying at the resorts or not!
September brings a number of updates to the various hotels around Walt Disney World, including confirmation of a long-rumored hotel expansion project and a new pricing model for the popular Minnie Vans transportation option!
1. Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort to add new tower in 2020
After years of rumors it was finally confirmed this week that the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort will be expanding with a new 14-story, 349-room hotel tower. This new building will be constructed next to the Swan Hotel on the space currently occupied by the hotel's tennis courts.
In addition to the nearly 350 new guest rooms added by this project, this new tower will also have more than 21,000 square feet of meeting space, a 75-seat restaurant, a full-service heath club with private changing rooms, a 90-foot long outdoor pool and an elevated deck with a fire pit.
Construction has not yet started but this new location is tentatively scheduled to open in 2020. The complex is also currently undergoing renovations bringing updates to all areas of the resorts (including the Swan lobby), and the addition of this new tower should help bring the entire resort into the new decade!
Work is expected to get underway on this massive new project in just a few weeks.
2. Minnie Vans to drop flat-fee pricing model
Walt Disney World's Minnie Van service, which allows guests to access point-to-point transportation anywhere in the resort is set to move to a new distance-based pricing model this week that is more in line with the pricing currently used by Lyft (which contracts with Disney to run the Minnie Vans service)
Currently, guests can use the Lyft app to request a Minnie Van to travel to and from any location at Walt Disney World for $25 per trip per vehicle, but that is expected to change in the coming days, with guests paying less for shorter trips (like from Disney's Coronado Springs Resort to Disney's Animal Kingdom, for instance) and potentially more for longer trips.
In addition to the pricing change, Minnie Vans will also be expanding their availability to non-Disney owned hotels along Buena Vista Drive in the Disney Springs area as well as those in Flamingo Crossings.