Home » Staying at a Walt Disney World Hotel Soon? Here are the Changes You Need to Know About!

Staying at a Walt Disney World Hotel Soon? Here are the Changes You Need to Know About!

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!

April brings a number of updates to the various hotels around Walt Disney World, including a new fee being charged to hotel guests, a further expansion of FastPass+ perks for specific hotel guests, plus a rumored Beauty and the Beast bar is reportedly replacing a Grand Floridian favorite sometime in the near future! 

1. New handling fee being charged for deliveries to Disney hotel rooms

 christiantlambert, Flickr (license)

Image: christiantlambert, Flickr (license)

This month it was announced that Walt Disney World Resort hotels would begin charging a service fee for direct room deliveries of packages and groceries, (the latter of which was a service that was formerly free). Under the new policy, effective immediately, guests will now be charged a $6 flat fee for direct to room deliveries of any kind. Pickup at the lobby continues to be complimentary. 

2. Game Station Arcade returning to Contemporary Resort 

It was confirmed this month that the Game Station Arcade will reopen at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, which had been closed for several months will be reopening now that the limited time The Pixar Play Zone has ended at the resort, and will not be replaced. Operating hours for the arcade are 8:00 AM to 11:30 PM daily.

3. Mizner’s Lounge rumored to be turning in to Beauty and the Beast-themed bar. 

Image: Disney

Mizner’s Lounge at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort is going to be expanded during an extended refurbishment that kicked off this week. To make room for this growing area, Commander Porter’s is now closed, and merchandise from this location has been moved to Summer Lace on the ground floor. During the closure of Mizner’s, a temporary lounge will be set up by the Garden View Tea Room, with the The Grand Floridian Orchestra performing here during this time.

This expansion project is expected to be completed later this fall and rumors are circulating that when this location re-opens, it will have a Beauty and the Beast theme, with a style inspired by the 2017 live action film. Of course nothing has been confirmed yet, but if true, we’d expect to hear something about this development in the coming months. 

4. Disney Springs hotel perks confirmed to be sticking around next year

Image: Disney

Last year Disney made the unexpected move of expanding the extended 60-day FastPass+ booking window to include properties near Disney Springs on Hotel Plaza Boulevard and the surrounding Good Neighbor hotels. Though these hotels are not Disney-owned, they have enjoyed some perks in the past, including Extra Magic Hours and special character experiences, and the addition of the extra FastPass+ booking windows was certainly a welcome new perk for guests staying at these budget-friendly locations. And now it has been officially confirmed that all guests staying at the seven Disney Springs hotels (as well as the Four Seasons will be able to continue to enjoy this extra FastPass+ booking window perk, as well as Extra Magic Hours until the end of 2020. 

In case you need a refresher, these are the hotels that qualify for these extended benefits:

  • Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort
  • B Resort & Spa
  • Best Western Lake Buena Vista
  • DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando – Disney Springs Area
  • Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace
  • Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
  • Holiday Inn Orlando – Disney Springs Area
  • Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista

5. Mermaid School now available for select hotel guests

Disneyland mermaids

Image via Viewliner Ltd.

Select hotels at Walt Disney World are now offering a special “Mermaid School” experience where guests can wear a mermaid tail and learn how to swim with it. This experience is available for guests ages 4 and older in this hour-long class, which is available at Disney’s Art of Animation ResortDisney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. Cost for this experience is $50/person (plus tax)