Disney World Room Upgrades, Special Requests & Tips

Disney Grand Floridian Resort and Spa Room Tips

Photo Credit: Pixie Vacations

 

Disney World Room Requests, Upgrades, and Tips for Deluxe Resorts

I worked at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa for many years at the front desk, bell services and as a convention coordinator. In those years I learned a great deal about the Disney way of providing excellent customer service day in and day out.

I want to share some Disney World resort tips with you that hopefully will help you on your next Disney Vacation.

How to possibly get a Disney room upgrade – When booking your Grand Floridian Resort stay, make sure you leave comments on your reservation.  Actually this goes for all Walt Disney World Resort hotels, not just the Grand Floridian. Your travel agent can have these comments added for you when they book your vacation. What you want to note on your Disney reservation file is anything special. So if you are having a birthday, anniversary, honeymoon, staying with another party, etc., have these noted on your Disney reservation.

How to get the Disney World Room I want – Again your first step should be to ask your Authorized Disney Vacation Planner Travel Agent to make comments on your reservation. These are “requests” they are NOT guarantees that you will get connecting or adjoining rooms, or a certain room number, etc.

I also worked Room Assignment at Walt Disney World. This is a difficult job and done in each Disney hotel back office, not at CRO (Disney’s Central Reservation Office) where your initial reservation was made. Let me explain how the Disney Reservation process works a little so you understand what the process is.

Your Disney World vacation booking starts at CRO and is in the CRO system or comes in as a Disney Vacation Package. The key point is that the actual Disney World Resort, like the Grand Floridian, has no record of your reservation until it is transferred to the Disney resort itself. That happens either 3 or 4 days out. Sorry I forget the exact number of days out the specific Disney Resort gets the reservation in their hotel Lilo Reservation System.

As a Disney Room Assigner my task was to pre-book rooms for upcoming guests that would be arriving at the Grand Floridian Resort in the next 3-4 days. It’s not an easy task. It’s kind of like a massive puzzle, which at the Grand Floridian was around 900 rooms. Other Disney resorts have thousands of rooms with turns that can be very little or 50% of the hotel could turn over in just one day.

Grand Floridian Resort

Why are the comments on your Disney reservation important? Because one of the things I looked at as a Disney room assigner was these comments on your reservation. With a yellow highlighter in hand I would highlight requests on a massive print out. What would I look for? Special Occasions, Birthdays, Celebrations, Honeymoons, Traveling With X Family, Adjoining Room and Connecting Room Requests.

I said earlier this is like a big puzzle and this is why. The hotel occupancy is constantly going up and down. It could be 80% occupied or 100% occupied on your vacation dates. People have checked into rooms a day or even a week before your vacation and they have the same type requests. So the hotel room assigner is constantly looking for rooms that connect, adjoin, or fit a special request. The number of these rooms that fit the exact guest request are limited and also if you have booked, for example, a Garden View Room and your friend you are traveling with has booked a Magic Kingdom view room, you are not going to get a connecting room. Certain room categories do not match up or have limited numbers. Also someone may have had the same request on their reservation and could have checked in two days earlier. Add to this that sometimes a room or rooms could go out of service for a maintenance issue.

Check In Early – If the hotel is full or your room category request has limited numbers of matching rooms, check in early. Your room(s) probably will not be ready but when you check in early there is more availability for that day so your chances are better at getting something if it was not pre-booked already for you.

How do I get a room upgrade at Disney World? – Be nice and flexible at check in. – It seems obvious but being polite to the Cast Member at the front desk can help you. They want to honor your request but there are only so many rooms that match in this big puzzle and they may have been booked up by guests that had the same requests that checked in days before your vacation. The cast member may be able to room change you later in your stay if your request is not available.

Oversold Disney Room Categories – Sometimes a Garden View or other category room maybe oversold or not available for some reason. If you booked this category of room and it is not available the room assigner will move you up to another category that has rooms. This is one way you could get an upgrade to a room type that you did not book or pay for.

Go to Disney World on your Honeymoon – It’s not a guarantee, nothing is, but the person assigning rooms, IF they can’t fit you into your booked room category for some reason, might look at special occasions when looking for someone to bump up to a higher room category.  I know I would look for special occasions in the reservation comments and people like to do nice things for others.  This does not mean you will get upgraded on your Honeymoon, or that you should except an upgrade, but I am listing things that might help.

Don’t check in last, or do check in last – Your best bet is to check in early. There is never more room availability then early in the morning. Your room might not be checked out or clean but it will be an option for you when you do go up to your room. If the hotel is near occupancy then rooms are going quickly. So get there early and check in and enjoy your day in the parks while your room is getting ready.

Your other chance for a BIG upgrade is to check in last, but this is not something I would recommend. On a rare occasion, a Disney Resort might be oversold. This can happen a variety of ways, say some rooms have an unexpected maintenance issue for example. If the Disney resort you are staying at is oversold the front desk will start offering guest other options at check in. If you are staying at the Grand Floridian it’s kind of difficult to upgrade you if the hotel is oversold. In that case they might over another Disney Deluxe resort for your vacation and possibly some nice extra. I don’t want to speak to what Disney will exactly do, but in a hotel oversold situation hotels will offer something. Exceeding customer expectations in Disney’s motto and what Disney prides itself on, so they want to make sure you have a fantastic vacation. Now if you are staying at a Disney Value Resort and they are oversold you might get offered a Disney Moderate or higher level resort for the same dates. That’s pretty nice! Now again, this maybe happened once or twice a year when I worked at the Grand Floridian and it was amazing that no matter what extras I was authorized to offer guests to move to another Disney Deluxe Resort, 99% of the guest would turn them down. So what happens is those guests that check in at 11 PM or later, when every last room is full, get to see the manager at check in. But back then it made for a nice vacation for those last few guest that checked in during a sold out situation.

An Important note about Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort – I want to make sure you know how the Grand Floridian Resort is setup. The Main Building is the one you have seen on TV or in a Disney brochure. It has the large Victorian styled lobby, a band that plays at night, shops, restaurants and the monorail stop. This building houses concierge’s rooms only. If you did not book a concierge room you will be at one of the outside lodge buildings behind the main building. Also Sugar Loft, one of the lodge buildings, houses concierge rooms.

Grand Floridian Resort Rooms

What is the difference between a standard room and a dormer room? – You have seen the small peeks on the classic hotel roof design (see photo).  These are dormer rooms.  The dormer rooms are a bit smaller than the standard rooms, but seem larger, with the beautiful vaulted ceilings. Standard rooms accommodate five people, while dormer rooms sleep four. Grand Floridian Dormer rooms are also the only rooms to feature a small private balcony. Standard rooms have balconies, but they are more open.

What is a Grand Floridian lodge tower room? – The lodge tower rooms are located in the semicircular protrusions you can see on the outside of some of the buildings, see photo above. This circular area is a nice separate sitting area.

A Final Note:

Don’t bank on an upgrade – If you don’t get an upgrade or your exact request, don’t let this impact your Disney Vacation. You are at Walt Disney World. Let me say that again… You are at Walt Disney World, go explore, see your kid’s smile when they see Mickey Mouse for the first time or when they ride Dumbo. Enjoy it and have a magical vacation.

Got a Disney World Room Upgrade?

Did you get a room upgrade at Walt Disney World, or have a Disney Resort tip to share?  We would love to hear about it.  Please post a comment below.

Author: Steve Griswold

Steve Griswold - You can follow Steve Griswold and "The Real Life Griswold Family" here on Mouse Chat - a Weekly Disney Podcast covering everything from Disney World, Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line. Also follow the Griswold Road Trips - Disney Edition show at: www.GriswoldFamilyVacations.com and on Twitter and Instagram @GriswoldVac Media Contact: Steve Griswold Phone: 678-815-1584 Email: Steve@MouseChat.net

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80 Comments

  1. Hi Steve, thanks for this article! I’m currently looking for the best standard room to get at Coronado Springs. Do you know how online check in factors in to room assignments? When I made the reservation on the phone, the CM noted that I wanted a water view. During online check in, I was given the choice of Ranchos vs. Cabanas, ground floor or upper, or near the elevators. Is all that factored in? Location or a water view would be best for me I guess. Thanks!

    Post a Reply
    • Hey Angela, I do not know how Online check in factors into room assignment, but I would assume all reservation comments, either made as an online check in preference or with Disney, or with a travel agent will show up on your reservation. I personally like the front desk one on one with the cast member and feel that it gives me more time to work with them if I need to request something at check in so I don’t personally use online check in very often. I do know people love it and it can save you time at the front desk. Have a great Disney Vacation.

      Post a Reply
    • We got a lovely upgrade at the Grand Floridian on our first family vacation to Disney. It was a wonderful treat! We were upgrade to the Sugar Loaf house which had the concierge service. My husband did ask very politely and we had arrived before noon so I guess we lucked out. We were so happy. We are heading back to the Grand Floridian and hoping that we are lucky again, but won’t be disappointed if we end up in a standard room. We are just looking forward to visiting Mickey :) Can’t wait!!

      Post a Reply
      • Wow Claudia,

        That’s great! Glad you got to enjoy Sugar Loaf at the Grand Floridian. Let me know how how your next Grand Floridian stay goes. Have a great time. – Steve

        Post a Reply
  2. Hi Steve- my family was booked for garden rooms at the grand floridian back in 2008 and were upgraded to a 2 bedroom suite. We told them we were celebrating my parent’s wedding anniversary so I wonder if that was the reason. It was the best vacation ever and smart on Disney’s part because we always stay club level now at the GF!! Thank you and to the GF staff for making our vacation magical!

    Post a Reply
    • Wow that’s awesome Jennifer! I still know a bunch of the cast members at the Grand Floridian but left to move to Atlanta a while back. We get to still experience Disney World, Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line, now as guests :) And we also started Pixie Vacations so we get to help guests with Disney vacations. It’s been great because we get to still experience Disney 24/7.

      Post a Reply
  3. Steve,
    thanks for this. Most especially for the last comment. I book the room I can afford (in some case BARELY ). That’s what I pay for and ALL I expect. In 5 trips we got upgraded once at the WL to a bunk bed room after I asked. I hated asking was very embarrassed to do so but she was soo nice about it. On our next trip we paid for Garden view at YC and we are just so happy to be going there :)

    Post a Reply
  4. Hi Steve,
    Great article. My wife & I just had this discussion last night. We’re staying at the Yacht Club in 2 weeks w/ our 3 children. It’s our 1st time in a deluxe resort & 2nd trip to Disney. We’re celebrating 20 years together. But she didn’t want to make a big deal of it. After reading this we’ll make a comment on our reservations and see what happens! Thanks again.

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  5. Hi, great article! We are trying to book the Floridian online but it’s saying they are full. Is there anyway to work around this or a cancellation list?

    Post a Reply
  6. Hi Steve,
    Love the 1st hand info and found this very helpful. My husband and I are staying at the Grand Floridian this coming Sept 2-9th and booked a garden view room to save a little money. This will be our first ever trip to Disney World and we are celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary. I already booked and payed for everything online and didn’t have a chance to note what we were celebrating. Is there a way to add it on? I heard you could fax in requests or notes days before you arrive? is that still the case? Or should we call beforehand? Thank you : )

    Post a Reply
    • Hi, Ann,

      It sounds like you booked online at the Disney site. If so then call Disney and have them add the notes.
      Just make sure you have your reservation number when you call.
      If you booked with a travel agent, call them and they will take care of it for you.

      Have a wonderful time at the Grand Floridian

      Post a Reply
  7. We traveled to WDW in late Nov. early Dec. in ’11 just after we retired, booking a steeply discounted room at AKL. We made sure our special event was duly noted on our reservation. When I asked for an upgrade, the desk clerk apologized and explained that since our room was booked at a 35% discount, no further offer was possible. But when we arrived in our room, expecting a garden view, we were delighted to discover a balcony with a partial savannah view. We had a blast.

    Post a Reply
  8. Steve, what about uk guests. We planned to book through disney packages website – can you make requests on there or are we best calling and making a reservation directly?

    Post a Reply
    • Hmm, if you can’t talk to a travel agent or someone directly and can only use the website, I would call the resort itself five days before arrival. Call the front desk and ask them to note your request.

      Post a Reply
  9. Thanks for the info. I saw your post before seeing your last name. Lol. Griswold vacations are the best!

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  10. We went to disney world for our honeymoon in July 09. We made reservations for a garden view at grand Floridian. When I made dinner reservations they asked if we were celebrating and I said honeymoon. When we pulled up to the grand Floridian on the magical express we were beyond excited to be in disney and a woman asked for us and said please follow me we have a surprise for you. Umm what!? We followed her up to concierge level and got checked in. Beyond magical. Disney went out of their way to make it special.

    Post a Reply
  11. How often does it happen that a family would get upgraded to the concierge level of a Disney resort?

    Post a Reply
    • It really depends Shawn. It’s kind of like the airlines at times too. So if the hotel is sold out of standard rooms and has loads of better category rooms available they will then move you to a higher category.

      Post a Reply
  12. Hello Steve,

    This is my family’s first trip to Disney! So we are making this big, even deciding to go at Christmas. The requirements of this trip was for a 2-bedroom suite, which I was able to acquire on the Disney website in July.

    Being a novice, I had no idea what the outer building meant. We were hoping to have a view of Magic Kingdom on our first visit. Alas, according to Disney it is not. Any suggestions?

    I’m reading lots of negatives about the outer building and am having second thoughts about the expense if it is second rate to the main building. Any helpful hints??

    Post a Reply
    • Hi, Disney during Christmas is beautiful. But expect crazy crowds so make sure you go early, go late and book your Fastpasses.
      Yes almost all the rooms at the Grand Floridian are in the outer buildings. Depending on what room category you booked will determine basically what building / view you get. There are not loads and loads of Magic Kingdom views available so they are hard to come by. Most views are pool views, marina views, and lagoon views facing the Polynesian resort.

      If you did not book a Magic Kingdom view your best bet it be nice to the Front desk at check in, but the room availability during that time of the year is going to be really really limited so those views are probably already booked by other guests.

      The main building has concierge rooms only at the Grand Floridian. They are nice, but not within my budget, but for many people they are a perfect fit for them.
      No matter what, you will have a great time. I might do things to avoid crowds a little, like maybe a wishes fireworks cruise, and other little personal extras to avoid those long holiday ride lines.

      Again get to the parks early to get on some rides before everyone shows up at 10 AM. Book your fastpasses now. Be prepared for long lines. Book some nice dining and tour the resorts to see all the great decorations.

      Have a blast
      Steve

      Post a Reply
  13. Hi, thank you for this useful article.
    We will be staying at the GF as a family of 5. It is my mother first trip to Disney and she saw the GF in our pictures (from dining there)… So we booked a standard garden view room. We were wondering whether we should request groud floor or not? What do you recommend and why? Thanks!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Flavie,

      Oh Wow that is great!!! You are going to have an amazing time at the Grand Florian.
      If you request a Grand Floridian Garden View room on the ground level you get to avoid the elevators of course. But each Grand Floridian Lodge Building has two elevators and there is really never any waiting for groups of people using them. So I like to be a little ways up. Either way it will be great.

      Have a fantastic time at Walt Disney World.
      Steve

      Post a Reply
  14. Hey Steve
    Firstly, all of this information is fantastic and very helpful, however I have a coulple questions that you met be able to help with.
    My partner and I are going to disney world for our honeymoon later this year from Australia, we are booking through DVC , to stay at the Wilderness Lodge, do you know if they will let the resort know it’s our honeymoon or should we find a way to contact them and let them know?
    Secondly, I see people talk about asking for upgrades or such, I of course would never want to be rude or expect anything but is there a way to ask or do you just say excuse me and please and smile lots and see what happens?
    We are already so excited about this trip whether we get any extras or not.
    Thanks for your time, kind regards
    Ben

    Post a Reply
    • Hi, Ben,

      I just returned from Australia a few days ago. I love it over there, but I am not so much a fan of the flight time. So with DVC I would have them note it on the reservation at DVC, but you could also contact the hotel front desk directly between 1-3 days before your arrival. The thing with DVC is you really get the room you purchased with points. I have never been upgraded with DVC, but I have a friend that got upgraded twice. But they were upgraded only because the room they booked was not available for a maintenance or booking error reason and they had no other option but to move them to give them a room. So I am not real sure an upgrade is even possible. Please let me know what happens and if anyone reading this article has been upgrade while using DVC points, please share your experience here.

      Have a great anniversary,
      Steve

      Post a Reply
  15. Steve
    Headed to Grand Floridian for a Convention this year (1st week of Nov) but still want to request a Magic Kingdom View room ? What are my chances ? Is there a different process for Convention Guests?

    Thanks.

    Post a Reply
    • Hey Jeff,

      If you are with a group contact your group coordinator. They will be the ones from your company or convention setting up the rooms with the Disney Groups department at the Grand Floridian. They will have a block of rooms for your group. The challenge is going to be that I don’t know of many groups that book the higher end view rooms. Say your groups is really big and wants a majority of a building or floor, then your groups would have some different room types to choose from. Also if people are in those rooms and checking out the day you are checking in, then you might have to wait until 3 PM or so to get a specific room. You could also call the Grand Floridian 3 days prior to arrival and ask them if they can get you something nice in the group block.

      Have a great time.
      Steve

      Post a Reply
  16. Hi Steve-
    Our family is doing a big week long trip in just under a month to the Grand Floridian. For us, it is a big bucket list kind of splurge that we are all excited about. We are celebrating our daughters birthdays & our 15th anniversary and I’m going to start the online check in process, so I’ll include that in some notes. My question is it has an area to check 2 special requests, (ex: ground or upper floor,dormer, which building,etc) Since we booked garden level, I don’t want to waste a request on the Main Bldg. or Sugar Loaf. What buildings or floors do you recommend I ask for? Also, do you recommend any shopping services that deliver cases of water, snacks for the room, etc or is that frowned upon? Thanks for the insight. :)

    Post a Reply
    • Hey Johnny,

      So you want to do two things.. First have your travel agent or you, get a note on your reservation. You would do this at TWO different times. The first time is when you or your travel agent books with CRO. That’s when you tell the castmember about any special celebrations or requests like I want a high floor, etc.

      Also your travel agent or you should call the Disney Hotel Front Desk 5 days or less from your check in date. The Disney hotel reservations download from CRO to the individual Disney Hotels 5 days before check in. So if by chance the requests to told your travel agent or CRO got deleted then you are covered by calling the Disney Hotels Front Desk.

      Most of your garden views are in Building 5 if I remember correctly. It’s over by the marina. It’s not close but you can get most of the way there under cover if it’s raining for example. I like the upper floors for better views.

      For Grocery delivery to Disney World Resorts we like Garden Grocer. Garden Grocer has a reasonable – $14 delivery fee and $40 min order. Their price are about what you would pay at Publix and generally better than at Goodings. Except Milk is about 50% more than if you bought it at a grocery store. They will deliver your groceries to the Bell Services stand and they will refrigerate them for you and your Grand Floridian room has a frig.

      Have a great time at the Grand Floridian.

      Post a Reply
  17. Hi Steve,
    We are going to WDW for our first time ever. My husband and I and our 3 kids have never been. I want SO badly to stay at the grand Floridian…but we can’t really afford to stay in even a studio. I’m trying every way to find a deal that is affordable. I am tying through DVC to buy someone’s points or rental and it’s still very expensive. We are going the last week in April. Any advice?? Thanks. I want our first trip to be awesome, because I don’t know when we will ever get to go back!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi, Emily,

      Call Pixie Vacations. They have a Grand Floridian offer that’s amazing. I believe it’s in July for their Pixie Plus members only, but give them a call and you might be able to get on that July Grand Floridian vacation offer. 678-815-1584

      Post a Reply
  18. Steve we are taking my granddaughter back this year as a surprise trip celebrating her birthday. Last year while we were there she got an upper respiratory infection that turned into to pneumonia. It caused her not to be able to enjoy the last three days of the trip. We are booked at the Wilderness Lodge in a standard view room. What requests would work best for us there to get the best room possible? Thanks, I appreciate your advice.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Nina,

      I love the Wilderness Lodge but very rarely get to stay there for the night. The Wilderness Lodge pool just got redone and they just added a new kids water play area that looks really cool.
      I am not sure what the prime rooms are there but hopefully someone here can post a comment with their favorite spots to stay. Have a great time at Walt Disney World

      Steve

      Post a Reply
  19. I forgot to mention the trip is set for the second week of September through the NOJ week-end.

    Post a Reply
  20. Thanks for this article very helpful! I’m staying at saratoga springs in june, we booked a deluxe studio for 4 of us. How likely do you think it will be to get an upgrade to a one bedroom villa if we asked?

    Post a Reply
    • Sorry, For DVC an upgrade will only happen if they make a mistake and oversell your category.

      Post a Reply
  21. Hi

    We are going to WDW and staying at All Stars resort. We arrive on my birthday, the travel agent booking has put it on our details but what is the realistic likelihood of an upgrade when staying at the value resorts? We go mid Sept for two weeks.

    Thankyou :-)

    Post a Reply
    • At Disney’s All Star Resort they have at least two room categories. Standard and Preferred Rooms. They might have Pool View Rooms as a category also but I forget at the moment. So if you are in a Disney All Star Resort standard room you might get upgraded to a preferred Disney All Star room. The All Star Resort preferred room category are rooms that are closer to the main building. I am crossing my fingers for you.

      Have a great Disney World Vacation.

      Post a Reply
  22. We’ll have a great time regardless anyway. September can’t come quick enough for us!! We love WDW and this will be our 5th trip from the UK.

    Thanks very much :-)

    Post a Reply
    • I know. I am over Winter and can’t wait to get to Walt Disney World myself. Have fun at Disney World.

      Post a Reply
  23. Hi Steve – we stayed at the Polynesian in 2006 and got upgraded to concierge without even knowing it existed. We’re planning to go back next year and stay at the Boardwalk, but now we’re spoiled! Would it make any difference to the front desk cast member if the reservation were made over a year in advance? We are traveling during spring break 2016 and want to make the reservation ASAP. Thanks!

    Post a Reply
    • That’s AWESOME Kelly. I have seen the Concierge lounge at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort but have never stayed or have had the pleasure to experience it as a guest. The view for the Polynesian concierge lounge looked like it was perfect for the Magic Kingdom fireworks. Yes, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn also has some great concierge rooms. One of the Pixies at Pixie Vacations booked a standard room for a guest and that guest was upgraded to the main suite there. I happened to be at Disney World and the guest was a Mouse Chat fan and invited us over to see the suite. It was amazing. Formal dining room, media entertainment setup like a movie theater, kitchen, bar, balconies overlooking the lake, stunning! I would like to say booking with Pixie Vacations got them this amazing suite for free, but it really is a combination of things. Luck being a main factor. But you can always increase your odds but noting special occasions, having short reservations that fit into the open spots of room availability, having your agent call the Disney hotel 5 days out before check in to make sure the special occasion that was noted when you booked the reservation made it to the Disney hotel. Of course being nice at check in can help sometimes too, not slip them a $50 nice, that’s not allowed, just be pleasant. You can always ask too at check in, they probably will not have anything but there is always a chance they might have loads of open rooms available that night that fits perfectly with your travel schedule.

      Booking far in advance helps you lock in the Disney Resort you want and the best possible price. Also find a travel agency that specializes in Disney when you do this. Most will move you to the best Disney Vacation Offer so when you book a year out if a better offer comes out they will move you to that offer and keep everything else the same with your reservation. So only the price changes and saves you money, or you get some extras with the new offer, like maybe Disney Free Dining if that offer comes out.

      Let me know how your vacation is.
      Steve

      Also the 14 Garden Suites at the Boardwalk Inn are a little known secret. They share a private courtyard.

      Post a Reply
      • Thanks Steve! I just signed up for the Pixie Vacations newsletter. But now I’m torn between BWI and Beach Club. I’ve read that things can get kind of rowdy outside BWI at night. Since we are travelling during spring break, I think we should avoid that. But I think we’d love all the activity near the Boardwalk.

        So two questions – 1) If I book now at rack rate and a better offer comes out, does it actually lower the price of the amount I pay, or is the savings applied to something else (like a credit)? What if an offer comes up after I’ve paid in full? And 2)what are your thoughts just on BWI vs. Beach Club for a family with two 16 and 13 year old daughters? The rates are virtually the same, right? So that wouldn’t make a difference.

        When I spoke with my local agent regarding question 2, she said she was unfamiliar with both properties, but heard the pool at Beach Club was nice, so I’m thinking my local travel agency isn’t going to book this trip :(

        Post a Reply
        • Hey Kelly, I like Beach Club better, the pool is amazing, but check with a Pixie Vacations agent with your travel dates because I know pool renovation and room renovations are happening or maybe just happened at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, I forget the dates.

          Yes, the way it works is Pixie Vacations would move you to the best offer. So you would have the same reservation and room type, etc just at a lower price or with extras say if Free Dining came out.

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  24. Hi Steve- A tip I can offer that can get your a “curbside” or upgrade is to book a few extra nights when you are actually already there. Three years ago, we were staying at The Beach Club for 4 nights. At 11pm the night before we were slotted to leave, my husband said ” go see if we can book 2 more nights.” I went to the front desk and the Beach Club could not accommodate us, but we could choose from a list of many other hotels that could. The Grand Floridian was one of the choices. Since the Grand was significantly more expensive, we were given a room at for the same price as Standard at the BC. The next day, we had our bags transferred and went to brunch. After brunch we headed to to GF and checked in ( early-around noon)…we were told ” Oh! You got a curbside.” Then we were escorted into the Concierge elevator to a room right over Narcossie’s ( very high up forget what floor) with a full castle view and enormous balcony! We had 5 offererings of food a day in the concierge lobby, including alcohol. the music form the MK fireworks was piped into our balcony so we could listen to Jiminy Cricket in our pjs. It was fabulous. Now we are spoiled. Our next trip we will book only 3 nights, then do an add-on while we are there, taking our chances at what resort we get. It’s a risk but you really can’t go wrong no matter what deluxe you are placed at. We will be sure to book our airline tickets 2 days out as well so we do not have to pay for a change.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Meg, That’s really great and it sounds like you got Building 8 Boca Chia at the Grand Floridian maybe 4th floor. Or Building 7 at the very head (Hammer Head Rooms). Those both have rooms on the lagoon side with some great views.

      Steve

      Post a Reply
  25. Hi Steve, your post is great and I will be sure to ask for a room upgrade when we take our trip in May, but I was wondering about how the online check-in option with the My Disney Experience website affects the upgrade availability.
    We will be at the Beach Club in May, and I want to check in early but I do not need the room until later in the day and want to try for the best chance for a upgrade, thanks :)

    Post a Reply
    • Hi, Victoria,

      I always like to check in with a person so I have the opportunity to nicely ask for an upgrade.
      I have done both online check in and just regualar check in, both allow you to talk with a castmember, so I don’t think it matters.

      Post a Reply
  26. Hi! I’m planning my honeymoon, although it won’t be until 2017. I’ve never booked my own vacation, and I would like to have a nice room with a really great bathroom! I am not really sure which resorts to look at, and any help would be appreciated! Thank you so much!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi, Claire,

      Congratulations a little early. If you can afford to stay at a Disney World deluxe resort this might be the time to splurge, but if not don’t get caught up in having to stay at the perfect spot. You will have a great time with everything you can do at Walt Disney World and can plan some nice meals, maybe a fireworks cruise to see the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the water, and so much more.

      For deluxe resorts you have a bunch of amazing options at Disney World.
      Of course the Grand Floridian and the rooms were all recently redone at the Grand Floridian so they have a more modern elegant feel.
      The Beach Club resort is undergoing room rehabs so those rooms will be fresh and really nice by the time you travel and that pool is amazing.
      The Polynesian is about to wrap up a complete redo, it looks wonderful and would be a great option if you want a tropical feel.

      Let me know which resort you end up booking.
      Have a great honeymoon.
      Steve

      Post a Reply
  27. Steve, thank you so much for this info! Sadly my lady friend and I will not be able to afford the Grand Floridian. I wish, right? I do have a couple of questions. We’re going for our first trip EVER to WDW (and first trip out of the west coast.) Also it’ll be her birthday during the trip. But the main thing is, I am thinking of proposing to her during our dinner at CRT. I was told I should have a potential engagement noted in the account. What would you suggest? Thanks!

    Post a Reply
    • Wow, congratulations. I think we did a Mouse Chat show on engagement ideas, but I am not 100% sure. Anyway, I think this would be a great show topic for a future Mouse Chat show. I would definitely let the hotel and booking agent know about your engagement. I think it might need to be a definite engagement plan for the hotel and castmemebers to help out. They would be a little resistant to send maybe a bottle of wine to the room or flowers with a note not knowing if you were going to pop the question or not. We will put together a Mouse Chat show on fun engagement ideas at Disney that you can do for free or on the cheap. Of course you can do an elaborate engagement with Disney characters, etc by buying all sorts of special packages from Disney Weddings, but you can also ask for some castmemebers help at the resort, at a nice Disney signature Dining restaurant, or on Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom. Victoria and Alberts at the Grand Floridian also has a few nice options for engagement ring presentations that are actually pretty affordable and the food and service is amazing at Victoria and Alberts.

      I can’t wait to hear what you end up doing.
      Steve

      Post a Reply
  28. This is a great article from an insider. My family had requested to be near transportation with connecting rooms. When we arrived we had been upgraded to a river view at the far end of the resort. River view sounds great, but we didn’t want the view as much as we wanted to be near the bus stop. I was obviously disappointed and my husband asked the desk if there was anything closer to our request. I didn’t want to chance that maybe we would get something worse, so I politely said that we were fine where we were. The cast member, seeing my disappointment, went to work and found us perfect connecting rooms near the food court and the bus stop. We could not have asked for better. The key is to be polite and realize that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t and you have to be OK with either.

    Post a Reply
    • That’s Great Cindy. I love to hear when a castmemeber goes above and beyond to make the vacation that much better.

      Post a Reply
  29. HI Steve – Thank you for the great article! I’ll be staying at Beach Club Villas in January during MLK weekend- taking my two nephews for their first visit. (Had to book a Villa because one nephew is an extremely picker eater so I need the full kitchen.) I’m not a DVC member, so i booked this room as you would any other room. I noticed though that when you book a Villa, there is no option when booking for room view (standard view, park view, etc.)
    My question is with the Villas – how do they determine who gets what view if there is not a difference in price? Does the time of check in matter? We will be checking in at about 8pm on a Thursday night. Also, since I’m paying and not using DVC points – do I have a better chance of upgrading from a 1 bedroom to a 2 bedroom? Thanks!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi, Becky,
      That’s a good question. We have a few DVC points and never have been upgraded or have ever heard of a DVC memeber being upgraded. You get the room type that you purchased with the points. If anyone has stayed on points and got upgraded from a studio to a two bedroom please share that here. But I think they don’t upgrade members on points because then every member would expect it. But you are paying for your room with cash for your villa. I am not sure how or if upgrades happen for DVC guests paying with cash. I think they would have flexibility to move you to any room in the category you purchased. So a studio on the 1st floor or 4th floor, etc would be fine. But I think DVC releases the available rooms to the resort as they are available at a certain time window to make them available for purchase with cash so the availability of say a 2 bedroom for cash would be pretty limited.

      If anyone has been upgraded when staying in a villa paying with cash, please share your experience with us.

      Post a Reply
  30. Thank you for the quick response Steve! I thought I’d share my two experience receiving an upgrade.
    The first was at Disneyland. A friend and I were checking into Paradise Pier, where we had booked a standard view to save some money. We noticed the parking lot was practically empty. When we got to the front desk we asked the CM if they were expecting low crowds (this was years ago, before you could look up crowd predictions.) It hadn’t even occurred to us to ask for an upgrade, but the CM said they were expecting very low crowds and because of that they were upgrading us to a park view room. It was a wonderful surprise to have a fantastic view of California Adventure during our stay.
    The second was at AK Lodge. I had flown in the night before my friend, so I needed to book just one night at a resort. I had enough credit card reward points to book a standard view room at AK Lodge. I was hoping that since I was checking in at 9pm and I was only staying for one night, that I might be able to get upgraded to savannah view. I figured by 9pm they’d already know what rooms would be going unused and that they’d figure “why not” for one night. As you said in your article, I asked very nicely. And sure enough, had no problem getting an upgrade.

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  31. Hi Steve,

    I enjoyed your article and would like to know which are the rooms that are likely to be the quietest in the Grand Floridian – and what should we ask for on the “special requests” to maximise the chances of getting it.

    We stayed at the wilderness lodge (great theme but poor inter-room soundproofing) last year at Halloween and are planning to “push the boat out” and stay at the GF for two weeks just after thanksgiving (traveling from the UK). As well spend a lot of time in the parks and eating out at Disney’s restaurants we don’t see the point of either conseriage service or theme park views but we do value being able to sleep when we get back to the hotel. Indeed the “poor” rating for spoundproofing (from Foror and Unoficial Guide) is the only thing putting us off. Anything we can do to make it better for us would be appreciated. Indeed we have stayed and Swan & Dolphin and found their soundproofing excellent -but we do like the idea of the GF.

    Thanks, Peter

    Post a Reply
  32. Thanks Steve for the all the great tips! Our party of 8 booked two adjoining Theme Park View rooms for 4 consecutive nights (Mon-Thurs) at the Grand Floridian in June this summer.

    Do you know which “adjoining” (i.e. connected) rooms at GF are considered “Theme Park View?” We would prefer close to the new kiddie splash park, but viewing the fireworks is probably equally important. Seems like all the MK view rooms are in Boca Chica (Bldg 8) or Conch Key Hammer Head Rooms (Bldg 7). But some of the MK view rooms do NOT have a view of the fireworks like Room 8107 (& others nearby).

    We will be in Orlando a day early and we intend to try and check in as early as possible that Monday morning to take advantage of the fantastic hotel and pool. I assume noting “First Ever Children’s visit to WDW” is a comment that we would want to leave on the Disney reservations.

    We’d love to note our “special requests” on our Disney reservation to maximize the chances of getting the best room possible. Thank you!!

    Post a Reply
    • Hey Sonny,

      It’s been a while since I worked at the Grand Floridian doing room assignment and I forget which rooms connect and which ones are adjoining. Be sure to ask for “connecting” rooms if you want the door between them and “adjoining” rooms if you want them next to each other. Of course it depends on what the Grand Floridian has available for the nights you are there. Both the building 8 and 7 rooms are nice for the fireworks. I also like building 5 over by the marina at the end in the hammer head. Those have a fantastic castle view but there are just a few of them. Also building 5 is kind of on it’s own which can be a positive or negative depending on where you want to be at the resort. IF you don’t get the perfect fireworks view, stroll down to the beach or to the boat dock and enjoy them. You are in a perfect spot to view the fireworks and electrical water parade at the Grand Floridian.

      Steve

      Post a Reply
  33. Hi Steve, thanks for the great information! We are going to Disney in a couple weeks celebrating our 5th anniversary and taking our 3 year old for her first time and splurging at GF! (We went for our honeymoon with the whole family 5 years ago and stayed at a value resort.) Our top priority is to be close to monorail/buses and pool. From what I’ve read, Big Pine Key might be the best location. Are there any MK views from this building? Do you have any other suggestions for rooms/buildings? Thanks!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Sarah,

      Building 9, Big Pine Key, is really a nice location. It’s close to the main building, and you can get in the main building side entrance really easy from there if it’s raining. Also it’s the closest to both pools and the kids water / splash play area. The lagoon view rooms from there face the newly renovated Polynesian Hotel with the new bungalows on the water, so I bet that view is pretty nice, but it’s not a Magic Kingdom view.

      Have a great time,
      Steve

      Post a Reply
  34. Also, if checkout is at 11am and our airport shuttle isn’t picking us up until 2pm, do you have any suggestions of what to do for those 3 hours? Can we request a late checkout? Thanks again!

    Post a Reply
    • Hey Sarah,

      Sure, They can store your bags at Bell Services at the Grand Floridian. You could enjoy the pool and change before your flight, have lunch, take the monorail over to the Polynesian resort and enjoy the new Trader Sams for a drink, do a little last minute shopping…

      :) Steve

      Post a Reply
  35. Hi Steve, we’re planning on staying at the Grand Floridian in Oct. 2016 for our honeymooon and I was looking and came across a site that said GF offered honeymoon rooms that have jacuzzis in room, or something along those lines. I was trying to find more information on these particular rooms and I’ve even checked the room info/rates directly on Disney’s website but I can’t find a thing.
    What exactly should I be looking for to get one of these rooms, or is this one of those ‘ask nicely’ and you might be able to upgrade?
    Any info on this would be helpful, thanks!
    Jessica

    Post a Reply
    • Hey Jessica,

      I like the Grand Floridian tourett rooms. They are shaped like an octagon, but they don’t have the jacuzzi tub.
      Really it’s dependent on what people have paid for and booked already as to what you might luck into.
      Either way you are going to have a fantastic honeymoon at the Grand Floridian. If possible I would also plan a nice meal at Victoria and Albert’s or something a little more budget friendly at Citrocos.

      Post a Reply
  36. Steve,
    Thanks for the article. We absolutely love Disney and did even prior to our experience last year. We had a reservation for 5 at the Yacht Club in a standard room, which was definitely going to be tight. I did put in a request for an upgrade. We were celebrating my 40th and my mother’s 70th birthdays. When we arrived a team with balloons walked toward us to announce that we were family of the day. Well, at that moment we all started crying. We didn’t even know what it meant. Within a few minutes, we were escorted up to the Turret suite! Absolutely unreal! What a blessing! I say it was because of my mom’s sweet heart that we were blessed with such a treat!

    Post a Reply
    • Wow that’s awesome Susan. I love to hear when things like this happen.
      It sounds like an amazing experience at Disney’s Yacht Club resort.

      Have a wonderful week,
      Steve

      Post a Reply
    • Susan
      How did you request the upgrade?
      Thanks

      Post a Reply
  37. Hello Steve,
    Wanted to thank you for a great article of tips, and I have a question. I booked at Art of Animation in March for the second week of Sept. With free dining being released today, I had to call and modify my reservation in doing so I had to give up the Nemo suite we had reserved and I was put in the non-designated suite category. We are taking our two year old for her first trip and she absolutely loves Nemo (which is why we are staying at AoA). Just wondering if there is anything I should particularly do in order to get a Nemo room during our trip? Thanks

    Post a Reply
    • Hey Eric,
      I am glad you got Disney Free Dining. Nemo Suites are the most popular, but don’t give up hope. I’d call the Art of Animation resort 2-3 days before arrival and ask the room assigner to add a comment to your reservation that you would prefer a Nemo Suite. Also at Check In ask again.

      Have a great vacation.
      Steve

      Post a Reply
  38. Hi Steve, We have just booked a vacation for November of this year. We are traveling the largest group I’ve ever taken to WDW and for several reasons. It will be my girlfriends parents first time ever to WDW and it will be my daughter’s delayed honeymoon trip as well as my grandson’s first time to WDW. We will have 3 standard rooms at the Coronado Springs Resort. What advice do you have concerning requesting an upgrade for the entire group? It would be awkward for just one room in the group to get an upgrade I think. Also, I’ve been taking my family to WDW for years and just want everyone in our group to have the best Disney time possible!!!!

    Post a Reply
    • Hey Dave,

      For Coronado Springs I like building 1 and 3 and 9b.
      I have stayed in other buildings there too, but these buildings are all close to the main building which has a bus stop that leaves directly to the parks, and also it’s close to all the dining, shops, etc. If it’s raining you can cut through the convention center and stay covered all the way to building #1 which is really nice too. Now the bus also stops here LAST when you return from the parks and that can be a downer when it’s 1 AM and you are super tired, so just keep that in mind.

      Building 9B has the business lounge which is nice for snacks but I am a cheap bastard and I have paid for the lounge before but it’s hard for me to pay for that when I am usually not at the resort when it’s open to utilize it. You have to book a business classified room to get lounge access and getting three of those would be difficult.

      So I would aim for building 1 or 3 and just try and get your close rooms together. I never leave my blinds open because people are always walking by, so for me it’s really not about the view from these rooms, it’s more about location.

      Have a great time,
      Steve

      Post a Reply
  39. Good Morning Steve. Your site is wonderful and has so much information. We are leaving for our first ever trip to Disney in just 5 days!!! We will be checking into Disney’s Port Orleans early on Tuesday and staying until the following Tuesday. 3 adults and my daughter, who is just shy of 2 years old, will be staying in one room. My mother in law is coming in just for the weekend but is getting her own room. I was originally requesting a room on the bottom floor in any building and a room close to a bus stop. Any suggestions on buildings or requests that might make the most of our trip? I didn’t even realize that upgrades were a possibility. Thank you so much for the all the tips!!

    Post a Reply
  40. Hey Steve! I recently stumbled upon this site of yours and wanted to tell you it’s very informative. My lady friend and I are headed to WDW for our first ever trip outside of the West Coast, it’ll be her birthday, and I may propose to her during the trip. My concern is you mentioned checking-in last. Our flight from California to Orlando won’t get in till at least 8:30pm. After the Magical Express, I feel like we’ll be closer to 10pm when we finally get to POP Century. Should I be concerned of anything? Honestly, I would have loved for us to have stayed at a moderate, but we wanted to save the money for a special night at Victoria & Albert’s and Cinderella’s Royal Table. I guess I’m worried we won’t get our requested room type (60’s Lake View.) Also similar to what someone else asked, is there a chance we could get upgraded to a Moderate? It’ll be in mid-May during all the Star Wars Weekends festivities. Thanks!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Jonathan,

      Don’t worry about arriving late. Your room is guaranteed on your credit card so it will be there.
      The Value resort are really more about the location you want vs a view. There is no balcony to sit on and enjoy the view, just the front window that that you can see out of a little bit if you are sitting at the table next to it. I normal close the blinds anyway so people walking by the window are not looking directly into my bedroom. So I would not worry about the view too much.

      They will not upgrade you to another Disney resort someplace else on property. I have only had this happen once to a friend but they asked at check in at the front desk if something was available at Art of Animation instead of at Pop Century, both value resorts, and they did end up going to Art of Animation instead and paid any difference in price if there was one.

      Have a great time

      Post a Reply

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