We’ve seen a lot of changes at Disney World hotels since Disney World reopened this summer.
But what can Disney World resort hotel guests expect in 2021? Here are 6 hotel updates you need to know for the New Year!
1. Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Makeover
Disney’s Polynesian Resort has been getting a massive refurbishment, including a new entryway, and is set to fully reopen in summer 2021. The hotel including the guest rooms are going through a HUGE change… it’ll now be Moana-themed! Say goodbye to the classic Hawaiian room theme of old, and say hello to something a little more Disney!
The new rooms will include “a Pacific Ocean-inspired color palette, as well as details, patterns, and textures from Disney’s Moana.”
We’re expecting lots of swirling patterns and textures like those on Moana’s skirt! Maybe they’ll even throw in a few things inspired by Maui’s tattoos! No one knows how far it goes! Work has already begun on the resort and we are eager to find out an official reopening date.
Do keep in mind that the Villas and Bungalows are open at this time along with locations like Kona Cafe and Capt. Cooks. But at this time, the Polynesian’s monorail station is currently closed.
2. Grand Floridian Walkway to Magic Kingdom
In case you missed it, we’ve been following the construction of the walkway between the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa to the Magic Kingdom, and guess what? It’s finally open! So if you’re at the Grand Floridian and want to bypass other modes of transportation or just want to take a leisurely stroll to Magic Kingdom (or vice versa) you’re in luck! Just follow the signs to find it.
If you’re coming FROM the Grand Floridian, you go through security at the boat docks. Although it took us about 15-20 minutes to walk it, you definitely can’t fault the amazing view.
We do suggest taking another mode of transportation if the weather is questionable since the walk can take a bit!
The gate at the main bridge locks around an hour to an hour and a half after Magic Kingdom closes, and there is ample lighting for guests who want to take the path at night.
3. Some Hotels Still Haven’t Reopened
In addition to the Polynesian Resort, some hotels at Disney World haven’t reopened yet. Although Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort is closed right now, it is scheduled to reopen on February 9th, 2021. The following hotels, though, still don’t have solid reopening dates:
- Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Animal Kingdom Villas Jambo House
- All-Star Sports Resort
- All-Star Music Resort
- Beach Club Resort
- Boardwalk Inn
- Wilderness Lodge
- Port Orleans Resort
However, Disney Vacation Club rooms are open at the following hotels, although the resorts themselves are still technically “closed:”
- Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
- Boulder Ridge Villas and Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Beach Club Villas
- Boardwalk Villas
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
We’re keeping an eye out for when some of these hotels might reopen, and we’ll let you know the details as soon as we have them!
4. Room Service Is Unavailable at Most Resorts
It’s always nice to come back to your hotel room at the end of a long day at the parks and have food brought to your room, but at the moment, room service is still unavailable at most Disney World resort hotels. Now we said “most” and not “all,” because we were pleasantly surprised when we recently learned that In-Room Dining is available at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort! If this is a concern of yours, be sure to check with a Cast Member to see if room service is available at your hotel before booking there.
No worries though, even if room service is unavailable, you have options. First, many quick-service restaurants have Mobile Order: you just place on the My Disney Experience app, pick it up, and take it back to your room to relax and dine. And several resort Table Service restaurants have the Mobile Order To Go option, which works exactly the same way!
It is possible, though, that room service will eventually return next year to more resorts, and if that happens, we’ll let you know.
5. Getting Into Disney Hotels Isn’t the Same As It Used to Be
If you’re checking into a hotel, Disney encourages you to use the My Disney Experience app to bypass the check-in desk. The app will allow you to get your room number, as well as let you use your phone as your room key (although MagicBands still work, too).
However, resort hopping is definitely not the same. If you want to visit a hotel that you’re not staying at, you will likely need a confirmed dining reservation to get in or an order placed on Mobile Order.
It really depends on which hotel you are trying to hop to and the mode of transportation you take to get there. We’ve had different experiences depending on the Cast Members at the resorts. However, we recommend grabbing a dining reservation or Mobile Order to ensure you can enter the resort.
6. Certain Parts of the Monorail Aren’t Open
If you’re looking to use the Monorail for much of your park transportation, you’ll want to consider the fact that parts of the Monorail are not running. As noted above, the Polynesian Village Resort station is completely closed down while that hotel gets a refurbishment.
Looking for more info? Check out the BEST Disney World hotels for 2021 in our video below.
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Are you visiting Disney World in 2021? Let us know in the comments!