There are over a dozen hotels on Disney World property.
That means you can probably find somethin’ for everyone, whether you’re looking for a well-themed resort, an epic pool, or ALL the luxury. And sure, the hotels themselves are prettyyy magical (sometimes, the characters even make an appearance!). But it’s not all pixie dust, all the time.
Let’s be real: sometimes, you’ll emerge from your hotel stay a little disappointed. After all, there are bound to be a few bumps in the road on your vacation! And when we asked our readers what their BIGGEST Disney hotel letdowns were, here’s what they had to say.
No More Magical Express
First up, a reader explained that they’re upset with the discontinuation of Disney’s Magical Express — especially when combined with the overnight parking fee at Disney hotels. After this complimentary shuttle goes away in January 2022, guests will have to rent a car, order a taxi, or use Mears’ new (paid) service.
And if you do choose to rent a car (which can be expensive, especially now!) or drive as your Magical Express replacement, you’ll have to pay EXTRA for that overnight parking. It can vary from $15-$25 per night, depending on where you’re staying. That can really add up! Our reader explained that the Magical Express was “the last perk I could use to sell families on the magic of staying on property.” And they’re not alone — a LOT of people are disappointed.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
While Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort is one of the most iconic hotels on property, one of our readers was a little disappointed in their stay there. They explained that they had high hopes, but it “needs a refresh.” Others have brought up this issue, too — while the Grand Floridian is stunning, it may need a little TLC.
Disney did recently announce that 200 rooms at the Grand Floridian will be reimagined into Disney Vacation Club villas, so these new rooms will likely be nice and spiffy. Those will debut in summer 2022!
No Extra Magic Hours
When the parks reopened last summer, Extra Magic Hours were temporarily suspended. This perk previously let Disney resort guests into the parks before (or after!) the general public, and it was considered a huge benefit to staying on property. One reader told us that this was, in their opinion, the best hotel perk: they could “ride the major attractions with no waiting and the park virtually empty.”
Now, Disney has announced an Extra Magic Hours “replacement” for Disney World’s 50th anniversary: Early Theme Park Entry. This perk lets hotel guests into the parks half an hour early, every day. We haven’t seen it in practice yet (right now, just about anyone can get in the parks a little early), but it may kick off later this year, as the big 5-0 gets closer.
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Isn’t Open
While most Disney World hotels have reopened — at least in some capacity — a few remain shuttered. That includes Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts — both Riverside and French Quarter. A LOT of people really enjoy these hotels (especially because you can snag Mickey beignets there!) and are disappointed that they remain closed.
While we have reopening dates for some hotels (like Disney’s BoardWalk Inn!), Disney hasn’t announced a timeline for Port Orleans. So we’ll just have to hang tight and see what happens! And of course, we’ll keep you posted with any news.
No Animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
One of the most unique features of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is, well, the animals. The hotel overlooks a savanna, and guests may even be able to spot the wildlife from select rooms!
One of our readers was a bit upset that they didn’t see “any animals for our entire stay from our room.” If you’re planning a trip to Animal Kingdom Lodge, you’ll want to keep 2 things in mind. First of all: unfortunately, as our reader experienced, there’s no guarantee the animals will be out and about while you’re in your room. You may be disappointed! And secondly, some rooms simply don’t offer that savanna view. So book wisely!
Like we told ya: sure, the Disney hotels are GREAT. But chances are, there are going to be a few hiccups on your vacation, and chances are some of ’em have to do with where you’re staying. Hopefully our readers’ experiences give you a better idea of what could happen on your trip. Stay tuned to DFB — we’ll keep bringing you the latest Disney news!
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Have you ever been let down by a Disney hotel? Let us know in the comments!