Disney simplifies room naming categories at Walt Disney World resort hotels

May 16, 2023 in "Walt Disney World Resorts"

Posted: Tuesday May 16, 2023 7:11am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney is renaming its resort hotel categories at Walt Disney World to provide a more straightforward description of the various room options.


In most cases, Walt Disney World deluxe hotels will now offer three categories of rooms - resort view, water view, and theme park view.

Existing room categories include lagoon view, pool view, marina view, standard view, and more.

Bookings for Walt Disney World Resort hotels in 2024 begin on May 31, 2023, and will also see various changes to theme park reservations, the return of the Disney Dining Plan and more.

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CaptainAmericaMay 23, 2023

But you weren't told the information by a room assigner! What you shared is like saying "this is what a hippopotamus keeper at Animal Kingdom told me about fireworks safety procedures at Epcot."

Weather_LadyMay 23, 2023

I'm not going down this rabbit hole with you any further. I shared the information I was told, which is that I absolutely could get assigned one of those old Standard rooms, despite having paid for a Garden View room, because the Resort View category (to which all Garden View reservations have already been converted in Disney's system) includes both. You can disagree with it and question the sources all you like, but nobody knows what's going to happen (or what isn't going to happen) until it does. Also, Garden View rooms (at least, at the YC) have been converted to "Resort View" rooms on the Disney website and are offered for exactly the same price, which would seem to confirm what the CMs told me about Disney considering Resort View to be the functional equivalent of the category formerly known as Garden View (even though as a practical matter, they are not -- Disney didn't just change the name, but upgraded all the best Garden View rooms to Water View, and reclassified a number of Standard Rooms as Resort View. They're selling a different set of rooms, under a different name, and pretending they're the same as before.)

CaptainAmericaMay 23, 2023

There's great reason to doubt them, in the sense that what they told you is incoherent. Your booking category is directly tied to the rate you're going to be charged, and remember that you're not *actually* charged until check-in. If you booked a garden view room for $500, and a standard room would have been $450 under the old model, and a resort view room will be $480 under the new model you can't say both 1) they're going to charge me $500 and also 2) they might assign me one of the old $450 rooms because they can't tell what I booked.

Weather_LadyMay 23, 2023

They're the only option we have for seeking clarification at this point (until Iger gives me his cell number), and if they tell me they've spoken with higher-ups in Guest Services to get their answers, I have no reason to doubt them. This isn't like hearing a random rumor from a bus driver: giving guests correct information about Disney ticketing, hotels, etc. is literally their job! It's not the end of the world: I have my plan of action in place and know how to respond in the event that what the CMs are saying could happen, happens -- the purpose of my postings has simply been to make others aware of the possibility. After 20+ years of legal practice, I know enough about corporate puffery not to place my trust in a single sentence of an email which is open to multiple interpretations.

CaptainAmericaMay 23, 2023

That is incorrect. The entry-level CMs on the reservation line have no idea what they're talking about. What you're doing here is the equivalent of bus driver construction rumors.

Weather_LadyMay 23, 2023

I think the "downgrade" was a reference to my post. The CMs I talked to said that "exact room type" in the email means that since I booked Garden View at YC, I'll be assigned any of the newly-designated Resort View rooms, because that's the category that Disney considers to be the equivalent (mid-range) room type. When I've pointed out that the new "Resort View" category is neither the "exact room type" nor its equivalent, because it now includes rooms that were formerly designated Standard View (cheaper than Garden View, with undesirable views), I've been unable to get a clear answer from Disney as to whether I could end up getting assigned one of those re-designated Standard Rooms. 2 CMs said yes, I could end up in a downgraded (f/k/a Standard View) room, because the room assigner will have no way of knowing what I originally booked or when: the screen in front of them will only say I'm now in a Resort View room. A third CM said that Guest Services hadn't figured out whether there was a way to allocate rooms one way for guests who booked prior to the room designation change, and another for guests who booked after, but that I should call back later in the summer to see if they'd found a solution.

Weather_LadyMay 23, 2023

I've been told by 2 CMS now that that is exactly what is happening, and told by a third that Guest Services actually has no idea how this is going to work in practice. You can point to the Disney Destinations email all you like, but it's not unreasonable to worry that we may arrive at check-in, only to find out, to paraphrase of Inigo Montoya, that the words "exact room type" don't mean what we think it means, in the eyes of Disney.

DisneyDebRobMay 22, 2023

My wife is a travel agent for mostly Disney and Universal. You can quote Disney.. show me what it says on their website.. trust the mouse.. but I know differently. Just believe me when I say that during the course of the year she hears from her clients that arrive and have to fight for what they “ originally booked”. Now I will say most, not all but most do eventually get what they booked( my wife) but the system is screwed up and no one should have to start their vacation with that aggravation with what they are paying. I never said anything about downgrades so not sure why that was mentioned in your post referencing my response before. It should be what they client booked, or an upgrade that fits the clients needs.not all upgrades do. But never a downgrade as you mentioned.

CaptainAmericaMay 22, 2023

I imagine that's exactly what they did. Dimension 1: Legacy Category Dimension 2: New Category Dimension 2 is the one that displays on the website but Dimension 1 is still attached to the metadata (for lack of a better term) for each room in the inventory. If booking date was before May 15, rooms will be assigned based on Dimension 1. If booking date was on or after May 15, they'll used Dimension 2.

drnilescraneMay 22, 2023

The only issue I see is, having some experience with this, on a technical level I don't know how they're going to achieve that. Unless they've put some attribute on the rooms with their historical view types. Or they've just relabeled the existing categories and won't move the rooms in the system until 2024.

CaptainAmericaMay 22, 2023

It's not a lottery ticket, it's a hotel room. You're not entitled to the chance of anything. All you're entitled to is the worst room in the category you booked, and you're entitled to it being clean, with all furniture and fixtures in good working order. Also, unlike the lottery ticket, you have the ability to cancel for a full refund if you're unhappy with the inventory change. It's not unknown! It's explicitly clear! "You will still receive the exact room type you originally booked." They even used the word "exact." How could it possibly be any clearer than that? Yes, fine, maybe there's a training issue and "Dora" on the live chat hasn't been fully brought up to speed on the changes here, but this implication that they're going to take people who have already booked Garden View and downgrade them against their will while keeping the money is made up out of whole cloth. It's not happening.

DisneyDebRobMay 22, 2023

And the answer on that 8- ball always reads..” unknown”.

Weather_LadyMay 22, 2023

Please reread my post - you missed the point. I'm not looking for a "free upgrade" -- the rooms facing the quiet pool WERE GARDEN VIEW ROOMS, WHICH IS WHAT I BOOKED. I only paid for Garden View because I had the ability to request a room facing the quiet pool (if that was even necessary, since half of the fomerly-known-as-garden rooms at Yacht Club faced the quiet pool), since that's where we wanted to be. While Disney had no obligation to honor that request, the chance to get one was part of what I paid for, and I booked the only room category that would put me there. Now, Disney has reclassified all of the best Garden View rooms as Water View, with no notice to guests, and no chance to adjust our booking (as some dates are fully booked and no changes to room categories can now be made). How would you feel if you bought a lottery ticket for a 1 million dollar grand prize, only to find out that the grand prize was later reduced to $1,000? It doesn't matter that you had no guarantee of winning -- you're still entitled to the chance to get exactly what you were told that ticket entitled you to at the time you purchased it, not a diminished subset of that. UPDATE: Just for $&*% and giggles, I live-chatted with another CM ("Dora") today, asking whether those of us who had reserved Garden View rooms: (1) could request Garden View rooms that were subsequently re-designated as Water View after we booked and paid; or (2) if not, could we at least rest assured that we would NOT be assigned any rooms that had been designated as cheaper "Standard View" rooms at the time we booked and paid a premium for Garden View? This CM took several minutes to get back to me and claimed to have consulted with higher-ups in Guest Services. Their answer? "The issue is unsettled," Guest Services doesn't have a consensus as to what the e-mail to guests meant, and I should "CALL BACK IN JUNE OR JULY" and see what Guest Services has decided to do with reservations that were made prior to the change in room categories and room designations. (!??!) I'm starting to think the CMs just sit there with a Magic 8-ball...

dreday3May 22, 2023

Did you read the rest of my post before you fainted? I addressed that.