Free In-Room Wireless Internet Offered at Select Walt Disney World Resorts

by 33 Comments

Posted on October 14, 2011

33 Responses to “Free In-Room Wireless Internet Offered at Select Walt Disney World Resorts”

  • Stellar! This is one of those wished for things I wasn’t sure if Disney would ever give in on. This is great news, ESPECIALLY since I will be there in 2 days at the Beach Club. Thanks for the news, Touringplans.

    (p.s. Betamouse rocks!)

  • So, does the Contemporary listed here include Bay Lake Tower? Since it is WDW’s newest and most “modern” resort, I certainly hope so!

  • It’s funny that the Motel 8 that we often stay in outside the park for around 55 dollars a night has free wi fi, but Disney has only managed to figure out how to do it now, and in their more costly hotels.

    • Motel 8 (isn’t supposed to be 6?) caters to the business traveler, that needs internet access and it’s competitive in that market for the business traveler. Disney caters to families on vacation and it’s not much of a requirement or a high-demand request. Besides, they want you to be in the parks spending money and making memories with your family, not in your room playing WoW.

      People who keep using the “well, Holiday Inns/Motel 6/budget hotels have free internet!” and the like don’t know the hotel lodging market very well.

      • I have heard lots of people complaining about having to pay for internet service while at the World. It has come to be something we expect from a hotel. Also, I am required to check my e-mail everyday for work, even though I am on vacation. Whether for business, entertainment, or keeping in touch with the folks back home, most of my family and friends will use this service. Obviously there were enough requests that Disney decided to do something about it.

  • Does this include “The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge”?

  • We have free wi-fi in our courtyard room here at the Lodge. However, since you must accept the terms and conditions upon first connecting, we’re unable to connect our Xbox to the wireless Internet here. Just informing any of you who may bring your Xbox.

  • It’s the Super8. I had to look. And while I don’t know much about the motel business I do know math. For example, I’m signed up for the Mouse Adventures hunt at HS. The “special” Disney price for a value resort was $92, IIRC. At the Super8 I can get two nights for 96. The rooms there are nice, they did a referb not long ago, they are clean and a good value. It’s filled with families every time I’m there.

    Now, it won’t have the bus service or that ‘Disney magic’ but so what? After paying double of an offsite hotel should it really cost extra to check my email or upload a photo or two while my g/f takes a shower in the morning? I could understand if Disney perhaps capped the per day usage to keep people from hogging the connection, but come on. It’s things like this that leave a bad taste in the consumers’ mouth. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect Disney to match the price of Super8. I hope it goes without saying that you get more with the Disney room. But when my eyes are closed after a long day at the parks, all the rooms look the same. The little things are nice, just not double the price nice. The point is, if some budget hotel can give their guests wifi without killing their profits, there is no question Disney can as well.

    Now, I don’t fault Disney for trying to improve their bottom line. They are a big multinational corporation and are responsible to their shareholders first, and that’s as it should be. But if staying off site lets me stay longer, and includes free wifi, you better believe I’m doing it.

    In this case, staying offsite lets us stay one extra day to see a friend of my g’f that she hasn’t seen since college. We are AP holders and live close enough that it’s a very drivable one-day trip, but not something we would want to drive back and forth over two days. I always check the hotel prices on property every time we go thinking we’ll make a two-day trip out of it. It happens on occasion. However if I stayed on property every time I go over there I would be broke fast. We have been to the parks 52 times in the last 23 months, not including park hopping. I would love to stay on property every time we go, but until either the price comes down some or the extra benefits get somewhat better, I’ll vote with my wallet.

    P.S. If anyone does stay at the Maingate Super8, make sure you ask for a poolside room.

  • Eh…I should have edited that a bit better.

  • This is good news, thanks for posting it. We won’t need wireless on our upcoming trip but very well might in future–plus, it’s good to have the option for now. Maybe next year’s trip to Port Orleans Riverside will see it with wireless and queen beds, both welcome upgrades.

    Interesting, Neil, this coming week we’re staying at Maingate Super 8 for the first late-night fly-in, then shifting to Contemporary for the bulk of the trip…why should we ask for a poolside room at Super 8? Thanks!

    • Early morning noise. There is a Publix supermarket behind the hotel. Which has a deli BTW, great for getting lunch or dinner to take back to your room, or picking up some snacks to take to the park. But in the early morning Publix sometimes get deliveries by trucks. If you are a light sleeper like me they will wake you up a bit earlier than you probably want to. I never hear them when I stay in the rooms on the east (poolside). The manager told me he has talked to Publix about the noise and they are trying to work with him but it appears to be hit or miss depending on the company delivering to the store.

  • Oh wow, great – finally I can spend my vacation time at WDW online! I know, I know – I don´t have to use it – but still, the internet is such a perfect symbol of the “outside world”, of everyday life, that for me, the whole thing feels just wrong, can´t help it.

    • You can use the INTERNET to view the Lines app!! And the INTERNET helps you browse touringplans.com and many other disney web sites.

      • by Claire Carrington on October 16, 2011, at 5:10 pm EST

        That’s nice that you can close yourself off like that, but some of us live in a world where our lives and jobs are not so easy to escape from.

        • Yes, I am painfully aware how hard it is to just get away from the job — that´s exactly why I have mixed feelings about free internet everywhere…

  • About time too. I am so pleased about this. We stay at the Beach Club not trip and will use this service for sure. We usually stay at moderates though. They really need to do this across all categories of hotel. Until that happens, Disney will remain out of synch with most other average hotel chains.

  • ‘Lines’ in the hotel, yay! For a traveller from outside the US for whom using the Internet on my phone would be crazy expensive, free wifi using my iPad is perfect. Ta for the info.

  • by Debbie from Chicago on October 16, 2011, at 3:04 pm EST

    It’s about time. This this the only resort I’ve been to where they charge their guests.

  • by Claire Carrington on October 16, 2011, at 5:04 pm EST

    Whatever the hotel name is, I agree with the original post. I understand that Disney may cater to families on vacation, but one of the reason we will not be staying on property for our up coming trip, when we have in the past, was due to price comparison. Last time we stayed on site we had to pay at least 10 dollars a day for the wireless service. This go around we are staying in a condo that has 2 bedrooms, jacuzzi tub for the master suite, full bath for the guest suite, full kitchen, dining area, washer and dryer, and free wireless access. We would be paying 3 times as much if we stayed on property. Disney should consider adding this for the other hotels because those same vacationing families are posting to facebook, and updating other social media, which doesn’t count against your data plan if done on a computer. All the people seeing those posts are thinking, “wow it would be really great to go to Walt Disney World.” This is a miss for Disney, because they are missing out on free advertisement. Also, for many vacationers we do not have jobs where we can completely close ourselves off from the world, so wireless allows us to actually take vacations when we wouldn’t be able to if we were unable to access our laptops.

    • by Claire Carrington on October 16, 2011, at 5:15 pm EST

      Let me rephrase the last statement: if we could not access internet services. Although Disney provides internet access you have to pay for it, and in our case we brought our own router in order to use both of our laptops.

  • by Claire Carrington on October 16, 2011, at 5:18 pm EST

    This whole thing still makes me mad, the more I think about it the more I feel like those of use that don’t want to pay 200.00 dollars or more a night for a hotel room are part of the lowest part of the Titanic! I understand that there is always a class system when vacationing but this is something so simple that it feels like that Disney won’t provide to “the little people.”

    • Disney appears to be moving in that direction. But as I said before, they are a corporation, and their loyalty is to the shareholders first. That’s how any corporation works and I don’t fault them for it. I just think it’s amusing how Disney seems to free wifi is some big perk for their guests when even McDonalds figured out how to provide it and still make a profit.

      • by Claire Carrington on October 17, 2011, at 8:06 am EST

        That’s true, and there is always a business aspect to consider, and Disney is one of the best. You hit the nail on the head for me. I guess this is my main grievance with the issue: If Disney was going to announce it, and try to spin like this is a great perk, then why not do it for all of the resorts?

  • Is that effective immediately? We will be there this Saturday.

  • I just think it all comes down to priorities. some people have to keep up with their jobs so in room internet may be a priority. For some staying an extra day or two and being tight on money might mean staying off property is the best option. and some may want to stay on property even if it means sacrificing a day with monetary issues. for my fiance and i we don’t mind paying the extra to stay on site (we stay in moderate resorts) and would rather have the whole disney experience and really feel like we’ve escaped the normal world. sure we could stay longer in an off-site hotel but we would be more stressed in the long run driving from place to place and would really miss the vacationy feel that disney resorts give.

    and disney does have different levels of resort pricing. disney world is expensive. it’s just that simple. some vacation destinations are just more expensive than others. if you would rather not deal with the costs there are other hotels just off property. i don’t think it’s that disney isn’t looking out for the little people. if anything i think they make family vacationing more possible for families than lots of places. you don’t have to pay $200 a night. you can pay $85 when the value resorts have good deals. so for about $30 more you can stay on property, with extra disney feel, resort to park transportation, extra time in the parks (extra magic hours), and ease of relaxation. plus all the little things like movies by the pool, smores by the fire, hayrides, carriage rides, golf, shopping, spas, etc. disney hotels are an attraction in themselves and i don’t blame disney for not having punch card discounts and $40 room rates. and like i said for some all that extra just isn’t necessary or welcome which is why there is a “bob’s motel” or whatever just off property.

    • by Claire Carrington on October 17, 2011, at 7:50 am EST

      I agree Katie, and don’t get me wrong I love staying on property, but here’s the thing, that 89 dollar room isn’t really 89 dollars a night, unless there is a % discount promotional going on. After you add the 10 dollars a night for internet, taxes, it’s over a hundred dollars a night. There are definately advantages to staying on property, but this one issue would be a simple thing that Disney could do for all of their guests, not just the ones that are staying at more expensive hotels, especially considering how easy it is to gain access pretty much anywhere you go. I mean come on, I can go to Duncan Donuts and get WIFI access. Maybe I’m missing something, and it’s more involved than what I’m making of it, and there’s more cost for Disney involved, but I find it hard to believe that the there is not already WIFI access available in the value resorts for employees, so why not offer for the guests? Seems like a simple fix, and one that many would welcome.

      • I don’t use the internet but have gotten a room rate for $86 at pop century in october and that’s without any extra discounts beyond the lower attendance price tier and also including taxes. But like i said i don’t use internet so that isn’t factored into my expenses when we vacation. i was also addressing other comments like neil’s with the staying off property for less money :) I’m not sure why disney doesn’t give out internet. like you said you can go to dunkin donuts and get free internet and i’m sure disney makes more than they do :) disney has seemed to be behind the times a bit in the past especially where technology is concerned. they always seem to take longer to update rooms and things like that as well. hopefully this is a starting off point for them and they’ll have internet in all the rooms :)

        • by Claire Carrington on October 17, 2011, at 8:12 am EST

          Agreed, and we stayed at pop last time we were there and did the dining plan; loved it. I also appreciate the magic of staying on property as well, so you are so right. It’s the extras I guess that come into play when budgeting. I’m looking forward to the Art of Animation resort! It will be nice to have a little extra space, but have the value pricing. Thanks Katie, didn’t mean to go on the attack, it’s just one of those topics that we have had first hand experience with and thought could be improved upon. As you said though, it all depends on what is important to the vacationer. Different trips have held different priorities for us, so that is so true.

          • I see your point and i too am excited to try the art of animation!! :) no worries, didn’t even feel like you went on the attack :) have a great week!!!

    • I hate to beat a dead horse about Disneys bottom line, but I think a lot of middle class people are soured on Disney because they feel that Disney isn’t looking out for the little people. That view may be incorrect, but think about it for a moment. If Disney believed that they could improve their earnings by targeting and marketing to the upper middle class (and rich people overseas) and thereby raising the price of a Disney vacation beyond the price that a middle class family can afford they will do that. It’s that simple. Will that happen? Who knows? I love Disney and go to the parks often and I hope they never adopt that mentality. None of us would be on this website if we didn’t like the mouse. But as wonderful as we all feel walking through the gates of each park we should all keep in mind that Disney does not exist in order to make us happy. It makes us happy in order to make a profit. And if they can make a larger profit by pricing me out in order to make someone with more money even happier they will.

      • by Claire Carrington on October 17, 2011, at 8:59 am EST

        That would be very stupid, because the middle class are a large portion of their bottom line. I’ll give you an example: Look at what happened after 911, and they were desperate to get people to come, and that’s when the dining plan came about. They still need the “little people,” and it will be a very sad day if that ever happens and the downfall of the parks.

  • I really think that it depends on the hotel that you are staying at. When I went to Vegas for a conference, I had to pay $15/day for internet access, no wifi available. Nearly every business trip that my husband has been on, internationally, he has had to pay for internet service. One location only, I think it was Aruba, had free wifi in the lobby, and it was pretty crappy.

  • Interesting that Disney is providing free internet for their Deluxe but not their Moderate sites. I do a lot of business travelling, and it seems that the high end, expensive hotls, always charge extra for internet, using the logic that the business traveller a) has to have it and so b) is willing to pay 10-15 per day for it. But the cheaper hotels tend to provide the free in room wired or wireless internet because they are competing against other hotels in their price range who offer it, so they have no choice. I think in the short term, this is Disney trying to entice travellers to pay the extra per night cost for the Deluxe properties, but I wouldnt be surprised if within three years, it will be at all Disney properties (but the room rate for every hotel wil jump $5 per night to pay for it, whether you use it or not).