Keeping Your Clothing Clean at Walt Disney World

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With today’s airline baggage fees, you can often reap significant savings by traveling with only carry on luggage. This is not much of challenge if your trip to Walt Disney World is only a few days long. Just pack the basics and wear your heaviest or bulkiest items while in transit. However, if your Disney visit is longer, it can be a challenge to cram enough clothing for a week or two into a tiny roller bag. The solution: do some laundry.

Door to Guest Laudry Room at All Star Sports, pool chairs reflected in the window

Anyone who knows me well can attest that I am NOT a fan of doing chores while on vacation, but the prospect of having to fork over several hundred dollars to an airline for my family to all bring checked suitcases is enough to make even me do laundry while visiting Walt Disney World. The good news is that Disney makes it about as quick and painless as possible to refresh your wardrobe during your trip.

By far the easiest laundry situation is Disney’s Villa Resorts (currently Bay Lake Tower, Saratoga Springs, Villas at Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas, Old Key West, Beach Club Villas, Boardwalk Villas). The one, two, and three bedroom villas all include a washer/dryer right in the room, usually tucked away in a closet. The laundry area comes stocked with a starter single-use box of detergent. If you’re doing more loads, you’re welcome to bring detergent powder from home or purchase more single boxes in the resort gift shop. As Disney Vacation Club members, my family often stays in villa rooms. While I don’t often make good use of the full kitchen, I do love being able to wash out sweaty tees or dry wet swimsuits in the room laundry.

Change machine and supplies, Bay Lake Tower

Even if you’re not in a villa, you’ll still have easy access to laundry facilities no matter where you stay at Walt Disney World. Every Disney resort hotel has at least one, and sometimes several, public guest laundry room. Frequently, the laundry rooms are located near one of the resort’s pools. This allows you to keep an eye on your clothes while you lounge in the sun or take the touringplans recommended mid-afternoon swim. The location of your resort’s laundry rooms is noted on the map you will receive from the front desk upon check-in.

The hotel laundry rooms are set up like traditional laundromats, only much cleaner. Most laundry rooms have between three and seven each of washers and dryers, allowing you to accomplish several loads at once. The machines are coin operated, taking quarters only. All the laundry rooms I’ve seen have included a change dispensing machine (fee in dollars and get back quarters) and a vending machine for clothes washing basics such as detergent and fabric softener. While prices can change, you can expect to spend approximately $5.00 total for each load of wash. Two dollars or $2.50 for the wash, $1.00 or $1.50 for soap, $1.00 to $1.50 for drying, depending on the density of your wash. (Jeans and towels take longer to dry than light cotton baby onesies.)

Coin-operated machines

In addition to wash facilities, many of the guest laundry rooms also include a comfortable chair or two and sometimes a television set. There are also hotel phones in the laundry rooms so that you can easily keep in touch with family members in the room or contact housekeeping to report any problems.

Valet service pricing sheet.

If you’re interested in getting your clothing clean, but not interested in doing the wash yourself, valet service is available at all the Walt Disney World resort hotels. Valet service includes dry cleaning, pressing, or straight up laundry. Again, prices can change, but for ballpark information some sample rates as of December 2011 were: dry clean suit, $11.50; dry clean skirt, $6.50, dry clean shirt, $6.25; launder socks $2.00; launder pajamas, $6.00; launder tee shirt, $4.50. Obviously, it is much more cost effective to launder washable items yourself, but the dry cleaning rates are not far off what my local New York cleaner charges. If you’re in a pinch, it’s nice to know the option is there. However, while pricing for valet services seems to be uniform across all resort levels, the level of work you’ll have to do to get valet service varies at the Disney resorts. At the value resorts, if you’d like an item drycleaned, you must bring it to the bell services desk near the main resort lobby. At the moderate and deluxe resorts, you’ll find a laundry bag and valet price list hanging in the closet of your room. Touch the housekeeping button on your room phone and someone will come to the room to collect your items for you.

Valet service is available seven days a week. Items sent for service before 8:30 a.m. will be returned to you the same day, usually by 6:00 p.m. And for those who wish to do some touch-up pressing on their own, irons and ironing boards are standard equipment in all WDW hotel rooms.

How do you keep your clothing fresh while you’re on your Walt Disney World vacation? Have you ever done laundry during your trip? What have your experiences been?

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Posted on January 5, 2012

20 Responses to “Keeping Your Clothing Clean at Walt Disney World”

  • We’ve done laundry the last 3 times we went to Disney/Orlando. We’re flying down tomorrow for a week and plan to do laundry whjile we’re there. One small bag (and only one bad fee) carries all we need for the week. Is it really too much trouble to do a load of laundry? lol

  • We were at the Contemporary in September 2011, and the machines were set up to take our Key to the World Card, making it even easier! I also bring the Purex Laundry Sheets when traveling. No need to transport or purchase laundry soap, fabric softener, or dryer sheets.

    • Wow, I haven’t see washers accept Key to the World cards at other resorts yet. Sounds super convenient. Let’s hope that feature becomes available throughout WDW. Question: Did you notice whether the machines also took coins? Some guests don’t like to make charges onto their room cards.

    • I also didn’t know about the laundry sheets. I will definitely keep an eye out for those during my next trip to the supermarket.

    • I use the Purex sheets too! With three kids I always do several loads of clothes while on vacation. Another tip in case you don’t like Purex- bring fabric softener dryer sheets if you have a favorite brand. They don’t take up any room and your suitcase smells great.

  • We will be leaving the end of this month for an 11 day trip. This just made my packing for 5 a lot easier. Thanks – I love this website

  • I always seem to end up doing laundry at 2 a.m. at the Beach Club. But there’s usually no wait for machines, and since both laundry rooms are right by the quiet pool and hot tub, it’s pretty relaxing.

  • One thing to remember is that if you wait until mid evening, you will be competing with many other folks with the same idea; to do laundry without cutting into park time. Those 3-5 washers fill up fast, and having to wait for the next one open can prolong the process by quite a bit. When you divide the number of washers by the number of rooms at a resort (especially the values where you have more price-sensitive folks like myself who are less likely to pay for the extra bag) there is bound to be a shortage. So using an afternoon break or taking a morning off may be your best bet for hitting times of less demand.

    I second the all in one laundry sheets, they are so convenient! I did laundry for the family during a 2 week Orlando trip that was split between Disney and other locations.

  • i have done laundry on every disney trip, usually during our afternoon break, once in the morning when we didn’t care about rope-drop….i agree the purex sheets work great, also take a stain stick in case someone (usually me) spills their dinner on themselves. i really like coming home with mostly clean clothes, it doesn’t feel so overwhelming to wash just a small load when we get back.

  • I did not plan to but when we got there my husband informed me he only brought 2 pair of shorts and we were there this past September. Needless to say I ended up doing laundry 3 times that week. Next time I will plan better and bring my own soap. It was very easy and the machines were never full. We were at the Wilderness Lodge and one night I was able to do laundry while waiting in the hot tub for the Electrical water pageant.

  • I like to do all my laundry while on vacation before going leaving because I don’t want to face mounds of it when we get home. We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge last month & I only did 2 loads. The laundry room was not clean and the dryers barely worked. I did a small load of socks & 3 tee shirts & had to run the dryer twice because the clothes were not even half dry at the end of the cycle. At $2 per cycle I decided I’d rather wash them at home.

  • We always end up doing at least 1 load of wash while we’re at the World (thanks to the excellent washers & dryers at Shades of Green!) for one reason or another- but I second doing it in the morning, when everything’s open. We don’t delay park arrival- I just have a son who wakes up very early! We carry the Purex washer/dryer sheets,since they’re very easy to transport and perfect for vacation. Also, we carry at least 1 Tide pen into the parks in our bags, so that we can treat stains/marks as they happen- which makes the resulting laundry MUCH easier to handle. As well as reducing the effect of the lemonade spill on the shirt when taking a picture!

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    appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

  • Love this website! I was thinking of actually cancelling my 1 BR and booking a studio to save DVC points midway through my trip in December since I only have one 1 BR booked for my 8 day stay. Once I saw that I would have to share laundry facilities with the Contemporary Resort, I’m definitely holding on to that 1 BR! Too bad BLT doesn’t have it’s own laundry area.

    • There is a guest laundry room on the first floor of Bay Lake Tower, specifically for the use of the studio units that don’t have w/d in their rooms. There’s no need to haul your stuff to the Contemporary to do a load of wash.

  • Always great information to know, but I must admit, I’m a planner to military extremes. So could you tell me how long each washer and dryer cycle takes?