You’ve finally decided where to stay. Your resort hotel choice is perfect. Now you’re wondering if there are better or worse places to stay at your chosen resort. Will it matter what room you’re in? And if it matters, how do you go about making that happen? Welcome to the wonderful world of the room request.
Should I be making a room request?
Not necessarily. If you’re only going to be sleeping in your room, it may not make much difference where you are. In this case, making a room request may just be creating unnecessary work for yourself.
What would I want to make a room request?
There are a number of reasons why a guest would want a specific room or specific type of room. Some of these are:
- Sentimental attachment to a previously visited area.
- Need for a room with handicapped access.
- Need for connecting rooms for larger families.
- Preference for a particular view.
- Preference for proximity to food or transportation.
I want the BEST room, can I simply request that?
Not really. The “best” room could be entirely different depending your personal needs or preferences.
What do you mean?
Some people prioritize quiet. My husband usually asks for a room on a high floor as far away as possible from the elevators. He doesn’t like to hear people walking past the room. Someone else might have mobility issues and would prioritize closeness to the elevator. What’s best for my husband might be worst for someone else. Before making a room request, think about what you really want.
If I’ve made a request, what are the odds I’m going to get what I ask for?
Disney does NOT guarantee room requests. They just don’t. That being said, if you’ve made your request in advance, then the odds of getting what you ask for are pretty good. Personally, I’ve made requests for either room location or connecting rooms about a dozen times and only not gotten what I asked for once.
Any exceptions to the “no guarantees” thing?
If there are real medical reasons for your request, these are given priority. Specify this while making your reservation.
I’ve decided I want to be near the resort transportation. How do I ask for this?
First figure out what you really want. Some resorts have multiple transportation access points. Many of the moderate resorts have multiple bus pick-up points, and some of the deluxe resorts are served by two types of transportation. Specificity is important. Do you want to be near any bus stop at the Caribbean Beach Resort, or only the MAIN bus stop? Similarly, it would be tough to be near both the boat dock and the bus stop at the BoardWalk Inn, as those are on different sides of the building. Be clear about what you prefer.
I really want to be next to my kids in another room. Can I make that happen?
The first step is to make sure you’re asking for the right thing. There is a difference between connecting rooms (with an internal door between them) and adjoining rooms (that are simply next to each other). All the Disney resort hotels have a limited number of rooms that connect, but obviously have many rooms that adjoin.
I have a bunch of kids and would like to have three rooms connecting together. How do I ask for that?
You shouldn’t be asking for this, because it doesn’t exist. Before you make a room request, you should first make sure that what you’re asking for is actually in the realm of possibility. This can be handled by making a quick call to the resort.
I’m staying at the Wilderness Lodge with my family later this year. Our ideal room configuration is a bunk bed room connecting to a standard room, but I wasn’t sure if this particular combination even existed at the resort. Before making a request we called the Lodge directly and asked if they had any rooms with that profile. (They do, yay!)
It pays to do a bit of research on the types of rooms available at each resort. For example, there are no bunk beds at any of the value resorts. Don’t bother asking for something like this.
Another type of request to avoid is one where your choices contradict each other. For example, don’t ask for a Caribbean Beach Resort pirate room that’s close to the main building and transportation. The pirate rooms are all faaaaar away from the main building. Which factor is most important to you?
If the particular type of room you want does not exist, ask the hotel to suggest alternatives. For example, guests wanting three rooms connecting together might be offered a two or three bedroom villa as a substitute. Or, if you need something very specific that doesn’t exist on Disney property, you may want to expand your search to off-site accommodations.
We’re traveling with another family. Can I request a room near their room?
Yes, this is something you can request. If you’re making a request involving another party with another reservation number, be sure that you both ask for the same thing.
I’m staying at the Contemporary and really want a view of the Castle. Can I request this?
Well, kind of. Some types of rooms are only available for a premium price. So, for example, you can ask for a Castle view, but this would be made as part of your regular reservation, not a special request, as Castle view rooms cost more than standard view rooms.
I’m staying at the Beach Club. Can I request a view of the lake?
Again, there are some rooms that have premium pricing. In the case of the Beach Club, there are some rooms designated as “water view.” This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be gazing out your balcony at Crescent Lake. Some water view rooms overlook Stormalong Bay or even the small quiet pool. If you’re selecting a water view room and want the lake, ask for the lake.
OK, I’ve figured out what I want and I know that it exists at my resort. How do I go about making my request?
If you’re reserving while speaking with a person, either at the Disney reservations phone line (407-W-DISNEY) or with a travel agent, simply state what you need, and the agent make a note on your file.
If you’re making your reservation yourself online, keep any eye out for markers in the reservation system that prompt you to note requests. For example, the first reservation screen asks if you want to search for Accessible Rooms. If you want to make a request for a handicapped accessible room, be sure to start your reservation process there.
You’ll also notice on the first reservation page a link that says “multi-room booking?” Clicking this will bring you to an alert that you can make a connecting room request later in the process. Make sure you follow through with this.
The next page of an online booking shows you what options are available. For example, in the fictional Pop Century booking shown here, there are options for standard view, standard pool view, preferred standard view, and preferred pool view. Not sure what those things mean? Click on the options for more information. Still not sure, call Disney and ask.
Again, look carefully at every page in the booking process. There are many places where you’re asked for preference-type information.
I forgot to make my room request when I booked. What can I do?
Once you have a reservation in place, there’s currently no mechanism in place to add something to it online. Your best bet is to call Disney and ask the reservations agent to amend your reservation. If for some reason you can’t or don’t want to call, you can go to the bottom of the disneyworld.com website and (in the lower right corner) click on “Contact Us.” You can send an email making a room request in the “Questions” box (including the confirmation number), and make sure you select “My Current Walt Disney World Reservation” for the subject line.
I’ve made my reservation and request. Is there anything else I should do?
Although you should make your room request at the time of booking, the actual room assignments are not made until a few days before arrival time. Many guests confirm their room requests directly with the resort 3-5 days prior to their trips. This makes sure that the request is in the system at the time the rooms are being assigned. Previously, guests were told to fax requests to the hotel; if you can fax your request, that’s great, but in an age where fax machines are on the wane, most folks just call.
If you are calling, have the following information on hand: your resort confirmation number, your arrival and departure dates, and the exact nature of your request. Sample requests might be:
- In the 60s section (for a Pop Century reservation)
- Two connecting rooms
- A handicapped accessible room with a view of the lake
- A room on a high floor
- A room near the elevator
- A room in the building closest to the food court
- A room near the main bus stop
If you have multiple requests, be sure to rank them according to your priorities.
Are there types of requests I shouldn’t make?
Beyond asking for something that doesn’t exist, it can be counterproductive to just ask for a particular room. If that room isn’t available, then the room assigner doesn’t know what to do next. You could say something like, “We stayed in room X last year and loved it, but if that’s not available we prefer a room at the end of the hall.”
Does doing advance online check-in impact the odds of getting my requested room?
In my experience, it doesn’t make a difference if you’ve taken the above steps.
Do you have rooms that you prefer?
Well, I’ve spent MANY nights in Disney hotel rooms, but I’m just one person, so not really a representative sample of what’s going on in the tens of thousands of rooms out there. But lucky for you there’s an entire team of folks at the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World who have done lots of work on this topic. The Unofficial Guide gives recommendations for specific room areas at each WDW hotel. It’s certainly worth checking out if you want to dig further into the topic.
Well, it never hurts to be nice. You are, in a way, asking a favor. If you’re pleasant about it, you’re putting positive karma out there.
What has your experience been with requesting rooms? Have you been lucky or have your requests not been honored. Let us know how you’ve fared in the comments below.