Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Towels at Walt Disney World

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When you’re in a hotel room, you want to have all the comforts of home, only better. One of those home comforts is the towels in your room. Are they better or worse than the ones you’re used to? Are there enough of them? For those burning questions and more, here’s everything you ever wanted to know about towels at Walt Disney World.

In-room towels at the Pop Century

What kind of towels can I expect to find in my WDW hotel room?

At check in, every Walt Disney World resort hotel room is stocked with a bath towel, a hand towel, and a wash cloth for the maximum number of guests allowed to stay in that room. For example, a standard guest room at the Beach Club can sleep up to five guests, so the room will be stocked with five towels, five hand towels, and five wash cloths. This is true even if only one or two people are checking into room that could theoretically sleep five.

What is the quality of the towels like?

In my opinion, they’re fine, but not fabulous. If you’re used to 6-foot-long, uber-plush bath sheets, you may be disappointed, but most folks will find the towels to be perfect serviceable.

Will I get fresh towels every day?

Usually, but there are some situations where you won’t.

The main exception to the rule that you do get fresh towels every day occurs if you’re staying in a villa-style room using Disney Vacation Club (DVC) points as your payment method (more on that in minute). Otherwise, if you want fresh towels every day, you can get them at no extra charge.

Towels at Art of Animation, Finding Nemo family suite master bath


What do I do if I need more towels than are initially provided in the room?

Assuming that you’re staying in a regular, non-DVC, hotel room, you can get fresh towels any time you want or need. Just pick up your phone and touch the “housekeeping” button. A small word of warning: depending on where you’re staying, it could take while for them to bring you the extra towels. If I’ve needed more and my room is close to the hotel pool at a resort that has pool towels, I’ve been known to go down and grab a few of those pool towels as supplements for the room.

Do I have to tip the guy that brings me more towels?

It would be nice to give him a few bucks.

You mentioned towels at the pool. Does every pool have towels?

At the moderate and deluxe level resorts, there are carts full of towels by the pool whenever the pool is open. Just take what you need.

At the value resorts, there are sometimes carts full of towels by the pool, and sometimes not. Disney goes through periods where value resort guests are asked to use their room towels at the pool. You may encounter this during your visit. If you are using your room towels at the pool, you will likely find you have the need for more towels. Just call housekeeping and ask for them.

Pool towels at the Caribbean Beach Resort

Are the pool towels the same as the room towels?

In my experience, the pool towels are a bit smaller and less substantial than the room towels. They’re fine for drying off, but if you want to wrap yourself up, you’ll need to use several.

Is there any charge for using the towels at the pool?

Nope.

What’s a towel animal?

It’s what it sounds like: an origami-esque folding of a towel or washcloth to form an animal or other creature. Sometimes the animals are made out of just towels. Other times the animals are put together with rubber bands, tape, or pipe cleaners, which make them more sturdy and portable.

Towel butterfly left for us at the Beach Club Villas.

My towel animal is cute! Who put it there?

Your housekeeper did. Towel animals are one of those little extras that make a Disney hotel stay so fun.

Will I definitely get a towel animal in my room?

No.

In my experience, there are often, but by no means always, towel animals left in Disney hotel rooms. My personal towel animal hit rate is about 60% yes. Your mileage may vary.

Can I do anything to increase my odds of getting a towel animal?

You’ll some find anecdotal evidence among Disney fans that leaving a tip for your housekeeper will increase your odds of getting a towel animal. Personally, any time I’ve gotten a towel animal in my room, it was there when I checked in, with no possibility of a tip influencing it either way.

If I get a towel animal in my room, can I keep it?

I’ve asked many different hotel cast members about this including housekeepers, housekeeping managers, and front desk staff. The word is that, yes, you can keep your towel animal. Cool!

Towels left in the shape of Mickey on our bed.

Drat, I got one in my room once, but didn’t know I could keep it. Any tips on how to make towel animals at home?

There are actually several books about this topic including: The Lost Art of Towel Origami, How to Make a Towel Monkey and Other Cruise Ship Favorites, and Towel Folding 101. If you’re crafty, this could be a nice way to add a little Disney magic to your home world.

Since I can keep towel animals, does this mean I can keep other towels from my room too?

Um, that would stealing. So, no.

Are there towels at the water parks?

Towels are available to rent at the water parks. If you’re flying to Walt Disney World, towel rental is usually your best option.

How much does it cost to rent a water park towel?

Prices can change, but the current fee is $2.00 per towel. Think of it this way, if renting towels saves you money over a checked baggage fee, then you’re ahead of the game.

Standard bath towel at the Art of Animation. One foot ruler for size indication.

What are the water park rental towels like?

They’re pretty much like the pool towels at your resort: standard thin-ish white bath towels.

Can you bring your room towels to the water parks?

You probably could, but this would be a bit of a pain, particularly if you’re going anywhere except your hotel either before or after you hit the water park. It’s better just to rent them there.

What if I want something more substantial to dry off with?

There are large, fluffy beach towels sold at the water parks, as well as at many theme park and resort gift shop locations. Prices start at about $15 each and rise pretty steeply from there.

There’s also new towel product, the Show No, now being sold at the Disney water parks. It’s a combo towel/coverup with the image of Mickey or Minnie. Kiddos can change underneath the Show No, eliminating one thing to do in the crowded changing rooms.

Any other suggestions?

If you happen to be thinking about replacing your home bath towels, rather than discarding your old towels at home, bring them with you to Walt Disney World. When you’re done, leave them at the hotel. As an added benefit, you now have lots of empty suitcase space to use for bringing home souvenirs.

Notice at the Art of Animation. Value resort guests may have to use their room towels at the pool.

Back to the hotel room towels, you mentioned that if you’re staying in a Disney Vacation Club villa, you won’t get fresh towels every day. What’s up with that?

Just to be clear, if you’re staying in a DVC villa and you’re paying with money, you’ll get a regular room cleaning with fresh towels, every day of your trip. If you’re in a villa and paying with money, you can call housekeeping and get more towels at any time, with no charge.

However, if you’re staying in a DVC villa and you’re paying with DVC points (your points, borrowed points, or rented points), things are totally different.

Guests paying with points will have no housekeepers enter their room on days 1-3 of their visit. On day four, you will receive “trash and towel service.” No housekeeper will enter your room again until day 8 of your visit. If you’re staying as long as 8 days, you’ll get a complete room cleaning, including new towels.

In a pinch, you can borrow some towels from the pool area and use them in your room.

What does “trash and towel” service mean at the Disney Vacation Club Villa?

It’s pretty much what it sounds like. A housekeeper will enter your room to empty your trash cans. She will also take away your dirty/wet towels and replace them with fresh ones.

What are my options if I’m staying on DVC points and I want new towels on days 1-3 or 5-7 of my trip?

If you’re in a one, two, or three bedroom villa, then you have a washer/dryer in your room. You’re welcome to wash your room towels yourself.

If you don’t want to do this, you can call housekeeping for an “Extra Towel Package.” This consists of 4 bath towels, 2 hand towels, 4 washcloths, and one bathmat for each bathroom in your unit. There is currently a $6.00 charge for this (prices can change). The fee will be added to your resort bill.

Ugh, I’m staying at a DVC villa using points, and I don’t want to do laundry, and I don’t want to pay $6.00 for more towels. Any workarounds?

Well, as I mentioned before, there’s really nothing from stopping you pick up a few extra pool towels and using them in your room. Your housekeeper will just take them with the rest of the towels when she cleans the room.

What’s Disney’s position regarding the environmental impact of towel washing?

There will often be a little card in your bathroom explaining that there is an environmental impact to unnecessary towel washing. The card will instruct you to hang up your towel if you want to reuse it, or place it in the tub or on the floor if you want a fresh one.

In my personal experience, I find in that in regular (non-DVC) Disney hotel rooms, I am given new towels regardless of whether I hang them or leave them in the tub. You many encounter something different during your vacation.

A typical discount-with-purchase offer featuring a towel

Is there any time I would need a towel at the theme parks?

There are many situations where you’ll get damp at the parks, including two rides that have the potential to soak you to the bone (Kali River Rapids at the Animal Kingdom and Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom). If you’re planning on enjoying those attractions, you could wear a poncho to avoid some of the wet. Or, yes, it might be helpful to have a small towel in your backpack to triage your dampest areas.

Are there ever any special deals on Disney towels?

With some regularity, the gift shops in the parks and resorts will promote a special offer along the lines of, “If you spend X dollars in our store, we’ll let you buy this super cool souvenir at a great price.” Often the “super cool souvenir” is a towel. Look for signage in the shops to see if a similar offer is available at the time of your visit.

So folks, what did I miss? Are there other towel topics to discuss? Do you have any towel tips and tricks to share? Let us know in the comments below.

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Posted on June 20, 2012

34 Responses to “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Towels at Walt Disney World”

  • It may be my imagination but in my experience the towels at the Value resorts are of a lower quality than those used in the Moderate and Deluxe resorts. I’ve found the towels at the Value resorts to be small and thin but when I’ve stayed specifically at a Deluxe resort the towels are most like what I would use at home, bigger and fluffy.

    • Definitely agree with Amanda! The quality of the deluxe resort towels is much better than the value/mods. I actually really like the deluxe towels!

  • by Bookish Belle on June 20, 2012, at 2:34 pm EST

    I never thought I could find a discussion of towels so satisfying. The Touring Plans blog has some of the most creative posts, and this is one of them. I’m always glad to learn something new about WDW — thanks!

  • I LOVE the ShowNo towel and decided I had to have one for my daughter that is in need of a cover up for the summer. I looked online, gone, I called the disney parks merchandise and they said they no longer have them in stock and she didn’t see any shipments listed. Just thought I would share…. Very disappointed.

  • We went in 2009 — currently dying to go back, so checking the website for info and for fun!

    We stayed at the Caribbean Beach resort in one of the pirate rooms. I, being the ridiculous over-planner that I am, had 6 envelopes all ready to go with tip money in them. My kids decorated the outside of the envelope with pictures and a big “Thank you.” We left the envelope with one of our many stuffed animals each morning before we left for the parks.

    I don’t know if the tip had anything to do with it, but boy-oh-boy — each afternoon when we came back to the room, the stuffed animals had been busy! They were sometimes hiding from us, sometimes watching t.v., sometimes snacking — and yes, one or two towel animals had joined right in.

    Even if we hadn’t had the fun housekeeping treatment, it was still nice to have the tip envelopes all ready to go. I hate to clean and am grateful to anyone who does it for me!

    • I’m glad you had a good experience. I’m now totally on board with tipping the housekeepers, but I’m not sure whether your tips had anything to do with your animals’ special treatment. (but it certainly didn’t hurt.)

    • That’s a great idea to get your tip envelopes ready in advance! I know often when we travel it is almost always a last minute “Ok, who has some cash for the housekeepers” when we are checking out, or leaving in the mornings. How much do you tip in the value resorts? We will be staying on property for the first time this year, and I have no clue.

      • You can read our guide to tipping at WDW here:

        http://blog.touringplans.com/2012/03/21/disney-world-tipping/

      • The kids love decorating the tip envelopes before we go. It is a nice way for them to be part of the trip planning process and I hope the Mousekeepers get a kick out of their artwork and it brightens their day. : ) And one less thing to worry about when we are there, it’s already done. We tip $1 per person/per day at the Values. The value rooms are small to begin with, I try to keep it as tidy as I can so we aren’t tripping over everything and so the Mousekeepers can hopefully get in/out quickly.

        • Thank you both. I did read the tipping blog that Erin linked to, and it seems that Disney is in line with other places I have been ($1/person per day). I have been guilty of waiting until checkout day to tip though, and I know that’s sinful. When I do it I do try to leave a note that specifies that the tip is not just for that one day but rather the whole stay. Some naive part of me hopes that the housekeepers will be honest and share it with the people who cleaned the rooms on the other days.

          I am surprised that the towel animals are for keeping. I would think “take a picture” and leave it because they are towels after all. It doesn’t seem right somehow that you can take them home.

  • Thanks for the article! I had no idea you could keep the towel animals or that you should tip if they bring extra towels! Will keep this in mind for our November trip!

  • My recollection from our All Stars stay in 1999 was that the towels were very thin and pretty scratchy; it was one of the reasons we never stayed at a Value again!

    Regarding the water parks — we always grab a few towels from the pool bins before heading over to a water park. Save the $2 per, and no line to stand in.

    I’m pretty surprised they let you keep your towel animals; on some of our stays, we probably could have replaced half of our towels at home with towel-animal towels! We always just snap a picture.

  • We’ve done some split stays at moderates recently and I noticed that the towels did not seem exactly the same at each one. I can’t remember which hotels had the softer, fluffier ones, so I won’t name names, but it was enough of a difference I asked my husband if towel washing was separated by hotels or if every hotel pulled from the same clean stock. Could have been a coincidence, maybe we lucked into newer towels at one hotel and older towels at the other.

    • I’ve been told different things about this by different cast members. I didnt mention it in the post because I got differing stories in whether the hotels all shared the same stock or if each hotel had their own towels.

      I can tell you that when I stayed at Art of Animation on opening weekend a few weeks ago, the towels were all totally brand new. Most of the ones in my room still had tags or “inspected by” stickers on them.

  • A swimmer’s towel, available at sporting goods stores, is handy for keeping in your park bag. Once I had a whole bottle of sunscreen spill in my bag, and the towel soaked most of it up!

    I like to also put a wet washcloth in a baggie to take to the parks for sweaty days. Refreshing!

    Lastly, as a Girl Scout alumna, I never go anywhere without a bandana!

  • We are staying at Pop Century now (June 20) and haven’t received fresh towels since we checked in Monday night. I did get more towels because I requested them because I took two towels to Hollywood for the Fantasmic Show because it is raining and didn’t want to sit on a wet bench. I was surprised that we didn’t get fresh towels everyday, I have always gotten fresh towels at other hotels when I travel.

    • by David Davies on June 21, 2012, at 12:56 pm EST

      As Erin writes, you should get fresh towels daily. If you’d like them, definitely notify housekeeping. My experience has been that even at Walt Disney World, housekeepers aren’t perfect. And I’ve also had days where my presence in the room (and my use of the “do not disturb” sign) kept away the housekeepers.

  • by Heather Louise on June 21, 2012, at 10:55 am EST

    Thank you so much. We are planning our first trip to WDW and articles like these make my day. They are the little things that you might not know or think about until you get there. I can say with confidence that we are more towel prepared for this trip.

    • Heather Louise — I am very excited for you! I am reading articles on the blog just to keep myself in check. I am HOPEFULLY planning for 2013, but we aren’t sure if it will happen. Just wanted to say Yay for you! And enjoy the planning — to me, it’s half the fun!!!! :) You will love WDW, especially with all the good advice from the gang on here. They were so helpful to us in planning our 2009 trip.

  • We always take towels from the hotel when going to the waterparks. They are the same ones at the resorts. No need to worry about bringing them back to the hotel. Just put them in the towel return bin at the waterparks. They all go back to the same place to be washed.

  • When I arrived at the Wilderness Lodge there was a Mickey towel animal on the bed (a large circle with two smaller circles made from a wash cloth) I tipped every day but it had no influence on towel animals – the arrival day was the only day we received a towel animal.

    The housekeeper did leave extra soap though! That counts for something!! haha

    I thought the bath towels were really scratchy as if they didn’t use fabric softener :(

  • by Jenny-Lee Williams on July 23, 2013, at 2:02 pm EST

    I an trave to WDW in September from South Africa and really did want to know about towels! Thank you so much. This has been very helpful. Knowing I don’t have to pack towels is such a win!!

  • Disney All Star resorts didn’t supply any towels for the pool when we stayed Sept 2012. We had to take towels from the room. My 5 y/o loves this All Star resorts tho. Will just lay 3 towels on top of clothes in suitcase this year.

  • I just stayed at AoA and I went to the front desk to ask if we could keep the towel creations. The cast member at the desk wouldn’t say yes or no. He just kind of shrugged. Since we received more than one during our stay we didn’t take them ALL, but we did bring home our favorite.
    Also, quality of towels that we did have (even in the bathroom) was not great at all. I found at least one towel that had a rip in it. I brought towels from home for use at the pool.