One of the first decisions you’ll have when booking a Disney World hotel room is which view to select. If you’re staying at the Yacht Club, for example, do any Garden View rooms have a view of the Stormalong Bay lazy river? If you’re on the monorail loop, does a Magic Kingdom View really improve your chances of seeing the Wishes fireworks? Is Savannah View at the Animal Kingdom Lodge worth the money?
To help you decide, we’ve spent the past year taking pictures of what you’ll see from the window of every Disney World hotel room – more than 30,000 individual photos. Today we’re giving you a preview of the first resort: Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort.
The first page shows you a map of the entire resort. On the left side is a set of filter options you can use to find exactly the room you want:
- Room Type Includes Disney’s description of the view, and the bed type in the room (if we know it). All-Star Sports has Standard and Preferred views, most with double beds. Moderates will show queen beds, and so on.
- Walking Distance to Lobby Useful for cutting down on walking time
- Walking Distance to Transportation Allows you to find rooms near bus stops, monorails and boats
- Floors If you prefer ground or upper-floor rooms, you can specify that here
- Sound Level Helps find the quiet rooms at the resort
- Accessibility Identifies ADA-accessible rooms by feature, including roll-in showers and more
- Our Picks Shows only the rooms which the Unofficial Guide has determined to be the best at the resort.
- Prices You can also filter by price by entering the date you’re checking in.
Set any of these options and click “Show Matching Rooms.” The map will highlight in red all of the buildings which have rooms matching your options.
Click on one of the buildings and you’ll see a map of all of the rooms in that building. Rooms which match your filter options will be highlighted in red:
Click on any of the individual rooms and you’ll see the view from that room:
Once you’re looking at a room’s view, you can do a comparison of nearby views by going left or right one room, or up or down one floor.
Another really great feature on this page is shown in the green text just below the photo: It’s the exact wording to give Disney (or your travel agent) to request that specific room, and rooms like it if this room isn’t available. During this project we learned that Disney’s reservation system may only have 80 characters of text to make room requests, and we’ve ensured that this text fits in 80 characters or less. While there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the room, by telling Disney the room you want and its alternatives, you increase your chances.
Why is choosing a room important? For one thing, you’re paying a premium to stay on-site. So consider the three photos below, each of which is a room view you could get at random if you just let Disney make the decision for you.
Should the first thing your family sees every morning to be a giant grey electrical box? Or a hunk of grey metal support? Wouldn’t it be better to have a sweeping panorama of the pool and resort grounds, where you can brag to your family that you found this exact room just for them?
You’re also able to leave public reviews and private notes about a room, rate a room, and mark a room as a “favorite.” When you mark two or more rooms as favorites, you’re able to do a side-by-side comparison of each room’s view by clicking the Compare Favorites link on the left side of the page.
We expect to have every Disney-owned resort in Orlando available by the end of this year. That includes DVC resorts, suites, and more. Here’s the approximate rollout schedule:
|October 11||Disney’s Polynesian Village
Saratoga Springs Resort
|October 18||Port Orleans French Quarter
Port Orleans Riverside
|October 25||Coronado Springs
Fort Wilderness (campsites and cabins)
|November 1||All-Star Music
Art of Animation
|November 8||Animal Kingdom Lodge
|November 15||Contemporary Resort
|November 22||Bay Lake Tower
Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas
|December 6||Wilderness Lodge Villas
Old Key West
Saratoga Springs Treehouses
We had a lot of cooperation from Disney executives and resort staff to help collect these photos. For the deluxe and DVC resorts, we’ve got pictures of most of the first-floor rooms at every resort. For upper-floor rooms, we’ve got sample photos from different parts of each wing or building, showing the approximate view you’ll get at each room. And we’ve built into the site the ability for you to upload photos from these rooms, to help out other TouringPlans folks plan their trips. Whether you’re taking a honeymoon or taking the kids on their first trip to Walt Disney World, we’ll help you find the perfect hotel room.