The Best Room at Your Walt Disney World Hotel, and How to Get It

Let’s talk about the second part of this post title first: how to get it. How do you get the best room at your Walt Disney World hotel?

You get the room you want by making a room request. Most Walt Disney World hotel visitors make their reservation and then don’t touch that reservation until they show up on site and plop into whatever room the assignment gods have bestowed upon them. But did you know that you can make a request to stay in a particular location within your Disney hotel? Well, I mean, I know you know that, but most people don’t. Can you imagine?

This view of the monorail could be relaxing or distracting, depending on your preferences.

Obligatory Disclaimer: Disney makes it quite clear that room requests are accepted but not guaranteed, though they do a decent job of accommodating guests whenever possible.

A TouringPlans subscription includes access to a feature where we will contact Disney and make your room request for you, automatically. Our video goddess Angela Dahlgren has a super helpful step-by-step video called “Back to the Basics: Making a Room Request at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel” where she walks you through the process of using TouringPlans to request a room. Since Angela has the how-to covered, I’m going to go over the what-to-request and the why-to-request part of getting the very best room at your Walt Disney World hotel.

OK, ready?

PLOT TWIST … There is no very best room at your Disney World hotel. Or rather, there are hundreds of best rooms–it’s finding the best room for YOU that’s key. Before making a room request here are the things to think about:

A centrally located room may seem ideal, but are you subjecting yourself to unnecessary noise?
    • Have I booked the right hotel? The first step in making a room request is imagining what your ideal room might be. For some folks this will be a quiet cave as far removed from the bustle of the parks as possible, for others this will be a room steps away from fine dining, or one with easy access to their car, or one with bunk beds so the kids don’t have to sleep together, or one with a patio, or one on the first floor, or one with a view of fireworks, or one that sleeps five adults, or one that has cooking facilities in the room, or one decorated with a pirate theme, and so on and so on and so on. But not all of these ideal rooms exist at all the Walt Disney World hotels. No amount of requesting is going to get you a room at All-Star Sports with a view of Cinderella Castle; it simply doesn’t exist. If having very particular room characteristics is of critical importance to you, then make sure those characteristics exist at the hotel you’ve chosen. If they don’t, then consider changing resorts or make your peace with the situation and decide which items are up for compromise.

 

  • Am I willing to pay more? Just like all room characteristics don’t exist at all hotels, not all room characteristics exist at all price points. For example, it’s folly to request a savanna view room at Animal Kingdom Lodge if you’ve only paid for a standard view room.
Before requesting a room, check to see if things like construction might impact your selection.
    • Do I care about the view? One of the most common components of room requests is the selection of a particular type of view. Be aware that Disney is adept at charging premium rates for views. Looking at iconic Disney structures (like the Castle) will cost you more than not looking at those structures. Looking at water typically costs more than looking at trees. Looking at trees typically costs more than looking at parking lots. Some guests care deeply about those distinctions; others don’t. If you do care about the view are you aware of the “side effects” of that view? A pool view might seem lovely, but it could mean that you’ll hear the blast of poolside games music when you’re trying to get the baby to nap. Your lovely Castle view could be a nuisance when the nightly fireworks distract your kids from settling down at night. Personally, I am baffled by guests who prioritize view when they’re staying at value resorts. Those rooms have no private outdoor space. When I stay at a value, I’m usually on my own or with one of my young adult daughters. We don’t want to be on display so we’re not leaving the curtain open to the world while we’re relaxing in the room. If the curtain is not open, why do I care what view lies beyond?

 

  • Do I care how far I walk? Guests with mobility issues or with small children might have a very real need to minimize walking and be close to transportation or to an elevator. I’m on the other end of the spectrum, where I’m trying to keep up the step count on my FitBit, so I don’t mind an extra long walk to the room. Here again, consider what the “side effects” of your request might be. If you request a room near an elevator, you might encounter more foot traffic, and other guests chatting, outside your room.
A location near a bus might seem great until your realize you’re hearing bus traffic all day.
    • What type of transportation am I using? Some guests are insistent on being near a bus stop at their hotel. But if you’re using your own car, that choice to be near the bus could put you slightly further away from your own vehicle.

 

    • Where will I be eating? At some resorts, requesting a room near the resort’s restaurant will put you further away from where you’ll actually be dining. This often happens to guests staying at Saratoga Springs who might be mostly dining at Disney Springs or to guests staying at the Beach Club who might be mostly dining at Epcot.

 

    • How soundly do I sleep? I am a painfully light sleeper. I’ve learned over time that the rooms that make me happiest are often the ones shunned by other guests. I like to be on the top floor of the hotel (so no one is walking above me), at the very end of the hall (so I don’t hear other guests in front of my door), with a view of secluded woods (which minimizes sunlight and cuts down on noise outdoors). If silence or dark is imperative to you, be mindful to also avoid rooms directly above public areas of the hotel.

 

  • Do I want personal space outdoors? Most deluxe-level rooms come with some sort of personal outdoor space in the form of a balcony (on upper floors) or patio (on the ground floor). These are very different experiences, particularly if your room is near a pool or outdoor walkway. There are no private outdoor spaces at the value resorts but you if you want to somewhat simulate this, look for a ground floor room near the end of a building where you could drag a chair outside to sit for a bit. This is a popular option with families trying to get small kids to sleep.
Your view won’t matter if you never plan to open your curtains.
    • Is there anything special (or not so special) going on at your hotel? As you get close to trip time, do a little research to make sure that there is not construction going on at your hotel that you want to stay away from. Even generally positive circumstances might impact your room request decision. For example, during the winter holiday season, the giant gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian puffs out gingerbread-scented “smoke.” If you’re scent sensitive, you might want a room away from olfactory intrusion.

 

    • Who am I traveling with? Any of these considerations could be magnified or augmented depending on who you’re traveling with. You might not care about a view, but if you’re traveling with a friend on their one and only Disney visit, then the view could become more important. You might like to pass by the pool several times a day, but if you don’t want your child to be constantly begging for a dip, selecting a room distant from the pool area could make more sense. Picture all members of your party in your room and getting to and from your room at different times of the day. Will a long walk feel fine in the morning, but be cumbersome when you’re tired at the end of the day. Check in with adults in your traveling party to see if they have any room location expectations or concerns.

 

    • Are there medical issues involved? Guests with real medical issues impacting their room location should make this known to Disney through the booking process. For example, ADA accessible rooms are treated differently in the room assignment process.

 

  • How much time will I be spending in the room? If you’re really only sleeping in the room for a few hours a day, then a room request may not be important to you. There are some folks in online Disney spaces who loudly proclaim that you must always make room requests. Remember that it’s perfectly acceptable to skip that step in your trip planning. Sometimes just having a room at Walt Disney World is more than enough.

Once you’ve thought about all the factors that impact what type of room you want, then it’s time to make the request by following the steps in Angela’s video. Or, if you’ve decided it doesn’t matter where your room is, then you can sit back and relax until it’s time to head to Walt Disney World.

What’s important to you when you select a room? Do you usually make a room request? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below.

Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel at DisneyWorldMoms.com, a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obession - Broadway theater. Erin can be reached on Twitter @MsErinFoster.

5 thoughts on “The Best Room at Your Walt Disney World Hotel, and How to Get It

  • July 11, 2018 at 9:54 am
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    Great article Erin! Is it possible to request adjoining rooms with a door in between? We are going in December with two other couples who have kids, staying at Pop Century, and they were hoping to get two rooms with a door in between. That way one adult could stay at the hotel and put the kids to sleep in both rooms while the rest of us stay out later. Thanks!

    Reply
    • July 11, 2018 at 11:25 am
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      Yes. All the WDW resort hotels have some rooms with adjoining rooms between them. You are welcome to request this arrangement. I’ve done it myself several times.

      Reply
    • July 12, 2018 at 6:36 pm
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      If I remember correctly Disney actually refers to these rooms as connecting while adjoining only means adjacent. We’ve had good luck with these rooms when traveling with our daughter and parents, it’s awesome to have grandma and grandpa put DD to bed while DW and I hang out at the park late. It will sometimes limit the room style choices if bed count or size is important to you. I think the grandparents had to compromise on their “single king bed” room preference and we ended up with both rooms having the 2 queens each.

      Reply
  • July 12, 2018 at 3:29 pm
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    For my first visit to All-star Sports in March, I did the research on your site to put in a room request. I was able to see the actual view from each room and you even list if it’s a connecting room or not (I avoid those as a solo traveler). While I did not end up with the zone I wanted, the one I got still had two out of my three requests (top floor, no connecting room) and it was facing trees, which I prefer as well. Touringplans was a great tool to use to pick out a room and put a request in.

    Reply
  • July 18, 2018 at 12:42 am
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    I never get the specific room I want. I do have better luck getting what I want (ground floor, near parking lot, back of All Star Sports. I ask the registration person to show me on the map, and that gets us communicating.
    I end up in Football, with the end or near the end room. I like to dash to the car, store stuff or retrieve things and – most important – load up the nite before departure.
    Loading in the a.m. sun is hot and thus start the trip home hot and sweaty. I prefer to load the car in the cool of the evening, get up in the a.m., check out and relax by pool.
    Car packed and ready when I want, no dash. I add fresh ice to cooler and pull out, having had a nice ‘last day’ and feeling that vacay vibe.
    Parking near the lot makes this easy. View of bushes is fine, NBD.
    My 2-cents –

    Reply

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