New Storybook Rooms and Health and Wellness Suites Continue Growth Strategy at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels
Over the course of the next year, new Walt Disney World Resort hotel rooms and suites will open that will allow guests to sleep like visiting Disney royalty or perhaps add a yoga session or two to their Disney vacation. It’s part of an overall lodging strategy at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts that includes the addition of new niche rooms and suites to its guest offerings.
Beginning in fall 2011, guests will be able to experience new health and wellness suites on the 14th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. In the spring of 2012, new Royal Guest Rooms at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort will take guests on a vacation getaway to Princess Tiana’s guest house where her friends have also come to visit.
“All Walt Disney World Resort hotel rooms and suites are completely renovated on a regular cycle,” said Mark Rucker, vice president of lodging for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Our new Royal Guest Rooms at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort and the new health and wellness suites at Disney’s Contemporary Resort are examples of how we use our scheduled renovation time to look for new opportunities to ‘plus up’ the guest experience.”
Rucker says health and wellness rooms and amenities are an emerging trend in travel, particularly amongst guests who stay in deluxe accommodations. The health and wellness suites on the 14th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort will provide guests who fit that travel profile with the ultimate balanced Disney vacation by including all the magic and fun of Disney theme parks while making healthy and relaxing amenities easier than ever to enjoy.
Inside the new suites, guests will be able to enjoy the benefit of exercising at the own pace and time with cardio equipment right in their suite. They’ll also be able to start and end their days with seasonal and organic fresh foods at the concierge lounge or enjoy a yoga session and spa treatment in the completely renovated wellness studio. Guests staying on the 14th floor can also take advantage of more traditional club level services, like advance itinerary planning.
The new suites are being renovated with new Bamboo flooring, 100% cotton linens on the non-allergenic wrapped mattresses, as well as rain water showers in the bathrooms. Of course, the 23 completely renovated suites on the 14th Floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort also provide sweeping top floor views of Magic Kingdom Park and Bay Lake. Continuing the popular “storybook” room concept launched in 2009 at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort with elaborately themed pirate rooms, 512 rooms at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort are being renovated with a new “Royal Guest Room” theme centered on Disney princes and princesses.
The story behind the Royal Guest Rooms is Princess Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog” invited her royal friends for a vacation getaway. Friends like Belle from “Beauty and the Beast” and Jasmine from “Aladdin” brought along some of their most treasured possessions. Since “The Princess and the Frog” is set in Princess Tiana’s hometown of New Orleans, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort is a natural fit for the story.
A new royal bed design that includes headboards with special effects above ornately decorated beds and various icons associated with Disney princes and princesses throughout the room will further immerse guests in their favorite stories.
Generally, Walt Disney World Resort rooms are completely renovated on a 12-year cycle. The room’s “soft goods” – including carpets, fabric, and paint – are replaced after six years; and the “hard goods” – including furniture, fixtures, and flooring – are replaced after 12 years, which is in line with industry standards.
All 3,056 rooms at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort, including the 512 new Royal Guest Rooms, are undergoing a hard goods renovation that will be compete by June 2012.
Another niche guest lodging offering at Walt Disney World Resort will be available when 1,020 family suites and 864 value rooms open at the new Disney’s Art of Animation Resort beginning in May 2012.
Via its YouTube channel, DisneyParks released a seven minute video which takes a look at some of the recent additions to the Walt Disney World resort such as the American Idol Experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It street show at the Magic Kingdom as well as an extended look at the Contemporary Resort, from its design and construction in 1971 through the introduction of the Bay Lake Tower DVC resort and the Treehouse Villas.
Several months ago, reports of the WiFi near the Beach Club lobby was open to the public as opposed to the traditional means of charging for it. While some speculated that it must have been in error and would only be temporary, recent reports not only confirm it’s still available in the common areas at the resort, but that resort staff has confirmed it was an intentional, permanent change in policy.
This has now appeared to carry over to other Convention resorts (which all offer WiFi in public areas such as the lobby and pool areas) as we have seen reports that the Contemporary Resort also makes WiFi available at no charge.
Taking it even a step further, multiple reports (and iPhone screenshots) have confirmed that there is free WiFi available inside Innoventions East at Epcot (see photo, courtesy of @jeff318).
There have also been reported free WiFi spots in other parks, such as near City Hall in the Magic Kingdom.
Note that this does not affect the wired internet available inside the resort guest rooms. Non-DVC guests will still be charged to access the internet from inside their rooms.
It is also worth noting that you may occasionally see an open network for TWDC Guests. While you will be able to connect to the network, chances are it will require a login as it’s intended for Cast Members and their direct guests only.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Nearly 38 years after Disney’s Contemporary Resort opened its doors, its modern Disney Vacation Club addition, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, is scheduled to welcome guests on Aug. 4. This will be the seventh Disney Vacation Club (DVC) property at Walt Disney World Resort.
All 15 stories of the ultra-sleek design continue the original building’s iconic style, which opened with the Magic Kingdom theme park Oct. 1, 1971. Bay Lake Tower complements and pays homage to Disney’s Contemporary Resort while also offering a variety of new amenities and conveniences – kitchenettes or full kitchens complete with granite countertops and modern appliances, and other homelike amenities. In addition, most of the 295 two-bedroom equivalent villas in the crescent-shaped tower offer spectacular views of Bay Lake or Magic Kingdom.
Bay Lake Tower, like all DVC resorts, blends Disney magic with elegant design and premier accommodations. DVC members – and, based on availability, overnight Walt Disney World guests staying at Bay Lake Tower – can choose from a number of recreation activities and facilities, including a children’s interactive water play area, Bay Cove Pool, a barbeque pavilion, a Community Hall and two nearby tennis courts.
WESH is reporting that two Disney Transportation buses collided this afternoon near the Contemporary Resort. They report eight to fourteen guests have been sent to Celebration Health for treatment but that all injuries appear to be minor. You can read their coverage here.
Also tweeting live from the scene was Disney Moms Panelist Erin Foster.