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Is the “Disney” Being Lost in Walt Disney World Resort Hotels?

Recently, Disney released new concept art for the expansion and re-imagination of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. My initial reaction was that is looked lovely, but like a trendy hotel that could be located anywhere and operated by any company.

And it isn’t just this one resort — it feels like the concept art that has been coming out for all of new construction of (or renovation to) existing resorts on Walt Disney World property is trending in this direction — which made me wonder: Is the “Disney” being lost in Walt Disney World Resort Hotels?

Before we go any further, I do want to say that I understand that there are different types of travelers to Walt Disney World — and the fact that it can be vacationed in so many different ways is one of the things I love about it — so obviously there is a need for hotels and resorts with a look and feel like these to attract the guests that want this.  So it isn’t that I don’t think there should be *any* resorts like this; rather, is Disney now going too far in this direction and losing what made many of their resorts so unique and special?

For example, let’s examine the renovated rooms at Pop Century Resort.  This is one of Walt Disney World’s most highly themed resorts, yet their re-designed rooms look rather plain.  In the below picture, which is of one of the renovated rooms, I have edited out the Mickey headboard.  Without it, this looks like any room that you can find in most major hotel chains, so it isn’t only the higher-end properties that are being impacted by this.  Personally, if I am going to pay the prices Disney is charging, I want an experience different than what I can get at a regular hotel.

Pop Century Room
Room at Pop Century with sole Disney theme piece removed

Lastly, “heavily themed” doesn’t mean it has to have Mickey head shaped things everywhere, giant statues of The Little Mermaid in the courtyards, or Bowling Pin shaped coverings around the stairwells; it can simply be something that provides full immersion into a unique location and setting.  Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort makes you feel like you really are in the South Pacific, while Port Orleans French Quarter provides a more intimate feel and transports you to New Orleans, and the Beach Club Resort provides the charm of the New England Seaside.

What are your thoughts?  Are you excited that Disney is moving to a more sophisticated and trendy look for their resorts, or would you rather they stick with the heavily themed concepts they have used in the past?

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Father of 3 who enjoys Disney, Craft Beer, and Craft Beer at Disney


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