There has been a lot of talk in the last few weeks over the new Disney Resort policy. Disney staff have removed the "Do Not Disturb" door hangers and instead, are replacing them with signs that say "occupied" and even if a guest has refused room cleaning, Disney will be doing a quick room check once a day.
As you can imagine, this has raised a lot of questions, and many potential guests are concerned. Everyone is wondering, am I going to be walked in on when I'm changing clothes? When my child is sleeping? Why do they even have to come in? What if I'm in the bathroom?! I don't want them stealing my medicine/stuff/seeing what I have!
Before you start to panic, we want to point out that there are some positives to this new change, and I'd like to point those out, as well as ease concerns over Disney staff barging in.
So why is Disney doing this? Guest safety (and enjoyment) is the number one priority of Disney. Tragic events in Las Vegas in 2017 in part led to this decision I am sure, but as Disney is always changing they way they do things to provide a magical of an experience for their guests, I don't really see this as a bad change.
Have you ever been in a hotel room and someone's alarm clock has been going off for an hour, or three, and the hotel staff won't do anything about it? The room might be unoccupied, but the person in the room also might be hurt, or sick and a quick welfare check could possibly save their life, as well as your headache from that awful BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP that's been driving you crazy for hours.
Let's also bring up another point. Trash. Disney World is in Florida, and the bugs there are big and plenty, because of the humid conditions. They do the best they can to keep Jimminy Cricket in the parks where he belongs, and not in your room, but the people who are dashing from one park to the next, leaving bottles and food scattered in their room, or overflowing the trash cans are just encouraging the little critters. There's only so much magical "treatment" for pests they can do, and it won't work as well if the person next door isn't doing their part to keep their food trash disposed of.
Here's an example. On our 2015 trip, a woman was upset, and complained to us there had been a dead bug in her resort room and she was never staying there again. My husband and I just kind of shrugged, "better dead, than alive!" I said, but she wasn't amused. Meantime, she was pushing a stroller so filled with empty bottles and food wrappers, I had to kind of wonder if she had let them in to change her trash, or had bothered to throw any of it away herself. Let's be honest here...if you aren't letting them in to empty those teeny little trash cans at least every other day, there's going to be an overflowing, and possibly smelly, bug invitation situation.
Since Disney is also going to be allowing dogs on some of the resorts, wouldn't it be nice to have someone check on why the dog next door has been barking so you can enjoy your own room, without the noise?
But what about your concerns? Privacy? Naptime? First off, there won't be any barging in. If you have requested no housekeeping, you can still have the sign on the outside of your door, stating that you are in the room
Disney won't come into your room without knocking first. Let's let common sense prevail here... if you ARE in the room, have the added security latch on. No one can come in if the latch is on. If you do get a knock and the staff doesn't get a reply, because you are in the shower, or napping then I'm sure they will open the door, but if you have it latched, they can't come in, and will try again later. (Unless of course, you've let them in so they can ask if you need anything.)
What about your personal belongings?
Disney Staff don't have the time to riffle through your suitcase or drawers, really, they don't care what your underwear looks like. They've a ton of rooms to clean and check on, and only so much time to do it in. If you ARE worried about electronics, jewelry, money or medicine, then a simple solution would be to lock them in your suitcase, or the room safe. You might prefer to just leave everything out, but even if in the past you had requested no one come in your room, there's no guarantee that was honored.
I personally have never checked into a hotel where the fine print didn't say that the staff had the right to enter my room at any time. I've had people walk in (at non Disney hotels) while I was sleeping. I've had things stolen, that I didn't think needed to be locked in my suitcase for security, like food items, and that's just how it goes. When you are on someone else's property, you are there under their rules. Sure, the staff shouldn't steal, and most of them don't, but it only takes one, or perhaps a person walking past your room, and slipping in to steal something while the housecleaning is tidying up. Use your common sense, put anything important to you out of sight!
Disney isn't the only hotel changing their policy, but others have been doing it longer. An article I read recently had a quote from the chief executive of another hotel chain, who mentioned that if there was a do not disturb sign at one of their hotels for more than 12 hours, security would be investigating. It's a pretty interesting article, and you can click here to read it if you like.
While it's easy for people to get worried about changes they might not like, I honestly feel that this change is for the better, it gives a little more transparity to somthing that Disney had the right to do all along, and for the average person, it's not going to effect them at all on their vacatiopn.
I honestl.y think the biggest problem will be that everyone wants to take home those adorable little signs. I'm betting by the time we get there again, they will have changed them to boring old plain ones, because everyone keeps swiping them! They are awfully cute!