How DO you get Upgrades?


Earning My Ears
Oct 13, 1999
I have seen many listings about getting upgraded. Is this someting you pay for or can you get it another way? We currently have a standard room at AKL the CM said he would request a pool view for us. We would love to have a savannah view. How do you get upgraded?

In order to be assured of that type view you can reserve it and pay the difference.
I do as WDWTrekker has stated and pay for what I want.

Sit yourself down for a few quiet moments and decide what it is exactly that you want out of your vacation and then plan for it. If a specific resort is desired, book a room there. If a specific view is desired, book it. If you do all that ahead of time, you can then relax and begin planning a magical vacation. If you do all that and pixie dust happens to fall upon your family during your vacation, then that is just icing on the cake!
I always pay for the view I really want. We have stayed at AKL 4 times, and a savannah view is important to me. Therefore, I always book that room category.

A savannah view room would actually be a 2 category upgrade from a standard view. If the savannah view is really important to you, pay the extra and be sure that you have it. Otherwise, you may be disappointed.
We have only received a complimentary upgrade one time - on our last trip.

I think it resolves down to a few simple decision points:

* Are there plenty of rooms available? Obviously if you are there during a busy time it will be hard to get an upgrade because the resort needs to keep the 'better' rooms ready for the customers that have reserved them.

* Will giving the upgrade cost the resort any money? I think it is especially rare for someone to be upgraded to a concierge room because the resort actually has some expense associated with the upgrade - as opposed to an upgrade from a Garden View to a Lagoon View which doesn't really cost them anything.

* And finally - Is there a REASON...? If you show up trailing tin-cans and a big sign that says 'Just Married' you have a better shot at an upgrade :-)

Our stay at AKL last Nov/Dec met all three of the above. AKL (all of WDW really) was very empty when we visited so there were plenty of rooms available, the upgrade didn't cost the resort any money (standard to standard-savannah), and when we checked in I actually made an effort to give the check-in lady a reason. I mentioned that we typically stayed at the Poly (a slight exaggeration, although we have stayed there more than any other resort), that we had just come from the HRH - and it had really impressed us, and that we were giving the AKL a try because we had to be careful with money on this trip.

It worked - when she handed me the map/keys she pointed out that we would be in a Savannah view and hoped that we would "have an extra magical visit" with them (if memory serves).

As I say - it's never happened before so it may merely have been pure luck.
I was upgraded a few years ago at the Grand Floridian from the cheapest room ($300 a night) to the Honeymoon Suite conceirge in the main building!
I have only NOT received an upgrade one time. I always get upgraded. I won't divulge all my secrets, but here are a few hints.

Be very nice, chat with the reservationist, and ASK! Sweetly say, are there any other rooms that are empty that you could put us in? Unless they are a little mean-spirited, why would they say no?

I'm serious when I sayI've gotten upgraded mostly to concierge level (It helps to be a member of that Hotels club), and at the very least a bigger room/view. This isn't just at Disney but every where. It takes luck and charm, but for me, it really has worked!
Do you think it helps to tell them we have Disney Club at checkin? We're getting a postcard rate and not using the Disney club rate.
I agree with Trekker. You should pay for the view you want. With a standard view room, you may very well end up with a parking lot view since requests are not guaranteed. :D
We never ask for upgrades or specific rooms at Disney and only expect to get the view we paid for. But twice we were pleasantly surprised. Once at the Wilderness Lodge, a standard room turned into a beautiful courtyard view of the pool. The best was at the Beach Club, we had a terrific rate for a standard room (Dec 2000). When we pulled into the parking lot we noticed the construction for the vacation club and thought we would be overlooking the construction. When we checked in we were told our room was not ready but were given our room number which we were told would be on the concierge level. Well, when we got to our room it had the most beautiful view of the pool and the Boardwalk. Thought I died and went to heaven!
We've gotten free upgrades several times, and I think it's just the luck of the draw. I think we've gotten them most often on short stays (3 nights or less) and since we are resort-hoppers, we do alot of short stays. And we usually travel off-peak seasons, although one of our best upgrades was on the 4th of July to Poly Concierge with an awesome view of the MK! :D

We always book the room we want, and if a little something extra happens, all the better!


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