Why doesn't Disney allow guests room choice and charge for it?

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by BabybetterDisney, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. BabybetterDisney

    BabybetterDisney Mouseketeer

    Apr 14, 2018
    I would love to pay extra for the option of choosing the exact room I want. Disney can, for example, allow people to choose from all the odd-numbered rooms for $10 fee while reserving the even numbered rooms to assign themselves. They can set up a program where the website asks guests a few questions (preferred building, facing lake, top floor), then generate 3 or 4 room options on a simple map within the desired room category for guests to pick. Each room's distinctive qualities (2nd floor, 2 queen beds, shower, view of parking lot, connecting) should be listed. This must be done say, at least 30 days before guest arrival, up to 180 days in advance, just like ADRs. So within 30 days, all non-chosen rooms revert back to hotel assignment.


    1. Guests can then pick the exact room they want. Many people will be happy to pay for this right!
    2. Cut down Disney's room assigning work by half, and reduce calls they handle with people asking for room assignments.
    3. People who don't want to pay extra can still request their favorite room the old way.
    4. Some people prefer rooms that others may not like, for different personal reasons. This way, more rooms are assigned to people who love them. For example, some people might think looking at the roof is the worst, while others (like me) prefer it!
    5. Making requests is okay, but when each guest choose the rooms they can make a much better personal decision that is difficult to convey in detail in a request. Room requests are supposed to be kept simple because Disney doesn't want to spend hours studying all your needs and preferences, but you know them!
    6. To do this, Disney just need to adjust the current room assignment program a bit to allow guest access. Once that's done, they can rake in the extra cash.
    7. In case an accident causes a chosen room to go out of commission, the guest will accept a different room in the same category and receive a refund of their room choice fee.
    8. Disney will get fewer complaints from people who don't get their choices.
    9. Disney can use the fee to control the number of guests who wants to choose rooms. For example, if too many people are wanting to choose rooms, they can raise the fee until the right number of people are willing to pay for the choice. The fee can be different for each hotel, depending on demand.
    10. People who rather not pay the fee still have the same possibility of getting the room of their choice as before, being that half the rooms are reserved for them, and those that pay for the choice are out of the way of the non-choice rooms.
    11. People who want connecting or adjacent rooms can now be guaranteed they get it, rather than hoping for it. (Even numbered rooms can be chosen as a package of a connecting room to an odd numbered room.)
    12. Guests who change their minds can look for a different room any time before the 30 day limit, just like fastpasses, or give up their room choice and receive a refund.
    13. Disney can work less, earn more, and provide more guest satisfaction.

    WEDWDW DIS Veteran

    Mar 27, 2004
    The standard answer is always it would just be too "complicated" at WDW.
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  4. Jennasis

    Jennasis DIS life goes on

    Jun 11, 2000
    Hopefully and gillep like this.
  5. snappy

    snappy Survivor

    Apr 15, 2002
    Doesn’t sound impossible but with Disney IT, I can only imagine how complicated it could get
  6. Brett Wyman

    Brett Wyman DIS Veteran

    Mar 30, 2018
    Because it would be a logistical nightmare. You probably aren't aware but your room assignment may change multiple times before you check-in, online or in person. The resort front desk CMs frequently move guests between rooms to accommodate other things such as out of service rooms, early arrivals, angry or demanding guests, etc. Disney wouldn't be able to provide the service levels they desire if they didn't have a pool of rooms to work from. Your room request is usual filled at the very last minute based on current availability.
  7. StageTek

    StageTek It's kind of fun to do the impossible.

    Apr 20, 2007
    What happens if the exact room you want has already been paid for by another guest?

    I just don't see people who have paid for a specific room being satisfied with this option if they don't get what they paid for. Far too many variables in room assignment.
  8. Mac30188

    Mac30188 Mouseketeer

    Jun 16, 2015
    Well or if something goes wrong in one of the rooms that was already paid for. They need to leave this dynamic so they have the flexibility to overcome any issue without the guest feeling like they got a raw deal.
    ClapYourHands likes this.
  9. Queen of the WDW Scene

    Queen of the WDW Scene It's only MY opinion, YOU decided to quote it.

    Aug 24, 2016
    Doesn't seem like it would work in my opinon.
    You have families that book multiple rooms and want connect5ing or next to so odd and even how's that work for them?
    There's a lot more logistics that go into picking rooms for people than you realize.
    They already do give you the option of choosing approximately where you stay based on whether you book and pay for standard, preferred, pool view etc.
    You can also making requests for specific areas within the option you picked.
    You could even requests a specific room for free but as with all requests its just a request.
  10. marchingstar

    marchingstar DIS Veteran

    Jun 18, 2014
    hah, exactly. Right now I would be just happy to see a website that allows me to consistently see what resorts have availability and book (maybe even modify!) my own reservation online.

    As for the system you're proposing, I think a few things:
    1. If this ever happened, it would cost a heck of a lot more than 10$ to select a room.
    2. Guests would get even pickier. What happens when 30 people all book requesting room 1234? If I'm paying to select that room and I'm stuck in room 1236, I'm going to be demanding a refund, creating more work (someone is going to have to find me the best alternative to the 1234 room I've picked, and then manage my frustration when I'm at the resort and 'disappointed' I didn't get what I asked for).
    3. What happens if a room needs to be closed for unexpected maintenance?
    4. Is the website now responsible for showing every detail of every room? At first, people might ask to see views like on touring plans's room finder. But then they might want to know exact square footage, other details. There are little variations between rooms and people would want to know exactly what they're booking with this sort of system
    5. Would it be like plane seating, where some rooms are marked L for less desirable? (on a plane, this usually means the seat doesn't fully recline or there's less leg room. At WDW it might mean there's no full balcony or any number of other things).
    6. Now that people are making requests, Disney might see a disproportionate number of guests booking a specific standard room that has an unofficial view, or corner rooms with a bit more natural light. Does the cost of those rooms go up to account for demand? I bet Disney would be all over this.
    7. What about an accessible room with a great view. Can it be pre-booked by someone interested in the view? What if it's the last accessible room in the resort, and now someone who needs that accessibility is stuck in a room they can't use?

    I think it's an interesting thought experiment for us, but I think it would ultimately be a logistical nightmare, and it would mean all kinds of pricing variability that would ultimately suck for guests.
  11. focusondisney

    focusondisney DIS Veteran

    May 7, 2009
    I don’t see this working. There are so many room categories at the hotels, it would be a nightmare determining how many of each room would be allotted for guests to reserve. They would have to limit the guests choices to exactly what they booked. One more thing for their IT department to deal with. Then the exact room you want has to be available for the length of your stay. If it is already reserved for even 1 night by someone else, it won’t show as available for you to book. Disney has already adjusted their booking policies so you can’t just add it drop rooms to limit the number of single room nights left. I can’t imagine the nightmare it would be trying to figure out where to put guests who chose not to pay. And it would be one more thing for people to stress over (“got to get the perfect room”) & complain about when they don’t.
  12. buzznina

    buzznina DIS Veteran

    Oct 18, 2007
    Like marchingstar, I would just like to see a calendar for each resort that shows the days that are available to book and not go through the PITA of adding a day here removing a day there to try and figure what's available. WDW has such a constant high occupancy rate that the choosing a room would be a nightmare. Other hotels can do this because they usually have a lot more rooms available.
    Bribrittmom and focusondisney like this.
  13. snappy

    snappy Survivor

    Apr 15, 2002
    Yes, I was thinking about picking seats on airlines too.

    I think it would be nice to be able to book general categories or areas, not specific rooms, like BWV 5017 for on stance. We can boon boardwalk view but can only request high floor, close to elevator etc.

    FWIW I book rooms as soon as my DVC window opens and make 1 request, the 1 that is the most important to me. It has worked all but twice in 15-20 stays. And I survived
  14. snappy

    snappy Survivor

    Apr 15, 2002
    I think if Disney could monetize it (have to be more that $10, maybe $100 plus) they would try it, already charge more for different views, categories, sizes and CL or value. Could add more categories and charge more to their hearts content.
  15. Hopefully

    Hopefully DIS Veteran

    Nov 3, 1999
    I don’t think it has any benefits. Way too many variables
    DisneyArkie and smiths02 like this.
  16. _19disnA

    _19disnA DIS Veteran

    Aug 8, 2018
    ^^ I agree. Does it really matter if you stay in room 124 vs. 125? Would make the process of setting up reservations, very complicated. To me this is totally different from picking airlines seats since you sit in one place for the duration of the flight and you don't have others coming and going as you would when staying multiple days at a resort.
    Dug720 likes this.
  17. smiths02

    smiths02 DIS Veteran

    Feb 13, 2009
    I think it would be a logistical nightmare with different people having different check-in and check-out dates.

    What you are thinking of sounds like an airplane or a cruise ship...everyone gets on and gets off at the same time in those cases, though. You would also have to consider the number of cancellations and/or re-booking that a resort with thousands of rooms goes through. I don't think the deposit and final payment would be as lenient if you selected rooms (like it isn't as lenient for cruises or airplanes).
  18. StageTek

    StageTek It's kind of fun to do the impossible.

    Apr 20, 2007
    It seems pretty clear that $10 isn't remotely possible.

    How much would you be willing to pay for this? $100? $50?
  19. GADisneyDad14

    GADisneyDad14 TPAS Moderator Moderator

    Jul 3, 2014
    I'm good with the current selection of room types and (perhaps most importantly) view categories - that covers everything we realistically need control over when making a decision to book a certain resort or room type.

    Club Level rooms at the Deluxe resorts already provide options for people that want to pay more / be located on/in specific floors or buildings (depending on the resort).
  20. maxiesmom

    maxiesmom The Mean Squinty Eye Works

    Jul 6, 2004
    And what if they can't provide the room booked? There is no way for Disney to 100% guarantee ahead of time you will get the general room location you have booked, let alone trying to guarantee a specific room. It would be a mess.
  21. LilyWDW

    LilyWDW Going to My Happy Place

    May 7, 2006
    Wouldn't work with someplace like Disney. Too many variables. Too much could go wrong. Just not feasible.
    DisneyArkie and Hopefully like this.

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