This is a great question for Walt Disney World first timers and veterans alike. The adjoining room situation at Disney World resort hotels is tricky to navigate, and unfortunately there are no fail-safe rules to ensure you get what you want, but Dad does have some tips to help!
First let me say that Disney does a fabulous job of keeping families together. We've had multiple rooms on each of our last 4 trips and without asking on a couple of them, the rooms were together.
But before we look any deeper there is one thing we should get out of the way. That is you can’t actually reserve adjoining rooms. The only time you’ll be guaranteed a specific room type is if you pay extra to book a “water view” or “preferred” room location (or something similar) and even then you’re only reserving the type of room, not the exact location. You can’t even reserve 2 double beds versus one king bed!
Another thing you need to know is that even if your rooms are directly next to each other, they may not connect internally – and if they do, it’s highly unlikely that all 4 rooms will be connected (typically rooms only connect to one other room, if at all).
So, what can you do to increase your chances of having your family stay together? Your first step is to know the language for making requests. “Adjoining” rooms are next to each other but not connected, and “Connecting” rooms are side by side with an internal door to connect one with the other. When booking your room, there will be an option for “special requests” – make sure you submit your request at the time of booking.
Next, you can call your specific resort during the week before your arrival. Ask for “back office” or “room assignments” – this will get you talking to the right person, and you can once again (nicely, of course) make your request known.
When you arrive at check in, before the Cast Member begins to process your reservation information, remind them that you would like connecting or adjoining rooms if at all possible. Be patient, as it may take them a few minutes (or a few hours) to search the system for rooms that meet your request.
On our last trip, we were assigned some rooms that didn't match our family and we asked for a different set. It was New Years Day and the Pop Century was totally booked. The front desk sent us to the parks, but they took our cell phone number and called us with our room numbers while we were in the park. We had asked for connecting rooms but ended up with adjoining rooms.
Remember, Disney aims to keep guests satisfied, so they will do their best to accommodate you, but you may need to be flexible. If they find you 2 sets of connecting rooms but the two sets are not together, that’s a better option than having four completely separate rooms! Keep in mind that not all rooms have a connecting door(at the Pop Century, which has 2800 rooms, only 700 are connecting)!
The best thing is to let someone else set it up for you so you don't have to worry. The Disney Vacation Planners over at Dreams Come True Vacations are always setting up room requests for those who book through them. It's real easy for them and they are used to it. It's almost automatic for them. They are on the phone with Disney all the time and can get the request on your reservation so when your room gets assigned it will the request will be there already.
There are so many guests arriving and departing from Walt Disney World every day that guaranteeing rooms is almost impossible. But, a little work ahead of time can go a long way. You should prepared, be flexible, and keep in mind that Disney will do their best to keep your family together.
Adjoining rooms or not, you’ll have a magical trip – trust me.