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Outside guests visiting Disney Resorts
by Jessica (Colorado Springs)
Hi, Dad. I have a question about Disney hotel policies. My husband and I are taking our 4 year old daughter in April, and we will be staying at the Port Orleans resort. We are planning on meeting up with some old friends who live in Orlando and spending a day in the parks with them, and they have a 2 year old.
I wondered if you know whether or not it is allowable for us to bring them with us back to our hotel mid-day so that the kids can rest, even though they themselves will not be staying at the resort?
This is a great question. Bringing non-hotel guests back to enjoy the amenities of a Walt Disney World hotel is a bit of a touchy subject. The official answer is that resort amenities are for guests only, but the unofficial answer is that it really depends what part of the resort you plan to use. Dad doesn’t want to be a wet blanket, but here are some things to consider so you can make an informed decision about whether to host your friends at your hotel.
Walt Disney World Resort Hotels are some of the most beautiful and unique resorts anywhere. Disney encourages guests who are staying elsewhere to stop by and see the impressive main buildings, enjoy the landscaping, pick up something in the gift shop, and of course – dine! The resorts at Walt Disney World have some of the most unique restaurants on property, and getting you to dine at a hotel means you’ll see how nice it is and consider a future stay.
So, anyone can show up at any Disney hotel and take a peek around, have a bite to eat, and get on with their day. Parking is limited to a couple of hours though, so that there is minimal risk of day-trip guests overstaying their welcome. Disney has had problems over the years with non-hotel guests using the pools as a mid-afternoon break spot – a service they didn’t pay for and which interfered with resort guests enjoying the amenities they paid for.
The biggest area of concern for Disney is Stormalong Bay at the Beach Club Resort – it’s an incredible pool structure that’s practically a mini waterpark. It was being so overused by non-hotel guests that now you need your key card to get in and out, and it’s carefully monitored for trespassers.
The pool lock-down doesn’t’ stop there though. Technically, you’re not even allowed to pool-hop between resorts (for instance, if you’re staying at the Pop Century, you can’t head over to the Polynesian for your afternoon dip). Outside guests not staying on property are expressly forbidden from using the pool areas, although other that at Stormalong Bay, this is only moderately enforced.
However, if you simply want the kiddos to be able to take a nap, you can quietly bring your friends back to your room at the Port Orleans and no one will be the wiser. While they’re napping, the adults can even take turns watching them and strolling about the property.
Dad’s Bottom Line
Jessica, you can bring your guests back for a rest, but use your best judgment about which resort facilities you utilize with them. Napping and grabbing a bite should be fine, but taking a dip may prove more trouble than it’s worth.