If you’ve decided to stay at one of the Disney resort hotels, congratulations! You’re in for a very magical experience! Each one of the hotels is different, but they all have one thing in common: happy, smiling, well-informed Cast Members.
Whether you’ve been to Disney World several times or this is your first visit, you’ll want to take advantage of the knowledge of these experts.
Let’s take a look at the top ten questions you should ask Disney Resort Hotel Cast Members.
1. How do I get there from here?
Disney World is massive- 40 square miles to be exact. While it’s not all developed, it can be very confusing to get around if you’re not familiar with the area. Fortunately, your friendly front desk concierge practically lives in Disney World, so they can help.
Inside Disney World, there are dozens of resorts, two water parks, four theme parks, and golf courses (miniature and professional). Knowing how to get to where you want to go before you set on your way can save you a lot of time!
But first you have to get to your hotel room! Some of the resorts can be huge, sprawling estates in their own right, so pay attention when they give you directions, and ask for a printed map with your room location circled. Believe me, you don’t want to be wandering the resort for an hour looking for your room before you can even get to the parks.
2. What transportation is the best way to get around?
Once you land at the Orlando International Airport, you should board Disney’s Magical Express, which is free transportation from the airport to your hotel. Once you arrive on property, the transportation is also free and complimentary. All resort hotels have access to bus transportation, but some have ferry access and monorail stops as well.
They do not run all day and night; it’s usually an hour before and an hour after the last park opens and closes for the day. Disney Springs has bus transportation late into the evening since many venues are open into the early morning hours.
Resort hotel Cast Members are excellent resources to find the best way to get around. For example, you can take the monorail from Disney’s Contemporary Resort to Magic Kingdom, but it would be just as easy to walk across the street. This is also true for buses at Epcot, but Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, and Disney’s Boardwalk Inn are within walking distance of Epcot’s back gate, the International Gateway. These pieces of information are handy, and although you can get there other ways, these will save you time and long waits in crowds.
3. Does this resort have any special activities?
Disney’s Resort Hotels are divided into three categories: Value, Moderate, and Deluxe. Each hotel has unique theming including entertainment, shopping, and dining.
The value resorts will have less elaborate theming, especially when it comes to resort buildings and pools. The deluxe resort hotels will have the most elaborate.
You should definitely ask the Cast Member checking you in what special activities your resort offers. Some special activities include movies under the stars, stories, songs, and marshmallows around a campfire, bike and surrey bike rentals, fishing excursions, playgrounds, jogging and walking trails, and even children’s programs. Some hotels like Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge have extra special activities like the live animals on the savanna. Like transportation, some of these activities have specific hours, so be sure to ask about that too.
4. Who should I tip?
Disney has an interesting policy on tipping, and many people don’t know how to do it. Most Cast Members aren’t allowed to accept monetary tips, but you should tip anyone who helps with your luggage. You should also tip the housekeeping staff, also known as Mousekeeping.
If you encounter a Cast Member who does something really extraordinary, ask your hotel concierge to submit a “tip.” They will ask you for the Cast Member’s name and as much information as you can provide, and they’ll submit the “tip” form to Casting, or Disney’s Human Resources department. Cast Members value these tips even more than monetary tips because they can lead to promotions, bonuses, and kudos.
If you don’t know who or how to tip in Disney World, the front desk staff can help clear things up.
5. How do I celebrate?
If you’re in Disney World celebrating something special, ask a Cast Member at your hotel for a celebration button. Throughout your vacation, Cast Members and even regular guests will congratulate you or wish you happiness for whatever you’re celebrating.
If you’re not celebrating anything special, you’re still on vacation in Disney World which is reason enough to celebrate! Resort hotel Cast Members can tell you about parades, fireworks, and special parties like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party or Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.
6. Are there any promotions going on right now?
Disney frequently runs special promotions like Free Dining or a Room Discount. Whether or not you took advantage of these promotions when you made your reservation, Cast Members at the resort can help you understand what these promotions mean and whether you can take advantage of them for your vacation or not.
There are also special promotions offered to some guests if you book another vacation before you head home from your current one. These are called Bounce Back offers. If you don’t get one at check out, ask a Cast Member if you’re eligible. It never hurts to ask!
7. Can we get an upgrade?
Another thing you might want to ask for is an upgrade. There are several ways to increase your odds of getting an upgrade, but your chances increase exponentially if you’re celebrating something special like a birthday, an anniversary, a honeymoon, a graduation, or a first visit.
Disney Cast Members like to create extra special magic, and they are given the authority to do so at their discretion. If you ask politely explaining the situation and that you’re really excited to finally be [back] in Disney World, they just might oblige. Again, it never hurts to ask!
8. What can’t I see right now?
Disney works very hard to keep everything fresh, new, and clean, but that means occasional closures for scheduled maintenance and refurbishments. This information is usually available on the website, but Cast Members will also be aware of this information.
There are also occasional breakdowns leading to temporarily closed attractions. These closures could be for a few minutes or a few hours depending on the issue. Resort Cast Members might not always be aware of the details of short closures, but they’ll do their best to get you the information you need.
9. How do I use my MagicBand?
The MagicBand was a revolutionary invention for Disney World, and it – together with the overall My Disney Experience program – changed the way that guests vacationed. The MagicBand eliminated the need for room keys, park tickets, and any form of payment besides cash. Everything is available right on this very special little band.
Disney World recently released the MagicBand2, which is a new and improved version of the first design. Now you can take out the disc in the middle and wear it as a keychain, on a lanyard, or carry it in your pocket. There are tons of accessories available for every style and preference, and Cast Members at the resort can tell you about these accessories. They can even show you some of the accessories available at the store in the resort!
10. What do you think?
Don’t forget that resort hotel Cast Members are not robots. When they’re not working, they get into the world’s top rated theme parks for free, so they’ve probably spent a lot of time in the parks and all around the resort. Whether you’re looking for a really cool souvenir, an awesome restaurant, a fun night out, or the best place to meet your favorite character, they can help because they have reliable, first-hand experience.
Ask them where they’re from; many of them have traveled long distances to work at Disney World while some of them are local. Ask them what they’re favorite attraction or character is and why, or where they like to relax at the resort.
If you ask them something they don’t know, they have connections to people who do know and they can find out just about anything for you. Establishing a personal connection with a Cast Member can also exponentially increase your odds of getting some kind of upgrade or bonus at some point during your vacation.
Do you find Disney Cast Members at the Resorts to be helpful?