Non-Disney Owned Hotels Getting Extra Magic Hours and more
As first reported by Tom Corless at wdwnt.com and later corroborated by several Disney news outlets, starting in 2018 The 7 Disney Springs Area hotels will be afforded the following perks usually reserved only for Disney Resort guests:
Beginning Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2018, Guests at any of these Official WALT DISNEY WORLD hotels, with a valid theme park ticket, can take advantage of Extra Magic Hours benefit as each day, one of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks opens early or extends later for Guests to enjoy select attractions.
Scheduled to begin Jan. 10, 2018, Walt Disney Travel Company packages are available for online bookings for the Disney Springs® Resort Area hotels. Also, scheduled to begin Jan. 10, 2018, Guests at these Official WALT DISNEY WORLD hotels, who have booked a package reservation for the hotel through a Walt Disney Travel Company package, will be able to link their hotel reservation on My Disney Experience, and with a linked, valid theme park ticket, these Guests can utilize a 60-day booking window for FastPass+ selections. These are benefits that are already available to Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Guests.
The Disney blogosphere comments have been rolling in hot and heavy and people are pissed. So before I jumped off the deep-end with them I tried to take this in perspective. And while I’m a Fan of staying on-site and this certainly isn’t the best news for me personally, I will say to my fellow Disney fans, slow your fucking roll a bit. First of all it’s only 7 hotels and these hotels are on Disney property (a la the Swan and Dolphin who already have said benefits) so it’s not like the Motel 6 down I-Drive is getting Mouse perks now. Also if you read the wording the FastPass 60 day window is for those guest “who have booked a package reservation for the hotel through a Walt Disney Travel Company package.” Which reads to me that only guest who book their stay as one package will get the benefits. I’d bet that most folks who stay at these properties are booking directly with the hotel website, using points, or using third parties such as Expedia and the like. I doubt they are doing this thru a Disney authorized Travel agent or directly thru the Disney Travel Company (Trying to find these hotels on the Disney Website is nearly impossible). Also, if you take a look at the official Disney Springs Area hotel website, you’ll notice that the advertising of the Extra Magic Hours perk requires the caveat of “Valid Theme Park admission and Extra Magic Hours benefit voucher are required.” Not sure how their guests will obtain the “benefit voucher” but you can guess that it will be those who booked through “official” means and not the guy who got the “secret hotel” deal on Priceline or elsewhere.
So does this dilute the value of the perks guests like me receive at a Disney owned and operated Resort, sure. But let’s not go so damn ballistic, the magnitude of this change is probably minimal if not entirely unnoticeable.