Disney World reveals plans for Princess themed rooms

Disney World has been experimenting with lightly themed rooms at its resorts for the last few years. You may have stayed in a Pirates or Little Mermaid themed room at the Caribbean Beach Resort. They’re even building a whole new resort (Art of Animation) with themed rooms. Today the Orlando Sentinel reports that Disney will be taking this a step further by adding Princess suites to the Riverside section of the Port Orleans resort.

It’s a concept Disney has dubbed “storybook” hotel rooms — rooms that are more lavishly themed than conventional hotel rooms and are devoted to key company franchises. The company previously converted a wing of rooms in Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort to a pirates theme, and those have proven so popular that the resort has been able to charge a $30-a-night premium for them.

In addition, Disney is banking on the princess makeover to ensure that travelers remain willing to pay a premium to stay at Port Orleans, which, like Caribbean Beach, is priced as a “moderate” resort, Disney’s middle tier. Those rooms will be among the most vulnerable to losing business to the new Art of Animation Resort, a lower-priced, “value” hotel. Art of Animation, which will have 1,120 family suites and 864 regular rooms, will open in phases beginning in May 2012.

While I’m not sure how will the health themed rooms will work at a hotel that’s not already known for its Spa services, although I think the Contemporary could make that a new emphasis, I do think this is a move in the right direction for Disney. For a long time the “moderate” resorts were mostly separated from the “value” by a slightly larger room size. With Pop Century’s more central location, there was little reason to upgrade for a room where you only planned to crash at the end of the day.

Okay, Disney fans. Will these upgrades make you think twice about booking a moderate room instead of a value in the future?

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13 Responses to Disney World reveals plans for Princess themed rooms

  1. Absolutely! Actually for our next trip we’re seriously considering the Pirate themed rooms at the Caribbean Beach Resort. Not sure if my boys would tolerate a Princess room though….they may just have to deal. Mom and Sis get to be girly sometimes :)

  2. More than just room size separates moderate from value resorts. For dining, value resorts have food courts, whereas moderates will also have a restaurant along with a bar/lounge. The moderates also have much nicer theming/landscaping.

    If one is truly only looking for a bed and doesn’t care about anything else, the values are fine. I’ve stayed at them several times myself to help keep costs down. But when we go on vacation we like to relax at the resort where we stay, and a stay at a moderate is much better for this than a value.

    The new themed rooms don’t do a thing for me, but I’m OK with it as long as they don’t go overboard. Now if they ever do the Haunted Mansion themed rooms… well, that’s different. I’d love to see that. :)

    • John Frost says:

      I guess my point was that there used to be more separating value from moderate. Moderates have moved down a bit in their uniqueness while values have been getting better, especially with Pop Century and Art of Animation.

  3. I think it’s a good move for Disney…….we opted to stay in a Pirate themed room this March at Caribbean Beach. That was the draw for us……..they need more of that in my opinion. I’d stay in a Princess room in a heartbeat!

  4. Aimee says:

    We used to stay strictly at moderates, loved the POFQ and Caribbean Beach. Occasionally would stay at a deluxe when my budget coincided with a good deal, but a couple of years ago we booked a value when everything else was full. Haven’t looked back! Our current favorite is the Pop Century.

    I think it would be fun to try the Princess themed room as my girls are still really into that. We’ve seen the Pirate rooms and while they look great, the extra dollars, IMO, are better spent on food/meals since we have to be judicious with every dollar. So we’ll check it out but we’ll probably stick with values.

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  7. NT3 says:

    I’m a little concerned about how the princess rooms are going to fit into the Riverside theme. I guess that’s the best fit if they HAD to pick a moderate resort to fit them into. PIRATES are a natural fit for a CARIBBEAN resort. When I think “Alligator Bayou” I don’t necessarily think “Cinderella.” But whatever keeps the beds filled, I guess.

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  10. Shelley says:

    While I’m not opposed to “themed” rooms (though personally, they wouldn’t be a draw for me), this totally mucks up the show. Princesses and Port Orleans do not go together the way Pirates and the Carribean do. And the moderates have their own draw, particularly Port Orleans – the marina, the bike rentals, the hot tub, the trundle bed. I love both Pop and Port Orleans, for different reasons, but throwing princesses into the bayou (haha) is not the way to go, in my opinion.

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  12. gillian_WV says:

    While I cringe at the extra cost, the pirates are winning with my boys. As much as I think a room is a room, they really like the pirate stuff.
    And I do like the princess theme, it’s elegant without being uber-pink & glitter everywhere.
    Sometime ago I saw a rumor about other themes, I suppose it meant the new Art of Animation, but I would like to see more themes. I’d pay quite a bit more for villains. :)>
    Eventually you’d think they have to bulk up the amenities: Wifi and basic kitchen stuff (fridge, microwave or toaster) in every room.

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