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Disney ponders new style of hotel

Lagoon_lrThe latest hotel to open near Walt Disney World introduced a new genre into the hospitality market, the Family Suites. The Nick Hotel, a remodeled Holiday Inn, has been hard to get into during the busy season and features an all suite lineup where the popular ‘kidsuites’ have a separate room designed just for the kids. The hotel is also home to a great pool complex (see webcams here).

I wasn’t surprised to hear the Disney wanted to capitalize on the idea of family suites. The deluxe hotels always had a few nice suites and the time-share Disney Vacation Club utlized suites liberally throughout their designs. However, there are no value or moderate resorts where a family of 6 or more can all stay together in one room.

That all changed a few months ago when Pop Century (a value level) Resort was testing a few rooms they’d remodeled into Family Style Suites. You couldn’t reserve them, but if you were a large family and the rooms where available when you were checking in, you would get offered the upgrade at check-in. Now The Mouse For Less has posted photos from a similar suite at the other value resort, the All-Stars.

If Disney decides to grow this concept into something more, and I hope they do, they already have a perfect place for it. Pop Century resort has a mostly finished second half that has been sitting un-used since 2004. A little remodel and some paint and voila, a Disney style family resort. The concept would also extend well to some of the moderate level resorts as they share similar room layouts with the value resorts (just a tad larger).

Just something to keep in mind as you consider booking those family vacations.

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