Disney considering building hotel chain

One of the little bits of information that came out when Disney met with investors tonight, was that Jay Rasulo announced Disney was considering building a series of upscale Disney themed hotels in major vacation destinations around the nation, and perhaps the world. This does not sound like that bad of an idea to me. And coupled with the ‘Adventures by Disney’ brand, could succeed in positioning Disney as a leader in all sorts of vacations, not just theme park ones.

That said, if Disney wants to feature hotels themed like its Grand Floridian as ‘Flagship’ hotels, then they’d better start by fixing the  original. Right now, it’s overbuilt (it’s a long walk from the outer buildings to the front desk) and deteriorating around the edges. Plus the fact that Disney has outsourced the front-line positions (baggage handlers, valet, and some night cleaning staff) does not show confidence in Disney’s ability to maintain the quality of the brand.

Now where could they build? They should start in major cities where Disney has a presence already. A New York City property could service the Disney Broadway shows. I think San Francisco is a good second choice with the Walt Disney Family museum opening there. I’ve also heard tell that Disney owns a rather large slice of property on the south end of the Las Vegas strip.

Disney does have two Disney Vacation Club hotels off their resort properties (Hilton Head and Vero Beach). Those seem to be chugging along with support from the DVC families that enjoy staying at those resorts. It wouldn’t surprise me if each of these new hotels included a few DVC only suites. 

1 thought on “Disney considering building hotel chain”

  1. I agree with your comments about front line staff. Bigger is not always better. I am worried that the detail oriented customer service is waning. The hotels will not be successful without the “magic.” For example the Disney stores were boring and lacked any magical Disney feeling. They screamed commercialism instead. In fact, partly because of my distaste for the stores I put off going to Disney World, which I ended up LOVING. But it is all about the attention to every detail, the pride that the cast members take in being absolutely delightful. As an Executive Director in a service oriented industry, I know it is not easy. That is why Disney (used to be?) so magical. So I am hoping that if expansion is on the way there is a detail fanatic with a vision of doing it better than it’s ever been done before!

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