Walt Disney World has announced that full housekeeping will return to all resorts in the near future, following the restoration of the services most hotels over the course of the last 6 months. This post shares the latest update, plus our commentary and recent reader reports on Mousekeeping experiences.
Let’s start with the official announcement itself, edited and condensed for clarity: After a day full of adventures, there’s nothing quite like coming back to your Walt Disney World resort room to find that it’s been refreshed and transformed, as if by magic, by the talented housekeeping cast members who bring a little extra enchantment to our rooms and hallways.
Walt Disney World has heard from many guests about how much they love and have missed the more regular housekeeping services offered prior to the pandemic. Disney indicates that the company has been ramping Mousekeeping back up across Walt Disney World Resort hotels…
By the end of February 2023, full housekeeping room cleanings will once again be available at all of Walt Disney World resort hotel rooms, with services provided daily or every other day depending on where you are staying. These full cleanings include everything you’d expect – from replacing towels and amenities to cleaning the bathrooms, making the beds, emptying trash and recycling, tidying the room, and vacuuming.
Guests may also sometimes come across some extra magical touches, like coming back to your resort room to find your new Mickey ear hat on display or your Disney plushies posing playfully, that make your Walt Disney World hotel room feel that much more like home away from home.
This follows an update about a month ago that full housekeeping was being restored to all Deluxe Resorts at Walt Disney World. That was never published in any guest-facing locations, so it’s possible that was a target rather than a promised amenity or guest service.
With this official announcement, the biggest change should be greater consistency in housekeeping. As we’ve previously shared, on-the-ground experiences with housekeeping have been all over the place in the last 6-8 months at Walt Disney World.
For our part, we’ve done about a half-dozen multi-night stays during that time at Walt Disney World. During that time, the biggest thing we’ve noticed is that there has been a significant shift since around the end of the summer last year–service has been far less hit or miss.
Our Deluxe Resort stays during that time have been at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Grand Floridian, and Yacht Club. All of those provided daily housekeeping. Not really a big surprise, as the official policy was to provide daily housekeeping during those stays. Still worth sharing that the actual experience matches the advertised one.
More noteworthy is that we’ve also had positive and relatively consistent experiences at Value and Moderate Resorts, where the published policy hasn’t really promised anything, save for the pandemic-era light housekeeping service every other day. That has meant removal of trash and used towels, replenishment of towels and amenities throughout room and bathroom, wiping and cleaning of the vanity and counter surfaces, and vacuuming, as necessary.
Our stays during that time have included All Star Music, All Star Sports, Pop Century, and Coronado Springs. At the last one, we’ve done both the outlying buildings and Gran Destino Tower. At each of these resorts, we received full housekeeping every other day, at minimum. On multiple occasions, it was daily–above even the official “full” policy.
Based on anecdotal reports we’ve heard from readers, on-the-ground experiences at Value and Moderate Resorts have been all over the place. Some readers have shared similar stories as to ours, suggesting that housekeeping went above and beyond. Others stated that housekeeping barely entered their rooms over the course of a 7-night stay, with trash and used towels piling up. (Suggesting that the light housekeeping every other day was not even happening.)
Many also shared that they didn’t receive any Mousekeeping at all without calling the front desk, and that didn’t even always do the trick. Other readers had even more markedly negative experiences, with no one entering their rooms except for the infamous safety/security checks.
Speaking of which, Housekeeping “Hassles” at Walt Disney World are still very much a thing according to readers. That applies to both the security checks and early wake-up knocks on check-out day. The former has been a frustration since December 2017, whereas the latter is the more recent result of staffing shortages. Hopefully the restoration of full housekeeping does not exacerbate this issue.
These are two things we have (mercifully) not encountered in the last 6+ months. The lack of security checks is unsurprising–we haven’t been using the ‘Room Occupied’ door hangers, so that makes sense. (As a reminder, Disney doesn’t have a ‘Do Not Disturb’ option.)
As best we can tell, the degree of housekeeping in the last 6-8 months has been a direct byproduct of resort occupancy, staffing, Cast Member workloads, and other variables. During busier seasons or on days when room turnover is higher, the likelihood of full or even light housekeeping is lower.
This should remove that element of inconsistency, which is a definite plus. While it’s nice to be pleasantly surprised by Mousekeeping going above and beyond, it’s equally important to have a minimum baseline for predictable service. This reestablishes that, and is another small step in the right direction. Not as symbolically significant as the elimination of resort parking fees and other big changes announced last month, but a sign that management is making moves to improve the guest experience.
Nevertheless, I want to draw specific attention to All Star Sports, where both housekeeping and the guest experience were especially good. During that stay, a manager of the resort stopped me to inquire about the newly remodeled room and how things were going, generally.
She indicated that feedback on the new rooms at All Star Sports has been universally positive. Guest satisfaction is up and Cast Members prefer the new rooms, too. This manager also offered interesting insights about resort occupancy and building closures, which confirmed what I suspected based on the low number of people out and about at the hotel. (Relevant because it likely explains the superior service–and why you shouldn’t expect the same if staying here when there’s one of the many winter cheerleading events!)
Currently unknown is whether Walt Disney World will once again offer gift cards as part of the “Service Your Way” program for those who decline housekeeping. To the best of my recollection, that also started around 2017 when the housekeeper shortage first cropped up. It was one of the rare perks that got better as time went on, as Disney increased the dollar amount to entice more guests to decline housekeeping. There was never officially published policy about this on DisneyWorld.com, but we received dozens of these gift cards, quite consistently, between 2017 and early 2020.
Like so many other things, the “Service Your Way” program was discontinued when the hotels reopened two years ago. That decision made sense at the time; occupancy was low and rooms didn’t need to be turned over the same day as departure. That is no longer the case, so this incentive should be brought back ASAP. That’s doubly-true given that the “alternative” has been the early morning knocks on checkout day. If Walt Disney World is concerned with guest satisfaction, bringing back those gift cards are a smart move. As counterintuitive as it might sound, they’d probably end up being a cost-savings.
Ultimately, we are really pleased and pleasantly surprised by Walt Disney World’s announcement that all resort hotels are restoring regular housekeeping. I went on record last year predicting that housekeeping would never return to pre-closure norms–not just at Walt Disney World, but for the U.S. hotel industry as a whole.
I’m very happy to be wrong about that, and would be curious to know the motivations for the about-face. Again, not just with Disney, but for the industry as a whole. My guess is it’s a key way to distinguish hotels from home rentals or Airbnb, giving them an advantage. Other possibilities are guest satisfaction, or that lost business outweighs the labor cost-savings. As the travel industry exits the period of pent-up demand, more of this is likely as vacation destinations once again need to compete for consumer dollars.
Regardless of the reason, it’s great to see full housekeeping return to Walt Disney World. Obviously, this is just one small step and we shouldn’t pat the company on the back too much for doing what was once expected. However, as should be clear from our recently-updated Is Walt Disney World’s On-Site Advantage Disappearing…or Reappearing?, this positive change is not occurring in isolation.
I’m sure there’s some inspirational quote about many small steps making a marathon (…or maybe something to do with the moon landing). That’s applicable here, too. After nearly 3 years of steps in the wrong direction, it’s very heartening to see the tides turning and Walt Disney World once again doing the right ‘little things’ to improve the guest experience.
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Are you pleased to hear that full normal housekeeping is returning to Walt Disney World? Or is your attitude “it’s about time!”? Hopeful that the “Service Your Way” gift card option returns for declining housekeeping? What have been your recent experiences with housekeeping at Walt Disney World–and beyond? Does the reinstatement of regular Mousekeeping make you more likely to book an on-site Walt Disney World resort stay? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!