What can Walt Disney World's hotels do to help you feel safer?

December 24, 2017, 3:31 PM · What can hotels do to help you feel safer when you are visiting?

A few Walt Disney World hotels are getting rid of the traditional "Do Not Disturb" cards, replacing them with "Room Occupied" signs. Why? Because now Disney cast members will be required to enter your room to check on it and you once a day, whether you want Mousekeeping services or not. "Room Occupied" just lets the cast members know that you are in the room, so that they can be sensitive to your privacy... and their security.

The change has gone into effect at the three "monorail resorts": the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and the Contemporary. It is expected to spread to Disney's other hotels at some point.

Blame what happened in Las Vegas earlier this year. Disney — like many hoteliers in popular, high-profile tourist destinations — wants to ensure that it is not harboring anyone collecting an arsenal in his room. Or someone engaged in human trafficking, running a drug den, or spending the weekend at Bernie's, if you will. Part of maintaining hotel security these days lies in protecting visitors from other guests, as well as from outside threats.

But does that make your feel safer? It's one thing to have that sense of security that your hotel is checking on what other guests are doing in their rooms. You might feel something else, however, when the hotel is checking on you in your room.

Everyone wants their hotel to keep the pizza flyer scammers off property. (Read up on the Orlando hotel pizza delivery scam if you're not already familiar with it.) But most guests would be upset if they couldn't get an actual pizza delivered to their room if they wanted one. No one wants pickpockets and peddlers wandering through the lobby, but many Disney visitors also want to be able to walk through hotels where they aren't registered, perhaps to check it out for a potential future visit or just to take a break from visiting the parks.

The challenge for hotels is to balance the security that guests demand with the convenience, access and, yes, privacy that guests also want at the same time.

The fact is that the overwhelming majority of visitors to hotels in Disney's class never experience any type of security problem and complete their stay in perfect safety. But incidents where something does go wrong make people forget all about the many, many times when nothing did. That's why hotels must remain ever vigilant on safety and make changes when they see an opportunity to improve it.

So here is the question for you, the guest, that hotels are always considering: What can hotels do to help you feel safer?

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Replies (17)

December 24, 2017 at 4:59 PM · Theres no way to stop this from happening unless you do airport style security everywhere which will never happen. The best way to mitigate a possible lone wolf attack is to have well trained security (preferably armed) who are effectively present everywhere in the hotel at all times (this can be achieved by constant random patrols being performed in different locations throughout the day). They should interact with guests regularly (greet and ask if guests are enjoying their stay which both reassures the 99% good people but will provoke signs of deceit and nervous characteristics from a possible terrorist) and be trained in behavior detection and be visible constantly in the hotel to deter anyone thinking of performing an attack.
Also never underestimate the effectiveness of UC officers.

Entering all the rooms is a reactionary approach and will only leave guests feeling like they have no privacy and unsafe. Not to mention predictable which is the least effective form of security. One has to merely do a dry run before the actual attack. Circumvent the security by maybe leaving his guns in the car until the time of attack and then he's clear to go. Unpredictability and randomness by a well trained security is the best bet. Bad idea.

December 24, 2017 at 5:38 PM · Surely others commenting here have not been to other world cities...such as Manila, for example. To enter major hotels in that city, entry through metal detectors (aka...airport style security) is a must...each and every time you enter. Whilst this may not practical at WDW, I have always been a form believer in the simple statement 'if you're going to be secure, practive a secure form of secuirty'. What WDW is doing for access to its theme parks is not such an activity. If everyone was scanned in metal detectors (instead of the "you've been randomly selected hit or miss currently practiced), then we'd be much closer to being secure.

The daily room search is a knee jerk reaction without any impact on those who think through their plans.

December 24, 2017 at 5:47 PM · Although I don't usually want to endorse Uber as I have a lot of problems with their business practices... for a traveller (particularly an international traever they are a godsend. Don't have to worry about driver or delivery issues for food or travel, I know my card (or PayPal) will be accepted, and if there is some attempt to run the "Scenic route" scam, I can get that checked easy.
December 24, 2017 at 6:08 PM · Or setting up a meth lab while on hold with Disney (if you get the reference). Things not to say accidentally or sarcasm.

Disney’s safety measures is lackluster. The issue is they appear to be not quick. Rules enforced haphazardly. Crowds control issues are still not resolved. Overcrowding is dangerous. They let people bring anything inside the park.

December 24, 2017 at 6:14 PM · Dan. is correct. Having an hourly cast member, knock on the door in not going to do anything to prevent a las vegas situation. The evil doer would have to be a complete idiot, to keep the contraband, outside of their closed suitcases. The hourly cast member, is not going to see anything, unless they enter without knocking.

anton, is also correct, is saying the bigger danger (especially at disneyland anaheim,), is a stampeding death incident, due to over-crowding.Perhaps, combined by a fake terrorist cry from a few people, in a densely packed crowed.

Aided, by the paranoia, helped along by the disney "theatre" security measures, like this.

Well. they might see the occasional topless woman, from brazil. Since, it common to not cover up, in that part of the world.

It might allow disney to eject or get a 500 dollar fine from a few people smoking marijuana or reg stuff, in a non smoking room. . But, not much else.
No added safety,just a regular inconveinence, for everyone.

December 24, 2017 at 7:17 PM · No...just no. The whole reason I put out the "do not disturb" sign is because I don't want anyone else in my room, EVER, during my hotel stay. It's a habit I got into when I traveled with my dog and waived housekeeping during our stay so no maid would have a heart attack walking in on a 180 lb puppy :-). But now I do it whenever I travel -- I don't need new sheets or towels during a 3 or 4 night stay, and I don't want anyone coming in and rearranging my stuff.

I agree with previous posters that this is just an over-reaction on Disney's part that will do nothing to prevent a criminal act and will just go a long way towards raising EVERYONE's paranoia level. The truth is, you can put in all the security measures you want, but you can't stop crazy. If someone is hell-bent on doing something insane and violent, they'll find a way. But you can't live your life in fear of something bad happening. Disney should just make sure that its regular security is present and well-trained, but not go overboard with a policy that will just make everyone feel like they're being watched.

December 25, 2017 at 1:32 AM · I always feel fairly safe on Disney hotel property however I feel there’s a week spot on the Disney transport as you don’t have to show any ID to get on the buses to go to the resort but you do when driving back into resort meaning anyone can get on to hotel property
December 25, 2017 at 8:49 AM · It's a good idea. If something were to happen like a vegas style attack then everyone would be complaining that Disney should have prepared. You will most likely be in the parks when they come to your room anyway.
December 25, 2017 at 11:40 AM · Disney can't but the Government can. Ban firearms. Simple!
December 25, 2017 at 12:56 PM · "Disney can't but the Government can. Ban firearms. Simple!"

You can't take away people's guns. Solution: Ban bullets.

December 25, 2017 at 1:16 PM · I stay at near by Reunion Resort and they have report it,
(reportit.com) is an app and web mobile platform that enables guest and visitors to alert property management of a safety or maintenance concern. Disney is a big property and should provide an easy to use smartphone platform that visitors / guest can immediately escalate a concern with a photo, description and geo location directly to Disney management / security staff. If you see it, say it with report it.
December 25, 2017 at 1:39 PM · I’ve worked for a major hotel company for almost 30years now. Our policy has always (for at least the last 30 years) been to enter Do Not Disturb rooms every 3 days. This action is known as a Welfare Check, and is in place to find guests who may have passed away while alone in their room. It happens a lot more often than you might think. We’ve found a few meth labs along the way too, so these checks really are in the best interest of everyone’s safety. No one moves your things around or touches your stuff. It is a welfare check, not a cleaning. Given today’s environment, moving to a daily check might be a good idea. Will it stop everyone? No - but if it stopped even one plot it would be well worth it. Seems like some folks might have a false sense of security. Just because you have no bad intentions doesn’t mean the stranger next door is the same....
December 25, 2017 at 4:36 PM · How can they make me feel safe? Stay out of my bleepin' room!
December 25, 2017 at 6:02 PM · Lower prices for florida residents!
December 26, 2017 at 9:38 AM · I see this as being a potential problem in regards to privacy. Why would you want random employees checking in your room every day and snooping around. I fear this is going to cause way more harm than good. If you thought the magic bands were an invasion of privacy, this one tops the cake!

Also, if somebody is doing something terrible, what is going to stop them from just putting up the sign?

Checking every room every day seems a little much. Perhaps Disney can spin it a different way. I know they already pitched this to DVC as more housekeeping services (which is great), but I had an inkling that there was something else up!

December 26, 2017 at 11:33 AM · Wow. This is not a good thing in my opinion. I hate giving up privacy in the name of false security. I will be staying elsewhere.
December 27, 2017 at 4:52 PM · On this, it looks like Disney is headed in the wrong direction. No one in their right mind is going to stay anyplace where the "help" can simply invade your privacy. This is not a well thought out reaction.

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