Is a Room Upgrade Possible at a Disney Resort?

by Juan Ruiz

Disney World is dubbed “The Most Magical Place on Earth,” and for good reason. It is also the most magical place (and nearly impossible place) to get a room upgrade.

It is possible, though, and I’m here to tell you the story.

I am a big fan of Disney World resorts. The whole experience is unique. Walt Disney’s namesake hospitality company serves up perks such as complimentary transportation to the parks, early access to FastPass+ and free magic bands!

Previously: Disney Shares Details of New Gondola System at Disney World

There’s also just that magical “Disney touch”.

During this recent stay, my twin five-year-old daughters were able to take home a special birthday card with autographs from all the Disney characters. That’s just special.

A birthday card for my twins from all the “characters”; that Disney ‘touch’.

Room Upgrade: Mission Impossible?

But those of us who obsess over hotel elite status and value recognition of that status when staying at the big chain hotels, may be a bit uneasy about staying on property at a Disney Resort.

But what if you can have your cake and eat it too? I’ve actually had some success reaching out to hotel staff for upgrades. Just maybe you can, too.

Prior to my recent Disney World Resort stay, I scoured the web for the name and email address of the general manager. I had booked two nights in a standard room to celebrate my twin daughters’ fifth birthday and was hoping for an extra touch by way of an upgraded room at this resort.

It was a special occasion for two very special girls, and I thought it would be worth a shot.

With no success finding the GM’s email address, I called the hotel. I was told that all special requests should be sent via email to and they would forward to the specific property general manager.

Within an hour of sending my hopeful request for a room upgrade, I received a call from a cast member (Disney’s language for staff member) informing me that the GM saw my email and notated my reservation with a request for an upgrade, if available.

I arrived to the hotel at 6:00 p.m. and told the cast member checking me in that I had reached out ahead of time and he saw the notes in my reservation.

He got on the phone to call another cast member who would check room inventory in the category I requested. Unfortunately, the room type I asked for was fully booked. Although the exact room type wasn’t granted, the cast member was able to upgrade me to a “Partial Savanna View” room. As a consolation prize and I happily accepted!

Hotel room upgrade request Disney resort hotel

Our “partial” Savanna view room took us by surprise as the the second we opened our room door, giraffes!

Upgrade Disney World Resort Hotel

The girls loved giraffe watching every morning!

Hotel Room Upgrade Disney World Resort

Sprawling grounds at this Disney Resort.

Hotel room upgrade Disney World resort hotel

Giant pool at the hotel


Emailing Disney before a stay in hopes of an upgraded room is a gamble. Particularly on special occasion, though, it doesn’t hurt to reach out in advance in hopes of receiving a ‘magical’ upgrade.

Previously: An Overwater Bungalow…in Disney World…for $2,137 per night!

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Emily Castellanos August 8, 2018 - 12:11 pm

Great tips Juan! Will definitely try this next time I go to a Disney Resort.

Crystal August 8, 2018 - 5:28 pm

Amazing! Thanks for the tips. In your email to the hotel do you directly ask for a room upgrade?


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