Tag Archives: Hotels

Orlando hotels witness increase in occupancy

Hotel industry figures collected for June 2010 have shown that occupancy in the Orlando-area has increased by 4.2% compared to the same month last year.

(Photo provided by DB King)

The figures, collected by Smith Travel Research, showed that hotel occupancy stood at 66.1% in June, rising from 63.4% in the same month last year.

Average daily room rates have also risen by 2.1% over the same period, increasing from $89.20 to $91.07.

Another major indicator of industry health – revenue per available room – has also risen by 6.4%, from$ 56.59 to $60.22.

The first six months of 2010 saw a 3% increase in hotel occupancy from the same period last year, though the average room rate dropped by 5.9%, decreasing from $101.62 in 2009 to $95.59 in 2009.

Revenue per available room also dropped over the comparable periods by 3.1%, from $64.25 in 2009 to $62.23 in 2010.

The increase in occupancy in June, considered to be a busy month in Orlando, will provided a much needed boost the Orlando hoteliers who have suffered a torrid time since the economic crisis hit the tourism industry.

The drop in performance between the comparable six month periods of January to June can be partly attributed to the large number of incentives offered during 2009 in order to attract guests o book stays and extend already planned trips in the Orlando area.

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Filed under Sea World, Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World

Art of Animation resort announced for Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World is set to open a new resort in 2012. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is set to be the fifth value resort on Disney property.

Image Copyright of Disney

The Resort, which was set to be Pop Century’s ‘Legendary Years’ buildings, is planned  to open in 2012 and will include over 1000 family suites.

The resort theme will be based around classic and modern movies created by Disney and Pixar, with the four different buildings being themed around The Lion King, Cars, Finding Nemo and the Little Mermaid.

There will be nearly 2,000 new units at Art of Animation, with 1,120 family rooms being housed in the Lion King, Finding Nemo and Cars wings and 864 individual rooms in the Little Mermaid wings.

Disney’s decision to go ahead with a new resort shows that they are fairly optimistic that the Orlando tourism market will bounce back after struggling throughout the economic crisis.

The announcement is good news for family’s on a budget, with pricing expected to be similar to at other Value Resorts with the added bonus the guests can chose between either an individual room or a more spacious ‘family room’ which consists of a living room and a separate bedroom.

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Filed under Walt Disney World

Disneyland Paris – Hotel Santa Fe or Hotel Cheyenne?

It’s pretty simple to break up the Disneyland Paris hotels into four distinct categories, much like you can with the hotels at Walt Disney World. Firstly there’s the Value Resorts, Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne and Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe.  Then there’s the Moderate Resorts, Disney’s Newport Bay Club and Disney’s Sequoia Lodge. The most expensive options are the Deluxe Resorts, the Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Hotel New York. Finally there’s Davy Crockett Ranch, which can be put into its own category due to the activities it offers.

Disney's Hotel Santa Fe

Although Disney doesn’t place the hotels into categories like this officially it is an easy way to work out the quality of the hotels on-property and compare them to those hotels you may be used to at Walt Disney World. During my last two trips to Disneyland Resort Paris I’ve stayed in the two Value Resorts, Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne (February ’08) and Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe (August 09) and I thought it would be a good idea to compare both in order to help readers decide which hotel is the best option when on a budget.

Price

I’ll start off by talking about price, simply because it’s the easiest to discuss. There’s really no difference between the price of both hotels, many times when I’ve been planning a trip the prices have been identical. Every now and again prices at Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe may be a little cheaper than the Cheyenne but this is only by £10-£20 per person which when compared to the price of a two or three night stay is minimal, although it is something to take into consideration if you do see price differentials when booking.

Rooms

The rooms at both hotels are very similar, both sleep four people, have an en-suite bathroom, television and a fan in the centre of the room for those hotter days and nights. The main difference comes with the types of beds. Rooms in the Hotel Santa Fe have two double beds whereas the Cheyenne has a double bed and bunk bed that sleeps two. If you’re travelling as a party with two adults and one child either may be fine, in fact the Hotel Cheyenne may be easier as the kids wont have to share, however, if there’s two couples sharing a room or people who may not be able to climb to the top bunk the better option may be the Santa Fe.

Another think to take  note of is that the Cheyenne has two-story buildings only, whereas the Santa Fe has some three and four story buildings. The four story buildings do have elevators but it’s always a good idea to consider that the elevators may be out of order at some point during your stay. Of course this shouldn’t be a problem as you can always request a ground-floor room if there is someone in your party who may not be able to walk up multiple flights of stairs. On the same subject many of the two-story buildings don’t have elevators, so I’d always suggest requesting a ground floor room if there is any trouble with members of your party going up stairs.

Proximity to the parks

This is one of the big aspects in the decision making process for me. Both parks are a fair distance from the parks. Walking from the gates of Disneyland Park up to the lobby of the Hotel Cheyenne will most likely take you around 15 minutes minimum if walking at a fast pace. The Santa Fe on the other hand may take 10 to 15 minutes longer to walk to the lobby from Disneyland Park. Whilst both hotels seem to be very close to each other when stood along the ‘Rio Grande’ the far end of the Hotel Santa Fe is pretty far from the river that separates the two resorts, meaning it can be a long walk to your room at the Santa Fe, especially when carrying bags when checking-in.

Both parks do however offer shuttle services, although you will have to wait for a shuttle and may be behind a considerable line at peak times, although I never witnessed large lines at either of the hotels shuttle stops. My use of the shuttle service is a good way to illustrate my point about the proximity to the park, during my stay at the Cheyenne I used the shuttle services once, whereas during my stay at the Hotel Santa Fe I’d use the shuttle service near enough every time I went to or came from the parks, which isn’t too nice on a hot and crowded day.

Disney's Hotel Cheyenne

Service

I had two different experiences checking in at the Value Resorts. The check-in at the Hotel Cheyenne was quick and simple. It was around 25 minutes from walking into the hotel lobby to dropping my bags off in my room and heading out to the parks. The Hotel Santa Fe took a lot longer. There was snaked lines at check-in which took around 15 minutes to get through and the whole process seemed to take a lot longer. Add onto this the longer walk to the room and it took me a lot longer to get from check-in to the parks.

As you’d expect both hotels met the expected level of service that Disney has long provided at all of its resorts. Staff were friendly and always willing to help with anything we needed. This isn’t something you’re going to have to worry about when choosing between the two hotels as both offer exceptional levels of customer service. That’s the ‘Disney difference’ as they say.

Amenities

Both offer very similar amenities to each other. Both come with complimentary (though basic) continental breakfast. Both have counter-service food available as well as a dinner and lunch buffet that takes place at set times. Both have fully-stocked bars.

There’s a gift-shop at both hotels so you can chose from a limited selection of products that you may have seen during your visit to the two parks or the Disney Village. Disney Hotel Santa Fe does can boast having an arcade whilst the Cheyenne can’t. However, the Hotel Cheyenne does have a playground as well as pony rides. This may mean that the Cheyenne is more suited to younger children whilst older children may find more to do at the Santa Fe. Let’s not forget though that there’s two of the worlds best theme parks on your doorstep, why would you kids want to spend time in the arcade or playground?

Theme

It wouldn’t be a theme park blog if I didn’t discuss theme. For me the Hotel Cheyenne wins this hands down. All of the buildings at the Cheyenne have highly themed exteriors, even if they are a little lacing inside. All buildings look like realistic Western buildings and some, dare I say it, wouldn’t look out of place in Frontierland. If either one of these hotels is going to capture the imagination of your kids, it’s the Cheyenne.

The Santa Fe does have a theme, though you wouldn’t really be able to guess. All the buildings look very bland externally and the whole place just looks a tad run down (of course they’re not, but it’s just the way the place looks). It’s worth noting this shouldn’t be too much of an issue, as the hotels are near enough identical inside, but it’s worth noting that the Santa Fe isn’t much to look at, especially in comparison to it’s theme rich counterpart over the river.

Conclusion

Where would I stay? Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne. The location is a lot better than the Santa Fe and the whole place is more visually appealing. That’s not to say that the Santa Fe is a bad hotel, in fact I really enjoyed my stay there. It’s just that I think the Hotel Cheyenne offers a little more and with little to no difference between the price of the two hotels I’d much prefer to stay in the Hotel Cheyenne.

If you agree or disagree with me feel free to mention it in the comments section.

M. Owen

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Filed under Disneyland Paris, Planning