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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Disney, Revisited

Last month, as part of our vacation week, Walker and I spent one wonderful day at Disney's Magic Kingdom.  This weekend, we were invited to join some family members back in Orlando about this time next year.

One thing I love about going to Orlando is, it's easy.  We've been there many times, so we know where to go, what to do, how to get around.  What I don't love about Orlando is the cost of everything.  Well, almost everything.  We do get some reasonable motel rates.  But on that subject: when did motels start charging "resort" fees?  I understand why they do it - they want to advertise low rates. Then they charge the fees to generate some additional income.  But to me, if you tack on a non-negotiable fee, it's part of the rate and should be listed as such.

Two years ago we stayed at Best Western Lakeside in Kissimmee, outside Orlando.  The "resort" fee was $3 a night and was supposed to cover the use of the pools and mini golf.  If you chose not to use the pools or the mini golf?  Didn't matter.  You were charged the fee regardless.  Three dollars a day isn't a big deal to us, so we didn't even blink at it, though I do think the advertised rates are deceptive.  This year, though the amenities are the same, the "resort" fee is now $7.50 per day.  The amount still isn't that a big deal but when you think about it, that is a 150% increase, when they made absolutely no improvements.  Imagine if everything went up 150%. Yikes! This fee is the reason, when we were asked about going next year, I scouted around for other motels in that area.  Guess what - every one I looked at had a "resort" fee.  They range from $3 to $10 a day.  If you're staying a week, and you have a couple kids so you get two rooms, that could add up fast.  Especially since they charge the fee before they add on the 13.5% hotel tax.

Are we going back to Disney World next spring?  I don't know yet.  We need to take a look at the budget and the vacation fund, and I want to put a little more distance between me and my cancer treatment before I make any long range plans.  I hope so, though.  I think Walker hopes so, too!

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