You may have heard that Walt Disney World (WDW) and Disneyland (DL) have recently begun updating its security policies. The “Do Not Disturb” (DND) signs were removed from the three Disneyland Hotels in late December and at WDW, the DND signs at resort’s three monorail hotels (the Contemporary/Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian and Grand Floridian Resort Hotels) have also been removed – all have been exchanged for “Room Occupied” (RO) signs. (1/9/17 Update: We’ve gotten word that DND signs in the rooms at the Yacht Club and Beach Club Resorts were also exchanged for the newer “RO” version late last week). The signs accompany another new policy that requires Disney Resort Hotel employees to enter each hotel room at least once a day, in an effort of increased safety and security. Previously, if a “Do Not Disturb” sign was hanging from the doorknob, the room would remain undisturbed. Under the new policy, Disney staff have the right to enter your room for any purpose, including performing maintenance and/or repairs, or checking on safety and security issues. Disney assures that its guests will be given notice before someone enters the room, by knocking and announcing that they are coming in. Although limited right now, the changes are expected to happen at other Disney-owned Resort Hotels in the near future.
Although DL and WDW officials keeping tight lipped about the reason for the change, it’s speculated this is a response to the tragedy that occurred in Las Vegas, when a terrorist shot and killed 58 concertgoers (and injured over 500 more) from his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort, where he was storing a large arsenal of weapons.
So if you’re planning a trip to DL or WDW, what can you do about this?
Well, first and foremost, you can’t tell them, “I don’t want you to do this.” Once Disney has a policy on record, it would take a hell of a lot, if not be downright impossible, for the policy to be undone for 99.99% of their guests. That being said, it’s said that Disney management is addressing any potential concerns about hotel workers entering a guest’s room on a case-by-case basis.
Obviously, the first line of defense for those who are concerned about this change is to not stay at a Disney Resort hotel; after all, there are roughly 500 hotels in the greater Orlando area and hundreds in Anaheim CA, as well. However there are many perks of staying on Disney property so of course many people would be loathe to stay somewhere else. And that’s to say nothing of the thought that other hotels, and entire hotel chains could very well follow suite in the coming months (case in point, the Hilton chain is in the midst of updating their policy regarding their guests’ “Do Not Disturb” status, and a quote from a hotel manager in this article suggests that staff of any hotel brand entering a hotel room is their legal right to do so because it’s their property).
So what CAN you do?
Well, if you have smaller valuables, I would suggest NOT leaving them in the safe in your room. As we wrote in this post, electronic hotel safes are VERY easy to break into. And as much as some WDW guests would love to think that everything within the bubble of “on Disney property” is safe, there have been enough headlines about WDW Cast Members who have been arrested for a plethora of different charges over the years to know that’s, unfortunately, just not always the case. Instead, you might want to consider investing in a PacSafe portable safe, which has an excellent track record of keeping the items in them more secure.
For larger items, such as expensive clothing, you may want to consider investing in metal cable ties with locks to attach them and the hangers to the closet rod. Or maybe think about not bringing them to WDW at all; perhaps it would be better to bring cheaper clothing that wouldn’t tempt a would-be thief.
Some people have thought of putting a lock on their suitcase, which could potentially help a bit. Unfortunately, most modern-day suitcases with zipper closures can easily be broken into with just a ballpoint pen.
You can try to hide your stuff you want to keep safe but really, anyplace you could consider hiding it, it’s been done before and is not really “hidden” or “secret.”
But whatever you do, DON’T raise a fuss, don’t kick and scream, and especially don’t yell at the Cast Members at the front desk or the ones who comes into your room after knocking and announcing themselves, since they did not make the new policy – in this particular instance, they truly do “just work there” and can’t help you in this particular situation. If you make a fuss, all you’re going to do is look like an out of control angry person, and you might even scare a few children. So just…don’t. Take a breath, accept that it’s a product of the crazy world we live in and is a prime example of, “that’s why we can’t have nice things.”
It is what it is.
Do you have any other ideas of how to keep personal belonging safe in light of someone having to enter your room once a day? Hit that REPLY button down below and let us know!
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