When checking in at a handful of Disney World resorts, you’ll be informed of a change in the company’s “right-to-entry” policy. A cast member will detail a subtle modification that allows staff to enter your room daily for maintenance or as part of its housekeeping protocols.
A common practice, as with many hotels around the world, is that guests are able to hang the familiar “Do Not Disturb” sign on their doors for added privacy. The ubiquitous sign is a friendly reminder not to enter a room without permission, particularly when a guest is away.
Disney World’s new policy for its hotels reflects its adoption of a new “Room Occupied” sign available to guests. According to multiple reports, the sign means that a cast member must knock and identify him or herself before entering a room, thus eliminating a guest’s right not to be disturbed. It also alerts a returning guest that a cast member is servicing their room.
In short, Disney World staff has the right to enter the room daily for the aforementioned reasons — in addition to checking on the wellbeing of its guests — even if the guest is not present at the time, according to the policy, as reported by the Points Guy.
Disney officials have not formally offered specifics about its policy change and what led to the alteration. The company only confirmed earlier reports about prioritizing guest safety.
According to the New York Post, the “chilling” reason being the “Do Not Disturb” move “appears to be” linked to the Las Vegas massacre. If true, it makes perfect sense, given the magnitude of the injuries and loss of life during Stephen Paddock’s mass shooting rampage.
Last October, Metropolitan Police said Paddock holed up in a 32nd-floor room of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Over the course of several days, he stored a cache of weapons and ammunition in his room without raising red flags about his ominous plans.
While throngs of concertgoers gathered below at the outdoor Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, Paddock opened fire, killing 58 and injuring 500. He allegedly created suicide before police were able to gain access to his hotel suite. In the days and hours before the shooting, staff reportedly did not enter the hotel room; a “Do Not Disturb” sign hung on the door.
As part of the hotel’s policy, guests are given privacy. Since then, several hotels have enacted similar policies like Walt Disney World’s DND rule. It’s unclear if the Mandalay Bay followed suit.
The Hilton changed its policy in response to the violence. The revision now gives it the right to enter a room if a guest has not had housekeeping service over a 24-hour period.
“We understand and respect your need for privacy. The hotel reserves the right to visually inspect all guest rooms every 24 hours to ensure the well-being of our guests and confirm the condition of the room.”
When news of the changes first emerged weeks ago, only three Disney World hotels were affected by the DND policy revision, according to Fast Company. Since then, a fourth has been added. Currently, the “Do Not Disturb” policy change impacts only four hotels serviced by the Disney monorail loop: Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Tower, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.