What are Disney's 'Room Checks'?

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Disney’s policy of daily room checks is a topic that continually pops up in Disney forums and communities. Most recently, complaints on social media seem to be driving a renewed focus on the policy.

What is a room check?

A room check is known by multiple names; a ‘room check’, ‘security check’, ‘wellness check’, but in essence they’re all the same thing.

Every day of your stay, a cast member will visit your room. This can either be your daily housekeeping service, or, if you do not have housekeeping (either by opting out or staying in a Disney Vacation Club resort), or had housekeeping been unable to gain access to your room, then another cast member will complete the check.

The check itself consists of the cast member having a quick look around the room, and ensuring everything is OK. Usually, a room check takes under a minute unless an issue is identified.

Why does Disney do room checks?

Room checks are nothing new at Disney, and they’re an unfortunate result of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting where a shooter took residence in a hotel room, stockpiled weapons, and opened fire at a music event happening on The Strip. Disney is not the only hotel operator to complete room checks as part of their security procedures. Most hotels will complete a check, but with Disney being such a popular travel destination, their policy is much more widely known and in turn used as a topic of discussion.

Before 2017, hotel chains completed ‘wellness checks’, but typically only for rooms that were occupied and hadn’t been serviced for prolonged periods. You may have thought nobody was entering the room due to adding a ‘do not disturb’ sign, but if you hadn’t been seen by staff for a long time, they would have knocked on the door and then entered if there was no answer.

Can I refuse a room check?

In short, no.

Disney requires room checks to be completed for the safety of all guests. Most of the checks are done during periods when they expect guests to be out of the room, either at the parks or at other activities. People who do encounter room checks are often those who have returned to their rooms during the day or have had a late morning.

There can be times when you may not be ready for a cast member to enter the room. Cast members will always knock first. If you don’t respond then they will enter the room. Should you be in the shower or just waking up from a nap, asking them to wait a couple of minutes to allow you time to be suitably dressed will not be an issue. However, if you consistently refuse entry law enforcement may be called to gain entry. This should be rare, as after all you are at Disney to enjoy the parks and facilities, not sit in a hotel room refusing to answer the door so there will always be a time that they can complete the room check, even if you aren’t aware.

Our experiences with room checks

We’ve been present in the room on two occasions for room checks. Our first experience at Saratoga Springs was the day after check-in. We were having a late morning, when there was a knock at the door and a cast member asked to check the room and empty the rubbish. As we’d only been in the room for about 16 hours in total there wasn’t a lot of rubbish (even we aren’t that messy!), but the cast member just looked in each room and then carried on down the hall.

At Bay Lake Tower, two cast members arrived to check the room. Again, they simply looked around and then carried on to the next rooms. In both instances, the entire check was over within 5 minutes.

After having personally witnessed someone trying to enter EPCOT with a firearm under their pram, we’d much prefer these checks continue!

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