Gaming the system

… I used this subject because well… read below… :frowning_face:

We just had a major falling out on my side of the family that is throwing off every plan I meticulously made for our upcoming WDW family vacation at the end of April.

Due to the family argument a group has canceled their trip altogether. I will spare you the drama but now some of us are scrambling. For just one night, we now have 4 adults, one 5 year old child and one 2 year old child without a place to stay. We split up after that one night, with some of us staying at SOG and others staying at another resort both of which are now booked for the one night we need. Since it’s last minute, it is pretty expensive to stay on property for all of us for that one night from what I am finding.

I can, however, find something reasonable for the 4 adults and the 2 year old child to stay together. The 5 year old seems to count as an adult for the hotel stay even though she can sleep on a couch! Hence why the rate goes up so much if I include her in the booking.

She can’t stay on her own obviously. But if I state on our reservation that 4 adults and one 2 year old child is staying with us and “sneak in” the 5 year old, will that 5 year old not be able to 1) get on the resort bus and 2) not be able to get into the park for EMH?

I feel terrible just typing this up, I am not one to ever try to game the system but after MONTHS of planning and a lot of family drama I am not even thinking straight. It’s been an emotional roller coaster and one with many disappointments.

Would love your insights!

The main reason they have rules about number of people, regardless of age, has to do with fire codes usually. So a room approved for only 4 people you might be able to technically fit more, but not legally. So if you have the extra person, they probably have to ensure you have a room that accommodates enough from a square footage standpoint.

The other aspect that plays a role, of course, is when you stay at a place that offers free breakfast. That breakfast isn’t free for them, just you. So if you have more people taking advantage of the “free breakfast” than your room rate allows for, they are losing out.

Since we have 5 kids, we frequently traveled with 7. This means that while we might have been able to get into a smaller room (sleeping on the floor, etc.), we instead always find a hotel that has enough space for everyone. Usually Comfort Suites for us, although other options are available. It is sad that we have to pay more for a suite, but I’d rather not, as you put it, “game the system.”

Others may feel differently. But as much as I’m a cheapskate, I feel that the hotels deserve their due. They are a business not a charity, after all, and are not responsible for anything having to do with the family dynamic you experienced.

Having said that, the compassionate side of me goes out to you. This sounds like a horrible situation to be in, regardless of the hotel aspect! I hope everything is ultimately resolved.

Resort buses are open to all, even if you’re not staying onsite. That should be the least of your worries.

EMH is only available to registered guests, so the unregistered person would get no EMH that day.

Here’s the consideration: like @ryan1 said, there’s an issue of occupancy limits for both legal and fire code reasons. I would ask:

Are you amenable to splitting the party for one night? perhaps have 2 adults stay offsite, using Lyft to come in the next morning (assuming you’re not driving)?

Is any part of your party willing to crash in a tent for one night? Ft. Wilderness Campground is the “cheapest” resort on site, and would allow everyone access to EMH.

There are obviously no ideal solutions to your situation. My heart does break for you and the tough rescheduling you’ve gotta do. There are, though, good reasons why there are the limits on occupancy.

Perhaps some other liners around here can help brainstorm with other alternate solutions, too.

What if the 5 year old was only 4 any difference?

Have you tried contacting MVT to see if they have any rooms in the value category? Or even the family suite at All-Star Music??

I don’t see how adding the 5 year old to the room only would make the price different. I thought there was only an add-on fee for extra persons in the room age 18 and over.

The price difference comes in that a 5-year-old is a bed-dwelling person, where a 2-year-old gets a crib/pack-n-play. Because of this, including the 5yo means staying at a place with 5 bed-spaces, meaning, either a family suite or a moderate or higher, rather than a value which can only sleep 4.

Oh gotcha. I understood OP to be saying that the cost of the same room increased when the 5yo is in it. Now I understand.

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Off prop for affordability, perhaps at an all-suite hotel that has 2 queens and a pullout?

I’m not sure whether by “resort buses” you meant Magical Express or the park buses. They would not be eligible for Magical Express.

And if they do find out you could be asked to pay for an extra room, or even evicted.

If a moderate is out of reach financially, I would look offsite for the one night. Also your tickets linked to the resort stay as a package or separate?

Ooh, good point. I tend to thing of “resort buses” as Disney Transportation - in and around the WDW resort property, not as Disney’s Magical Express, which are not actually operated by Disney, and my resp0onse was based on that.

On-property buses are open to all. DME is only for guests who have a resort reservation.

Thank you all for your kind responses and your words of sympathy!

It has been stressful so I appreciate a sounding board.

Ft. Wilderness is unfortunately all booked up as are all the All-Star resorts. I think it looks like at this point someone is going to have to stay off property as we cannot afford what is currently available.

Thanks again for the troubleshooting!

Were I in your shoes, I would get in touch with a TA who can keep looking for the one night on your behalf. There are a number of good ones out there, and I’m sure several liners would be happy to share who they use. (Including me).

I would still make an off-property reservation for the time being, with the thought that you can probably cancel it up until fairly close without penalty if the TA you choose can find you an on-property slot that meets your needs.

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That’s a GREAT idea and I certainly appreciate taking the time for your responses.

Can I take you up on which TA you recommend?

Sure. Will PM. :slight_smile:

How likely are hotel reservation cancelations? Is it silly to keep fingers crossed that something in my budget will open up for the dates I am traveling?

I would keep checking, for an opening, even if you book a reservation somewhere else. BTW, I think Doubletree at Disney Springs might be able to put you all in one room.

I am curious as to how the family sleeping was supposed to work, given you’ve lost members of your party, not gained. I would have thought you’d actually have extra rooms. Were these people staying with the family that’s not travelling, now? Don’t they have a room available?

Thanks, I will look into that.

We were kicking off a family reunion with all of us together in a suite for 7, then everyone going to their respective more intimate rooms. We can’t swing the suite with people backing out now.

Ah, that makes sense. But you do still have 6, so it’s too bad.

It is too bad :frowning: but I am trying to stay positive and thinking maybe it’s for the best… things were boiling up so it was bound to happen better here than at Disney. The 7 didn’t include the pack and play so we were at 8. The 2 adults leaving is what made us have to cancel the suite :frowning:

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