We’re not really in business of rumors and news here, but we’re trying to lean more into our passions, which include analysis of the operational side of Disney Parks & Resorts. The recent murmurings of permits being filed that point to a new hotel at Epcot are a good opportunity to cover a few topics.
The Rumor: A New Hotel at the Entrance of Epcot
As reported by WDWNT, a series of permit filings by Disney point to construction of a new hotel at the entrance of Epcot. Per Disney Tourist Blog, “pre-eminent expert” danlb_2000 disputes that characterization of the permits.
While the details are spotty, versions of this rumor have been floating around for a while now. Whether the hotel is actually at the entrance or not, it’s reasonable to suspect Epcot will be getting some park-adjacent hotel for a few reasons.
Why It Just Makes Sense
First is that Epcot in 10 years will be very different from Epcot now. Disney has made it clear that this very neglected park is going to get a lot of work done over the next few years. With the other three parks running strong on recent renovations, Disney has breathing room to do major work at Epcot.
We know it’s getting a Guardians of the Galaxy ride and a Ratatouille ride. We know it’s getting a new Space-themed restaurant. And we know more is to come.
Second, Disney hotels continue to do well despite an emerging quality gap between their resorts and higher-end resorts (like the Four Seasons Orlando). That the hotels continue to do well creates a real challenge for Disney, as they potentially have to sacrifice money to undergo refurbishments.
This is a good problem to have, at least until your hotels start to get too sloppy. One way to avoid this problem is to build more hotels. More hotels means occupancy is lower on average (probably) thus leaving you more room for refurbishments and generally lower operational costs at the older hotels.
Third, Galaxy’s Edge is going to bring a huge new wave of visitors to Walt Disney World. They need more hotels. Building one in the midst of a huge reconstruction at your least popular park (which means minimal disturbance to revenue) just makes sense.
Finally, park entrance hotels are cool! We stayed at Tokyo DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta and loved it.
Not only was our harbor view room amazing, but the view from the BellaVista Lounge restaurant into the park was great as well. We were less impressed with Disneyland Paris’s Disneyland Hotel, but we found it a great backdrop at the end of Main Street, U.S.A.
Even something like Tokyo Disneyland Hotel, which doesn’t sit directly on the park, but a few hundred yards away, comes with occasionally awesome views.
Hotels, Hotels, and More Hotels
Walt Disney World actually appears to be on the cusp of, or in the midst of, a hotel boom.
The only thing that disappoints me about this is that it’s happening now, rather than in five years. Specifically, I’d like to see them wait until the Star Wars hotel has had a few years.
We wrote back when the Star Wars hotel was announced that this could be the future of Disney hotels, and the thing that brings them back into the forefront of hotel design.
Disney is getting better and better at immersive experiences—from little touches like MagicBands to giant new lands like Galaxy’s Edge. It’s these experiences that really make a theme park great, and immersive hotels are Disney’s chance to get ahead of the curve in the hotel game.
Waiting a few years gives them a chance to perfect this immersive concept. As it stands, it looks like the Star Wars hotel will be a unique experience, while the best we can hope for from the other hotels is just that they're great, albeit "ordinary," hotels.
All Your Other Disney World Planning Questions Answered
Don't be overwhelmed by Disney World planning! Take a second to check out our most important content and you'll not only be an expert, but you'll save big $$$ along the way. If you're still picking dates, we've got everything you need to know about Disney crowd calendars. For picking your hotel, check out our Walt Disney World hotels guide.
Don't forget to master your Disney World Fastpass+ strategy a few months in advance. We'll keep you out of long lines so you can maximize the magical time in the parks!
Finally, before you head out, be sure to check out our to-the-point packing list, 10 essentials you forget to pack for every Disney trip. And if you're interested in saving, there's no better list than our 53 Ways to Save on your Disney trip from start to finish.