Declining housekeeping at Disney World? What are we talking about?!
It may not be a well known fact, but you can actually make money on your next trip to Disney by declining housekeeping during your stay at Disney World! This service allows you to decline housekeeping, and earn a gift card that you are able to spend during your vacation.
If you are looking for all the details, and you want to know the ins and outs for this program, keep on reading! We will break down which hotels participate, how to get your gift card, and what you can even use your gift card on. Hopefully this article will help you decide whether declining housekeeping is the right choice for you on your next trip, and these tip and tricks will help you out!
Why are You Allowed to Decline Housekeeping at Disney?
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Disney started allowing guests to decline housekeeping a few years ago, and this program is called Service Your Way. It allows you to decline housekeeping for the entire length of your stay, meaning you will not have a member of the housekeeping staff visit your room to do the basics during your stay.
Currently, housekeeping cleans every other day during guest stays, and they: remove trash, remove used towels, replenish towels and bathroom amenities, clean the bathroom and vanity, and vacuum when necessary. These things will not be done if you decline housekeeping.
You are allowed to take part in Service Your Way because it helps with Disney’s green initiative that they committed to several years ago. It cuts down on the amount of laundry done, electricity used, and waste of single use amenities. It also helps making sure the housekeeping staff only spend time cleaning the rooms where it’s necessary, and they don’t have to enter every single room in order to find out.
The easiest way to take part in the Service Your Way program is to access it from the My Disney Experience app. When you start online check-in, you will answer a series of questions. You can click “Modify Check-In” then underneath of the Service Your Way section, you either click “yes” or “no” on whether you want to participate. To learn all about online check-in for your resort, you can check out our detailed article here.
Prior to the current global situation, you were able to decline housekeeping and take advantage of the Service Your Way program by visiting the concierge/check-in desk. You would just tell whoever is working the desk that you wish to decline housekeeping. You can still do this at the front desk, but Disney is encouraging online check-in for safety reasons and to cut down on the amount of people standing in the lobby at one time.
Also, just a note: if you have multiple rooms on your reservation, all of the rooms will receive the same treatment. Meaning, if you decline housekeeping from the My Disney Experience app during online check-in, then none of the rooms on your reservation will receive housekeeping during your stay.
Why Would You Want to Decline Housekeeping?
If you’re anything like us, you may not spend a lot of time in your hotel room during your stay at Disney World. And if you’re spending most of your time in the parks, then your room most likely doesn’t need to be cleaned every day or even every other day. A lot of the time spent in your room will be for showering and sleeping, and most likely you will be eating in the parks or out at restaurant somewhere on Disney property. This will cut down on the trash you create in your room anyways.
Also, by declining housekeeping, you get the Disney gift card that we mentioned earlier! You can only get this digital gift card by utilizing the Service Your Way program. If you decide to decline housekeeping, you will receive $10 for every night of your stay, minus one night. So if you are staying for 7 nights, you receive a $60 gift card just by declining to have housekeeping come to your room during your stay.
This is a great service for those who budget on their trips, need the extra money for food or souvenirs, and don’t care about having their rooms cleaned consistently during their stay.
Why Wouldn’t You Want to Decline Housekeeping?
If you plan on spending a good amount of time in your room, or you are someone who needs trash removed and towels replenished every day, then the Service Your Way program may not be for you. Declining housekeeping means you will have to pick up after yourself fairly often during your trip, which some people may not want to do on a vacation.
Also, if you don’t need the money for your trip, or don’t care to get the gift card, you can choose not to decline.
You may not want to decline housekeeping if you enjoy having the housekeeping service come in your rooms and do the fun things with towels and stuffed animals that they sometimes do. This gives you the opportunity to tip them for jobs well done, and have fun experiences at Disney.
Which Disney Resorts Participate in this Offer?
The Value and Moderate resorts at Disney participate in the Service Your Way program, but none of the Deluxe or Deluxe Villas participate. You can decline housekeeping at: Disney’s All-Star Music, Disney’s All-Star Movies, Disney’s All-Star Sports, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach, Disney’s Coronado Springs (including Gran Destino Tower), The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, and both Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter.
If you are a Disney Vacation Club member using your points to stay at any of these resorts, you can use the Service Your Way. Service Your Way isn’t available for Disney Vacation Club stays at Deluxe and Deluxe Villas.
Also, if you’re staying at any of the dog friendly rooms at The Cabins at Fort Wilderness, Art of Animation Resort, and Port Orleans Riverside you cannot decline housekeeping. They won’t allow these rooms to go without their scheduled cleaning.
What Other Things Should You Know in Order to Get the Gift Card?
Being able to utilize the Service Your Way program – and complete online check-in for your resort – is much easier when you have access to a working email address, a Disney World account, and the My Disney Experience app. If you don’t already have these things, it might be a good idea to download the app and create an account prior to your trip.
So what happens if you decide to participate in Service Your Way and you need something during your stay? You can still call the front desk and ask for towels, replenishment of bathroom amenities, and anything else you may need without voiding your participation.
Also, you should know that during your stay, Disney Cast Members that work for the hotel will still enter your room during your stay – more on this a little later in the article!
Plus, not only do you have to stay in either a Value or Moderate Resort, but you do have to stay for at least 2 nights in order to take advantage of declining housekeeping at Disney. Since you only get $10 for every night minus one, then a 1-night stay isn’t applicable.
How Do You Get Your Disney Gift Card if You Choose to Opt-Out?
After declining housekeeping, Disney will email you a digital Disney Gift Card within 24 hours of checking in – but it’s typically much faster than this, more like a few hours.
If you don’t have an email on file, or don’t have the My Disney Experience app, you can speak to the concierge or someone at the front desk of your resort. They might be able to issue you a physical gift card or help you obtain the digital version.
Pro tip: take a screenshot of the barcode on your gift card! Disney wi-fi can be pretty iffy, and it can take a lot of time to open up your emails, find the right one, and get it ready for the Cast Member to scan. Having the screenshot will save a lot time and effort, and it’ll be easier to find in your photos than an inbox!
What if You Need Something While Staying at the Resort?
Like we mentioned earlier, if at any point during your stay you find yourself in need of fresh towels, bathroom amenities, or toilet paper, you can absolutely call the front desk and ask for these items. Calling and getting replenishment of items doesn’t mean you void your participation in the Service Your Way program.
Also, you can ask to have your trash removed from your room at any point during your stay as well. If you accumulate a lot of trash during your room, either take it to an exterior trash can yourself or call for removal. Please don’t set it outside your room door expecting housekeeping to come get it.
Will Nobody Come to My Room?
In a word, no!
Even if you take advantage of declining housekeeping at Disney, be aware that a Disney Cast Members will still enter your room every day during your stay. A member of the housekeeping staff will enter your room, typically accompanied by some kind of supervisor, during the later afternoon hours – think between 2 and 4pm.
This is a required check, and they still enter even if you have the room occupied/privacy please sign on the doorknob – but they will knock first, announce themselves, and give you the chance to let them in of course.
This is a super quick walkthrough, and we’ve even been in the rooms when they have done this check. They look at the smoke detector, walk through the room quickly, and inspect the bathroom. The Cast Member will be in your room for less than two minutes, and if you’re away at the parks you won’t even know this happened.
They do this check for safety reasons, and this check started a couple years ago in response to some current events and to protect both the guests and Cast Members.
Where Can You Use Your Disney Gift Card?
If you choose to use your gift card during your stay, you can use the Disney Gift Card as payment for food, merchandise, or experiences pretty much anywhere on Disney World property. You can use it inside the parks, at your resort, and at Disney Springs. It’s super easy to use too – a Cast Member just scans the barcode in your email.
If you end up not using the gift card during your trip, you can hold onto it and use it at your local Disney Store or on ShopDisney.com. You can even save it for your next Disney World trip, or even put it down as a deposit for your next vacation!
Final Thoughts on Declining Housekeeping at Disney
The Service Your Way program is a very easy program to participate in, and it’s honestly a great way to have a little extra spending money on your next Disney trip. We’ve done it on several Disney trips, and it’s helped pay for some souvenirs, extra snacks, and we’ve even put it towards a nice table service dinner.
If you’re not a messy person and want the gift card to use on your trip, we suggest taking advantage of the program and declining housekeeping on your next trip. It helps with saving housekeeping from going into rooms that don’t need cleaning, washing unnecessary towels or replacing single use amenities, and it helps out Disney’s total green initiative.
We definitely recommend choosing to decline housekeeping if you are staying at a Value or Moderate resort! It has way more pros than cons, and who doesn’t want a free Disney gift card?
We hope that this has helped you decide whether you want to choose the Service Your Way program and decline housekeeping on your next stay. We know it’s a lot of information to take in, but it’s a great way to have a little extra money on your next Disney trip and to help Disney when it comes to being a little more green.
Have you participated in the Service Your Way program on previous trips? Did you enjoy it?
Or will you use it on your future trip? Let us know in the comments!