Monday, May 9, 2011

More Storybook Rooms on Disney's Radar

Orlando Sentinal: Walt Disney World's soon-to-open princess-themed "Royal Rooms" in Disney's Port Orleans Resort are the second chapter in what resort executives have dubbed "storybook rooms," which are more intricately themed than Disney's conventional hotel rooms and are linked to specific company franchises.

They may not be the last chapter, though. Disney considered several other storybook possibilities before launching the renovations, including rooms themed around the Haunted Mansion theme-park attraction and Princess-and-the-Frog-themed rooms conceived specifically for the Alligator Bayou section of Port Orleans.

Disney says all three concepts tested well. And while it decided to go forward only with the Royal Rooms for now, resort officials say the other concepts remain possibilities for future hotel renovations.

That said, the "Royal Rooms" proved an obvious first choice, according to Disney.

Mark Rucker, vice president of lodging for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said princess rooms scored better in surveys than the resort's first story-book effort: pirate-themed rooms in a wing of Caribbean Beach Resort, which opened in 2009.

"If the research is any indication of how well they'll do, we're going to feel pretty good," Rucker said.

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