Thursday, February 23, 2012

Keep the Diamond

This week we talked about AAA's Diamond Ratings for hotels.  For anyone that wants to read the Diamond Rating guidelines, or follow along with our show at home, the guidelines can be found here.

The World is home to home to ten 4-diamond lodgings: Animal Kingdom Lodge, Animal Kingdom Villas, Beach Club, Boardwalk Inn, Contemporary, Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Yacht Club, Swan, and Dolphin; but no 5-diamond's.  

We raised the question of what would it take to make the Grand Floridian (for example) into a 5-diamond property.  I think the better question is, why would Disney want to?

With rack rates consistently north of $500 per night, GF is already charging about what you would expect to pay for a 5-diamond resort (and even higher than some).  Sure, upgraded decor and some extra staff might get the Grand Floridian that coveted fifth diamond.  But is there any way for Disney to recoup the outlay?  There simply isn't anything to be gained.


  1. Good points. The same goes for the other hotels we talked about like Castle Hill.

    I wonder if the same is true for restaurants. If you can get $30pp for a buffet, why add more fine dining options?

    The same thought process seeps into other areas too. For instance, the lack of diversity in merchandise. Back in the day, you could score awesome resort specific merch. Same with attractions like Splash Mountain and Country Bears. A bunch of that has been replaced with generic Disney Parks stuff.

    This depresses me.

  2. Your point about the restaurants may explain may explain why Disney has only 1 Four Diamond restaurant (Bluezoo). You can see from the menus that they're not charging more for the 4th diamond. Granted they ARE charging A LOT more for the 5th diamond (V&A), but I doubt the market will bear more than one of those.