Pixie Dust and Profits is a podcast for small business owners who love Disney and want to sprinkle some of that magic onto their own businesses. Join your host, Nicole Boucher and Yasmine Spencer. As they explore the mouse’s $12.6 billion operation and break down exactly how you can apply these big scale concepts to your own business.
Welcome to this week’s episode of pixie, dust and profits. We are so excited to be here. And today we are going to be talking about hotel rooms, Lucia, and this is Yasmine Spencer, and we can’t wait to talk about some of our favorite Disney hotels, why there are so many different hotels and why you can think about this and the terms of your small business. So let’s just get right to the point. Disneyworld has a lot of hotel rooms over 30,000 to be exact. They have 27 different resorts on property, and that doesn’t even count all of the hotels around Disney world. That aren’t part of the Disney umbrella. Now most of these hotels fall under three different categories. The first category is the value resort value resorts are typically $150 or less a night, and they make up probably 35 to 40% of the hotel rooms on Disney property. These are really themed rooms. They are great places to stay for families who are on a budget who wants to go to Disney world, but can’t necessarily stay in some of the more themed places. And I know Yasmine has stayed at pop century. So I’m going to have her jump in and share about her experience at that value.
Yeah. So we went to pop century in October of 2017. And for those of you who have been with us since the beginning, you’ll know that that was my first like adult trip to Disney world and pop century was great. Like it had renovated rooms at the time. So we got one of the renovated rooms. It was a lot more modern compared to some of the photos of the old rooms before they got renovated. But as nice as the room was, there are some drawbacks with staying at a value resort and we’re really going to really dive into the experience later. But there were some challenges, the buses that dropped us off at the parks and picked us up the stops were a lot further away. And if you were there from road drop to happily ever after which we were, your dogs were bargain by the end of the night and that extra 10 feet that kind of hurt.
Other challenges with value resorts in pop century in particular is there’s really only one place to eat onsite. And that’s a quick service restaurant. They have, which, you know, not a bad thing, the food was good, but sometimes you want a little bit more variety and then with value resorts, the other thing is that they do tend to be sort of spread out and they tend to have rooms in different buildings. So you have to actually walk a little bit to get to the main sort of gosh, Nicola call it the centers. Yeah, the, the lobby. Yeah.
The lobby at Disney is like where the food is and where the souvenir shop is. And, you know, value resorts are great though. I went on many trips at the all-star resorts back when back in the nineties and, Oh, it’s probably not 90 days because that was actually a long time ago. But the value resorts are great because they’re so accessible. You know, if you’re arriving late one night, it’s a good place to just have a $99 room. It doesn’t feel like you’re spending any extra and you still get all of those bonuses that you get from Disney world. You get the buses who bring you from the airport, you get the rides and transportation to the parks. And if you’re staying at pop century or art of animation, there’s actually going to be a gondola system called the Skyliner opening and just a few weeks.
So do you still get the Disney experience and these value rooms, but there are a couple of drawbacks. And now to talk about the other categories, they have moderate resorts, which are slightly bigger rooms than the values. They have a walled off area for the bathroom area. So you have a place where you can get ready for the day and a place where you can take your shower and the value resorts. Aren’t like that. It’s just one bathroom that you have to share with everyone. And so that’s like one small thing that makes a moderate resort a little bit extra. You get all the Disney things. You usually get an extra restaurant at the hotel that you’re staying at and your buses might be a tiny bit closer, but at the end of a long day at Disney, it doesn’t matter how far or how close your buses, your dogs are barking.
And it doesn’t matter if you are staying in a value or an a deluxe resort, you are probably going to be walking or running to the bus. If you’re trying to catch it before it leaves. Now, the last category is the deluxe resort. And this is probably only about 25% of the rooms on property and deluxe resorts include, you know, the hallmark, Polynesian grand Floridian, the contemporary resort, and also Disney vacation club, which we will talk a little bit more about in this episode, but those deluxe rooms are, you know, top of the line you’re talking. I think the grand Floridian is about $800 a night. Bucket list goal that I don’t know I will ever make, but these resorts are usually very close to a park or they have extra amenities that the other resorts don’t, they have immaculate theming. They have an expensive quality to them.
They actually use thread count sheets that are higher than the other resorts I vent to the laundry center. So I know that, and you know, in the case of grand Floridian and Polynesian, and they’re on the monorail loop with magic kingdom. So they get a nightly viewing of fireworks, even if they’re not in the park. So there’s a little bit more to that top tier thing. So that’s all the resorts set up at Disney. So you’ve got your values, your moderate, your deluxe, and then datas Disney vacation club are they’re considered deluxe villas. And so talking about this in the scope of your business, I’m going to transition over to Yasmine. So she can talk about how Disney has this breakdown of 40% of their rooms being valued, 20% named deluxe and what that means for sales and your business.
So what Disney is doing is meeting every person who really wants to go where they’re at. Not everyone can, you know, cough up 800 bucks a night to stay at the grand Floridian, even though we want to, but they still want to come to Disney. So for people who have budgets, they can see at the value resorts and still get the Disney experience. And for people who want to make it rain and spend some of those dollar dollar bills, that’s what the deluxe resorts are there for. And the way that this translates to your business is when you think of your customer, you have your ideal customer avatar, you have an idea of who you want to serve, but what you’re often you’re going to find is that the people that you ended up working with or who ended up applying to work with you are at different levels of their business.
Not everyone is that high ticket, advanced business owner who can drop $5,000 on a retainer or a course or a mastermind. So what do you do about all the people who want to work with you, but can’t afford it. You meet them where they’re at. So with a lot of our clients, what we really encourage them to do is build an Ascension model. And that’s a ladder of different value offerings that grow with the client. So as they advance in their business, there are multiple opportunities for them to work with you. So how do we translate this into a more practical manner? Well, a value resort, Disney, you know, a hundred, $150 a night that can translate into a monthly membership that is sub $50 a month. It could translate to a passive product that they download. Maybe it’s a workbook, maybe it’s a mini course, something that gives them enough to have an experience of what it’s like to work with you, but isn’t a huge investment.
And doesn’t overwhelm them financially and discourage them from really entering your world in the first place with a moderate offering, you can do a smaller course or a group program, maybe something around the 500 to $2,000 Mark. I know it sounds expensive, but that’s typically where those offerings fall into place. And then with deluxe, that’s where people who are really willing to make the investment to have that incredible experience. So in this case, that could be a one-on-one retainer with you or coaching program, or even a more high-end mastermind, where you’re working with a very small number of people and really delivering a unique and high touch, personal experience.
Yeah. You know, if you’re a photographer, a value would be like a mini-session day where you’re doing eight sessions and you’re just trying to get those family photo cards done. And the moderate would be something where it’s just a quick family session. There’s, you know, parents and two kids and you give them a couple of prints, no digital files. And then the deluxe offers for the person who just wants everything handled for them. They’re having a family reunion. There’s going to be a ton of people. They want the downloads, they want everything printed on the walls. And you know, that’s not going to be most of your customers. That’s why Disney only has 20% of their rooms at the deluxe level. They know that’s not going to be everyone, but they know that there are people who want that. So they do have it in their offerings.
So it’s not just about the price here. It’s also about the experience. We talked about how those people at the value resorts still experience the Disney magic. They still get the bosses. They still get to come from the airport, just like everyone else. They’re not a second class citizen. They are just experiencing Disney in their own way. And so I want to remind you that an Ascension model is great when you’re thinking about it from the price perspective of a value, a moderate or a Del Black’s offer. But it’s also about how much handholding that person needs, how much they want to be immersed in what you have. I recently made the decision to stay at our event, summation, which is technically a value resort because of the theming. There is cars finding Nemo and the little mermaid and the lion King, like life sized at that resort.
And it’s super fun, super themed. And despite the fact that I wasn’t going to have a table service that I could come back to at the end of the night and have a good meal being close to my room, or the fact that the bus might be a little bit further away. I was so excited to stay there because the theming and the magic that was there was super special. And I couldn’t find that at the deluxe resort. So I want you to also think about in your business, it’s not just about price sensitivity. That is a big piece of it. But remember where your customer is, it’s about the price. It’s about what problems they have and what they’re looking for support with. And also just how much they want to be immersed by you. Do they want to have a one-on-one session with you? Is that the biggest thing to them to be able to have some time with that mentor that they’ve been looking up to, that might be something that needs to be in your premium offer, but maybe having a 10 minute call just to get them into your value program is super valuable to them and creates that magical experience that keeps them coming back and staying through the end of your Ascension model.
Another thing to consider is how you can reward loyalty amongst your customers and use it in a way that actually brings you in more revenue. Now, how does Disney do that? Well, Nicole and I fell for it DVC that’s Disney vacation club. So for those of you who are unfamiliar, the way that it works is it’s essentially a timeshare. And before you get all open arms and tell us that sounds scammy. I swear Disney’s timeshare model is one of the best out there. You buy in to get a certain number of points at our home resort. And depending on whether you buy it from Disney or resale, and we can get into that another day you can stay at pretty much every Disney DBC resort. If there is availability and you have enough points for it, and the benefit of this is you’re prepaying for vacations, but you’re getting about 50% off the cost of staying at those rooms.
So grand Floridian, which would normally cost $800 a night with DVC points. It probably comes down to closer to 400. And while that is still expensive, for someone who really wants that really high touch, unique Disney experience, that’s enough to make it worth it. And that’s significant savings where they can most likely allocate those funds to elsewhere in their Disney trip. So you might be thinking well, 50% off, and you’re locked into a contract for about 50 years, depending on where you buy. That’s a pretty good deal, but what it does is it encourages you to come back and use your points. And what happens when you go back to Disney, you spend money, you’re going to be eaten on property. If you are like us, you’re probably going to be buying some merch. I know that I like cannot go to Disney without leaving, like with half of my suitcase full of Disney gear, because, you know, we don’t get shopped Disney delivering here in Canada. So I try to buy things up in the parks whenever I’m there. And, you know, it’s a really smart way to reward me for my loyalty by giving me a cheaper state. But he gets me to come back and it gets him to spend more money with Disney. And, you know, I’m all for it.
If you think about this in terms of your business. So if you had that deluxe experience that one-to-one with you, let’s say you’re a web designer. And that experience is the custom website. You know, not something from a template or slightly customized template. This is like custom from scratch built for you. And you think about like, man, that would be crazy to offer my highest thing for 50% off because they’re coming for 50 years. Think about it in a different way, where it’s just the experience that they’re going to get and they’re going to keep coming back. So this could be one of those situations where you are trying to sell someone from your medium level where it’s just a template, a slightly customized template to the deluxe, which is the custom website. Well, if you add in something like, and then we have the yearly updates where we look at your site and you can have a couple of things upgraded, you build that into the pricing, but it looks like a discount to them.
So they’re ready to buy because they’re getting that much extra. It looks like the custom website is cheaper in the end price-wise than the moderate option that you offer. And you know, that someone who you build a custom website with, it’s going to be super quick for you to update their website. Cause you know, the ins and outs of that and you know how to update it really quickly. So it works out on both sides. And then when they come later and they suddenly are like, my business is a year later and I have all these extra things I need for my website. Well, okay. Here’s, what’s included. And now let’s add on a new sales page and a new funnel and whatever else you might need. So those are upsells now and you are now making more money from this, you know, person you’ve kind of locked into being your buddy.
So hopefully this episode was helpful and getting you to think about an Ascension model for your business, where does your ideal customer come in? Where do they find you? What stage are they in when they do, what product do you have for that person? And what do you have for them when they’ve completed that level? What’s the next level that you have for them. And you don’t have to have all of this built out in your business at once. You can focus on one piece at a time, really do it well, and then bring in that next here. So you might start out only having one tier and then you go to two and three and eventually you could have four or five. Although, you know, we like to simplify things here. So try and keep it simple. Three is good and just work on where you’re at. So to have a little fun before we end this episode, I’d love for Yasmin to share what her favorite Disney resort is that she has stayed at.
Oh, this is tough because I really liked them all. I would have to say the poly wear, which I say with Nicole on our trip in January has been my favorite thus far. And it’s not just for the theming or the fact that there’s two bathrooms, which you know, is awesome when you’re getting ready in the morning. It’s because of the Dole whip. You can get Dole whip on property, like at the poly, whenever you want, you don’t have to go to magic kingdom for it. And because it was January a little bit cooler, I didn’t take advantage of it as much as I would’ve liked, but Oh my gosh, if I ever go back, I’m having dealt with every day
And what resort would you want to stay at?
So it’s interesting that this is the restaurant that I bought into via DVC, which is copper Creek. I am so excited to stay at that resort because it is basically themed after the Pacific Northwest. If you know me, I love camping in the outdoors. And even though I am in the East coast in Canada, it definitely speaks to my soul. So I literally cannot even wait to go. We were actually supposed to go in four days, believe it or not. We’re recording this episode in September to the copper Creek villas for a little trip. Unfortunately we had to reschedule because of, you know, minor pregnancy complications I’m going through right now, but it’s okay. I’m going to go next year and it’s going to be amazing. What about you, Nicole?
Yeah, I I’ve stayed at quite a few resorts and I dunno if it’s nostalgia or just, it’s just in my heart as my favorite, but I love, love, love animal kingdom, Cordani village, which is the vacation club side. There’s just this one little lobby. There’s not even a quick service restaurant on this side of animal kingdom, but there’s a lobby that has a fireplace and the Savannah surrounds it. And so I wake up before everyone else, I fill up my reusable mug with some tea and I just sit in that lobby, enjoying the fire and maybe a giraffe will walk by. And it was just like my favorite part of vacation, I think, because it’s quiet, nobody else’s around me and I get to enjoy a tea, but I just love that so much. And it’s a beautiful resort. And I have to say it’s like Polynesian really crept up on me when we stayed there.
I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did, but that’s gaming is great and I’m a trader Sam’s was awesome. And I’m not like a Dewitt person, but like, that’s pretty cool that you can get them there. And nowhere else for places I wouldn’t say I’ve always wanted to stay at wilderness lodge and it’s just not ever been available. And I went on a trip years ago. I think it was solo at the time and I just went to resorts. I didn’t go to any parks. I just kind of monorail the route and went to the resorts and just like the Christmas tree at wilderness lodge is just breathtaking and amazing. And I will stay there someday
Before we wrap up. I just want to add one more thing. That’s the really cool thing about Disney is that everyone thinks you go there for the parks, but there are so many experiences at the resorts that you can enjoy. So many things to see, like sitting in that lobby, drinking your tea, looking at the Savannah. That’s not a traditionally Disney experience, but it’s magical. And it’s incredible. The level of detail that they sort of go to to really create that unique, magical experience wherever you’re sitting.
Yes. Yes. And that’s, I think that’s my picture of like my favorite part of vacation. And sometimes I choke that laundry is my favorite part of vacation. Cause it’s just like a quiet moment there, but it really is something for everyone. And so those people who are staying and those value resorts are probably looking to not stay in their room at all. They’re probably at the parks from the sun up to sun down and then some because of the firework shows. And so they’re probably not even looking to care about their room, whereas some people who have been multiple times and who owned vacation club, we care a little bit more about the ambiance and the hotel. And the nice thing about vacation club is that you can have a full kitchen, so you don’t have to go eat at restaurants all the time.
You can make your own food in the room. And so sometimes you might care a little bit more about the room. And so there is an option for everyone, those people who are home bodies who want to cook while on vacation, which some people are like, heck yes, that is me and other people definitely do not want to cook on vacation. So there’s a room for you, no matter what your stance is on a vacation dinner. So thanks for listening. This is super fun. And if you are an email subscriber, you are about to receive an extra tip in your inbox. If you are not an email subscriber, you should probably go ahead and do that because we send out bonus actionable tips to walk you through things that you can do that relate to the episode. So let us know on Instagram, what your favorite hotel is. We’d love to know and join us for our next episode series.