Hotel prices around Disney parks rising

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Reports show that five-star hotels have raised prices around the California and Florida parks.

Read more and see video from KCBS/KCAL/Los Angeles.

Jeff's avatar

OhioStater said:

Define "nasty".

Are there any "nice" hotels in Sandusky? Breakers is decent, but there is no Hyatt or Four Seasons, that's for sure. Great Wolf and Kalahari are serviceable, but the rooms are a little tired from the abuse of families and a water park.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

OhioStater's avatar

We haven't stayed anywhere outside of Hotel Breakers or the cottages at Lighthouse Point in almost a decade...aside from one trip to Great Wolf somewhere in there a few years ago. That's the curse/blessing of Hotel Breakers; once you make the leap to staying on-point it's damn near impossible to think about going back.

Alas, everything on point was sold out, and I've heard pretty good reviews about Breakers Express since the overhaul. I'm certainly not expecting anything close to Breakers proper, but we'll see. Anyone? The goal was to find a decent place to crash for a couple nights, and I was surprised that Breakers Express was the same cost as some other...let's call them..."decent" locations. I just expected them to be more because of the location and perks (if you need them).

Bonus? We're close to the Thirsty Pony. Have to get my Lake Erie perch-fix.

Great Wolf felt really cramped. Much more impressed by the Mason location when we did Winterfest at Kings Island a couple years ago.

Per the article, it makes sense that 5-star locations near would be going up; I was surprised to hear that the dives near CP would be skyrocketing. Everything is weird.

Last edited by OhioStater,

Promoter of fog.

The Express Rooms themselves after the remodel I feel are at equivalent or might even be a tad better than Breakers standard queen rooms. Bedding and style is the same (coaster pics and barrel of fun art) and the rooms are a little bigger than some of those smaller queen rooms at breakers. (Tough to gauge since all standard Breakers rooms are not the same, depending on if they are in east or tower). Furniture is a little more sturdy too.

If you can, request a room at express in the back corners of the hotel, 2nd floor. Those are a little more of a hike but are quieter. Avoid the first floor front as everyone walks there on the way to the elevators, which are in the middle of the wings. (Same issue with Breakers, anything east first floor you might as well have your room be in the lobby with all that traffic)

Nice but nothing fancy. I’ve always equated Express and Breakers to a Holiday Inn Express or Hampton Inn, but in a great location, plus a beach.

I have trouble sometimes justifying the cost for Breakers since I’ve stayed at Disney Mids or Universal Premiers for about the same price or even less, and those are legit unique and luxury feel. We usually end up doing LHP cottages because those are unique and generally quieter.

Last edited by Joe E.,
99er's avatar

Having not stayed there, I have to imagine the new(ish) Holiday Inn would be the nicest hotel in Sandusky. That isn't saying much and it pretty sad really for a city full of hotels. But then again, does it really matter for the kind of crowd that visits a summer city for the purpose of an amusement park?


-Chris

Mulfinator said

The situation in Hawaii is pretty wild....

One of the only places (a few years ago) I've had to ever employ and rely on hitch hiking too. North side of Kauai, southeast side of the big island. Because if you do go out of town, you cannot find availability of Uber/taxis.


OhioStater said:

We haven't stayed anywhere outside of Hotel Breakers or the cottages at Lighthouse Point in almost a decade...aside from one trip to Great Wolf somewhere in there a few years ago. That's the curse/blessing of Hotel Breakers; once you make the leap to staying on-point it's damn near impossible to think about going back.

Breakers needs some major dining upgrades. When the park closes down at 8 pm. Your options are... a two hour wait for TGIF Fridays? The amenities do not match the price point. If the purpose is to remain on Point something else needs to be available.

The Surf Lounge is cool but could be cooler.

In general at peak load the place feels stressed. Not relaxing. The waits for elevators look like park lines and just people everywhere. (Starbucks in the morning 🤣) And no room service til a 3 night stay, WTF?

That said, I do love the place's aesthetic and the atmosphere of staying there. Agree that it's hard to revert to other accomodations. I was just there two weeks ago. The location still supercedes all the flaws. The reno refresh addressed the look but none of the operational flaws of the "resort".

They should do something nice with the Sandcastle plot with new dining to support more new rooms and other amenities to relieve the Breakers.

I stayed at Dreamore back in April and an all around better experience on similar scale for a lower price point. Plus the included fast pass and my wife could go to the spa.

Really, the easy fix is better dining. And room turnover service.

EDIT: To be more relevant to the original topic and give CP some credit (or not). I had to rebook my Breakers from a Mon-Wed stay (cause ya know...) to the preceding Thurs.-Sat. Now you would think that rate would have increased based on days of the week but it actually went down 25% because new dates now just landed before the set point on calendar when Breakers uniformly jumps daily rates. Something that look liked it was set early in 2021 and never has a dynamic needle affected by demand (unlike theme park operating hours).

Last edited by Kstr 737,

I suspect another factor is that people are traveling overseas a lot less, and that's increasing demand for domestic US travel options. My boss just came back from a week at an all-inclusive in Cancun; he said that was cheaper than flights and hotel in Florida. Essentially no one is going to Canada for vacation. I suspect limitations in Europe are deterring people from traveling there even if it's feasible.

Even if that's only adding a relatively small number of travelers to the domestic market, it might be the small amount that causes demand to exceed capacity and drive up prices significantly.

99er said:

Having not stayed there, I have to imagine the new(ish) Holiday Inn would be the nicest hotel in Sandusky. That isn't saying much and it pretty sad really for a city full of hotels. But then again, does it really matter for the kind of crowd that visits a summer city for the purpose of an amusement park?

Right. As long as it's somewhat modern, clean, and well managed that's all they need. Breakers tends to be the first to sell out on a summer weekend, and Express Hotel usually isn't far behind it. From the business standpoint, CP resorts don't need to be more than they are, especially if they are booked solid.

I realize most of us are not their target audience either if we are comparing CP resorts to Universal/Disney/Dreamore. I've been to all, and Breakers is honestly probably on the bottom of that list, excluding maybe the value Orlando ones. It's not that CP resorts are bad (not in the least actually) but I'm one who's thinks plane or a longer drive worth it to get out of boring Ohio for a different or better experience. I'll still do CP resorts, but usually weekend to burn in the Spring/Fall at the reduced rates .

One major thought I missed on Sandusky Rates this summer. Sawmill and Castaway are both still under renovation. Those are probably #2 and #3 in the area behind Kalahari in number of rooms available on the mainland, which is a lot of supply missing. I'm sure it made sense mid pandemic to pause those and save some cash. With material shortages and price increases I'm sure they now wished those were done before this summer, especially with the sky rocking hotel rates. I'd bet on both we'll see something similar level of renovation to express, modern but nothin fancy.

Jeff's avatar

I don't like the "can't compare to Disney" sentiment. Why not? You pay a premium to stay at Breakers, so why should we make excuses if it isn't as nice as the Polynesian? (For example only, I don't need anyone quoting prices.)

If there wasn't a market for benefit oriented customers, there wouldn't be a Fastlane for sale. Breakers is adequate, but sometimes it feels like it should be "better" for the price. I'd pay more for better.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

I definitely agree: for the price, it ought to be better even given its location. Breakers is one of those places that I will stay at, but I won't recommend to anyone else in my non-enthusiast circles.

And maybe that's okay; given CP's guest mix, it might be everything that it needs to be, but it is definitely not more than that.

Last edited by Brian Noble,

Economics of a year round hotel are very different from those of one open 4 months a year.

If Cedar Point needed a high end hotel they would already have one.

My thinking is the same as Brian's. Why build something better if people are willing to pay top dollar for a non-top dollar hotel? Squeeze what you can out of Breakers until people don't want to pay for it.

eightdotthree's avatar

Hotel Breakers since the redesign is really nice. It's no longer just about being close to the park.

The bar and Starbucks inside the lobby is nice, the beachside bar and entertainment on the beach is nice. The rooms are as nice or nicer than the room we had at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort. *ducks*

The pools could use some improvement, but they're nailing everything else IMO.


Is another way to look at this - if CP can charge big $ for Breakers, does that mean that Disney's hotels are underpriced?

I'm not all that enamored of WDW's hotels either. Disney is a competent hotelier, and not much more than that. I put them a notch below the better business class brands e.g. Westin--and my Disney experience is mostly the DVC end of things with a few Moderate nights here and there. I think this is largely due to Disney's model of guest service: they smile a lot and handle the expected well, but they aren't particularly good at solving problems.

Last edited by Brian Noble,

Shades said:

Is another way to look at this - if CP can charge big $ for Breakers, does that mean that Disney's hotels are underpriced?

You can still get a room at Breakers for far less than a Disney Deluxe, and to me, the experience is similar.

Jeff's avatar

It depends on the property, but I don't find the experience to be similar. I stayed in Coronado Springs late in 2019, and was shocked at how nice it was, especially for being the conference hotel. Breakers does not have Three Bridges or a pyramid at the pool (or that amazing bar in the tower). Art of Animation isn't bad, and Boardwalk, Yacht and Beach Club are all roomy with outstanding pools.

GoBucks89 said:
Economics of a year round hotel are very different from those of one open 4 months a year.

That is objectively true... but why should I care? My dollars are worth the same amount in both places. The cheapest room in Breakers in late August that I can find is $576 per night. I like Breakers, but I can stay in the Grand Hyatt Kauai for $36 more per night. I've stayed at both, which one do you think is better?


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

eightdotthree's avatar

Jeff said:

I've stayed at both, which one do you think is better?

The one with Steel Vengeance a ten minute walk away? :)

$576 is for TWO nights in August.

Last edited by eightdotthree,
Jeff's avatar

Fair enough. I'd still rather be in Kauai. 😁


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Consumers aren't likely to care about the different economics (or even understand them). But as we have discussed before, managment (particularly finance/accounting) will care. Lenders will care. So too will investors.

Presumably someone staying at Breakers is going to Cedar Point. Cannot really imagine staying there otherwise (though maybe some people do). Great Hyatt Kauai is not really convenient for going to the Point. So in terms of which one is better for someone going to CP, its Breakers and its not even close.

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