Hotels are a key component of the world’s leading theme park complexes. Immersing guests in outlandish themes allows them to continue experiencing the escapism found in the parks after the gates have closed. It doesn’t just boost revenue but also profits as guests are likely to visit the parks for two days if they stay on-site for a night and this means they will buy more high-margin merchandise and food and beverage.
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I stayed in the Swan about two years ago, and I thought it was a total dump. Also the only place at Disney where they charge for hotel parking. I was not impressed.
What an odd story. Framed as a trend piece but uses decades-old examples like the Swan and Dolphin (1990) and Luxor (1993). That era created some gaudy monstrosities. In fairness, they weren't all bad. Port Orleans Riverside (formerly Dixie Landings) is a nice mix of thematic storytelling and an environment that's just pleasant to be around.
If I had to summarize the destination resort trend today (or maybe this is a wish?) I would say hotels need to become more like theme parks (story, amenities, experience) and theme parks need to become more like hotels (more human, relaxing, high-touch).
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