If you have visited one of the four Disney World Resort hotels closest to Magic Kingdom (Polynesian Village, Bay Lake Tower, Contemporary, or the Grand Floridian) as of late, then you know these accommodations have moved away from the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign to ‘Room Occupied’ wording.
Why the change in words? Legal reasons, actually and these ‘Do Not Disturb’ signs in general may become a thing of the past for hotels at large, where organizations are moving towards ‘Room Occupied’ verbiage.
The fact of the matter is, the new wording changes the meaning of the sign. ‘Do Not Disturb’ means not entering the room; ‘Room Occupied’ means that staff know not to enter the room when guests are within, but still reserve the right to interrupt for safety, emergency, security, maintenance reasons, or additional purposes.
In fact, Disney isn’t the only organization moving forward with this trend. Hilton has mentioned to employees to be on notice for ‘Do Not Disturb’ signs that have been hanging for 24+ hours, and to let security know if and whenever this occurs. In fact, they let their clients know at check-in that Hilton reserves the right to inspect each room, every 24 hours; for the well-being of guests in mind and to ensure the condition of the room.
Still, CNTraveler reported that online industry experts chimed into this topic and it seems that hotels have always had the right to come into a visitor’s room – ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign hanging on the doorknob and all.
While the change has been put into place for legal reasons, at the end of the day, hotels do not want to upset their guests by barging in on them during a time they wish to be left alone. Rather, it’s all about safety (and legal wording to cover themselves). At the end of the day, hotels want to keep guests safe, while also offering the best client experience possible.