Last week we started looking at the 2,500 post-visit surveys that TouringPlans subscribers have submitted since the WDW parks re-opened in July 2020. Our goal is to see whether the data supports Bob Chapek’s claim that “guests are even more satisfied than they were prior to the pandemic.” Our first post examined dining satisfaction scores. And – spoiler alert – on the whole guests are not more satisfied with their dining experiences post-reopening. This week we’re shifting our focus to resort satisfaction to see what we can find.
Comparing Resort Scores Pre-Pandemic and Post-Reopening
In post-visit surveys, respondents can give the resort they stayed at an overall satisfaction score, from 1 to 5. If we average the results across all surveys, we can easily compare averages across resorts as well as pre-pandemic and post-reopening. We had 33,000 dining reviews to analyze last week, but hotel reviews are much fewer. Still, out of 2,500 post-reopening surveys, there are 1,790 hotel reviews.
At a high level, the results are more muted than they were with dining surveys. Pre-pandemic, the average satisfaction across all resorts at WDW was 4.70. Pretty awesome! Post-pandemic, the average satisfaction across all resorts comes out to … 4.71. Some fancy statistics tell us that there’s a 46% chance the minimal difference there is just due to chance. So really we can’t say that they’re significantly different at all. Guests overall probably aren’t more satisfied with their resorts post-reopening. But at least they aren’t less satisfied either!
If you’ve been following the phased reopening of WDW resorts, you know that there are some circumstances that could be throwing off our overall numbers. In general, you might guess that guests at value resorts would be less satisfied than deluxe resorts guests. And even now, most of those less-satisfying value resorts are still closed. So maybe it would make sense for resort satisfaction to go up anyway overall just by closing some value resorts. Let’s explore those satisfaction scores by category to see if you’re on to something.
Satisfaction by Resort Category
- Value resorts actually increased slightly in satisfaction from 4.61 pre-pandemic to 4.63 post-reopening. The results aren’t significantly different if we look at the statistics. But only Art of Animation and Pop Century have been open for long enough to gather some results via survey, and they were always the two most highly rated value resorts anyway. The average satisfaction at those two resorts pre-pandemic was actually 4.64. But again, no significant difference.
- Moderate resorts were similarly “meh”. The average satisfaction was 4.68 pre-pandemic, and decreased slightly to 4.66 post-reopening. Once more, no statistically significant difference here. This time, the resorts that have reopened are a bit different though. Two of the more popular moderate resorts, Port Orleans – French Quarter and Port Orleans – Riverside, are both still closed. If we narrow it to just the resorts that are opened, their overall average pre-pandemic was just 4.59. This is actually a significant improvement! I can be about 97% confident that people are happier at the moderate resorts that have re-opened than they were pre-pandemic.
- Pre-pandemic, the average satisfaction score at deluxe resorts was 4.75, and post-reopening that has dropped to 4.68. I can be over 97% confident that this difference is significant. Guests at deluxe resorts are certainly less satisfied at deluxe resorts than they were pre-pandemic.
- Finally, deluxe villas increased from 4.78 average satisfaction pre-pandemic to 4.80 average satisfaction post-reopening. But, this increase isn’t statistically significant.
Resort Satisfaction by Location
We already saw that by narrowing our scope to just resorts that have already opened, the satisfaction results changed quite a bit. So what if we narrow to individual results? Are there any locations that have seen big swings post-reopening?
The resort with the largest increase in satisfaction is the Riviera Resort. It averaged 4.78 pre-pandemic, which was already not too shabby. Post-reopening, the average bolted up to 4.96! Pretty incredible. And there are enough reviews to make me 99% confident in the increase.
- One other resort experienced significant improvement following re-opening. Caribbean Beach had the lowest satisfaction of any moderate resort pre-pandemic, at 4.52. Post-reopening, it’s still the lowest of any moderate – but now at an average of 4.65. I’m again 99% confident that satisfaction has increased at Caribbean Beach.
On the other side of the spectrum, the resort with the most significant decline post-reopening was Art of Animation Resort, which dropped from 4.69 pre-pandemic down to 4.58. Based on statistics, I can be at least 90% confident that guests are less satisfied at this particular resort.
- In second-worst place is the BoardWalk Villas, which decreased from 4.80 satisfaction pre-pandemic to 4.70 post-reopening. I’d still gladly stay there, but I am 90% confident that guests are less satisfied there now.
Wrapping It Up
Resort satisfaction is definitely more of a mixed bag than dining satisfaction post-reopening. But there isn’t a real way to say that guests are more satisfied with their resorts now, unless you only poll guests that stayed at Riviera Resort or Caribbean Beach Resort or if you totally ignore guests that stayed at deluxe resorts. Next week we’ll finish our investigation by looking at attraction satisfactions scores.
If information about WDW resorts interest you, you should also catch up on our April Absurdity WDW Resort Tournament. Things will pick back up on Monday when we announce the Final Four and open up voting to get to our Championship match.
Did any of these results surprise you? Do you have any predictions about attraction satisfaction? Let us know in the comments.