TouringPlans is pleased to welcome guest author Bob Jacobs.
Here’s a fun fact to start out with: while Disneyphiles refer to housekeeping as “Mousekeeping,” Disney never does. But since we all know what we mean (and it’s kinda fun), here we go!
Read any Disney discussion forum and you’ll see people sharing stories about how their Mousekeeping expectations were either met, exceeded, or not up to snuff. I try to bear in mind that everyone’s experiences and expectations vary; and try as they might, Disney can’t possibly make everything perfect – or meet every single need we may have – every day, all the time. Who could? And certainly, COVID closures, layoffs, renovations, and re-openings have made the job even harder for the staff!
The recently posted job description seeking housekeepers for Disney World states that their job is to be “focused on creating magic for our Guests during their Walt Disney World Resort stay by ensuring the highest standards of cleanliness & Guest Service.” That’s a tall order, even in the best of times!
We think these folks deserve our respect and consideration. So we try spread a little pixie dust to the Mousekeepers in our resort hotel by doing a few things. I’m sharing them in hopes that they spark an idea you and your family want to try on your next trip!
Every day before we leave for the parks, we do a “clean sweep” of the room. We put trash in the garbage can. We pile up our dirty towels in one spot on the bathroom floor and hang up the towels we want to reuse later. Loose items on the bathroom vanity are tucked into our dopp kit or hanging toiletry bag. Dirty clothes go into a garbage bag on the closet floor or in a suitcase; other clothes are put in the closet and dresser drawers. Valuables are stowed in the safe. Receipts are collected in an envelope and tucked in a suitcase.
By doing this, we don’t leave a lot lying around on horizontal surfaces or the floor, believing it makes it a little easier for Mousekeeping. That aforementioned job description hints that each person must care for 14-18 rooms, not just ours. They’re supposed to vacuum, wipe down all surfaces, clean the bathroom sinks and showers. I know how long that takes us at our house, so we try our best to not slow them down by leaving our room in relatively good condition and easier to clean.
We also put a daily tip on our bed with a little note thanking them for cleaning us up. (One suggestion is $1 a day for each person in your room. If you’re staying in a larger accommodation, such as a DVC suite with full kitchen and multiple bedrooms, you probably would want to tip extra since there is extra space to attend to.) Putting a note next to the tip accomplishes two things: it says you truly appreciate all they do for you, and it shows that the money was not left lying around accidentally but intentionally placed there for them. To learn more about tipping at Walt Disney World, click here.
When we pass a Mousekeeper in the hall, we say “Good morning!” or “Thank you!” That makes a personal connection with them and hopefully brightens their day just a bit. (And this is worth noting: If you feel a staff member in particular has done a really good job, be sure to let the front desk know!)
What do we do about spreading Pixie Dust to our fellow resort residents? We try to be a little more kind and considerate to others while in the hotel, maybe even more so than we are in our day-to-day activities at home!
We’ve raised four kids and now have seven grandchildren and know first-hand how hard it is for littles to contain their enthusiasm in the halls before a day in the parks or when heading off to the pool. But we don’t think vacation is an excuse to not respect others.
So we try (emphasis on “try”) to keep it quieter when we’re in the hallways. Some say that’s especially important before 8 a.m. and after 10 p.m.; others say before 7 a.m. and after 11 p.m. We try to remember not everyone is heading out for the day or coming back from fireworks when we are!
I’m pretty sure we’ve all had stays where someone down the hall goes in and out of their room repeatedly letting the door slam behind them every time. Again, we try (honest, we do!) to take an extra second or two to help the door close gently. After all, why not? (The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World calls out hotels where sound proofing is particularly poor – and for some reason, hallway noises can really echo!)
The bottom line of what I’m suggesting is simply this: we’re ALL on vacation and here to have fun. A little kindness and consideration for each other only amplifies the magic!
You may think that the things I’ve suggested don’t require going out of our way to make some sort of grand gesture. And that’s true! But at its heart, isn’t Pixie Dust that unexpected act of kindness that warms your heart or brings a smile to your face – and creates magic? That’s why I believe that being polite and considerate in the little things we do are ways we can spread Pixie Dust of our own.
On our last stay, our Mousekeeper treated us by leaving towel animals on the bed each evening. Certainly not something we expected, but it really lifted our spirits when we returned. On the day we checked out, she left us this little handwritten note: “Thank you very much Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs for being our guest. I hope to see you next time. God bless!” She certainly didn’t need to do that – but it left such an impression on us, we’ve saved that note with all the other souvenirs from our visit!
Maybe you have ideas of your own to add below to help us ALL participate in sharing pixie dust to Mousekeeping – and each other! Let us know what you do to help share the magic at Walt Disney World.
Bob Jacobs lives in Wisconsin where he recently retired after 22 years as an Editorial Director and writer for a well-known clothing catalog company. He and his wife Cristie have four children, seven grandchildren and a cocker spaniel named Penny the Dog.