What Can Your Resort Tell Us About Your Vacation?

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Here at TouringPlans, we’re all about collecting, analyzing, and utilizing data to enable you to have your best vacation. As users, you help us collect all of that data. You tell us about which attractions are most enjoyable, and how long you wait for them. You tell us about which resorts are satisfying and which restaurants get a thumbs up.

But what if the tables get turned? What can your resort choice tell us about you? Does where you stay say something about how many people you travel with, or how long you stay at WDW? Can it correlate to how frequently you visit?

You will most frequently find my family staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge. What can that tell me about my vacation style?

Explain the Math!

Most of the questions in the post-visit survey that TouringPlans users fill out tells us about your vacation – resorts, dining locations, and attractions. But a few of the questions tell us about you. In particular, today we’ll look at three questions and examine how the answers differ from resort to resort.

  1. Trip Dates – When you fill out the survey, you select your arrival and departure days, so we can calculate the number of nights that you stayed.
  2. How many times (including this one) have you been to Walt Disney World? – The number of times you’ve visited WDW can tell me if you’re a newbie, an occasional visitor, or a frequent flier.
  3. Members in Your Party – When you add party members in your survey, it gives me information about your party type and size.

For each of these questions, I grouped the answers by the resort that you selected for your stay. I graphed the average results for each resort, along with the 95% confidence interval. The graphs are shown with the resort that has the highest average on top, and the resort that has the lowest average on bottom. The dots on each graph are also color-coded: Values are orange, Moderates are purple, Deluxe resorts are yellow, and DVC resorts are blue. This way we can also quickly get an idea of whether certain resort types perform similarly or not.

Which Resort Has the Longest Average Stay?

  • The average length of stay for each resort, along with the 95% confidence interval

    If you were staying at Walt Disney World for more than a week, where would you choose to stay? It turns out that, statistically speaking, there’s a clear answer: Old Key West. It has the highest average and a very tight confidence interval. Which means that the only other resort that might even come close is the Campsites at Fort Wilderness. But they have a huge confidence interval due to large variance and low sample size.

  • Interestingly, most of the Moderate resorts fall easily into the top half of longest average lengths of stay. Except for Coronado Springs – its convention guests with short stays drag down that average. So it seems like, in general, Moderate resorts hit a sweet spot of quality and (relative) affordability that enable longer stays.
  • Deluxe resorts and their DVC counterparts show some divergent behavior when it comes to length of stay. DVC resorts trend mostly in the upper half, while Deluxe resorts make up a lot of the bottom of the list (with Jambo House and Beach Club being the notable outliers).
  • The resort with the shortest average length of stay is the Dolphin, which comes in around 5.5 nights.

Which Resorts Have Large Parties?

  • The average party size for each resort, along with the 95% confidence interval

    Some WDW resorts are better suited to large parties. For example, there are plenty of Moderate, Deluxe, and DVC resorts that have rooms or studios with 2 queens and an additional twin bed (murphy or daybed).

  • The resort that has the highest average party size is the Treehouse Villas at Saratoga Springs. The treehouses have a 9-person capacity, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the party size there averages over 5. It’s an expensive accommodation choice for a smaller party.
  • The Cabins at Fort Wilderness come in second place. Each cabin has a 6-person capacity (1 queen bed, 1 bunk bed, 1 double sleeper), and averages over 4 people per party.
  • It’s not surprising to find Art of Animation well above the rest of the Value resorts, since it is made up most of family suites (6-person capacity with 1 queen bed, 1 double murphy bed and 1 double sleeper sofa).
  • The smallest average party sizes happen at the Campsites at Fort Wilderness, Port Orleans – French Quarter, and Coronado Springs. Once again, Coronado Springs is popular with convention-goers, who presumably stay one or two people to a room and bring down the average. But the Campsites have a much lower average than any other resort.

Which Resorts Are Chosen By Frequent Visitors?

  • The average number of previous WDW visits for each resort, along with the 95% confidence interval

    If any other graph didn’t make it apparent that TouringPlans is used by many WDW veterans, this one should. The average number of previous WDW visits for survey respondents is 11! We are certainly a bunch of WDW frequent fliers. But maybe we can tell a little big about which resorts the really frequent visitors choose anyway.

  • The top 10 resorts with the high average number of previous visits are all DVC resorts. And every resort in the top half is DVC or Deluxe. The only Deluxe resorts that show up in the bottom half are Beach Club, Jambo, Wilderness Lodge, Contemporary, Polynesian, and Shades of Green.
  • The non-DVC/Deluxe resort with the highest average number of previous visits is Coronado Springs, followed by All-Star Sports.
  • Most Moderate resorts are near the bottom of the list. So Moderates are high for length of stay, but low for number of previous visits.
  • The overall lowest average number of previous visits is found at Art of Animation. Again, this isn’t necessarily representative of all WDW visitors, because the average number of previous trips is still over 7.

What Does This Mean For You?

  1. If you like to stay in the WDW bubble for over a week at a time, chances are that Old Key West might be the place you like to stay. If you haven’t tried it yet and long vacations are your style – give it a shot, you could fit right in.
  2. Are you travelling with a 5 or more people in the same room? The Treehouses are an easy choice, but you could also check out the Cabins or Art of Animation. You may want to avoid the smaller Value rooms, along with Port Orleans – French Quarter or Coronado Springs.
  3. Chances are, if you’re staying in a DVC resort, you’re a very frequent WDW visitor. No shock there, since you’ve either literally bought in to the idea of frequent WDW vacations, or you’ve been around enough to feel comfortable renting points.

Did the results fit with what you expected to see? Does your travelling party break the trend at any particular resort? Let us know in the comments!

 

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Becky Gandillon

Becky Gandillon was trained in biomedical engineering, but is now a full-time data and analytics nerd. She loves problem solving and travelling. She and her husband, Jeff, live in St. Louis with their two daughters and they have Disney family movie night every Saturday. You can follow her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-gandillon/

5 thoughts on “What Can Your Resort Tell Us About Your Vacation?

  • July 28, 2021 at 12:06 pm
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    The integrity of the “number of previous visits” data makes me nervous. I would trust people who respond with numbers that are less than 5 or so, because that’s probably a real answer (and the differences in experiences between your first, second, and third trips are significant). But if you’ve been more than 7 or 8 times, do you really KNOW how many times you’ve been without pulling out old photo albums or whatever? If someone says they’ve been 12 times, I would take that to mean “twelve-ish.”

    I guess this is more a comment about the survey design, and not the above analysis. I’m surprised that this survey field is a free number entry, and not a drop-down list of options that maxes out at “11-15,” “16-20,” and “21+” or something.

    Reply
    • July 28, 2021 at 2:19 pm
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      Totally agree with you about the design of that question, Andy. I threw out some really obvious outliers that skewed the results before I aggregated, but I agree that buckets would probably give a more accurate picture in the long-term.

      Reply
  • July 28, 2021 at 1:58 pm
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    I think the large party metric is skewed by parties that get more than one room. We are a party of six, and our resort of choice the last few trips has been multiple rooms at Pop Century, as that ends up costing less than a single family suite that can accommodate us all. Perhaps this should be re-stated as resorts that have the lowest guests per room as opposed to party size.

    Reply
    • July 28, 2021 at 2:21 pm
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      The survey (linked at top of article) broadly asks people to list their party members; it doesn’t ask you to list only the people that were in your specific hotel room. I would assume that someone like you who visited with a large party that was split across multiple rooms would list all of those party members in the survey, regardless of who slept where.

      Reply
    • July 28, 2021 at 2:21 pm
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      That’s an astute point, Chuck. I did a little bit of data cleansing before aggregating the data on this question. We ask for room numbers, and when there were multiple room numbers, I did divide the party size by the number of rooms. So yes, I could re-title that section to more accurately capture the intent …

      Reply

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