Marriott Category Changes: Disney Fans Just Died A Little Inside

It’s okay to cry or throw something (just not at anyone). We’re processing grief ourselves. Marriott and Starwood just announced their 2018 category changes. It’s not good. Most of their Disney hotels will cost you more points this year. Grab a box of Klenex and a bottle of wine. We’ll grieve together.

The Best Hotels Will Cost You More

The Dolphin? Going up. Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance? Going up. Marriott and Starwood are increasing 17 hotels near Disney World or Disneyland. Only 3 are going down. Here are links to the Starwood 2018 Category Changes (link has been removed) and the Marriott 2018 Category Changes.

Disney World Hotel Changes

The biggest change at Disney World is the Dolphin moving from a Category 4 Starwood hotel to a Category 5. This means it will increase from 10,000 points per night to 12,000-16,000. This puts it back to the same level as the Swan.

You still pay a resort fee of $28 (plus tax) per night at both of these hotels, even when you use points. Paying 12,000-16,000 points on top of the resort fee means you’re less likely to get a great value for your points.

Disneyland Hotel Changes

The most disappointing change at Disneyland is the increase at the Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance, which also increased last year as well. It’s moving from a Marriott Category 8 to 9, Marriott’s highest tier. It’s a fantastic option for large families, but 45,000 Marriott points per night is a lot.

There is one positive change. The other Courtyard, the Courtyard Anaheim Resort/Convention Center, a few blocks South of Cars Land, is moving down from Category 6 to 5. At only 25,000 Marriott points and a reasonable walking distance from the parks, it will likely break our Top 10 list soon.

When These Changes Take Effect

You have until March 6th to book at the current rates. This includes bookings for stays beyond March 6th. So, if you’ve been thinking about a stay at one of the hotels later in the year, BOOK IT NOW!