FAQ Orlando

Hotels, pizza, crime, and free speech

Disney All Star Music Resort hotel room doors

Disney rooms, such as the All Star Music Resort, sit too far from local businesses to get questionable flyers

Hot, tired, and hungry at the end of an exhaustive theme park day, many people on vacation want to eat quickly and then sleep. They see a flyer hanging off the hotel room’s door handle advertising local pizza delivered in 20 minutes or less. The hotel recommended it, so it must be okay – right? Maybe not. In a worst-case scenario, you could be giving an unknown company or person access to your hotel room. While unlikely, it carries another risk: The pizza could be awful.

If a restaurant ad sits on a table inside a room, the hotel probably authorized it or cut a deal with the restaurant to allow advertising. That implies at least a minimal recommendation from the hotel. Anyone, however, can place an ad on a room door.

In theory, a hotel must give a vendor permission to place ads, but the legal standard is “oral permission,” and that’s not always followed. SB 366, a bill currently in the hands of the Florida Legislature, could tighten those standards to “written permission” – but if a hotel has room doors facing the parking lot, tougher standards may not deter everyone. (The issue is legally sticky and involves free speech rights, the definition of a hotel as a place of business, and more.)

The bottom line for Orlando visitors: Call a place you know. When you arrive at your hotel, make a mental note of nearby restaurant chains you trust or small businesses that appear reputable. Or ask the hotel desk clerk where she eats lunch.

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