Stateroom Key to the World (KTTW) Activated Light Switch Tip

When sailing on the Dream and Fantasy, one of the first things you will notice when entering your stateroom is that the lights will not turn on when you push the buttons located on the wall just inside the door.  The staterooms on the Dream class ships have a built in energy conservation measure that will automatically turn off the lights, TV,  and reduce the air conditioning when a Key to the World (KTTW) card is not inserted into the slot above the light switches, located just inside your stateroom.

Stateroom Key Light Switch - Card Inserted

Just imagine the impact this single energy saving feature has on the environment by reducing the resources required to generate the electricity that would normally be wasted in an empty stateroom; the one big trade off is convenience.  The stateroom doors have RFID locks which enable you to leave your KTTW card in your Castaway Club lanyard, but in order to turn on the light you must pull out the card.  There is also an issue when your KTTW  is in the slot…  I instantly became the villain when I grabbed my card on my way out while my wife is in the shower and our daughter watching a Donald Duck cartoon.  No card, no lights, no TV… my bad.

As you can see in the first picture, the slot does not require your actual Key to the World card.  In fact, you can stick about anything that will fit into the slot like the corner of the “Do Not Disturb” hang tag to activate the electricity.  One solution is to leave an old hotel key card or gift card in the slot, but it will be removed by your stateroom host, even if you leave it ajar.  Having an extra card on hand is a great tip, but it still did not make it any easier to quickly turn on the lights of a dark stateroom.

While I was assembling a door magnet for our last cruise, a solution presented itself.  My daughter has a collection of gift cards which she uses as bookmarks, and on that particular night a payment method for her pretend store.  Sure enough, there was an old Disney Cruise Line gift card with Mickey and Minnie in her stash to which she allowed me to use.

Stateroom Key Light Switch - Gift Card & Magnet

Using some of the same adhesive magnetic sheeting I used for the door magnet, I cut a thin strip the same length as the narrow side of the gift card.

Stateroom Key Light Switch - Cut Magnet Sheet

Then, I stuck the magnet strip to the back of the gift card. I’ll save you the time of checking; the card has no money on it so do not bother trying to use the number pictured below.

Stateroom Key Light Switch - Magnet Attached to Card

You now have your very own Disney Cruise Line Gift Card refrigerator magnet.  All kidding aside; the walls in the staterooms are magnetic just like your refrigerator!  See where I am going yet with this tip?

Stateroom Key Light Switch - Card & Fridge

Now, all you have to do when you leave your stateroom is to remove the card and stick it to the wall.  When you return, it will be right where you left it!

Stateroom Key Light Switch - Card On Wall

This magnetic card trick worked much better than I originally anticipated.  We never had to fuss with our Key to the World cards upon returning to the stateroom, or swap cards on the rare occasion where one of us left while someone was in the shower.  Who knows – this tip may soon be relevant on the Magic & Wonder.  For now, this card has earned a permanent spot in our cruise bag.

24 Replies to “Stateroom Key to the World (KTTW) Activated Light Switch Tip”

  1. Sherri C.

    WOW – What an AWESOME idea! We are sailing next week on the Dream -our 5th DCL cruise -but 1st one on a new ship!!! I didn’t know this about the lights – I’ll be making my “light magnet” tonight!! THANK YOU!!

  2. Craig

    That’s a nice idea. I found that leaving my non-KTTW card in the slot, but not pushed all the way down, worked but I always removed it entirely if I knew the room would be made up.

  3. Karen

    I have to say that last year when we were on the Fantasy I knew about this so I brought a spare card. We left it in the slot and they never took it out.

    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      Our first 2 cruises on the Fantasy our cards were always removed. So for the third sailing I went with this method. Ultimately, it depends on the stateroom host/hostess.

  4. p17blo

    Why not do what your cabin attendants do – Slip the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign into the slot, because of the slit the the hanger, it’s fits perfectly – Don’t believe me, try it next time you are on-board – no prep necessary

  5. Bill B.

    Scott the guys in the black suits wearing Mickey ears will soon show up at your door over this tip. Thanks a lot and I will be using this next weekend aboard the Dream.

    1. Sherri C.

      Bill B – we will be on the Dream next weekend too! 4/11-14 – our first time on the Dream – and I’m making my card per Scott’s instructions tonight!! Thanks again Scott – and Bill, wishing you safe travels and great weather for our cruise!

      1. Bill B.

        Sorry Sherri, we will be waiting to get on board as you get off. Our dates are 4/14~18. That doesn’t mean I can’t wish the same for you though. Hope you have glass like waters and a tequila sunrise each morning. And of course warm cloudless weather.

  6. modisneychick

    If you stayed at Disney before your cruise, your room key from there will work too (again with no prep!). I assume other old hotel room keys would also work, but I have never tried.

    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      The intent was to keep a card in a convenient place at all times.

      Anything will work. Sure you can use the do not disturb card, but what happens when you want to use it on the door.

      We tried leaving a card half in the socket so the power was deactivated, but the stateroom host always removed it.

  7. disneygirl925

    Scott…I love this idea and am making mine with used Disney GCs, too! Quick question: does the magnetic strip on the back of the GC have to be read by the light switch or is it okay to cover it with the magnet?
    Thanks and awesome idea!!

  8. Marissa

    We are going on a cruise next year, and I’m preparing/obsessing. Would a (non-plastic) business card work?

  9. Candace Bishop

    Brilliant idea, Scott! I’ll just have to use up the funds on one of my (way too many!) gift cards for our trip next month.

    PS – Just wanted to say how much I. LOVE. YOUR. BLOG! I come back to it time and again for more EXCEPTIONALLY useful info! Thanks for sharing!

  10. judithgerdin

    You might ask one of the stateroom hosts for a “slug” or blank key that they use when servicing the cabins. They gave me one.

  11. Pam

    I don’t have a picture, but we just left our card in the slot at an angle, just catching the corner in the slot. The CM left it there and it was just a quick slide into the slot when we returned.

  12. John Walsh

    I was on my first cruise with Holland America to Alaska this year.
    I did not know as to how to turn state room lights on.
    I used the light on my cell to toggle the switches.
    Nature was calling & I dashed into the lavatory using my cell light. I slammed my right foot down into the raised entry.

    I had assumed a breaker had tripped out the lighting. My first cruise & my first day of 7.
    I hobbled about as best I could. This now transferred pain to my left leg which was compensating.
    I had iced my foot from the barista & daily ice buckets from the room Stewart.

    I would think a motion activated light a the entry door directed at the card slot with simple instructions “Card Will Activate Lights” would be prudent.

    I’m home now with limited activities. I was very active & outdoor’s person

    This was a common issue among other passengers.
    Educating newbies like myself is imperative.

    I am awaiting results from X-Rays & Ultra Sound as is almost 3 weeks since injury on May 12/18.

    Almost everything else on Holland American was wonderful & would highly recommend it’s usage.


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