5 Reasons to Stay at a Disney World Resort Hotel
When choosing where to stay during your vacation, the Disney World Resorts should be high on your list for consideration. Staying on property at the most magical place on earth can’t be beat! Why stay at a Walt Disney World Resort Property? Let’s find out!
It may look tempting to save a few hundred dollars to stay at a budget hotel, but it could end up costing you more. For starters, when staying at a Disney resort property, your transportation is included. A rental car alone can cost you a few hundred dollars. Food and entertainment.
A budget hotel won’t have great dining options and certainly won’t be playing Disney movies on a big outdoor screen or having Disney sing-a-longs for the kids while roasting marshmallows over a fire! Let’s get into the nitty gritty…
To and From the Airport
Disney’s Magical Express provides free airport transportation including luggage delivery for select resort hotels. Why worry about renting a car or taking a cab when you can have a free shuttle take you directly to your hotel?
We arrived at the airport, and it was quite a walk down to the Magical Express, especially after getting up at 1am for our flight. But, it was worth it! The line was really short, it was a nice air conditioned bus ride to the resort.
Theme Park Transporation
You will also receive transportation to and from Disney Parks. Take the water taxis or ferry, zip along on the monorail, or hop on a bus to travel to the different resorts, theme parks, and water park.
We stayed at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort. While staying at the resort we took the water taxi several times over to Disney Springs, where we had dinner, walked around, saw street performers, people watched and even saw Beauty and the Beast in 3D at AMC Dinner Theater!
The buses from the resort to the Disney Parks including Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Epcot,and Hollywood Studios run about every 20 minutes. There is also a bus you can catch to water parks and even one that runs to Disney Springs, if your resort is not on the water taxi line. Simply walk over to the bus stop and they show up, you board and get whisked off to the park of your choice – and it’s FREE!
Pro Disney World Tip: The buses run earlier than they tell you! Get out there an hour early, take the bus over to the park of choice and hang out outside the park – or get in line to be one of the first in the park before everyone else!
2. Extended Theme Park Hours
Every day, one of the parks will open an hour early or stay open two hours later just for resort property guests. You’ll receive a schedule with the designated parks and times for each day, so it will be easy to plan your itinerary for the length of your stay.
We took advantage of the extended hours at Animal Kingdom. But, to be honest, I don’t think we needed the extended hours. We ended up leaving before closing, at all the parks — even without the extended hours.
3. Disney-Minded Employees
Everyone who works on a Disney property knows Disney World. Unlike some off-resort properties, you’ll have the expertise of Disney employees readily available to help you plan your day, give advice on the best places to eat, and recommend the premiere attractions.
With so many options on your Disney vacation, it’s important to have people who can inform you of all Disney World has to offer. Plus, you can grab free buttons right at the concierge desk! Make sure to get your buttons when you check in!
4. Disney Dining Plan
Staying at a Disney World Resort hotel gives you access to select Disney Dining Plans. Choices include plans that include quick service meals, table service meals, snacks, and drinks. Options also include trading meals for dining experiences such as character dining or candlelight dinners. This is one of the tastiest perks you’ll find as a hotel guest!
We didn’t use the Disney dining plan this time around. But it is a good option. With or without a dining plan you can book character breakfasts, lunch and dinners up to 180 days in advance! Here’s Katie with Piglet at The Crystal Palace…
Pro Disney Tip: If you’re late to the party and still wish to book a character meal, stalk the RSVP webpage the week before you go — two days prior to a dinner reservation, people will get an email reminder. This means that those who booked 180 days ago, and are not going to make it to Disney will cancel their reservations or be charged of they don’t show up! So the week before your trip, stalk the website – refresh, refresh, refresh! They get snatched up quick, but if you’re lucky you can score a character dinner at the last minute!
Don’t forget your Autograph Books!
5. Magic Bands
Although magic bands are not exclusive to hotel guests, these wristbands that serve as your tickets are complimentary for those who stay on property and provide the most benefits when you stay on site. Bands unlock the door to your hotel room, allow you to enter parks, connect Disney PhotoPass images to your account, and allow you to charge purchases to your room. There’s no need to carry around cash and credit cards on property when you stay at a Disney Resort hotel!
In addition, bands also act as your FastPass, another benefit of being a Disney World Resort hotel guest. Fast passes allow visitors to set up a pre-determined time to ride a ride or visit an attraction in order to avoid long lines. Although FastPasses are available to all Disney World visitors, resort guests get early access to times for FastPasses! Magic bands make it super easy and convenient to get the whole Disney experience without the extra baggage.
Plan your trip early and book your FastPass times early. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get a FastPass if you just show up at the park and cross your fingers!
Perhaps the best reason to stay at a Disney World resort is all the fun stuff to do within the resort! There’s so many fun things to do and explore. From the themed pools to the sitting areas, night time S’mores parties, outdoor movie nights and more – the fun is endless at Walt Disney World Resorts — we loved our stay!
If you’re trying to decide whether or not to stay at one of the resort hotels while visiting Disney World, keep 5 reasons to stay at a Disney World resort property in mind. You won’t be disappointed with all the benefits being a Disney World resort guest provides!
Check out these 10 free things to do at Disney World!