Yay! You’re going to Disney! A Walt Disney World vacation can be the most magical family vacation you will ever take. Or, it can be the most miserable experience. Sorry, but that’s a fact. It all depends on your planning. A successful Disney vacation requires a lot of detailed planning. The first step towards having a magical vacation is to book your stay in a Disney Resort Hotel.
6 Important Reasons to Stay in a Disney Resort Hotel
I personally believe there is no other way to experience a Walt Disney World vacation than to stay right in the middle of the magic. Walt Disney World has over 25 on-site resort hotels in four different categories: Value, Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villa Resorts. There really is something to fit every budget. Guests of Disney Resort hotels are able to take advantage of some pretty spectacular benefits.
1 – Early access to Disney FastPass+ Planning
What is Disney FastPass+? This free service allows guests to reserve a specific time to visit up to three (3) attractions, entertainment experiences and/or Disney character interactions weeks before you arrive in the parks. Guests staying in Disney Resort hotels have access to book their FastPass+ selections 60 days in advance. Those staying off-site cannot book until 30 days before their arrival date. If you are hoping to secure a FastPass+ reservation for the new Frozen Ever After ride, let’s hope you are staying on-site. As a Travel Agent I book FastPass+ selections for my clients (those who don’t want to do it themselves) and these are usually gone by the end of the 60th day. Guests staying in a Disney Resort hotel have an extra month to select their FastPass+ attractions.
2 – Extra Magic Hours
What are Extra Magic Hours (EMH)? The most magical time inside a Disney World theme park. Each day guests staying in a Disney Resort hotel have extended theme park hours in one of the Walt Disney World theme parks open only to them. Imagine being able to walk right on to Space Mountain. That’s right, no line. I have always been one to utilize the less crowded mornings and evenings in Disney.
The Extra Magic Hour schedule alternates between parks daily. Sometimes the extra hours are in the mornings and other times they are in the evenings. Disney publishes their calendar months in advance with this information included.
DIStracted Tip: Attend EMH in the morning at Animal Kingdom. This is the best time to ride Kilimanjaro Safari as the animals are very active.
3 – Complimentary MagicBands
Guests staying in Disney Resort hotels will receive complimentary MagicBands in the mail a few weeks prior to arrival. Once you have booked your vacation and set up an account through My Disney Experience you can even customize your band color (red, yellow, blue, green, pink, purple, or orange). Upon arrival in Disney World you will use your MagicBand to do the following:
- Enter Disney Theme Parks
- Unlock your Disney Resort hotel room
- Check in at FastPass+ entrance for attraction/entertainment experiences
- Link Disney PhotoPass photos to your Disney account
- Pay for Food using your Disney Dining Plan (if you have one)
Note – Guests staying off-site do have the option to purchase MagicBands to use for theme park benefits.
4 – Complimentary Resort Transportation and Parking
The last thing I want to do is drive on vacation. We park our car when we arrive at the resort and don’t touch it again until we check out. If you drive your own vehicle, you will enjoy complimentary parking at Walt Disney World Theme Parks and Disney Resort hotels. Complimentary resort transportation is offered to Disney Resort hotel guests in the form of motor coaches, ferryboats and the amazing monorail.
Several of the Disney Resort hotels have walking access into theme parks. If you love the Magic Kingdom, consider staying at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. You can literally walk across the street and be inside the gates in a matter of minutes. Is Epcot your favorite? You can stay at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts or Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and walk right inside the World Showcase. How’s that for convenience?
DIStracted Tip: Planning to golf while you’re in Disney? Complimentary taxi transportation is available to the Golf Course for guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels. Check with Guest Services to see if you are eligible.
5 – Disney’s Magical Express
Flying to Disney? No need to worry with Uber or a taxi. Disney’s Magical Express is a complimentary service that takes guests between Orlando International Airport and their Disney Resort hotel via motor coach and provides luggage delivery service to your resort. Disney will mail you yellow luggage tags before you leave. You place the tags on your luggage before your flight. When you arrive in Orlando you don’t have to retrieve your bags at luggage claim. Disney retrieves them for you and delivers them to your resort. All you have to do is board the motor coach and head off to begin your vacation. How’s that for service?!
6 – Themed Resorts with Daily Activities
The Disney Resort hotels themselves are truly magical. Imagine opening your curtains each morning to find giraffes grazing outside your window. You can experience this each day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Kidani Village. Guests can set sail in a ship shaped bed in the pirate themed rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Stay under the sea in a Little Mermaid themed room at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Disney even has rooms fit for a King! Royal Guest Rooms are available at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort.
Each of the Disney Resort hotels offer daily activities. We always plan for a “resort day” during our visits. This is a day when we don’t visit the parks. We spend the entire day enjoying the different activities and relaxing by the pool. There is something for everyone from poolside games, movies under the stars, horse drawn carriage rides, archery, surrey bike rentals, campfires, arcades, amazing swimming pools (many with slides), poolside bars, fishing, boat rentals, Children’s Activity Centers and more!
Less Stress = More Magic
Staying on-site alleviates stress. From the moment you park your car you are instantly transported into a fairytale. Staying inside the Walt Disney World Resort keeps you in the fairytale world even after you leave the parks. From the resort theming to the amazing Cast Members, your vacation is sure to be magical.
Looking for some extra pixie dust during the planning process? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my Facebook page here to start planning your next magical Disney vacation. All of my planning services are 100% FREE and can help save you both time and money!