Benefits of Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort
People often ask me if I think it’s worth it to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort. It’s tempting to find a cheaper rate at a hotel that’s just a few miles away. You definitely can save a little money with this option. However, I think the advantages of staying on property far outweigh the disadvantages. To be honest, you can stay at a Value Resort for about the same price that you would pay at a hotel off property. When you hear someone say “on property” they are referring to staying at one of the Walt Disney World Resorts located on Disney property. Let’s look at some of the benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort.
There’s so much to do!
One benefit of staying at a Disney resort is that there is so much to do. Different activities are available depending on the resort you choose. My kids enjoy playing on playgrounds anywhere we go. Luckily for us, several of the Disney resorts have playgrounds. Also, when it’s hot outside, it’s nice to head back to the resorts to cool off in the pools. When we stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter, my kids loved the pool activities. They were placed in teams and took turns retrieving mini dinosaurs from the shallow end of the pool. There are also activities available at an additional charge, such as archery lessons at Fort Wilderness or a horse-drawn carriage ride at Port Orleans Riverside. Whatever you’re interested in, you’re sure to find something to do at the resorts.
The dining plan
When you stay on property and purchase theme park tickets, you are given the option to purchase the dining plan. The dining plan allows you to have your meals paid for in advance so you don’t have to worry about budgeting while on vacation. There are three dining options: Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan, Disney Dining Plan and Disney Deluxe Dining Plan. All three plans include two snacks per person per night and a refillable drink mug. The number and type of meals depends on which plan you choose. I absolutely love the dining plan! You must stay at a Disney Resort in order to qualify for the dining plan though.
FastPasses are a great way to avoid waiting in lines for your favorite rides. You are allowed to make three FastPass selections initially per day at the theme parks. Once you have used all three selections, you are allowed to make one more selection. Once you use the fourth selection you can make one more selection, for a total of five FastPasses per day. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort then you can schedule your FastPasses 60 days in advance. This is 30 days sooner than guests who are not staying on property. If you are trying to get a FastPass for a popular ride like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Frozen Ever After or Pandora, then it helps to be able to make your selections at the 60-day mark.
All Disney resorts have complimentary shuttles to and from the theme parks. Some people are not fans of using the Disney transportation system, but I appreciate it! It’s nice to be able to have someone else do the driving while on vacation. I don’t have to worry about using the GPS, dealing with the Florida traffic or trying to find a parking space. The Disney transportation system also makes it easy for us to take a break in the afternoons and then head back to the parks for more fun. After a long day at the parks, it’s nice to enjoy the complimentary ride back to the resorts.
Last, the Magical Express is one of my favorite benefits of staying on property. If you’re flying into Orlando International Airport, the Magical Express can pick you up from the airport. How does this work? First, you receive luggage tags in the mail to be placed on your luggage. When you arrive at your departing airport, you check your luggage in as usual. Then, you don’t have to worry about your luggage again. When you arrive in Orlando, you go straight to the Magical Express, which will take you to your resort. You do not have to wait at baggage claim. Your luggage will arrive at your resort a few hours later. For me, to not wait at baggage claim with a rambunctious three year old is amazing!
These are just a few benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort. Do you have a question about which resort will be the best fit for your family? I would be happy to answer any questions you have! Contact me today!