I obviously have a bias toward Disney World resorts, but the benefits and experiences truly make it a worthwhile and immersive experience. While some benefits are time saving, some are money saving, and others are just nice perks, all of them amount to a worthwhile consideration for your vacation!
- Free airport transportation. Flying into the Orlando International Airport? Great, Disney can pick you up and drop you off and even handle your luggage to and sometimes from property. No car necessary!
- Free parking. Driving your own car? You’ll have free parking at not only your resort but all of the theme parks as well. Talk about cost savings!
- Free park transportation. If you don’t want to drive your own car (or you don’t have one), let Disney do the driving. Sit on one of their many buses and enjoy the ride. Disney will drop you off and pick you up right near the park entrance, saving those steps for the theme parks!
- Free MagicBands. These pretty little babies come with any Disney World vacation big or small and have some mighty powers! They hold your Magical Express boarding pass, your room key, park tickets (and any special event tickets if applicable), dining plan, If you choose to stay off site, you may purchase them online or at one of the Disney parks. Cost is $12.95 per person (plus tax and shipping). Plus your MagicBand is personalized with your name (or nickname on the inside)
- First access to FastPass+ and dining reservations. This is a big one for me! With an active Walt Disney World resort reservation, you can make dining reservations for your entire stay at the 180 day mark prior to your arrival. off site guests, can book one day at a time (180 days from Monday, 180 days from Tuesday, etc.) This is a huge bonus to grab the best times for locations like Cinderella’s Royal Table, Be Our Guest, Chef Mickey’s and Ohana which are always the first reservations to go! As an on site guest with valid theme park admission, you get to choose FastPass selections 60 days in advance of your arrival (and again for your entire length of stay). Off site guests only get to make their selections 30 days in advance and again one day at a time). Another huge advantage and the best (and sometimes the only) want to get a FastPass to meet Anna & Elsa, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Toy Story Midway Mania!
- Extra Magic Hours. These are extended park hours available ONLY to active Walt Disney World resort guests. Your MagicBand is again your key to get you in the door. Each day, at least one theme park opens early or stays open laten (see the daily schedule for details, subject to change). This means, you’ll have access to some of the park’s most popular attractions while day guests or guests staying off site won’t have!
- Resort Entertainment. Things like themed resorts, themed pools, fantastic water slides, unique character
experiences, movies under the stars, campfires, and poolside activities are just some of the unique opportunities.
- Staying in the middle of the magic. This one doesn’t have any sort of monetary value to it, but it’s an incredibly important piece of the puzzle. Depending on your resort choice, you can choose to be fully immersed in a princess themed room or take a break from it all at the rustic Ft. Wilderness Cabins. You can also watch animals from your balcony, relax in front of a giant fireplace in a cozy rocking chair, or stick your toes in a white sand beach while you watch fireworks with loved ones. Disney resorts allow you all sorts of unique possibilities once you return “home”. Additionally, you won’t be spending a long time to get you to and from the parks each day. Disney buses have access to different roads and you’re dropped off right in front of the park gates!
- Disney’s dining plans. You can choose from one of 5 Disney dining plans available to guests staying at a Walt Disney World resort. This is the ONLY way to take advantage of a helpful and money saving piece of your vacation package!
- Priority theme park admission. When Disney’s parks start to restrict admission due to heavy crowd levels (typically due to safety and security of the guests), on site guests often have priority over day guests. When traveling over the holidays, this is something important to consider! Be aware that there is a plan in place if the crowds get to full capacity. Cast members have the right to turn any guest away due to crowd capacity. Again, this is 100% related to guest safety which is always Disney’s biggest concern!
- Free package/merchandise delivery. If you purchase anything inside one of Disney’s theme parks or Disney Springs, you can have your package delivered right to your resort at no additional charge. If you are staying club level at one of Disney’s deluxe resorts, your items will be delivered right to your room!
- On site concierge for all guests/24 hour access to cast members. No matter what resort you choose to stay in from value all the way up to deluxe villa, you will have access to a concierge to help with your plans. Whether it’s an issue with your MagicBand , help adjusting FastPasses, a general question, or help making an additional dining reservation! This is incredibly helpful as the MyMagic+ system still has its bugs! Disney’s front desk is staffed 24/7, so if you have questions, concerns, or issues, there will be someone there to help!!
There are other ever changing benefits staying on site at a Walt Disney World resort, but these are the biggest and most important. It’s truly important to review these sometimes undervalued benefits if you are considering on site vs. off site. While on the surface, hotel cost apples to apples likely can’t compare, the cost savings for 5 days of parking at the theme parks, renting a car from the airport, purchasing your own MagicBands, and the time lost getting to and from the parks as well as waiting in line for some of the most popular attractions because FastPass is unavailable, it’s well worth the extra few dollars!
Interested in experiencing a Disney World vacation in 2016? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free vacation opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!