Walt Disney World has 23 resorts on Disney property, and there are hundreds of off-site resorts near Disney World. Disney offers many benefits to stay in one of the Disney resorts, and honestly, I can’t give you any benefits to staying off site. While I had a hard time limiting this list to the top 10, I managed to do it finally.
#10: Refillable Mugs – All of the Disney resorts offer refillable mugs for sale, good for your entire trip at your home resort, and can be filled with soda, as well as tea, coffee, hot chocolate and some resorts even have frozen Coke. Mugs run about $13 each with tax, and if you are staying for longer than a few days, the refillable mugs make for a great way to save money on drinks while at your resort, and a great souvenir that you can take home with you.
#9: Free Parking – Disney resort guests get free parking at their resort, as well as at all of the Disney theme parks, water parks, and other Disney resorts. If you are driving to Disney World, or renting a car once there, the free parking is very nice, and a big money saver. Off-site guests pay $10+ per day to park at the theme parks, an expense that you don’t have to pay.
#8: Room Key Charging – Staying at a Disney resort, at check-in, you get the option of setting up your room key as a virtual credit card. You will be able to use your room key to charge at all Disney restaurants, resorts, gift shops, well, basically everywhere on property that accepts a credit card, and is Disney owned (some of the restaurants in Downtown Disney do not accept room keys as payment). This is a great convenience, as you don’t have to carry your entire wallet or purse, just your room key and a few bucks in cash. Each charge is itemized and can be checked out at your front desk at any time. At check-out, you can confirm all charges, and they will be charged to your credit card in one lump some.
#7: Resort Deliver of Package – Image, if you can, walking down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, and your daughter falls in love with a life size Pooh bear in one of the shop windows. Remember, it is 9 AM. What are you going to do? Staying at a Disney resort, you can go ahead and buy Pooh and have it sent back to your resort, you will be able to pick him up when you return from the parks, and only have to carry him up to the room. A much better option that having to carry Pooh around the Magic Kingdom all day.
#6: Disney Resorts – Disney has some of the most unique resorts around. Staying off-property, you may get a nice pool, but it will be basically a hotel. Disney has a resort surrounded by live animals (Animal Kingdom Lodge), one that makes you feel like you are really in the South Pacific (Polynesian) and a near replica of the Old Faithful Lodge from Yellowstone (Wilderness Lodge). All Disney resorts offer great theming, and really give you a unique vacation experience.
#5: Disney Transportation – Whether it is one of the Disney buses, Disney boats or the monorail, Disney offers a fast and fun way to get from your Disney resort to any part of the Walt Disney World kingdom. All of the Disney transportation is included in your Disney resort stay, and most kids have just as much fun getting to the parks as they do once they are in the parks. There is just something magical about riding the monorail back to your room.
#4: Disney Dining Plan – Disney World offers a great dining plan that can be used in the resorts and theme parks, but the only way to get it is to stay at a Disney resort (you must also purchase a Magic Your Way package including your resort room and park passes, but that is a small requirement). The Dining plan is a great money saver, and a great way to budget, as you know the cost of all that theme park food in advance. It also allows you to be able to go to restaurants you normally would not, as everything is paid for in advance. I no longer will go to Disney without the Disney Dining Plan, it just make my vacation just that much better, I can’t imagine going without it.
#3: Extra Magic Hours – Each day, at least one Disney theme park is open one hour early, and at least one is open three hours late, in addition to the hours the parks are open to the public. So, by staying with Disney, you can enjoy the Disney theme parks for 4 hours longer each day. Not only are many of the day guests gone once the parks close, but all of the Disney theme parks are beautiful at night, it is a real treat to be able to walk around a non-busy park and just enjoy the sites.
#2: Disney’s Magical Express – All Disney resort guests, who fly into Orlando International (MCO) receive free airport transportation to and from their Disney World resort. In addition to the transportation, Disney will also handle all of your luggage, so you just hop off the plane and onto the Magical Express, and your luggage will show up in your room later on in the day. A great convenience for those flying in, and a huge money saver, as you no longer have to rent a car at the airport. The Magical Express is fast, convenient and best of all, free.
#1: Disney Magic 24 hours per day – Kids and adults alike feel the Disney theme parks are magical. Staying at a Disney resorts means you never have to leave the magic. Whether it is the fantastic Disney resorts, wonderful Disney service or the special events going on at each resort, you never have to leave Disney on your Disney vacation. Watch the Water Parade from the beach at the Polynesian, release lady bugs into the gardens at the Grand Floridian or take a resort tour at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Do you have any other reasons why you stay on Disney property?