When it comes to planning your trip to Disney, one of the biggest decisions you’ll likely make is where you will be staying. There are so many options that it makes picking something even more difficult.
While you may save money by staying off-site, there are so many reasons to stay “on” a Disney property. Here are just a few of those reasons you should stay on property when you visit Disney.
Early Access To FastPasses
When you stay on a Disney property, they give you the added benefit of reserving your FastPasses up to 60 days before your arrival date. Everyone else cannot reserve their FastPasses until 30 days before they plan to go to the parks.
You can book up to three FastPass experiences per park per day in advance for no additional charge. Once you’ve used up those passes, you can reserve more depending on availability.
Extra Magic Hours
Resort guests are allowed additional time at the parks each day of your stay!
Your park ticket and resort ID are required to enter during these times. It doesn’t matter which resort you stay at, as long as it’s a Disney property!
Usually each day, Disney chooses one of the parks to have extra magic hours before the park opens or after closing for Disney resort guests only! That means you’ll have a great chance of riding all the rides with no wait!
When you book your stay at any of the Disney resort hotels, you’ll receive complimentary MagicBands at no extra charge!
These bands are available in seven colors and can even have your name printed on them. You just need to order them when you reserve your room or ten days before you arrive.
Your MagicBand is used to get into your hotel room, enter the parks, make purchases, connect to your PhotoPass account, and check into FastPass lines. It’s so convenient!
Each of our family members has identified their own special color and we get a new set every time we stay at a hotel.
Magic Outside Of The Parks
In case the parks weren’t enough magic for you, you can get the same service and magical experience from the theme parks right at the hotel where you are staying!
Disney resorts offer their guests a unique Disney experience with dining options, fantastic pools, and entertainment. Some resorts even offer Character Dining options!
Many of them have movies out by the pool along with a bonfire and s’mores. The resort is an experience in and of itself.
Close To The Parks
Staying at the resorts puts you close to the theme parks, water parks, and even the shopping at Disney Springs.
Depending on your off-site hotel, you might have to drive quite a bit to get to your entertainment options.
This is by far one of the best reason to stay at a Disney World resort! Some resorts are just walking distance to the parks, which can be a great help for those who need to take a break in the middle of the day.
Free Parking And Transportation
Each of the Disney resorts have transportation options available exclusively to resort guests! You can use the Disney Magical Express Service to get to and from the airport and even luggage delivery at no extra cost.
If you are looking for transportation to the parks, you’ll find buses, ferryboats, monorails, and more to help get you to the parks throughout the resorts.
If you prefer to drive your own vehicle, resort guests can enjoy free parking throughout all of the parks, Disney Springs, as well as the other hotel areas.
Advanced Dining Reservations
Any guest can book dining reservations up to 180 days in advance. However, resort guests can book reservations for their full stay in advance.
For example, if you are planning to stay at Disney for one week, you can book your reservations up to 180 days in advance while other guests would have to book each day as they hit the 180 mark.
Popular restaurants such as Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Royal Table fill up quick, so those extra days can make a big difference.
Something you won’t find at any off-site hotel is the extension of the theme parks in each hotel.
Each hotel has its unique design and theme. Not all of them may feel like you’re back inside the parks, but each one offers its own unique experience.
For example, in the Animal Lodge Resort, you’ll find a safari theme throughout the restaurants and hotel. In the Wilderness Lodge, you’ll find a distinct outdoorsy feel throughout the whole hotel. Some resorts such as Disney’s Art of Animation keep the Disney theme throughout, and they even have Disney music playing underwater in the pool!
So if you’re looking for a fun extension of the park, this may be the best pick.
Disney properties are a one of a kind experience. Whether you are traveling solo, with your spouse, or with your kids, I highly recommend you check out one Disney’s resort properties for your next stay. And remember if you want help with your resort decision, reach out to my friend Jeffrey Merola who is an authorized Disney Vacation Planner. At no extra cost to you, he’ll make your planning much easier!