Are you considering a stay at one of the many Walt Disney World resorts? Here are our Top 10 Reasons YOU Should Stay On Property at Walt Disney World.
During the early stages of planning a Walt Disney World trip, most people will consider a crucial question, “Should we stay on Walt Disney World property?” Most families consider this question because they know that there are cheaper options in the Orlando area, and let’s face it…we are all looking for ways to save money and still have a magical vacation. However, sometimes saving money isn’t the only thing we should consider, especially when booking a Walt Disney World vacation. Walt Disney World is known for providing magical experiences to all guests, but the enchantment is extended when you choose to stay on property at one of the twenty-eight Disney owned resorts and villas. Let’s explore the Top 10 Reasons YOU Should Stay On Property at Walt Disney World.
#10. The Magical Express
The moment Walt Disney World resort guests step off the plane, they are treated to some Disney magic. At the Orlando International Airport, a motorcoach awaits to whisk guests to their hotel. Resort guests don’t need to bother with baggage claim because Disney has thought of that too. Bags are delivered to the resort rooms within a few hours so that guests can check in and get right to the fun at the parks or savor a delicious meal at one of the numerous locations on property. Not only having a motorcoach pick you up at the airport convenient, it is also a big money saver. Based on the taxi fare estimator tool on www.mearstransportation.com, Disney’s Magical Express can save you over $120 on taxi fares to and from the airport.
#9. Complimentary Magic Bands
Every guest that stays on property receives a free magic band that will work as their room key. The complimentary magic band also works as your tickets into the theme parks, and the bands are linked to your FastPass+ selections. If you stay on property, you also have the option of linking a credit or debit card to your Magic Band to make purchases and dining charges more convenient. You can still purchase a Magic Band if you are not staying on property, but they come at a hefty price. Each band will set your family back $12.95, which for a family of four can add up to well over $50.
#8. Package Delivery
All Walt Disney World guests can have their in-park purchases sent to the front gate for pick-up as they leave. However, guests staying at Walt Disney World Resorts receive an additional perk; souvenir purchases can be sent directly to a guest’s hotel. This perk can be a lifesaver when you are dragging tired, grouchy children (and adults) out of the parks at the end of a magical, yet long day of touring.
#7. Free Parking
Speaking of long walks to the car, Walt Disney World offers a great perk to those guests who stay in a company owned resort- free parking! If you drive your own vehicle to Walt Disney World or rent a car, sometimes driving to the parks is easier than waiting on the next bus. However if you are staying off property, parking is going to cost you $20 per day for a standard automobile, and that really adds up over a typical seven-day trip.
#6. Disney Dining Plan
Walt Disney World offers several dining plans to meet any family’s needs, but you can only purchase this plan if you are staying at one of the Disney World resorts. Some families don’t purchase the dining plan because even the smallest plan includes a lot of food, but most families really like it for the convenience of being able to prepay for meals. There are numerous on-site options for dining and every hotel has a food court or quick service option. On-site guests who add the dining plan also receive a resort refillable mug that can be refilled at the resort all day with soda, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. If convenience is key to enjoying your vacation, then the dining plan is a perfect add-on to make resort stays even better.
#5. Proximity to the Parks
If you choose to drive to the parks, being close can be a huge benefit to your budget and sanity. Most resorts are mere minutes away from the parks, whereas many of the off property locations will require at least a fifteen to twenty-minute commute. Minimal travel time between your hotel and the theme parks is also helpful when you have young children or elderly family members who may need a mid-day nap to stay fresh and upbeat. Even better, if you choose to stay in one of the deluxe resorts on property, you could walk to a theme park in the amount of time most off property guests spend just getting into the parking lot.
#4. Complimentary Transportation
If you are like most adults, driving in a city you are not familiar with is not your idea of fun. Luckily, Walt Disney World resort guests never have to worry about getting behind the wheel during their stay. Transportation is offered to and from every resort and theme park on-site. Complimentary transportation can be a big time saver when visiting the Magic Kingdom; if you are staying off site you have to park at the Ticket and Transportation Center and then take the monorail or ferry over to the entrance. Resort guests simply take a bus or monorail straight to the entrance, which can save upwards of thirty minutes on a busy day.
Walt Disney World resort drivers are all well-trained, and a lot of them are even entertaining. It is not uncommon to hear stories of bus drivers making guests feel special on a birthday or other occasion. One friend’s experience always comes to mind when I think about bus drivers making this service extraordinary. My friend had planned a very special dinner at Cinderella’s Castle and her daughter was dressed in her favorite Cinderella costume and accessories. As they boarded the bus, the bus driver made a huge deal over the young lady and even got over the bus intercom system and announced that they had a very special guest on board. He asked that all guests be on their very best behavior as they were all in the presence of a true Disney princess. Two years later, the child still gushes over how a bus driver thought she was a real princess and the mother tells that particular story to others with tears in her eyes.
#3. No Hidden Resort Fees or Parking Fees
Many resorts and hotels in the Orlando area have hidden resort or parking fees that are not disclosed in their advertised prices. In contrast, Disney World includes all fees in their advertised resort prices, even taxes. My husband and I once arrived in Orlando a day early, and instead of calling to see if Disney had any rooms available, we booked a four star resort for $60 on one of the name your own price websites. We thought we were getting a steal, but after we paid the resort fee, the parking fee, and the taxes, that $60 turned into $103 for one night. We could have stayed at a value resort for just a few dollars more and enjoyed extra magic hours and other insider perks.
#2. Extra Magic Hours
One of the most well-known and well-loved perks that Walt Disney World provides to resort guests is Extra Magic Hours. Guests who have magic bands linked to an on-site resort are treated to an additional hour before parks open or after they close. Disney usually offers one early morning EMH at one of the parks and sometimes provides an evening EMH at a different park. The evening extra magic hours are the real bonus for those families who can stay up late; instead of a single hour before the park opens to the public in the morning, Disney typically provides an additional two hours for park touring at night. If you are going at a very busy time of the year, Extra Morning Hours can help your family see twice as much as they could without the bonus.
#1. Disney Magic
The #1 reason to stay on property is something you simply can’t put a price tag on. Some people call it pixie dust, some call it Disney magic, but those who have worked in the service industry recognize it for what it truly is, the best customer service you will likely ever encounter on a vacation. Let’s face it, the reason most people come back to Walt Disney World is because of the way the cast members make visitors feel. From greeting you like an old friend when you arrive at your resort, to keeping the parks spick and span, these cast members go above and beyond to ensure that each person who steps foot on Disney property is treated as though they are the only guest there. When you stay at a Walt Disney World Resort, you don’t ever have to leave that magical bubble where happy thoughts and pixie dust keeps each day of your vacation magical and special.
So, those are my top 10 reasons for staying on property at Walt Disney World in Florida. Do you agree that staying on-site is worth the money? We at Walt Express would love to hear how your last trip to a Disney destination was magical, whether because of an on-site resort stay or some other experience. Until next time, we hope that your days are filled with faith, trust and pixie dust.
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