When our family travels to Disney, the ONLY option is to stay on Disney property. Now, I know that tons of families love to stay off property too, either in a hotel or a rental house, but for us the magic in Disney is partly staying in the resort. Why, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you!!
1. Magical Express – If you stay at the resort, you don’t have to worry about how you are getting to and from Disney. You don’t even have to worry about your luggage, if you don’t want to be bothered by it!! Disney will pick you and your luggage up (separately, there is no need to wait at baggage claim) and transport all of you to your resort. This service is FREE!
2. Getting around Disney – No worrying about driving on vacation is such a stress reliever for us. We don’t have to worry about getting lost, or gas, or raging drivers. We “sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride…” letting Disney do the driving. The bus, the boats, the monorail, it’s all free! Door to *almost* door service!
3. Resort Theming – Disney KNOWS how to do this right, friends! Whether you are up for an African Safari, or a Beach-type vacation, or just an amazing amount of fun, there are resort themes for EVERYONE. Disney immerses you in their theming, so you actually feel like you are in crazy places like Fiji, or Mexico, or the Wilderness. It’s amazing. We love walking around our hotels and being jaw-dropping amazed every time. That’s why we try to stay somewhere different each time we go, but even then we find ourselves going back to our favorites spots. The resorts are an attraction all on their own.
4. DDP – Disney. Dining. Plan. Love it. Have to be on property to use it. You pre-pay for this when you book your trip and there are a few options that fit all needs of your family. There is something so WONDERFUL about not having to worry about paying for food on vacation. Enough said!
5. EMH – Extra Magic Hours! We LOVE EMH!! There is nothing more fun then staying in Magic Kingdom until 1:00 or 2:00 am. We’ve done it a few times, when they have had EMH this late while we were staying there. We start early in the day. Take a LONG swim and nap break, head back to the parks around 7 and party all night. We have a teen and she loves this! Of course, there are early and late EMH all around the resort at all the parks and we love all of them. Getting started early, before the masses arrive, puts us well ahead of the game so that we don’t have to stay in line. We love this extra special resort-only benefit!
6. Pools – We love the pools! You have to be staying at a Disney Resort to use it’s pool. Each hotel has it’s own themed pool, most have multiple pools! If you stay at a moderate or a deluxe, you may even find a water slide or two. Not only do they have the pools but the pools come with entertainment. Usually around 2pm everyday, the Cast Members at each hotel come out and do games for the kids. Adults could have a good time playing too, not that I know that for any reason;)
7. Magic Bands – Seriously, these things are awesome. When we went in October and got to use them, they were one of the highlights of the trip. We used them to get on the Magical Express, into our room, to buy stuff, to eat food, plan our Fast Passes, it was amazing. Only resort guests get to use these babies, and they alone are totally worth it.
8. Disney Service – The Cast Members are amazing! When you stay on property, you get to experience that Disney Magic 24/7. The hotel staff help you out, answer questions, smile, greet you every time, and are just generally happy & pleasant to be around. We love being a part of this!
9. Charging and Delivery – When staying on property, any shopping that you do in the parks or anywhere really, can be charged with your room key or Magic Band and delivered right to your room! No more carrying around those bags all day!
10. Break time – Without a doubt, our favorite thing to do that doesn’t include the parks is our mid-day break at our resort. We get up and go, go, go and then take the afternoon to eat, swim and relax back wherever we are staying. This is SO easy to do staying on property! We can hop on and off the bus, boat or monorail, and be back at our resort in under 20 minutes. Then, when we are rested and rejuvenated, we can hop right back on and get to whichever park we choose (with a Park Hopper, that is!) It’s truly one of the best benefits for our family. We don’t have to hike to a car, drive out and back in, and then hike back…nor do we have to fit ALL there is do to in a day in a 8 -12 hour time span.
Tina works full time as a school counselor in an elementary school. She lives close to Baltimore, MD with her husband Dave and her 13 year old stepdaughter, Ashley. They also have a furry family member, a cat name Frodo, that keeps life interesting in their house! Tina began visiting Disney World as a child with her family, and now her, Dave & Ashley take a trip to the World every year. She considers herself a Disney “fanatic” and once her family is finished one trip, she is already planning their next one. Tina loves to find the best deals, even in the busy seasons (she can only go when schools are off!) and loves sharing those deals & tips with anyone and everyone! What Tina loves most is the magic of WDW, it makes her feel like a kid again. She hopes that every family has the opportunity go to the World and experience the magic for themselves because it has a way of reminding its visitors that dreams do indeed come true! Read more of Tina’s work on her blog A Not So Bland Life, where she writes about home decor, cooking, couponing, traveling, and and of course, Disney!