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The Benefits of Staying on Disney Property

As Disney vacation specialists, we get asked a lot of questions about Walt Disney World Resorts. The first question is almost always, “Is it worth it to stay on property?” to which I always respond, “Yes.  100% yes." We like to say you are "in the bubble" when you choose to stay on property, the magic is all around you and it is just easier to get around and disconnect from the real world.  Here are a few specifics to highlight some of the biggest perks:

Disney Magic — When you stay at a Walt Disney World Resort, the magic is literally at your fingertips.  It starts in the cavernous lobby of the Wilderness Lodge, in the headboard fireworks in the Royal Rooms at Port Orleans Riverside, on the 4th Floor Concourse at the Contemporary with the monorail whizzing by, or the second your toes feel the sand on the bottom of Stormalong Bay at the Yacht & Beach Club.  The magic is all around you; in the carpet, on the bedding, in the snacks, even in your shower products.  It’s hard to wake up grumpy at a Disney Resort.  Some resorts offer BIG themes and magic, like 3 story tall Dalmatians, and some resorts are more subtle, but if you look…it’s there.  

Free & Easy Transportation —   Once you arrive onsite, you can use Disney transportation to get anywhere on property, and it’s completely free.  Buses, boats, the Disney Skyliner and the monorail are at your disposal for the length of your stay. The typical wait for any transportation is 20 minutes or less, and since you are already on property, the transportation time is just about as short as it can be. It is easy to get around and magical to ride on Disney's transportation options.
Monorail Silver in Disney's Contemporary Resort

More time in the parks — If going into the parks early or staying late with only a fraction of the guests is your cup of tea, then let’s talk about Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours.  These options offer resort guests the opportunity to either enter or stay late at a different park each day.  These are both greats time to kick off the day with little wait for popular attractions, or get on those E-Ticket attractions that maybe you didn’t get a Lightening Lane or Genie+ for.  Disney resort guests can get into each of the four main parks 30 minutes before everyone else every day with Early Theme Park Entry and guests staying at Disney's Deluxe or Villa resorts can stay late in certain parks on certain nights for Extended Evening Hours.

Excellent Dining, Shopping and Recreation Options - Every Disney resort has at least one dining option, a gift shop with Disney souvenirs and travel essentials, and at least one pool.  This makes it easy to grab a quick bite on your way to a rope drop to park close type day, or take it easy and relax in the Florida sun and catch a tan by the pool.  Deluxe Resorts and Villas have the most amenities, from multiple restaurants including Table Service, Quick Service and Lounges, specialty shops, and pools with water slides, hot tubs and often water play areas for kids.  Many also have a marina for boat rentals, or Animal Kingdom Lodge has animal viewing and activities. Value Resorts will have the fewest amenities, but they are still great for convenience and relaxation!  
Stormalong Bay at Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resort

My Disney Experience — I think this is probably the biggest advantage to staying at a Disney Resort.  My Disney Experience links all aspects of your trip together into one seamless experience; from creating your account to the app to MagicBands to online check-in.  You can actually check in online and have your room number texted to you, and then use your MagicBand to get in to your room, no need to wait in line at the front desk. MagicBands are your room keys, park tickets, Genie+ or Lightening Lane passes, and can be used for charging privileges.  They are also waterproof so they are great for pool breaks or the water parks.  You will miss them when you go home and can’t pay with them at the grocery store!  The app (for iPhone and Android users) stores your itinerary with dining reservations, park hours, and show times.  It’s literally at your fingertips.  The Genie (which is free, not the paid Genie+) will even recommend times to do attractions with minimal wait for you!

I can’t imagine visiting Walt Disney World and not staying on Disney property (but I have done it both ways!).  I have just as much fun at my resort as I do at the parks.  When you weigh out all the options and consider different costs, Disney really does offer some great values at their resorts.

Maci Schau
Maci is an avid foodie and loves trying out new restaurants and seasonal food offerings in the parks.  You can email Maci at

Original contributions to the article from Agent Jill.


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