Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Benefits of Staying on Disney Property

As a travel planner, I get asked a lot of questions about Walt Disney World.  A LOT.  The first question is almost always, “Is it worth it to stay on property?” to which I always respond, “Yes.  100% yes" and here’s why:

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 Transportation — Disney’s Magical Express offers free transportation to and from the Orlando International Airport for those staying at a Disney Resort.  This is a HUGE cost savings and as a bonus, you can check your bags in your departure city and the next time you will see them they will be in your room.  And it's free?!  Awesome.  Not having to deal with luggage?  Totally awesome.  Once you arrive onsite, you can also use Disney transportation to get anywhere on property, and it’s completely free.  Buses, boats and the monorail are at your disposal for the length of your stay. 

 


Extra Magic Hours — 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 Extra Magic Hours.  Extra Magic Hours offer resort guests the opportunity to either enter or stay late at a different park each day.  Extra Magic Hours are a great time to get on those E-Ticket attractions that maybe you didn’t get a Fastpass+ for, or on a day where you selected Fastpass+’s for Epcot but still want to try to do Seven Dwarfs Mine Train early. 








Free Package Delivery — Hi, I’m Jill and I buy a lot of stuff while at Disney World.  I am a Disney stuff-aholic.  (“Hi Jill…”)  I also have a tendency to put my bags of stuff down while I take pictures or look at more stuff and may or may not have, on more than one occasion, walked off without said bag and had to buy the stuff it contained twice…I can neither confirm nor deny.  So, imagine how useful this is for someone like me.  I can buy the stuff and then send the stuff back to my resort where it will be waiting for me to pick it up at the gift shop…for free.  Yep.  Note this service typically takes 24 hours, so plan accordingly if you’re shopping the day before you check out. 

MyMagic+ — I think this is probably the biggest advantage to staying at a Disney Resort.  MyMagic+ links all aspects of your trip together into one seamless experience; from creating your MyDisneyExperience.com 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, where Disney’s Magical Express has placed your luggage.  MagicBands are your room keys, park tickets, dining plan, Fastpass+ tickets, and can be used for charging privileges.  They are also waterproof.  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 Fastpass+ selections, dining reservations, park hours, and show times.  It’s literally at your fingertips.  MyMagic+ is incredible, and only portions of it are available to those staying offsite. 

I can’t imagine visiting Walt Disney World and not staying on Disney property.  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.

Jill

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