If you’re planning a Walt Disney World vacation, one of the largest chunks of your budget will go towards where you are going to sleep at night. Many vacationers decide to stay at a Walt Disney World owned resort. (Not all resorts on Walt Disney World property are owned and operated by Disney, and not all benefits here will be applicable at those hotels.) The Walt Disney World Resorts may cost a little bit more, but there are many benefits of staying on property. Here are a few of them.
Extra Magic Hours
Each day at least one of the four theme parks will either open early or close late, and only resort guests are allowed in. If you’re planning on hitting a ride that you couldn’t get FastPass+ for, using Extra Magic Hours can be the best way to do it.
Speaking of FastPass+, if you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel you can make your FastPass+ reservations 60 days in advance. It’s 30 days for everyone else. With rides such as Avatar Flight of Passage running out of spots within minutes of the FastPass+ window opening, this is reason enough for some people to stay on property. With more new rides and lands on the way, this benefit will soon be even more desirable.
Disney’s Magical Express
This is a service that can save you money in the long run. If you fly into Orlando International Airport and are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort you can receive free transportation to and from the airport. The service is designed to keep you on property, and many people are okay with that. If you use Disney’s Magical Express and decide you need a vehicle, car rental is available at Walt Disney World, so you won’t need to keep the rental the entire time if you only want a car for a day or two.
Free Theme Park Parking
Parking at the theme parks is not cheap for most guests, but if you’re staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel it’s free. Just have the attendant scan your MagicBand and you’ll be directed where to go.
MagicBands for your entire party are also included when you stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. They will come in handy, because you’ll use them as your room key, your ticket for the theme parks, to pay for food and merchandise, and more.
Disney Dining Plan
If you like to have as much as possible paid for up front, the Disney Dining Plan might be for you. In a nutshell, the Disney Dining Plan allows you to prepay for meals, and you can use it at many restaurants. There are several different versions to choose from, and there are conditions that must be met to be eligible. Whether or not the Disney Dining Plan saves money depends on your eating habits, but it is only available to guests who stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel.
“The Disney Experience”
One of the unofficial benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel is that you will be surrounded by all things Disney your entire vacation. You can watch Disney movies in your room, and enjoy Mickey Waffles for breakfast before you head out for the day. There is a theme for each resort, and all of the themes are spectacular. For many people who are planning a once in a lifetime vacation at Walt Disney World, the Disney Experience is reason enough to stay on property.