When I talk to people who are planning a trip to Disney, I always try to convince them to stay at a Disney resort for several reasons, but mainly because I feel like it just makes the whole Disney vacation experience complete. I know there are some avid believers in the contrary, but here are a few of the reasons why you should book your next Disney vacation with a Disney resort stay included.
10.Transportation – Now this can be seen as both a blessing and a curse, but you need to look on the bright side. If you stay at a Disney resort, you can catch a shuttle, ferry or monorail to any park, Disney resort or any other Disney attraction for free. You won’t have the headache of trying to find a parking spot, or having to pay the high price of parking. If you fly to Orlando, you won’t need to rent a car either because Disney will pick you up at the airport and even take care of your luggage. You also won’t have to maneuver around the crowds when the parks close. Now, you will need to plan time to catch these shuttles, if you are working on tight schedule. But it is worth it in the end.
9. You’ve got mail – If you are like us, and pick up a few things here and there throughout the day, Disney will deliver your purchases to the front desk of your Disney resort. When you are already toting a backpack, water bottles and autograph book, sometimes it’s nice to have one less thing to hold on to. Especially if you purchase something breakable or large. Be sure to just keep your receipt to claim it when you return to the resort and have fun shopping!
8. Food, food, food – One of the best perks to staying at the resorts is the food selections. If you are on a Disney Dining Plan, you will love the variety and convenience of the food courts and restaurants on property. Some of the best character buffets aren’t in the park, but in the Disney resorts instead. We love the pizza delivery service also that most Disney properties provide. If you have a little extra time, take a shuttle and try out a few restaurants at some of the other Disney resorts. Your tummy will thank you for it.
7. Take a dip – Disney resort pools are almost like a vacation by themselves. Most are heated so it doesn’t even matter what season you visit. They also provide life jackets for anyone who isn’t a pro swimmer yet. Throughout the day, cast members visit the pool and have a pool party. They play games, dance and keep the kids, and even some adults, very busy.
6. Extra Disney magic – A huge perk, in my opinion, to staying on property (besides all the shampoo and soap) are the extra magic hours. Every day, either in the morning or the evening, at least one of the parks are open early or late. This means that you only have to share the park with a few thousand of on-site resort guests, instead of the masses. While this still means you will wait in lines for the popular things, it is still nice to have a little more access to the park to fit in two or three more attractions.
5. Can you say Magic bands – I know that some people are not fans of the Magic bands, but I love them. While non-resort guest can purchase them, they don’t hold the same magic they do for resort guests. Now you can check in straight to your resort room upon arrival, pay for your purchases, keep track of your photos and use it as your fast pass and dining plan pass. Before your vacation, they will let you personalize your bands and then they are mailed to you prior to your arrival.
4. Hello, this is Mickey – Nothing starts a day better than a call from your favorite Disney character. Only resort guests can select a character to call you every morning to your room. We love picking someone different every day and the boys take turns answering each morning. Getting up early isn’t always fun, but with a personalized wake-up call from Mickey, it can at least start your day with a smile.
3. Resort recreation – Part of the appeal of the Disney resorts is that they make it more than just a place to sleep. When you stay there, you are surrounded by family fun that doesn’t have to happen in the parks. Many resorts have arcades, playgrounds, and walking trails. There are also resorts that offer water sports and bike rentals. Most nights at many of the hotels, they offer family movie night outside complete with a campfire and marshmallows. Take time to read the flyer of activities when you check in, you may find more fun than you bargained for.
2. Pre-pre reservations – When you stay at a Disney hotel, you get to book your advanced dining reservations 180 +10 days before anyone else. That means you have access to those hard to get “Be Our Guest” and “Chef Mickey” dining times 10 days before non-resort guests. You also get to make your Fast Pass choices 60 days before your vacations instead of the 30 days like non-resort visitors. This perk is reason enough to stay on property once you realize how many of your first choices you will get to pick.
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1. Disney Magic – The best reason why Disney resorts are so great is because you never have to leave the Disney magic. The hotels have their own kind of magic from the themed lobbies and restaurants to the towel animals you have waiting for you on your bed from “mousekeeping”. It doesn’t ever really feel like you leave the parks when you return to your resort, it just feels like an extension of it. It doesn’t matter if you are at a value resort or a more expensive one, Disney takes pride in all their resorts and how they make you feel when you step inside.
I know there are some of you who will still say it’s best to stay off property, but I say no one does the complete vacation experience like Disney and that includes the magic of their on-property resorts. If you are making your reservations around a holiday, make sure to visit some of the other resorts as well. The gingerbread houses and Christmas trees are a sight to see. I think after receiving some of the on-site perks, you will never stay anyplace else again.
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