10 Things You May Not Know About Staying at a Disney Resort
Staying on property at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel makes your Disney vacation so much easier. Not only are you closer to the parks, but you can rest easy knowing you’re being taken care of by specially trained Cast Members. While you may know about Disney 3-tiered price system (Value, Moderate, and Deluxe), there are a few things you may not know about staying at a Disney Resort.
10. Theming Isn’t Overwhelmingly Disney
If you’ve never stayed on property before, it can be easy to imagine you’ll be surrounded by Disney everywhere you turn. In fact, depending on which resort you stay at, you may not see very much at all. Some resorts like the Art of Animation are focused solely on the Disney films and characters, but others are focused on places like New Orleans, the Caribbean, and the Polynesian. These resorts offer a more subtle Disney touch and focus more on the main theme of the hotel.
9. Check-In Online
Being a guest at a Disney Resort also means you have the option to check-in online before you even arrive. By visiting the Disney World website and linking your confirmation number with your Magic Bands, you can also provide a credit card number, verify arrival and departure times, and select your 4-digit pin number for your Magic Band. You can then go to a separate counter, pick up your welcome packet, and be off.
8. Disney’s Magical Express Transports Your Bags
You may be familiar with Disney’s free transportation system from the Orlando International Airport to the Disney Resorts, but did you know you don’t have to pick up your luggage? Before boarding your flight, Disney will provide special stickers that go on your checked luggage. Once you check them in at the airport, you won’t see them until they magically appear in your hotel room. There’s no need to pick up your bags once you arrive.
7. Have Groceries Delivered
If you like to bring your own sandwiches to the parks or plan on saving a little money by having breakfast in your hotel room, you can have groceries delivered to your hotel through Garden Grocer. Before you leave, you can place your order online and select the date you’d like your groceries to be delivered. This can save you time from having to shop when you arrive or from having to rent a car.
6. Character Wake Up Call
Whether you have kids, or are a big kid at heart, you can request a special Disney wake up call. Select Disney character have been known to give guests a call to help them get up in the morning like Mickey, Goofy or Stich. Just make arrangements with the concierge.
5. Decorate Windows
You can tell the Disney veterans from the newbies by who has their hotel room window decorated and who doesn’t. Guests are encouraged to dress up their window. This is especially fun to do around the holidays or if you’re visiting for a special occasion (honeymoon, birthday, etc.).
4. Plane Tickets Delivered To Your Door
For your departure, select airlines work with Disney to make your check-out process as easy as possible. Concierge will check you in and get your airline tickets printed and ready for you the day before you leave. An envelope will be left hanging on the outside of your door along with your return Magical Express departure time.
Whether you arrive at your Disney Resort before your room is ready or you want to explore the parks more after you check-out, Cast Members can temporarily store your luggage so you can spend more time in the parks, even if you don’t have access to your hotel room. When checking in, your bags will automatically be moved when your room is ready.
2. Merchandise Delivery
By staying on property, you can also have select Disney merchandise delivered straight to your hotel. Some items, like wine bottles purchased in Epcot, can only be delivered to the front of the park, but other purchases can be sent to the gift shop of your hotel for pick up by the next day at the latest. This saves you from having to carry your purchases throughout the day. Note that this is not offered on your last or second to last day as Cast Members cannot guarantee delivery before you leave.
1. Tip Mousekeeping
Mousekeeping, or Disney’s Housekeeping Department, work around the clock to ensure the facilities and especially your rooms are perfectly clean and stocked. While tipping isn’t required, it is expected. The general rule of thumb is $1 per person per day, but some families of four tend to tip $5 per night. You can choose to tip each day or wait until the end of your trip. Leave it by the “thank you” card with your Mousekeeper’s name on it.
This should give you a better idea of what to expect at a Disney Resort hotel. As you can see there are many reasons to stay on property. The only thing you’ll need to decide now is which hotel to stay at.
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Kristina is a freelance writer and full-time marketer who is a loud and proud Disney fan. Besides Disney Fanatic and How To Disney, she has also written for Examiner.com, Disney Avenue, and XOJane. A frequent visitor to Disney World, she enjoys trying something new each trip and experiencing all Disney has to offer. She lives in New York with her cat, Lizzie.