When planning a trip to Walt Disney World, the number one question is usually, should we stay on or off Disney property? This decision is huge. There are many pros and cons of staying on Disney property, as well as staying off property. It’s important to really take into consideration all Disney resorts have to offer, and not just look at the dollar signs. Here are 10 things you absolutely have to know about staying at a Disney World resort.
10. They are Expensive
Yes, when comparing Disney resorts to resorts outside of Disney, they will seem like they are drastically more expensive. This is very true. But what you have to think about is exactly how much time you plan to be spending on Disney property. If you plan to spend everyday at a Disney park or restaurant, it just makes sense to stay at a Disney resort. If you only plan to visit a Disney park once or twice during your stay, saving some cash and staying elsewhere might be the better option.
9. There are Different Levels of Resorts
With that being said, there are different levels of Disney resorts that range vastly in price. Value, Moderate, and Deluxe are the basic categories and range in price accordingly. This is great because it lets you choose how much space would accommodate your party and what price range would work for you as well. Although, you may get more space for your money if you don’t stay on Disney property.
8. Also, Different Areas of Resorts
Disney resorts are also separated into categories by area. You have the Magic Kingdom area, which is the most expensive yet most convenient. The Epcot area, which consists of deluxe, moderate, and value resorts, and is equally convenient, but offers more resorts. The Animal Kingdom area, which also offers deluxe, moderate, and value resorts, but is a bit out of the way. Then there’s the Downtown Disney area, which could be my favorite area. It offers deluxe villas and moderate resorts, but no value resorts. And last but not least, the ESPN Wide World of Sports area which houses, Disney’s Pop Century Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, both value resorts.
7. The Grocery Stores are Pricey
This is something I think a lot of people wish they had known before booking their trip. Some resort rooms, like the deluxe villas, have full kitchens. Unfortunately, unless paying $3 for a bottle of soda and $4 for a bag of chips, sounds reasonable, you’re better off just buying quick service meals, or getting your groceries from an outside company.
6. Refillable Mugs
These are really a great deal; especially if your family is big soda drinkers. Basically you pay for how many days you will be staying on property, and then you are able to refill your mug with soda/coffee/hot chocolate/etc. as often as you want.
5. Free Dining and Other Offers
Every so often Disney will throw out some offers that really put Disney above its competitors. For example, once a year Disney will announce its free dining offer. Basically you pay for your room and your park tickets and you get the Disney Dining Plan for free. They also offer certain percent off deals and other offers as well. You just have to do your research.
4. Incredible Dining Options
One thing that makes Disney truly special is its character interactions. One of the best places to meet characters is at character meals and a few of the resorts offer character dining, such as Ohana, Chef Mickey’s, and 1900 Park Fare. But besides character dining, resorts offer really great regular dining options as well.
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3. Disney’s Magical Express
Disney offers this wonderful thing called Disney’s Magical Express. It’s a complimentary transportation system that takes you to and from the airport and your resort.
2. Disney World Transportation
Along with Disney’s Magical Express, Disney also offers a bus system that can take you absolutely anywhere on Disney property. This way you don’t have to rent a car, which will save a decent amount of cash. But beware; the buses do usually take some time. So make sure you give at least an extra half hour to an hour of transportation time alone.
1. There’s Nothing Else Like It
Simply put, there is truly nothing else like staying at a Disney resort. The magic is there, the quality is there, and the service is one of a kind. Once you stay at a Disney resort, it will be hard to stay anywhere else.
As you can see, there are a lot of wonderful things about staying at a Walt Disney World resort. But the choice to stay isn’t easy. It takes a lot of research and a good knowledge of your budget. With that being said, if you truly want the ultimate Disney experience, Disney resorts are one of the best places to feel the magic.
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!