Most guests of Disney World spend countless hours planning their attraction must-dos, figuring out what parks to go to on what days, as well as agonizing over what dining reservations to snag when their booking window opens. What some guests giving a passing thought is choosing which of the numerous Disney resort hotels would be right for them. And before even considering which resort is correct, most guests need to make a decision about staying on property. Here are the top ten lies and misconceptions about staying in a Disney resort.
1. Too Expensive
Disney offers an array of resort options to meet any budget. The resorts are separated into three tiers – Deluxe, Moderate, and Value. Each tier offers a unique combination of theme, as well as amenities to the guests choosing to stay there. Throughout the year, Disney also offers a variety of discounts and packages to keep costs lower and to encourage guests to visit at various points throughout the year. If you are planning your trip, be sure to consider visiting during slower times of the year to take advantage of some of these deals!
2. You Just Need a Place to Sleep
It is easy to think that your Disney vacation is going to be wall to wall parks and the only thing that you are going to need the room for is to sleep and shower and store your bags. But, let’s be honest, a Disney vacation can be very tiring. Staying at a Disney resort offers a variety of diversions and amenities for when you are too tired (or the weather does not cooperate). Guests can participate in games and other activities, as well as trivia contests, movie nights, as well as experience some pretty awesome pools!
3. I Can Get a Great Deal Staying Off Property
The primary reason that guests choose to stay off property is because they can get a “better deal” staying at a different hotel. But, the extra charges that you have to pay quickly add up and may end up costing more than a stay on property. Getting to the parks will require you to have a car and then you will have to pay for parking — parking alone costs $25 per day. Depending on if you are renting a car or using your own, travel expenses quickly add up when you consider that staying on Disney property offers free transportation from the airport, as well as transportation to each of the parks. If you choose to drive your own car from the resorts, the parking fee at the parks is waived, but there are daily charges for parking at the resorts.
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4. They Will Nickel and Dime Me for Everything
Disney is sensitive to the costs of a family vacation and make an effort to include some additional wow factors that you wouldn’t expect. Guests at the Fort Wilderness Campground can head to a nightly campfire with Chip and Dale. For a small fee, guests at Port Orleans French Quarter are able to enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride throughout the brick-lined streets. These events are in addition to the movies shown nightly, as well as the various entertainment options that call each of the resorts home. You can always check with a Disney Vacation Planner or Cast Members at your resort to see what options are available for you at your resort.
5. I Don’t Want to be Limited to My Resort
Guests think that they are tied into their resort when making a choice to where to stay, but that isn’t true. Guests are able to make dining reservations at other resorts and would normally be able to experience the other offerings of the resort like enjoying the holiday decorations. Obviously, during this time with the Covid-19 virus, guests will be limited from exploring resorts that they do not have reservations (resort or dining) at.
6. Transportation Options are Limited
Disney has been making a concerted effort over the last five years to make navigating to the parks much easier for guests and to allow them to spend more time in the parks. Every resort offers bus transportation to the parks. Saratoga Springs, Old Key West, and both of the Port Orleans resorts ferry guests via boat to Disney Springs. The guests at Contemporary, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian are able to travel to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot aboard the monorail. The newly opened Skyliner can take guests from Epcot to Hollywood Studios with stops at the Riviera Resort, Caribbean Beach, as well as Pop Century and Art of Animation. Beach Club, Yacht Club, Boardwalk, and the Swan and Dolphin, also has boat service between the resorts, as well as Epcot and Hollywood Studios. From the Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness, guests can also travel via boat to the Magic Kingdom.
7. I Can Pool Hop
Even before Covid-19, Disney was enforcing a requirement that guests have to use the pool at their resort, so you can’t stay at one resort and use a pool at another. Regardless, the pools at all of the resorts are pretty amazing. Sure, we love shooting down the slide at Stormalong Bay, but we’ve also had a great time spinning around the slide at Fort Wilderness, too. And if you want to avoid noisy kids and splashing, you can always use one of the regular pools that don’t have all of the water features.
8. I Can’t Go Into the Fancy Resorts
During this time, guests will need reservations to be able to go into the resorts, as well as follow the rules regarding face masks and social distancing. But, just because you have a reservation at one resort does not mean that you are limited to only your resort. Before the Covid-19 virus, one of our favorite pastimes was resort hopping during the holidays to check out the seasonal decorations.
9. Gift Shops Are Lame
The gift shops in each of the resorts offer your traditional necessities like mouthwash, toothbrushes, and floss, as well as snacks while you are relaxing from your day in the parks, but you can also find some great resort specific t-shirts, as well as pins and merchandise you may not be able to find in the parks. And if you are celebrating a special occasion, you can even find adult beverages for your enjoyment!
10. Resort Restaurants Aren’t Great
Some of the best restaurants on property can be found in the resorts. The dining halls in the value and moderate resorts offer some truly unique options for guests. If I am looking for an all-you-care-to-enjoy meal, I’d try to snag a reservation at Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Maybe enjoy the bread service at Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge or the family feast Chef Mickey’s located in Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Do your research and we are confident you will find a great restaurant for any appetite.
Disney resorts are a great investment for guests staying at Walt Disney World – they offer an amazing array of services and entertainment for guests to continue their vacation even outside of the parks!