10 Reasons To Stay On Property

Monday, April 2, 2018

1. Discount Vacation Packages

If you like saving money (and who doesn't when they're headed to Disney!) then this should be one of the number one perks to staying at a WDW resort hotel! To be honest, early on I didn't think about booking packages because we were Florida residents and I just assumed we'd already get a great discount. Until one day I called to check pricing because my site wasn't loading and found out we could save even more money by booking our room, tickets, and food (optional) all together!!! Ever since then, whenever we take trips (longer than our day visits) this is what we do. Trust me, make the call and chat with a cast member about your options for booking a vacation package and saving some bucks! **You also get a voucher for a free game of mini golf at the adorably themed Disney courses.

2. Magical Express

This perk is something I actually just learned about (because we are Florida residents and haven't had to fly) but is something I'd definitely take advantage of if we didn't drive to Disney World! So, the Magical Express is an option given to resort guests flying into the Orlando International Airport. When you make your reservation, just be sure to mention that you'd like to use the Magical Express and then you'll be able to check your luggage up to 3 weeks before you leave (special luggage tags will be sent to you)! When it's time for you to leave, you'll hop on the plane, head to the magical bus waiting for you when you arrive (they'll receive your luggage), and when you get to your resort room your luggage will be waiting for you! This process is also available for your trip home and makes traveling so much easier!

3. Themed Rooms

The Disney hotels are so incredibly themed, it's honestly hard to put into words! When friends and family want to know if it's worth it to stay on property, my answer is always Y E S !!! And then I try to explain why and I struggle because sometimes the magic of Disney just can't be explained (unless maybe you're an imagineer, haha)! Every resort has a theme (Wilderness Lodge, Caribbean Beach Resort, Boardwalk Villas to name a few) and the rooms fit the themes perfectly. But did you know that you can request an even more magical room?! You can request things like Little Mermaid, Cars, Pirates, or Royalty. We stayed in the above Princess & The Frog specialty room at the Port Orleans Resort and the details were incredible (I'm talking those headboards have twinkling lights at night)!

4. Hotel Activities

This is something that is often overlooked, but I truly love the activities that Disney offers at their resorts! Whenever we plan an extended trip, I actually block off a day or two just to hang out at the hotel! They offer multiple pools (each is different & matches the given resort's theme), jogging trails, playgrounds, horse-drawn carriage rides, surrey bikes, game rooms, movies under the stars, roasting marshmallows over camp fires, themed shows, and so much more!!! Seriously, you could spend an entire week just soaking in all that your hotel has to offer because Disney pours magic into every aspect of guests' trips!

5. Child Care

You may be wondering why Disney would offer childcare, but when you really start looking at all there is to do for adults (date night at Disney Springs or an afternoon at the Food & Wine festival anyone?) you may want to take advantage of this offering! There are 2 options for childcare if you're staying on site at a resort hotel - Children's Activity Centers and in-room babysitting. The Children's Activity Centers are available if you are staying at 1 of the 4 resorts that offer this feature : Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney's Beach Club Resort, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, and Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel. Children must be between ages 3-12 and can enjoy movies, toys, games, arts and crafts, and food! If you opt to do the in-room babysitting, an independent childcare provider will arrive with age-appropriate activities, toys, books, arts and crafts, and games. Hours, rates, and availability will vary based on the option you choose. Reservations are required for the in-room babysitting (4 hours minimum for this option) but are optional for the activity centers (walk-ins are also welcome for the centers).

6. Resort Transportation

Okay so this may seem small but it's actually one of my favorite perks to staying on property! I don't have to drive myself anywhere! When it's early in the morning headed to a park, or we're heading back to the hotel for an afternoon nap, or loading up to head home after 12+ hours in the parks it is so nice to just hop on an be transported back to our hotel! Oddly, some of my fondest memories from growing up where bus rides back to our hotel after a long day in the park, falling asleep propped up on my dad's shoulder, while Disney music played in the background. It's the little things in all that they do! Guests have the option of buses, boats, or monorails to take the from their hotel to the given destination - yep, they don't just take you to the parks you can also use the free transportation to get to other areas such as Disney Springs, the water parks, or mini golf courses!

7. Disney Dining Plan

I absolutely love this perk of staying at a resort hotel and am actually a bit jealous that this is only available to guests staying on property (and not for us passholders to use all of the time haha)! When you are booking your vacation package (mentioned in perk number 1), you can add on the Dining Plan. What this means is you pay for your food ahead of time, so when you're in the parks you just swipe your Magic Band (or ticket) and go on your way. For each night of your stay you have the option to choose how many quick service meals, table service meals (formal sit down), and snacks each guest will receive. You can use the meals and snacks in whatever order you choose (say you want to do a character breakfast and a fancy dinner one day and all quick service the next - you can because it's up to you!). After each use, your remaining meals & snacks will show on the bottom of your receipt and can be used up until midnight on the night you check out. **Be sure to stop by the gift shop the night before you leave and stock up on any remaining snacks you have left over - free food for the trip home!

8. Extra Magic Hours

This is one of the most popular perks of staying on property! Extra Magic Hours are available only to park guests who are staying at one of Disney's on-site properties. Guests staying at one of their hotels are given extra hours, either an hour before the park opens or three hours after the park closes to the rest of the public. This is really nice because it cuts down on the amount of people that are at the parks, which is even more ideal if you're visiting during a busy season! I love both of these options because most people aren't willing to get up early, so if you are and you have extra magic hours you can plan on a pretty private park. The late hours are amazing because the park at night is extra maical when it's all lit up and wait times for popular rides are only 10 minutes!

9. Package Delivery

Listen ya'll! This. Is. Huge. Do you know how nice it is to not have to lug around merchandise throughout the park, on the rides, next to your table while you eat, waiting in line, etc?! You may not if you've never been to Disney or if you've never purchased something at the parks when you still have so much of your day left. But I'm here to tell you, I've done both, and the best thing you can do is have those goodies sent back to your room - for free!!! When you purchase your thing-a-ma-bobs, simply ask the cashier if you can have the item sent to your room, they'll take your info, and it will be there waiting for you the next day!

10. Magic

Perhaps most important of all is the magic that comes with staying on property in a Disney World resort hotel!!! When people book places to stay off WDW property it hurts my heart a little bit because, to be honest, a huge part of the magic of our Disney vacations while growing up was staying in the hotels. It's funny how things as simple as the hotels, the bus rides home after long days in the park, Mickey waffles in the Disney lobby, or even the gift shops would make such an impact but they do - because Disney knows how to bring the magic to the every day! The magic that came with staying in the hotels has such a huge part of my heart, that we took Tristan for our first ever family trip to stay at Disney's Caribbean Beach Hotel when he was 6 weeks old because that's where we always stayed when I was growing up!

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