Disney World Crash Course #4 - Why Choose a Disney Resort?
Walt Disney World offers a wide variety of resorts for you to choose from. But why should you stay at a Disney World Resort? The answer is not very simple.
As an experienced Disney World traveler, I have stayed both on and off Walt Disney World property throughout the 30 years since my first visit. My very first time staying at a Disney Resort was not until 2002. And within moments of driving up to the gate to enter the Resort property I knew this was a Disney life changing experience.
Never say never, but I will never stay off-site again.
That first Disney Resort experience was very memorable. Coupled with the first trip as a parent, it was an outstanding trip overall. We stayed at the All-Star Music Resort - one of Disney's Value Resorts. Checking in was quick and painless and our room was better than most of the off-site hotels we'd stayed at during previous trips. And the Disney magic was certainly obvious!
Every family is different. But when considering a Disney World vacation remember that Disney Resort guests are offered some "magical" extras that are not available at off-site hotels and resorts.
- Disney's Magical Express. Once you arrive at the Orlando Airport how are you going to get to your resort? Hop aboard the Magical Express bus service! This free service is a wonderful savings because you do not need to rent a car or take a cab.
- Free Walt Disney World transportation. Disney's buses run all day long to and from the parks and Downtown Disney. You can't go wrong with a service that keeps you from paying the daily parking fees at the parks and saving money on gas. And best of all, you do not need a voucher or a set time to ride the buses. On a sidenote, getting lost while driving around Disney is no fun. Been there, done that!
- EXTRA MAGIC HOURS! Only available to Disney Resort guests, these hours are designed so that you can stay at a selected park up to 3 hours later than the general public or enter the park 1 hour earlier in the morning. It's almost like being a VIP.
- Disney Dining Plan. What's so special about a Dining Plan? It's only available to Disney Resort guests that book a package with room and tickets. There are several Disney Dining Plans and each one has it's own benefits. In a nutshell, you get to pay for your meals in advance and save some money.
- Free purchase delivery. Let's say you're strolling through Epcot and enter the candy shop in Germany. There are hundreds of chocolate choices and you want to purchase $100 worth of specialty chocolates as souvenirs. It's 90 degrees outside. How are you going to get the chocolate back to your resort room without it melting? Have it delivered! Disney Resort guests can have their purchases delivered directly to their resort. Don't drag it around with you!
- Key to the World card. Having a room key that also acts as a charge card, park ticket, and FASTPASS collector is very convenient. It also keeps track of your Disney Dining Plan credits.
- Free parking throughout the theme parks. Maybe you decide you'd rather drive to the Magic Kingdom for the day instead of taking the free bus transportation. Perfect! As a Disney Resort guest you can park at the themeparks for free. If you were not given a parking pass at check-in, then stop by guest services at your resort and they will make sure you have the proper paperwork to receive free themepark parking.
These are only a few of many reasons why choosing a Disney Resort tends to be the best option for most Walt Disney World visitors. There's also one BIG reason that's hard to put into words. It's being within Disney and knowing when you leave the park after a magical day that you are not going back into the "real" world. You're living the magic throughout your entire vacation.
Next up - Disney World Crash Course #5 - Magical Budgeting 101