Disney – should you stay on the resort?
It’s a question that comes up again and again – you’re planning a trip to Disney – should you stay at a Disney resort? We caught up with Clara Power from TPI, an authorized Disney vacation planner agency and she explains the many perks of staying on a Walt Disney World resort.
One of the most popular questions I get from clients thinking about going to Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida is where should they stay? There are so many potential options both onsite the Disney property and offsite that it can be a overwhelming decision but once you know all the benefits of staying within the World, the decision is a lot easier to make!
Fast Pass+ – when Disney released it’s new FastPass+ program a few years back it was received with hesitation as many clients did not want to book their ride times 60 days in advance. However, now that most of the kinks in the system have been ironed out this great perk has saved clients many hours of time, energy and heartache. Onsite clients can now book 3 fastpasses per day online 60 days before arrival ensuring that their little one gets on that special ride or princess meet and greet that they are hoping for without having to wait in the regular line up. Clients who do not stay on site can book these 30 days in advance however it does not come without disappointment as many of the most popular rides and times are no longer available by that date. Without a FastPass for some of the most popular rides it can mean a 1 to 2-hour wait.
Magic Bands – what are they you ask? They are the best thing that Disney released within the last few years. These waterproof bracelets are your “Keys to The World!!” These complimentary bracelets act as your room key, charge card, park tickets, fastpasses, and dining reservations – making getting around the park a breeze! All you have to do is wave your band in front of the sensor – easy peasy!
Dining Reservations – some of the most popular dining reservations at Disney get booked up quickly including Cinderella’s Royal Table and Be Our Guest. Disney allows all guests to make reservations 180 days in advance. However, if staying on site you can make reservation for your entire stay 180 days before the first day of your vacation. For those really hard to make reservations, this perk can be the difference between dining in Cinderella’s Castle or not.
Transportation – included in every resort stay is a complimentary shuttle that transports you and your family from the Orlando Airport to your resort. This way you don’t have to worry about renting a vehicle or having to pay for parking at a resort or at the parks. Once at your resort, Disney offers unlimited transportation within it’s property by monorail, boat or bus whether you are looking to go to a Disney Park or Disney Springs – all you have to do it sit back and let someone else take you there.
Extra Magic Hours – each day one of the Disney Parks opens early or stays open late just for resort guests. This allows you to get in a few extra hours of Disney fun with reduced crowds and often reduced heat as well. During these extra hours the queues for some of the most popular rides are significantly reduced, thereby adding extra magic to your day with less waiting around.
Disney Dining Plan – everyone knows that theme park food can get very expensive. When staying at a Disney Resort, guests can purchase a dining plan that suits their families needs and wants best. This plan helps clients to budget their day and also provides a significant amount of savings over having to purchase items on an as needed basis. Day visitors are not able to purchase a Disney Dining Plan.
“The Experience” –Disney resorts are always designed with Disney charm. When leaving the Disney Parks, you can go back to your own Disney Themed room or resort that keeps the magic alive. Each resort is always well maintained and offers great themes from movies, sports, music, or the feel of being transported to Polynesian, or Caribbean. There are resorts that meet every family’s needs, whether they prefer something a bit more budget friendly or prefer all the bells and whistles that come with a five-star hotel.
So when planning your next Disney Vacation, it’s best to consider all the benefits of staying on site and how it can affect your overall experience! In the end, you want to make sure that you are getting the most memorable vacation possible and hopefully this has helped.
Have other thoughts or questions about staying on-site? Feel free to comment below!
Clara Power is a mother to 2 well traveled kids, Andrew and Lauren. She is a Personal Travel Advisor at her own travel agency, Clara Power TPI, which is in association with Travel Professionals International. As an active traveler having visited over 35 countries and almost every continent, (still working on Antarctica), Clara is no stranger in understanding the unique wants and needs of families travelling together making her your expert choice for creating those special family vacation experiences. Her agency is also recognized as an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner due to her extensive knowledge and superior service.