Walt Disney World is the vacation destination like no other and its resort hotels are no exception. The commitment to guest service is continually exceptional, each resort is unique and they are truly enchanting. From the moment you arrive, you are swept off to faraway lands, transported to another time or immersed in imagined worlds.
Something for everyone
The Walt Disney World resort has over 25 hotels, plus a campground, and that means there is truly something for everyone. Whether you’re splurging for luxury, staying close to nature, looking for a va
lue-minded option or seeking space for a large group, you will find it! Campground facilities at Fort Wilderness can be claimed at just over $50 per night for a tent or camper site (RV and larger tent sites are slightly more) and you can take advantage of all the benefits Disney has to offer. If camping isn’t your style, hotels start nearly as low as $100 per night for Disney’s All Star hotels, around $190 for Moderate resorts such as the Caribbean Beach Resort, and $345 for a Deluxe resort like the Wilderness Lodge. Villas for guests who want a bit more space or need to accommodate a larger party begin at $440. Of course every tier of hotel comes with the quality of service you’ve come to expect from Disney; however dining, shopping and other amenities vary by price point. And that friendly, attentive service you expect from Disney greets you throughout your stay in every style of accommodation.
Attention to details
Magical touches await you throughout your stay: wake-up calls from favorite Disney friends, guest areas, dining establishments and grounds that are spectacularly themed. Some resorts have special touches like beds that are more than just beds, towels and washcloths are transform into playful creations, and pools are no longer simply pools; they are shipwrecks, boardwalk fun piers, Mayan ruins, a giant piano and an island fortress. A few hotels even offer magical rooms where you become part of Disney and Pixar classics. Imagine staying in Radiator Springs or being surrounded by Ariel and her friends!
A huge advantage to staying at a Disney resort are the exclusive magical extras. Guests enjoy Extra Magic Hours at either the beginning of the day or the end at Disney theme parks. That extra time gets you on select rides either before the parks officially open or after they’ve closed. This is great time to score a spot for Jedi Training at Hollywood Studios, snag a seat on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or check out Test Track. Another magical extra: Magic Bands. They act as your room key, payment tool and park admission; and they’re free with your resort stay. There are also scavenger hunts, resort tours and you might even spot your favorite characters strolling by on their way to join guests at one of the restaurants. Additionally, resorts offer movie nights (sometimes accompanied by toasted s’mores!), each hotel has a play area for kids to let off some steam, and some come with a nighttime bonus as they offer a great vantage point for fireworks or water shows.
The Magic Kingdom resorts all have viewing along the Electrical Water Pageant route. A sometimes overlooked convenience is Resort Package Delivery. As a mom, I sometimes feel like a sherpa as our day progresses in a park. Resort Package Delivery means one less thing for me to tote! Assuming you’re not departing the next day, nearly all of your theme park purchases will be delivered to your hotel’s main gift shop. That means not having to carry those souvenirs around, worry about something breaking, or losing a precious new item. A fun bonus for those staying in Disney hotels are In-Room Celebrations. Disney Cast Members can help with customizing a special gift delivered to a guest’s room. Options include special snacks, champagne baskets, floral arrangements and fun gifts like autograph books, Mickey ears, plush and more.
Stay in the middle of the magic
That old real estate adage “location, location, location”...it applies to vacations, too! Staying in the middle of the magic means less transit time, and being able to easily sneak back to the room for a mid-afternoon nap, swim in the pool or a quick change of clothes for the evening. Especially with younger children, the midday break can mean the difference between ending a day on a high note or ending it in tears...and that’s just the parents! Disney’s extensive transportation network of buses, monorails, watercraft and even walking paths will get you anywhere you need to go, and it’s all free. The signature method of transportation, Disney’s Monorail system connects 3 of the Magic Kingdom hotels with the flagship theme park and the Transportation & Ticket Center, at which guests can transfer to the Epcot Monorail. There are also three resorts (Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club) within walking distance to Epcot and a slightly longer walk or boat ride to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Other resorts throughout the property offer water taxis and ferries, and each has service on Disney’s bus fleet. And there are no parking expenses if you do need to park a car at one of the hotels while staying at a Walt Disney World resort.
“The Mickey Bus”
You want to make the most of your vacation and if you’re flying, then the magic starts before you leave your departing airport. Disney’s Magical Express (or “The Mickey Bus” as my son called it) is exclusive to guests of the resort and it is one of the best services Disney offers. Imagine this: you check your bags when you arrive at your home airport, bidding adieu and knowing that you won’t have to worry about them until they are safely delivered to your hotel room; you land at Orlando International Airport and bypass baggage claim, following the signage for Disney’s Magical Express; and finally, with a wave of your Magic Band you are boarded onto a comfortable motorcoach and whisked off to your hotel. This complimentary service takes the hassle out of toting around heavy luggage, waiting in baggage claim, and figuring out transportation options. An added bonus, you can check-in for your departing flight right at your resort. No one wants to think about the end of their vacation, but this service alleviates some of the stress when it’s time to return to reality. Check-in for your flight, get your routing tags for your bags and enjoy a few extra moments in Disney World before boarding your motorcoach back to the airport.
The early bird gets the worm
Here’s another convenience that begins before you leave home: guests of Walt Disney World resort hotels have access to early FastPass+ selection. By staying on property, you can make 3 FastPass+ reservations for each day that you have admission tickets, up to 60 days in advance compared to 30 days for guests staying off property. This means securing FastPasses for rides like Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Toy Story Midway Mania, Frozen Ever After and others, as well as preferred viewing for performances or bypassing the waits to meet favorite characters.
Like getting first access to FastPasses? Well, the same applies to dining reservations! All visitors to Walt Disney World can make dining reservations up to 180 days in advance, but only Disney hotel guests can book ADR’s or Advance Dining Reservations. ADR’s afford a hotel guest the ability to book dining for the duration of their stay at the 180-day mark. That means that guests may get a 5, 6 or 7-day lead on coveted seating at popular restaurants.
Bundles of fun
Staying at a Disney resort also means being able to take advantage of vacation packages. Throughout the year Disney offers varying savings bundles: room and tickets; room, tickets and dining, and free dining, as well as room discounts. Another convenience exclusive to guests of Walt Disney World hotels: the Disney Dining Plan. With several plan options to meet guests’ needs, the Disney Dining Plan affords guests the freedom to dine at over 100 restaurants throughout the Walt Disney World property - everything from quick snacks to character meals.
When asked why staying at a Disney property is the best choice, it’s easy to say location or convenience of so many transportation options, but doesn’t it all come down to wanting every moment of your vacation to feel like, well, a vacation? Shouldn’t your experience be magical from the moment you arrive until it comes time to leave?