To stay on site or not to stay on site? That really is the question, isn’t it? I know lots of people are always debating whether or not to stay at one of Disney’s many resorts. It can be a tough choice. Hopefully, this article will help you make that decision.
Before I go into all of the perks of staying on site, let me first give a very brief overview of the different levels of resorts that Disney has.
The first level of Disney resorts are the Value Resorts. And as the name suggests, these resorts are a great value and the lowest price per night of the resorts. Here is a list of the current value resorts.
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
These value resorts are very family and young kid-friendly. They are stylized with some larger than life fun! If you don’t have kids, don’t worry! You can still stay in these resorts. My husband and I have done a few ‘kid-free’ trips and have stayed in a value resort during those trips.
The second level of Disney resorts is the Moderate Resorts. These resorts are ‘moderately priced’ (in Disney terms). Here is a current list of the resorts.
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
- The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
These resorts have more of ‘destination’ feel to them as opposed to the Value Resorts which have a more ‘fun’ feel. And Disney really does accomplish giving you that feeling!
Deluxe Resorts and Deluxe Villas
The last level of resorts is the Deluxe Resorts and Deluxe Villas. These resorts are on the higher end of the price range per night for the resorts. Here is a list of the current resorts.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
The Deluxe Resorts go to the next level with amenities, service, and beauty! Even if you don’t stay at these resorts, you should for sure visit them!
Perks of Staying at A Disney Resort
Now, in this section, I will tell you all of the benefits of staying at any one of these Disney Resorts, no matter what level you decide to stay at. All of these perks are offered exclusively to Disney Resort guests.
- Ability to Purchase The Disney Dining Plan- One of my favorite perks of staying on site is being able to book the Disney Dining Plan. It really is something that I truly love! I love it so much, I wrote a whole article about it :). Click here to read all about the benefits of the Dining Plan and some tips and tricks too!
- Extra Magic Hours- With Extra Magic Hours, you get to spend extra time at one of the theme parks each day! For resort guests only, a select park each day will either open early or close late. Fewer crowds=shorter wait times on rides! Yay!
- Disney’s Magical Express- This a super convenient free service that transports you and your family from the Orlando International Airport to your Disney Resort. Disney will also pick up your checked luggage from the airport for you and deliver it right to your room. So, there is no need to go to luggage claim. Just walk off your plane and get on the bus! Disney will do the rest.
- Transportation- To get to and from the resorts and parks, Disney offers complimentary bus, ferryboat, and monorail services (depending on what resort you are staying at). Just getting to and from the parks can be a ride in and of itself! Side note- coming up in the next year (?), a few of the resorts will have a skyline gondola system connecting them to other resorts, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios!!
- Parking- If you have a car, and prefer to drive yourself to and from the parks, Disney offers free standard parking at Disney theme parks, Disney water parks, and the Disney Springs area. This is a savings of at least $22 a day!
- MagicBands- Sure, you could purchase one if you like ($13-$35+), but for Disney resort guests, Disney will send one for each member of your party for free! Each person in your party gets to choose one of seven colors. You can use your MagicBands for…
-Unlocking your resort room
-Entering the parks (it’s basically like your ticket to get in)
-Charging purchases to your room (no need to take out your wallet while in the parks!)
-Using PhotoPass (to learn more about PhotoPass, click here)
-Checking in for your FastPasses
– If on the Disney Dining Plan, you scan your MagicBand to use the credits.
- FastPasses- FastPass is a free service that everyone in Disney gets to use (to learn more about how to use FastPass, click here). But Resort guests get an advantage… they get to book their FastPasses 60 days in advance! Resort guests can also book FastPasses for their entire stay as of 60 days before the first day of their vacation. This is a huge advantage because it makes getting those hard to book rides easier to get! (I’m looking at you Flight of Passage, Slinky Dog Dash, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train). Guests with park tickets who are staying off site can book their FastPasses 30 days in advance and must book FastPasses one day at a time.
- Shopping- If you are shopping at one of Disney’s MANY gift shops, and you find something that you just got to have (Hi, my name is Nicole, and I am addicted to Disney coffee mugs), but you don’t want to carry it around all day, Disney has you covered. They will ship items you have bought back to your resort for free! Sometimes, it might take a day or two to get back to your resort, so this only works if you are still at the beginning/middle of your trip.
- Staying in the Disney Bubble- Blog readers, listen to me. The human world, it’s a mess. Life in the Disney Bubble is better than anything they got out there! (Get it? Get it? If not, then I’m not sure we can still be friends. Kidding! Well, maybe…. 😉 ) Anyway, staying inside the Disney bubble is probably the biggest perk for staying at a Disney resort. Disney’s cast members are superb when it comes to customer service. While I’m on my Disney vacation, I don’t want to leave the ‘bubble’ for even a minute. I want to be in the magic for as long as I possibly can!
I hope this article helps you see the perks of staying on-site at one of Disney’s many resorts! Need help booking a Disney vacation? Email CJ at email@example.com.
What are the reasons you love to stay at a Disney Resort? What are the reasons you love to stay off property? Did you learn anything new? I would LOVE to know! Leave a comment down below! Also, tag me on Instagram @TheDisneyGrl with any Disney related photos! I would LOVE to see them!