The benefits of staying on Walt Disney World property
The first few times that I went to Disney World, either with my Grandparents, or with my wife Cindy, we didn’t stay on property. For us, either we were going for just the day, or if we were going for multiple days, we just stayed at a local hotel – to save money, we thought.
However, all of that changed when we went to Disney World with Sophie in 2007. That was the first year we stayed on Disney property, and it was incredible. We had so much fun that we have not even looked at staying off property since! To that end, let me tell you about some of the incredible benefits for staying on Disney property.
The first thing I think about as one of the benefits to staying on Disney Property is the Magical Express service. What’s funny is that we’ve never flown down to Disney, so I have no experience with the Magical Express, but from everything I’ve heard and read about it, it is a truly great free service that Disney offers to it’s guests that are staying on property. For those that drive in to their resort, a similar service that Disney offers if your room isn’t available yet is the ability to drop off your luggage with bell services, and they will call or text you when your room is ready. After that, you can call them from your room and they’ll bring your luggage to your room. Now that’s service!
To me, another of the incredible benefits to staying at Disney is all of the Disney themed hotels. For us, when we travel down to Florida to take our Disney World vacation, we immerse ourselves in all of the things that make Disney our favorite place to visit. The Disney themed hotels extend the Disney Magic outside of the parks and bring it right into your room for the entire duration of your stay. To me, knowing that, when we leave the Park, we aren’t leaving the Magic, that is one of the best benefits to staying on Property.
Another thing that I count as a benefit to staying on Walt Disney World property is not needing to drive if you don’t want to. For us, it’s about a twelve hour drive to Florida, and I love that when we get to our resort, we can park the car for a week and let Disney do the driving for us. There are a few times when we do drive during our vacation, but for most of the trip, our car gets a much needed vacation from us!
The Disney Dining Plan is one of those benefits that we really loved when we stayed at the resorts in the past, whether we were getting the DDP for free or paying for it ourselves. There is a TON of debate out on the internet about whether the DDP is worth it or not, but let me tell you, for us, it was worth it for the simple convenience of not having to carry as much cash, and for being able to schedule all of our character dinners and avoid having to do meet-and-greets.
One of the best benefits, without a doubt, for me, is the Extra Magic Hours that you get if you are a resort guest. Being able to get to the park either one hour early, or even better, stay out three hours after park closing, is so cool! One of my favorite Disney World memories occurred during Extra Magic Hours last year, when we saw Mickey and Minnie riding the Dumbo ride with some lucky guests. A lot of people opine that the EMH parks are the busiest parks for that day, but I’m of the opposite opinion. I can’t wait for our June trip, because when we get to Bay Lake Towers our first day, the Magic Kingdom will be open late that night with Extra Magic Hours, so we will be able to take advantage of that first thing!
There are some other things that can be called benefits of staying on Disney property, such as not having to pay for parking at the parks if you drive to them, having Mickey and Minnie or other characters call you to wish you a happy birthday (or happy anniversary) to your room, and other things like these. But to me, the ones I mentioned are the cream of the crop of benefits!
I know that a lot of people think that staying at a Disney resort is more expensive than staying at an off-property resort. The last thing I would really urge you to do is to take a really in-depth look at all of the costs associated with both types of vacations — on property and off. We have found that the benefits are incredible, and the cost difference is negligible when you factor in all of those extra benefits.