It’s no secret that our family loves all things Disney. We can often be found hanging out at the Disneyland Resort since we are lucky enough to live pretty close by.Let’s talk about about my “other favorite subject” though: Walt Disney World Resort! Up until a few years ago, I’d never traveled to Orlando nor visited Walt Disney World. Fast forward to present day, we’ve been there 4 times now! Walt Disney World is literally my new favorite place to travel and every time we return from one trip, I start looking at our calendar to see when we can sneak away to Florida again. Can you relate?With over 25 different resorts to choose from at Walt Disney World Resort, you’re going to find at least one that fits within your family’s budget. Whether you choose a Value, Moderate, or Deluxe Resort to stay at, you’ll be enamored by all of the magical touches and thematic decor around your resort and inside your room. You’ll can scroll through an entire list of Walt Disney World Resort Hotels here.As a busy mom, I truly appreciate how easy it is to make your hotel reservations, once you’re narrowed your choices down. You can either make reservations on the official Walt Disney World site or call Disney Resort Hotel Reservations directly at (407) 939-1936 and a Cast Member will assist you in doing so. Bonus: If you call to make a reservation or ask a question, you get to listen to Disney music from the Parks and the parades! On each of our 4 trips to Orlando, our family has stayed at a different Disney World Resort and I’ve found that there are tons of benefits for guests who stay at one, they just won’t get when you stay “off property” (a.k.a. a non-Disney World hotel). To be honest, I’d probably still stay at a Disney World hotel even if there weren’t benefits because I’m that Disney Mom who never wants to miss out on anything! Today I want to share 10 great benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel with you, in hopes of helping you plan your next trip to Walt Disney World. Check them out! Complimentary MagicBands
MagicBands are literally your “key to the magic” and when you stay at a Disney World hotel, you can customize your Magic Bands on the site first, with name and color, and they’ll be mailed to you for free, prior to your visit. During your vacation, Magic Bands are not only your room key, but they also access your FastPass+ selections, and even allow you to pay for anything you need during your trip because they’re linked to your credit card on file. Guests not staying on Disney property have the option to purchase MagicBands for a fee. Early FastPass+ Scheduling
Speaking of FastPass+ selections, here comes another cool part…when you have reservations at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you can go online (either on the site or on the app) and schedule your FastPass+ selections, which include attractions, entertainment, or Character Greetings, 60 days out from your trip., as long as you already have your Park admission tickets or an Annual Pass. That’s 30 days earlier than guests who don’t have a reservation “on property”. This allows you to secure highly sough after attractions early on so you can have those in place and rest assured. We felt so lucky to grab FastPass+ selections this past trip for Pandora – World of Avatar, which is absolutely breathtaking, by the way! To learn more about FastPass+, go here.
Advanced Dining Reservations
Anyone wishing to dine at one of the restaurants at Walt Disney World Resort can make a reservation 180 days in advance. If you have a reservation at one of the Disney World hotels, you are actually able to make one 180 days in advance PLUS 10 days of your arrival date. That means you can make a dining reservation 190 days in advance of your arrival date and this can actually make a huge difference when you’re trying to land a reservation at one of the more popular restaurants such as Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom, Victoria and Albert’s at the Grand Floridian, or character dining such as Royal Sommerhus at Epcot or The Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom, which is one of our favorites. You can make a dining reservation either online or by calling (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463.Disney’s Magical Express
One of the best perks of staying on Disney property is not having to worry about transportation to and from the Orlando International Airport. Disney’s Magical Express is complimentary motorcoach transportation from the airport to select Walt Disney Resort Hotels, including checked luggage delivery straight to your room. This means that you don’t have to go to baggage claim and you can just head straight out to the Parks if you desire. Disney’s Magical Express operates between 5:00 A.M. and 10:00 P.M. To read more information about Disney’s Magical Express, go here.Extra Magic Hours
This is one of my favorite benefits! Extra Magic Hours are only available to those guests staying at a Walt Disney Resort. Each day, one of the 4 parks has Extra Magic Hours, some are in the morning and some are in the evening, after park closing. I think the name “magic” is appropriate because it truly is magic, just how many attractions you can get on that would normally have you waiting for a much longer time period. When we took advantage of Extra Magic Hours at Magic Kingdom, we also found a lot of character photo opportunities as we walked down Main Street, U.S.A. Most of the time Extra Magic Hours are early morning so we just make it a point to get up early and get there on time. In the case of a popular attraction, especially during peak months to visit, Extra Magic Hour might be the only realistic way you can ride the attraction without waiting for a huge amount of time. Transportation to Disney Theme Parks, Disney Water Parks & Disney Springs
When you stay at a Walt Disney World Resort, you don’t have to worry about a rental car or transportation to and from the 4 theme parks, 2 Disney Water parks, and Disney Springs. Transportation for resort guests is complimentary and depending on which resort you’re staying at, you may have access to an air-conditioned bus, a relaxing boat ride, or even their world-famous Monorail. For more specifics on the complimentary resort transportation, please go here. Disney Dining Plan
The Disney Disney Plan is only available to Disney World Resort guests. It’s a great addition to add to your vacation, saves you a significant amount of money because it’s prepaid and includes a predetermined number of meals and snacks, per guest, per day, depending on which plan you have. To learn more about the different Disney Dining Plan categories or to add one to your vacation package, please go here.Ship Your Purchases Directly from the Parks to your Hotel
Another great benefit to staying “on property” is that you can have any (or all) of your purchases from the parks shipped directly to your resort hotel. I absolutely loved this option because there have been so many instances that we bought souvenirs which were either too large to carry around with us or too heavy to lug in my purse. This is such a great convenience to be able to take advantage of.Airline Check-In at your resort
This is just another great benefit guests will appreciate. If you are departing from Orlando International Airport, you’ll have the ability to check-in for your flight and receive your boarding passes and check your luggage, all from your resort. This benefit is available to guests flying on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines (U.S. Domestic Flights Only), JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines. More information can be found about this service here.Resort Activities
Not all of the Disney magic is reserved for the parks. When you stay at one of the Disney World Resorts, you’ll also find special activities geared towards both children and families. Each resort offers different activities such as crafts, pool games, movies under the stars, dance parties, and more. Some of our favorite activities during our stays included Mickey tie dye shirt making and S’mores night!In addition to all of these key benefits, there are also other perks you’ll get once you’ve booked your stay at a Disney World Resort, such as special mailers and email reminders about different options to add onto your vacation. The whole experience is a magical one and for our family, there’s just no reason to ever stay anywhere besides a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel when we visit Walt Disney World!
Have you been before? Share your favorite trip memory with me in the comments! If not, are you planning a trip soon? I hope so!For more information about Walt Disney World Resort, please visit their official site here.