Walt Disney World is truly a magical place. I remember my first time visiting. It was summer of 1988 and I traveled with a big group including my parents, uncles, aunts and cousins. We rented two vans and stayed at an apartment style hotel near the parks. We loved it, so we went back the following years. Every time we went, that’s how we rolled. The accommodations were slightly different but in general, the same concept prevailed: stayed offsite, rented a car, spent the day at the parks and back to the apartment at the end of the day to have dinner and sleep. We enjoyed each and every vacation. It worked for us.
Now, fast forward 24 years. In 2012, we decided to take our nephews to Walt Disney World to celebrate their birthdays. It was going to be their first time visiting so we wanted to make it special. I am the appointed travel planer of the group so I spent some time pricing hotels, car rentals, park tickets etc. During my research, I came across the Disney Parks website, where they offer vacation packages. Mainly out of curiosity, I entered our information and requested a quote. Surprisingly, I found a package, staying at a Disney’s Art of Animation Resort family suite, with park tickets, transportation and dining included. It seemed like a fair deal so we went for it. I am so glad I booked it because we had the best time. Everything was great, from our resort accomodations to our park experience. Since then, I choose to stay on Disney Resorts when possible. Here is what made the difference for us:
Disney took their game to a whole new level with this addition. Magical Express, founded in 2005, is Disney’s exclusive and complimentary transportation service from the Orlando International Airport (MCO) to any of the Walt Disney World Resorts. These are air conditioned, motor coach style buses that are waiting for guests as they arrive. Did you know that more than 6,000 guests ride the Magical Express daily and more than 2.3 million annually? There is a reason and it’s because it works! I love Magical Express because it makes me feel like I am at Disney from the minute I step foot at the airport and I don’t have to worry about renting a car or drive. For more information check out Disney’s Magical Express website.
Another cool perk of Disney’s Magical Express is that they take care of your luggage. Disney sends luggage tags in the mail so that when flights arrive, Cast Members will pick up guest’s luggage from the baggage claim area and deliver them to their respective hotel rooms. Isn’t that great?
Guest staying at any of the Walt Disney World Resorts can enjoy Extra Magic Hours at the parks on selected days. This means I can enjoy the parks without the crowds and many times walk in to some of my favorite rides. Check out Disney’s calendar for specific extra magic hour days and times.
Disney Resort Guests can book fastpass+ up to 60 days prior check-in day for the entire length of stay. This is huge when trying to book a fastpass to any of the newest rides such as Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom or Avatar Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom. Stay tuned for a future post on how smart fastpass+ choices at each park.
Disney dining is extremely popular and making a dining reservation at a the restaurants can be challenging and frustrating if not done early. Walt Disney World Resort Guests can book dining reservations up to 180 days in advance. Did you know Be Our Guest is currently the hardest restaurant to get a table for dinner? I’ll show you how to increase those chances in a future post.
When I am staying at Disney Resorts, I don’t have to rent a car. Disney has a very effective internal system of buses that run every 20 minutes from the Resorts to the parks and Disney Springs.
Now, this one might be strictly psychological. Magic Bands are cool and they make me feel special. They are my room key, credit card, park admission and fastpass+ ticket all in one bracelet. What I enjoy the most is getting that cute box with our customized bands in the mail days before our vacation starts. It gets me so excited!
There you have it! 6 reasons why I prefer to stay on Disney Property. I hope this post was helpful
Do you love staying at Walt Disney World Resorts? Which one is your favorite?