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I personally see this question being asked on social media forums, and get asked by customers all the time, so i thought it would be really useful to put it into words, why i would always say if its in budget - stay at Disney!
Staying on site at Disney is obviously more expensive than staying off site on International Drive, as Disney is a premium product, that comes with added benefits. I thought I would give you the top 5 reasons why you should consider paying the extra to stay in a Walt Disney World hotel for your next trip to Orlando.
1. 60 day Fast Passes.
Walt Disney World has been operating at over 90% occupancy for the last couple of years, with new attractions such as Flight of Passage and Slinky Dog coaster demanding queues of up to 3 hours sometimes, staying on site will pretty much get around this!
When you stay at a Disney Resort hotel, you can pre book Fast Passes for the duration of your holiday 60 days in advance!!! If you are off site this is only 30 days in advance.
This means you are pretty much guaranteed to get yourselves Fast Passes for those attractions which demand high queue times throughout the year! Providing you book them at the 60 day mark!!!
Definitely a massive benefit to staying on site, and with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening later this year, I think on site guests will be laughing!!!
2. Disney Dining Plans
Depending on if you got your Dining Plan for ‘Free’ or you have paid for it, the Dining Plans Disney offer are incredible, will save you a TON of money and make things so easy when staying on site.
The plans consist of the:
- Quick Service Dining Plan
- Disney Dining Plan
- Deluxe Dining Plan
Whichever plan best suits you (and I will do a separate blog about the Dining Plans) depends on what type of restaurants you can eat in, but just to give you an example, if you have the ‘Disney Dining Plan’ and want to eat at Chef Mickey, this will cost you around $177 for a family of 4 including a drink each and gratuities. Using a single Table Service Plan credit will save you even if you have bought the plan or if you have gotten it for free!
With over 180+ restaurants participating in the Dining Plan, and more on their way, it’s a fantastic way to go over to Orlando and not even think about how much money you have in your pocket, food is all taken care of. It also means you don’t need to mess around going off site (an expansive 47square miles) just to grab a bite to eat to save some money.
PLUS your refillable drinks mug can be used as many times as you wish at your resort hotel, meaning you don’t need to worry about drinks on a pool day!
Having paid for the Dining Plan and had it for free, either way it’s an amazing add on that I would recommend to every single person staying at Disney.
(I will do a separate blog about each dining plan to explain the differences down the line don’t worry!)
3. Advance Dining Reservations
Reservations at Table Service restaurants opens up to everyone 180 days in advance, the main difference staying off site, is that once it gets to your 180 days before check in, you can book 10 days in advance of that date. Pretty much guaranteeing you reservations in popular restaurants such as Cinderella’s Royal Table, Be Our Guest, Beaches and Cream and many more! (Providing you act quick at 180 days obviously).
If you are staying off site, these restaurants are only bookable 180 days to the day, so you have a 10 day advantage on off-site guests.
With this being a once in a lifetime holiday for many, and reading online what restaurants are the best, you only really stand half a chance if you’re staying on site!
Yet again another reason to stay on site.
Did you know – with our FREE planning service we will book your restaurants for you?
4. Magic Bands
Now this isn’t really a be all and end all, as you can purchase Magic Bands if you’re staying off site, however they are much more useful when you’re staying at a Disney Resort hotel.
Before you arrive you select your colours and edit names to be engraved on the back, and when you check in they will be presented to you!
These Magic Bands are a number of things:
- Your room key
- Your theme park admission
- Your memory maker
- Your Fast Passes
- You can charge to the room
- Your Dining Plan
They literally make staying on site SO easy as you do not need to take ANYTHING to the parks with you if you so wish, as pretty much everything you need is stored on them! You can even purchase different ones locally and get them linked up to your room so you can use them just the same! I will be honest I have around 13 Magic Bands that I get linked at check in, different colours to match different outfits or occasions….. I know I may be considered a little sad there but it’s all part of the fun when staying at Walt Disney World!
5. Extra Magic Hours & Transportation
Okay so this is 2 points really, but I couldn’t decide out the two which one deserves a place!
Extra Magic Hours – so staying on site at Disney gives you more ‘play time’ in the parks. For example Magic Kingdom may be open 10-11 one day, but your magic hours for the day give you from 8am – 10am exclusive on site guest access, meaning the park will be quitter than it is when general guests start entering the park.
They also do evening Magic hours too, I’ve been there before where the Magic Kingdom closed at 10pm to general guests and stayed open until 3am for hotel only guests! Everything was still operational, you could still meet Mickey Mouse and get a bite to eat! It seriously saved us a lot of time, and meant during the day we could enjoy the pool at our hotel or head back for a nap!
Definitely a plus to staying on site.
Transport – When you stay on site, Disney will pick you up from the airport, and take you back for FREE!!!!
Not only that, the area is huge (47sq miles think Manchester or San Francisco), so many people think you need a car to get about. You can do this however from January 2020 Disney Resort hotels will be charging to park at their resort hotels (something which use to be free). However they have a big choice or FREE transport to get around the ‘World’. This includes the famous Monorail, Disney busses and boats.
Opening in the fall of 2019 they will be opening the NEW SKYLINER which is also another FREE method of transport, which will link Disney hotels to 2 Disney parks, giving you even more choice of how to get around.
Getting around is easy too! For example if you are at the Art of Animation you could get the bus to Magic Kingdom in the morning, the monorail to EPCOT in the afternoon from there, then use the Skyliner to get back to Art of Animation in the evening (this hotel is on the Sky liner route). It’s so easy to get about!!!
There are also the controversial Minnie Vans (pictured)…… but we won’t go there !!!!
From my last trip last year, we did have a car, and I did say we probably won’t have one ever again as Disney has gotten its internal transport down to a fine art!
So there are my….errrr well maybe 6 top benefits to staying at a Walt Disney World hotel!
There are other reasons such as being able to use My Disney experience etc but I would consider the above the MAIN benefits to choose Disney as your home in Orlando when you visit!
You can stay offsite and save some money, but honestly, I wouldn’t want to waste precious holiday time in traffic commuting around Orlando and Walt Disney World, when I can spend a little more of my hard earned money to stay on site and make what is going to be a good holiday into a MAGICAL ONE! It really does make that difference!
I could go on and on, but I wanted to keep this as to the point and brief as possible!
I hope you enjoyed this read, and if you call us for a price on a holiday, ask us about Disney hotels if it’s an off-site one you have requested as you may be surprised at the difference in cost to get all these benefits, and end up making your holiday even more magical!
Call us on 0330 088 2199 for a quote!
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