Disney Resort hotel

11 Reason to stay at a Disney Resort hotel

So many things have changed lately. Make sure you check out my News and Updates page for all of the latest information about Disney World Resorts and the current changes to policies and ammenities. 

Deciding where to stay for your Disney World vacation is so hard! There are so many things to consider like cost, location, convenience, dining options, room size, transportation, amenities, recreation…….Read this post for choosing the right hotel.

And with over 35 hotel locations within minutes of the Walt Disney World Resort to choose from your possibilities are endless. 

 But there are perks for staying a Disney Resort hotel that are game-changers! Some would even say that if you are not staying at a Disney Resort hotel you really did not “do” Disney 🙂

Here the benefits you will only receive by staying at a Disney Resort hotel.  

***Read all of the way through, I have a couple of secrets for you at the end*** 

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1. Early Fastpass+ selections

Make you Fastpass+ selections up to 60 days prior to check-in and for the length of your stay. Other guests can not make their Fastpass+ selections until 30 days prior to the day they are visiting the park.  

So if you are taking a 7 day trip you technically can make some of your Fastpass+ selections 67 days out. (The last day of your trip) That is a pretty good jump on those hard to get Fastpass attractions.

2. Free Disney transportation around the property

Disney World offers several different modes of free transportation. The Walt Disney World property is huge but you can easily access all of it soley using Disney transportation. Depending on the hotel, you can take a bus, boat, monorail or gondola to reach all of your destinations. 

Disney World gondolas
Disney Skyliner
Disney World Monorail
Disney Boats

3. Extra Magic Hours

This is absolutely one of my favorite perks!! Evening extra magic hours are dreamy in my opinion. Shutting down an empty Main Street U.S.A. is priceless. If the park is open till 1:00 am I will be there! Everyday, at least on park offers morning or evening extra magic hours. Disney Resort hotel guests have access to the parks during these extra park hours.  Hours vary depending on the time of year and other events. Extra magic hours can be found on your My Disney Experience App and HERE.

4. Disney Dining Plan

You can add a Disney Dining Plan when you purchase a Disney hotel resort and theme park ticket package. The dining plan allows you to pre-pay for meals at select locations throughout the theme parks, water parks, resort restaurants, and Disney Springs locations. There are 3 different dining plans to choose from to suit your family’s dining needs. 

5. Length of stay dining reservations

Advanced Dining Reservations can be booked 180 days out. For Disney hotel guests dining reservations can be made 180 days from your arrival date and for your length of stay. If you have a 10-day stay you can make dining reservations 190 days in advance. If you are going during a busy time of year and HAVE to get that dining reservataion for Cinderella’s Royal Table, this may be the best perk for you.

kids sitting in car at Sci-fi
Sci-Fi Dine In
Character Dining
Character Meal at Trattoria Forno
Disney World Trip Reports
Character meal at Tusker House

6. Magical Express

Step right into the Disney magic at Orlando International Airport when you board the complimentary motorcoach transportation to your Disney Resort hotel. You can even skip baggage claim! Disney will magically deliver your bags right to your room while you explore your resort, grab a bite to eat or jump right into the parks! 


7. Airline check-in and bag check at your resort

When its time to head back home, you can squeeze in a little more Disney time by checking in for your flight and checking your bags right at your resort!! Anything that makes your time at the airport a little less stressful is a big win in my book.


8. Magic Bands

Guests staying at Disney Resort hotels receive free Magic Bands with their reservation. Magic Bands can be used to unlock your hotel room, enter theme parks, check-in for Fastpass+ selections, connect PhotoPass images to your account, and to charge food or merchandise to your hotel room. 


Mickey Mouse Park Life MagicBand 2  Limited Release Official shopDisney
Moana MagicBand 2 Official shopDisney
Toy Story 4 MagicBand 2 Official shopDisney
Edna Mode and Jack-Jack MagicBand 2  Incredibles 2 Official shopDisney

9. Package Delivery

Purchases made in the parks can be delivered to Disney Resort hotel. Inform the cleck when checking out that you would like your packages delivered to your Disney hotel! If you are checking out in less than 48 hours ask about having your package delivered to your hotel’s front desk. Otherwise, it will be sent to the hotel gift shop and may not arrive until the afternoon the next day. This varies by location so be sure to ask. 


10. Resort Activities

Each month the Disney Resort hotels will post a recreation guide. These activities vary at each hotel but almost all of them offer a nightly movie under the stars, campfires with smores, pool parties, dance parties, family games, and scavenger hunts. Some even have complimentary exercise classes.

resort activities sign

11. The Secret Perk

This is the #1 reason to stay at a Disney Resort hotel.  It’s the one you won’t even consider until you have experienced it. It’s the “Disney bubble”. Staying at a Disney Resort hotel means you never have to leave the magic and wonder of Walt Disney World. You can forget ALL about the real world.  Inside the Disney bubble, you escape to a beautiful, enchanted world where people tend to be nicer, things are a little cleaner and customer service is top-notch. 

Clearly there are amazing perks when staying at a Disney Resort hotel. I would absolutely stay “on-property” every time if it were financially feasible. But, as you probably know, the major drawback of staying at a Disney hotel is the cost. There are strategies you can use to help bring down the cost of staying at a Disney Resort hotel. Go read this blog post to learn how to earn discounted, or even free, Disney gift cards to pay for your resort stay. 

One more "secret"

You can still get some of these perks even if you are not staying at a Disney Resort hotel! Access to Extra Magic Hours and early Fastpass+ selections at 60 days are also available for guests staying at Disney Springs Resort area hotels and 4 other area hotels. This is a huge advantage for people, like us, that earn Hilton or Marriott reward points! We book our resort room with points and still have access to these must-have perks. Some of these resorts also offer transportation to the parks and package delivery to the resort. Find the full list of these resorts and more information about selecting your Disney hotel in this post. 

4 Real Disney Mom

1 thought on “11 Reason to stay at a Disney Resort hotel”

  1. Although my recent visit to the resort was my first, I sincerely hope it will not be my last. Supposedly nothing is perfect, but my three days at the resort certainly came close. The room was well appointed, comfortable, and offered a spectacular view of both the pool area and the ocean. The front desk personnel were patient, courteous, and friendly. That’s the personal touch that I found so great about the hotel and staff. I’ve visited St. Simons many times, but always stayed in rental units. After this wonderful stay, next time will again be at the Resort.

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