Stay within the Magic!
Staying on-property at one of the Disney World resorts is my absolute favorite way to spend a Disney vacation!
I simply love staying in the middle of the magic and being totally immersed in the beautiful surroundings and fun-filled atmosphere that just can’t be matched by staying off-site.
With four young sons, my husband and I really appreciate the fact that Disney thinks of and takes care of every little detail, making our vacation truly relaxing and magical!
However, although it’s fun to stay at the Disney World resorts, there are also great places to find great deals on area hotels if you’re traveling on a budget. Okay, back to the Disney resorts… There are also many perks to staying at one of the Disney-owned hotels. Take these into consideration when deciding on an off or on-site hotel.
Benefits of staying at a Disney World Resort
- Magical Express – Complimentary transportation to and from the Airport
- Free parking
- Free transportation to and from all the parks and all around the Walt Disney World Resort Complex
- Guaranteed admission to the parks even when they reach maximum capacity
- Extra Magic Hours.
- Disney Dining Plan options(basic and deluxe)
- Keys to the World Card
- Charging-to-your-room privileges
- Free delivery of purchases directly to your room(so you don’t have to lug around that giant stuffed Pluto!)
- Ability to make dining reservations earlier than an off-property guest
- 24 hr guest assistance
So, even after all those things listed above, maybe you’re still wondering what makes a Disney Resort hotel so special. Well, that’s easy to answer! It’s the ambiance that can only be achieved by Disney.
The Walt Disney World Resort offers some of the most uniquely themed and fun resort hotels in the whole world. Each resort completely embraces a specific theme – ranging from Victorian Seaside holiday, to retro-futuristic, to New England beach-front, to pop culture.
With so many hotels, each appealing to a different kind of guest…. how in the world do you decide which one is right for you? Well, let’s start at the beginning…
First, there are three major categories for the Disney Resort Hotels. They are Deluxe, Moderate, and Value. The other minor categories are the Disney Vacation Club and the Fort Wilderness Campground. Each category offers different levels of services, dining and amenities with the Deluxe hotels obviously ranking at the top. The Deluxe Resorts also offer the largest rooms on the Disney property with most allowing 5 guests (plus a child under three).
Which brings us to the next topic. How many people are in your traveling party? Most of the rooms at Disney accommodate up to 4 guests (plus a child under 3 in a pack and play). If you have more than 4 people in your party, you may have to book multiple rooms or choose an Orlando hotel or resort that can accommodate all of you in one room or suite.
You may also want to consider the room sizes of all of the different Disney World resorts. Two adults and two teenagers may not be as comfortable in a Value resort as two adults and two toddlers. Also, think about your family’s morning bathroom routines.
Do you need two sinks and a large vanity area? Do you flat out need two bathrooms altogether? Only you know your family and what they will be able to deal with for the duration of the vacation. Luckily, with our four little boys, the whole bathroom scene is still manageable for us….for the time being that is!
Next, consider where you will be spending the majority of your time. At the resort? At the shops in Downtown Disney? At the parks? If so, any one park in particular? The resorts can be grouped according to their location as follows.
- Magic Kingdom Area
- Epcot Area
- Animal Kingdom Area
- Downtown Disney Area
If you do plan on spending a lot of time at your resort, you may be interested in some special services such as spas,
fitness centers, or top-shelf dining experiences. Do you prefer all dining, shops, and services housed in one building or spread out amongst many buildings? How important is the resort pool? The pools at the Disney Resorts are great fun! They are elaborately themed and some are even like mini water parks!
You may also want to consider the transportation options available at each resort. Will you be pushing a stroller or do you need special assistance? Maybe one of your kids has a special fondness for boats or your husband absolutely loves the monorail. The modes of transportation vary from resort to resort and are fun ways to add something special to your stay.
Take the time to explore the many Disney Resorts and learn all that you can about each before you decide which is right for you. No matter which one you choose, you will have a most magical vacation! Here is a list of the Disney World Resorts by category:
- Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Fort Wilderness Cabins
- Grand Floridian
- Swan and Dolphin
- Wilderness Lodge
- Yacht and Beach Club
- Caribbean Beach
- Coronado Springs
- Port Orleans French Quarter
- Port Orleans Riverside
- All-Star Movies
- All-Star Music
- All-Star Sports
- Art of Animation
- Pop Century
The Disney Resorts Directory lists all of the phone and fax numbers, as well as the addresses for all of the Walt Disney World Resorts.