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Top 5 Reasons to Stay in a Disney Hotel

by FrogBlog on January 15, 2013 · 6 Comments · in Hotels, Resorts & Lodging

By guest blogger Carl Trent of Dad’s Guide to Walt Disney World

Pool at Wilderness LodgeI love Disney Hotels. Don’t you? They are just the best in the world. They are so clean, so fun and … so … Disney. What’s not to love?

Why should you stay in a Disney Hotel for your next vacation? That’s a great question. There are lots of great reasons, but the top 5 are:

1. The Magic of Disney

Where else can you wake up in a room made for a princess? Or how about a pirate? How about sleeping in a room guarded by a 60-foot-tall Pongo (from “101 Dalmations”) or walk down stairs surrounded by a huge yo-yo? Disney Magic is everywhere when it comes to the Disney Resorts.

From the torch lighting at the Polynesian Resort to the nightly “Hustle” at the Pop Century, there is always something really fun happening at a Disney Hotel. The grounds at all of the hotels are always clean and filled with fun for all ages.

Where else can you get a wakeup call from Mickey?

I could go on and on about the Magic of the Disney Hotels, but we better move on.

Magical Express2. Magical Express

Getting from the airport to Walt Disney World is a bit of a drive. It’s about 20 miles and a $65 cab ride each way. If you don’t have a car, it can get expensive.

A few years ago, Disney introduced Magical Express for guests staying at a Disney Hotel. Now, Disney will pick you up at the airport and take you right to your hotel. (They’ll take your luggage too.) It’s a great service.

And the best part is it’s FREE. Yes, FREE. You do have to make reservations, but that’s not hard. Free is better than a $65 cab ride.

And yes, they will even take you back to the airport when your vacation is done. Isn’t that thoughtful of them.

3. Extra Magic Hours

Are you tired of fighting all the crowds at the parks? If you are staying at one of the beautiful Disney Hotels, you can get in the park before or stay after everyone else has to leave. It’s Magic. (No, it’s Extra Magic Hours.)

On selected days (published in advance), guests of a Disney Resort can enter the Extra Magic Hour park one hour before the park opens for the general public. Other days you can stay up to two hours after the park closes. That’s a big perk. During these hours the lines will be shorter than at any other time of the day. You might find yourself alone in line for Space Mountain or Buzz Lightyear. That’s as good as it gets.

4. Disney Dining Plan

Shrimp at EpcotDo you like the convenience of an “all inclusive” vacation? That’s the idea behind the Disney Dining Plan. It can even save you some money.

The Disney Dining Plan is available only to guests staying at a Disney Hotel. You actually pay for your meals as part of your Disney Vacation Package. When you get ready to pay the bill, you just use your Dining Plan credits and off you go.

No lugging around cash. No big bills at check out. No big credit card bills when you get home. It’s all part of the plan, the Disney Dining Plan.

5. Convenience

Boat Transportation to Magic KingdomYou can’t beat the Disney Hotels when it comes to convenience. Only at a Disney Resort can you jump on a boat or a monorail and be in a theme park in just minutes. There are some resorts that are so convenient you can actually walk to the parks.

The hotels all have buses that run every few minutes and will deliver and pick you up right at the front gate of the theme parks and the water parks.

There are lots more perks for guests of the Disney Hotels that can really make staying at a Disney Resort very appealing. There is Package Delivery (buy something at a shop in a park and have it delivered back to your hotel) and charging privileges. These perks can come in very handy at times. Oh yeah, let’s not forget FREE parking. That can really add up at $14 per day.

The bottom line is staying at a Disney Hotel is truly a magical experience. It’s convenient, it’s fun, it’s full of beauty and Disney. That’s why I love them.

For more information about all 25+ resorts come see my Disney Hotels page.

Related: Why the Frog Family Stays on Disney Property

Related: The Frog Family’s Favorite Disney Resorts

Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation is a big task. There are hundreds of things to think about. That’s where I come in. Hi, my name is Carl Trent, but I’m better known as Dad. The Disney Dad. I run a little website called DadsGuidetoWDW.com. At Dad’s Guide we want to help you plan a “Perfect” Vacation. Dad is a self-proclaimed (rarely challenged) Disney World “expert” who focuses on how to develop a plan that will allow you to have the best vacation possible.

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6 Responses to “Top 5 Reasons to Stay in a Disney Hotel”

  1. DizNut says:

    Do you think Xtra Magic Hours are worth using if you habe young kids. I like the idea of hopping after using emh but am not sure if it is worth it with young kids.

    • FrogBlog says:

      Hi DizNut,

      From our experience, it’s harder to “hop” with young kids, and many parents don’t want to keep their smaller children up late enough for evening Extra Magic Hours … which leaves those families the hour before opening to enjoy the lower crowds. The rest of the day that park will be more crowded because of the EMH, making it less of a benefit. Here is a good explanation of how the EMHs work and when to use them.


      – Leap

  2. Mark Slaughter says:

    We are DVC members and obviously stay on property all the time. We’ve ben going since my son was 18 months old (he’s almost 12 now) and use the EMH about 1/2 the time. One of the big benefits of staying on property with young kids is being able to get back to the hotel quickly for a nap or a dip n the pool. That way you can relax in the afternoon when the other families are hitting the meltdown stage. After some downtime, the family is ready and recharged for a long night in the park (whether you use the EMH or not). Remember, to the kids, some of the pools (especially the Yacht & Beach Club pool) are just as much fun in the afternoon as the parks and mom and dad could use the rest as well. This is a vacation after all…enjoy it and don’t beat yourself to a pulp.

  3. Mike land says:

    Sign up on Disney’s email system. They send out coupons all the time. I just got one for 30 percent off on their packages with free upgrades. If you stay in a Disney property, you can also be selected to stay in Cinderella’s castle. They only choose people who are guests of the hotel system. Be sure to only do a package with a park hopper pass if its your second or third stay. You will NOT hop parks for your first visit, you will stay at one park all day on your first visit to DW. On your second stay, you will hit the parts you liked the best and either drive or ride the monorail to the next park. Be sure to hit Main Street Disney. Its and answer to Universal’s City Walk. Its a free access mall and island with a Wolfgang Puck’s express, Planet Hollywood, the boat rentals, World of Disney, Lego store, a paddle wheel restaurant, Goofy’s Candy factory, and AMC theatre. I have friends who worked at Disney going on 5 years and they still act like its their first month. Disney treats their staff quite well if you turn in a good day’s labor. Their whole family work at Disney and they all love it.

  4. Stephanie says:

    Staying on the Disney property is the only way to do it. My family has always stayed on the property from way back when the Magic Kingdom was the only park at the time. It doesn’t make sense to not stay in one if the resorts. You save time and its sooo convenient.

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