10. Free Airport Transfers – When you’re flying in and out of the Orlando International Airport, Disney’s Magical Express takes the stress out of getting to your resort. You are able to bypass baggage claim completely and let Disney personnel pick up your bags. (Ask me details on this.) From the moment your Magical Express bus leaves the terminal, your vacation starts with a welcome video featuring favorite Disney characters. There is no charge to or from when staying at a Disney resort.
8. Themed Resorts – Like everything Disney, the architecture and décor of every resort tells a story. When you’re staying “in the middle of the magic,” as they like to say, you are immersed in a special place and time…from the cast members’ costumes to the landscaping to the guest room décor. Take time to notice the artwork on the walls. It sets your resort in its own place and time period.
6. Resort entertainment – Each resort has its own entertainment options. Whether it’s activities for the kids, live music, themed pools, Movies Under the Stars and more, there are lots of entertainment options that are included with a Disney resort stay.
5. Free Magic Bands – These little wonders hold everything you need on a wristband. They hold your room key, park tickets, FastPasses, PhotoPass photos, dining plan credits and charge card, if you choose to link it, and they’re free to Disney resort guests. You customize them by choosing your color and what name you want printed inside. If you are not staying at a Disney resort, you can buy one starting at $12.99 + tax each.
3. Magic Your Way package inclusions – Disney resort guests get some extra magic and free stuff like souvenir luggage tags, free rounds of miniature golf, free admission to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and tons of discounts on water sports, dining and shopping.
2. Extra Magic Hours – On any given day one or more of the four Disney parks will either open an hour early or stay open two extra hours at night, exclusively for Disney resort guests. That’s more hours for the same ticket price!
The non-monetary advantages alone outweigh any perceived advantages of staying at a non-Disney property, but when you start adding up the cost of everything you’d be paying for if you weren’t a Disney resort guest, it really makes sense. Just in round numbers, the cost of all of the above for a family of 4 would run well over $500 for a 5-day stay and that doesn’t include all the discounts! For my money, it pays to stay in “the middle of the Magic”!
If you are staying on points from one of those rewards programs, use the points for another vacation rather than miss out on all the advantages of staying at a Disney Resort.