Whenever we go to Walt Disney World, we love staying at a Disney resort. There’s something about enjoying that full Disney experience that really helps us maximize our enjoyment at the happiest place on earth. The last two times we visited, we stayed at the Port Orleans (once in the French Quarter and once in Riverside), one of their most impressive Moderate resorts.
We love staying at Disney resorts mostly because of the transportation benefits, you save a lot of money when you don’t have to pay for transportation to the hotel, car rental, and parking fees each day you’re in Disney. That’s just the start of it, between that and the Extra Magic Hours, there’s little you could say to convince me not to stay at a Disney resort.
Here are my reasons why it’s awesome to stay at a Disney resort:
Extended Extra Magic Hours
This is easily the biggest and best reason why you should stay at a Disney Resort. At Walt Disney World, one of the theme parks will open one hour early or stay open one hour later after regular park hours for residents of Disney resorts. These Extra Magic hours are awesome because you basically get the park to yourself and the lines for various rides are extremely short. On our last trip, we stayed at Port Orleans and took advantage of the evening hours every time they were available. At one point we were riding some rides over and over again, just because we could. There’s nothing like running through the queues and hopping onto a ride like you were a VIP!
If you’re staying at the resort, you get complimentary transportation from the airport to the resort itself. You’ll also get access to free luggage transfers, so you don’t even have to wait for any checked luggage, and the luggage is delivered to your door within a few hours. It’s very convenient and a fantastic perk, there’s nothing like walking around unencumbered by huge bags to make your vacation feel like an actual vacation.
Transportation to and from the parks is incredibly easy when you stay at a Disney resort and there are Monorail and bus stops almost everywhere you’d expect them to be. If you stay at a resort, you just walk over to the nearest station and wait for the next bus to take you wherever you want to go. There’s no need to rent a car and pay for parking every day (and have to find your car afterwards), you just hop on a bus and go wherever you want. Parking at Disney can get pricey, it’s currently $14 a day at Walt Disney World.
Full Disney Experience
There’s something to be said about the magic of Disney and what a great job they do with their resorts. When you enter the imaginative world of Disney, leaving to go to a Holiday Inn can sometimes break that bit of that magic. If you’re really into it, staying at a resort extends the immersive experience twenty-four hours a day. The grounds of many of the resorts are also very well done and it can be fun walking them.
If you’re traveling with a large group and renting a single car, you’ll feel forced into sticking together or working off a common schedule. This can get a little trickier if you have teenagers who want to roam the park with their friends. Since you have free transportation, everyone can wander around on their own and simply meet up for meals.
This also affords you the ability to take a break or move around the parks more freely than you would if you were bound to a parked car. Feeling a little spent? Take a nap in the afternoon and “make it up” by staying a little longer during the Extended Extra Magic hours. Want to spend the morning in the Magic Kingdom but the afternoon in Epcot? Go ahead, you just take a bus back to your resort, no need to worry about where the car is.
Free Golf Club Rental
If you purchase a full round of golf at a Disney Championship Golf Course, you get a free Titleist and Cobra club rental if you stay on a resort! This can be a huge savings on both time and money if you plan on playing any golf while at Disney.
You don’t have to pay through the nose to gain these benefits, you can stay at any Disney resort and get free transportation. We stay at Moderately priced resorts but you could stay at a Value resort to maximize your dollars. The resorts do vary though, I remember using the restroom at the Polynesian (Deluxe resort at ~$365/nt) and the hand towels in the bathrooms were softer than the bath towels at Port Orleans!
This post is part of the Disney Blog Carnival. Head over there to see more great Disney-related posts and articles.