Planning a Walt Disney World Resort vacation can feel a bit daunting. From dining reservations to FastPass+, there’s a lot of organizing to be done if you want to maximize your time.
Thankfully, Disney does their best to make your trip as easy and straightforward as possible, including offering perks for staying on-site at a Walt Disney World Resort.
Perks For Staying On-Site at a Walt Disney World Resort
- Complimentary MagicBands
These bracelet beauties are, in my opinion, the most magical thing to come out of staying on-site at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. Once you’ve made your reservations, you’ll be able to customize the colour and name on your MagicBand. If you live in the US of A, they’ll be shipped to your door. If you’re an international guest, they’ll be waiting at the front desk for you upon arrival! MagicBands hold all of your dining reservations, your FastPass+, your Memory Maker, and your room key. They can also be tied to a credit card, meaning you can leave your wallet in your room safe while you’re off having fun! All you have to do is put Mickey to Mickey when entering a ride, making a purchase, or accessing your room. It’s such a wonderful perk and it costs you nothing extra if you’re staying at a participating Resort hotel.
- Complimantary Transportation
Disney makes traveling within their Resort so effortless thanks to their complimentary transportation! It all starts with your arrival at Orlando International Airport. You’ll make your way down to Disney’s Magical Express and board a bus that will take you straight to your Resort hotel! You can even arrange for a Cast Member to pick up your luggage at baggage claim, meaning you don’t have to haul all that stuff through the airport! This same service will also pick you up on your departure day and bring you safely back, but no one likes to talk about that sad day…There’s no need to rent a car if you’re staying on-site at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. A system of buses and monorails will get you where you need to go. Not only is it complimentary, but it also drops you off a lot closer to the Park entrances than if you had to park your own car! It saves you time and money.
3. Early FastPass+ Access
Getting a coveted FastPass+ to new and popular rides is all about timing, this is why staying on-site at a Walt Disney World Resort is so important! On-site guests are able to book their three FastPass+ reservations 60 days out, while guests staying off-site cannot book until 30 days out. Popular rides, like the new Avatar Flight of Passage, routinely ‘sell out’, so you can see why having that early access is such a wonderful perk! Of course, you could always do standby, if that’s your thing…
4. Early Dining Reservations
180 out is the magical number for booking dining reservations at Walt Disney World Resort, but did you know that on-site guests are given an extended window? That’s right! As soon as you reach that 180 days date, you’ll have access to reservations for the length of your stay. Everyone else will have to check back daily to snag a spot. This really helps if you’re dreaming of dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table at 8am before Magic Kingdom Park opens!
5. Extra Magic Hours
Let’s get down to serious business… Park time! By staying on-site at a Walt Disney World Resort, you’ll be given exclusive access to the Parks you’ve come to visit. Extra Magic Hours are times when the Parks are closed to everyone except on-site guests! Sometimes it’s early in the morning and sometimes it’s late at night, but you’ll be able to experience select attractions with less crowds. There is something truly special about opening or closing a Disney Park, and this is way more attainable when you’re staying on-site!
6. Package Pickup and Delivery
Sometimes you see an awesome item in one of the shops but you still have a full day of exploring ahead of you. Breakable coffee mug, anyone?No worries! You can arrange to have that purchase sent back to your Walt Disney World Resort hotel without charge! Then you don’t have to worry about losing or breaking it.
Benefits for all Walt Disney World Guests
Not staying on-site? It’s okay, guys. You’re still in for a wonderful vacation! You’ll be able to book FastPass+, dining reservations, and have access to things like Memory Maker. You’ll still be able to download My Disney Experience, a free app that Disney offers it’s guests to simplify the planning process! There is a ton of parking available everywhere and Disney transportation will quickly and conveniently get you where you need to go! You can even get a MagicBands, but you’ll have to purchase them separately.
Need help with a specific question? Visit my friends on the Disney Parks Moms Panel! These Moms, Dads, and Grandparents love helping you plan your trip! They also know all kinds of tricks to help make your vacation even more magical!
No matter where you stay, you’re in for a truly special time with your loved ones! Enjoy the anticipation and get ready to have the Best Day Ever!