The Benefits of Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel

Disney's Wilderness Lodge Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World Resort offers over 25 unique Resort Hotels with themes and price points that are perfect for any budget. Guests staying at one of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels receive many perks, all of which are not offered to guests staying elsewhere. Perks range from early access to the parks to complimentary transportation and much more. Take a look at this list that describes all of the benefits guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel can expect!

Tolédo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
Photo Courtesy Disney

Advanced Dining Reservation Planning

One of the most stressed about aspects of planning a Walt Disney World Resort vacation is being able to nab a coveted advanced dining reservation. As with all things, some restaurants are more difficult than others to reserve. Although advanced dining reservations can be made starting at 180 days prior, guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel get an extra benefit. These guests have the ability to make dining reservations starting at 180 days prior to check-in for the duration of their stay – up to 10 days. In essence, these guests have the ability to make reservations for restaurants before the general public.

FastPass+ Planning

FastPass+ is a system that allows Guests to bypass the Standby Line on many attractions.  It is a great tool to use to cut down your wait time in line, especially if you want to ride Avatar: Flight of Passage or Slinky Dog Dash. The FastPass+ window opens at 60 days prior to check-in for Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. Those Guests that are staying in Club Level categories at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels have the ability to start booking FastPass+ reservations at 90 days (when purchasing the extra FastPass+ reservations available to Club Level guests). Guests of all Walt Disney World Resort hotels can make their selection for the length of their tickets. FastPass+ reservations open to the public at 30 days out making this an especially important benefit for those wishing to snag one of those coveted, hard-to-get selections.

Disney Skyliner in Action

Resort Transportation

When staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, renting a car to get to the theme parks and Disney Springs is not necessary! Transportation to Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as well as Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, and Disney Springs, is provided via Disney. There is a multitude of options to get from one location to another including buses, boats, the monorail, and the new Disney Skyliner (scheduled to open September 29, 2019). Not needing a car rental can save so much money over the course of a vacation.

Theme Park Parking

Registered Guests of a Walt Disney World Resort hotel get to enjoy free Standard theme park parking. Guests can also upgrade to Preferred Parking by paying the cost difference between Standard parking and Preferred parking.

Disney's Magical Express
Photo Courtesy Disney

Complimentary Airport Transfers

We already touched on the fact that guests of Walt Disney World Resort hotels do not need their own transportation to navigate the resort property. What about traveling from the airport to the resort though? Registered Guests of Walt Disney World Resort hotels have the ability to start their magical vacation as soon as they step foot in Orlando International Airport (MCO). Disney’s Magical Express is the complimentary service that whisks guests off to their resort. Guests who arrive between the hours of 5:00 AM and 10:00 PM do not even need to visit Baggage Claim to pick up their bags – their luggage will magically make its way to the resort.

Guest Service

When visiting Walt Disney World theme parks, guests are immersed in the magic. Guests of Walt Disney World Resort hotels stay fully immersed in the magic and never have to leave the “Disney bubble”. Cast Members at the resort hotels also have the opportunity to gift Guests some extra little pixie dust to make their vacation that much more magical and special.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Photo Courtesy Disney

Extended Theme Park Hours

Each day, at least one of the theme parks – Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom – offer extended theme park hours. Extra Magic Hours occur either in the morning before the theme park opens to the public, or in the evening once the theme park is close to the public. Guests of Walt Disney World Resort hotels have the opportunity to enjoy select attractions and experiences during Extra Magic Hours.

Magic Bands

Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel receive complimentary MagicBands.  These magical contraptions resemble a wristband and are available in 7 different colors.  Each is able to be customized with the guest’s name up to 10 days prior to arrival. Guests may use MagicBands to:

  • Unlock the Disney Resort hotel room
  • Enter theme parks and water parks (with valid admission)
  • Charge food and merchandise purchases
  • Connect PhotoPass images to their My Disney Experience account
  • Check-in at FastPass+ attraction and entertainment lines

Dining Plan

Only Guests of Walt Disney World Resort hotels may choose to add a dining plan to their vacation package. There are 3 different dining plans currently offered: Quick-Service Dining Plan, Disney Dining Plan, and Deluxe Dining Plan. By choosing a dining plan, Guests have the ability to make their vacation as all-inclusive as possible.

Big Top Souvenirs Magic Kingdom

Ability to Charge to Room

Only Guests of Walt Disney World Resort hotels have the ability to charge their purchases to their room. Guests no longer have to worry about bringing cumbersome wallets and purchases with them into the theme parks and can instead travel lighter!

Merchandise Delivery to Hotel

What is a guest to do with their souvenirs after purchasing merchandise from their favorite store? Well, if they are a guest of a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, they have the ability to request park souvenirs delivered to their hotel instead of carrying them around.

No Additional Resort Fee

Some resorts charge guests a mandatory Resort Fee due upon check-in or check-out. No such fee exists for guests of Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

Cinderella Castle and Disney's Contemporary Resort
Photo Courtesy Disney

Location

As the saying goes, ‘location, location, location’, and this saying could not ring any more true when referring to the Walt Disney World Resort hotels. Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel have some of the best locations from which to choose, including options that allow them to walk a short distance directly to a theme park. Guests can even choose to stay at a resort or in a room category that allows them to see Happily Ever After at the Magic Kingdom. How cool is that!?

Remember though – these benefits are only for those that are guests of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

If you need help planning your perfect vacation, contact our friends at Key to the World Travel® for a free, no-obligation quote for your next trip. Click here.

Written by Adjunct Professor Nicole Newgas, edited by Professor Jess Evans