Walt Disney World offers visitors a full vacation experience. From the theme parks to recreational activities there’s so much to do you’ll need at least a few days to fully experience the resort. One of the best ways to enjoy Walt Disney World to its fullest is to stay at one of their onsite hotels. There are over 25 hotels at the resort broken down into four levels. These hotels offer a number of benefits not available to guests staying offsite like complimentary transportation and early park access.
Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel have some of the best locations from which to choose from, including options that allow them to walk a short distance directly to a theme park. Walt Disney World hotels are all located within minutes of the theme parks, Disney Springs, and other recreational offerings. Some hotels even offer views of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom. They call it “The Disney Bubble” because everything is readily available within the confines of the resort and nothing is ever too far away.
Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel before January 1st, 2021 receive complimentary MagicBands. These colorful wristbands are connected to your hotel reservation and park tickets and help to keep all of your important vacation information in one place. If you’re ordering a MagicBand with your package or hotel reservation, you’ll have the ability to customize each band with a name on the inside. Please note that Disney has announced the end of complimentary MagicBands for stays beginning January 1st, 2021, and after. MagicBands will still be accepted throughout the resort after that date, but guests will need to purchase them as an add-on to their package or separately to use them during their stay. 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
Disney’s Magical Express
Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel have access to free transportation to and from Orlando International Airport and their hotel. Disney’s Magical Express is a complimentary bus service that takes away the hassle of driving after your flight. These buses run on a regular schedule throughout the day and pick up guests at the ground transportation area of Terminal B. They can even handle your luggage for you and deliver it directly to your hotel (*Please note that due to current safety standards Magical Express luggage handling is currently suspended until further notice). After your visit ends, a Magical Express bus will pick you up roughly three hours before your flight and transport you back to the airport.
Extra Magic Hours
Each day, Walt Disney World opens one of the theme parks – Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom – an hour earlier than scheduled. These early morning entries are referred to as Extra Magic Hours and can occur either in the morning before the theme park opens to the public, or in the evening once the theme park is closed to the public. During this time many of the park’s headlining attractions will be available with little to no wait time. This is a great way to get in your “must-do” rides and free up more time later in the day. *At this time Extra Magic Hours at the resort have been put on hold until further notice.
Guests of Walt Disney World Resort hotels have the ability to charge their purchases to their room account. Items for sale at almost all locations in the resort can be purchased using a MagicBand or hotel card key that is linked to a credit card placed on file when checking in.
After purchasing that new pair of Mickey ears or Dumbo stuffie, guests can have their items delivered directly to their hotel. All guests staying at a Walt Disney World hotel have the option to arrange their packages to be magically whisked away and ready for pickup at their hotel gift shop (usually by the next day). *At this time, delivery of purchases to hotels and the front of the parks has been suspended until further notice.
Walt Disney World offers the use of a number of dining plans during your stay. Only guests of Walt Disney World Resort hotels may choose to add a dining plan to their vacation package. There are 4 different dining plans currently offered: Quick-Service Dining Plan, Disney Dining Plan, Disney Dining Plan Plus, and Deluxe Dining Plan. Each plan offers a different amount of dining credits and varying levels of restaurants. The dining plans are a smart way to make your vacation feel “all-inclusive” and take some of the stress out of your visit. *At this time Disney Dining Plans have been suspended until further notice.
Walt Disney World offers onsite guests a number of complimentary transportation options. 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 free of charge. There is a range of options to get from one location to another including buses, boats, the monorail, and the new Disney Skyliner.
Theme Park Parking
Guests staying at a Disney Resort hotel receive complimentary standard parking at Disney theme parks for the length of their stay. You must present a valid Disney Resort hotel identification to enter the parking lots. Guests can also upgrade to Preferred Parking by paying the cost difference between Standard parking and Preferred parking.
Disney is well known for its high level of customer service. Staying at a Walt Disney World hotel gives you the best access to knowledgeable and helpful Cast Members at every hotel that can help you with a myriad of vacation issues. Hotel staff can assist with things like theme park tickets, logistics, dining, and more. 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 which is something you won’t find at an offsite hotel.
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