11 Things You Must Know About Walt Disney World Resorts

Choosing accommodations for your Disney vacation can be overwhelming.  Should I stay at a Disney Resort?  Is it worth the extra money?  Usually one of the first decisions you make is if you want to stay at a Disney resort.  Many factors play into making the choice to stay at a Disney property.  It doesn’t have to be stressful though, researching the right resort fit for your family can be fun.  Often times the added perks and amenities at a Disney Resort can match any savings you may find staying off property.  Here are 11 things you must know about Disney Resorts before making your final choice!

11.  Discounts Offered

Everyone believes that Disney Resorts only offer high priced accommodations.  This is untrue!  Disney properties offer discounts and specials on the official Disney website throughout the year.  From the yearly Free Disney Dining promotion to seasonal discounts, always take a look for current specials.  The three categories of Value, Moderate, and Deluxe Disney Resorts ensure an on property room for every guest’s budget.

10.  Free Airport Shuttle

Disney’s Magical Express is an added perk to staying at a Disney Resort.  This complimentary roundtrip airport shuttle service will save you almost $40 in taxi/shuttle fees.  Disney Resorts make your airport transfers easy and hassle free.

9.  Complimentary Package Delivery

Buy too many souvenirs at Magic Kingdom?  Have your hands full and don’t feel like lugging all those gifts?  Disney will deliver all packages back to your resort for free!  Just ask the Cast Member at check-out for details.

8. Overnight Parking Costs

Disney charges resort guests an overnight parking fee. Value Resorts can expect to pay $15 per night of stay; Moderate Resorts are $20 per night; Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts are $25 per night; and Valet Parking at Select Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts is $33 per night of stay. Complimentary parking remains in effect for Cast Members, guests with disabilities, stays at the campsites at Fort Wilderness, guests visiting resorts for dining reservations and other activities, and Disney Vacation Club members when staying at a DVC Deluxe Villa.

7. Parking Savings at Theme Parks & Complimentary Transportation

Non-resort guests are charged $25 to park at any of the four theme parks. If you select a Disney Resort to stay at however, you park for free. Even more alluring is the free Disney transportation to the parks!  Skyliner, monorail, boat, or bus transportation saves time and is easy.

6.  Ah-mazing Pools

Rest assured, all Disney Resorts have a swimming pool.  Not just any pool but wonderfully maintained and themed ones.  All have lifeguard supervision and life vests as well.  A plus for those traveling with young children.  All are heated and open year round too.  Depending on the resort, the pools also feature kids splash areas and water slides.

5.  Free Magic Bands

Disney Magic Bands are complimentary to all resort guests.  You can use these handy bands to open your hotel door, access the swimming pool, charge food and purchases to your room, and of course entry to the theme park.  My family found it convenient to not have to worry about bringing along our hotel key or credit card.  You can go from swimming to sleeping in these stylish bands.  I also found comfort knowing that if my young children got lost or separated from me a Cast Member could track me down by scanning the child’s Magic Band.  Non Disney Resort guests have to purchase magic bands for around $16 each plus tax.

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4.  Pick FastPasses First

One of the most valuable things about staying at a Disney Resort is you pick your FastPass+ selections 60 days in advance.  All other visitors have to wait until 30 days before arrival.  This is a major advantage to snagging those hard to come by Fastpass+ selections like Slinky Dog Dash, Avatar Flight of Passage, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Frozen Ever After.

3.  Extra Magic Hours

Only guests staying at Disney Resorts get to enjoy Extra Magic Hours at Disney Parks.  Each theme park offers extended operating hours either prior to opening or closing for no extra charge.  Check the official website for Magic Hours calendar.  Extra Magic Hours provide a great opportunity to experience the park with less crowds and wait times!

2.   You Never Leave Disney Property

My favorite thing about staying at a Disney Resort is the continuation of themed magic from the park to the hotel.  You feel as though you never leave Disney.   From the whimsical Art of Animation Resort to the refreshing Wilderness Lodge, the variety of different themes leave you free to choose what fits your mood best. Leave your car in the parking lot and fully engulf yourself in a magical Disney vacation.

1.  Disney Service Level

The Disney service level is unmatched throughout the world.  Customers are inspired by them and companies study them, none can compare.  A piece of the wonder of Disney World is the amazing staff of Cast Members that are trained to create magic.  You know that if you select a Disney Resort then you are in store for excellent service, friendly smiles, and the magic of the park to follow you back to your hotel.  They truly care about your Disney Vacation and work to make it memorable.

About Lauren Young

My name is Lauren Young.  My first trip to Disney was as a toddler before I could even remember Mickey and Main Street.  We've celebrated family reunions to first dates in the happiest place on earth! Fast forward to today where I enjoy seeing the magic of Disney World through the eyes of my three kids. I'm a proud Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer wife, stay at home mom of three under the age of 5, wannabe domestic goddess, a writer, and a southern Georgia peach thru and thru! Before my kiddos took over my 9 to 5 (or shall I say MY ENTIRE LIFE), I happily worked in the travel industry.  My days were filled with planning corporate retreats & beach weddings at a beautiful resort on the Oregon Coast.  Well I tossed the sand filled high heels and have fully embraced the spit up stained loungers life.  But a girl still has to make time for her other loves, right?  So in those spare minutes of the day you will find me blogging on my travel website, Swoon Me Away (  I also enjoy trying to be crafty, planning fabulous parties and daydreaming about my next Disney vacation!