12 Perks of Staying at a Disney Resort

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Are you ready to unlock the magic? Staying at a Disney Resort comes with a host of perks that will make your vacation truly unforgettable. Whether you’re a die-hard Disney fan or just looking for a memorable family getaway, it’s hard to beat these twelve benefits of staying at a Disney World resort.

1. Swift and Easy Transportation to and From the Parks

A Minnie Van pulls up in front of the Beach Club a Disney resort.
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When you embark on a Disney vacation, fast and worry-free transportation to the parks is a must. With a Disney resort stay, a private transportation system of boats and buses as well as the monorail or Skyliner are all lined up at the ready to provide guests the most magical ride possible.

You’ll travel to and from your resort in comfort, without worrying about traffic or the other hassles associated with driving yourself. Best of all, travel on the Disney fleet is included in the cost of your resort stay.

While the complimentary transportation system is one of the biggest benefits of staying at a Disney resort, it isn’t the only way to travel to and fro. For a modest cost, guests will often order an Uber or Lyft. Your location inside the confines of Disney property, makes for swift travel to the park of your choice, and since drivers are always picking up and dropping off from various resorts, you’ll rarely wait more than 5 or 10 minutes for your driver to arrive.

For extra special magic, you can order a Minnie Van. This is the ultimate in Disney rides with a private pick up right outside your lobby. 

Imagine the excitement as a polka dot festooned vehicle, patterning the style everyone’s favorite Mrs. Mouse, arrives at your resort, but the enchantment doesn’t end there. One of Disney’s carefully curated and trained drivers will transport you safely to your destination and may even let you in on an insider secret or two during the drive.

No matter how you decide to travel, your ride will be swift and comfortable thanks to the easy proximity of Disney Resorts to the various parks.

2. Extra Hours in the Parks

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One of the biggest perks of staying at a Disney resort is Early Theme Park Entry. This added benefit allows guests of Disney hotels to enter one park per day up to a half an hour early. With Early Entry, you can hit an attraction or two with little to no wait and be off to another popular ride before most guests even enter the park.

A stay at a deluxe resort nets you an additional benefit: Extended Evening Theme Park Hours. Guests who pony up to stay at one of Disney’s top tier hotels realize more than A+ accommodations. They may also be able to able to attend either EPCOT or Magic Kingdom after hours.

3. Perks of Staying at a Disney Resort: Themed Accommodations

Animals on savanna at Animal Kingdom Lodge, a Disney resort
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Each of Disney’s resorts is carefully themed to evoke the ambiance of a time, place or element of magic. From All Star Movies’ larger than life characters from animated Disney films, to the relaxing oceanside vibe of Disney’s Beach Club or Boardwalk Inn, the elaborate theming that goes into a Disney resort makes it easy to leave the cares of the world well outside the boundaries of vacation time.

When it comes to special theming, here are just a few of our favorites:

  • Disney World Port Orleans Resort: Slip away to the bayou and enjoy the laid-back feel of the south at this Louisiana themed resort. Beautifully landscaped grounds and peaceful pathways will convince you there’s an old plantation mansion waiting around each turn.
  • Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge: This African inspired lodging is more than a place to lay your head. It’s a journey into another continent where savanna animals roam right outside your balcony and every carefully crafted element evokes the feeling of the safari.
  • Disney Polynesian Village: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa: Step into a world of Victorian elegance and timeless luxury, nestled on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon. This opulent oasis, reminiscent of Palm Beach’s golden era, sweeps guests away to a grander, more refined age.

4. Perks of Staying at a Disney Resort: The Bubble of Magic

Deluxe suite room at Saratoga Springs, a Disney resort themed to the famous New York state town
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All of the previously mentioned perks add up to one big benefit. Some call it the Disney bubble. Others don’t know what to call it but know it’s special.

Imagine leaving the magic of a Disney park, after experiencing special character interactions, thrilling rides and a host of unforgettable moments, only to slug your way out to your car and battle the traffic back to your hotel. With each step and mile, the magic begins to fade.

Then, you get back to your hotel and all that awaits is a sterile room similar to hundreds of others in the area. It’s at this point when many guests feel the magic fade away completely.  

Now imagine sailing peacefully back to your room on a Disney watercraft or floating along above the ground on the Skyliner. Maybe you’ve even gone in for a real splurge and ordered a private Minnie Van to whisk you back to your resort.

By staying onsite at Disney World, the magic remains intact, even as you leave the park. When you reach your resort, the magic continues, thanks to expansive theming and special effects.  

5. Benefits of Staying at a Disney Resort: Dining Plans – The Big Budget Helper

Acai Bowl at Disney Aulani Hawaii Lagoon
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In 2024, dining plans return to Disney World and will be available for all vacation packages that include a Disney World resort reservation. Dining plans make it easy to manage your expenses by charging a simple flat fee for the meals you’ll consume each day.

The dining plan comes in two options. The Quick Service dining plan affords guests 2 meals a day (including beverage) at quick service restaurants, as well as a snack and a resort refillable mug. The Disney Dining Plan offers the same two meals a day, snack and mug, but one meal may be eaten at a table service restaurant.

Dining plans can only be bundled in packages that include a Disney World resort.

6. Priority Dining Reservations

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Speaking of dining brings up another benefit of a staying at a Disney resort: the ability to book advanced dining reservations 60 days before arrival for the length of your stay. If this sounds like corporate speak, let’s try to simplify it.

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With decades of experience in hand, we provide customized guidance, cutting through the confusion with clear explanations and actionable tips. We’ll help you create the best experience, with recommendations and travel planning advice based on the trip you want to have and the memories you want to make.

As travel agents with Mickey World Travel, we at Seconds to Go can take the fuss out of a Disney World vacation. Request your free Disney World vacation quote today or email kathleen@mickeyworldtravel.com!

When you stay at a non-Disney resort, you will need to log into your My Disney Experience account 60 days before each day of your trip to book dining reservations. In other words, if 60 days before arrival falls on a Sunday, and you’ve booked a 4-day trip, you’ll need to book dining reservations on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday if you plan to eat at a table service restaurant each day of your trip.

In contrast, a guest at a Disney World resort may login 60 days before the first day of their trip and make reservations for their entire length of stay.

7. Perks of Staying at a Disney Resort: Effortless Planning with My Disney Experience

Lobby at the Beach Club, a Disney resort
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You may have noticed that we have a blog post dedicated to linking your park tickets with your My Disney Experience account. There’s a good reason for that.

You’ll need to have your tickets linked in order to take advantage of Disney World perks and services, such as Genie+, MagicBands and MagicMobile park entry. Up until January of 2024, you’ll also need to link your tickets in order to make park reservations.

Linking tickets can create challenges for some guests, requiring a call to Disney to sort things out. However, when you book a Disney World resort package, linking tickets and everyone in your travel party becomes much simpler. Just enter your reservation number, and you’re done.

8. MagicBands for Easy Entry

A woman opening a Disney resort with a MagicBand.
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MagicBands are special wrist-worn devices that open doors, literally and figuratively, to a drastically simplified vacation experience. With a MagicBand, you can open your resort door without searching for a key card. Just tap the band to a special panel on the door, and voila. It’s a lifesaver when you’re carrying sleeping children in at night or juggling bags from all that great Disney merch you just scored.

Another benefit to staying at a Disney resort, is that MagicBands can usually be prepurchased at a discounted rate through your My Disney Experience account. Just be sure to log in through a computer and not your mobile device.

9. Benefits of Staying at a Disney Resort: Room Charging Privileges

A building at Saratoga Springs, a Disney resort
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Another perk to staying at a resort stay is the ability to charge purchases to your room. Whether you’re dining at a Disney restaurant, picking up a souvenir or buying your fourth churro of the day, tapping your MagicBand or Key to the World Card is a convenient and simple way to pay.

At the end of your stay, Disney will email you a list of your charges. Charging privileges stay active until midnight on the day you check out.

Disney resort collection
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10. In-room Celebrations

If you’re celebrating a special occasion with your trip to Disney World, maybe a birthday or a honeymoon, you or a loved one can have a special surprise waiting in your room. From decorations to special treat packages, in room celebrations add a little extra magic to a Disney resort stay.

11.Benefits of Staying at a Disney Resort: Exclusive Package Perks

Lobby of Animal Kingdom Lodge, a Disney resort.
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Every Disney World resort package comes with a suite of Magical Extras. These special extras are available only to guests of Disney World resorts who book their tickets and onsite resort stay together.

While a package booking provides a number of benefits, such as one simple low-down payment and payment plans, Magical Extras take a package booking the extra mile.

Here are the Magical Extras included with a Disney World onsite vacation package in 2023 and 2024.

Magical Extras Benefits of Staying at a Disney Resort in 2023

  • 4 miniature golf admission vouchers per package redeemable at Disney Fantasia Gardens or Winterland Summerland Golf Course.
  • 4 ESPN Wide World of Sports Admission Vouchers per package
  • 10% off bowling at Splitsville Luxury Lanes
  • 10%-20% off food and merchandise at select vendors throughout Disney World
  • 1 souvenir luggage tag per person

Magical Extras Benefits of Staying at a Disney Resort in 2024

  • 4 miniature golf admission vouchers per package redeemable at Disney Fantasia Gardens or Winterland Summerland Golf Course.
  • 4 ESPN Wide World of Sports Admission Vouchers per package
  • 10% off surrey bike rentals at select Disney World resorts.
  • 10% off bowling at Splitsville Luxury Lanes
  • 10%-20% off food and merchandise at select vendors throughout Disney World
  • 1 souvenir luggage tag per person

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As travel agents for Mickey World Travel, we can book your Aulani vacation. Receive a quote today!

12. Magical Recreational Opportunities

Pool at Saratoga Springs, a Disney resort
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While each Disney resort offers its own brand of special theming, you’ll also find that each offers a special lineup of recreational activities. Take a moonlit carriage ride at Port Orleans or play carnival games along the Boardwalk. To get your heart pumping, rent a surrey bike and take a family ride around the lake at Beach Club and other resorts.

When it’s time to cool off, it’s hard to beat a Disney pool for thrills and laughter. Most resorts feature a main pool with elaborate waterslide as well as at least one quiet pool for those who wish to relax without all the fuss. Some resorts even offer pool areas with splash pads or other water elements.

For a real treat, book a night or two at the Beach or Yacht Club. Guests staying at these two Disney resorts have access to a private water park called Stormalong Bay.

Soak up the Extra Perks of a Disney Resort Stay During Your Next Vacation

The magic of Disney doesn’t merely end when you step away from the rides and attractions. Staying at a Disney Resort offers a tapestry of immersive experiences and conveniences that enhance every moment of your vacation. From the unrivaled themed accommodations to the exclusive park benefits, every perk adds a sprinkle of pixie dust to your journey. And while the enchanting allure of the parks themselves is undeniable, the 12 beneftis we’ve delved into today are testament to the fact that the magic truly is all around, 24/7, when you choose to fully embrace the Disney Resort experience.

Best of all, you can find an onsite Disney resort for nearly every taste and budget, making it easy to plan your vacation today.

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Mother daughter travel bloggers exploring the U.S.

We're Kat and Ali, a pair of mother-daughter travel bloggers exploring the U.S. We're sharing our experiences, tips and insights to help you more easily get out and explore the beautiful landscapes and places of this nation.


Kathleen Hesketh

Kathleen is a travel agent with Mickey World Travel, a platinum level Authorized Disney vacation planner, where she helps people discover the magic of a Disney vacation and other travel destinations. She is also the chief author and editor for Seconds to Go - a travel blog where she shares experiences from traveling the U.S. with her daughters. Kathleen has been a professional writer for more than a decade, helping businesses craft compelling content to advance organizational goals.

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