For many guests, the benefit of staying at a Walt Disney World owned-and-operated resort begins before arrival at the Vacation Kingdom. And for all guests, the benefits and perks combine to make vacation magic 24 hours a day – whether at a Disney Value Resort designed for budget-minded vacationers … or at a Disney Deluxe Resort or Deluxe Villa offering lavish amenities.
Disney resort hotels are designed to provide a lot more than a pillow beneath guests’ heads. They are created to immerse guests in a continuation of the worry-free vacation magic and adventures of the Disney parks. Thus the hotels have themes celebrating the long ago or the far away or even the world of imagination where toys can be bigger than people.
Walt Disney World Resort offers a broad range of accommodations – more than 20 resorts that vary in price, allowing guests to pay for only the amenities that are important to them. Disney Value resort guests are treated to larger-than-life theming, swimming pools and playgrounds, arcade rooms and standard amenities – and with more than 10,000 rooms at five resorts, about one-third of Disney’s hotel accommodations fall into the Value category. Families who prefer the great outdoors can rent a campsite at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground (with nearly 800 available) and either pitch a tent or bring along an RV. Moderate resorts, Deluxe resorts and Deluxe Villa resorts are available for guests who prefer additional amenities during their stay.
Consistent among all of the Disney owned-and-operated hotels is staff trained in the Disney way of friendly helpfulness and the perks and benefits that add value to the vacation experience.
Here’s a look at some of the reasons why Disney hotels are so popular with vacationers:
Top Four Benefits
Disney’s Magical Express
When guests bound for Disney owned-and-operated hotels are traveling via commercial airline to Orlando International Airport (OIA), they can arrange for special luggage tags that allow them to check their bags at their hometown airport, bypass baggage claim at OIA and board state-of-the-art motor coaches for complimentary transportation to the Vacation Kingdom, where their bags “magically” appear in their guestroom.
When it’s time to say good-bye, guests board motor coaches for complimentary transportation back to OIA. An extra convenience: Guests traveling on participating airlines can check their baggage for the return flight at their Disney resort, saving time and luggage-toting at the airport.
Walt Disney World Transportation System
A Walt Disney World resort ID is the ticket for buses, monorails and boat launches that combine to connect virtually all areas of the Vacation Kingdom. With the convenience of “door-to-door” service throughout the resort, many guests enjoy their Walt Disney World vacation without a car.
Extra Magic Hours
Each day, Disney hotel guests are offered exclusive time in a Walt Disney World theme park one hour prior to scheduled park opening or for up to three hours after park closing. The park varies from day to day. In addition, Disney water parks sometimes open one hour early for guests of Disney hotels. To take advantage of the additional time in the parks, guests must have their hotel ID plus a Magic Your Way ticket valid for the park(s) offering Extra Magic Hours.
Disney Dining Plan
Guests who combine their hotel accommodations and attractions tickets into a Magic Your Way Package are eligible to add dining for the convenience of a more-inclusive “cruise-style” vacation package. In 2012, there are three plan choices to satisfy different budgets and appetites.
All include at least two meals and a snack for each night of a Disney resort stay. Savings and restaurant choices vary.
Other Benefits whilst staying at Disney Resorts
Location, location, location - With their on-property location convenient to the theme parks, the Disney hotels are a haven for guests who seek a midday swimming break - or a siesta. For some guests, the convenience is even more specific…
- Many families with young children select accommodations in one of the “monorail resorts” – Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Resort or Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Reason: location near Magic Kingdom and convenient monorail transportation between the resorts and Magic Kingdom or Epcot.
- Many adult couples visiting without children enjoy the proximity to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios of Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Disney’s BoardWalk – as well as the nightlife of Disney’s BoardWalk. Walkways and water taxis connect the three resorts with the theme parks.
Theming - It’s not just a room. In the same way that Disney’s theme parks offer an escape to a timeless land of enchantment, a walk down small-town Main Street or a peek at the future, Disney hotels offer a mix of adventures. Disney Imagineers have created detailed, themed environments that include the romance and beauty of Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge to Victorian opulence at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
Youth policy – Guests 17 and under stay at no additional charge in parents’ rooms (up to the designated capacity of the room) at Disney resort hotels.
Youth services and facilities – All Disney resort hotels offer in-room child care for ages 6 months to 12 years in partnership with independent childcare provider Kid’s Nite Out; all Disney hotels feature kiddie pools (in addition to full-size pools), many have playgrounds and some have Child Activity Centers for ages 3 to 12.
Online check-in – Guests can take care of the paperwork that normally accompanies check-in … in the comfort of their home up to 10 days before their visit. Upon arrival at their hotel, guests then stop by a special desk, show ID, sign, pick up their room keys and information packet, and begin enjoying their vacation.
Lobby concierge - One call can do it all. Each Disney resort hotel offers a lobby concierge to arrange park tickets, dining reservations and tee times, and to provide helpful hints on setting up other activities.
Key to the World card – It’s a hotel room key and much more. Magic Your Way theme park tickets and Disney Dining Plan entitlements can be built into the card. For easy tracking and convenience, the card also can be used to charge meals, goods and services directly to the room, giving the guest a consolidated statement of vacation purchases. NB This will soon be changed for the MagicBands.
Merchandise delivery – Purchases at select shops throughout Walt Disney World Resort can be delivered to the guest’s Disney hotel at no charge, allowing the guest to play without lugging packages around the parks.
Exemption from parking fees at the theme parks – By presenting a resort ID, guests enter parking lots for free no matter how many parks they visit during their stay.
“Bottomless” drinking mug - Quenching a vacation-long thirst is easy at Disney’s resorts. Guests can purchase a mug themed to their resort that will become a keepsake when the holiday ends. During their length of stay, they can continually refill the mug at designated locations at their resort.
Preferred tee times - Disney hotel guests get preferred tee times for Disney’s four championship golf courses – including two courses that are part of PGA TOUR tradition, having hosted professional events from the early 1970s to the present.
Transportation to “the tees” – Golfing guests at Disney owned-and-operated hotelshave complimentary door-to-door transportation between their resort and Walt Disney World golf facilities.
What other facilities and extras can you think of that you get for staying at a Disney owned for operated hotel?