A First-Timers Guide to Walt Disney World: Staying On Property or Off?

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Should I stay on property at disney world

When planning a vacation, thinking about where you are going to sleep is near the top of the priority list.  It takes on a whole different meaning, however, when planning a trip to Disney World.

The first question you need to answer is On Property or Off Property?  While staying off property can seem like the more economical option at first glance, there are so many benefits to staying a Walt Disney World resort that you need to consider.

  • Early Access to Dining and FastPass+ Reservations: Those staying at a Disney World Resort can book their dining reservations for their entire trip (up to 10 days) 180 days from check-in.  If you’re not staying on property you can still book 180 days in advance, but will have to book each day of your trip 180 days in advance instead of doing it all at one time.  For WDW Resort guests, FP+ selections can be made 60 days prior to check-in, while guests not staying on property can book 30 days in advance.
  • Extra Magic Hours: Guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort hotels can take advantage of either early entry or late closings of the theme parks on select days.  I’m a huge fan of the Morning Extra Magic Hours with a toddler and the Evening Extra Magic Hours are great for families with older children (or no children at all!).
  • Disney’s Magical Express: If you’re flying into Orlando International, your Disney experience can begin as soon as your plan touches down!  Transportation from MCO to your Disney World Resort is included for all guests.  During certain hours you don’t even need to worry about picking up your luggage at baggage claim; it will be picked up and delivered to your room for you within a few hours of arrival
  • Priority Theme Park Admission:  This is especially helpful during the busy holiday seasons.  As the theme parks reach capacity they begin restricting admission.  Those staying at a WDW Resort hotel are the last guests to be turned away at the gate.
  • Free Parking:  Guests staying at a WDW Resort are allowed free parking at all theme parks.  This can save at least $17/day if you plan on driving to the parks yourself.  But if you’re staying on property, why drive…
  • Free Transportation Throughout The Resort: Via monorail, bus or boat, transportation is provided for all guests staying at Walt Disney World resort hotels, making getting from one place to another a fairly simple process!  I don’t know about you, but I love not having to drive while on vacation!
  • Child Care Options: There are several options available for child care for guest at WDW resorts.  While there is individual options available, the Kids Clubs at select resorts are highly thought of.  Available for potty-trained children between the ages of 3 and 12 these themed “clubs” are a wonderful way to allow parents an evening out while the kids are treated to a fun night of activities Disney-style!
  • And maybe the most important advantage…The Themeing!: Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel is an experience in and of itself.  With over 25 resort options to choose from there is something for every taste…and every budget!  The best thing about staying at a Disney World resort is that you never feel like you’ve “left the magic” – you are totally immersed in all that is Disney for your entire vacation!

Planning your first visit to Walt Disney World?  Let me help you make it an experience you won’t forget!   I am a Travel Magician with World of Magic Travel, the preferred agency of Chip and the Disney Addicts! Email me today at alissa@worldofmagictravel.com to start planning your “Magical” vacation!


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