Sooner or later everyone ends up at a Disney Resort, with or without kids in tow. It’s the happiest place on earth! I’ve been going to Disneyland in California since I was 7 years old, and was at Disney World in Orlando, Florida the first month they opened their gates.
We’ve taken our kids numerous times to both resorts, and now take the grandkids too. We’ve seen many changes, specially the last few years, both resorts have gotten so much bigger much more expensive.
We’ve stayed in hotels both on and off Disney property; both have their pros and cons. From past experience I’ve pretty much decided that staying at a Disney Resort Hotel far out weighs staying at a nearby hotel.
The biggest objection most folks I’ve spoken to have about staying at a Disney Resort is the cost. Yes in some cases Disney Resort room rates are costlier than a room at a different hotel nearby. At first glance it would seem so, but when you add in the cost of travel, parking, and convenience you may be surprised that the costs are just about the same for similar accommodations.
First off I need to say that Disney offers accommodations for every budget; from budget to 5 Star luxury rooms and suites. There are also “Good Neighbor” hotels that are close to Disney parks that are approved by Disney. Good Neighbor hotels usually offer transportation to the parks although some will charge an additional fee for the service.
Here’s why I think staying at a Disney Hotel is convenient and a good value.
Disney Hotels are located on Disney property with easy access to the parks.
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa has a door that takes you to the heart of the California Adventure Park; the Paradise Pier Hotel located just across the street uses the same park access. Hotel guests have access to the exclusive entrances. Guests staying at Disney Hotels farther from the parks can take the free monorail to the park entrances.
No need to drive to the park; find and pay for parking.
Easy access from park to hotel allows you take tired children to the room for a nap before the evening events. Parents can nap too! Or you can spend some time relaxing at the resort pools and lounges.
Guests of Disney resorts get to enter the parks 1 hour before the parks open.
You can do this every day of your stay as long as you have a valid ticket to the parks. Depending on the season that extra hour can give you a chance to get a couple of rides before the park opens. Or you can ride one of the popular rides without waiting in line for 2 hours or more. And don’t forget to grab a fast pass to one more ride before the park opens and the fast pass ques get long!
Disney hotels are geared to kids.
The rooms are decorated in Disney theme and some rooms have great views of the parks. Some Disney resorts have hidden Mickey’s around the rooms. Kids have a great time hunting for their favorite mouse![spacer height=”-20px”]
.Disney hotels have awesome places for kids to play.
They also have activities for guests such as Movie Nights, Pool Parties, Arcades, and more.[spacer height=”-20px”]
Disney Characters wander around the property and have scheduled times to meet & greet guests.
Many of the hotel restaurants also offer character dining. Who doesn’t want to dine with Mickey and his crew?
No need to lug around purchases made in the parks.
Guests’ purchases are delivered free of charge to your hotel. This comes in very handy when you purchase large items; you don’t have to lug them around the park or run them back to your car or hotel room.
Your room key is your Magic Card.
It allows you buy tickets, meals, and merchandise at certain park locations. Purchases are charged to your room.
Wi-Fi in guest rooms and public areas is free.
Who doesn’t love free wi-fi?
The staff are helpful and friendly.
The staff at Disney Resorts always greet you with a smile and are happy to help you. They really do make it a fun stay!
In-Room celebrations packages are delivered to your room.
Consider booking a club level room, it really is budget friendly.
Outside food is not allowed in the parks, but drinks, bottled water, snacks, and fruits provided by the Club lounges are welcome. This turns into big savings when the cost of a drink in the parks is around $5.
Club level rooms include
- Priority check-in
- Poolside, standard and theme park view rooms
- Cast Members available prior to and during your visit for reservations and vacation planning
- The exclusive Club lounge featuring complimentary:
- Continental breakfast
- Snacks including fresh fruit
- Coffee, tea, sodas and other beverages all day
- Evening wine and cheese reception
- Nightly turndown service
- Family movies