10 Reasons why you should stay at a Disney Resort Hotel

Last Updated on August 25, 2023 by Happily Ever Park Hoppers

10 Reasons why you should stay at a Disney Resort Hotel
Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

10 Reasons why you should stay at a Disney Resort Hotel

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World and want to know all the reasons why you should stay at a Disney Resort Hotel? Or maybe you’ve already booked your Disney Resort Hotel and you’re curious about all the benefits that come along with being a Disney Resort Guest. Then this post is for you!


1. The Disney Bubble

So the most notable difference between Off-Property options and staying at a Disney Resort Hotel is being fully immersed in the “Disney Bubble”. What is the Disney Bubble? It’s when you leave behind the real world, drive under that Walt Disney World Welcome sign and you forget about all your stress and worries. Everything in the Disney Bubble is so magical and perfectly calculated for your maximum enjoyment.

Balcony Curtain at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Disney Resort Hotels have that “Disney touch” that other hotels just don’t have. Each resort is uniquely themed and every little detail has been meticulously crafted. From the scents in the lobby to the hidden Mickeys all over every resort, and Disney Resort TV on every guest room TV, each detail is perfectly placed. And don’t forget about the amazing service that the Cast Members provide day in and day out. It all keeps you in that magic Disney Bubble.

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2. Multiple Resort Categories

Planning a Disney vacation is no doubt expensive. And I’m sure that there’s a good number of people think that staying at a Disney Resort Hotel is out of their price range. Whether you’re trying to plan a Disney vacation on the cheap or if you’re wanting to go all out and pamper yourself, Disney has multiple resort price categories to fit all types of budgets.

  • Campgrounds
    • Multiple campsite options including, tent or pop-up campsites and full RV hook-up
  • Value Resorts
    • 5 Resort options to choose from
      • Standard Rooms ranging from $125 – $225+
      • Family Suites ranging from $300 – $475+
  • Moderate Resorts
    • 5 Resort options to choose from
      • Standard Rooms ranging from $200 – $350+
      • Multiple Room options – Standard, Preferred, 5th Sleeper, Family Suites
      • 1 Moderate Resort with Club Level room options
  • Deluxe Resorts
    • 8 Resort options to choose from
      • Standard Rooms ranging from $350 – $900+
      • Multiple Room options – Standard, Water View, 5th Sleeper, Bunk Beds, Family Suites
      • All Deluxe Resorts have Club Level room options
  • Deluxe Villas
    • 12 Resort options to choose from
      • Deluxe Studios ranging from $375 – $800+
      • Multiple Room options – Deluxe Studio, 1 Bedroom Villa, 2 Bedroom Villas
      • Villas have a variety of amenities that include a Full Kitchen, Washer & Dryer, and/or split bathrooms

Prices will fluctuate depending on the time of the year you are looking to travel. Always remember to check the special offers tab to see if there are any current promotions for your travel dates! **If there are no current promotions when booking, remember to check back to see if any new promotions were added for your travel dates and contact Disney to have a cast member apply the promotion.

Disney Resort TV

3. Early Theme Park Entry

Early Theme Park Entry is one of my favorite Disney Resort Guest benefits. Early Theme Park Entry is just for Disney Resort Guests. It allows for Guests staying at any Disney Resort Hotel (and a select number of other On-Property/Non-Disney owned resorts) to enter ANY of the four theme parks 30-minutes before the posted park opening.

This 30-minutes can be a huge advantage in maximizing your park day. The first hour that a park is open is usually when the lines are the shortest. Having the parks open 30-minutes early, only to Disney Resort Guests, cuts down on a huge percentage of the crowd size/wait times. This early entry can allow your family to ride some of those super popular rides at 1/4 of the wait time. OR it can help you be much more productive and ride a lot of the smaller rides in a short amount of time. That way, throughout the day when the wait times increase, you don’t need to waste time waiting in long lines for the smaller rides because you’ve already ridden them.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

4. Extended Evening Hours

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

So unlike Early Theme Park Entry, Extended Evening Hours are just for Guests that are staying a Disney Deluxe Resort or a Disney Deluxe Villa Resort (and a couple select other resorts).
-I know this might seem unfair to some but there should be a little extra perk when you’re paying those prices!

Extended Evening Hours are on select evenings (mostly Mondays, Wednesdays and some Fridays) at either Magic Kingdom Park or Epcot. Extended Evening hours are either from 8pm – 10pm or 9pm -11pm depending on the normal posted park closing hours. Those select nights & times will be listed on the Extended Evening Theme Park Hours Schedule (scroll down to the middle/bottom of the page).

5. Early Access to Lighting Lane Selections

If you are interested in utilizing Disney Genie+ and the Individual Lightning Lane selections, being a Disney Resort Guest can definitely help you secure a Lightning Lane booking for those super popular rides!

Disney Resort Guests are eligible to purchase and make their first Individual Lightning Lane selection at 7am each day of their park visit. Whereas all other guests wont be able to make their first Individual Lightning Lane selection until each park’s posted opening time. (IE: If you’re wanting to purchase a Lightning Lane for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Disney Resort Guests could make their selection at 7am and all other guest would have to wait until Disney’s Hollywood Studios posted park opening at 9am)

Want a full explanation of what Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lanes are? Click on the link below.


6. Extended Advance Dining Reservation Window

Another one of my favorite Disney Resort Guest perks is the extended window for Advance Dining Reservations. If you are planning your first Walt Disney World vacation, it is important to know that some of the Table Service restaurants are EXTREMELY popular and securing a reservation for them can be incredibly difficult.

Advance Dining Reservations can be made 60 Days in advance at 5:45am EST. For Disney Resort Guests, Advance Dining Reservations can be made 60 Days prior to their check-in date PLUS 10 days.

That extended window is the key to obtaining a reservation for those super popular restaurants. Looking at dates further into your trip you will see a LOT more time slots available versus your check-in date. It’s important to know your Advance Dining Reservation date. If you are wanting to get a reservation for one of those popular restaurants, you are going to want to be online or on the app exactly at 5:45am because the time slots available will go quickly!!

7. Closer proximity to the parks

Another reason why you should stay at a Disney Resort Hotel is the close proximity to all of the theme parks. Depending on what Disney Resort Hotel you book, you could be centrally located to all four, walking distance to Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot or Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Some resorts have multiple modes of transportation to/from the parks.

The entire Walt Disney World Resort property is a massive 42 Square Miles OR 27,000 Acres! Disney Resort Guests can get back and forth to their resorts with ease. With multiple transportation options operating 30-45 minutes before park opening and an hour after park closing. By bus, Monorail, boat or the new Disney Skyliner, Disney Resort Guests are just a short ride to wherever they want to go. And remember, all of Disney’s transportation is complementary! Off-Property guests will have to either drive and park (Standard parking is $25/day & Preferred Parking is $45-50/day) or utilize their hotel’s shuttle service if they have one. Also, know that Non-Disney shuttles may only run once every hour or two.

8. Discounted MagicBands

Disney World MagicBands Selection Webpage

MagicBands are no longer free for Disney Resort Guests but they are discounted. You can select a MagicBand from a variety of available options and pay a “Special Pre-Arrival Price”. The prices range from $10-$30 depending on the theme. Exclusive bands are always going to be more but the discount for Disney Resort Guests can be anywhere from 30-50% off.

You don’t “need” MagicBands but they are very convenient. MagicBands act as your park ticket. Worn like a watch or bracelet it allows you tap in to the touchpoints at the entrance of every park without having to fumble around looking for your ticket. You can also use your MagicBand to tap in for Lightning Lane redemption, link PhotoPass pictures to your My Disney Experience account, unlock the door of your hotel room, and allows you to charge food and merchandise purchases to your Disney Resort Hotel room; which is very handy if you are trying to avoid carrying a purse or bag and want to leave your wallet in your room.


9. Movies Under the Stars

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

One resort amenity you may not be aware of, is the super fun Movies Under the Stars. Every night, each Disney Resort Hotel plays a different movie outside (weather permitting) with a big projector screen. This is a great way to let the kiddos wind down but still getting to feel like you’re on vacation. Movies Under the Stars is also a great activity if you’re traveling in a large group or with your extended family and can’t all fit into one room.

Most resorts have the movie schedule posted somewhere in the lobby. If you are unable to locate it on your own, you can ask the resort front desk.


10. Pool Activities

The final reason to stay at a Disney Resort Hotel is because of the pools. For my family, the pool is an extremely important factor when it comes to deciding where we are going to stay. All of the Disney Resort Hotels have some super fun themed pools. Some resorts have water slides, splash pads and there is even a sandy beach for the kids to build sandcastles at one particular pool!

Beach Pool at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Now, I know there are plenty of Off-Property hotels that have some fun water slides. But the thing that makes the pools at the Disney Resorts that much better are the Pool Activities! My kids absolutely love the games they play at the pools. Not only do they love them, but WE love them because us adults are able to sit and relax while the kids are being entertained. There are also Pool Servers that will take your order, bring you snacks, kids meals and even an adult beverage! That extra bit of service really allows us to enjoy ourselves and soak in every bit of relaxation.

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