Trip Preparation

What is a Disney resort?

Orlando is a big city, with many theme parks and tourist attractions. There are plenty of hotels for visitors to stay at from every hotel brand. Sheraton, Hilton, Wyndham, Marriott. Whatever your hotel preference is, its available for your Orlando stay. But if you want an experience above and beyond a normal hotel stay, where the magic doesn’t end when you leave the park, then you should consider staying at a Walt Disney World resort. 

Walt Disney World resorts are on Walt Disney World property. Sometimes a short boat ride away from one of the theme parks, or connected via a walking pathway. The magic that is found at the Disney theme parks spills over into their resorts. Making every moment of your vacation saturated in the magic of Disney. Every resort tells a story. The details imagineers put into every part of the theme parks are put into these resorts. Art of Animation puts guests in the middle of their favourite movies. With a whole section dedicated to Radiator Springs and a whole section based on The Little Mermaid. Boardwalk Inn & Villas bring guests back to the beginning of Atlantic City, with bright lights, nightly entertainment and circus influences. You’ll find yourself so far from your reality of home that all those stresses you left behind will stay there.

The Walt Disney World resorts are home to some fantastic dining experiences. With some resorts hosting character dining, signature restaurants, pool bars, and lounges. You don’t have to travel far to grab a memorable meal. Some resorts even have more than one restaurant. And again they all stick to the story that’s being told at that resort. Whispering Canyon Cafe, found at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, serves western food, has boisterous servers and plentiful helpings. Kona Cafe, found at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, offers entrees with Asian influences. Each of these resort restaurants has its own speciality making them a cut above your average hotel restaurant. 

Remember how I said the magic spills out into the resorts? There are even special character experiences found at resorts. From sing-a-longs with Chip’n’Dale and promenades with Cinderella and Prince Charming. Your character meet and greets don’t have stay at the parks. You can have Disney magic the whole length of your vacation. 

These Disney resorts host a variety of activities daily for you and your party to enjoy when you’re taking a break from the parks. With recreation staff on hand, your day can be filled with arts and crafts, poolside activities and dance parties. Nightly movies, campfires, playgrounds and sunrise yoga are available at many of these resorts. Making every single part of your vacation special. 

The pools found at these resorts are second to none. Again, the story that is being told at the resort is continued right through to the pools. The Boulder Ridge pool looks like an abandoned mining station repurposed for a local swimming hole. Stormalong Bay, the pool shared by Beach Club and Yacht Club, is surrounded by sand and a big ship, making guests feel like they’re right at the beach. Some resorts host a variety of pools, giving guests more then one option and dispersing the number of guests found at these pools. There are pools with waterslides, kiddie pools, zero-depth entry, water play areas. With all these pools guests won’t even need to visit one of the water parks. 

There are many benefits to staying at a Walt Disney World resort. 

Transportation.

Transportation is available from every resort to Walt Disney World’s four theme parks, their two water parks and the shopping, entertainment, and dining district: Disney Springs. With buses, boats, monorails, and pedestrian passages, there are a variety of methods of transportation used to get guests to and from the theme parks throughout the day. There’s no added cost for using these services. 

Dining Plan. 

Available only to guests staying at a Walt Disney World resort, Dining Plans are meal plans that can be used at restaurants found on Walt Disney World property. Dining Plans can save you money on food during your vacation. The dining plan can also alleviate some added stress. Paying out of pocket, you’ll see the expenses grow during your vacation. There are four dining plans: quick-service dining plan, disney dining plan, disney dining plan plus and the deluxe dining plan. One for every budget and vacation style. 

FastPasses.

FastPasses are available to anyone who has purchased park passes. But those who are staying at a Disney resort, and have linked up their passes to their resort reservation, get to book their fastpasses 60 days before their park day. Giving you a 30 day advantage to other park visitors. This means less wait times while your at the parks.

Dining Reservations.

Some dining experiences are very popular, especially the character meals. Guests can make reservations 180 days before, but guests staying at a Walt Disney World resort can book 180 days before and 10 days after that. For example, if you are booking for April 10th, you’ll then be able to book reservations every day of your vacation until April 20th. Giving you a leg up on all other guests visiting Disney parks. Getting those coveted reservations at Cinderella’s Royal Table and Chef Mickey’s.

Extra Magic Hours.

Available to guests staying at a Walt Disney World resort is Extra Magic Hours. These are hours when a Disney theme park is open only to those staying at a Walt Disney World resort. These Extra Magic Hours are offered on different days at different parks. Extra Magic Hours can be offered in the morning before the park opens or in the evening after the park has closed. This is a great opportunity to get on rides that are popular and to get into the parks ahead of the crowds. 

MagicBands.

Every guest staying at a Walt Disney World resort receives a MagicBand. These can be personalized to say your name and you can choose from a variety of colours. These are complimentary and will be sent to you before your trip, or will be there when you check in. MagicBands have everything you need right on them. They’re your park pass, your room key, your dining plan, your FastPasses, everything. And they’re included with your stay.

There are a variety of resorts to choose from, with a wide variety of costs. There is really something for every budget and every interest. There are five resort areas that put you in the centre of all the magic. You won’t regret it. Happy Planning, Friends.