What Would a Pixie or Pirate Do?
"My husband needs convincing... Why should we stay at a Disney World resort instead of staying off property at a local motel/hotel? I am fine with staying at a Disney Value but I need some additional information on "why" in order to convince him we need to stay on property. Thanks!"
How many reasons do you need? I could go on and on. I never stay off property. Well I did (shudder) once! Let me tell you a little story..... I think about that hot July trip I took with my family and my Godparents' family when I was 16 every time the subject of staying off Disney property comes up around me. We stayed at a motel on I-4 for a week. We rented a car and tried to visit all of Disney World, River Country, Universal Studios and Sea World in seven days. We dripped sweat and pressed on relentlessly for a week, never taking a mid-day break. We came home tired and having enjoyed it of course, but we didn't love it. Three years later we took a quick weekend trip to Disney World to see the Castle decorated like a big pink cake for the 25th Birthday of Disney World (wow I am dating myself now). We stayed at the All Star Music Resort and only had 3 days to visit the parks. We were able to enjoy every second of it. We started to experience the Disney Magic as soon as we touched down at the Airport. We rode Disney Buses to the resort. We were greeted with buttons at check in, we had Mickey towel animals in our room as well as soap and shampoo...all featuring the Disney Magic. We took buses to the parks and avoided a rental car and the ever rising cost of parking (It's up to $14 a day now). We were able to head to the resort in the afternoon for a rest and refresh. One day we even squeezed in an afternoon swim. We got to enter a park early (or stay late) each night for "Extra Magic Hours". This maximized our park days. When we were visiting the parks we were able to have all of those gifts I bought sent directly back to our resort so my Dad never knew the hundreds of dollars in souvenirs I bought until it was too late! LOL I did not have my own credit card at the time (ahhh to turn back time...) But my Dad did and he had his card linked to his room key/park ticket. He did not need to carry cash at all the whole trip. This didn't sit in my favor when I wanted to borrow some money, but it was great for him, very convenient. The benefits of the Disney Dining Plan are great and only for guests staying on property also! This trip at 19 changed how I thought of vacations and Disney in general. I fell in love with an experience and I have planned family vacations for the last 15 years, we never again stayed off property!
These are some of the reasons I think staying on site is the way to go. By staying on site you can get the Disney dining plan, you cannot get on the meal plan if you are staying off site. You are able to use Disney’s Magical Express (I love this). The ME will pick you up from the airport and take you to the resort and take you back to the airport. The best part is that ME will take care of your bags. You check your bags in at the airport and then they magically appear in your room. This is great with kids, because then you don’t have to worry about getting the bags from baggage pick up, carrying them around, maintaining control of the kids, and find your away around a strange airport. When you stay on site you can use Disney’s transportation system to get to all the theme parks, water parks and Downtown Disney. When considering an offsite hotel you need to take into consideration the cost of renting a car and parking (you will have to pay to park at the theme park each day about $14). Guest who stay on site can stay and play in the park longer during Extra Magic hours. Plus when you stay on site you will get Disney’s excellent customer service and get to continue to experience the Disney magic after you leave the theme parks.
There are a couple of simple reason for staying on property. 1. Staying within the Magic, 2. Let Disney do the driving, 3. Extra Magic Hours, if you don't know what there are, its simple really - one park will open 1 hour earlier and another will stay open up to 3 hours late on any given day! 4. Ability to buy the Disney Dining Plan (depending on when you go, you maybe able to get Free Dining!).
When we first started going to Disney World, we did stay off property at the surrounding hotels. One year, I decided to book us at a Disney Resort and we have never stayed anywhere else! The first thing that I noticed was the Disney "Magic" was all around us. When you leave the parks to go back to your "Disney home", you are still immersed in everything that makes Disney special -- the themes of the resorts, the top-notch hospitality, the Disney magic! If you fly into Orlando, you are also able to take Disney's Magical Express to and from the airport to your resort. When we stayed off-property, we had to arrange for transportation at our own expense. Also, once at your Disney Resort, there are so many transportation options to get you anywhere you want to go on Disney property. As a Disney resort guest, you are also able to take advantage of a couple of great perks -- the Disney Dining Plan and Extra Magic Hours. By taking advantage of the Dining Plan, my family has tried new restaurants and we like it because it frees us of the worry about how much cash we need for meals and snacks. The Extra Magic Hours are wonderful. You can get into the specified park(s) of the day early or stay up to 3 hours after closing to off-property guests. I invite you to look at the difference in cost between off-property accommodations and being in the heart of Disney 24/7. I think you will find when you compare that the difference in cost is minimal when you consider all the extras that Disney can provide. I don't think you can beat the down home hospitality that Disney Cast Members give their guests. My family truly feels that we are at our second home when staying at a Disney Resort. Can't wait until our next visit home!
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