Here’s another highly contentious debate, on property or off. Obviously – if you’ve read any of the blog – you know my opinion. So, I am just going to jump into the reasons why I think you should.
- It’s not always more expensive. Yes, you can get cheap hotels outside the Disney bubble, but, there are fees that you need to add to that to the basic cost. Most charge for parking, and add a “resort fee” or something like that. The trick is, add those up, and most times, Disney Value resorts are likely cheaper or very close. Also add in that you have to pay to park at Disney if you stay off property. Add that $20/day to the price of the non-Disney hotel.
- Transportation – I already mentioned that have to pay to park if you aren’t staying on property, but more than that. If you aren’t staying on property, you waste time getting into the parks, leaving the parks to go to other places, etc. Disney Transportation is included. Disney runs buses between all resorts and the different parks as well as Disney Springs. So, Disney takes you everywhere you need to be.
- Airport transportation – so you fly into MCO. If you stay off property, you rent a car, or take a cab. That’s sometimes a big expense. Disney has this really awesome benefit called Disney’s Magical Express. They pick you up from MCO and take you to your resort. But for me?? The best part?? THEY GET YOUR LUGGAGE! No standing at the carousels, looking for your luggage, hoping to get it soon so you can get to the most magical place on earth faster! Nope, you just go get on a bus, they bring your bags and deliver them to your room within a couple hours. You can go enjoy the parks, or, the pool, or… whatever!
- Magic Bands – I don’t carry a purse, because I don’t like them. I like easy, simple, compact. Magic Band did this for my vacation. If you stay off property, you carry a room key (card). You buy a Disney ticket, another card. You have to pay for things, another card. If you stay on property, this awesome little Mickey ear having wristband does it all. I personally geek out on the proximity technology at work here, but I won’t bore you with any of that. Room key, ticket, charging capability, DDP tracker, all in one device. No slew of cards needed. Plus they are super awesome. I have a few… No YOU have an addiction.
- DDP – I won’t wax poetic about this one again, because I already did in another post – but, you have to stay on property to get the DDP. So – there you go.
- Shopping convenience – Unless you are heroically able to go to Disney Parks and NOT buy souvenirs of some sort, which if you are – who are you and what is wrong with you??? Anyway, assuming you are like the rest of the Disneyphiles out in the world, who like to buy things, you also don’t like to carry them around with you, because who wants to try to keep new purchases dry on Kali? If you are staying at a Disney resort – you can have your purchases sent to your resort for pickup at your convenience. This means, when DD wants a new book at AK, we send it back to the resort, then pick it up from there! Super easy to not have to juggle bags of goodies thru rides, onto the bus, etc…
- MAGIC – Yes, you can stay off property, then go to the parks and see magic, but… on property, inside the Disney Bubble… the magic just keeps happening. You get to see the same magic at the resorts. Things like, everything is freshly painted, cleaned, shiny, happy, pretty for guests. There are fantastic pool parties, dance parties, and many of the resorts play Disney movies at night, and how awesome is THAT??? Why leave the magic? Go to sleep every night surrounded by it!
- CM’s – this is a HUGE reason to stay on Disney property. I am not disrespecting the employees of off property hotels, but, they are NOT Cast Members. CM’s are trained in the Disney Way. They are willing, able, and instructed to be as helpful as possible. They extend that Disney magic to everything from the front desk to the Mousekeeping staff. Because who DOESN’T want to come back to the room to a towel Mickey creation??!!?! They are magic ambassadors and are definitely a reason to stay on property.
- Awesome pools – I already mentioned the pool parties – but I need to take a moment to talk about the pools themselves. They are AWESOME. Seriously, the theming, the attention to detail is phenomenal. The value resorts have cool pools, so you aren’t missing out by staying on the cheap. The higher levels DO add to the cool factor of the pools because you get water slides and bigger water play areas. They are a lot of fun, if you DO end up taking time off from the parks to lay by the pool and relax. OH!! Also, most of the pools have poolside QS dining options AND Pool Bars…
- No thinking – I mentioned before I love NOT thinking on vacation. Staying on property extends that. I don’t have to think about getting my family to or from different places, or worrying about times, or where to park, or how long it takes to get from the parking lot to the transportation center to get to the parks, etc… I don’t have to think. Disney does all the thinking for me. Best. Ever.
- DVC – OK. You had to know this was coming eventually… I LOVE DVC. I love knowing that for the next 50 years, ok, only 44 years now – my Disney resort is gonna be there for me, and I don’t have to pay to stay there for my yearly or multi-yearly trips. No, it isn’t perfect, but… It has already allowed me to let my family stay at AKL with a safari view (which for my new husband and stepson’s first trip was SO much fun!!!) We are staying at Bay Lake Tower this fall. I couldn’t afford these without DVC. We were full on value or moderate resort aficionados, and, no disrespect – they are AWESOME!! But, again, magic taken to another level?? The Disney Villas are fabulous. My whole family is in on the decision of which resort do we stay at next trip – because we want to try them all, or we have our favorites and want to go back. We just booked next years’ trip in the Treehouses Villas, which is where we went several years ago when my girls and I took my parents and brother for their first glimpse at the Disney wonderland! 🙂 When Prince Charming took me for my birthday celebration extravaganza weekend, we stayed at Polynesian. The villas are just so awesome, and if you are a Disney addict like Katie and I are, if you are a Disney addict and don’t know it yet, or if you want to be a Disnerd too – check out the DVC. If you do, tell them that either Katie or myself sent you! Sharing the magic YO!
I really could go on and on… but, honestly, how many more reasons do you need. I asked oldest daughter why staying on property is better – she said “Because everything is closer, duh!” So – from the mouths of babes.