All of the Disney hotels are seperated into three groups based on price and quality: Value, Moderate, and Deluxe. It’s also based on how many extra luxeries the guests receive. For instance, all the hotels have multiple heated pools, but the Moderates and the Deluxes have water slides. Also, the Moderate and the Value rooms are divided into sections, whereas the Deluxe rooms are all in one building. You can decide for yourself which hotel is the best fit for you. I’ve stayed at 9 different Disney hotels and I’ve loved all if them!!!
Where’s the best place to stay on your Disney vacation? At one of the Disney hotels? At a rental house? At a hotel just outside of Disney? There are so many options, it can be hard to choose. Why should you stay at a Disney hotel? I’ve stayed at a rental house, on-site, and hotels that are not Disney, but my pick would always be one of the many Disney hotels. The extra cost is well worth it, as staying at Disney gives lots of other perks you would typically not receive. First of all, your surrounded by Disney magic day and night. You can still feel the superb customer service in most of the employees, from the clerk at the front desk, to the life guard by the pool. Your staying in the magic! When you arrive at your hotel room at the end of the day, and the cleaning crew has left the towels folded in the shape of a Mickey, and your stuffed animals have magically been rearranged in front of the TV, it is a fun surprise for all ages. Plus, you can wash your hands with the Mickey soap, and you can turn on the Disney Must Dos channel (a TV channel that shows you all of the best attractions in the Disney Parks) to watch while you get ready for bed. If you decide to stay at a Disney hotel, make sure that you get a wake up call, and let the kids answer it because it’s likely going to be Olaf, Stitch, or one of the other Disney characters calling to wake you up! Guests staying at the Disney hotels can travel for free on clean, air-conditioned buses that drop you off at the gate to the parks. These buses run far more regularly then any off site hotel shuttle. The buses are also far more convenient then driving. For example, if your staying off-site and rent a car to drive from your hotel to Magic Kingdom, you will pay about $17 USD for parking (per day). Then you must park, take a tram to the monorail, then the monorail to the gate. This wastes a lot of time in the morning. It might not seem so bad heading in, but heading out after the fireworks, with probably about 2/3 of the people that were in the park, means crowds and long waits for the monorail, then for the tram, and then to go find your car and join the traffic exiting. It can be a very long, and very slow process when your feet are sore, and the whole family is tired. On the other hand, on-site guests leave the park and the buses are only a short walk. The line might seem long, but keep in mind that the buses run regularly and there will be even more buses in the mornings and evenings because of their high demand. Buses are wheelchair and scooter accessible, and strollers are allowed (though strollers must be folded). Another perk for Disney hotel guests is Disney’s Magical Express, that takes you right from the Orlando International Airport, to your Disney hotel, and your luggage will be picked up from the plane & arrive “magically” in your room. (To see more on the luggage tags and Magical Express, check out my previous blog post, Traveling & Transportation) All the Disney hotels have multiple heated pools with life guards at each and scheduled kids activities. They also each have at least one restaurant, gift shop and Disney “extras” such as giant icons, gardens and little surprises at every turn (watch for hidden Mickeys!) Staying at a Disney hotel gives guests the option of having their shopping sent directly to their hotel, so no need to carry heavy shopping bags around the park. This free service is available for all but your last day before departure. Extra Magic Hours are available to all guests staying onsite. (More on Magic Hours coming soon!) These additional perks make up for the extra cost of staying at a Disney hotel, and if your vacation time is taken into consideration, it will be a huge savings! I’ve heard it said that after you’ve stayed at on Disney property, you’ll never want to stay anyplace else! I know from my own experiences that this is true, and I highly recommend it!
How will you get to Disney World? Will you drive? Will you take an air plane? Maybe you haven’t thought about it that much. If your from Canada, you might be thinking “Drive? To Florida? You must be kidding!” However those from Georgia and the Carolina’s might be thinking the same thing about flying. After all it’s only a half a day’s drive.
However, driving to Florida from afar isn’t all that crazy. I’m from New Brunswick, Canada and we’ve driven a few times down to Disney. I personally prefer driving to flying, but everybody’s different. If you like to get there as soon as possible, a plane is the way to go. However if you would like a little extra quality time with the family, I highly recommend driving. It’s worth the extra time, and it’s also a great way for kids to learn about the different states. There are also a lot of other fun little landmarks to visit along the way! (Don’t forget to pack lots of entertainment to prevent any “are we there yet”s) If your staying at a Disney hotel, after you park you don’t have to touch your car until you leave, as Disney offers free bus transportation to and from all of their parks, including Downtown Disney.
If you are flying, you don’t have to worry about catching a cab or airport shuttle. Disney offers free shuttle service on the Magical Express buses from the airport to the all of the Disney hotels. You don’t have to bother with your bags, either. With the special Disney luggage tags, your bags go right from the plane to your Disney hotel room. (This is an optional service that comes only with the Disney’s Magical Express transportation system, no additional fees apply.) Keep in mind your luggage might not get to your room for a few hours after you arrive, so pack your carry-on bag accordingly.
For more information on Disney’s transportation systems, please visit:
Disney World or Disneyland, which is which?
Disneyland is located in Anaheim, California, and is the original Disney Resort. It is now divided into two parks: Disneyland Park and California Adventure Park. Walt Disney himself, along with his brother, Roy, planned and built the Disneyland Resort. After it opened in 1955, Walt started planning a bigger sister park in Orlando, Florida. Unfortunately, Walt died before the new park was finished. Roy Disney took over the plans and named the resort after his brother. Walt Disney World opened in 1971. It now has four theme parks, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios (Formally known as MGM studios), two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, and 25 resort hotels. I’ve been to both resorts and both of them have their pros and cons, but for now my blog is based mainly on Walt Disney World in Florida.
My name is Katie. I’m 14 years old and have been to Disney over 16 times, so I’m not only a huge Disney fan, but I also know a thing or two about the Disney Parks. When kids hear that they are going to Disney, they want to learn more about it. They want to know more about the rides, the hotels, the restaurants, etc. However there aren’t many websites or books for kids to read. So, who better to give advice to kids then a kid? Plus, the parents reading can get a little insight on Disney from a kids point of view.
Being to Disney this many times over the years, I’ve experienced the magic from all different ages, and I’ve learned that there are definitely better ways to get the most magic out of Disney. Ways not everyone figures out. When you go to Disney, you don’t have to wait in line for an hour to get Mickey Mouse’s autograph, and you don’t have to waste time zig zagging all over the parks. So I’d like to share with you some of the best ways for kids to take their parents to Disney. I’d like to share my keys to the kingdom!