I adore the Disney World resorts. I feel like they enhance any Disney trip for a multitude of reasons, regardless of which one it is. Whether it is a deluxe, moderate, etc., they offer a different feel than staying off property, and I’ve experienced both. Still, I want to point out some reasons why staying on property in a Disney-owned resort is a good idea, even if it’s only for one or two trips.
Vicinity to the parks
To start with an obvious perk, some of the resorts are just a monorail stop away from the Magic Kingdom. Since Disney is so fervent about offering free transportation around Disney, it is easy to get where you need to be. Still, staying on property makes this even easier. You no longer have to account for the drive onto Disney property, and you really don’t need a car if you’re planning on staying within the bounds of WDW for your stay.
Disney resorts have numerous snacks that are exclusive to either WDW or even to the resort itself. Immediately I think of the monorail cupcake at Contempo Cafe, and dole whip at Polynesian. Even moderate hotels have recently shown off in the bakery case department, namely the Pop Century.
This can fall under the greater umbrella of Disney resort theming, but I have to recognize how beautiful some of the pools are. Caribbean beach is a fan favorite, but I am a big fan of the hot tub at Port Orleans and the geysers at the Wilderness Lodge pool.
In general, everything Disney does is made to impress. I’ve never been in a Disney resort and felt like it was underwhelming. The new Riviera is incredibly beautiful and has secret Disney touches in all of the decor. This alone makes it stand out from a chain hotel off property. The monorail resorts are of course infamous for their distinct style as well, and the All Star hotels also have a ton of cute touches throughout.
Even though you can, and should, eat at a resort if you’re not staying there, it’s much easier to roll back to your hotel room in the Contemporary after dinner at the California Grill. Disney’s sit-down restaurants are all incredible. They have highly skilled chefs curating menus that can please even the pickiest eaters, as well as those wanting a five-star dining experience. Not to mention, all of the wait staff I’ve encountered has been incredibly nice and accommodating.
All that said, I hope you’re planning a trip once we can revisit the parks! Maybe it’s time to stay in a Disney resort.
Hannah Bouchard is the co-creator for Completely Magic.