Top Five Reasons to Stay on Disney Property

Beauty and the Beast may be a tale old as time, but the ongoing debate among Disney fans is nearly just as old and certainly more heated:  Should you stay on Disney property?  All things being equal–and by “things” I mean money–you would stay on Disney property. But “things–again, money–are not equal.  You pay a premium to stay on Disney property. The question is, is it worth it? Here are five reasons why I think it is:

1.  A head start on booking your dining.

Everyone can book Disney dining 180 days in advance, but if you’re staying on property, you can book 180-days plus 10.  This means that you can book 180 days out plus 10 extra days. For example, say  you’re checking into your resort on October 1st. You can book all the way up to October 10th. If you’re staying off property you’ll have to wait. That’s not a huge deal if you’re not trying to get character meals, Be Our Guest, or Ohana, but if you are, you want that edge.

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2.  Disney transportation.

I don’t care how close you’re staying to Disney property, it’s going to take you an hour or longer to get to the Magic Kingdom. In fact, it’s like a scene out of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” just getting to the park from your off property resort, because you’ll need to take a car, a tram, and then a boat or the monorail just to get to the park. If you’re a Disney resort guest, you’ll just hop on a bus, boat or monorail, depending on where you’re staying.

Perhaps more importantly though, is how you’re going to feel at night.  As excited as you are first thing in the morning to get into that park, let’s face it: You’re pretty exhausted at night. And the last thing you want to do is hassle with transportation.   It’s a lot easier to board a Disney bus and head back to your resort at the end of the day than it is to deal with trams and cars–or worse, trams, cars, boats and, well, you get the picture.

3.  Staying in the magic.

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Regulars call it being “in the Disney bubble.” You’ve got 47 square miles of Disney magic surrounding you, with gorgeous landscaping, helpful cast members, and rich theming. No matter how amazing your off site resort is, and there are some incredible resorts in the Orlando area, they’re not Disney. It’s that something special that’s hard to define, but trust me, once you experience it, you know.

4. Extra Magic Hours.

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On site guests get an extra hour in the morning or two hours at night to enjoy the magic. It’s one of my favorite perks of staying on property.

5.  A 30-day start on booking Fastpasses:

This is a big one:  On-site guests can book their fastpasses 60 days out, giving them an advantage for getting big ticket attractions like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and meet and greets like Anna and Elsa. Sure, you can still stand in line, regardless, but do you really want to when you can get a fastpass? Just like with dining, that edge can make the difference.

Any Disney vacation is going to be amazing; staying on property just makes it a little easier and a little bit more . . . well, magical. Yes, I said it.  And that’s a big part of why you visit Disney in the first place.