We're Going to Disney World! So, Where Should We Stay?
After much deliberation, my husband and I made the leap (gulp!) and are planning our first trip to Walt Disney World in April with our 6 year old son and 4 year old daughter. Shhhh, don't tell our kids. We are keeping it a secret and unveiling the surprise in about a month. Otherwise, every day I will have to remind my kids that "today is not the day we are going to Disney" and ask them to "please unpack their rolling suitcases."
The last time I was at Disney World was over 20 years ago. There are now 32 resorts hotels located on the Walt Disney World property. Twenty-two of these resorts hotels are owned and operated by the Walt Disney Company. In addition to saving on car rental and parking fees, we decided to stay at a Disney resort hotel because this is our children's first trip to Disney and the Disney resort hotel guests have the unique opportunity to enjoy the following benefits:
- Extended Theme Park Hours: Also known as Extra Magic Hours, Disney guests may enjoy additional time in the Disney Theme Park, beyond the standard operating schedule, at no additional charge.
- Complimentary Airport Transportation: Disney's Magical Express Transportation offers free round trip airport transportation and baggage delivery to and from Orlando International Airport.
- Complimentary Resort Transportation: transportation throughout Walt Disney World Resort is available via bus, boat or monorail.
- Disney Dining Plan: Guests can save up to 30% per adult on dining by purchasing a Disney Dining Plan.
- Key to the World Card: An all-in-one card that operates as a hotel room key, credit card, and Disney Theme Park ticket.
- Package Delivery: Guests can have packages or souvenirs purchased throughout Walt Disney World Resort delivered directly to their hotel.
- Disney Service: Disney cast members are available 24 hours a day.
Now that we decided to stay at a Disney resort hotel, Disney offers accommodations, generally based on price and room size, in five categories: Deluxe, Deluxe Villa, Moderate, Value, and Campground. Once we found the category that fit our budget, we had to think about location, amenities, dining, transportation and recreation. I read reviews and articles posted at Frommers.com, Fodors.com, and Tripadvisor.com
and WeJustGotBack.com. We pored over this decision for two days. Painful, I know.