10 Reasons Why You Must Stay At A Disney Resort

Oh, Disney World. You are simply one of a kind. There may be other theme parks in the world but no other will ever compare the the experience Disney provides. Especially when staying on a Disney property. When we decided to go to Disney, we knew that the amount of money we were spending would only be worth it if we had the entire experience. Fully emerging ourselves in mouse ears, cast members and beautiful scenery. To get this feeling, we knew we needed to stay at a Disney resort.


Disney has 25 + resorts to chose from in Orlando. Choosing only one is tough. You can compare price points, location, what they offer, style, family friendly-ness (though they all are) and amenities and still not be able to really choose one. After a ton of research we ended up going deciding to stay at a Disney resort in the mid-level range, that was one of the closest locations to Hollywood Studios & Epcot. Our stay at Port Orleans Riverside was amazing and I wish we would have been able to take more advantage of the amenities, but even though we didn’t it was a million times worth it.

If you are planning a trip to Disney and need a little convincing on why you should stay at a disney resort, I hope I can persuade you with these pieces of information.

1- Transportation is included. Renting a car, paying for parking, sitting in traffic, etc. is miserable when you think about the time and money you are already spending on a trip. All Disney resorts include park & Disney Springs transportation plus airport transportation. Depending on where you stay you could either be on the monorail, bus or even a boat.

2- Baggage handling. When you arrive at the airport, simply board the Magic Express and your bags will be in your room waiting when you check-in. As long as you download and tag your bags before checking them at your home airport, Disney will handle the rest. This allowed us a much faster arrival process- especially since we were heading straight to the park.

3- The Disney theme follows you all the way to bed. The overall experience of being in Disney never leaves. Disney properties are built to make you feel like you are constantly in a Disney bubble. There are beautifully trimmed trees, hidden Mickeys, colorful buildings, a beautiful lobby and a Disney gift shop all waiting for you at a Disney resort, just like inside on of their parks. The rooms are all themed as well which was an extra added piece of excitement for all of us.

4- Food Courts. To still continue the Disney theme each resort has a food court that goes along with the resort. We had a bar, restaurant and food court offering up southern cuisine as well as simple breakfast items. It looked like a log cabin on the inside.

5- MAGIC BANDS. I can not get over how seamless these bands are. They become your room key, park ticket, Fast Pass and credit card, are all on your wrist at all times. Talk about convenience! You also get to pick a color band, get a decorated one or even get a custom band made.


6- Extra Magic Hours. This is the best thing ever. Staying on property gets you extra hours in the park. This could be before the park opens to the public or after the park closes to the public, either way it works out! We ended up with 2 extra hours in Hollywood Studios after they closed, 1 extra hour in Epcot, 1 extra hour in Magic Kingdom and 1 extra hour in Animal Kingdom. The number of hours and times change based on when you are there- so be sure to check this out!

7- Earlier reservations. The Fast Pass & restaurant reservations open up a certain number of days before your vacation begins, but when staying at a Disney Property you get access 30 days before everyone else!

8- Purchases. When you are shopping inside the parks or at Disney Springs you can have all purchases taken directly to your room. Simply fill out a paper explaining where you are staying, your number number, etc. and your package will show up the next day (or the day after that). This was awesome for purchases we made throughout the day and didn’t want to carry around.

9- Check-in. I had filled out our check-in documents far in advance so when we arrived I didn’t need to do anything. I simply got a message around 11:30 am that our room was ready, what our room number was and that our bags had been dropped off. All we needed to do was head to the resort and use our magic band to let us into the room.

10- The Magic. This might not seem like a legit reason, but come on, can you imaged LIVING in Disney? Staying on their properties makes you feel like you are. This is more about the feeling rather than all of the physical reasons, but just as important. The entire experience is 10x better when you never leave the Disney vibe during your entire vacation.

I will be sharing an in-depth review of Port Orleans Riverside next week. We loved our stay and I would definitely go back!

Have you ever stayed on a Disney resort property? Are you thinking about making your next stay at a Disney resort?

ps. have you watched the Disney vlog?

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  • Reply Megan

    So many great reasons to stay on property at Disney! We stayed at Port Orleans when we went in 2002. I vaguely remember it but this decision was made by my parents who aren’t Disney enthusiasts because it felt like they were on an actual vacation (in the South) when we were at the resort. We were there over Fathers Day so my Dad and I rented a two person bike and pedaled around the property haha. I can’t wait to read your recap on the resort and see if any of the pictures look familiar!

    February 23, 2017 at 8:49 am
  • Reply Jen

    This is definitely on my list! I would love to stay at a Disney resort at least once in my life.

    February 23, 2017 at 9:45 am
  • Reply Bailey @ Becoming Bailey

    They have a Disney resort for military families called Shades of Green (run by the Department of Defense.) They don’t offer all of the same perks of a true Disney resort (you have to walk to the Polynesian for the shuttle service to get around the parks, and you have to find your own way to the resort) but they do offer magic hour, guaranteed theme park entry, package delivery, and FastPass Plus reservations.

    February 23, 2017 at 11:44 am
  • Reply Christine Everyday

    We are considering taking our daughter to Orlando for the first time next year, and we will definitely have to consider one of these resorts! Thanks for the info. 🙂

    February 23, 2017 at 12:20 pm
  • Reply Lauren

    The past few times we’ve gone to Disney, we’ve stayed at Fort Wilderness, and you’re right, staying at a Disney resort is TOTALLY worth it! I can’t wait to go back!

    February 23, 2017 at 12:38 pm
  • Reply Ashley @ Wandering Weekenders

    I so wanted to stay at Port of Orleans when we were there in September, but they were already sold out! I’ve heard wonderful things about it so I can’t wait to hear your review. You really hit the nail on the head with all of the reasons to stay in a Disney resort! The fact that you get early access to the parks and the transportation was our biggest reasons to stay on property!

    February 23, 2017 at 1:28 pm
  • Reply Vivian Bishop

    We are spending 3 days at Disneyland/CA Adventure next week and the only reason we didn’t do a Disney resort is because of how soon we wanted to go. Once I was surprised with my birthday trip I had to find a hotel asap and sadly all of the resort prices were insane booking so close to time but fortunately we are staying half a mile from the park at a place with free parking and free transportation or it’s a ten minute walk! I definitely want to stay in a Disney resort one day!!

    February 23, 2017 at 1:47 pm
  • Reply Meg Taylor

    This is all SO TRUE about Disney World! Reading down the list, I just kept saying, “yup!” “yes” “that one too!” It’s crazy to see how different Disneyland and Disney World are, though, with our recent trip out there. No Magicbands yet at ‘land (so only paper fastpasses), and since it’s right in the middle of Anaheim, it’s not the same magical city feeling. Both are fantastic for their own reasons!

    Meg, Borrowed Heaven

    February 23, 2017 at 2:12 pm
  • Reply Jasmine @makingrestorations

    I’m not a disney person (probably won’t visit again until I have my own kids), but found this so interesting. sounds like it’s definitely part of the experience

    February 23, 2017 at 2:40 pm
  • Reply Annie

    Yes to all of this! I completely agree that there is simply no other way to do it! You completely nailed all of the reasons I tell people to stay at a Disney resort. It is SO worth the extra money!

    February 27, 2017 at 9:44 am
  • Reply Rachel G

    I’ve never stayed in a Disney resort, but I do love Disney! Last summer when we visited Tokyo Disneyland I spent some time enjoying the lobby of the Disney hotel there because it’s just amazing. However…we stayed a 10 min. bus ride away for about 1/8th of the price. It would be WAY cooler to stay in a Disney hotel if it was in the budget! We’re visiting Anaheim Disneyland in a few months but we’ll be staying with family who lives close by. haha! So that seems to be our mode of operations…but I do agree that it would be seriously cool to stay in a hotel. I’ve walked around inside a few of the DisneyWorld hotels in the past–they are NICE!

    February 28, 2017 at 3:37 am
  • Reply Chelsea Jacobs

    100% agree! It makes everything so much better!

    February 28, 2017 at 10:21 am
  • Reply Brita Long

    My husband and I stayed at the French Quarter and loved it. It’s so magical staying at a Disney resort!

    February 28, 2017 at 1:06 pm
  • Reply Rebekah | Rebekah & Co.

    I’ve been so impressed every time we have stayed at a Disney property when visiting either Disneyland or Disney World. The attention to detail is impeccable and being surrounded by it all always feels like you are a part of the magic!

    February 28, 2017 at 7:02 pm
  • Reply Elise Richard

    You are making me want to go back to Disney and I was just there last summer. haha. I did not stay at a resort on location, but I definitely want to this time. There are just so many benefits. Thanks for sharing!


    March 2, 2017 at 3:55 pm
  • Reply Rachel @ STCL

    I love staying on property at Disney! I haven’t taken advantage of a couple of these since I’m just a little drive away in Tampa, but I can see the appeal when you’re coming in from out of town!

    March 3, 2017 at 9:07 pm
  • Reply Sarah Alway

    OK I’m definitely saving this post for the future! I have never been to Disney World, and I’ve only been to Disneyland once, a long time ago, for just one day. This is absolutely a must-do once our kiddos get older!

    March 13, 2017 at 6:13 pm
  • Reply Laura Powell

    I will definitely be pinning this for when we plan our trip to Disney! My mom has stayed on Disney properties before (the Polynesian I think?) and I stayed at a music themed one for a band trip once, but I don’t remember all these perks! Thanks for the great tips Macy!

    March 31, 2017 at 8:54 am
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