Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Vacation Questions: To Stay at the Disney World Resorts or Not to Stay at the Disney World Resorts

The latest inquiry I received was: “We are contemplating a trip to Disney World, but are clueless as to the best place to stay (at a Disney hotel or outside the park).”

This was my reply:

I have to tell you, there are advantages and disadvantages to staying at the Disney World Hotels. The biggest disadvantage is the cost. The second biggest disadvantage is getting a reservation. The biggest advantage is convenience. The second biggest advantage is also convenience.

Staying at Walt Disney World Resort

When you choose to stay at Disney World, your vacation really starts as soon as you board your plane. Disney sends you luggage tags for your bags before you leave home. These tags will get your bags from Luggage check in at your home airport all the to your resort room at Walt Disney World. When you arrive at the Orlando Airport, there is no need to pick up any bags, so you just follow the airport signs straight to the Disney motorcoach.  They also send your park passes to your home so when the motorcoach gets to your resort you can chose to go to your resort room or hop on a park shuttle head straight to MagicKingdom, AnimalKingdom, HollywoodStudios, or Epcot. They even have the option of purchasing a DisneyDining Plan so that you don't have to worry about food.

Not Staying at the Walt Disney World Resort

You can find cheaper hotels not far from the parks that offer shuttles to and from Disney. Just make sure you do your research before you book. Sometimes they hit you with a resort fee that will make the cost comparable to staying at the Disney Resorts. When you stay at resorts/hotels outside the park, you also have to take into consideration renting a car or arranging for transportation to and from the airport. If you choose to rent a car, add $15 per day to the cost for parking at Disney World.

A couple great things about staying outside Disney:

*Cheaper dining options

*Opportunities to visit other theme parks (Sea World, Aquatica, Universal, Legoland, Busch Gardens, etc) and the beach (if you are up for a little drive)

If you decide you want to fit in more Orlando excitement, I suggest you also look at staying at Vacation Homes. Sometimes you can find an awesome deal on a home with a pool. This also gives you a kitchen to make your own meals and yes you can take food into the Disney Parks. Some places to check: HomeAway, VRBO, and All Star Vacation Homes.

Other Resources

Disney Resorts

Monday, February 9, 2015

Vacation Questions

It's a fact that our family LOVES Disney World. Our devotion to the place is actually considered by some to be more of a slightly unhealthy obsession. We have been known to significantly manipulate our finances just to maintain annual passes. Our Disney fixation has on occasion made us the butt of a few jokes, but when our people want information about WDW, they come straight to the Disney fanatics. Our family and friends (as well as some friends of family, family of friends, and on occasion, strangers wondering through Florida) ask for our advice on how to make the most out of their vacations to Disney World. I have to admit that I really enjoy all the questions. I don’t even try to claim I know all the answers, but I love the Disney adrenaline rush that comes with the challenge to discover more Disney secrets. When I don't have an answer to a specific question, it gives me an excuse to spend more time delving into the details of Disney. Some of the best ways I have found to discover Disney is to ask other Disney fans for their thoughts and opinions.
Sooooooo…I’ve decided to start a Disney Vacation Question Series in order to post responses that I have given to people as well as get feed back on how others would respond to the same queries.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Destination Disney: Resort Review...Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village

Kidani Village - Animal Kingdom Resort

Art and Artifact

These pieces line the halls of the resort.

Sanaa Restaurant

The view made the dining experience MAGICAL!


The Lively Landscape

Disney's always impressive attention to detail:

Find the Hidden Mickeys
Safari Guides are available to answer questions about the animals as well as watch out for your safety during storms. Impressive lightning and rain storms are frequent during the summer months. The animals are magnificent to watch as they sense and prepare for an impending storm.