Mom And Son Giraffe
  • On Apr 6, 2012
    Lupita from TX Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    This is our family first vacation to WDW, I want to make this trip as memorable as possible. I have be researching for a while already and am thinking of staying outside of WDW in a nearby hotel. I was wondering if this is the best thing to do?

    Hi, Lupita!  There are definitely advantages to staying on Walt Disney World property, but for many families, there are advantages to staying off Walt Disney World property as well.

    My husband traveled very often with his job, and stayed exclusively at Marriott resorts.  We were reward members with Marriott, so for every stay, we accummulated points towards free hotel nights.  For a very long time, whenever we went to Walt Disney World, we would stay at the closest Marriott and use our points.  You can't really beat free!

    However, staying on Walt Disney World property gives you access to the transportation.  If you are flying, you will be able to take a free Magical Express Shuttle to your resort, and then use Walt Disney World transportation throughout your stay.  It eliminates the need for a rental car, and there is no cost for a shuttle to your hotel, which is not always the case with off property resorts.  Some off property resorts charge per person to use their shuttle.

    Another advantage to a Walt Disney World resort is the extra magic hours.  Resort guests will be able to spend an extra hour in the morning and up to three extra hours each night at a select resort.  This can be a big advantage, especially if you are going during a busy time. 

    You'll have a Key to the World card, which really can act as your room key, theme park tickets, and you can even use it to charge items that will then be charged to the credit card you have on your room.  This is very convenient! 

    These are some of the things to consider, and ultimately, you have to decide what works for your family.  There are some very nice off property hotels, but it's really nice to have instant access to the magic!

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Meet the Panelist: Anna, New Jersey

My name is Anna and I am a wife, mother to three daughters and a son-in-law, and earning my Grandmom ears. I'm a law student and former teacher. I have planned vacations for all sorts celebrations, but really enjoy DVC vacations, helping military families, and assisting those with special dietary needs.    Learn More About Anna

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