• On May 6, 2017
    Angela from SC Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Planning first family trip to Disney. Haven't been since hubby & I were kids. Overwhelmed at the options. Will have 4 days in park. Have option of free hotel through travel points but it looks like better deal if you buy a pkg. Opinions/tips?

    Hi Angela,

    Welcome to the Disney Parks Moms Panel! I am thrilled that you brought this question to us!

    Although it would be hard for me to say no to a free hotel, I definitely suggest that you stay at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel. The benefits are superb. The resorts are vacation destinations themselves with fabulous amenities. 

    When you stay at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, you get access to Resort Transportation including the resort monorail, buses and water taxis. Second, you can make your Fast Pass+ selections 60 days in advance. Fast Pass+ gives you a ride time window during which your party can ride a particular ride. Generally, we have not waited more than 10 minutes in a Fast Pass+ line.

    Third, you can make your Dining Reservations for your trip 180 days in advance. When staying on property, you can make those reservations at day 180 for up to 10 days of your trip. Fourth, you get access to Extra Magic Hours When a park has Extra Magic Hours, Walt Disney World Resort guests enjoy additional time in the parks.
    Finally, when you stay at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, you can purchase a Dining Plan. These plans have been a terrific value for my family.

    Angela, I suggest that you price both options and, when you do, be realistic about transportation and food costs. What you save in money, you might lose in time and sanity!

    Magic and memories,
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Meet the Panelist: Donyell, North Carolina

Hello from North Carolina! I am a mom of twin girls, wife, and university professor who has been inspired by the creativity of Disney for a lifetime. Since my first Disney visit when I was 12-years-old, I have been drawn to the adventures crafted by Disney Imagineers. Planning Disney vacations helps connect me to families who will find in Disney the kind of joy my family has experienced over the years. Allow me to help you map your own Disney journey so that you, too can create the memories of a lifetime! Learn More About Donyell

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