When folks think about taking a Disney vacation, they often start out with the idea that they are taking the vacation just for the kids. They are all about the parks and all about helping the kids have a memorable time. And let's face it, most of us start out with the idea of "taking the family" to Walt Disney World to enjoy all the parks and entertainment. But if you want to turn the vacation into something for everyone my suggestion is to stay at a one of the Disney Resorts located in close proximity to the parks.
So as most of us know there are some distinct advantages to staying at a Disney Resort. They are:
1. Early access to Fast Pass planning. Since I plan vacations for my clients, I really love it when they stay at a Disney Resort because this means that they can create their Fast Pass schedule 60 days before arrival. This is important if they are going to WDW in a busier season, because I can usually get them the best choice in Fast Passes.
2. Disney Resort guests can take advantage of Extra Magic hours! This is great because when it's busy being able to access the parks earlier in the day or later in the evening really thins out the crowds and makes the parks much more enjoyable.
3. Complimentary Magic Bands. If you have not been to Walt Disney World in a while you may not be familiar with their Magic Band technology. These convenient bands allow you to access the magic in the resorts and the park. You can connect the information about your entire trip to these bands and manage every aspect online with the My Disney Experience App, giving you your trip details right on your phone.
4. Complimentary transportation from resorts to all the parks. This means if you fly in and stay at a Disney resort you won't need to rent a car. As long as you are going to a Disney property or park, Disney has you covered. If you drive you can park your car at the resort and let Disney do the driving.
5. Plan your Disney Dining meals in advance and book restaurants at the parks or resorts 180 days in advance. Eating is always a hassle but with a Disney Dining plan for every budget you can prepare your meals and choose the restaurants you want to enjoy while there.
So how can you turn your "vacation for the kids" into a "dream vacation"? Well Disney has some of the most beautiful resort properties in the area. They have a resort for every budget and all resorts offer "Disney" service and beauty. The resorts themselves are all Disney themed and are authentic down to the smallest details. You can stay in a great Northwest setting at Wilderness Lodge, or get a sleek and modern room at Contemporary Resort within walking distance of the Magic Kingdom. If you want a Hawaiian feel, visit the Polynesian Resort, or just enjoy elegance of Florida at the Grand Floridian. If you are an animal lover stay in the heart of Africa at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.
The more budget minded resorts also have Disney-themed decor and amazing pools. These resorts have beautiful grounds and relaxing areas for families to swim and sun while soaking in the Disney ambience.
If you love to shop, you can spend a day visiting Disney Springs. This is a mix of amazing shops and activities. Go bowling, eat some amazing food, visit the biggest Disney store available, take a car ride on the water (yes that's right), visit a spa, relax and enjoy the day.
Another way to make your trip a dream trip is to tour some of their resorts. All of Disney's resorts are uniquely themed, and when you stay on property you can visit them all via Disney transportation and enjoy some shopping, listen to music, and generally relax.
Did I mention golfing? Disney has some amazing golf courses and if someone in your family is an avid golfer, I encourage the to stay at Saratoga Springs resort. Saratoga has a beautiful campus, amazing pools and restaurants, is right across the water from Disney Springs and is right next to an amazing golf course.
There is so much to Disney, and you will spend some time at the parks, but you can always find some place to escape and turn your vacation for the kids to a vacation for everyone in the family.
Author - Sharon Schierling
Sharon is a Travel Consultant specializing in family vacations. She is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner and not only books vacations for Disney, but will help plan the vacation to ensure that her clients can navigate the magic. As a Disney specialist Sharon also plans vacations for Disney Cruise Lines, Adventures by Disney and all the parks, and Hawaii at the Disney Resort, Aulani, Resort and Spa.
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