The Perks on Property

 

In case you missed it, we are headed to Disney World! You can follow along in all of our planning in our Countdown to Disney series! Missed the reveal? You can view it here: Surprise, You’re Going to Disney World! Don’t forget to read our tips on Planning a Multigenerational Trip to Disney World how to Optimize Your Timeand the Best Multigenerational Resorts.

Perks On Property

As I said previously in the last Countdown to Disney post, my biggest recommendation is STAY ON PROPERTY!!! By staying right on Disney property you have benefits available to you that are not available at any other hotels.

  • Magical Express
  • Transportation
  • Extra Magic Hours at Disney Parks
  • Recreational Activities

Magical Express

This is one of my favorite perks of staying on property, however it is my least favorite when it’s time to go home. When it’s time to go home we call it the “Not So Magical Express”. We never want to leave our favorite place!

When you make your Magical Express reservation, you make a reservation for transportation from the Orlando International Airport to your resort. The best part is, you are sent luggage tags to put on your checked luggage. When you check in for your flight to Orlando, with the luggage tags on your checked bags, you say goodbye to hassle. Because, you won’t have to pick up your bags when you land, they will be sent directly to your resort for you. You will find them in your room later that day! When traveling with a big family, this benefit alone saves some early headaches so that your trip stays off to a great start.

Once you land, you follow the signs to the Magical Express pickup. You step up to the kiosk, they scan your magic band, and then you get in line to board the motor coach. The best part is that this service does not cost a thing, saving you money from having to rent a car, parking, etc!

The same service is provided when you are ready to depart and head home. The day before you check out you receive a notice in your room that lets you know the time that the Magical Express motorcoach will pick you up to take you back to the airport. Pick up times are typically scheduled 3-4 hours prior to your flight. The best part is, that if you are flying with one of the participating airlines (listed below) then you can obtain your boarding pass, and check in your checked luggage right at the resort, allowing you to bypass airport check in completely. The participating airlines are below.

  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines (U.S. Domestic Flights Only)
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines

For more information, please visit the official Disney’s Magical Express page here.

Transportation

By staying on Disney property you can take their bus services to the theme parks, or in some cases boat, monorail, etc. You don’t have to worry about renting a car when you arrive in Orlando. This is one of our favorite benefits, since it just makes things easier on our family. Buses run all day and come pretty often to the resorts.

Buses

Bus Transportation in Disney

sometimes depending on when you travel, you may be the only ones on the bus

Guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels can take advantage of complimentary bus service to and from all 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, Disney Resort hotels and the Disney Springs Area. Bus service from your resort to any of the theme parks starts 45 minutes prior to park opening, and ends an hour prior to park closing. Bus service back to your resort from theme parks ends 2 hours after park closing. For more information on bus transportation, visit the official page here.

Water

Water Transportation

Take in the scenery and relax with welcome breezes as you sail around Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. Feel the wind in your hair and the magic in the air as you cruise Crescent Lake and Lake Hollywood. Water taxis and ferries sail to and from Magic Kingdom park, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney Springs. Most routes run on 15- to 30-minute intervals. Below is a listing of the available resorts that offer water transportation. For more information, visit the official page here.

Magic Kingdom Park
Accessible by water launch (also known as water taxi) from:

Ferryboats connect Magic Kingdom park to the Transportation and Ticket Center.

Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios

boat ride to Epcot

this was a leisure boat ride that we enjoyed from Hollywood Studios to Epcot

Accessible by boat from:

Disney Springs
Accessible by ferryboat from:

Monorail

Monorail-Epcot

Known as the highway in the sky, monorail transportation is an experience all on it’s own. We love to do a resort loop on the monorail. The monorail goes to the following:

You can get on the resort loop that will go from the Magic Kingdom to Contemporary, Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and TTC. If you would like to go to Epcot, you would need to get off at TTC and switch to the Epcot Monorail there.  Read more about monorail transportation here.

Express Transportation Option

They actually have started an exclusive Express Transportation Option this past month that I’m excited to try when I take a quick trip for a girls weekend THIS weekend – follow along on social to see how it goes. The cost is $15/person for 1 day or $24/person for multi-day. So if you have a park hopper pass, or annual pass you can take advantage of this offer.

Express Transportation service:

  • departs approximately every 30 minutes.
  • is available each day from 10:00 AM until park closing.
  • travels directly between each of the theme parks—with no other stops along the way.
  • lets you off inside the main gate, so you’re in the middle of fun from the moment you arrive!
  • gives you unlimited transfers between all 4 theme parks—for as long as your Express Transportation ticket is valid.

Best part of that is – SKIPPING SECURITY when you park hop!! We can’t wait to give it a try. Find out more information here.

Extra Magic Hours

This is another one of our favorites. Each day, select attractions are open longer at one of the theme parks. This is one of the main perks we take into account when we are planning our vacation. We look at this first and then from there figure out our dining strategy, and then fast pass options.

Examples of Extra Magic Hours would be instead of Epcot closing at 9pm, it would be open for resort guests an additional 3 hours, from 9pm – 11pm. Or instead of Magic Kingdom closing at 8pm, it would be open from 8pm – 10pm for resort guests, etc. To see extra magic hours scheduled visit the calendar here.

Recreational Activities

We touched on this briefly when we highlighted some of the ways we plan a multigenerational trip, but all Disney resorts offer variety of recreational activities. Depending on where you stay or visit, there’s so many other things to do that are off the beaten path. Such as:

Something For Everyone

No matter what you decide to do, where you decide to stay, there is something for everyone in Walt Disney World. Even for die-hard fans like us, there’s always something new for every trip. That’s the beauty of visiting, and visiting with a large family – you may experience something you never thought of before.

Looking for more Disney posts? Check out all of the posts in our Countdown to Disney series!

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