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25 Reasons Dad loves Disney Hotels

Dad loves Disney Hotels. That’s a fact of life. If I’m in Orlando, and I’m in Orlando a lot it seems, there’s a real good chance I’ll be staying with Disney. I’ve tried some of the other hotels around Orlando but I always come back Home.


I’ve done lots of traveling through the years. I’ve spent a bunch of nights in hotels, and I’ve go to tell you, that I love staying in the hotels at WDW.

So Dad, why do you love the Disney Hotels so much?

Dad’s Disney Hotels page

That reminds me of a poem I think I did in Speech class once upon at time…

How do I love Disney Hotels?
Let me count the ways.
I love the Disney Hotels… (sorry Elizabeth)

the lights from the Grand Floridian reflecting off the water at night

Doesn’t that look just Magical? – Photo by Andy Sanchez

1. Disney Magic – the biggest reason Dad loves Disney Hotels is the Magic. Every hotel, every room, every building just reeks of Disney Magic. Whether it’s “hidden” Mickey’s, Disney posters, huge icons or the special Disney soaps and shampoo, the Disney hotels are just full of Disney Magic.

2. Location, Location, Location – this one is easy. When I think about staying in a hotel, it’s pretty much all about location. I used to go to Washington D. C. every month and the thing I looked for most was a hotel close to a Metro (subway) stop. It’s pretty much the same with Walt Disney World. I want to be as close as possible to the Magic. It makes things Simple and Fun. Yes, there are a couple of exceptions, but for the most part, the closest hotels to WDW are Disney Hotels.

3. The Look – (OK, Roxette*, get out of my head) I love the look of the Disney Hotels. Most hotel chains don’t have great looking buildings. They are pretty much just big gray boxes. Disney Hotels have real style. Even the most boring Disney Hotel, the Contemporary Resort, has character. It has a monorail running through it and big glass openings at the ends and the A-frame shape is just cool.*Roxette did a song called “She’s Got the Look”. It’s a really silly song, but a catchy tune.

4. Magical Express – a few years ago, Disney started Magical Express for Disney Hotels guests. Yes, I know, Dad doesn’t usually use Magical Express (rant on that coming soon) and I really prefer having a car at Disney World, but that doesn’t mean Magical Express is not a good thing. Anything that gets you from the airport to WDW for FREE can’t be all that bad. (Our one way cab ride a couple of years ago cost $70.) As a money saving tool, Magical Express is just, pardon the pun, Magical!

5. Disney Dining Plan (DDP) – here’s another feature that’s Dad’s not a big fan of, but it’s a pretty cool feature for those who take advantage of it. I do really like the Disney Dining Plan when it’s FREE, but even when it’s not, it’s very convenient to be able to prepay for your meals. Oh, yeah the Disney Dining Plan is only available to Disney Hotel guests, so if you want the DDP…

6. Extra Magic Hours – Dad is a big fan of Extra Magic Hours (EMH), especially morning Extra Magic Hours. In December, I went to EPCOT during early EMH. I got in the park a little late (8:14) and still was able to ride Soarin’ and Test Track and was in line for Mission Space at exactly 9:00. I had finished all three in exactly one hour. That’s incredible. I tried it again an hour later and the line for Soarin’ was over an hour long. EMH is just great and by the way it’s for Disney Hotel guests only.

7. FastPass+ head start – this one is huge. It was a big day when Disney started allowing Disney Hotel guests to make FastPass+ reservations at 60 days prior to arrival and everyone else at 30 days. What a perk. As a uber planner, this is just about the best thing ever. It’s almost as good as when we used to be able to make ADR’s before everyone else. If Disney would just bring that back…

8. Movies Under the Stars – most nights the Disney Hotels have a movie on the grounds. That’s just cool. It’s one of the little things that Disney does that adds some real Disney Magic to a vacation. Did I mention it’s FREE?

9. Games, entertainment, little things – if you walk around a Disney hotel in the afternoon, you’ll probably find a group of kids playing games, dancing at the pool with the lifeguards, or something. Here’s another of the “Little Things” Dad loves that separates Disney Hotels from most hotel chains.

The Monorail going through the Contemporary Resort

There is nothing more fun than watching or riding the monorail through the Contemporary – Photo by Judd Helms

10. The Disney monorail and the Monorail Hotels – as you might know, my favorite hotel in the whole wide world is the Polynesian Village Resort. One of the big reasons is the Disney World Monorail. I love riding the Monorail. It’s my favorite way to get around at WDW. Being able to jump on the monorail at the Polynesian and get to the Magic Kingdom or EPCOT in 10 minutes or so is about the best thing in the whole world.

11. Bus transportation – funny enough, for someone who loves to have a car at Disney World, I love riding the Disney buses. I don’t like having to wait for them or having to make 5 stops before arriving at my destination. But I do like riding the buses. Disney does bus service better than anyone anywhere. Buses are mostly prompt. They are always clean. The people watching on the Disney buses is priceless. We love making friends with the nearest child and getting to know them a little. (We’re not being creepy, parents, we’re just nice people who like to talk to kids.)

12. The boats – speaking of getting around… There is nothing better than riding one of the boats to the parks. We were at the Wilderness Lodge a couple weeks ago and we were able to get to the Magic Kingdom in 10 minutes. Even though it was cold, we picked the boat over the bus. I know not all the hotels have boats to the parks, but it’s fun enjoy the boats at the ones who do.

13. Mousekeeping – one of the things I like the best at Disney Hotels is Mousekeeping. Yes, Mousekeeping. As a frequent hotel guest, you really get to appreciate it when you have good housekeeping and Disney has some of the best I’ve seen. There’s always an abundance of towels, rooms are normally very clean, and those towel animals, they are just precious.

OK, so we’re half way through. Part of me says, hey Dad, this is getting a bit long, let’s break here and pick it up later. The other part of me says, that’s pretty cruel. You’ve come this far, let’s finish this up. So, Elvis, which way should we go?

OK, if Elvis says don’t be cruel, who am I to argue?

14. Cleanliness – while we’re on the subject of cleanliness, the biggest thing I love about Disney Hotels is how clean everything is. For some reason I have trouble sleeping at WDW (I’m always too excited.) One morning I heard a noise outside and looked out the window and noticed that they were power washing the street and sidewalks around the hotel. Power washing THE STREET! After that I started noticing the street and sidewalks were wet every morning. They power wash everything EVERY DAY! That’s just one of the thinks Disney does for cleanliness at the hotels.

15. Consistency – one of the hardest things about traveling around the country is you never quite know what you are going to find when you check into a hotel for the first time. It’s it going to be old and rundown? Will it be clean? What will the room be like? Not with the Disney Hotels. They are always consistent. They are just as advertised.

16. User Friendly Rooms – sometimes hotel rooms just don’t work. Not the Disney hotel rooms. They are well designed. Yes, they are pretty simple, but they are traveler friendly. There is good storage room even in the Value Resorts. The bathroom area is spacious. They are just well laid out.

17. Free Parking – I hate paying for parking at a hotel especially at hotels that don’t have parking garages. I really appreciate that Disney has not only free parking at the hotels, but that you can go to any of the parks and the parking pass works. That’s just cool for someone who is used to paying $18 per night to park at other hotels.

the Pop Century is why Dad loves Disney Hotels

The Pop Century is Dad’s Home Resort – Photo by Laurie Sapp

18. The Pop Century – OK, so my favorite hotel in the world is the Polynesian, my home away from home is the Pop Century. From the first time we stayed at the Pop, I’ve been a big fan. Everything about the Pop fits Dad. The look, the rooms, and especially the Food Court at breakfast. Even now, I’m dreaming about an omelet. Time to sing… “Come on baby, let’s do the twist…” Dad sings good, but I’m not sure about his twist.

19. Room with a view – a lot of the hotels I’ve stayed in through the years, when you look out the window, you see a sea of concrete. Nothing green to be seen anywhere. It’s depressing. That’s why I love staying at Disney Hotels. Not all the views are perfect, but, for the most part, you can always see something green. Even the parking lot views usually have a peek at a big green patch. Where else can you get a view that will let you watch Wishes every night? Yeah. Take that.

20. The Pools – I don’t think I have to tell you what I mean here, but the pools at the Walt Disney World hotels are the BEST. There isn’t a plain, bland pool anywhere on property. They all have character. Some of the best pools in the world are right here. There are even quite, adult pools at almost all of the resorts. This one is no contest.

21. Magic Bands – walking up to the door and not having to fish out a key card is pretty cool. Not getting locked out of your room because you left your key card in the same pocket as your cell phone (it wipes out the magnetic strip) is, well, it’s just great. And those Magic Bands are pretty cool looking.

22. Friendly Cast Members – need a plumber at 11pm? There’s a good chance that the Disney Cast Member that shows up will be friendly and have a smile on their face. Checking in at 2 in the morning? Be ready to be greeted by a smiling Disney Cast Member. That’s the Disney Magic at work. It’s probably the biggest reason I love the Disney Hotels.

Trent watching ducks at the Boardwalk

There is just something Magical about the Boardwalk area – Photo by Brett Svenson

23. The BoardWalk – I am a big fan of the Boardwalk area. Next to the Polynesian Beach, I think it’s the most relaxing place at Walt Disney World. There is good food, (the Pizza Window is great) good entertainment and some of the most beautiful, relaxing hotels anywhere. I could sit in the lobby of the Yacht Club for hours (and I have).

24. Disney Vacation Club – one of my greatest Disney regrets is that I didn’t buy into the Disney Vacation Club way back in the early 1990’s. (Why does that sound like ancient history? Boy, I’m getting old.) Back then you not only got membership, but you got park passes too. I think I could have bought in for like $35 dollars a point (actually it was $51 but who’s keeping track). The point is, I think the Disney Vacation Club Resorts are pretty cool. I love the idea of having lots of space in a hotel room. Being able to go to the fridge and grab a Diet Dr. Pepper is a dream of mine at WDW (mainly because that would be the only place to get one.) Now if only I could get points in one of those Bungalows…

The Christmas Tree in the Animal Kingdom Lodge

I bet you thought I was going to have a picture of the Gingerbread house. I like Christmas Trees better – Photo by Andy Sanchez

25. Christmas decorations – yes, I had to get to Christmas. Christmas at WDW is my favorite thing in the whole wide world and the decorations at Christmas are a big reason why Dad loves Disney Hotels! The Gingerbread House in the Grand Floridian, the Chocolate Carousel Horses in the Beach Club, all the Christmas Trees in all the hotels, the garland, the lights, the mistletoe (where’d you go Mrs. Mom?) When we go to WDW at Christmas (and it’s our favorite time to visit) we make it a point to go around and see all the Christmas decorations. In fact, when we took the new in-law kids for the first time, what’s the first thing we did? We hopped on the monorail and went to check out the decorations.

Whew, are you still here? Good for you.

I know, that’s quite a long list, but if you haven’t figured it out by now, and yes, I’ve said it a bunch already, but Dad loves Disney Hotels!!!!

Want to see more? Check out Dad’s Disney Hotels page.

There are probably more reasons to love Disney Hotels. What are yours? Share them below in the comments. I’d love to hear what you think.

Comments 7

  1. I bought into DVC in 2003 and very happy I did. Didn’t buy a pass until two years ago. Got tired of going down there and not going into the parks, so found the money and bought a pass. Now with the price increase even being a DVC member, the premium pass that I have now will be $130 more than what I paid for it last year with my discount. The location is a huge reason we love the hotels. When we get tired, just jump on a bus or monorail and go back to the room. The pools are so relaxing and the pool bar’s are great. The atmosphere in general of disney hotels are what is the best. You feel like you are at home (except everything is very clean). Comfortable, welcome. Nothing else like it.

  2. Just wondering with a 15 yr old girl, a 7 year old boy ,mom, and grandma, would you choose Beach Club or Riverside resort??? Your opinion is greatly appreciated. Going in November have reservation just want to be in right place. We go to all parks.

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  3. Dad, thanks for the feedback! However, I’m pretty sure that last year (2015) I made my reservations at 190 days with MDX App as usual.

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      Yes, you can at 190 days, but…

      You have to have a reservation that’s 10 days long to get to 190 days. You can only make the first day of the reservation at 180 days, but then you can make the rest of your trip up to 10 more days. So, yes, you can technically make 190 days, but the official length is 180 days.

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