Saturday, May 31, 2014

Benefits of Staying on Property

So, recently I've talked to a lot of people who stay off property when they visit Orlando and while I can understand the lure of cheaper room rates and free continental breakfasts there a lot of things that are tacked on to your hotel stay when you stay off property. There are hotel and theme park parking fees, resort fees, the cost of gas to travel back and forth, if you fly there's the cost of transportation from the airport to your hotel or the cost of a rental car to get around to the parks, and then of course there's the risk of an unknown hotel brand with sub par service.

If you rely on sites like Priceline or Travelocity then you never really know what you're getting. You're relying on the reviews of others and guest ratings.

However, if you book a Disney resort you know you'll get excellent service from extremely helpful cast members. You'll also get free transportation from the airport to your resort, extended park hours, free parking at any Disney World park, and there are NO additional resort or parking fees tacked on to your resort stay. You also get free transportation to and from the parks that comes so often that you'll never wait too long for a shuttle, monorail, or boat as opposed to off property resort shuttles that come once every forty-five minutes if you're very lucky.

The value in a Disney Resort lies in these added perks that other places simply can't offer. They attempt to make up for it by offering you free continental breakfast or free wi-fi (which Disney also offers by the way) or sometimes even special prices on park tickets for time share open house weekends or conventions. But the other fees and the time you lose traveling back and forth often negate these attempts to compensate for things off property hotels can't offer.

A Disney resort is too expensive, you say? I understand why you would think so. Deluxe and Moderate resorts are certainly on the pricier side but the added luxury is what you're paying for. If you're staying off property you're typically not doing it for the luxury. You're doing it because you're a family on the go and a hotel is basically just a place to sleep, maybe swim, and come back to for a break when the park is just too much.

Well, there's a category of Disney Resorts that's made for your family. The Value Resorts. Personally, they're my favorite category. They're well organized, kid-friendly, and extremely convenient. And, I did the math for my upcoming trip, the price of staying at the Residence Inn at Sea World versus Disney's All Star Music resort in September is a mere $25.

For that $25 you get transportation to and from the parks whenever you need it or free parking if you prefer to drive yourself, superior service, extended hours at select Disney Parks, advance access to dining and Fastpass+ reservations, free transportation and baggage service from Orlando International airport to your Disney Resort, and NO resort fees. The added conveniences are well worth $25.

For example, let's say you have a family of four with two adults and two children and you decided to stay off property. You have a three year old and ten year old. Your family takes your van to the park that morning and you pay $17 for parking. In the afternoon you decide your three year old needs a nap. If you were staying off property you'd have to get in your van (with your entire family of four) and drive the five or more miles back to your hotel only to drive that same five miles back later and park further away (you shouldn't have to pay for parking again since you're given a day pass when you paid that morning.) Or you could go back to your van and let your little one nap in the back seat which may be uncomfortable or overwhelmingly hot in the Florida heat, but would allow the other adult and your ten your old to continue to have fun in the park.

Now let's see what this same scenario would like if you stayed at a Disney Resort. Even though you have access to free bus transportation you decide to drive your van to the parks that morning. Your parking is free due to your resort parking pass that is sitting on your dash and you're sent straight through (without paying $17). In the afternoon you decide your three year old needs a nap, but your older child wants to stay in the park. You leave the other adult in the park with the ten year old and take the three year old out of the park. Instead of heading back to your van you head to the nearest Disney bus stop for your Disney Resort. Ten to fifteen minutes later a bus for your resort pulls up and you're on your way back to your room. The little one gets a nap and then you hop back on a bus to meet up with the other adult and older child for more Disney park fun.

Need a swim in the middle of the day instead of a nap? No problem. Just take that same Disney bus back to your resort for a mid-day break at your excellently themed pool. No need to use any gas or get stuck in traffic on I-drive. Convenience is a key bonus to staying on Disney property.

Once again, I totally understand the appeal of what off property hotels are offering, but there's more value to a Disney Resort stay than most people realize. It's unbelievably convenient for families especially. And don't forget for those families of a five or more Disney has family suites at two Disney Value Resorts (All Star Music and Art of Animation). They have accommodations for every size family!

Don't miss out on Disney's current special offers of free dining with full price room and resort stay OR up to 30% of your resort stay for late summer and fall 2014 check in dates! Contact me for a FREE quote today!

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