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The Pros and Cons of Staying Inside the Walt Disney World Resort: The Cons

Updated on August 11, 2012

Many people who book stays at their hotels of choices at the Walt Disney World Resort sing their praises loud and clear. They rave about the free transportation and/or parking to the four theme parks. They love the short wait times when they enjoy a day at a park with Extra Magic Hours. Best of all, the themes of their hotels suit their needs - from pirate-loving young boys to those who are business travelers.

But there are some groups, families, or individuals who are not into the Disney hotel-booking groove of things. In fact, some of them won't book one and never will do it. So why would they want to miss out on the perks? Why should they prefer staying outside what is called the Vacation Kingdom?

Extra Magic Hours Disadvantages

Extra Magic Hours has its benefits: shorter waits and less crowds.

But there are a few setbacks to the boon - less crowded days with the perk typically happen in the morning and you have to wake up early. Another setback is the evening set. The parks were emptying out regular Guests. You have to fight through them to get to where you want to be.

It's even worse during the busiest of times, when you have swells of the general public fighting through the huge swells of resort Guests.

I suggest that you stick to the morning set, to beat the herds...

Oh, and on Those *Ahem* "Peak Seasons," DT Buses Can Get Pretty Rowdy...

Note: I'm not against turismos and I acknowledge them for bringing revenue to Disney. But I'm showing this to describe how the Disney Transport buses can get pretty noisy even at night on peak seasons.

Most Transportation Requires WAITING!

What's just as worse as waiting in line for 90 minutes on Splash Mountain on a hot, turismo-filled July? The answer is waiting for the free transportation.

The Disney Transport buses, ferries, boats, and monorails are no-cost in money, but you have to pay it with your patience. The time waiting for a bus or ferry can be as long as waiting for a ride in an actual park. (It's more painful with the buses!)The All-Star and Pop Century Resorts are known by most Guests to be the most notorious hotels for long waits for buses.

If you decide to use your car on Disney property, try parking directly to the Magic Kingdom. Tough luck - you have to park at the Transportation and Ticket Center and take a bus, ferry or monorail. Log in your waiting minutes there. All that waiting for transportation is extra trying for those whose disabilities allow them to have shorter patience spans, especially autistic children.

The Doors Are Open, But Not for Us!

Waiting for a monorail to the Magic Kingdom can be the pits.
Waiting for a monorail to the Magic Kingdom can be the pits.

It's Inconvenient to Other Locations in Central Florida!

Going to Universal Orlando Resort's parks, SeaWorld Orlando, or Busch Gardens Tampa while staying at Disney?

Prepare your gas tanks - they are farther away from the property. If you travel by car, be prepared to pay a parking price (and extra admission expenses, if not previously paid for) to see Elmo romping around or to fly with Harry Potter and his Hogwarts classmates. Even worse, there are no shuttles to access them!

Also, you miss out on a lot of the rest of Central Florida if you decide to use only resort transportation. If you wanted to go for Sunday Mass, you have to arrange and wait for a cab to take you to the Basilica of Mary, Queen of the Universe Shrine.

Try booking for one on a busy day! You might even arrive once the rest of the congregation sings the last few lines of the processional hymn. Disney transportation stays at Walt Disney World only, and without a car to take in the rest of Central Florida, you're mostly out of luck.

How Long Will the Cab Arrive to Our Hotel to Get To Sunday Mass?

If you happen to arrange for a cab to go to the basilica, be prepared to arrive late for Mass!
If you happen to arrange for a cab to go to the basilica, be prepared to arrive late for Mass!

Want Breakfast With Your Disney Friends?

Better save some money, and I mean lots of it! You may exceed your Disney Dining Plan credits for that!
Better save some money, and I mean lots of it! You may exceed your Disney Dining Plan credits for that! | Source

Disney Dining Premiums

Believe it or not, the Disney Dining Plan has a dark side.

Suppose you are at a park and want to buy a bottle of cola. You used your one and only snack credit for that day. What does that mean? You have to pay it with paper or plastic to buy that one bottle. How inconvenient! It's even worse if you haven't booked your Magic Your Way Vacation Package with that plan. If you itch to reserve a spot for one of the meals under the Disney Character Dining umbrella, be prepared to pay more!

Also, not all restaurants accept the Disney Dining Plan. Take Victoria & Albert's at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, for instance. It's too good for that plan, so you have to pay for that romantic dinner out of pocket.

It's Incompatible with Most Timeshare Programs!

Wanna stay in the middle of the Disney magic? You have to pay out-of-pocket because many timeshare vacation exchange programs don't accept points to be traded for a Disney Vacation Club resort.

Worst of All, It's EXPENSIVE!

Face it, as well as spending a day at the parks of it, staying at the Walt Disney World Resort is not for the most frugal of travelers. The Fort Wilderness Resort (the campground, to be exact) is a glorified campground where you pay a premium to camp! Also, the All-Star Resorts are expensive - their room rates can offset most budget travelers.

If the "value" resorts don't get to you financially, try booking at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa! You have to shell out hundreds to stay for just 2 nights!

Is staying at the resort hotels right for you? If you either have a huge budget or want a virgin Disney vacation, then it would fit you perfectly. If you want a real budget trip to the Mouse, then stay offsite!

Choosing where to stay at or near Disney is a matter of taste and budget.


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      4 years ago

      I disagree with so much of this article. We have been to Disney World several times and have always stayed onsite. We have stayed at the value resorts and moderate ones, the transportation is one of the great perks about staying there. The buses usually run about every ten minutes and when lines get long they call in more buses to get people going. The price of the hotels are not that bad when you look at all you get, you park your car so you do not have to pay for gas driving back and forth from your hotel to a park, you do not have to pay for parking or sit in traffic..Plus the hotels are part of the experience and you know that you are staying in a safe clean room with multiple pools and restaurants. The location of WDW is great, you are only about 1hr from Daytona Beach and maybe 15minutes from Sea World and Universal. Most of your character dining is covered under certain dining plans or you can pay for it if you do not have a plan...Of course Victoria and Albert's does not accept the dining plan but that is an experience all unto itself. It does not seem that this article is about the cons of staying onsite it just seems to be against Disney. That is to bad, Disney World is a great place to visit.


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