Announced earlier this week from Walt Disney World Resort: Disney Springs Hotels Get FastPass+ and Extra Magic Hour Perks. I’ll explain why this is a big thing- and also why Guests staying on Disney Property don’t need to freak out!
Full disclosure here: I’m a travel agent who specializes in planning Disney vacations. I’ve been working harder than ever these past few months trying to get clients the hotel rooms they want at Disney Resorts.
Annndd… sometimes I fail. Just this morning I had to let a client know there wasn’t anything available at the resorts she desired. Total bummer moment.
If you’ve looked for onsite resort rooms lately, you probably feel me.
There’s not a lot of availability.
A few resorts are currently being refurbished. Logic says if they are updating a room, it obviously can’t be available for guests. Makes sense, right?
I’m excited about the new rooms but also finding the Guest frustration to be a real concern. Things are tight going into the spring, y’all!
To help with inventory issues, Disney World announced that select off-site properties will now partake in some of the benefits previously held for on-site guests.
I know, I know, Disney resort faithful; this sounds awful.
The perks are being shared and we don’t like it. What incentives are there to book onsite if we can stay cheaper at Disney Springs? I’ll hit on that in just a moment.
Here are the details.
Disney Springs Hotels Get FastPass+ and Extra Magic Hour Perks
Details from the press release:
Beginning Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2018, Guests at any of these Official?WALT DISNEY WORLD?hotels,?with a valid theme park ticket, can take advantage of Extra Magic Hours benefit?as each day, one of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks opens early or extends later for Guests to enjoy select attractions.?
Scheduled to begin Jan. 10, 2018,?Walt Disney Travel Company?packages are available for online bookings, via DisneyTravelAgents.com, for the?Disney Springs??Resort Area hotels. Also, scheduled to begin Jan. 10, 2018, Guests at these Official?WALT DISNEY WORLD?hotels, who have booked a package reservation for the hotel through a?Walt Disney Travel Company package, will be able to link their hotel reservation on?My Disney Experience, and with a linked, valid theme park ticket, these Guests can utilize a 60-day booking window for?FastPass+?selections. These are benefits that are already available to?Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel?Guests.
B Resort & Spa ? the stylish resort opened in June 2014 with 394 newly renovated guest rooms, the full-service B Indulged AVEDA Spa, and features American Kitchen Bar & Grill
Best Western Lake Buena Vista ? the 18-story, 325-room resort overlooks scenic Lake Buena Vista and the Walt Disney World Resort, and offers two restaurants, a lounge, and wireless internet
DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando ? the luxurious resort hotel features 229 spacious suites, and is the only all-suite resort hotel in the Disney Springs Resort Area
Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace ?the 27-acre, newly renovated hotel features a beautifully redesigned pool area with four pools, seven restaurants and lounges, spa, and a Character Breakfast every Sunday
Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista ? the closest hotel to Disney Springs, the resort offers two pools, a Disney Character Breakfast each Sunday, seven restaurants and lounges (including Benihana Steakhouse), and 24-hour fitness center
Holiday Inn Orlando ? offers the ideal setting to stay and play, featuring modern Florida d?cor, a beach entry swimming pool, and complimentary Wi-Fi in all guest rooms and public areas
These hotels are located near Disney Springs or in Disney Springs proper.
About 3,700 rooms will be added to Disney inventory with this change.
And in order to receive these perks, Guests must book a package through a?Walt Disney Travel Company package.
My understanding is that booking through a 3rd party vendor (think Expedia or Hotels.com) would not give you the ability to take advantage of these perks.
Why You May Still Want To Stay OnSite At Walt Disney World
So this is the “don’t freak out” portion of the post.
Guests who stay onsite are still getting value and perks in accordance with the price levels they pay. Disney didn’t give everything away to the Disney Springs hotels!
And keep in mind that we are talking 3700ish rooms; it’s a decent amount, but by no means should it affect FastPass+ options.
I suspect that the hard ones to get: will still be hard to get. Flight of Passage and Seven Dwarves come to mind.
But I don’t think we need to panic and blame these additional rooms for that reason. They are pretty hard to get already!
While there are reasons to stay At Disney Springs hotels?there are a few reasons that you’ll still want to make staying onsite an option.
- Transportation. Disney’s Magical Express is not one of the onsite perks added to the Disney Springs resorts. And why does this matter? It can save you money as my guide to Disney’s Magical Express explains. Free is always a good thing!
Free Parking.? Gah- NOT anymore! Here’s the current status of parking at Disney World. If you prefer to take your own transportation to Disney World, then here’s another perk you won’t get by staying at Disney Springs hotels. First, most off-site locations also charge a parking fee. Second, when you visit the parks, you’ll have to pay a daily parking fee. Both of those fees do not happen on property.
- Dining Plan.?You will not be eligible for the Disney Dining Plan when you stay offsite.
- No free Magic Bands offsite. People really like these for convenience, so keep that in mind!
What are your thoughts on the change? Are you considering booking off property now that your FastPass window is bigger and you get Extra Magic Hours?
Let’s talk Disney! Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org for your Disney World planning needs.?
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Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)