Recently Disney has added some additional perks for Disney World hotel guests, and if you weren’t considering staying on site you might be tempted to change your plans. Let’s discuss!
Extended Evening Hours
A new perk for guests staying in Deluxe Disney World Resort hotels is Extended Evening Hours, which are designated evenings and parks that allow guests to stay two hours after park closing. That means smaller crowds and more time!
During these extended park hours, guests have access to select restaurants and attractions in designated parks. That means you can’t just pick what Disney Park you want when you want; you have to go by Disney’s schedule. So far only EPCOT and Magic Kingdom have scheduled Extended Evening Hours — one night per week for each Park.
The extra times vary from 10PM to midnight to 9PM to 11PM on Mondays and Wednesdays (with some 8PM to 10PM slots and with one Monday, so far), so make sure you double check your plans so you can take advantage of this new perk!
Early Theme Park Entry
Early Theme Park Entry allows guests staying at qualifying Disney World hotels access to Disney Parks 30 minutes before opening. You get 30 extra minutes in Disney World, before the general public can enter the park. That’s when you head straight for the ride you know will end up with the longest wait!
While it IS only 30 minutes, it can still make or break you getting in that long line before it reaches that two hour wait time. Early Theme Park Entry is every morning for those qualifying hotels, so double check your hotel is eligible before trying to get that extra 30 minutes!
Pay-per-ride Early Access
Individual Attraction Selection, aka pay-per-ride, or what we’ve also called “fancy rides,” are the most popular rides per Disney Park, such as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Magic Kingdom. Guests can pay for Lightning Lane access for a much shorter wait for these popular rides.
Bookings are available for most people at park opening time, however, Disney World hotel guests can book these fancy rides at 7AM! Considering the pay-per-rides are some of the most popular attractions in Disney World and can even sell out, being able to book as early as possible is a huge advantage.
Resort Exclusive Activities
At many Disney World Resort hotels, you’ll find recreational activities available both for free or for additional costs, with options like crafting, painting, trivia, challenges, and even nighttime film screenings Disney calls “Movie Under the Stars.”
You can usually find a recreation activities board at your resort near the lobby, with a list of everything available for the day or week. If you have a resort day built into your Disney World trip, it can be fun to check out an activity or two!
Early Booking for Dining Reservations
While most guests can make dining reservations at 60 days before their visit, guests staying in Disney World hotels can book 60 days prior AND for their entire stay up to 10 days, which means you could theoretically book dining reservations as early at 69 days in advance depending on your length of stay.
Those few extra days can make a big difference if you’re going for popular restaurants like Chef Mickey’s or Cinderella’s Royal Table! Just remember that if you’re staying at a Disney World hotel, you can book restaurants from the first day of your visit and all the way up to your tenth day. For popular restaurants, plan to enjoy them toward the end of your stay, and book them first when your 60 day windown opens.
Did you know that Disney characters sometimes make appearances at Disney hotels? They do! We caught Pluto and Goofy hanging out at Disney’s Beach Club in their new 50th anniversary outfits recently.
You might also run into some characters at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the BoardWalk Inn, Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Polynesian Village Resort, Disney Swan and Dolphin Resorts, and Wilderness Lodge. You can also spot Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, and Donald at Riviera Resort in their exclusive artist outfits!
If you’re trying to decide whether staying on site at Disney World is worth it, consider exactly what you value and how you prefer to enjoy your Disney World visit. And keep reading All Ears for more Disney World planning tips and tricks!
Will you be staying on site at Disney World soon? Tell us in the comments!