How Disney World is Trying to Get You to Stay On Site 

There are certain perks that come with staying at a Disney World Resort hotel, like having access to free transportation to and from Disney Parks.

Bus Transportation

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!

Extended evening hours could help you avoid that morning rush!

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!

Read more about Extended Evening Hours here!

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!

Early Theme Park Entry Sign

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!

Learn more about Early Theme Park Entry here!

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.

Lightning Lane

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.

Is it WORTH staying at a Disney World hotel for the pay-per-ride perk?

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.”

Polynesian Village Resort Activities

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!

Check out ALL the Disney World Resort activities you can do right now!

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.

Dining Check-In

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.

Here are our Advance Dining Reservation FAQs!

Character Appearances

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.

Pluto and Goofy visiting Beach Club!

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!

Here’s a list of characters you might find at Disney World hotels!

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!

Florida residents can save BIG on their 2022 Disney World hotel reservations!

Will you be staying on site at Disney World soon? Tell us in the comments!

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9 Replies to “How Disney World is Trying to Get You to Stay On Site ”

  1. Evening Magic Hour is not a new perk. It used to be offered to all hotel guests and at all parks on different nights of the week. Now you can only get this perk if you stay at a deluxe resort. The morning extra 30 minutes is also not a new perk. It used to be a morning extra magic hour again on different parks on different days. So I guess the only “new” here is that you can get into any park a few minutes early now. It seems it is more of a reduction in benefits lately.

  2. I’ve been going to Disney for two weeks a year for 42 yes and if disney is going to keep me coming they are going to have to try a lot harder. The service Disney used to offer is disappearing and the price is skyrocketing. Not a very good combination. I don’t mind paying good money when the service is outstanding (It definitely used to be) but lately it’s just not worth it anymore.

  3. I honestly feel Disney isn’t that interested in keeping guests staring on property. If so why in the world would they asks hotel guests to pay for parking. My family and I don’t mind paying the premium for staying in a cabin at ft wilderness but why are we forced to pay for a parking spot that sits right next to our cabin that is only intended for us to use? These free “perks” are getting jerked away over time so the only real benefit is having dis why theming in your hotel.

  4. That’s not the message they have been sending me with all the price increases and perk decreases. Sorry, Disney, You already had me, but then you pushed me away.

  5. Wow, all these ‘extras’ have been available for years, the resturantat advance bookibg wer 90 days if you stayed on property, along with the Geni+ whhich adds a lot of stress to your vacation, Disney is going downhill fast.

  6. Ok, hold up. I’ve been bringing my family to Disney parks for two decades. Have a trip planned for Christmas week staying at All Stars Movies. This will be by far the most expensive trip for us yet. With no real benefit to stay in property, other than that’s just what we always do. It’s offensive to hear that Disney is trying hard to keep guests on property. They are simply trying to recoup what they lost the last two years plain and simple. Just be honest with your guests. Most will still come regardless, but to be insulted with “were trying” is garbage.

  7. Without DME it is more liking me and other folks will not be staying on property. Looking into driving or flying and renting a car for next few trips.

    1. We have been going to Disney for years every year they take something away and raise prices it’s not really that magical anymore. We miss the old Disney