5 Reasons Why You SHOULDN’T Stay at a Disney World Hotel This Year 

Disney World Resort hotels can be really convenient (and beautiful!) places to stay while visiting Disney World.

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Lobby

If you’re feeling pressured to stay at a Disney World hotel, the truth is that you don’t HAVE to, and in fact, there may be some reasons why you shouldn’t!

Let’s go over five different reasons why you shouldn’t stay at a Disney World hotel in 2022.

You Want More Perks

In the past, qualifying Disney World hotel guests were able to enter a Disney Park one or even two hours before opening with Morning Extra Magic Hours. This service is now discontinued and replaced with Early Theme Park Entry, which allows hotel guests early entry by only 30 mins.

Early Theme Park Entry Sign

Evening Extra Magic Hours were also a thing that let hotel guests stay one to two hours after closing. This has been replaced by Extended Evening Hours, which is now limited only to deluxe Disney hotel guests.  It also takes place only at EPCOT and Magic Kingdom, on designated evenings.

©Disney

MagicBands are no longer complimentary to Disney World hotel guests. You can occasionally snag one at a discount, but they’re not free anymore, which can be a bummer.

MagicBands

If you were hoping for MORE perks, you’re not really going to find them at Disney hotels right now.

You Always Used Magical Express

In case you missed it, Disney’s Magical Express was discontinued as of January 1st, 2022. And without this previously complimentary service, you have to pay for transportation from the airport, whether you choose to use the replacement Mears Connect service, rent a car, or take a cab.

You will be missed, Magical Express!

Without Magical Express, your hotel options might be a bit more open considering you’ll have to pay for airport transportation regardless. If that was a major perk for you it might be worth checking out other hotels!

You Don’t Use Disney Transportation

If you don’t need Disney transportation, you don’t really NEED to stay at a Disney hotel. Free transportation is one of the biggest perks of staying at a Disney World hotel, but if you tend to drive yourself or rely on Uber, staying at a Disney hotel isn’t totally necessary.

Disney World bus

You might prefer the flexibility of driving yourself or avoiding parking fees by ride sharing, so there might be other, better hotel options for you.

You Want Free Breakfast

Free breakfast is just…not really a thing at Disney hotels. You can, however, find it at many other Orlando hotels.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

If you don’t want to add paying for breakfast to your growing Disney World budget, skip Disney hotels, and go with a hotel that offers complimentary breakfast.

You Have a Strict Budget

Even with value resorts, you’re probably paying more than you would for the same (if not more) amenities at a non-Disney hotel. While value resorts like Pop Century and Art of Animation also have benefits like the Skyliner, they’re essentially large motels with outdoor room entrances.

Pop Century

And while many value motels tend to offer free breakfast, none of Disney World’s value resorts offer free meals. If your budget is tight, it might be worth checking out other Orlando hotels.

And there you have it. Staying at a Disney World hotel isn’t going to work for everyone! Keep reading All Ears for more Disney World planning tips and tricks!

7 things you’re doing wrong when checking into your Disney World hotel!

Are you staying at a Disney World Resort Hotel soon? Tell us in the comments! 

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23 Replies to “5 Reasons Why You SHOULDN’T Stay at a Disney World Hotel This Year ”

  1. Our last trip (literally) using our DVC timeshare was end of October into early November and sadly it confirmed what we pretty much already knew. Disney has become the same money grab as all the other vacation spot/amusement parks that it used to be head and shoulders above. The magic just isn’t there anymore. It was a fun ride and we got our money’s worth out of DVC but unfortunately it’s time to sell. Walt would be very disappointed.

  2. Price is the huge point for us. Instead of paying $150 a night (plus parking) to stay in a tiny room at an All-Star resort, I am spending $140 a night for a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom condo with a small private pool and large community pool that is only 5 minutes from the main Disney gate. I am also saving a lot more money being able to prepare some meals in the full kitchen rather than rely on eating at the high priced food court at on if the All-Star resorts or eating in the parks.

    Even with Disney extending their morning early entry perk to an hour, I still feel like I come out ahead at this price and savings.

  3. I agree. We had the worst vacation ever staying at the Port Orleans Riverside. It was our favorite Disney hotel since we can take our dog. They made security checks an awful experience. Too much to describe, but we will never stay there gain. Invasive room checks that left us feeling violated. Staff was rude. Tried to get into the bathroom while I was in the shower. Worst trip ever!

  4. So true. Been staying on disney property every year for over 40 years. They really are making it harder than ever to justify staying on property.

  5. I’m a long time Disney fan who has spent thousands of dollars over the years staying on property and enjoying Disney Magic. I have loved all of my vacations, but share the concerns expressed in the article. Disney did use the stated incentives to entice guests to stay at their resorts. In fact, I may still own one of their promotional DVDs stating such reasons as extra Magic’s hours, Magic Express, Fast Pass system, and Disney busses or transportation. As Disney busses are often off schedule, at some resorts, and long wait times, I agree that staying at other Orlando hotels offers many nice alternate choices. Also, Disney hotel guests had free parking and that no longer exists. If you have to rent a car, then it is faster to enter the parks from the parking lot. Also, in the past extra magic hours were at least one hour in the morning, and they were 2 to 3 hours in the evenings. These options not only allowed guests to get in a few of their favorite attractions, but also allowed you to enjoy your beautiful resort during the day. The article did not mention stopping the Fast Pass system which was an unpaid perk Disney hotel guests received. My Floridian friends have not said anything nice about the new Genie system. Additionally, I have heard several grumbles that the new Genie system is both costly and ineffective. This isn’t good- especially since Disney also raised their ticket prices! I understand that so many of us were affected, and still recovering, from our pandemic. However, Disney just seemed to go a bit far with the budget cuts and raised fees. Prior to the pandemic, Disney did so many things well- I hope the theme parks will just listen to their customers and ( for real) bring back the magic we love them for so much! Again, I have had multiple amazing family vacations there. I am choosing to explore other options now because I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars to wander around the park and do a few rides. However, the reason I would continue staying in Disney is that I like the resorts. The resorts are beautiful, offer fun activities, usually very clean, provide top notch security, and the staff is always friendly.

  6. Disney transportation is free no matter where you stay. I have never seen anyone check to see if you are staying at a Disney hotel in order to use it. So if you are staying off property, all you have to do is get to a Disney property and then you can use the transportation system all you want for free. So the notion it is a perk for those staying on property is quite misleading.

  7. I thought of staying near Disney about a year ago. The hotels near Disney Springs all had ridiculous mandatory resort fees. No thanks. If a fee is built-in fine but to stick it on my bill – nope.

  8. Went in September and just did not feel ‘the magic’….here’s another 5 reasons

    Came back from the parks and found my door propped open by Mouse-keeping . Thankfully nothing missing

    No pool hopping

    No package delivery from parks to hotel

    Limited merchandise

    The employees in EPCOT are from Pennsylvania, not Germany

  9. I’m disappointed in seeing AllEars resort to such click bait articles that rehash the same tired negative arguments while ignoring their flaws.

    For example, you say don’t stay on Disney property if you want more perks. But you don’t get more perks doing so. You get NONE. Also the new early entry is actually a comparable benefit to the early entry. Sure, it’s less time but its available at EVERY park on every day. And literally as this article ran, resort guests are enjoying it for a full hour before parks open.

    Disney HAD to offer free MagicBands when they basically decided guests had to have them to enter the room, the parks, etc. However, with MagicMobile, they’ve given a free option of guests able to use their own phones for the same purpose. Yes, MagicBand designs are neat souvenirs, but you can still get them at a discount (as we did) if you’re a resort guests. But given that Disney has given an ability to access MyMagic+ without a MagicBand, the need, out of fairness, to give guests complementary MagicBands went out the window.

    Of course, there’s no mention of ability to snag individual lightning lanes for the best attractions before nonresort guests.

    Yes, if you enjoyed Magic Express, you’re going to miss that transportation. Then again if you didn’t go to the parks except in that limited time since 2005, then, well, somehow you managed.

    The perk on stay at a resort is the ease of access to the parks, so then ignoring that and saying well, maybe you don’t use Disney transportation…. how many non-resort people walk from the Ticket Center to Magic Kingdom without taking Disney transportation instead? 1%? So why would RESORT guests choose to stay on property and not use transportation? Heck, even if you decide to use a ride share from your resort to the park, you’re still taking advantage of close proximity to do so.

    If you want to make the case that Disney has blurred the line between the benefits of its resort guests and friendly neighbor/partner hotels like Swan & Dolphin, fair point. But man, am I tired of seeing these same arguments recycled for clicks.

    1. Thank You Brian. I was hoping someone would shine a little light in the dark. I’m taking my family for the first time next year and staying at Pop Century. Although it is a little disappointing that these perks aren’t there anymore, most were replaced by something. I think people who have never been to Disney resorts will still feel the magic. People just have to realize that we live in a different world now.

    2. I agree with you! What’s valuable for us may not be valuable for someone else. They just talk about saving money, but if that’s not the case, there are many things that we really value. I can’t wait for the next one!

  10. Personally, a reason I am staying on property in 2022 is to take my Grandchild to WDW for his first and possibly (too costly nowadays) only visit there. The experience for a one-time trip is worth the one-time cost. I consider this trip a “right-of-passage” for being “Grandpa”.

  11. Now I heard they are taking away ability to borrow points from next years points for this year sorry to say I’m rethinking of owning timeshares 😥

    1. I’m not sure how this didn’t make the list, but Disney currently doesn’t provide housekeeping. They only remove your garbage every other day if you opt in. They don’t clean the room or make the beds. Disney skates around this by changing their own definition of “housekeeping” but it is not housekeeping. When comparing against off property hotels, this has to be a factor.

      1. We just got back from Walt Disney World, and even though they stated limited housekeeping, we had fresh towels, beds made, and trash service every day.

    1. Yep, no perks except:

      -Staying on property next to the parks with convenient free transportation
      -Early individual lightning lane selection
      -Hey, Disney!
      -Discounted MagicBands
      -Early Entry
      -Late Stays for some resorts

      1. As Jeff said there are no perks. Brian, I love Disney too but none of those listed are “perks” for the COST of staying on property.
        Taking away Magical express was a huge mistake and it will come back to bite Disney in the a$$.
        Brian what you listed is laughable!

      2. I just spent the worst week ever in Disney. I visit avidly. The “magic” fell flat period. The list is just to long to type. No disney guest should run out of toilet paper. The merchandise was awful. They give less and charge more. I stayed at the Caribbean Beach.

        1. Jennifer… I’m with you!

          I was thinking of purchasing additional DVC points but after my stay in September, probably won’t be doing that.

          Waiting to see what going from RCI to Interval International will be like… probably just another downgrade