Did you know you can access two highly coveted Walt Disney World Resort benefits without actually staying on a Disney-owned property?
Available through Dec. 31, 2020, Extra Magic Hours (early entry and late stay theme park privileges) and 60-day advance FastPass+ booking privileges can be yours if you have a paid theme park ticket and stay at one of 13 non-Disney owned hotel properties offering these benefits. Families can now enjoy an expanded roster of family-friendly Official Disney World resorts with special theme park access privileges.
Keep in mind that two exclusive Disney privileges—complimentary Magical Express airport transportation and linked Magic Bands—are not included with a stay at any of these non-Disney owned properties. Complimentary theme park transportation is provided by all of the Official Disney World hotels, as part of the resort fee, although mode and routes vary by specific properties. Daily resort and/or parking fees apply at all 13 hotels, so be sure to factor these costs into your overall vacation budget.
Consult this guide prior to booking your stay on one of the 13 non-Disney owned properties participating in this amazing added-value program, which you should definitely consider if you’re planning a 2020 Walt Disney World Resort visit.
1. Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World
The most luxurious resort in the Walt Disney World area—and arguably, in all of Orlando—Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World is where families stay if they want pampering, peace and supervised childcare, along with convenient access to the Disney theme parks. Complimentary children’s programs for kids ages 4 to 12, private luxury motor coach transportation to the Disney theme parks and a five-acre aquatic oasis that’s rated one of the best pools in all of Orlando are among the most popular perks for families. But there’s much more to love about this Five-Diamond property. Kids can enjoy a princess or pirate makeover at the onsite spa, dine with Disney characters, and get treated to a Disney-themed in-room celebration. Measuring 500-square-feet, standard guestrooms are especially spacious and luxuriously appointed, and even larger suites are available in five family-friendly configurations. All of this extravagance comes at price, but there’s no grander option for Disney-bound families.
2. Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort
Situated just steps from the International Gateway to Epcot in one direction and a short walk or boat ride from Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the other, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is the most conveniently based non-Disney resort. Located on Disney property, but carrying the flags of major hotel brands, this resort is a bit of an oddball; however, for families looking to stretch their budgets by funding a Disney vacation with travel rewards points—while sleeping in the middle of Disney’s Boardwalk area magic—it’s an oddly wonderful option. In addition to over a dozen restaurants and Camp Dolphin—the only remaining traditional childcare center at Disney—the property features daily Disney character meals and a fun-filled waterfall grotto pool complex with staff-led activities. A recent $140-million renovation added more family-friendly room configurations. Swan and Dolphin guests enjoy complimentary access to onsite Disney resort transportation, including boats and buses, as well as complimentary Disney theme park parking—a huge benefit that’s unique to this property.
3. BEST WESTERN Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel
For families on a budget, the BEST WESTERN Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel has always been a popular money-stretching option. Soon, travelers will find even more value in a Best Western stay, as the property is currently undergoing a major expansion and refurbishment. Don’t worry—the resort remains open while renovations are underway, meaning that you can still swim in the outdoor heated pool and kiddie pool and grab a quick meal at the onsite market or Pizza Hut Express. Kids 10 and under eat breakfast free (including made-to-order Mickey waffles!) at Trader’s Grill with a paying adult. Standard rooms are a spacious 420 square feet and accommodate up to four, while Deluxe Preferred Rooms accommodate five with the addition of a sleeper sofa and a microwave. Most rooms have a balcony.
4. B Resort & Spa
Formerly the Hotel Royal Plaza, B Resort & Spa in Disney Springs offers a hip lobby, a zero-entry swimming pool, a family game room and a pool bar serving non-alcoholic daiquiris for the kids. Guestroom options range from standard “Chic” rooms (which, at 240 square feet, are approximately the same size as Disney’s All-Star Resort rooms) for four, to 395-square-foot “Stunning” rooms, which are similar in size to many Deluxe Disney resort rooms and sleep up to five. There are also suite options, including poolside suites with walkouts, which sleep up to six. The daily resort fee includes two bottles of water, use of tennis courts, Disney theme park shuttle service and a welcome drink for each adult at check-in.
5. Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace
Ranking high in family fun factor, the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace features a resort-style pool with a zero-entry lazy river and a kids’ splash pad. The resort also offers a 24-hour arcade, a Disney Character Breakfast every Sunday at Letterpress, an ice cream parlor, and an activity lawn with family games. Standard rooms are a generous 400 square feet and sleep up to four. One-bedroom suites are around 800-square-feet and sleep four to six, while deluxe two-bedroom, 1,650-square-foot Tower Suites sleep up to six and feature fireworks views. Families who like stay late at the theme parks will be happy to know 24-hour room service is available.
6. Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – Disney Springs Area
Popular with hotel rewards program members, the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista was the first Disney Springs resort to offer Extra Magic Hours access –and has been offering the benefit for more than 15 years. Family-friendly amenities at the 814-room Disney Springs hotel include a Sunday Disney character breakfast; a resort-style pool with staff-organized games and an adjacent kiddie pool; a game room and several onsite dining options. Family accommodation options include standard 314-square-foot rooms (similar in size to Disney Moderate Resort rooms) with signature Hilton Serenity beds, and 517-square-foot suites, which sleep six and feature a separate bedroom, a living area and a theme park view.
7. DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando – Lake Buena Vista (Disney Springs Area)
The only all-suite hotel in Disney Springs, Doubletree Suites by Hilton Orlando – Lake Buena Vista offers families extra elbow room to stretch out, as well as budget-stretching amenities like kitchenettes. Standard one-bedroom suites are a spacious 540 square feet and sleep four to six, while 850-square-foot, two-bedroom suites can accommodate up to eight. Families can relax outdoors at the heated, tropically landscaped pool. For younger kids, there’s a splash pad, as well as a small playground. The daily resort fee includes two bottles of water, morning lobby coffee, access to lighted tennis courts and Disney theme park shuttle service. Fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies are complimentary at check-in.
8. Holiday Inn Orlando Disney Springs
Recently renovated guestrooms add even more appeal to this budget-friendly Disney Springs property, which features great rates and free meals for kids 11 and under when dining with a paying adult (including Mickey Mouse waffles at breakfast!). Comfortable 365-square-foot standard guest rooms (the same size as a Disney Deluxe Studio) offer a microwave and mini-refrigerator and sleep up to four, and some rooms feature balconies with fireworks views. Families will appreciate the property’s zero-entry pool, and complimentary morning coffee in the lobby. Don’t confuse this Holiday Inn with other Orlando area Holiday Inn hotels. Holiday Inn Orlando Disney Springs is the only area Holiday Inn hotel offering Extra Magic Hours and 60 day+ advance FastPass+ privileges.
9. Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista
Sharing recreation and dining facilities with the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs, the Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista rolls out the red carpet for families, with an Official Director of Fun, beach volleyball, basketball and tennis courts, as well as the Oasis Aquatic Playground, a splash-happy pool area that’s very popular with children. If you like to trade pins, you’ll be happy to know that you can do so onsite — the hotel has a pin-trading book especially for guests. Plus, the resort offers an arcade and a self-guided scavenger hunt for kids. Three mornings a week, at Lakeview Restaurant, the resort hosts a Disney character breakfast that’s one of the best deals in Orlando. Standard rooms are 290-square-feet, with one king-size or two double beds, and sleep up to four.
10. Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs Resort Area
Sharing recreation and dining facilities with Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista, this Disney Springs area property rolls out the red carpet for families, with an Official Director of Fun, beach volleyball, basketball and tennis courts, as well as the Oasis Aquatic Playground, a splash-happy pool area that’s very popular with children. If you like to trade pins, you’ll be happy to know that you can do so onsite — the hotel has a pin-trading book especially for guests. Plus, the resort offers an arcade and a self-guided scavenger hunt for kids. Three mornings a week, at Lakeview Restaurant, the resort hosts a Disney character breakfast that’s one of the best deals in Orlando. Standard rooms are 300-square-feet, with one King-size or two Queen-size beds and sleep up four. Tower rooms are preferable if you’re looking for modern comfort and great Disney fireworks views. Rooms at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs Resort Area cost a little more than those at the adjacent Wyndham Garden Disney Springs, but are more recently updated.
11. Shades of Green at Walt Disney World Resort
If you or your family member is an active or retired member of the military, you’ll find one of the best deals on Disney property at Shades of Green Resort, an official Armed Forces Recreation Center. For the price you would pay for a Disney Value resort room, you’ll get deluxe level amenities, including spacious rooms, an onsite spa offering kids’ services, a family pool with a mini-waterpark for little ones, and access to two PGA championship golf courses.
Accommodations are some of the most spacious on Disney property, with options ranging from standard 400- to 480-square-foot rooms, which sleep four to five, to Palm Suites accommodating up to 10 guests. There are five dining options onsite, as well as an official military exchange. Guests enjoy private shuttle bus transportation to the theme parks.
12. Waldorf Astoria Orlando
Inspired by New York’s landmark Waldorf Astoria hotel and situated on a 482-acre central Florida nature preserve, Waldorf Astoria Orlando features signature “True Waldorf” service with lots of luxurious perks for both kids and parents. In addition to a tropically landscaped zero-entry pool with cabana service, families can take advantage of an onsite Kids Club for children ages 5 to 12, kid-friendly menu items at all dining venues and direct luxury motor coach transportation to Disney’s four Orlando theme parks. Adjacent to Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort, with which it shares amenities, the 498-room Official Disney World Hotel is a bit more peaceful than its lazy river pool neighbor, and that’s why it’s an ideal vacation oasis. Accommodation options range from 448-square-foot Deluxe guest rooms, which sleep four and feature marble bathrooms, plush bathrobes and twice-daily housekeeping service to a palatial 2,485-square-foot Presidential Suite. Waldorf Astoria Orlando guests may book FastPass+ reservations 60 days in advance of a theme park visit.
13. Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
Featuring one of the most celebrated water park pools in Orlando, the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek is practically swimming with kid-friendly amenities. In addition to a 3-acre resort pool with a lazy river, cabanas and a waterslide, the 1,009 room resort features six dining options, an arcade and organized family activities. Guests can access all amenities at the adjacent Waldorf Astoria Orlando, including WA Kids Club for children ages 5 to 12. Standard rooms are a spacious 414-square-feet and sleep up to four. Junior Suites are 835-square-feet and sleep up to five, while even larger 1,250-square-foot suites sleep up to six and feature a separate living room, dining room and scenic Disney views. Guests of Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort enjoy direct luxury motor coach transportation to Disney’s four Orlando theme parks. Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek guests may book FastPass+ reservations 60 days in advance of a theme park visit.
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