Like many of you, I am plagued by the decision of whether to stay on Virtual roster MGM property at Disney or to save some cash that can be spent on merchandise (or churros, your choice).
When my husband and I visited in August 2016, we were fortunate enough to be gifted some timeshare points that covered our stay. For our upcoming trip in May, we had to make a decision: on-resort or not?
-You are right on the grounds, with quick access to the parks. You would have no need for a rental vehicle if you wanted to avoid the cost (Disney has also recently added nightly parking to their resorts, so this is another consideration).
-You will get a complimentary ride to your hotel right from the airport and return.
-You have access to Extra Magic Hours! This is essentially time you can visit the parks when other guests do not have access. You can pay for merchandise with your MagicBand.
-The merchandise you buy can be delivered straight to your room – no need to carry it in a sweaty backpack all day!
-You can book all your Fastpass+ once you are 60 days out from your trip.
-You can book all dining reservations 180 days out (Hello, Be Our Guest!)
On the downside, on-resort stays are typically more expensive than being off-resort.
Buses can be slow if they are shared among multiple resorts.
So, what are your options for staying on resort?
Value Resorts and Campgrounds (starting from $55-$110 USD*):
The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort (Magic Kingdom area)
Disney Pop Century Resort (Wide World of Sports area)
Disney’s All-Star Music Resort (Animal Kingdom area)
Disney’s All-Star Movie Resort (Animal Kingdom area)
Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort (Animal Kingdom area)
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort (Wide World of Sports area)
One thing to note is that these resorts will often share buses and will not have their own restaurants (they will have a food court though for those Disney munchies).
Moderate Resorts (starting from $203 USD*):
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort (Epcot area)
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside (Disney Springs area)
Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter (Disney Springs area) – Note that this resort does not have its own restaurant, but you can hop over to Riverside for this experience. Plus, beignets!
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort (Animal Kingdom area) – This resort has the price of a Moderate with the feel of a Deluxe.
The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort (Magic Kingdom area)
Deluxe Resorts (starting from $332 USD*):
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (Animal Kingdom area)
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (Magic Kingdom area)
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (Magic Kingdom area)
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge (Magic Kingdom area)
Disney’s Beach Club Resort (Epcot area)
Disney’s Contemporary Resort (Magic Kingdom area) – This resort has a monorail running right through it to the Magic Kingdom. Cool!
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort (Epcot area)
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn (Epcot area)
Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel (Epcot area) – May only be available as a vacation package.