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Disney Resort Benefit: Free Airport Transportation

One of the best reasons to stay at a Disney hotel, Disney's Magical Express is a free service that takes you from the Orlando airport to your Disney World Resort hotel. After you get off your flight, follow the signs to baggage claim, where you'll see more signs (and even cast members offering directions) to Magical Express check in.

Be sure to tell your travel agent (like my friends at Dream Come True Vacations) that you want to use this free service. They will make arrangements and give you all the details!

Disney Moderate Resorts: Favorite Vacation Destinations

The Disney World hotels that perfectly blend affordability and adventure are the Moderate Resorts. These casual resorts themed to favorite vacation destinations offer guests rooms that open to exterior hallway or balcony. Closer to the theme parks than Value Resorts, they are moderately more expensive.
These casual resorts themed to favorite vacation destinations offer:
  • Guest rooms that are approximately 315 square feet, open to exterior hallway or balcony.
  • Two double beds that sleep four (or five at Port Orleans Riverside), with limited king rooms available.
  • One or two vanity sinks in room. Toilet and bathtub with shower in bathroom.
  • One armoire with four to six large drawers, small table and two arm chairs in each room.
  • In-room high-speed Internet access ($10/day) and free in-room refrigerator.
  • One or two table-service restaurants (dinner).
  • Counter-service food court (early morning to late evening).
  • In-room pizza and sandwich delivery (evening), with more room service options at Coronado Springs.
  • Lounge and pool bar.
  • One large themed pool with smaller quiet pools.
  • Watercraft rentals and whirlpool.
  • Resort shops that feature WDW souvenirs and shirts, merchandise that reflects the resort theme, and snacks.
  • Transportation to parks by bus.
If you're looking for the moderately priced Disney World hotels and want to "visit" a favorite vacation destination, try the Disney Moderate Resorts... I love pretending that I'm visiting a resort in the Southwest, Mississippi Delta or Caribbean!

For maps of Disney Moderate Resorts locations, see Pages 4-7 in Mouse Map.

Disney's Yacht Club

Resort: Disney's Yacht Club.

Location: Epcot Area.

Photo Location: Queen room, looking from the balcony door.

Quick Review: Quiet rooms with excellent view of the waterway. Superior service. Easy access to Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios.

More Information: See Page 75 in Mouse Map for more details on Disney's Deluxe Resorts.

Disney World Resorts Go Smoke Free

Since June 1, all resort hotels at Walt Disney World have been smoke-free. As someone who lives in a predominently smoke-free city - Austin, Texas - I've been amazed at the number of smokers at Disney World. As a professional event planner, I'm surprised that it took Disney this long to jump on the "smoke free" bandwagon. In any case, I think most families will applaud this move. In fact, the Orlando Sentinel said:

During the last five years, guest demand for smoking rooms at the Walt Disney World Resort has been declining steadily. Currently, less than 3.5 percent of Walt Disney World's 24,000 resort rooms are smoking optional, Disney reported in a news release.

The Sentinel and other sources report that smoking will be prohibited in all guest rooms, indoor public spaces, balconies and most other outdoor spaces. Smoking will be permitted only in designated outdoor areas, similar to the smoking areas in the parks.

Smoking bans were put in place at Disneyland last year. Word is that this move is part of Disney's ongoing efforts to promote healthy lifestyles. Whatever the motive, I say "Hooray!"

Renting Disney Vacation Club Points

Wow, I'd loved to afford a week's vacation at a Disney Vacation Club resorts. But with standard rates beginning at $300/night, it just seems impossible. Or is it?

Actually, it is possible -- if you "rent points" from a Disney Vacation Club owner. Disney fan Barrie has an excellent description of how renting points on her Squidoo page: Disney World Resort Hotels for Less:

Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is sort of like a timeshare, only different. Members own "points" that they can exchange for time at select Disney resorts, referred to as "home away from home" resorts by the folks at Disney. Members are allotted a certain number of points each year, based on what they purchased. If they do not use their points they can "bank" them for use in the following year.

However, sometimes life happens and members find themselves in the position of not being able to use the points that they banked before the end of that second year. Rather than risk losing their points altogether they will rent them out to other people to recoup their money.

The current rate for renting vacation points ranges from $10 to $12 per point. Most go for about $10 per point. Even at $12 per point, renting points will save you a considerable amount of money on a Disney Resort Hotel.

Match Your Travel Preference to the Disney Resort Category

With 24 resorts at the Walt Disney World Resort, choosing the right hotel may be confusing. Learning about the basic features of each resort category will make narrowing your choice much easier. Here are the resort categories, plus an overview of what makes them special.

Value Resorts: Casual resorts with bold colors and decor. Two double beds, with small bureau, table and two chairs. Lowest room rates, but further from the Magic Kingdom. Two pools at each. Food court. Closer to Animal Kingdom and Disney-MGM Studios.

Moderate Resorts:
Casual resorts themed like favorite vacation destinations. Two double beds, with armoire, table and two chairs. Pools and other recreation, such as watercraft rental. Moderate room rates. Table-service restaurant and food court. Most are closer to Epcot and the Magic Kingdom.

Deluxe Resorts:
Upscale resorts that immerse guests in unique cultural experiences. Two queen beds, one day bed, large armoire, table and two side chairs. Two or more table service restaurants (many with character meals), food court and room service. Pools and extensive recreation. Most are very close to the Magic Kingdom and offer monorail and boat service. Higher room rates, which may vary greatly.

Cabins and Campground:
Log-style cabins and campsites. One table-service restaurant and two dinner shows. Groceries at resort shops. Wide selection of recreation. Closest to the Magic Kingdom.

Disney Vacation Club Resorts:
Studios to three-bedroom villas. Table-service restaurants and food courts. Recreation. Locations throughout the resort.

I'll give you more detailed information about each Disney World hotel resort category in other posts... Got a specific question. Use the comment function here on Blogger to ask!

Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground is what camping should be! Enjoying the easiest way to “rough it,” guests love the idyllic forest setting, plenty of recreation choices, plus easy access to the Magic Kingdom across Bay Lake.

Fort Wilderness cabins are perfect for guests who prefer accommodations more like a home-away-from-home, and the campsites bring the same comfort to RVers and tent campers. Nestled among natural Florida flora, guests are sure to see plenty of native fauna.

  • One-bedroom log-style cabins with kitchens sleep six, and campsites sleep up to 10.
  • One table-service restaurant, one lounge, and two dinner show choices (one is seasonal).
  • Resort shops offer the widest selection of groceries at WDW, with resort wear and merchandise that reflect the resort theme.
  • Wide selection of recreation.
  • Transportation to parks by bus and/or boat.

Copyright 2007-2010 Anne S. Easterling. All rights reserved. This blog is an independent publication and is not officially affiliated with Walt Disney World or The Disney Company. Visit Mouse Map: The Ultimate Disney World Map Guide for more help planning your Disney World vacation.