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Why the Frog Family Stays On Property, By Leap

by Leap on January 18, 2011

I'm asked all the time whether I think it's worth it to stay at a Disney hotel. And 99% of the time, the answer is YES!Disney Transportation

Here are the main reasons why...

  • As the Frog Family chauffeur, complimentary transportation is my favorite reason to stay on-property. When we leave the hotel each morning, we hop on the Disney bus that takes us directly to the park of our choice. When we're ready to go back to the room, we go to the bus stop right outside each park entrance and in just a few minutes, we’re on our way. We also have access to inter-park transportation like taking the Ferry boat from Epcot® to Disney’s Hollywood Studios®.
  • As Disney hotel guests, we have access to extended park hours called Extra Magic Hours. The morning EMH is a great time to ride all our favorites before the park fills up. We are already well into our Frog TOUR whenDisney World Photo the rest of the guests are just entering the park. The night EMHs are a perfect time for us to slow down a bit and take our time wandering through the park. Click here to read more about Extra Magic Hours.
  • The Key to the World is an organizational life-saver on a Walt Disney World vacation. When Mommy Frog, the kids and I check in to a Disney hotel, we present our tickets from Undercover Tourist to the Cast Member. He or she adds our tickets, room key and charging privileges to one convenient card...the Key to the World!
  • Now, we usually rent a car when we fly to Orlando, because of the convenience, especially as we head to other parks at the Universal Orlando® Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens and LEGOLAND Florida. But for people who are staying on property and would rather not rent, Disney’s Magical Express® Transportation is included with your hotel stay. With Magical Express, you can skip baggage claim as your bags are delivered to your hotel within three hours of checking in. You can then sit back and enjoy an air-conditioned motorcoach ride directly to the hotel. At the end of your stay, your luggage is picked up and you're taken back to the airport. (An added bonus...on domestic flights, you can skip airline check-in completely by using the Resort Airline Check-In Desk at the hotel!)

For more hotel information, including hotels near, but not on Theme Park property, check out my 'Where to Stay' article.

Considering staying off-site? Click here for Considerations Before You Make Your Reservation (blog).

Keep hopping, Leap!
Sort newest to oldest Sort oldest to newest
Rita Jan 19, 2011 at 3:23 a.m.

I am so excited to hear that WDW tickets we purchase from Undercover Tourist can be added to the Key to the World card!! I've been reading everything I can find to figure out how to get all the best deals next time we go and I hit a gold mine with your website!! Thanks.

Barb Jackson Sep 20, 2011 at 10:15 p.m.

I was just at Disney and they would not let me add my tickets to my key to the world card. I asked at my resort, Caribbean Beach and at Customer Service at Magic Kingdom. What is the secret?

FrogBlog Sep 23, 2011 at 7:59 p.m.

Hi Barb, We're sorry you couldn't add them to your KTTW on your last trip! It seems not all Cast Members know that it's actually possible to do this, so next time maybe ask to speak to another Cast Member. There's really not a secret on this one. ;) I hope this helps! -Mommy Frog

Matt Jan 11, 2012 at 9:53 p.m.

Quick Question...

I was reading on your disney home page and at the bottom, in the Skip the Lines box, under the Have a Plan section; it states "Avoid Extra Magic Hours (EMH)".

Everyone I've ever talked to and including this blog post says that is a big advantage to staying on property...

Can you explain why they should be avoided? I don't really understand the difference in message.

Thanks so much!

FrogBlog Jan 13, 2012 at 10:20 p.m.

Hi Matt, The park with Extra Magic Hours is more crowded the entire day. If you are not staying on Disney property and can't take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours, we recommend avoiding the park that has them altogether. However, if you are staying on Disney property, we recommend going during the morning Extra Magic Hour but then hopping to a different park that is less crowded. If a park has evening Extra Magic Hours, it would be best to go to another park during the day then go the park with evening EMH that night. Sorry for the confusion. I Hope this helps! -Leap

Dana Feb 18, 2012 at 12:44 a.m.


We are going to Disney World July 18 - 28, yes crazy I know, but due to a variety of circumstances, that's our time to go! Nonetheless.... I am wondering about staying at a Disney property. I have 3 kids, so we need a suite, I've called and it's like 325.00 a night for a suite. I can get a room online for $136.00, but we can't stay 5 in a room. Do you have any ideas, suggestions on how to get a beter rate on a suite? Is is even possible? The Disney people told me that only the All Star Music Resort and the new one opening this summer (Art of Animation?) has suites.

Thank you


FrogBlog Feb 20, 2012 at 3:12 p.m.

Dana, If one of the kids is under 3 years, you could fit in a Standard Room using a crib or trundle type bed. If not, the All-Star Music Resort does have suites that sleep up to 6. Their summer rates begin at $295, I believe. There are a few off-site properties that include complimentary theme park transportation, however. One of these, Buena Vista Suites, is an all-suite hotel. I'm not sure of the rates, but it may be worth checking out. Hope this helps! -Leap

Victoria McGill Jan 2, 2015 at 1:55 a.m.

Hello i just wanted to know if anyone knew of some deluxe or moderate motels for a family of 4 that isn't ran down like a few of the motels i heard about like super 8 and so on i have stayed in a few in my home town Chicago,IL and majority are terrible just would like to know what are some good/great!!! budget motel to stay in while visiting for the 1st time to Walt Disney world trying to go on a budget if possible.

FrogBlog Jan 5, 2015 at 7:44 a.m.

Hi Victoria,

Are you hoping to stay on site? All of the Disney properties are well maintained and we think the best way to experience the "Disney magic". If you are looking at budget options, I would take a look at Disney's value/moderates to see which might suit you!



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A Look at the Children’s Activity Centers and Sitter Services at the Disney Resorts - The Frog Blog: travel tips from the family frog at Undercover Tourist Aug 15, 2012 at 3:04 a.m.

[...] [...]

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Top 5 Reasons to Stay in a Disney Hotel Jun 19, 2013 at 2:41 p.m.

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chris Jul 2, 2014 at 1:44 a.m.


we are planning to visit orlando to visit disney and universal studio. we plan to stay for a week starting August 16th. any suggestions where to stay ? any good deals on hotels plus tickets that you know of?

FrogBlog Jul 14, 2014 at 3:42 p.m.

Hi Chris,

We've got some suggestions on where to stay as well as factors to consider before you make your hotel reservation in our Orlando Planning Guide:

Hope this help!


Penny Oct 6, 2014 at 8:28 p.m.

What Disney resort would you recommend staying at? I am an adult and I have never been and I am taking a teenager and toddler. Thank you for any input you can give!

FrogBlog Oct 7, 2014 at 7:32 a.m.

Hi Penny,

There are so many considerations that are based on personal preference. Personally, we absolutely love Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. The lobby is amazing, and the kids would love getting to see the animals that are right there on property.



Caroline Nov 9, 2014 at 12:17 p.m.


We are hoping to stay 31st Dec and 1st Jan, but dont know if its better to stay on site or not as we are a family of 4. 2 adults, 1 21yr old and a 12yr old, any suggestions of best place for the ages.

Also thought as its a flying visit, magic kingdom, 1 water park, finishing off final day at universal - what do you think?

FrogBlog Nov 10, 2014 at 9:28 a.m.

Hi Caroline,

If given the choice, we prefer to stay on site. There are so many amazing options, and the theming is different at each of them. Since you will be visiting Universal, you might find it beneficial to stay at Universal so you get the Unlimited Express benefit.

Do know that since you are visiting during such a busy time, you should book soon. Unless you decide on a monorail resort, you might also consider renting a car because during the busiest times you will often wait longer for Disney transportation.


Mommy Frog

Edgar Dec 4, 2014 at 1:39 p.m.


Trying to figure out, if staying in Disneys property, but not sure, we are 8 persons, I need to decide between a room or a villa, or some with small kitchen, Any ideas you can share..

10 days... June 15


FrogBlog Dec 4, 2014 at 1:52 p.m.


A number of the deluxe and moderates offer 2-bedroom villas that sleep up to 8 or 9. You can see what's available for your dates here

Dottie Jan 12, 2015 at 4:25 p.m.

Hello, I'm planning a vacation for my family and it will be the first time at Walt Disney World. The planning is very confusing because of the many hotels and reviews. Would you recommend any of the value hotels and have you stayed at the Coronado I read good and bad things about the Disney Properties. I know that most of our time will be spent at the parks but one of those days I would like to enjoy the hotel but the right one. Thanks for this incredible website and blog.

FrogBlog Jan 13, 2015 at 6:35 a.m.

Hi Dottie,

Congratulations on your upcoming trip and thank you for your compliment!

Picking a hotel is one of the most difficult choices, but there are some good options in all categories. With most of your time spent at the parks, the values probably make the most sense for you and your family. Know that you are also welcome to visit any of the Disney resorts during your visit. I like Pop Century, and of course, Disney's Art of Animation is the newest and offers some of the best theming on site! We have not stayed at Disney's Coronado Springs, but have toured it extensively. It has more amenities than the values and even the other moderates, but it is a big property, so which room you stay in becomes more important based on whether you want to be closer to the lobby, gift shop and dining areas, the main pool area, the gym and spa etc.

Let us know what you decide!


Sumit Feb 18, 2015 at 12:29 a.m.

Hi. I have booked Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside for my vacation in Disney from 16-21 May with my wife and kids (11,13). I want to purchase tickets for 5 days separately from your website. How do I add the Disney room which I have booked and tickets which I will purchase from you on My Disney Experience to take advantage of my Fast Passes? This is our first experience of Disney world and we wish to go very relaxed. Is one day less or more for us to cover one park? Please share your suggestion, if we should also add Park Hopper Option or avoid this extra cost? Thanks.

FrogBlog Feb 23, 2015 at 11:23 a.m.

Hi Sumit,

You would need to link your hotel reservation if it does not already appear in My Disney Experience, although it might already show up under My Reservations & Tickets. You would add your tickets in the same place and select Link Tickets.

Most parks take at least a day to experience the major attractions, Magic Kingdom takes at least two. Park hopping is ultimately up to you, but offers you the freedom to hop to more than one park in a day. You would be able to hop over from Disney's Animal Kingdom, for example, when it closes to Magic Kingdom to watch the fireworks. For a first visit, you may not need the park hopper option as you really want to experience everything the individual parks have to offer, but park hopping offers more flexibility.

Keep hopping!


Mel Apr 15, 2015 at 2:24 p.m.

I'm starting to plan a disney family vacation for 6 people - all adults? Help!! I asked my kids to pick a vacation spot and they said lets go back to disney as adults! Epcot and drinking around the world LOL. Can you suggest a hotel on property and offer any tips to help get started! our dates are Sept 6- 12, 2015 thx

FrogBlog Apr 15, 2015 at 9:45 a.m.

Hi Mel,

Since you mentioned Epcot and drinking, perhaps you'd want to stay in the Boardwalk area so you can walk to the park or take the boat? The Beach Club is one of our favorite resorts, but the Yacht Club is a little more refined and grownup. They share the best pool in all of Walt Disney World, which may or may not be of importance to all of you grownups ;) but we like it. The Boardwalk Inn is another good option. You may find some helpful tips for your group planning in this post.

Keep hopping!


Ian Apr 21, 2015 at 3:01 a.m.

Do the on site resorts have gluten free options? Are there rooms that have small kitchenettes to accomodate foods

FrogBlog Apr 21, 2015 at 7:01 a.m.

Hi Ian,

Yes, the resorts have gluten-free options. At table service restaurants, you should let your waiter know when you arrive. If you make an ADR, you can also specify this in your reservation, and a chef will come out to walk you through the gluten-free options. If you are at a quick-service location, you should ask a cast member about the gluten-free options. You may be more limited there, but they should have some pre-packaged options at a minimum. Standard rooms do not offer kitchenettes, but the suites and villas do.

Keep hopping!


Jeff O Jun 8, 2015 at 1:42 a.m.

I am planning a trip for my family and was wondering if there is a least busy time? Looking at some time this fall.

FrogBlog Jun 8, 2015 at 8:31 a.m.

Hi Jeff,

Check out this post on the best time to visit Disney World.

Keep hopping!


Stacey Aug 6, 2015 at 1:06 p.m.

Thank you for this blog! My husband and I have been to Disney lots of times and once with our toddler but now I am in the beginning stages of planning our vacation for October/November 2016 and have a few questions...

We will be a family of five by that time (an almost four year old and approx. 10 month old twins). We have never stayed on site before but now that we will have young kids and are not planning on visiting Universal, Sea World, seems like the better option. Which would be the better on site hotel to stay in, Caribbean Beach or Pop Century?

Can I purchase park tickets one at a time (as money allows) and add them into my reservation?


FrogBlog Aug 6, 2015 at 4:14 p.m.

Hi Stacey,

Absolutely, you can purchase tickets one at a time. However you would like! Just try to allow time enough that you can link your tickets before the 60 day mark, so that you can book your FastPasses when the reservation window opens. I would definitely stay at Disney's Caribbean Beach given the size of your party and the fact that you have been to Disney before. Most first-timers spend most of their time in the parks and thus need/want fewer amenities. With your party size, you will appreciate having more space.

Caribbean Beach is a lovely resort, and the kids like love the pool and pirate-themed splash and play area. I would request a standard room in Martinique Village to be closest to the main pool and Old Port Royale.

Keep hopping!


Patrick Aug 27, 2015 at 2:30 p.m.

We're just starting to plan a trip for Jan 14-18 2015 for two adults and two kids (ages 4 and 8), and the thought was that we would stay at an all-suites "Disney Friend" hotel offsite and rent a car. We would get the hotel on points so it would be free, but several people are saying it may be worth it to pay for a Disney resort hotel…do then benefits outweigh the $800-$1200 we would save on lodging costs?

We will be there for 4 full days. We want to do 2/3 days in disney and 1/2 at Universal. The money we would pay for the hotel could pay for another day's tickets. Also, don't know whether to just do the entire trip at Disney or can we hit universal, too? Kids want to see the minions!

FrogBlog Aug 31, 2015 at 11:19 a.m.

Hi Patrick,

For a first visit with your kids' ages, I would recommend visiting Disney World for those 4 days. There is plenty to do and see, and you will enjoy your time. We prefer to stay on property when we can, but have stayed off-site too. It's nice having extra space and full kitchens, and if this is a priority, then staying off-site makes sense.

Keep hopping!


Treina Sep 26, 2015 at 1:27 p.m.

Trying to plan a trip in either Oct 2015 or Feb 2016 for a family of 4; we are wanting to visit Walt Disney, Universal Studio's, Sea World and possibly Gator park so I am seeing that a Hopper pass is not my best option for a 5 night stay. If we stay on the resort will we have transportation to Sea World and Universal Studio's? We have only been one time and stayed at the Port Orleans Riverside and we really like all it had to offer but open to other suggestions.

FrogBlog Sep 29, 2015 at 10:35 a.m.

Hi Treina,

There isn't transportation to SeaWorld and Universal Orlando from Disney, but you could rent a car, take a cab or arrange for shuttle transportation. We recommend doing the math — often, renting ends up being as cheap as the other options and offers more flexibility, since we offer up to 50% off car rental when packaged with tickets.

Keep hopping!


Ming Man Oct 11, 2015 at 9:19 p.m.

I have a 5 year old and. 6 year old. First time travelling to Orlando. Planning to travel in February 2016 for 4 days. My kids would like to experience what is Orlando all about (Disney that is).

By reading your blog, aside from staying in the Disney resort what else can you remommend.

Thank you.

Mom travelling with two kids.

FrogBlog Oct 14, 2015 at 11:21 a.m.

Hi there,

We have a ton of resources inside our Planning Guide. Check it out!

Keep hopping!


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