Do you have questions? We have answers! Each week, a Diva or Devo will share some of our best tips with you as we answer five of your questions. This week, JollyFrogger Diva shares with you her tips on some of your questions regarding Disney World hotel tips.
1) “We plan to tip everyday but also leave a gift at the end of the week. What value do we need to stay under? We were going to leave something between $25-$50 value.”
The American Hotel and Lodging Association recommends $1-$5 per day as an appropriate tip for housekeeping staff. It’s suggested you tip daily because the same person may not clean your room each day. However, if you feel lead to leave a gift at the end of your stay, I’m sure that would be welcome too. I don’t think there is a maximum amount you should spend on this gift since it’s an addition to a daily tip and not a replacement for it. If $25-$50 is a comfortable range for your budget, then by all means, but if that’s a bit expensive it would be okay to spend less too.
2) “I want to know what the best hotels are to stay at in Disney World when traveling with small children. (Five and under)”
Staying at any resort on property with small children would seem much more convenient to me than staying off property. Depending on the child(ren)’s age and interest, there are some fun themed resort that might appeal to them more than others. We stayed in the Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation when my daughter was 1 and she loved it- they also have family suites with Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Cars themes that might be good if there is more than one child in your party and you need a little more space than you find in a traditional hotel room. Port Orleans Riverside has Royal Guestrooms that include cool touches like “magical firework” effects in the headboard. Caribbean Beach has Pirates of the Caribbean themed guest rooms complete with treasure patterned bedspreads and carpet that looks like a wood deck.
One thing you may want to consider when traveling with small children is the distance of your room from the bus stops and dining hall. If you stay at one of the larger resorts like Caribbean Beach or Art of Animation, you may want to spend a little more money on a Preferred Room, which means your room will be closer to the bus stop and lobby than it would be for a Standard Room. Also, you may want to request a ground floor room if you will using your own stroller during your trip- lugging one of those up and down the stairs can be difficult, especially at the end of a long day.
3) “What is online check-in and what are some of the benefits of doing it?”
Online check-in allows you to go ahead and get all the typical information on file that hotels usually like to gather at check in. Walt Disney World allows you to do that up to 60 days in advance at select resorts. For a complete list of participating resorts visit Walt Disney World’s website.
One of the main benefits of online checking is that it can allow you to skip the sometimes long lines once you arrive at your resort. At the Front Desk, you will see a separate area for guest who have checked in online, where you can go and get your room number and resort map. You can also make up to 2 room requests by doing online check-in, such as preferred building or preferred floor. You can even request an early or late check in and check out.
4) “What are some of the benefits of staying in a hotel on Disney property?”
I have stayed both onsite and off, and I much prefer staying staying on Disney property whenever we visit. If you’re flying into Orlando International Airport, Walt Disney World offers free bus transportation to and from your resort. Additionally, they offer free transportation property-wide to their resort guests via buses, boats, and even the Monorail. If you are not planning to leave Disney property during your stay, you can skip the expense of renting a car and let Disney do all the driving for you.
Another great perk of staying on Disney property are the Extra Magic Hours. Each day, one park will open early or stay open late for resort guests only. That allows you up to 3 more hours to ride your favorite ride, do some shopping, or just soak up the atmosphere at your favorite park.
5) “Which category of resort is best?”
Tough question. I have stayed at a resort in each category (value, moderate, and deluxe) and they all have their pluses. When we travel, we tend to stay at the moderate levels resorts because we like the fact that the rooms are a little bigger than they are in the value level, and that most moderate resorts offer a queen bed instead of two doubles. However, if you are on a tight budget or are traveling with a smaller party, a value resort is still a great choice. If you plan to spend a bit of time in your room or have a larger budget, deluxe resorts are great and offer some really interesting options (like watching the sun set or rise over the savannah from your balcony at Animal Kingdom Lodge). In the end, I don’t think it’s possible to go wrong with any Walt Disney Resort. For more more information on the Top 5 Reasons to stay at each resort level, check out these articles by some our other Divas: Value, Moderate, and Deluxe.