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Do You Know These 6 Secrets About Walt Disney World Resort Hotels?

Walt Disney World is full of surprises, especially for those who have never visited or who haven’t stayed on property. If that describes you, here are six secrets that you may not know about the Walt Disney World Resort hotels. They may make you want to stay on property next time.

6. Not All Are Official

Just because a hotel is on Walt Disney World property does not mean that it is owned by Disney. Three notable exceptions are the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel, and Shades of Green Resort. Guests at those resorts enjoy some of the benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World owned resort, but not all. Other hotels on Disney property include Four Seasons Resort Orlando, B Resort and Spa, and Hilton Orlando. There are more. Staying at a Disney owned hotel will guarantee that you’re eligible for all benefits such as Extra Magic Hours, Disney’s Magical Express, and free theme park parking. Benefits at non-Disney hotels will vary.

5. Free Movies and Campfires

If you’re staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you won’t have to go far to enjoy a campfire or watch a free movie under the stars. Just ask at the front desk for the nearest location. What you may not realize is that you might be able to catch a recent hit movie. While classics are often shown, so are newer releases. You won’t see anything that is still in theaters, but if a Disney-related movie has been released on DVD and Blu-Ray it might be playing at one of the resorts. Most of the movies shown are rated G or PG, but an exception was made for Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens. Free showings of the PG-13 movie started as soon as the DVD was released.

4. Feel Free to Look

Some hotels require proof that you are staying there in order to look around, but that is not the case with the Walt Disney World Resort hotels. Feel free to take a look! Explore the lobby, wander the grounds, shop in the stores, and enjoy the restaurants. If you’re spending a day away from the theme parks, resort hopping can be fun. All of the themes are spectacular, and you might get an idea for where you want to stay on your next Walt Disney World vacation. Keep in mind that pool hopping is not allowed, you must be staying at a resort to use its pool.

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3. Fireworks

Some of the best places to see fireworks can be found at the Walt Disney World Resort hotels. If you pick the right room at a Magic Kingdom Area Resort, you’ll be able to watch Wishes from your room. Even if you don’t have one of those coveted views you can still catch fireworks away from the crowds. If it’s Wishes you want to see, book a reservation at California Grill, or watch from the beach at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Over in the Epcot Resort Area, leave your room and head to the bridge between Disney’s BoardWalk and the International Gateway entrance to Epcot. There are also great places to see the Disney’s Hollywood Studios fireworks from outside the Epcot hotels.

2. Free Dining

The Disney Dining Plan is a way to pay for your meals as part of your Magic Your Way Package. It is only available to those who are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. It sometimes gets even better. The Quick Service Disney Dining Plan is occasionally offered for no extra charge. Free dining usually takes place in the fall, and it is for a limited number of rooms. There are all kinds of restrictions that need to be met in order to qualify for free dining. It is extremely popular, and the spots will go quickly when it is announced. Free dining may be discontinued at any time without notice.

1. Bounceback Offers

Most people have such a great time on their Walt Disney World vacations that they start thinking about their next trip before they even check out. Disney has made that even easier for you. Bounceback offers are discounts that you will have to take advantage of immediately to qualify. You will need to book your next trip before you leave. The information will be in your room, and it changes. It could be that you will get a substantial discount if you book certain dates, or you might even end up with free dining. Disney wants you to return, and the deals will make you think about it. Like free dining, bounceback offers may end at any time. If you can’t find the offer, call 8844 from your room’s phone and ask for the information.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.