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A Villa to Call Home

Updated: Nov 28, 2021

“When there’s a smile in your heart, there’s no better time to start. Think of all the joy you’ll find, when you leave the world behind and bid your cares goodbye.” – Peter Pan

Disney Hotels Vs. Non-Disney Hotels

A “Disney hotel” is one that is owned and operated by Disney. It is staffed by Disney Cast Members, and it has restaurants that participate in the Disney Dining Plans. A non-Disney hotel is any other hotel, including other hotels on Disney property.

The perks of staying on Disney property include:

~That unquantifiable, indefinable “Disney magic” quality

If you have been staying at a hotel and felt like you were getting into the wrestling ring to wrangle an extra blanket from housekeeping or felt the need to become your hotel security because of those darn people ruining your sleep, rest assured, those things do NOT happen at a Disney resort. Disney cast members in every level are a distinct cut-above your standard resort employees.

~Exclusive access to extra hours

On the day that forever changed my views on park opening, my son was four years old and it was my husband’s first time to Magic Kingdom. My husband will likely always refer to that day as “the running of the bulls,” when strollers were used as battering rams. Moral of the story: Early theme park entry really is magical; you do not want to be simultaneously attempting the same moves as hundreds of other people. Granted much of that has changed due to the pandemic, but the guaranteed security is priceless.

~Free, regular transportation to all Disney parks and Disney Springs

In my marriage, my husband and I take turns riding in the back seat when we are going somewhere that may cause driver/rider “anxiety”; starting your day with a case of road-rage within your party is not exactly magical. Although I have stayed at Disney resorts that offer Skyliner, boat, and monorail transportation, I am strong supporter of Disney bus transportation. Plus, it also means avoiding paying for parking at the theme parks.

the ability to book a Disney Dining Plan (currently suspended, return date announcement expected soon)

In our house, it’s not unusual for everyone’s tastes to differ, like having steak, salmon, and hotdogs all on the same night. Sure, each Disney theme park has dozens of food options, but if you want to “know” you have a menu that will be a crowd-pleaser and not break the budget, the Dining Plans (and me as you planner) are the best! Yes, I am the type of nut who has all the Disney menus in my own little spreadsheets; yes, this is freakishly obsessive, but I have you covered!

“Open different doors, you may find a you there that you never knew was yours. Anything can happen.” – Mary Poppins


Your Home Away from Home

Disney has a special room offer for Disney® Visa® cardmembers between December 12th and December 24th. My all-time favorite resort, Animal Kingdom Lodge, currently has 25% off, so a family of four could stay from December 13 to December 20 with a 5 day ticket for $4,298. Although there are other discounts in this offer that may are more budget friendly, there's nothing like looking out your balcony room to see African wildlife in the morning-not to mention the quiet oasis the entire resort seems after a day in the parks. Contact me today to learn more about this and other Christmastime deals!


My husband's favorite resort, Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge, is also one of my top picks because there's nothing like looking out your own balcony to see African wildlife. With careful planning, it's possible on almost any budget and makes each part of your stay absolutely magical!


Hello, I'm Kelly Nixon

I'm a Disney-loving mom and teacher who has dedicated a ridiculous amount of time to researching the best way to do Disney-to maximize the quality of time and minimize the dollars spent!

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