By Guest Contributor Michelle Perkins

When I was in high school, I took my first trip to Walt Disney World with my grandparents.  I remember we stayed at a resort, it wasn’t on Disney Property, but at the time I didn’t realize that there was a property to stay on. I was not as well versed in Disney as I am now.  Years later when my parents took me to Disney to celebrate my college graduation, they arranged for us to stay at the Caribbean Beach Resort.  That was it. I was hooked and ever since then staying on property was a must!  I came to Disney a few more times stayed in different resorts and in 2011 bought into the Disney Vacation Club.  I moved down here in 2013 and at first, I didn’t think I would get any use out of my Vacation Club points because I lived here now.  Who was I kidding? Staying on property is the best and now I can take little mini vacations with my family and stay one or two nights just to try a new resort or just to get away.  I know what you’re thinking. Why not just go home, but sometimes a little get away is so needed!  Disney is my favorite place and there is always something new to explore and the resorts offer so many things to see and do!

Most of the time when we stay on property it’s because I am running a race (yes, I’m one of those crazy run Disney people), but in between the races we can still enjoy the resort we are staying at.  In the last two years, we have stayed at Saratoga Springs. It’s my home resort so it is easier to get reservations there with my points.  The resort is really pretty and even though I am literally 15 minutes away from home it feels like I am in a different world.  I immediately relax the second I pass through those gates.  You can leave your worries behind and just enjoy all your resort of choice has to offer.  I have stayed at a few other resorts on property as well, and my favorite by far has been Animal Kingdom Lodge.  If you get a safari view, you can wake up walk on your balcony and the animals are just roaming around, its beautiful and majestic.


Now, if you can’t get a safari view there are plenty of places to sit and just watch the animals as the roam the resort grounds.  Another resort I like is POP century.  Its one of the value resorts and the theme is different decades.  They have large very oversized props that are iconic of their time periods.  My favorite is the giant Mickey Mouse phone, and I have one just like it, normal size of course.  They have a giant Mr. Potato head, a giant foosball table, and a great food court.  So, you don’t have to travel for hours by plane or car to go on vacation as a local.  Head through the Disney gates and enjoy your home away from home.

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