Deciding where to stay can be quite daunting. There are so many options both on site to offsite. Walt Disney World has 28 different hotels ranging from value to Deluxe Villas, but also a fabulous campground for tents to motor homes and everything in between. Hotels in Kissimmee, Orlando and surrounding areas have thousands and thousands of rooms.
Staying offsite can be a less expensive for the budget conscience. Rooms are available for under $50, but do your homework and research thoroughly. Checking online reviews can be very helpful – try several different sites to get a better idea of what to expect. Reading between the lines can be a life-saver, similar to reading those home ads when looking for a new home. For example; cozy means small rooms. When locating a hotel a map such as MSN or Google maps can be helpful to see how far your travel to WDW can be. Even if it says 2 miles, it can take up to 30 + minutes with traffic, etc. And once to the WDW gate, you still have several miles to travel to the Transportation Center to park or choose a park. Parking can run $15 to park at a park. I suggest parking at your last destination of the day so make leaving much easier. No long rides and walks to get back to your vehicle.
Staying onsite will be more expensive with rooms in the value hotels starting at $96 per night to the Deluxe Villas running over $500 per night. Rooms in the value hotels are smaller, but if you only sleep there, it will be plenty. The Moderate hotels are slightly more expensive and the rooms are somewhat larger, and so on to the larger Deluxe Villas. Do you plan to spend down-time in the rooms? Will you have small children along that will need quiet area for sleep time? Can smaller ones sleep easily in the same room as adults chilling-out. One of the advantages to staying onsite is the convenience. Buses are easily available at all hotels. Once you arrive at your onsite hotel, you don’t have to drive again until you leave unless you want to. Being onsite can also make it easier for little ones to get some down time during the day, thus avoiding melt-downs.
I have stayed on Walt Disney World property and also offsite. Obviously, I much prefer staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel with the convenience. It is so nice to have Disney Transportation drop you at your hotel with only a leisure walk to your room. The convenience goes beyond having transportation at your finger tips, but also what happens if something is forgotten in the room. Nothing worse than having to walk to your vehicle, finding your way out of parking and driving whatever miles back to your hotel.
We have stayed off site several times. This has worked better on visits without smaller ones along. Also on longer trips when we didn’t plan on being in the park every day. We once stayed in Kissimmee at a smaller hotel, when it was just the two of us and it worked fine. We just planned a little more in the mornings.
Whichever you decide and do your homework and look at all the options available, or ask a travel professional for help. A little pre-trip planning will make your trip a Magical one!
Debbie and her husband live in Collegedale, TN where her youngest son is going to college. She is a huge Disney fan who dreams of someday retiring and working as a tour guide at Walt Disney World. She has enjoyed many trips to WDW with children, grandchildren and sometimes adults only. It is her ultimate goal to make sure everyone who visits WDW has the same magical time that she enjoys every time she visits.