There are a number of ways to save money on a Walt Disney World vacation, and one of the best is to forget staying on Disney property, and check out one of the many great hotels near Walt Disney World. You may very well be impressed by what you find. I know, as I researched, this, I certainly was! In fact, I found that there are a number of benefits to staying off-property.
To start with, you will likely find larger, and perhaps nicer accommodations. This surprised me, as I am a big fan of the Disney resorts. But the fact remains that, for the same or even less money, you will get a lot more value staying off-site. And for families that find one hotel room is too small…and so they need two rooms… having the potential for larger accommodations, may mean only one room. Saving money already!!
Another thing to consider: The Disney properties can be difficult to book at certain times of the year (holidays, summer, school vacations), and so if you are trying to reserve at the last minute, or really need a lower price range, you will find the most options off-property.
Now if you are trying to plan an affordable Disney family vacation, being able to save money on things like meals, shopping, and even other attractions is important. Here, the best option is often to stay in one of the hotels near Disney World. Many provide free breakfast. Many also provide discounts and coupons to other theme parks, restaurants, and shopping. (And to be frank, having non-Disney options for any of these will allow you to save money.)
Many properties have pool areas that are the envy of anything on Disney property, as well as offering suites with mini-kitchens, fitness and recreation opportunities and a boatload of family and children’s activities.
Now what do you lose by staying in one of the hotels near Walt Disney World? Well, you will not have a 24/7 all-Disney-all-the-time experience…but you may be one who finds that to be a good thing! There are many who find they just need a break from all that pixie dust…and staying off Disney property can give you a much needed reality-check
However there is a compromise if you want to have your cake and eat it too!
Many folks do not realize that there are several “non-Disney” hotels that are actually on Disney property. There are a few in Downtown Disney, and then there is the fantastic Walt Disney Swan and Dolphin resort , located a short walk or boat ride of both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Here you will get many Disney resort guest benefits, but without the corresponding price tag. If you want to save money, but still have your “Disney”, these properties can be a good option.
Now I will say, that transportation can be an issue if you don’t carefully look at the details.Some hotels use a shared shuttle system with other properties, which can add travel time. Some charge for their shuttle. If you are planning afternoon visits back to your hotel, you will want to consider all your alternatives. A rental car can be a good solution, but realize that you will have a parking fee at the parks, and on peak holidays, the parking lots may actually close to non-Disney guests. Still, do your research, and you will find many great properties where transportation will not be a problem.
If you need more information, as always, check out my resource site, The Affordable Mouse. =)
Have a magical day!
- Affordable Disney Vacations Step by Step. Part Eight: What to Know if You Want to Stay at a Walt Disney World Resort
- Walt Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort Hotels:Not Just Interesting Architecture
- Affordable Disney Vacations Step by Step. Part Seven: Should I Stay ON Disney Property or OFF Disney Property?
- Military Disney: Discounts on Tickets and Hotels at Walt Disney World