This seems to be the first struggle most guests planning a Walt Disney World vacation have to hurdle, to stay on Walt Disney World property or stay off site.
Off site hotels usually offer much lower price points- which is a pretty big pro when staying off site and help with most price concerns on the surface…
I understand your concerns. However, staying on property is the only way to go in my opinion.
Transportation: You won’t need to rent a car when you arrive in Orlando as Disney will transport to and from the airport. Disney’s Magical Express will also retrieve your checked luggage and deliver them right to your resort room. Disney also handles all transportation while on property as well (buses, boats, the monorail). Plan to save at least $300 for the car rental + parking is $18 per day when you stay off property. Not having to worry about how to get to places, finding parking spots, traffic- that is priceless while on vacation, isn’t it?
Location: while some areas claim to be 5 -10 minutes from “Disney”, they are referring to the main gate. Walt Disney World is actually a small city in that it is 66 square miles in total. So in actuality, you’re looking at a 20-25 minute ride once you get on property. Then you’re dropped off in the parking lot and have another 10 – 15 minute ride to get to the park! When you stay on property, the buses drop you off right in front of the parks. Plus if you need to bring the baby back to the hotel for a nap, you are no further than 20 minutes away.
Fast Passes: When you stay on property, you are able to book your fast passes starting at 60 days prior to your vacation for the entire trip. Whereas when you stay off property, you are only able to book fast passes at 30 days out and at a day at a time. If Anna & Elsa meet & greet is on your “must do” list, staying on property is the only way to get this fast pass as it sells out quickly.
Magic Bands: With the Magic Your Way package, you will also receive a Magic Band per person. This serves as your room card, park ticket, dining plan and fast pass. These are valued at $18 each.
Not to mention, the Disney Difference. In each resort – not matter is you are staying in a value resort or a deluxe resort- there are special touches and amenities that only Disney can provide. Don’t want to carry your purchases with you around the parks? Have them delivered to your resort room! Hard time waking up? A Disney character can call and wake you up every morning to start your day. There are sights, sounds, and experiences you can only enjoy if your are staying in a Disney resort.
So when choosing a hotel for your Walt Disney World vacation, you really do need to keep these extra costs in mind. How cost effective is that offsite hotel…. really…..