When planning your trip to Walt Disney World, you will be faced with the age-old question, “Where should I stay?”. Disney property and the surrounding off-property area are jam-packed with hundreds of hotels, Airbnbs, and rental condos, making deciding where to stay for your vacation challenging.
Staying on Disney property is the best choice when planning your trip to the Most Magical Place on Earth. Staying onsite has multiple benefits, from pricing to transportation to individualized perks!
Resorts for Every Budget
A Disney hotel may only sometimes be the most inexpensive option when planning a vacation. However, Disney accommodates all ranges’ budgets with their three hotel offerings categories: Value, Moderate, and Deluxe.
As the name suggests, the value resorts are the least expensive, with nightly price ranges of around $100 to $250, depending on the resort, room type, and if it is a peak season. The All-Star Resorts (All-Star Movies, Music, and Sports) are the cheapest.
If you want a slightly elevated experience without breaking the bank, check out the moderate Resorts. Caribbean Beach has access to the Disney Skyliner and typically runs in the $200-$350 range. Discounts are often available through Disney’s seasonal offerings.
And if you want a more luxurious stay, check out one of the deluxe resorts! Enjoy the tropical offerings of the Polynesian, or wake up to a giraffe outside your balcony at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Disney resorts also offer accommodations for families of different sizes. Grab a room with a fifth sleeper if you have an odd number in your party. Or check out the family suites at Art of Animation or All-Star Music. There are even one, two, and three-bedroom villas at some of the deluxe resorts. Whatever you need, Disney offers it!
Easy Transportation Options
If you stay on property, resort, and park, transportation is built into your overall experience. Depending on where you stay, Disney resorts offer bus, Skyliner, boat, and monorail transportation (all for free!) to get you to where you want to go. If you decide you’d rather drive your own car, you can have standard parking for free at the theme parks as a resort guest. Disney also recently eliminated fees for resort parking, so you can park your own vehicle at your resort at no additional cost!
Extra Time at the Parks
Disney has incorporated early entry for resort guests into their daily theme park hours, allowing those staying on the property to get in and start their fun thirty minutes before offsite guests. This may seem like a bit of time, but it gives you a great head start to get to your favorite attractions before the parks open to everyone else. If you are staying at a deluxe resort, there are also select nights to stay in certain parks a few hours after closing!
Individual Lightning Lane Bookings
With Genie+, Disney also incorporated the Individual Lightning Lane, a “line skip” for a park’s most popular rides at an additional cost. Resort guests can book their Individual Lightning Lanes at 7:00 AM on the day of their visit. Non-resort guests have to wait until the park opens. The ability to secure them at 7:00 is a definite perk, as many of these ultra-popular rides can either book up once the park opens or book further out into the day than you may want.
On some occasions, Disney will offer special perks to their resort guests. Most recently, they allowed resort guests to book tickets to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and Disney’s Jollywood Nights well before non-resort guests. With events like these being so popular, it pays to be a resort guest to ensure you can snag tickets on your preferred day!
The Disney Bubble
Finally, though it may not be a formal perk, something must be said about staying within the “Disney Bubble.” I have stayed both onsite and offsite on my visits to Walt Disney World, and I can easily say that staying on Disney property in a Disney hotel enhances the overall experience of your trip. Will you still have a fun trip if you visit offsite? Absolutely. But from the second you set foot on Disney property, there is magic in the air.
Whether it’s the multi-story tall statues of your favorite Disney characters at All Star Movies, the Royal Princess guest rooms at Port Orleans Riverside, or the Incredibles-themed rooms at the Contemporary resort, you will feel Disney magic at your Walt Disney World resort. The theming at each resort is specific and elaborate to immerse you in the world they have created.
Walt Disney World has dozens of hotels on the property with fun themes, good food, free transportation, and lots of perks! Though there may be cheaper options and several excellent hotels in Orlando, I will always recommend staying at a Disney resort. There are so many options out there; I can guarantee you will find an option that fits your budget, family, and vacation bucket list!
Author: Ashley Hunt
Ashley co-founded The Midwest Mouse, a Disney Instagram account and blog she started with her husband, Braden. Ashley lives in Indiana with her husband and their two daughters. They are Walt Disney World annual pass holders and visit Disney parks as often as possible. They look forward to crossing more things off their Disney bucket list while continuing to share their adventures on their Instagram (@the_midwest_mouse) and website.
Whether you’re traveling with young children, teens, or adults, we’ve got you covered. From the whimsical fun of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort to the luxurious elegance of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, we’ve got something for everyone. So look at our resort reviews and start planning your dream Disney vacation today!