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Quinn
Auckland

Quinn from Auckland asked

Are the Disney Hotels the best option to stay at Disney World?

Hi! Heading to Orlando in January for 8 days, and am thinking that we (family of 4) will spend 4 days at Disney World, is it worth staying at a Disney hotel for the convenience and extra benefits? Hoping not to spend too much money on accommodation. Thanks :)

Orlando (Florida)   Florida (FL)

10 Answers
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answered first by
Rocio from Costa Rica

Hello Quinn. I recently stayed at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort and discovered a group of  beautiful villas located pretty close to the Swan hotel, Epcot and the other Disney resorts. These villas are cheaper and are also located in front of the boardwalk, a beautiful lake (where you can take the cruise to Epcot for free), lot of restaurants, coffee shops, etc.  Sounds to me like a better option for a family  trip. Check it out on internet!

Hope this helps!


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answered by
Kelly from Massachusetts

I think staying at a Disney hotel is so worth it. Free rides to the parks by bus, monorail, boat, etc. is just one of many benefits. The staff can't be beat, Disney goes out of it's way to please their guests even if you stay at their budget resorts. I also heard that you can use the pools, etc. at other hotels even while staying at another but I would double check that.


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answered by
Courtney from San Diego

Hey Quinn!
Orlando thrills await you!  Great place to bring the family of course. Disney Hotels were made for kids and convenience but no you shouldn't pay the extra money.
If the "Disney" reputation and notoriety is too irresistible, browse Disney's Good Neighbor Hotels. They're affiliated with Disney in terms of quality, proximity, and park-perks.

Of those, I recommend Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spabecause of all the kid-friendly activities on the property. They have their own attraction even, it's a huge pirate-themed pool. If that's still not wallet friendly, try The Enclave Hotel & Suites- it's a little closer to Universal. Rooms have full kitchens, which is nice when you're park hopping and sick of "souvenir food."

There is virtually no inconvenience about staying off-site. I agree about hotel shuttles and buses. They're everywhere and they're reliable. 


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answered by
richard from Fairfield,Ct

Hey Quinn, 

Thats exciting! It's always a memorable experience when you visit Disney World for the first time. I will say that it is worth it, especially if your kids under on the younger side. Yes it will be more expensive then the local hilton or best western hotel, however its truly worth it when Mickey is having breakfast with you at the hotel(happened to us!) Another thing to take note is that Disney is more off the beaten path than people realize, so part of the fee you pay with the room is the fact that you will be having easy access to the parks.Otherwise you are looking for a 20-30 minute drive easy to the closet hotel outside the park.


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answered by
Jenn from Cali, Colombia

if you dont wanna spend too much money, disney hotels are not a good option, there are hotels in orlando close to universal parks, these hotels have straigh buses to disney parks in different schedules. the bad part is you may no stay inside of disney park after 11 pm cuz the last bus is before midnight. look for hotels using booking 


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answered by
Michael from New York City

The answer to is it worth it depends. I personally prefer to stay on property simply due to the proximity to the Disney parks. Generally it is more expensive, although Disney does have hotels to meet almost any budget. If you stay on property you do not need a car, and if you stay at one of the value resorts your accommodations can wrk out to be fairly reasonably priced.  

 

What I like to do is "rent points" for Disney Vacation Club rooms. Not rent direct from Disney, but from a broker, or simply someone that is willing to rent their points. (Loads of resources online, but do your research.) Disney Vacation Club is Disney's version of time-share (however without any of the tours or negative experiences-it's really just like a hotel.). If you rent the points you can many times get "deluxe" accommodations, on-site at Disney for close to what you would pay for moderate or even a value level hotel. It's really a very good way to get accommodations and I am surprised more people do not do it. The broker I use is David's dvc rentals (just google it). Totally legit and I've had great experiences with them. I booked an Animal Kingdom Lodge room through them a couple of years ago that worked out to be about about $150 per night, which was an awesome deal. There are downsides to it as well, you have to pay in advance many times. Just be careful who you do business with. 

 

Somebody also mentioned the Swan/Dolphin. I've stayed there too and I think it's just great. It's walking distance to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. A lot of times you can get a AAA rate there or if you are a teacher, or first responder, they sometimes have special rates. 

 

My Experience with Disney: 

- vacationed there dozens of times over 40 years 

- used to work there in college


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answered by
Andres from Medellin

It´s a complete difference if you stay in Disney property during your vacation or in the surrounding areas. Everything in Disney is expensive though, but the experience you will have in uncomperable. I went there with my parents when I was 9 and since then I have gone there 8 times (I am 38), 3 times to Disney properties and 5 to the surrounding and I can only recall or remember the ones that we did to Disney hotels. Try Animal Kingdom Lodge a family room for 4,  looking the sabana or more fancy the contemporary hotel, just next to magic kingdom. 


Happy trip


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answered by
Emily from Austin (Texas)

We have no kids, so I think that makes a big difference. We loved staying at The Villas at Grand Cypress, but it didn't seem particularly kid-friendly. Be sure to check out the undercovertourist website - your question is answered on there. We used it for everything when we were in Orlando. It also has a great crowd-predictor calendar.


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answered by
Toby from Jacksonville

One of the main things to consider is transportation. Staying at a Disney hotel that has bus service will be a huge help to getting around. It will cost $17 per day for parking at the parks. Disney busses get you there much faster and save the $17 per day. I would recommend staying at a Disney hotel for the days you are there. Trying to stay off property will create some logistical headaches.


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answered by
Josh from Baton Rouge

Hey Quinn!  Being in New Zealand, is it possible to apply for the SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) Amex Card?  If so, your accommodations could be FREE.

The SPG Amex has a 25,000 point sign up bonus when you spend $3K in the first 3 months.  Meaning for you and your spouse, you could receive 56,000+ points (28Kx2).  SPG allows free transfer of points between family.

The Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort are SPG properties that cost 10,000 points per night.  However, if you book 4 consecutive nights, you get a fifth one free.  With $2K in extra spending you could get 7 nights for free at the property.

Starting August 11th, the card will have no foreign transaction fees.  Let me know if you have any other questions.


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