Going to Orlando for a vacation at Disney World is a dream come true for kids and adults alike. Whether you’re four, forty, or eighty-four, getting the chance to visit Disney World will make you feel like you are four years old all over again and watching your very first Disney movie. 

Disney World quite literally has something for everyone, no matter your age or gender. While visiting Disney World, many people may wonder where they should stay if they want to see not just Disney World, but all the surrounding parks, as well. Today, we’ll talk about where to stay as part of planning a Disney vacation. We’ll also discuss whether you should stay on the park property at a Disney-branded hotel or reserve a room at one of the many hotels nearby. 

Should I Stay at a Disney Hotel?

Choosing to stay at one of Disney’s many resorts and hotels within the park area or nearby provides two primary benefits—convenience and cost. By staying at a Disney resort, you’ll get the benefits of quick access to any of the Disney parks via free shuttles that run at regular intervals. You’ll also have access to the park thirty minutes before it opens. The level of convenience you’ll get by staying at a Disney-branded hotel is unmatched. 

On the topic of cost, while Disney hotels may seem pricey, when you buy them as part of a package that includes tickets, it can make financial sense; the discount is even steeper if you’re visiting with a large group. 

Staying at a Disney property can be the perfect stay for your family at Walt Disney World Resort. You’ll also receive discounts on all kinds of other Disney items, food, and souvenirs when you stay at a Disney-branded hotel and get a package deal. Not sure which hotel is the best for you and your guests? You can contact a friendly Disney vacation expert (see details later in this article) to make choosing a hotel and planning your vacation a snap.

Why Should I Stay Outside the Parks?

Staying outside the park (that is, off Disney property) might be right for you if you’re visiting from a nearby state and either taking your own car or will have a rental car. It also could be a good idea if you’re a points member with any of the major hotel chains nearby, as all major hotel chains are located within a twenty-minute drive to the park and having points can mean discounts or free rooms. 

If you’re visiting Disney World as a one- or two-day stop as part of a larger tour of the greater Orlando area, it might also makes sense to stay at a nearby hotel. This way, when you wake up in the morning, you can decide to visit the park (don’t forget your park pass reservations!) or visit any one of the thousands of activities and tourist sights in Orlando. 

As mentioned above, one of the great things about staying at a Disney hotel is early park access, but some of the hotel chains nearby also provide early park access as a perk! Be sure and call around to find out if your chosen hotel offers early park access or any other Disney-centric incentives. 

Final Thoughts

Staying at a Disney-branded hotel has many perks, such as discounts on park admission, food, and Disney merchandise. It’s also very convenient for accessing all of the parks and free shuttles.  Plus, you’re surrounded by the magic 24/7!

Staying outside the park area at a non-Disney hotel may be a better option if you’re visiting the parks for a day or two, if you would like to see other sites in the area, and if you have your own transportation. Having the freedom to come and go whenever and wherever you choose is a priceless part of any vacation!

Planning a trip? Need help picking a hotel or getting your tickets?  We highly recommend contacting The Vacationeer! Their expert Disney travel planners can make it a breeze.  Get a free, no-obligation quote today — their planning services are provided at no additional cost to you!