By Soarin’ Diva
I know, I know, “never say never.” Maybe I should say as long as it’s financially possible, I will never stay off of Disney property again. Staying off-site of Walt Disney World has tons of positive aspects, I can’t and won’t deny that. It is undeniably cheaper to stay off-property, whether it be in another hotel or renting a house nearby. You also have a better chance of renting a room or house with a full kitchen for meal prep convenience, again saving you a lot of money by giving you the option of having to spend less on meals in the parks.
If private pools or in-house laundry facilities are your thing, staying off-property is probably a better option for you as well. I definitely remember the few times I have trudged across Disney resort property dragging a bag full of laundry to the centrally located laundry rooms. It’s not always an easy task.
So, with all of these positive aspects to staying off-site, why would I loudly and proudly proclaim that I will never stay off-property of a Disney Resort again? Disney Resorts have some pretty awesome positive aspects as well. There are some nice perks that come with the higher price of staying on Disney property.
My favorite perk is the free transportation to and from the parks. Yes, we may have to cram onto those Disney buses like sardines. As the drivers are fond of announcing, “If you can see your feet, there’s room for more people.” They definitely believe in making the most of every nook and cranny on the bus and fitting as many guests as humanly possible on. It’s fine with me though, I don’t mind standing after a 15 hour day at Magic Kingdom. I can take smelling the body odor of Jim Bob who forgot deodorant was a thing and went without while he sweltered and sweated in the humidity. I would rather do that than stay off-site and have to drive on the horrific, death-taunting, crazy driver filled highway that is Interstate 4.
My husband, two sons and myself stayed off-property for the first and only time this past summer, you see. Don’t get me wrong, it was a lovely house we were in. We went in with my husband’s family to rent a house located quite near Walt Disney World. It was just three days at the tail end of a beach vacation, and the house seemed like a convenient option to fit six adults, two kids and two teens. It was an experiment of sorts for us to see whether it would be worth it to start staying off-site in the future and possibly save a good chunk of money in the process.
Then we had to actually drive ourselves to the park. On I-4. Oh, and we were almost creamed by psychotic drivers at least three times our first day driving. Yeah. Good old I-4. To give you some perspective, in September of 2018, Interstate 4 was named as THE most dangerous interstate in the entire United States. Because of the stress-induced sweaty palms and heart palpitations it caused us, we decided then and there we would gladly pay the extra money and stay on Disney property in the future while we let them bus us back and forth to our delightful resort.
The benefit of staying on-property doesn’t dead-end with Interstate 4, however. How about those extra magic hours? You know, the hours before and after the park normally close that give a Disney Resort guest a chance to have a little more park fun simply because they are staying on Disney property. Those can be pretty beneficial, and…if you stay off-site, you can’t take advantage of extra magic hours.
What about resort theming? I have yet to find another resort or house to rent that goes into such intricate detail in their theming as Disney does. Take Port Orleans for example. In my opinion, there isn’t another resort anywhere, even on Disney property, that have such beautiful theming as Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside. Hordes of guest flock to Coronado Springs and rave about their theming. Pop Century is a favorite among guests because of theming. Disney goes above and beyond when it comes to design and theming for resorts.
My favorite perk of staying on Disney property is the fact that as soon as we pass under that big “Walt Disney World Where Dreams Come True” sign, we have entered that beautiful, magical Disney bubble. We don’t have to leave that Disney bubble until we have checked out and started heading home. We stay in the bubble in the resort, in the parks, even on the smelly, cram-packed bus. I LOVE that Disney bubble. There’s no politics in the bubble. There’s no outside world in that bubble. We simply adore the Disney bubble. I wish I could just live in that bubble.
Since it’s impossible for us to actually live in the Disney bubble, we will do the next best thing and just vacation in the bubble. Once we drive under that sign, we are staying in our bubble until the vacation is over. No more staying off-property for us. Well, unless someone just GAVE us a free stay at an off-property resort or house. I mean, if it’s FREE, I might consider it. Maybe.
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