Select Page

Author: Budget Diva

imageYou have chosen your Walt Disney World vacation dates and now you’re ready to begin researching where to stay! There are MANY options and this can be one of the toughest decision that you will have to make.

Staying “On Property” – WDW Resorts

Many people choose to stay “on property” at one of the many beautiful resorts located inside the Walt Disney World property. The reason? Location, location, location and the free Disney transportation! The closer to the park gates you are the quicker you can come and go to the parks. This is especially convenient if your resort is one of the resorts located “on the Monorail loop”.

There are only three resorts located on the monorail: the Grand Floridian, the Polynesian and the Contemporary Resort. I have stayed at both the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian on my previous trips to Disney (look for future articles on these properties). There are Value resorts that offer the convenience of Disney transportation and specials make the rooms more budget friendly.

This year our family of five is going to Walt Disney World on a budget and have chosen to stay “off property” instead of in an “on property” value resort.

Staying “Off Property” – Hotels, condos, and houses

I personally have always loved how Priceline can save you money (Don’t miss the article on Priceline: HERE) and I have found some amazing deals for Orlando hotels this way. We are staying off property this next trip at the Embassy Suites Lake Buena Vista:

To really save money look for hotels & condos that offer:

  • FREE parking
  • FREE breakfast
  • FREE shuttle services to the theme parks
  • refrigerator/microwave in the room
  • restaurant located in the hotel
  • indoor/outdoor swimming pool
  • in room Internet access

If a budget it driving your resort decision, it is important to make sure that you are not paying to park your vehicle at the hotel! $10 per day can really add up especially if you are planning to drive to the theme parks (which will charge you another parking fee).

Free breakfast can really help save money for the whole family. You can eat a big breakfast at the hotel or resort and pack your lunch in a cooler to take to the theme parks. If there is a restaurant in the hotel I can bet that it will cost less money than a sit down restaurant in the theme parks if you’re just dying to eat out. You could spend the day at the park and leave before dinner time, or even eat a late dinner back at the hotel.

When traveling with children it is convenient to have a refrigerator and microwave in the hotel/condo room. This allows you to heat up quick and easy meals for the picky eater’s, baby food, etc. You can save a lot of money by simply eating one meal per day at your hotel whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner.

When choosing a hotel many parents want as much space as possible. A hotel that offers family suite’s or two room spaces is the best option! You can find many family suites off property for less money than a basic hotel room would cost ‘on property’ at Disney World. A benefit of having a family suite when traveling with young children is nap time! Children can nap in one room of the suite and older siblings and parents can relax in the living room with the ability to access the refrigerator/microwave and the television. There is also much more privacy when choosing a suite. Some family suites even offer bunk beds for children with larger families.

If your hotel offers an indoor/outdoor swimming pool then you will always have a ‘back up plan’ on rainy days to keep the children happy. Plus it is nice to take a day off from hitting the parks to just relax at the pool with your children, remember it is a vacation after all!

Whether you choose to stay on property or off property, when you’re on a budget you need to really research what is the best option for you! Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.

– The Budget Diva