8 Reasons Why You Might Want To Stay Off Property When Visiting Walt Disney World

The Walt Disney World resort hotels are all amazing. Each one has a different theme, and you can’t help but get caught up in the magic. Some people can’t imagine staying anywhere but on Disney property. Others, though, are happy staying elsewhere. There are thousands of non-Disney hotel rooms in the Orlando area, and they don’t have a hard time finding guests. Here are some reasons that you might want to think about staying off property.


8. Too Much Disney

Is it possible to have too much Disney? For some people, the answer is definitely yes! If a bedspread with pictures of Goofy and Hidden Mickeys in the carpets is overkill to you, you might want to think about staying off property.

7. Planning Other Activities

Staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel might make sense if you’re planning on spending all of your time on Disney property. But there are so many other things to do in Central Florida! If you’d like to spend part of your vacation at the non-Disney theme parks, hit a beach, and enjoy attractions such as WonderWorks, staying off property might be more practical.

6. Pets

If you travel with your pets, staying off property might be the best option. Dogs are allowed at four select Walt Disney World resort hotels but not all. These resorts include select rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, and The Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort. Some of the RV sites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness are pet friendly as well. There is a pet-fee included in your stay. If you are bringing a pet other than a dog however, you have a choice to board your animal if you’re staying on property at Best Friends Pet Care. Many hotels that are near Walt Disney World are pet friendly and tend to offer more amenities and room selections for pets even without an added pet fee.

5. Awesome Non-Disney Hotels

There are some incredible hotels in the Orlando area! Many of them are not far from Walt Disney World. You’ll enjoy luxury and pampering, while paying less than you would have at a Deluxe Disney Resort. Many have spas, mini-water parks, and activities to keep you busy while you’re not at Walt Disney World. Most include transportation to the parks as well.

4. Freebies

The non-Disney hotels know that they have to do all that they can to get your business. Often there are freebies included with your room. You might be able to enjoy a free breakfast each morning, which is one less meal that you’ll have to pay for. Transportation to the parks is also often included. The free shuttles from the non-Disney hotels don’t stop only at Walt Disney World, they will sometimes take you to the other area theme parks or even to a shopping outlet. Many hotels have themed pools that are free for guests. You might also be able to enjoy miniature golf, volleyball, basketball, or other fun guest activities; all included in the price of your room.

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3. Size of Value Rooms

If you’re trying to save money on your Walt Disney World vacation, you might think that a Value Resort is the way to go. Make sure you do your research before booking your room, because many of the Value Resort rooms are incredibly small. A family of four will run out of space quickly. Consider instead booking a room off property. Chances are, you can find a much larger room (maybe even a suite) for the same price that you were willing to pay at a Value Resort.

2. Resort Parking Fees

Disney has recently rolled out parking fees for their overnight Resort guests. This means if you plan to drive to Walt Disney World or rent a car from the airport, you will have an additional fee tacked on to your resort stay. The fee per night varies depending on your resort category: Value Resorts ($15 per night), Moderate Resorts ($20 per night), Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts ($25 per night); Valet at Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts ($33 per night). You do not have to pay the overnight parking fee if you are a Disney Vacation Club member and staying at a DVC resort. Other exclusions include Cast members, guests with disabilities, stays at the campsites at Fort Wilderness, and guests visiting resorts for dining reservations and other activities. If you plan to stay 5-nights at a Value Resort,  you are looking at an additional $75 for your resort stay on top of your room fee… or $125 at a Deluxe Resort. Be sure to include this cost in your Disney planning. If it is possible to find a resort off property without parking or transportation fees included, you could save yourself a chunk of change.

1. Overall Cost

No matter which resort you book, you’re going to pay a lot if you stay on property. Staying off property will save you a good chunk of your vacation budget. Your room is supposed to be a place to sleep at the end of a long day. Does it really matter if the beds are located on Walt Disney World property? While there are deals at the Disney hotels for the slower seasons, you’ll find plenty of deals off property as well. If you want to save a considerable amount of money on your vacation, think about staying off property.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.