Choosing where to stay during your Walt Disney World vacation can be daunting. Deciding if you will stay at a Disney World Resort Hotel compared to one of the many Disney World Good Neighbor Hotel options, or even staying somewhere not associated with Disney at all, can be confusing.
Plenty of factors must be considered when deciding where you’ll call home during your next trip to Walt Disney World. Location, amenities, cleanliness, safety, transportation, and price are all crucial considerations for finally booking where you’ll lay your head at night and rest those throbbing feet.
Well, if you’re on the fence regarding staying on Disney property or note, allow us to enlighten you today with a little more information about Disney Good Neighbor Hotels, why they’re a realistic option when traveling to Orlando, and how they compare to Disney World Resort Hotels in price.
Disney Resort Hotels
To begin our comparison, we’ll start with Disney Resort Hotels. Not to be confused with a Disney Good Neighbor Hotel, these resorts are scattered all over Walt Disney World property and are typically what you think of when you stay at “The Most Magical Place on Earth.”
As you may already know, Disney Resort Hotels come in three categories: value, moderate, and deluxe. Each dictates not only what you can expect in price but also accommodations, amenities, location to the parks, and, in some cases, luxury.
Typically, your deluxe-style Disney World Resort Hotels, like The Contemporary or Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, come with character dining. Chef Mickey’s and Ohana’s are two extremely popular table service options within deluxe Disney World Resorts.
Although you may still bump into a few characters, you won’t find these experiences at value or moderate locations like Art of Animation or Port Orleans Resort.
The most significant difference you’ll see when comparing Disney World Resorts is price. As you may expect, value resorts like Pop Century are usually much cheaper than their moderate and deluxe counterparts. You’ll have to pay a much steeper price if you’re looking at staying at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Grand Floridian Resort, or Caribbean Beach Resort compared to Disney’s All-Star rooms.
Although not all Walt Disney World Resorts are built equally, they all provide a magical experience that makes traveling to parks and Disney Springs a breeze. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to resort hop over to Beach Club, rope-drop Rise of the Resistance at Hollywood Studios, grab a coffee at Magic Kingdom, or want to be first in line at World of Disney in Disney Springs, Disney Resort transportation is available for all guests staying on Walt Disney World property.
They are also all very well-themed. You can enjoy sweet, jazzy sounds as you grub on beignets at Port Orleans Resort, stay in the hustle and bustle of shopping during the holidays near Disney Springs, relive those summer shore moments at Disney’s Beach Club, or feel like you’re sleeping in the great Northwest at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. There’s something for everyone, from Little Mermaid (1989) inspired rooms to bungalows on Seven Seas Lagoon.
Disney World Good Neighbor Hotels
If you’re reading Disneydining, you’re probably well-versed in Walt Disney World Resort speech. Heck, you’ve probably stayed in a few rooms. However, you may not know that Disney partners with many third-party institutions like Holiday Inn and the Hilton Orlando to give guests more affordable options with familiar magical twists.
Disney understands that staying and enjoying one of their Disney-owned resorts at either Disney World or Disneyland can be pricey and may be a better option for some. For this reason, you’ll find all sorts of deals and partners scattered around the Lake Beuna Vista area in Orlando that offer similar (not exact) privileges that you’re accustomed to when staying on property, and typically for a much more manageable price.
Although Disney doesn’t own these hotels, they’ve entered into agreements making them Disney Good Neighbor Hotels. A Good Neighbor Hotel is exactly what it sounds like. They are partners that Disney trusts to offer a convenient experience when staying at Walt Disney World. Although they aren’t on Disney property, some are incredibly close, even residing right outside of areas like Disney Springs, and almost all offer complementary park transportation.
Disney World Good Neighbor Hotels
- Best Western Plus – Kissimmee
- Blue Tree Resort at Lake Buena Vista
- Buena Vista Suites
- Candlewood Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista
- Caribe Royal Orlando
- Comfort Suites Maingate East
- Courtyard Marriot Lake Buena Vista at Vista Centre
- Courtyard by Marriot/ Marriot Village Hotels
- Crowne Plaza Orlando
- Delta Marriot Orlando Celebration
- Delta Orlando Lake Buena Vista
- Embassy Suites Orlando – Lake Buena Vista Resort
- Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando – Lake Buena Vista South
- Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando International Drive Convention Center
- Fairfield by Marriot Celebration
- Fairfield Inn & Suites Lake Buena Vista
- Fairfield Inn by Marriot Village Hotels in Lake Buena Vista
- Floridays Resort Orlando
- The Grove Resort and Water Park Orlando
- Hampton Inn Orlando/ Lake Buena Vista
- Hampton Inn & Suites/ South Lake Buena Vista
- Hawthorne Suites Lake Buena Vista
- Hilton Garden Inn Orlando/ Lake Buena Vista
- Holiday Inn Orlando Southwest – Celebration Area
- The Holiday Inn Express & Suites – South Lake Buena Vista
- Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites – Water Park
- Holiday Inn Resort Orlando – Lake Buena Vista
- Home2Suites by Hilton Orlando International Drive South
- Homewood Suites by Hilton Lake Buena Vista – Orlando
- Hyatt Place Orlando/ Lake Buena Vista
- Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa
- Margaritaville Resort Orlando
- Melia Orlando Celebration
- Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate
- Residence Inn Orlando Convention Center
- Residence Inn Lake Buena Vista
- Rosen Inn Lake Buena Vista
- Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort
- Sonesta ES Suites Orlando – Lake Buena Vista
- Springhill Suites Orlando Theme Park/ Lake Buena Vista
- Springhill Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista in the Marriot Village
- Springhill Suites by Marriot Orlando/ Kissimmee
- Springhill Suites Orlando Convention Center/ International Drive
- TownePlace Suites Orlando Theme Park/ Lake Buena Vista
- WorldQuest Orlando Resort
However, at Walt Disney World, these options, which Disney doesn’t own, offer a great alternative to staying on Disney World property. A Disney World Good Neighbor Hotel typically is affordable compared to places like Fort Wilderness Resort and Animal Kingdom Lodge but still offer easy access to all parks, water parks, and shopping at Disney Springs, even with shuttles and busses.
They’re all pretty safe as well. I’ve stayed in several of the names listed above and have never had a security or safety issue. All Disney World Good Neighbor Hotels have security staff, and as they are so close to Disney World, most staying in them are exhausted from visiting theme parks, with little desire to cause any trouble.
Finally, when talking about Disney Resort Hotels versus a Disney World Good Neighbor Hotel, theming comes into question. Let’s preface this by saying that no one is going to beat Disney when it comes to immersive theming; that’s the entire point of a Disney World Resort Hotel. However, don’t be surprised when you realize that a Good Neighbor Hotel likely won’t skimp on the fun either.
We’ve stayed at hotels whose elevators make you feel like you’re flying the Millennium Falcon, with Mickey Mouse and friends plastered everywhere, and even some that are themed, much like you’d expect from Disney.
Where You Stay at Walt Disney World Matters
We’ve all heard people say that it doesn’t matter where you stay when visiting Walt Disney World; you’re just sleeping there anyhow. Respectfully, I’d disagree. Where you decide to bunk up could actually have a big impact on the overall enjoyability of your trip.
We all know that trekking around Magic Kingdom or EPCOT is an exhausting chore. Although fun and magical, your feet and legs hurt, and you want to shower, brush your teeth, and lie down. Imagine you can’t sleep because your mattress is terrible or too loud outside. Where you stay at Walt Disney World matters.
Access to all the exciting themes, fun, food, shopping, and entertainment at an affordable price is also essential. It doesn’t matter if your favorite park is Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, or Magic Kingdom; you want to be as close as you can to the magic, even if you’re choosing a Disney World Good Neighbor Hotel.
We can ascertain that Disney, who is highly protective of their brand, would only partner with outside organizations if they did their homework. Show you can rest well, knowing that you’re safe, sleeping in a clean room, and will most likely have hot breakfast waiting on you as you get up to tackle your Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, or Hollywood Studios day.
We’ve discussed price differences between Disney World Good Neighbor Hotels and Walt Disney World-owned rooms. For comparison purposes, we experimented on our My Disney Experience App (where you can also check the availability of Disney Good Neighbor Hotels) to compare the prices of rooms at the end of January.
Disney World Room Rates From January 26 to January 29 for two adults.
Disney’s Art of Animation (value) – $402.50 a night.
Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort (value) – $127.30 a night.
Disney’s Beach Club Resort (moderate) – $512.30 a night.
Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort (moderate) – $236.18 a night.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort (moderate) – $343.95 a night.
Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin – > $1000 a night.
Disney Good Neighbor Hotels Room Rates From January 26 to January 29 for two adults.
Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – $224.00 a night.
Caribe Royals Orlando – $202.00 a night.
Comfort Suites Maingate East – $132.00 a night.
Holiday Inn Orlando – $99.00 a night.
Sheraton Lake Buena Vista – $155.00 a night.
Homewood Suites by Hilton Lake Buena Vista – Orlando -$99.00 a night.
As you can see, on average, Good Neighbor Hotels are much cheaper compared to Disney World Resort Hotels. Although some rooms, such as All-Star Sports, Music, and Movies, are affordable, many claim to dislike their “motel” style setup.
Here’s the final kicker, however: often, like their resort guests, visitors staying at a Disney Good Neighbor Hotel can also take advantage of early access to the park or leave later than typical guests! So, guests staying at one of the many nearby partners of Disney get magic hours as well! How cool is that?
In closing, the next time you’re planning a Walt Disney World vacation, don’t be shy about checking those “off-property” hotels around Disney World or in the Anaheim Resort area at Disneyland.. You may be surprised what you’ll find, save some money, enjoy the perks, and you can spend the extra on new ears!