Now that you’ve decided when to go to Walt Disney World, it’s time to choose a hotel to stay in. You have the option of staying onsite or offsite, and each have their perks and disadvantages.
Staying onsite is absolutely magical. It puts you directly in the Disney Bubble and you can forget the outside world exists. The service that you receive at a Disney resort is amazing and you are close to all of the parks and can take a bus, ferry, or can even walk to some areas! Also, if you stay onsite you have the option of choosing your fastpasses 60 days in advance.
The downside of staying on property? The price. The cheapest hotels at Disney, which are referred to as “value hotels” are comprised of the All Star Sports Resort, the All Star Movies Resort, the All Star Music Resort, Art of Animation, and Pop Century. Art of Animation and Pop Century tend to run a little more expensive than the All Star Resorts, depending on the time of year because those are the hotels that are in higher demand during peak seasons. The typical nightly price for one of the All Star Resorts is usually around $120. Of course these prices tend to double during their peak seasons such as summer months and holidays. These resorts are great if you have children, as they are very Disney-themed. If you want to be completely submerged into Disney, I suggest Pop Century or All Star Movies. They are a great way to feel like a child again. The only downside of value resorts is that they are targeted to children, and there are a LOT of children staying at these resorts. Meaning it is often really loud and the pools are generally crowded.
When we go, we prefer to stay at a moderate resort, which are comprised of Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach Resort, Port Orleans Riverside, and Port Orleans French Quarter. These resorts are more expensive, less Disney themed, and a lot quieter than the value resorts. To us, paying a little more for more privacy is worth it. When my boyfriend and I went to Disney this past May, we decided to stay in Coronado Springs. We paid about $200/night, but we felt that it was a good value because we never heard any noise, there are a lot of bus stops so we never worried about crowded buses, and we also ended up with a pool all to ourselves.
The last set of Disney resorts are the deluxe resorts which include The Contemporary Resort, Yacht Club, Polynesian, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Wilderness Lodge, Boardwalk, The Grand Floridian, and Beach Club. I have never stayed in a deluxe resort because they are all wayyyy out of my price range, but I always go explore them when I visit Disney. The Polynesian is my dream resort.
The perks of staying offsite are that you do not have to pay for parking at the hotel. This past March Disney started charging $20/night for parking. This could be a tradeoff as you will not have access to the buses so you will have to pay for parking at the parks, which is $25/day. Another perk of staying offsite is that rooms are A LOT cheaper. You can easily find a decent hotel for $60/night or can even rent an entire house for $100/night. If you are traveling with a lot of friends or family, this could be a more economical choice. Another downside, however, is that you do not have access to extra magic hours and you will not be able to choose your fastpasses until 30 days out instead of 60. This could mean that you miss out on those hard-to-get fastpasses such as Flight of Passage and Slinky Dog Dash.
If you have any questions about Disney lodging or if I missed a bit of information that you are curious about, feel free to leave me a comment and I’d be happy to answer your questions!