Now that you understand the Disney “seasons” and resort categories it is time to make that all-important decision…do you stay on Disney property or off. There are several questions you need to ask yourself before making this important decision.
- Will you have a car while visiting Disney World?
- Will you be visiting other non-Disney attractions while visiting central Florida?
- How many people, adults and children, will be traveling in your party?
- How much time do you plan on spending in your room?
- What is your per night budget?
Let’s review the answers to the questions.
1. Will you have a car while visiting Disney World?
a) If you will not have a car I suggest you stay on property. If you fly into Orlando International Airport you can use Disney’s Magical Express Service. They will pick you up at the airport and bring you and your luggage to your Disney resort. You must sign up for this service at least 10 days prior to your arrival date. Also, guests staying on property do not pay the daily $12 parking fee.
b) If you will have a car, don’t mind driving to and from the park each day and paying the parking fee, you can stay off property.
2. Will you be visiting other non-Disney attractions while visiting central Florida?
a) If you will be visiting other non-Disney attractions you will want a car. The estimated taxi fare from Walt Disney World to Universal Studios (14 miles away) is over $32.00!
b) Your other option would be to rent a car for 1-2 days of your vacation. The problem with renting for only part of your vacation is picking up and returning the car plus a short term rental of a small car can easily cost almost $100.
c) If you aren’t planning on visiting other attractions just stay on property and use Disney transportation, it’s free.
3. How many people, adults and children, will be traveling in your party?
a) Most hotel and resort rooms sleep 4 people, some sleep 5-6 in a family suite. How many rooms will you need? Sometimes 2 connecting rooms still costs less than a large suite or DVC property that sleeps 8 or more people.
b) Some people rent vacation homes so that their kids can be in a separate room or accommodate a larger party.
4. How much time do you plan on spending in your room?
a) Are you using the room to sleep, shower and dress? Then you can stay off property or on property in a value resort.
b) Are you all about using the resort amenities? Laying by the pool, going to the spa, renting a pontoon boat? You can stay off or on property but pay close attention to the amenities the particular property offers.
5. What is your per night budget? For this one we re going to assume you are a family of 4, 2 adults and 2 children between the ages of 3-17. You want at least a 3-star hotel from May 4-7, 2009.
a) Orbitz has several 3-star hotels on 192 in Kissimmee (close to Disney) ranging from $48-$100 per night. Most of these properties do not have a restaurant on site and you will need to add $12 per day for parking at the Disney parks.
b) You could stay at a Disney value resort for $68 per night, have a food court on site and free parking.
Other perks of staying on Disney property include discounts on room and ticket packages, ability to purchase the Disney Dining Plan, the very detailed Disney theming, Disney’s top-notch service and the feeling that you are staying in the middle of the magic.
I hope this post has given you some things to think about as you plan your magical Disney vacation. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave me a comment on this post.