Locating the right hotel for your family is one of the most important things you can do when planning a Disney World vacation. I’ve identified several pros and cons for you to weigh when making your decision.
1) Disney’s Magical Express Service – When you arrive at the Orlando Airport, Disney will collect your checked baggage and send it directly to your hotel. There is also a bus waiting to transport you to your hotel. When it’s time to go home, you can check your bags directly at your hotel and head to the airport.
2) Convenience – Staying on property means you’ll be closer to the theme parks and Disney’s transportation system. In fact, some hotels are connected to the parks by monorail or boat service. All Disney hotels offer bus service to all of the theme parks. If you have a child that needs naps during the afternoon, you’ll be glad you are on property and closer to your hotel.
3) First pick of restaurant & Fast Pass+ reservations – Guests staying on Disney property can make their restaurant reservations 180 days in advance and Fast Pass + reservations 60 days in advance (vs. 90 days and 30 days, respectively).
4) Extra Magic Hours at theme parks – Some parks are open one hour earlier in the morning or one hour later in the evening for Disney guests staying on-site. That extra hour before the crowds descend can be valuable!
1) Cost – It is often more expensive to stay on Disney property. However, before you make up your mind to stay off property, check the prices for the Disney economy hotels (Pop Century, All-Star Music, Art of Animation, All-Star Movies, and All-Star Sports) because they can be as low as $109 per night! Food is also less expensive off of Disney property.
2) Visiting other Orlando area attractions – If you’re planning on visiting SeaWorld, Universal Studios, or other places, in the area, you may find it more convenient not to stay on property.
3) Less crowded – Usually the off-property hotels are not as massive and just have fewer people staying at them.