Disney World - Where to Stay?

Updated on July 29, 2012
R.D. asks from Lake Orion, MI
14 answers

Hi Ladies,

We're thinking about hitting Disney World this fall and it's looking really expensive. Has anyone ever rented a house near Disney instead of staying right at the park? I've heard of people doing this and the house had a pool and everything. It was a lot cheaper. I'm wondering if you can still catch a shuttle to the park and does anyone have a great recommendation if you've done this? Thank you so much.

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answers from Detroit on

We rented a 5 bedroom house, beautiful, with a pool. It was about $1200 for the week but that was 5 years ago. We just drove to parks, no shuttles. We rented it online from a website called rentalo.com and it worked out fine.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Stay on property. You need to figure $18 per park for parking since you can't use Disney transportation.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lansing on

STAY ON PROPERTY! lol Seriously, I've done both and it is worth it. Stay at one of the All Stars Resorts. They are the cheapest and you still get the full disney experience. Other hotels in the area offer shuttles but don't pick up continuously and/or don't continue to pick up after the park is closed. You also want to stay because it you can shuttle to all of the different disney hotels, which is so much fun. They each have a unique theme with exciting restaurants! Have fun!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

We've always stayed on property, and most recently on the monorail at the Polynesian because it was easy for naps. Check out mousesavers.com for any deals on all things Disney.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I recommend staying on property unless you are planning to rent a car and see some other sights. You can stay at the value resorts for @ $150 per night (sleeps 4) and they have great pools and fun stuff to entertain the kids if you are not going to the parks everyday. As stated by previous posters, staying on property provide free airport transportation (saves ou $50-$100), no parking fees ($15 per day), extra magic hours (enter parks an hour early or stay 2 hours late) and lots of regular shuttles to all of the parks and hotels. You can also take advantage of the Disney timeshare programs to stay at the high end resorts for similar prices to the Value Resorts (http://www.dvcrequest.com). We have been "renting points" from a lady in FL for several years now and often stay at teh Animal Kingdom Villas for less $$ than the Value Resorts. The DVC website will also give you a link to the online grocery store - we haven't used it before but it is an option to buy food cheaper than at the parks (We always pack breakfast bars and non-perishable snack items in our luggage).

We have never stayed off property as the loss of convenience and shuttles has never worked out to be cost effective for us.

Disney also has a campground but I don't know if they have tent rentals - I don't think this would be a good option if you are flying.

Whatever you do, you will have fun. The first trip can be overwhelming, don't try to do everything, research and plan as much in advance as you can and have a blast!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New London on

Call Disney direct and get a package deal: I would rec taking a plane to the airport. The Disney Magical Express bus will take care of all your luggage and bring you directly to your hotel. It's included in the package. Pop Century is on Disney property -- and not too expensive for a week. You will not have to pay for a rental car, parking or gas. Each morning you get on the bus and go to a park. The bus will take you back to the hotel, too. Pop Century has a cafeteria style food court. You can even buy snacks/drinks there and keep them in your fridge. Sometimes in the Fall the Dining Plan is free. If it is free this year, you will save a ton of money.
The Polynesian is very, very expensive compared to Pop Century. Pop Century has three pools, too. If you call for Pop Century and stay a tad further away from the lobby area, the price of the room should be less.

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answers from Lakeland on

We used to always rent houses outside the parks. It is cheaper to eat at the house or outside restaurants and gives you the flexibility to visit other sites in the area (like Universal and SeaWorld). We bought our home which is 15 minutes to Disney’s main gate and now we live in it all the time.

There are many nice developments around here and if you look just outside Kissimmee the prices are a little lower. (If you Google map Disney you will see it is in Kissimmee not Orlando). I would recommend looking in west side of Kissimmee, Clermont and Davenport. These are about a 20 minute ride to the park. We had always used VillaDirect.com but there are many rental companies around here.

Don’t rule out a townhome or condo. Check out Regal Palms in Davenport it is a very nice gated community with a really cool pool. Caribe Cove in west Kissimmee has very nice condos and a large pool. Some of the hotels on Rt. 192 offer shuttles to the parks but not all of them.

Have fun.



answers from Kalamazoo on

I have stayed at Disney and I have stayed in a house away from Disney. Personally, I would choose staying at Disney every time. Though having a whole house to ourselves with its own pool was very nice, we had to pay toll to and from the parks, pay for food and parking at the park or parks that we went to during the day. If you stay at a Disney property, you can opt for the Dining plans and right now, I believe they are offering free dining plans for the fall. I used the dining plans for the first time last summer when we went and i was so nice knowing that you had so many meals and snacks per day that were already paid for. Also, when staying at the Disney properties, you have transportation to anywhere you want to go, even to and from the airport. You never have to worry about finding a parking spot, remembering where you parked or dealing with traffic to and from the park. You can ride any type of transportation, monorail, busses, trains, boats when you stay there. If you haven't already, there is an AMAZING book that has an online portion to go with it that has parade schedules and touring plans that you can customize to your party and tells you which days are best to go to which parks and rates the rides according to age and all different categories, such as scariness to preschoolers and motion sickness. The book is called The Unofficial Guide to Disney World and can be found at most book stores. Good Luck and have a wonderful time! If you have any other questions, feel free to email me.



answers from Springfield on

My MIL has a time share, so we stayed in a condo off site. I cannot comment on the price, as she paid for it. We went to Walmart for groceries, ate breakfast before we left for the day, packed our lunches and snacks and ate out for dinner. We did have to pay for parking at Disney each day, which I believe was $15, but I'm not sure.

We were fairly close to the parks - about 10 or 15 minutes. I've never stayed on the property (only been to Disney twice), so I can't really compare the experience.

Hope that helped!



answers from Tulsa on

allstarvacationhomes have pools and jacuzzis. 3 miles from disney magic kingdom.
if you had the money, i would say the polynesian is awesome but it really is expensive.


answers from Washington DC on

We stay at the Marriott World Center right outside of Disney, at least we have every time in the past.

We are booked at Wyndham's Bonnet Creek for March next year.

Renting houses is a great way to go! Just do a Google search :).


answers from Dallas on

We've been over 8 times and we never stayed anywhere except on the monorail line at the Polynesian. It was worth every penny, every time. It is pricey but worth it.

I am not familiar with the ease of getting to and from parks from outside locations.

Have fun.. it is a great experience.



answers from Chicago on

We are planning to go in January, and we will probably stay at one of the Starwood time shares. You do not need to own or buy a time share to stay there. You have to book it through the SPG website. (Marriott has time shares available through their website too.) There are studios, one bedroom, and two bedroom villas, and they come with kitchens. There are several pools and activities on the property, and the free shuttle will take you to Disney World. There is a one night penalty for cancellation, so make sure you know what you want before you book it.

I think most hotels/resorts near WDW have free shuttles to the park. I think if you look at Mousesavers or Mouse for Less, you will find cheap transportation alternatives. We are probably going take a Sun Ray shuttle from the airport to the hotel/resort. They allow for a 30 minute grocery store stop on the way there.

Good luck! I'm sure you'll have a great time!



answers from Augusta on

Stay on property. You can get great deals and take advantage of no parking fees and extra hours in the parks. They will also send anything you buy in the parks to your hotel room so you don't have to wait until you are leaving to shop and you don't have to lug around bags of stuff.
Parking is 15$ a day per park.
I wouldn't stay anywhere but on property. The value resorts are good priced adn they really are a good choice for rooms.

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