Heading off to Disney World is the trip of a lifetime for many people. The problem is, when you see the price tag associated with it, you can end up with a little bit of sticker shock.
The best option you have available is to stay at a local hotel or motel rather than staying on the Disney property. There are many benefits to doing so, as it can save you money while still giving you easy access to the parks and even many of the amenities that Disney has to offer.
One thing you should understand about staying at a local hotel is that once you are at Disney, you can travel around to the various parks with your ticket using Disney transportation.
Even without a ticket, you will be able to travel to the resorts using the monorail, boats, buses, and even the Skyliner.
The real key to saving money on your Disney vacation is in the rooming. You will have to pay for your park ticket, regardless of where you stay, along with other expenses, from eating to airfare as they are not really negotiable.
That being said, staying at one of the local hotels or motels is not always going to be the best vacation experience you have ever had. That is why you should pay attention to the following tips that can help you to make the most of your visit.
Go for the Experience – If you are planning a trip to Disney and are going to stay off-property at a local hotel or motel, don’t expect to get the experience from the lodgings. The real experience comes from being at the parks so spend the entire day there from the morning till night and only use your hotel or motel to sleep.
Is Transportation Included? – Many of the local establishments outside of Disney properties will offer you free transportation from their hotel to Disney. Some of these will run multiple times a day and you can even have them on demand from some locations. Some of the less expensive hotels or motels, however, may be limited in how many times transportation makes the trip.
Use Disney Transportation – Once you are on Disney property, you can use all of the Disney transportation you want and it isn’t going to cost you a dime. Hop on a bus and travel from one area to another or perhaps take the monorail and visit some of the resorts as well.
The Fun Is Not All in the Parks – Although it is quite an experience to get inside the parks, that is only part of the fun of being at Disney. There are so many different resorts and amenities available and each of them has something unique to offer.
Even just taking the boat from the Magic Kingdom to the Grand Floridian and over to Wilderness Lodge is a lot of fun. You can even hop off and enjoy what each of those resorts has to offer, having a meal or perhaps just walking around and enjoying the experience.
You Cannot Walk to Magic Kingdom – Magic Kingdom is behind the gated entrance and you will not be able to walk there from off-site. That is why it is beneficial to choose a location that can get you beyond the gate with their transportation. Once inside, you can use Disney transportation to get to Magic Kingdom very easily.
Let’s take a look at some of the hotels and motels in the area of Disney World. You will not have to pay a premium to stay at these locations, but you do get what you pay for.
Maingate Lakeside Resort: If you are looking for a budget hotel that is close to Disney and offers enough amenities to keep you happy, then this is one that is certainly worth considering. It rates fairly high, considering the fact that you will only pay between $20 and $40 per night for your stay.
The hotel has a number of pools, mini golf, and transportation to the theme parks. It may not be the Taj Mahal, but it’s a comfortable place to sleep and it is close enough to the parks that you can almost hit them with a stick.
Ramada by Wyndham Kissimmee Gateway: Ramada is a well-known name in hotels, and this three-star hotel is a great place to stay only 1.5 miles from the park. Although we still recommend that you focus most of your attention on the park and enjoy all Disney has to offer, you can relax in your room and enjoy the free Wi-Fi.
They also have a restaurant and bar along with a free shuttle service that will take you directly to the theme parks. Remember, once you are in Disney you can travel anywhere using Disney transportation. You can expect to spend around $50 per night or less for a room.
Celebration Suites at Old Town: Although it isn’t the cheapest option that is available, it is certainly one to consider because it is on the higher end of those that are still affordable. Coming in at about $150 per night, you can stay at this highly-rated hotel.
Some of the family suites at this hotel also feature full kitchens, so you may be spending more on your room but you will be saving if you decide to cook at home.
That is especially true compared to the prices you will pay for Disney Dining. You can also save additional money by using their shuttle services to Disney Parks, Sea World, and Universal Studio.
The takeaway from all of this is that you really get what you pay for.
If you are just looking for a clean room where you can lay your head, you can pay for one of the less expensive hotels. Otherwise, opt for Celebration Suites, which will let you stay in comfort but still put you within a stone’s throw from the parks.
One final option that is close to Disney springs is the Rosen Inn at Lake Buena Vista
I have stayed here multiple times and it’s clean and comfortable!
Here’s a YouTube video from Themepark Worldwide where he stayed at the Rosen Inn.