To Stay or not To Stay….on Disney propertyKim Inman
For many people planning their vacation to Walt Disney World in Florida, one of their first decisions is whether to stay on Disney property or not. When you factor in cost, convenience and value; is it really ‘cheaper’ to stay outside the Disney resort? There are really many things to compare when making this decision.
Consider the price of the room. True, the prices of hotels outside Disney property can be a bargain. But keep in mind the other expenses you’ll incur. If you fly into Orlando, you’ll need to get from the airport to the hotel. So you can either add the price of a rental car or a round trip shuttle service to your total budget. Then you’ll need to get from the hotel to the Disney park. If you drive, add the $17.00 a day price to park at Disney. If your hotel offers a shuttle, it may go from one hotel to the next picking up additional passengers, could be very time-consuming, and will most likely have limited pick-up and drop-off times and locations. Do you really want to miss that fabulous fireworks display over Cinderellas Castle because you have to catch the bus? The traffic outside of Disney property can be very heavy.
The two other major theme parks in the area, hundreds of hotels, gift shops, restaurants, and small attractions can cause major congestion on the roads. Time is money – and time is also a very precious commodity on an already-too-quick vacation.Consider the perks of staying on Disney property. They have something for everyone – from a campsite at Fort Wilderness to a Concierge level room at the beautiful Polynesian Resort. The transportation is also included. Disney’s Magical Express shuttle picks you up at the airport and brings you to your resort – your luggage even gets delivered to you room – at no extra cost for resort guests. If you drive in, the parking is free for the length of your stay throughout the property and at all the theme parks. Disney’s transportation network is very extensive and is at your disposal. You don’t have to miss ‘One more time!’ on Space Mountain, or the last firework fizzle at Epcot’s Illuminations show. You can take advantage of Extra Magic hours at the parks. The parks open early or close late, but only for resort guests, on select mornings or evenings. You can get the full value out of your ticket, not an inexpensive item, this way.
And then there’s the food… Who hasn’t heard of the wonderful restaurants at Disney World? When you stay on property, with the purchase of a room and ticket, you have the option of adding the dining plan to your package. You can save up to 20% on the cost of your dining with this plan! It’s a great way to plan for your food expenses and treat your family to a great selection of dining experiences.
–Colette Gill, one of our experts in Disney Vacation planning