Planning a trip to Disney World in Orlando is one of those bucket list trips that everyone dreams of. When you visit Disney World, one of the big options to weigh is whether you’ll stay at an onsite hotel or at a hotel Outside Disney World.
The branded Disney World onsite hotels each have a theme, and they offer perks like shuttle service to the parks. However, they are expensive. Even the moderately-priced Disney hotels tend to be more expensive than staying off-site.
You can get packages starting at around $625 per adult if you choose an offsite hotel, and this then includes accommodations, park tickets, and extra attraction tickets. On the other hand, if you were to stay at a Disney World Hotel and get tickets and food, you might expect to pay around $1200 per person on average.
Along with the price, you might opt to stay outside of Disney World if you want to do some of the other attractions and parks in Orlando.
There are logistical considerations to keep in mind if you’re going to stay outside of Disney World. The following are tips to make it go smoothly and ensure you maximize your time at Disney if you’re staying offsite.
3 Tips fo find the Perfect Hotel Outside Disney World
Choose a Hotel with a Shuttle
One of the big perks of staying onsite at a Disney hotel is the transportation service. You don’t have to worry about Orlando traffic and paying to park, or walking long distances to the gate.
However, there are many hotels offsite throughout Orlando that offer transportation to Disney and other parks as well.
If you don’t choose a hotel with a shuttle service, find one that’s on a Lynx bus route. Otherwise, you will have to either drive to Orlando or rent a car once you get there. Then, you’ll need to plan on paying at least $20 a day to park at each of the Disney parks.
If you have park hopper tickets, you can use the inter-park Disney transportation such as the buses and monorail.
When you’re selecting a hotel, resort, or apartment, typically the closer you can get to Disney the better. Traffic in Orlando and especially along I-4 can be a nightmare, and this will affect you even on a shuttle. Map it out before making a choice to make sure you’re not going to spend your vacation sitting in traffic.
Stay Somewhere with a Kitchen
Most hotel rooms onsite at Disney don’t have a kitchen or kitchenette. The ability to find that in a rental is a big perk of staying offsite.
Food at Disney is incredibly expensive, so you can save money and take advantage of staying offsite with a kitchen where you can at least make breakfast or perhaps dinner before or after the parks.
Reserving Rides and Meals
When you buy Disney tickets, but you’re staying offsite, you do still get to reserve fast passes for the rides and attractions, but you only have a window of 30 days before your trip. People staying at a Disney onsite resort have more than that. You can book your Disney dining reservations as you would if you were onsite.
With that being said, always factor in your drive time when it comes to making your reservations.
When you stay offsite, get to the parks as early as you can. You give yourself time to park, and you may be able to avoid rush hour traffic if you leave your hotel early enough.
You can then plan to leave around lunchtime, so you can make your own meal and enjoy the pool or amenities at your hotel. Lunchtime is when the parks are hottest and also the most crowded, so you might enjoy the ability to escape to an offsite hotel.
If you’re going to eat any meal in the parks, you might want to do dinner. There are some amazing onsite restaurants, and you can return to the parks as it cools off and the crowds start to thin out a bit.
Finally, just because you’re not staying in a Disney resort doesn’t mean you can’t explore and enjoy them. You can walk around, take photos, grab a snack, or eat at one of the restaurants in the resorts.
It’s easy to get to the Disney resorts from the parks using Disney transportation and just wandering around the beautiful grounds can be fun in and of itself. There are also themed stores at each of the resorts so you can do some shopping.