Deciding where to stay during your next Walt Disney World Resort in Florida holiday and want to stick to a budget? There’s plenty of ways you can save money on your accommodation and still have a uniquely magical experience.
Split Up Your Stay
Experience the best of both worlds and split up your hotel stay, spending part of your holiday in a Disney Resort hotel, and the other half off-site in an alternative hotel/villa. This way, you can still get a taste of the fun and excitement that comes with staying in a Disney Resort hotel (plus all the added benefits during your stay!), yet will also save money by choosing to move to another style of accommodation for the rest of your trip. Of course, how long you want to spend at each accommodation will completely depend on your budget, so you can be in control of the cost.
Pick Hotels with Breakfast Included
If you’re staying off-site, consider choosing a hotel that comes with breakfast. These may cost slightly more than accommodations that don’t offer this service, however when you consider the savings that could be had, it’s usually worth it. Many of these complimentary breakfasts are buffet-style, so you can eat as much as you like, starting the morning right for a day exploring the Disney Parks, and limiting the amount of snacks you’ll have to purchase once inside. If travelling as a family, hotels with free breakfasts are a convenient option - you don’t have to worry about cooking first thing in the morning, and you and the kids will receive some much-needed energy.
Check Facilities at Hotels
When conducting your accommodation research, be sure to look for reviews that mention the hotel/villa facilities. In the Orlando heat, a large pool is vital, as it gives you the option to cool off in between exploring the Disney Parks, or even have a well-deserved lazy pool day. If travelling with children, look for information about the kids' facilities - do they have a kids club? A babysitting service? A place for the kids to let off steam and have some fun?
Not only is this another (complimentary) way to entertain your little ones, but you will also get some time to unwind and enjoy your holiday too! If travelling as a group of friends or a couple, see if the hotel has a good bar, gym, or any other facilities that will make your trip even more special.
Research Transport Options to the Disney Parks
How you get to your favourite Disney Parks each day is going to be one of the most important things to consider when choosing where to stay.
Staying in an on-site Disney Resort hotel means you’ll have access to a range of transportation options to get you around the resort, including the monorail, Disney Skyliner, and buses, depending on where you stay. Some of the hotels are even within walking distance of some of the Disney Parks too.
If staying off-site, have a look at how long it will take you to get to the Disney Parks, before you arrive. Renting a car can be expensive and come with added costs, however if you plan on doing some further exploring around Florida and the surrounding theme parks, this option may be worth it. This could be particularly beneficial if you’re travelling as a group of adults, as you can split the cost of the hire car between more people.
If choosing not to rent a car, apps like Lyft and Uber will probably be your best bet for getting between your hotel/villa and the Disney Parks. You can estimate how much this journey will cost using the apps, so can easily account for this within your budget, helping you to consider which option is the top choice for you.
Take Advantage of the Hotel Activities
Your hotel can be another attraction all in itself! Do your research beforehand and find out which accommodations have the most appealing activities for you to enjoy. For example, a number of Disney Resort hotels offer entertainment during the evening, proving that a hotel isn’t just a place to rest your head.
Spot the resident zebra, giraffes, gazelles and flamingoes at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge; or how about a campfire sing-along with Chip ‘n’ Dale (s’mores included!) with an outdoor screening of a Disney movie, held every night^ at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Keep the magic going with these unique experiences, and make the most of your budget by taking advantage of them all.
Decorate Your Hotel Room
If you choose to stay off-site but still want to carry the magic of Disney with you during your hotel stay, consider bringing some decorations to transform your hotel room into a Disney-themed paradise. After gaining permission from your accommodation, this a fun and easy way to get the feel of a Disney stay, whichever hotel you choose. DIY bunting, window stickers, plushies, and Disney props can transform even the plainest of rooms and ultimately your stay, giving you a bit of Disney magic, on a budget.
Staying at a Disney Resort hotel
Staying on-site at a Disney Resort hotel can be cheaper than you initially think, especially when you take into consideration all the perks that come included with this stay. Hotel guests will get:
- Early theme park entry - enjoy access to the Disney Theme Parks up to 30 minutes before they officially open*
- Complimentary WiFi - stay connected and share your Disney snaps
- Early access to Individual Lightning Lane selections - Disney Resort hotel guests can make their Individual Lightning Lane reservations* from 7am, while other guests have to wait until the park opens.
- Early access to advanced dining reservations - all guests can make their dining reservations from 60 days before their Walt Disney World Resort holiday, but hotel guests can make reservations for the first 10 days of their stay all in one go, instead of day-by-day
- Disney Dining Plans - These plans are a great way to budget meals without compromising on quality flexibility and choice. With selected Disney Dining Plans, you can even use your meal credits on those magical Disney Character Dining experiences.
- Complimentary Transport - Get around the resort with a range of transport options, to and from your hotel.
Staying at a Disney Resort hotel is therefore an easy way to make the most of your Walt Disney World Resort experience, making your holiday hassle-free and extra magical. The hotels are also divided into a range of price categories, meaning that you can easily determine which one is the most suitable for your budget.
There are often offers available to help make a stay at a Disney Resort hotel more affordable too. If you book before March 28th, you can get up to 4 nights free on select 2024 arrivals at selected hotels! Click here to browse our Disney Resort hotels now.
Consider a Villa...
Travelling as a larger group? Consider staying in a villa to save money, as opposed to separate hotel rooms. Bring along the grandparents and/or family friends to make the most of your budget and get fantastic accommodation at a fraction of the price.
You’ll also get cooking facilities and larger entertaining spaces, meaning you’ll save money on eating out too. Sharing the costs of one large villa often works out cheaper than staying in individual hotel rooms if you are travelling as a large group, so can be a great option for those looking for a more affordable stay.
...Or a Disney Partner Hotel
We’ve spoken a lot about on-site and off-site hotels, but what about those that fall in between these categories? Well, there are several Disney Partner Hotels to choose from when considering where to stay during your Walt Disney World Resort visit, each of which comes with added benefits:
- Free WiFi
- Free Transportation to the Disney Parks
- Disney Character Breakfasts at selected hotels
- Walking distance to Disney Springs
The hotels offer fantastic value for money, along with the quality and comfort you expect from internationally recognised hotel chains like Hilton and Holiday Inn. They are also located right in the heart of all the Disney fun, meaning you’re never too far from your favourite attractions and experiences. All this makes these great options for those wishing to get those all-important perks, while looking for an affordable stay.
Ready to book your holiday at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida? Browse our Orlando tickets now.
*Subject to availability