Where will you stay when you arrive at Disney? On or off property?

Walt Disney World Resort

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Once the dates for the vacation have been chose, the next thing to consider is where to stay. This decision will need you to think about whether you would like to stay on or off of Disney property.

On Property – The advantages of staying on Disney property is as follows:

  • More Time for Fun
    • As a Disney Resort guest, you are able to take advantage of Extra Magic Hours.  These are the specific hours set aside by Disney for the parks to be open to their Resort guests only in the morning and at night.  Inquire with Disney as to the specifics on the parks opened early and late per day during your vacation.  These hours are a great way to get more hours in the parks with less guests.
    • There is less travel time from the Resort to the parks when staying on-property.  Less drive time means more time for you to enjoy yourself at the parks!
  • Complimentary Transportation
    • With Disney’s Magical Express, your vacation begins as soon as you arrive at Orlando International Airport (MCO). You do not even have to worry with baggage claim if you added the Magic Express luggage tags to your luggage before checking them in!  Once you have arrived to your Orlando International terminal, make your way to the Magical Express check-in, board the bus, and Disney will take you (and your carry-on luggage) right to your Disney Resort hotel. Your checked bags will arrive in your room later on that day – as if by magic!
    • Disney also makes it super easy to get around the Walt Disney World Resort with all of their other transportation options during your stay – buses that go to and from all of the parks (including the water parks) and Downtown Disney, monorails and ferry boats to and from various locations.
    • If you don’t like the idea of having to wait for a bus, boat, or the monorail every time you need to get somewhere, Disney also offers free parking to all on-site Resort guests.

Off-Property – On the other hand, if you are not as big of a Disney nut as I, you may not want to be surrounded by Disney 24/7, and that is okay, too. There are other reasons why you may choose to stay off-site – you have a larger family, you’re visiting other Orlando attractions, you want better access to non-Disney shops and restaurants, etc. Since we usually stay on-site, I don’t have much personal experience in staying in other areas of Orlando. I can, however, tell you that a really great resource for information and deals on non-Disney hotels is Mousesavers.com. In addition to the discounts listed on their website, they also often send out email deals, so you should definitely sign up for their newsletter.

Sometimes staying on property can be expensive but you can also try renting timeshare weeks through Disney Vacation Club owners online with websites like SellMyTimeshareNOW.com.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both choices. If you are still not sure, I suggest checking out this page over on AllEars to help you decide.

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