You have to consider all of your potential options when planning for a Disney World Vacation. One of the questions I get most frequently is, should I stay on-property at Disney Resorts or off-property? Today let’s make a Pro’s and Con’s list so you can make the best decision for your family.
On Property Disney resorts – PROS List
- If you fly, you can take a magical express bus, which is fantastic when you’re tired from flying.
- You get to book fast passes earlier than others.
- You get to book ADR’s earlier than those off-property.
- You can take advantage of Disney’s Transportation. Seriously you’ll never need a car, and you’ll save on paying to park your car at the parks.
- It’s easier to go back to the resorts to take a mid-day nap.
- It’s nice not to have to drive anywhere after a long day.
- If you’re on-property, you’re in the Disney bubble; you’re always in the magic. Customer Service comes at the Disney level all the time.
- You don’t have to fight Orlando traffic.
- If you have a split-age family as we do, and you’re on the property, you can split up easily. Allowing older kids to get themselves to different parks or back to the resort if someone needs to go.
On Property Disney resorts – CONS List
- Staying on property is generally more expensive. Some off-property places are more costly than All-Star Disney resorts, yes, but as a general rule, the cost is there.
- Its harder to get to other theme parks in Orlando when you’re on traffic.
- It’s hard to get BETWEEN resorts; if you have a car, you can drive between them without you having to plan ahead.
- You’re at the mercy of the buses arriving and departing and how full they are.
- Going home on resort buses can be insanely crowded. Standing room only in most cases.
- If you drive, you have to pay for your parking at the resort. This price ranges from $15/night to $33/night). It’s added expense.
- You’re not getting a free breakfast like you would at some hotels.
Off-Property Pros List
- Any property that has a kitchen can save you A LOT of money on food.
- You can get a 3 BR kitchen living room (sometimes with a pool ) off-property for what a standard resort room could cost.
- If you have a large family or are traveling with extended family or friends, sometimes having that space is excellent.
- You’ll have a lot more privacy if you rent a house, but in a regular hotel or resort, you won’t.
- Dining off Disney property is less expensive. So if you leave the parks BEFORE lunch for your mid-day nap, you may save a lot of money.
- The money savings can be significant. Especially if you’re sharing a house across multiple families.
Off-Property Cons List
- If you fly and you’re off property, then you have to rent a car. If you drove yourself, then it doesn’t matter.
- You may save money buying groceries, but you may have to enter the busiest Wal-Mart IN THE WORLD. You can always pay for grocery delivery, though.
- As I said before, parking costs add up significantly. Beyond just cost, however, you’ll find parking is a HUGE hassle! Having to ride the tram and re-find where you parked, it’s a mess.
- You leave the Disney bubble. You deal with crazy traffic!
- It’s a huge pain when some family members are ready to go, and others are not. When one kid needs to nap, and everyone has to leave because there’s only one way to get around, there will likely be some resentment. You’ll find that you have to keep better tabs on your party when you’re staying off property.
- Park-hopping is much more complicated. You have to leave the park, go to your car, drive to the next park, park your car, walk to the park. Rinse and repeat.
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