Where to Stay – On Property vs Off Property


The biggest decision you need to make once you have decided you’re going to Disney World is where to stay…On or Off Property ???

Over the years we have stayed both on and off property…each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Don’t get me wrong I would stay on Disney each and every time…however this just doesn’t always work for the other half, so we have to compromise!

Benefits of staying on Disney Property

  • You are staying in the heart of the ‘Magic’ – in the ‘Disney Bubble’
  • Free Disney transportation for getting all around Disney – there is always a bus, boat or monorail to take you right to the parks – there is no need for a car unless you plan on leaving Disney
  • Extra Magic Hours
  • Great Theming in the Hotels
  • Dining Plans – there are sometimes deals for free dining which could save you lots of money
  • If you stay at one of the 5 EPCOT resort hotels you can even walk to 2 parks!
  • Disney’s Magical Express takes you from the airport to your hotel…and back
  • Any purchases made in the parks, hotels and Downtown Disney can be charged to your room (with the exception of Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin)
  • Purchases can be sent to your hotel so you don’t have to carry them around!


  • Cost – can be extremely expensive
  • Availability – holidays especially can be booked up well in advance
  • Unless you have a car you are stuck with Disney food and shopping
  • If you want to leave Disney, unless you have a car you will have to pay for cabs
  • Location – some Disney hotels are very remote

Benefits of staying off property

  • Better value, larger rooms
  • More choice for self-catering
  • If you choose a Villa you have your own private pool
  • Easier access shopping, restaurants and Non Disney stuff
  • Nowadays there are hotels in great locations, close to Disney


  • Need a car as you have to drive to the parks, can become expensive for parking
  • If park shuttles are provided these can be slow and inconveniently scheduled
  • Can be less ‘Magical’ than staying in a Disney Hotel
  • Some accommodations are a long way from Disney, do your homework

Look out for my review of Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa, an Off Property apartment style suites, coming soon.

Where do you prefer to stay? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

Emma x