by: guide4wdw – Collin

Disney World Resort Tips – Everything We’ve Learned About Resorts On and Off Property!  

Walt Disney World Resorts are unique in so many different ways, and I’d be lying if I ever said anything truly compares directly to a Disney owned and operated resort. There are hundreds of hotels across the country but very little compares directly to the theming and all around experience of staying on Disney property. At the same time, there are a select few benefits of staying both on and off property and often times meeting your needs and budget can and will occasionally sway you in one direction or the other. 
Personally, we’ve stayed at many different resorts both on and off property for various reasons and while this is a growing and ever changing list, our goal is to provide you with our thoughts and tips for each and every resort we’ve stayed in over the years. Why? Our goal here from the beginning has been to help you enjoy a better Disney vacation and to provide a resource for making that dream vacation a reality. For those of you who have been to the parks time and time again, we hope that our thoughts and recommendations help you find something new to enjoy on property. Disney is always changing and part of the joy of the overall Disney experience is finding something new each and every trip down.

On Property Walt Disney World Resorts  

As I touched on above, on-property resorts are always going to be the better option (in my opinion) if it fits your budget. Obviously it’s not going to be the same prices you’ll find at a Days In or something of the sort, but when compared to other resort style accommodations Disney resorts don’t tend to be all that more expensive that a Hilton, Hyatt, or other equivalent resort. Additionally, on-property resorts feature excellent transportation at no additional charge that is superior to every other off site transportation option (even including Uber and Lyft – which are our top pick when staying “off-property”).  

Here’s a Closer Look At Our Tips For Resorts:

Many resorts on property we’ve stayed in but others we’ve only visited with friends or family. As with anything, staying there really is the true test but we’ll share a few thoughts on resorts we’ve visited along the way as well as reviewing a select few in greater depth!  Unfortunately, I am a creature of habit but it’s always been and likely always will be a goal to continue branching out and trying new things on consecutive trips to the parks and resorts. A few of the resorts we’ve stayed in recently can be found below and while we’ve stayed in many more on property resorts, we wont review those until we revisit them and capture a better and more detailed perspective of their current state.  
While resort reviews are great, Disney has done a pretty great job describing everything you can expect to find at the resorts on their site. So, rather that reviewing every resort in great detail I want to share a few thoughts and tips on how to make the best decision for your given needs and wants of your vacation experience. Plus, we’ll take a look at a how to secure those tough to get reservations and a few things to consider along the way.  
These tips really only scratch the surface of all that we’ve covered here on the site, so be sure to check out our other pages up at the top of the page and don’t forget about our search bar to find something you may be looking for specifically! 

Off Property Disney World Area Resorts  

Truthfully, in the past we’ve always tried to avoid off property resorts if we can avoid them mostly because they tend to complicate the Disney experience and pull a little something away from the feel of the overall WDW vacation experience. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with off property resorts (and we’ve stayed in a few along the way), but to me it feels like you miss a bit of the encompassing experience you get staying at on-property resorts. If I did have to pick one “off-property” recommendation it would be the Double Tree Near Disney Springs because I’ve stayed there quite a few times and it always meets or exceeds expectations. Additionally, the hotel isn’t really “off-property.” It’s so close to Disney Springs that you can walk to it fairly easily, and on top of that it actually sits within the welcoming Disney gates near South Apopka Vineland Road on Hotel Plaza Boulevard.
Off property hotels and resorts are, in my simplest explanation, different. You’re no longer in that Disney bubble, and you’re not surrounded by those Disney cast members that often make all the difference in making you feel completely at home no matter where you’re from. That seemingly simple difference combined with the grand theming and beautiful nature of the Disney resorts tends to set the experience apart from all other vacation destinations. 
I mention all of this for one main reason and that is to share with prospective guests that while staying off property can be more budget friendly (not always for various reasons), the slight bit extra you tend to pay tends to be worth it in the grand scheme of things. By all means, if the only way you can make ends meet to make your way to Walt Disney World is staying off property, by all means stay off property! It’s not the end of the world, but being aware of what you give up and how you can avoid it if your budget allows is a huge part of the planning process. 
As we continue writing here on the site, we’ll likely share a few more off-property resort reviews and tips, and this is where we’ll add them in, but for now I’m goin to leave you with that one recommendation. If you want to learn more about it, head on over to our full post about the Double Tree below: 

Wrapping Up

I’m a firm believer that resorts are a huge part of your Disney vacation. I know many feel like a resort is simply a place to rest before your next day in the parks, and for many that works! However, to me it’s so much more that that. We’ve had the pleasure over the years of staying in many different Disney resorts (far more that are listed above simply because it was long before we started the site) and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make a difference.

A great resort can wrap you in theming and truly transport you to a different place and a different time in a way that is very difficult to explain. As an example, I’ve always been a huge fan of Wilderness Lodge. It’s a resort that changes your expectations for hotels and has such a “wow factor” that it sets the standard for all other resorts. Obviously, I’m a little bias towards Disney but I firmly believe that Disney resorts are different that all the rest. The theming is in every little detail and at the same time they find a way to put you in the story in a way that no other company has quite accomplished on such a grand scale. When you step into a resort like Wilderness Lodge or even the Boardwalk, you dont step into a theme, but rather you feel like you’re there and living the story the resort portrays as if it’s been there for generations and you’re in that place the resort depicts. You’re not going to find that off property. 

Want to work with us here on the site or in the photography realm? Shoot me a message on social media anytime or email me directly at We’re always looking for sponsors and new opportunities. If you ever have questions during your vacation planning or anything else feel free to message me there as well and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible! 

Your Thoughts

As always, if you have thoughts, concerns, questions, or even some tips of your own to share, don’t hesitate to reach out to us on Facebook or your favorite social media platform. Give us a follow while you’re there, and we’ll keep the conversation going in the future. We’re not the largest Disney community, but we’re one that’s there and one that listens. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day wherever you are!

Need a Travel Planner?

If you want or simply need a little bit of planning help to make your Disney vacation dream a reality, check out the quote request form below this article for our friends over at Destinations to Travel. They’ll let you do as much or as little of the planning as you’d like and may even save you some money along the way! As always, thanks for supporting those who support us.

Ready to Plan?

Last but certainly not least, if you’re starting the planning process, a great place to start are with some of our top planning articles! Looking for dining? Check out Disney World Dining Tips For 2018. Want to start with some more tips? 44 Excellent Disney World Tips for 2018 or Disney World Planning Guide and Tips For 2018 are a great place to begin! Looking to save money on tickets? Check out our friends over at The Official Ticket Center for great deals that even made it into our 2018 Discount Disney World Ticket selections and another great way to help us create more content through your contributions at no additional cost to you! You’ll probably even save money along the way.