Disney World planning is the most overwhelming, in my opinion. Although having a lot of options is great, it also makes it harder to narrow it down to what you need. However, the one thing I like about Disney World when it comes to hotels is that they have different levels in resorts so you can cancel out the ones that don’t meet your needs.
Value: All-Star Movies
When I planned my trip to Disney World, I kind of just clicked on the first thing I saw. I did want to save so I decided to pick a value resort. I stayed at All-Star Movies and I actually had a great time there. It (as well as the other All-Star’s) are broken up into buildings with themes. The main source of transportation is buses, which sometimes are shared between all three All-Star resorts. The rooms are great, a bit average but do the job. Check it out here.
Moderate: Port Orleans Resorts
If you’re looking for something that looks great but doesn’t break the bank, Port Orleans Resorts are your must. There is French Quarter and Riverside to choose from and they each have great views. French Quarter offers horse-drawn carriages and both resorts offer water transportation to the parks, in case buses are not your thing. These resorts are the best of both worlds because the views are stunning and the price is decent. Check out Riverside here. Check out French Quarter here.
If you want the whole complete experience and don’t mind splurging? The Contemporary is for you. This is probably the ultimate resort to stay at. Contemporary has a monorail that can take you directly to Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Plus, it’s not that far away from MK, so you can walk there if you’re up for it. You also get a good view of the Electrical Water Pageant. Plus, this resort has spas and meeting spaces. Overall, it’s a top-notch place to stay. Check it out here.
Pros of On-Site
- Easy Check-In: You can check in online before your trip and they will text/email you your room number when you arrive.
- Free MagicBands: Pretty self-explanatory, you get a free one for every person in your room.
- Mickey’s Magical Express: Get free transportation from the airport to your hotel using this.
Cons of On-Site
- Price: As always, staying on Disney properties comes with a price.
- Crowds: Majority of the people stay in Disney hotels, meaning getting around the parks can take longer from all the people there.
- Disney Property: Maybe this is just a con for me, but staying on Disney property means you’re in the Disney bubble always. Yes, you can leave and go to other parks and locations, but I felt stuck.
Off-Site: Wyndham Grand
Sometimes no matter how much you want to, staying on-site just can’t work out. Wyndham Grand is a good alternative. It is one of the few places that offers a shuttle to the parks for easy convenience. It’s also a pretty nice looking hotel, with the standard offerings. Check it out here.
Pros of Off-Site
- Price: Off-site will always be a little bit cheaper than staying on-site.
- Flexibility: You can venture out to other areas of Orlando and explore other things.
- Availability: Rooms go fast for Disney hotels so there’s always places booking off-site.
Cons of Off-Site
- Distance: Disney property is big so when you’re off-site, you will have to travel some way to get into the parks. Getting back and forth is a bit more tiring.
- No MagicBands: You will have to purchase MagicBands for everyone in your group since you won’t get them for free.
- No Full Disney Experience: Staying off-site means you encounter people who aren’t there just for Disney. Hotels won’t have the complete magical feel and won’t immerse you in it.