Monday, January 18, 2021

List: Ten reasons to stay offsite during a Disney World vacation for an even better trip.

Last May, we had a family vacation planned and paid in full for a trip to Walt Disney World.  Like many others, we had to delay our trip for an unknown date in the future.  We've been pushing our trip out every 4 months to ensure that we don't lose our money.  Well, our next "fake date" has officially passed and it has my husband and I being thankful for one thing in particular.  We're happy that we never stay onsite at Disney World so our funds tied up with them are minimal!

This whole situation got me thinking.  Why do we prefer to stay offsite?  As you all are probably predicting, I came up with a list of 10 to answer this very loaded question!

best hotel to stay at off disney property in orlando florida

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Ten reasons to stay offsite of Disney properties.

For starters, our favorite place to stay during all our Disney trips is the Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas (link) which is literally minutes away from Walt Disney World.  It's clean, convenient, a great value, and especially perfect for families with children!

1.  You will save some serious cash.
When staying offsite, you're not saving a few bucks.  You're saving a significant amount of money.  You can find quality if not better hotel rooms offsite Disney properties for more than half the price.  Remember, when staying onsite Disney properties, you're paying for convenience and the magic of being in a fantasy world.  Before booking your vacation, ask yourself if being immersed in Disney even while sleeping is worth paying all that extra cash.

2.  You'll get more for your money.
In addition to saving boat loads of cash, staying offsite Disney properties will give you more bang for your buck.  Your accommodations can cost less with greater value and much more luxury.  For example, when we stay at Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas, we're blessed with unbeatable accommodations that include a full kitchen, seven gorgeous pools to choose from, onsite sports such as tennis, mini golf, or shuffleboard, and five onsite and super affordable dining options.  As much as we love Disney, we try to pick a day or two to really enjoy what the resort has to offer while simply relaxing.

3.  You'll get a break from the Disney hustle.
To stay onsite at Disney Properties is to fully immerse yourself in the Disney experience.  Some find this appealing, whiles others like myself enjoy a day's reprieve from the crowds and the overwhelming presence of the Disney fantasy.  Staying offsite is an easy way to catch a break and schedule time to unwind.

4.  You'll be inclined to have a personal means of transportation.
Many people will catch a ride to a Disney hotel and then never leave Walt Disney's property for the remainder of their trip.  I personally prefer to have my own car nearby so that I can easily come and go as I please.  This is especially important to me since I have young children and leaving the Disney property without a car could be a hassle.  When staying offsite, you're more likely to bring your own car or rent one leaving you with a sincere sense of freedom.

5.  You'll have more freedom with your itinerary.
Let's face it, there's so much to see and do in the area that you sometimes want to venture outside of the fantasy world of Disney.  Whether it's a quick visit to Sea World or insert dramatic gasp a day trip to Universal, you'll find it much easier to do when staying offsite.  While you technically could venture to these places while staying onsite, you'd be losing out on all of the perks that you paid such a high price for when choosing to stay onsite.

6.  You may get free breakfasts.
One of the first things that I look for when going on vacation is free continental breakfasts included with my stay.  This leaves me with one less meal to worry about.  Aside from being yet another way to save money, free breakfasts are convenient and usually healthier than overindulging at fancy restaurants.

Idea:  When visiting Magic Kingdom, we always try to snag a timeslot for a breakfast in the park before the park actually opens.  This helps us tremendously since it eliminates the need to wait on those crazy lines for the park to open.  Not to mention, it's a really cool sight to see the park empty like a VIP!

7.  You could participate in hotel activities.
One of my favorite parts of staying at Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas is their list of daily activities for their guests.  They'll have activities for the kids that include fun games to play poolside, arts and crafts, BINGO, organized sporting events, trivia nights, wine & cheese tastings for the adults, and so much more!  On our "relaxation day" we always make sure to cash in on a few of the fun activities that the resort has planned for us.  When staying onsite at Disney properties, there are limited if any activities included with your stay making this a nice little perk to staying offsite!

8.  You'll be able to gain or cash in on rewards points.
As a woman that literally travels for a living, I accumulate lots of points each year.  To make sure I get the maximum benefit of this, I always stay in the same brand of hotels.  If you stay offsite, you can reap the rewards of this.

9.  You'll have more pet friendly options available to you.
Before I get further into this one, I don't think bringing your pet with you to your Disney vacation is the most fabulous idea.  Since most activities are not pet friendly, your poor little companion will be stuck in a hotel room all by themselves.  But, if you feel that you must bring your pooch with you on your trip, you'll find better accommodations for your pet offsite.  There are very limited Disney World hotels that will allow pets onsite and it doesn't come cheap!  If you're traveling with pets, this perk for staying offsite Disney properties may become #1!

10.  You'll have access to a personal washer/dryer.
One of the best luxuries of staying at Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas is the access to your personal washer and dryer in your room!  This little perk means more room in your luggage and peace of mind when traveling with messy toddlers.  Unless you're paying big bucks for a deluxe villa, this perk isn't happening when staying on Disney property.

Now that it's 2021, I should add the perk titled "You'll have less funds tied up with Disney if your trip was planned during a global pandemic.".  All jokes aside, there are perks to staying onsite and offsite Disney properties.  It all comes down to personal preference, circumstances, and the type of Disney experience that you're looking for.

Have you ever been to Disney World?


  1. Yes, I was there in 1979 when it was just Magic Kingdom with my parents and brother. Next was with my husband when he had a business trip in Orlando and I flew down to meet him. We went to Epcot and MGM (or whatever it was called). That was around 1997. Then I rode a bus caravan down in 2010 with my son’s high school marching band to chaperone the trip and got to go to all 4 parks. My husband and middle child flew down and met up with me for a few days, though we stayed in separate hotels since I was chaperoning. We never did a family trip with our kids, so my oldest never got to go (she was in college with a different spring break for the last trip).

    I agree that it’s a better deal to stay elsewhere, but for a trip like that, I won’t rent a car. I like to find hotels that provide a shuttle service to the park. As a kid, we stayed at Lake Buena Vista and with hubby, we stayed at the hotel across from Sea World. For the band, we were at Clarion in Kissimmee but just took the bus over.

    Do you have a new date? Hope you enjoyed my history lesson! Lol!

    1. I did enjoy the history lesson! LOL Maybe when the grandkids are a little older, you can make a gigantic family trip to Disney. Matching t-shirts and all type of trip. :)

      We don't have a new date yet, although we pushed it out another 4 months. As much as we want to go, we will wait until it's safe to do so. Which, hopefully, comes at some point in our lives!!!

  2. But how will Minie Mouse buy herself new shoes if you stay offsite and don't give her monies?

    1. Speaking of Minnie, she's very rude! For my God son's birthday, we took him to Chef Mickey's while at Disney. We paid for a VERY expensive breakfast, but was sold b/c you get to meet the characters. Well, we never got to meet Minnie Mouse! When I told the waitress we didn't want to leave until we got to meet Minnie, we were told that her poodles had babies and that she was too excited to come back out. Hmph! (& yes, that's true story!!!!)

    2. What poodles? I thought she and Mickey have Pluto?

    3. You think she just made an excuse not to see us? I agree that it's pretty suspect!

    4. I don't know but I do strongly believe Daisy Duck wouldn't been even worse, that duck was always such a beeyatch..... excuse my French...

  3. We have always booked the value resorts at Disney because of the convenience of their shuttle service. We do rent a car while in Florida though so we can leave and do our own thing for a bit before returning to the magic. My oldest will be going back in May. They were supposed to go last spring, but the virus mucked up their plans too. I'm not sure if they are staying off site, but you do make some really great points for looking for accommodations off Disney property.

  4. Something to be said for both ways, but yeah, can see how you could save money offsite. Not sure taking one's pooch is the best thing to do for Disney vacations, but if they must, yeah, good to have options. Own laundry is a win too. Renting a car would be wise.


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