If you’ve ever visited Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, there’s little doubt that you know why it’s called “The Most Magical Place on Earth.” But you’ve probably also concluded that it’s among the most expensive places on Earth — there’s a reason, after all, that t-shirts that say “Most Expensive Day Ever” and “Hakuna NoDolla” exist.
Disney’s onsite hotels, of which there are over 30, fall into three categories — Disney Value Resorts, Disney Moderate Resorts, and Disney Deluxe Resorts — all of which come at a fairly hefty price point. Even Value Resorts often cost over $200 per night, particularly during peak travel times.
Recently, The Walt Disney Company has come under fire for price hikes amid lower quality service than Disney Park-goers are typically used to.
From getting rid of free FastPasses in favor of paid Lightning Lanes to the controversial Genie+ platform to reducing food portion sizes throughout Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort to seemingly cutting corners in regard to theme park merchandise quality to charging $6,000 for a two-night stay on the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel, Disney is overcharging and underperforming in many fans’ minds.
But, if you do your research, it is possible to find amazing hotel deals near Walt Disney World Resort if you are willing to stay off property.
This was recently discussed by budget-conscious Disney Parks fans on Reddit. u/DamageOdd3078 started the thread, writing:
We’ve been going to Disney for years ( last time was 2018 and we have even seen a price increase since then) and have always stayed on property at a value resort, but this year even the value resorts seem a little more expensive than usual. I’ve checked hotels near Disney Springs that are not owned by Disney and even those while comparatively affordable, still have additional fees. We’re staying 4 nights, and kind of planning a last minute trip for the end of next month so that could be a reason prices are even higher than usual. Does anyone know of decent, affordable hotel ideas?
Edit: I would say anything under $160 a night is around our budget.
The hotels at Flamingo Crossing are about a year old and the prices are much better than on property. We stayed at the HomeWood Suites there last August and it was very nice! Only about a 10 minute drive to Disney depending on the park.
Edited to add: We stayed 7 nights for $140/night in the 2 queen bed suite
Another fan, u/maritime1999 agreed with this assertion:
Those properties are very nice w/ shopping and food near by, I haven’t stayed yet i kinda want to, our hotels stays are mostly on property but prices are insane, i enjoy the swan & dolphin, Pop century, or art of animation
It is worth noting that the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel , Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort are all located on Disney property, though the Swan and Dolphin are operated by Marriott Hotels and Resorts.
u/djkmart provided another suggestion, writing:
We’re currently staying at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista resort. Booked it through Virgin. It’s next door to Disney Springs (literally, 2 minute walk). They have hourly buses to all the disney parks, and an uber to Universal will set you back about $20. We booked it because it classes as a Disney partner hotel, so we get the advantage of early access to the parks, but it’s not official Disney, so it came in at half the price of Disney hotels.
The same user added:
Yeah, for Disney Springs there really is no competition. It’s the closest hotel of all the hotels on Bonnet Creek. You go up a flight of steps, cross a bridge and you’re there. It’s taken all of the stress out of dining, especially considering everything requires so much prep and app usage these days.
To learn more about all of the hotels at Walt Disney World Resort, click here.
What is your favorite Disney World hotel?
Visit the theme park’s official website to plan your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district!