Besides the park tickets, lodging can be one of if not the most expensive part of your visit to Walt Disney World.
The first decision that you need to make is whether to stay on-site at one of the Disney Resorts or off-site at one of the numerous Orlando area hotels.
I have done both over the years and now I stay almost exclusively on-site. I do that because the resorts have a lot to offer and I can save money doing it.
- If you fly into Orlando (MCO) airport and stay on-site you can take advantage of Disney’s Magical Express service that transports you and your bags directly to and from your resort at no extra charge. This is a huge savings versus paying for a shuttle, towncar, or rental car. I have tried all of the options over the years and I am thrilled that Disney offers this free service. For a family this saves you close to $200 per trip.
- No parking fees for on-site guests. Even if you choose to drive to the theme parks, you get free parking privileges saving $12/day.
- They have resorts for every budget. By segregating their resorts into Value, Moderate, and Deluxe, they offer solutions to meet everyone’s needs. Whether you want the lowest price or you wish to be pampered, they have options for you.
- Take advantage of frequent discount codes for room discounts on-site. (See the sites listed in my links for more info on discount codes.) These codes can save you hundreds of dollars per trip. These are codes issued by Disney for use by the general public. They can be used for making reservations directly with Disney or your travel agent.
- Time is money. By staying on-site you save on travel time and can enjoy more of your vacation. Mid-day breaks are also possible. This is a big plus when travelling with children.
- The Disney Theming extends to the resorts, so they are like a part of the parks. This allows another free benefit that you get more of that Disney Magic during your vacation.