A Disney World vacation is fun no matter where you stay. That said, a vacation spent entirely within the Disney bubble is much more magical than one that requires you to drive off Disney property each day. In fact, there are some Disney-goers who refuse to stay offsite at all, claiming that leaving each day takes too much away from the experience.
Unfortunately, as is the case with everything else on Disney property, the Disney Resort Hotels are pretty pricey. In fact, they’re so expensive that many feel they can’t afford to stay on Disney property during their vacation. This is totally understandable, but may not be true.
If you’re one of those who believes staying on Disney property is out of reach for you, read on to learn how you can stay in a Disney Hotel and still save money.
Try a Value Resort
The first thing we recommend doing is looking into a Value Resort rather than the more expensive Moderate or Deluxe hotels. The Value Resorts may not offer as many amenities, but they are clean, well located, and give you access to the most important amenities such as Disney transportation, early FastPass+ bookings, and free MagicBands.
When booked at the right time of year, Value Resorts are about the same price as most mid-level off-property hotels, meaning you won’t be spending any more money, and kids adore the theming at these bright, colorful hotels.
Go During the Off Season
As mentioned above, the time of year you choose to visit will affect how much you pay for your resort room. Booking during the busy season will mean paying more, while booking during the slower times of year will give you lower room rates.
For this reason, we highly recommend visiting during slower times of year if at all possible. Generally, these slow periods occur in September, October, January, and February.
Use Free Dining
If you do book during the fall slow season, you might be able to snag a free Dining Plan. This is an excellent deal for many families and can save you quite a bit of money if used right. That said, you will need to do the math to make sure this is a good deal for your group.
Smaller families, families who don’t eat much or don’t eat meat, and those with younger children may find that the free Dining Plan doesn’t actually save them anything. These families might be better off paying out-of-pocket for food, and instead using the room discount that tends to be available at the same time of year (but can’t be used in conjunction with the free dining deal).