Disney World Hotels: On site vs. Off Site


Another big question I get all the time from potential clients looking at a Disney World vacation is whether to stay on site or off site. I am of course biased toward on site as I know quite so much about that and have stayed at many of the Disney resorts as well. I’ve created a handy comparison chart as well as a hypothetical comparison to include Disney resorts as well as Disney’s Swan/Dolphin, and off site hotels. The comparison is very interesting!

Disney resorts Swan/Dolphin Off Site
Airport transport Yes – free No No
Discounts Typically 2-4 months available from arrival date – % off room total discounts; sometimes ticket discounts Discounts variable. At times teacher discounts available Variable by location.
Tickets Can be included in ticket packages (at times for a discount!) May be purchased separately May be purchased separately
Extra Magic Hours Included Included None
Parking Free at resorts and parks Free at parks only (additional $15 daily at resort) Typically free at hotel, $15 daily parking at parks
Park Transport from your resort Free Free Some intermittent buses at some hotels
Disney Dining Plan Available when purchasing park tickets as a part of your package Separate dining plan for Swan/Dolphin restaurants only (Disney Dining plan not available) None available – for Disney resort guests only
Average cost per night in July Value  ~$135+Moderate ~$208+Deluxe ~294+*does not include room discount, tax included ~$209+ plus taxDiscounted teacher rates available ~$149-$179 Variable ~$79 and up plus tax
Location Variable by resort – all on Disney property Epcot resort area Variable – Not on Disney property
Park transport Variable by resort – value resorts are bus only; some deluxe resorts are walking distance, monorail, or boat Boat access or walking distance to Hollywood Studios and Epcot; Shared bus service to Magic Kingdom & Animal Kingdom Your car only
Resort fee None $17 + tax per day Typically, none
Charging privileges on Disney property (to your room account) Available Only available at Swan/Dolphin and not throughout Disney resorts and parks Not available
FastPass+ Available 60 days in advance Available 60 days in advance Available upon arrival in the park
Advanced Dining Reservations Available 180 days in advance (plus 10 days into your trip) Available 180 days in advance (plus 10 days into your trip) Available 180 days in advance (must book your reservations day by day)
MagicBands Included Included None
Average cost for a 7 days, 6 night trip for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children)Base park ticketsNo dining plan Includes park ticketsValue: $2170+Moderate: $2645+Deluxe: $3223.44*Non-discounted rates. Room discounts will be available (typically up to 30%) Room: $1530Park Tickets: $1216Resort Fee: $102Airport Transfer: $70TOTAL: $2918

(more if you rent a car)

Room: $775Park Tickets: $1216Rental Car:$300Parking:  $90TOTAL: $2381

(most conservatively with a hotel in Kissimmee)

Benefits No car necessary!No resort fee!Everything at your finger tips!Ability to add on dining plan! One of the best locations on Disney propertyOffers some teacher discounts Rooms are cheaper, but everything else is more expensive!


Ready to get started planning your 2015 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free cruise opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!