Thursday, October 8, 2009

To stay or not to stay...that is the quesiton

I know I said that I was done blogging about WDW, well I was wrong. I got to thinking that aside from the actual parks there are additional considerations to be made and that was the source of today's blog, whether or not to stay on the WDW property. I have actually done both. For our honeymoon we stayed on WDW resort and for this last family vacation we stayed off the resort.

Let's start with staying on the WDW property. This is a GREAT option with several benefits. First of all, you can get all of your transportation needs taken care of, which is the primary reason my husband and I chose to stay there. We were married at 19, so we were too young to rent a car. A WDW van picked us up from the airport, we rode the WDW busses to all the property locations during the week, and a WDW van took us back to the airport when it was time to leave. This is a very big perk, because you don't have to try and find parking at the park and at the end of the day you typically don't have to walk to far to the bus stop.

In addition to transportation, WDW gives those staying on the property extra hours and benefits at all the parks. This can be nice, especially with little ones. You can hop on the bus back to the hotel for a while and then back to the park for some extra hours! Perfect for little guys who run out of steam. The parks also open earlier for guests staying on the property, so if you have an early bird you can go and enjoy the park before others can get in. This brings me to another perk for staying in the park, location, location, location. By being close to everything it does not take long to get back to your hotel and then back to the park. I find this especially useful with little ones. As I said they will probably need a break and they can get some good rest back at your hotel instead of a quick nap in a stroller. Since your hotel is so close and you don't have to drive and park and drive and park, this is a real time and life saver.

So what is the down side, I'd say cost. That was the sole reason we did not stay on the resort when we went on our family vacation last December. We could not make the math work out.

Let's look at staying off the WDW property. When we went last December we stayed at the Nickelodeon Hotel. The reason we chose this hotel was twofold. First, we got a GREAT deal on Travelocity and second my kids LOVE all things Nick, so it was a perfect fit. Although we had to rent a car to get around, this worked out great for us because it enabled us to see other Orlando attractions, in particularly NASA. One of our main objectives outside of WDW while we were in Orlando was to visit NASA and staying off the property with our own car enabled us to do that.

I would say another perk to staying off the WDW property would be to experience something other than Disney while you are there. Like I said my kids LOVE Nick, so we did a character breakfast with all their Nick favorites on our last day.

If I was to choose and money was not a factor, I would definitely stay on the WDW property. You just can't beat the added convenience or perks you get for staying there.

Below are a few links with some additional advice on this topic.

I hope you found this post helpful!


Anonymous,  October 8, 2009 at 5:30 PM  

Thanks for the great tips on WDW! I'm currently saving up for a trip in 2011 and I need all the advice I can get :)..found your blog on MBC and I'm following you now!

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