Off-site vs. On-site Disney Housing Accommodations

There are many decisions that must be made when planning a Disney vacation, some are bigger than others, but almost all will have a significant impact on how your trip turns out overall. This is definitely the case when it comes to your accommodations. The happier you and your family are with wherever you choose to begin and end your day, the more fun you’ll be able to have while you’re spending time at the theme parks or out doing one of the other many activities the Orlando, FL area has to offer.

There are many possibilities to select from for your Disney lodging, but you will first have to determine if you will be staying at an on-site resort location or if somewhere off-site would better serve your needs and wants. Disney vacation rentals are an off-site option that simply makes the most sense for a lot of people. These houses are located in popular communities not far from the resort that provide guests with the chance for a little more relaxation, comfort, and privacy than those staying at on-site hotels will get. Below are some notable points to consider before you book your Disney housing.


Budget is generally a number one concern for vacationers. It should come as no surprise that off-site Disney rentals will be more inexpensive than resort hotels, oftentimes much more since you aren’t paying for the Disney name or location. Vacation rentals allow you to stay within an affordable rate without having to book something at a total bargain basement level.


Disney vacation rentals are great for large groups or families traveling together. The various sizes of villas available make it easy for people to find lodging that has the perfect number of rooms and bathrooms to accommodate their party with enough space so that it doesn’t feel like everyone is constantly in each other’s way. In an on-site hotel room, such space is not given unless everyone is broken up into separate rooms.


There are a few amenities that are exclusive to guests of on-site accommodations, including Extra Magic Hours, the Disney Dining Plan, and free transportation around the resort. However, these perks may not make much difference to you, or you may find that the luxurious amenities Disney vacation rentals provide actually outweigh those of a resort hotel. A lot of off-site properties will give you access to a private pool and spa, game room, golf course, washer and dryer, and other activities strictly reserved for guests and residents of the resort-like communities.


If transportation is going to be a big factor in your decision, keep in mind that even though Disney World has its own intricate transportation system, it is often viewed as inefficient and more stressful than having your own car or using other methods to get around. Some vacation rentals offer their own complimentary shuttle to the resort, or you can simply travel by taxi or Uber. In addition, if you plan to spend part of your vacation visiting attractions outside of Disney, you’re likely to find it more convenient to do so from an off-site housing location.

There are pros and cons to all Disney lodging options, but as you can see, it’s vital to the enjoyment of your vacation that you carefully consider all the aspects before making your booking.

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