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Florida villa versus Disney hotel stays - Refined Travel

Posted by on Sunday, April 23rd, 2023

When it comes to planning a Disney vacation, there are a lot of choices to make, from the rides you want to go on to the restaurants you want to try. One of the biggest decisions, however, is where to stay. And when it comes to accommodations, there are two main options: staying on Disney property in one of their many hotels, or renting a private villa nearby.

As someone who has visited Disney World multiple times, I’ve had the opportunity to try both types of accommodations. While each has its pros and cons, I have to say that I prefer staying in a villa. Here’s why.

First, let’s talk about the Disney hotels. There are a lot of them, and they come in all shapes and sizes, from budget-friendly options to luxurious resorts. When you stay on Disney property, you get a few perks, such as access to Extra Magic Hours (when certain parks open early or stay open late for Disney hotel guests only), free transportation around the parks, and the ability to book FastPasses earlier than non-Disney hotel guests.

That being said, I’ve found that staying on Disney property can be pretty expensive. Even the more budget-friendly hotels can be pricey, and if you want to stay at one of the more upscale resorts, be prepared to shell out a lot of money. Plus, the rooms themselves can be small, especially if you’re traveling with a family.

On the other hand, renting a villa can be a much more affordable option, especially if you’re traveling with a group. You can split the cost of the rental, which can make it much more budget-friendly than a Disney hotel. And because you’re renting a whole house, you have a lot more space to spread out. This is especially helpful if you have kids who need room to run around or if you just want a bit more privacy.

When it comes to location, staying in a villa can be a bit more convenient than staying on Disney property. While you won’t have access to the free Disney transportation, you’ll likely be closer to other attractions, like Universal Studios or SeaWorld. Plus, if you have a car, you can easily drive to the Disney parks and park for free.

Another big perk of renting a villa is that you have access to a full kitchen. This can save you a lot of money on food, as you can cook your own meals instead of eating out for every meal. And if you have picky eaters or dietary restrictions, cooking your own meals can be a lifesaver.

Of course, there are a few downsides to renting a villa as well. You won’t have access to Extra Magic Hours or the ability to book FastPasses early. And if you’re traveling with a big group, it can be a bit harder to coordinate transportation to the parks.

In my experience, however, the benefits of renting a villa far outweigh the downsides. I’ve stayed in a few different villas near Disney World, and each time, I’ve had a wonderful experience. I’ve loved having the extra space, the ability to cook my own meals, and the affordability of the rental.

That being said, everyone’s needs and preferences are different, so it’s important to do your own research and figure out what’s best for you and your family. But if you’re looking for a more affordable, spacious, and convenient option for your Disney vacation, I would definitely recommend considering renting a villa.


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