Staying at a non-Disney hotel
There are countless hotels surrounding Walt Disney World. I've stayed in quite a few of them in the past. But, when weighing the benefits of staying at a Disney hotel versus a non-Disney hotel, I have found that it's cheaper to stay at a Disney hotel.
Walt Disney World offers free transportation to and from the airport, as well as free transportation within Walt Disney World.
That saves on:
* Car rental= $300+
* Transportation to and from the airport= $40 round trip per person
* Free parking at all of the Disney parks= $20 a day
Many hotels "off property" offer you "free transportation" to the parks?
That sounded good to us, so we stayed at a hotel that offered us free transportation to the parks.
We left aboard "our" bus around 9am. Little did we realize that we weren't going straight to the Transportation and Ticket Center (T.T.C.) in Walt Disney World. Before going to the T.T.C., we stopped at 3 other hotels and picked up other hotel's guests who had to stand for the rest of the trip. This all took about 60 minutes. Once we got to the T.T.C. we had to wait to take either a boat or the monorail to get to the Magic Kingdom. We didn't actually get into the Magic Kingdom until close to 11am. So much for touring the park early.
Only Disney resort hotel buses can drop guests off at the entrance of the Magic Kingdom. The Disney Springs buses do not go to the parks. They only go to the Disney hotels.
The return trip to our hotel
After spending a long day at the Magic Kingdom, we decided to go back to our hotel. As we were heading toward the parking lot at the T.T.C. it started to rain in buckets! We had to stand in the middle of the parking lot at a particular spot to wait for our bus. Once the bus had arrived, there were too many people wanting to get onto the bus and we had to wait for close to an hour for the next bus to take us back to our hotel.
Did I really save money? O.K. so next time we rented a car.
The "car rental place" talked us into buying their insurance, so in addition to paying for the car, we paid extra for their insurance. The total to rent a car was around $500. We didn't realize that our own auto insurance would have covered our rental car.
"Where are we?" or renting a car at Orlando International Airport
We used to "fly in" in the evening and rent a car at the airport and drive to our hotel... If you've ever done this, you may have had the same experience. I have had a few people tell me that they had.
It's something about the road signs. They're confusing. The few times that we rented a car at the airport, we ended up lost and going in the wrong direction. The hint was, we didn't see any city lights for a while. I think we were going North. I'm not sure.
Then, you have to make sure that you have enough change for the tolls. We would have to carry around several dollars worth of quarters during our trip.
Many hotels have a car rental company in their lobby. There are a few rental car locations within Walt Disney World as well. I think it is easier to rent a car at your hotel. Anywhere but the airport!
Car Rental Companies on Walt Disney World Property
Alamo/National car rental location at Walt Disney World Car Care Center (407) 824-3470.
Alamo/National car rental at Walt Disney's Dolphin hotel (407) 934-4930.
National car rental at the Buena Vista Palace located in Disney Springs (407) 827-6363.
Avis at the Hilton in Disney Springs (407) 827-2847.
Budget Car rental at the Doubletree Guest Suites (407) 827-6089.
Dollar car rental at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista formerly known as the Regal Sun also in Disney Springs (407) 583-8000.
Hertz car rental at the Shades of Green (407) 938-0600.
Quality and Customer Service
Another consideration is quality and customer service. I have stayed in Orlando, Kissimmee, and Lake Buena Vista, and none of the hotels that I've stayed at can compete with Walt Disney World Resort hotel's customer service, security, and total escapism. When you're staying on Disney property, you're not staying in Florida, you're staying at Walt Disney World!
I have also noticed that everything on Disney property, including their hotels are really clean and well kept. I've never seen any signs of peeling paint or over flowing trash dumpsters.
Also, in many of the hotels in Florida you may have other "guests" staying in the room with you. Cockroaches! I have never seen them in any Disney hotels, but Florida is more of a tropical climate and cockroaches are common. I've seen them in the hotels that we've stayed in, in the Clearwater Beach/ St. Petersburg area.
To book a Walt Disney World Vacation go to:
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