Do it Right - Stay on Site with a Disney Vacation

Many potential Guests approach me about going to Walt Disney World and state “I heard it’s cheaper to stay in a rental house in Kissimmee, is that true?”
People will argue with me about this, but I stand by it - it is not cheaper to rent a villa or house “offsite”. For example, my Dad rented a 5-bedroom vacation home for two weeks in February. He was very proud that it only cost him $2,000 for the accommodations. He thought he was saving so much money by putting all 9 of us in there. But he forgot about the cost of renting a vehicle, food, supplies (laundry detergent, dish soap, toilet paper etc), gas (you will easily go through a couple of tanks of gas driving in and out of Disney during a week’s stay) parking ($12/day at Disney parks, free for onsite resort guests) and convenience. The time spent going back and forth was a huge waste and hassle - going through the parking lot alone to find our vehicle took eons. Babies were cranky and naps had to be missed because we would have to drive a distance back to the house. It made for a lot of running around and incidental costs, which added up quickly.

Not to mention having breakfast with my brother in law in his underwear, hearing my Dad snore at night down the hall, my mother nagging me about folding laundry, cooking your own meals, and cleaning up after yourself is not a vacation in my humble opinion! My fiancĂ©e and I ended up checking into Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge for three nights to escape.

Never would I recommend staying "offsite" - non-Disney owned hotel/vacation villas/homes to any one, ever because I fail to see the “savings”. When doing so, you do not get use of Disney's Magical Express (complimentary airport to resort transfers), you do not get full use of Disney's transportation throughout the 47 square mile complex, you do not get to utilize Extra Magic Hours, you CANNOT have the dining plan (which saves you 30% on the cost of food) and you cannot have any purchases delivered to your resort. You would also miss out on the Magic and level of service that a Disney Resort has to offer.

Staying at one of the 22 owned and operated Disney Resorts means being surrounded by Magic 24 hours a day and also being close enough to return to your hotel for a snack, nap or dip in the pool. There are Resorts that suit all budgets. It's your vacation and only you know what will work best for your family, but be certain you are making an educated decision.

For a Disney trip, do it right by staying on-site. It’s the only way to do it.

Kathryn Dickson is a Disney Vacation Planning Specialist with Fairytale Dreams and Destinations. Fairytale Dreams and Destinations which is the only TICO registered agency in Ontario that deals specifically with Disney destinations. You can contact Kathryn at 905-857-3611 or by email at

Bookmark and Share



  1. Parking is now $14/day at Disney parks.

  2. All the more reason to stay on-site then!

  3. I think that we will stay on site the next time we go. It was exhausting trying to stay there from open to close to get them most for our money.


Thank you for sharing your feedback!

Ask about our School & Parent Workshops