When planning a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, there's always a lot of talk about staying on Disney property versus not staying on Disney property. Some people are adamant that staying on property is the only way to vacation. I call those people "Disney Loyalists." Nothing anyone else says will change their minds and they will tell you that the magic will be lost if you check-in anywhere else.
Whether it is a deluxe, moderate or value property, these Disney loyalists will not be going to Disney unless they are staying in a Disney operated hotel. That's great and their choice. But, don't let the price of Disney hotels scare you into thinking you can never take your family to Disney or that you are going to have to stay in a value resort with room doors that open to the outside world. Hello, 1970! I've only stayed in deluxe Disney properties myself. The property was fabulous and so was walking to Epcot. However, the room was not worth the $300 plus price tag. And for the same amount of money, we could have rented a villa in Europe for the five nights we were there. As a journalist who knows a lot of other travel writers and as someone who knows her hotels very well, I can tell you right now that if your family stays in an area near the theme parks, your family vacation will still be magical, and definitely more luxurious than a value or moderate resort. Don't hate me, Disney loyalists, I just want to give straight up hotel facts for those who may be on the fence of going to Orlando this winter.
My friends at Luxe Recess, one of my favorite hotel websites, has a great Disney/Orlando guide for the luxury traveler.
You may have heard that Downtown Disney has been renamed Disney Springs. It's about as close to the theme parks as you can get, but none of the hotels are managed by Disney. In fact, the area is kind of like a theme park itself with shopping, dining, and entertainment. The new name Disney Springs is Disney's way of adding a little more magic with a new name, and it's very close to Disney's own Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa and many of the value resorts. In fact, all of these seven hotels have the honor of being named "Official Walt Disney World Hotels" and they provide a complimentary shuttle every 30 minutes to the four theme parks, two water parks, and Disney Springs.
November and December are magical months to visit Walt Disney World. I was there two years ago this month. Liza was four and met the Disney Princesses for the first time. We want to return again.
The hotels in the Disney Springs are offering special holiday rates so you can enjoy all that Disney has to offer this time of year.
Available from November 1-, the special “Holiday Rates” are:
· B Resort & Spa – rates from $89 per room, per night
· Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel – rates from $69 per room, per night
· Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa – rates from $99 per room, per night
· DoubleTree Suites by Hilton – rates from $119 per suite, per night
· Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – rates from $116 per room, per night
· Holiday Inn Orlando – rates from $89 per room, per night
· Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort – rates from $95 per room, per night.
|See Luxe Recess Review of B Resort and Spa|
If I were to check-in, my top choices would be B Resort and Spa. I trust Robin's judgment at Lux Recess, and she has a story on the hotel in this post. I also would consider the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista due to its previous accolades, and the rooms are more lux than most Disney deluxe properties. It also has extended theme park hours available to its guests, a character breakfast on Sunday and heated pools. And the Doubletree Suites By Hilton Lake Buena Vista is an all-suite hotel for those families who need extra space. And we all know that families need space. I stayed in all-suite DoubleTree in Charlotte, N.C. last month and was pleased with the hotel. I typically choose more lux hotels for my personal vacations, but Disney is an extremely busy destination where you are not in the hotel much so I am making the DoubleTree an exception here for a Disney vacation. The brand is also nice for families. I have never stayed in a Disney Value resort and I have no desire to do so. I would choose these properties over Disney Value Resorts or Moderate Resorts.
You can compare all hotels at the main website: DisneySpringsHotels.com and you can view special rates plus in some hotels, children eat free.
special events at the Walt Disney World® Resort include:
· Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival, presented by Chase® -- September 25-, at Epcot®
· The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights presented by Siemens – , at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®.
· Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – select nights , at the Magic Kingdom® Park
· Holidays at Disney SpringsTM – , at Disney SpringsTM
· Holidays Around the World at Epcot® – , at Epcot®
· Candlelight Processional – , at Epcot®
Taking advantage of the special hotel rates also will enable you to enjoy such other benefits of staying at one of the seven Disney SpringsTM Resort Area Hotels as:
· Disney tickets available to purchase at each hotel
· Advance tee times and discounts at all Walt Disney World® golf courses
· Disney Merchandise store located in each hotel
· The ability to book advance dining and dinner show reservations for all restaurants across the Walt Disney World® Resort.
Well underway in its transformation, Disney SpringsTM already has many new offerings that are already open, including the upscale waterfront restaurant The Boathouse (from the creator of T-Rex CaféTMand Rainforest Café®), Morimoto Asia restaurant, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, a dozen new shops, Exposition Park (home to four Disney-owned food trucks), and a new parking garage with 4,000 spaces.
Disney SpringsTM Resort Area Hotels (DisneySpringsHotels.com) is a consortium of seven Official Walt Disney World® Hotels that includes: the stylish B Resort & Spa, opened in June 2014 with 394 newly renovated guest rooms and suites, the full-service B Indulged® AVEDA Spa, and American Q signature restaurant; the 18-story, 325-room Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel, overlooking Lake Buena Vista and the Walt Disney World® Resort, and offering two restaurants, lounge, and wireless internet; Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa, offering 1,014 guest rooms and suites, three pools, tennis, basketball and sand volleyball courts, five restaurants/lounges and a full-service spa; the luxurious and spacious 229-suite Doubletree Suites by Hilton, the only all-suite resort hotel in the Disney SpringsTMResort Area; Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, walking distance to Disney SpringsTM and the only Disney SpringsTM resort offering Extended Theme Park Hours; the Holiday Inn Orlando, the only Holiday Inn located in the Walt Disney World® Resort Area and featuring elegant rooms with modern Florida décor; and Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort, featuring 626 guest rooms (which each feature a refrigerator), the Oasis Aquatic Playground with two pools and interactive water features, and six dining options.
Love hotels? Be sure to subscribe to my hotel newsletter. Can't stand the thought of staying offsite or need help with tickets, visit Magical Adventures Travel with Jennifer Eacret. She teaches at my children's school by day and plans Disney vacations at night.