Many travelers opt to stay “off-property” on a Walt Disney World vacation. Staying in a non-Disney hotel means losing out on a few Disney perks. But the compromise often makes sense for many families, for a variety of reasons. Staying off-site, however, means that travelers need to plan a bit more to select the best transportation choices. Learn how navigate your way through Disney while staying off-property with these transit tips.


There are a million and one things to plan for a Disney vacation. One of the biggest planning decisions is deciding where to stay. Disney owns and operates 25 hotels “on-site.” There are also hundreds of off-site hotels in the nearby Orlando area to consider. Many families choose to stay off-property to have access to extra space, cheaper rates, or certain amenities not offered by the Disney hotels.

If you do choose to stay off-property at Walt Disney World, one of the most important things to think about for your vacation is transportation. On-property guests have access to the Magical Express to get them from Orlando airport to their hotel. They can also make easy use of the Disney transportation system to get between the parks and their hotel.

Off-property hotel guests need to do a little extra transportation planning. The good news is that there are a lot of options at Walt Disney World even when staying off-site. Here are a few tips for considering all of your choices.

Check Your Warehouse Club

Costco has offers for hotel discounts — and more — for members, said Woroch. “If you’re a member [of] a warehouse club, check their travel site for deals on hotels and vacation package values,” she said.

Stay Midweek to Save Money on Hotels

If you can avoid staying in hotels Friday and Saturday, you could score a cheap hotel deal.

“Most hotels offer a significant discount on rates starting on Sunday through Thursday,” said Woroch. As an added bonus, the pool, restaurants and spas will be less busy and sometimes offer deals, she said.


A huge part of having a successful transportation experience at Disney World is picking the right hotel. If you pick a remote location just to save a few dollars a night, you may well find yourself spending those dollars (and then some) to get around efficiently on your vacation.

While most Disney hotels are closer to the parks than non-Disney ones, there are quite a few non-Disney hotels in strategic locations that can set you up for transit success. Before you pick any of them, do some research. Do they offer a shuttle system to make your life easier and save you from driving? How often does it run? Does it cost extra? Does it go to all the Disney theme parks or just to the Transportation and Ticket Center? Investigate all these kinds of logistics before making your choice to save serious time on vacation.

For maximum convenience, consider one of the hotels located on Disney property that isn’t owned and operated by Disney. Often these hotels have both a great location and a hybrid status that brings additional perks.

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