Offsite or Onsite

Choosing the Best Place to Stay for Your Disney World Vacation 

When starting to plan your family’s Disney vacation, one of the hardest decisions (but most fun in my opinion) is choosing where to stay.  This post provides  a comparison of staying onsite vs offsite at Disney World. 

The "Disney Bubble" & Stigma

For many years, there has been a negative stigma that follows off-site vacation rentals surrounding Walt Disney World. There are daily arguments on social media about the need to stay “in the bubble’  on Disney property.  However, Orlando’s tourist economy is booming with new construction and resorts that offer many benefits if you just give them a chance.  Many communities in Orlando are designed and managed to support owners and guest of short term  vacation rentals.  

Benefits of Staying On-Site

activity, adventure, attractions

Location and Convenience

The top advantage of staying on Walt Disney World Property is obviously the location and convenience. Guests can park their car (with a charge) and rely on the location and proximity to all parks. Depending on which resort your family chooses, it is possible to walk to the park of the day. Pretty much all of the benefits of staying on property branch off from the convenience of the location itself.

Staying on-site makes the nap breaks after lunch much easier or if you’re traveling with another family, splitting up and meeting back up after a long day in the park is pretty easy as well. 

ferryboat, water, lake


Once on Disney property, guests enjoy transportation on a bus, monorail, boat, or sky liner to and from certain resorts, parks, and other attractions. Guests do not have to worry about renting a car if they are satisfied staying on Disney property their entire vacation.  Disney no longer offers the Magical Express, so guests must take a taxi, Uber or Lyft from the airport to their resort.

disney, coaster, vacation

Evening Extra Magic Hours

The evening Extra Magic Hours program lets select Disney resort guests enjoy a different theme park on specified nights for about 2 hours after it closes to the general public. Extended Evening Hours are open to guests of Disney Deluxe Resorts, Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts or other select hotels who have a valid theme park ticket for that day: so this perk is limited.   Guests pay no additional charge to participate but must scan their their ticket or band at each ride or attraction they wish to experience. 

Disney Dining Plans and Packages

Disney offers onsite guests the option to add-on a dining package.  Dining packages allow guests to pre-pay for meals and snacks as part of their vacation package.  Depending on the package selected, guests receive a certain amount of credits for fast food, sit down, or snacks each day. The plans range in price, but you should budget about $100 per day for adults and $35 for children aged 3-9.  

Disney Themed Design

We all know Disney has perfected the art of theming. Depending on the resort you stay at, as you enter your hotel room, you will possibly leave a mundane world and step right into your favorite Disney story. You enter the Disney bubble upon check-in and you don’t leave it until check-out day. This type of themed experience comes with a price tag and lack of space.

Benefits of Staying Off-Site

If there’s one lesson I hope you learn by reading this post, it is that you shouldn’t always listen to your friends and social media about the need to stay “in the bubble” onsite. Every family is different and has different needs and expectations things when it comes to vacation. Is this section we will explore the many benefits of choosing an offsite vacation home for your Disney vacation.  Here are a few of the topics covered:

  • value, space and high quality living
  • tailored accommodations: private hot tubs, pools, game rooms, movie rooms & themed rooms 
  • location, location, location
  • resort style amenities 

I highly recommend staying off-site. Read on to learn more about why staying off-site has so many perks.


In many cases you can rent a luxury HOME for less than an  onsite hotel room. Not only will you pay less, you’ll get more space (yes, maybe your own bedroom!), possibly your own private pool/hot tub, a gourmet kitchen, and so much more. Now, if you’re looking for a bargain, cheap hotel, you can find those offsite too. They just might not be as luxurious as let’s say, Windsor Hills Resort

Vacation rentals are amazing choices for groups of all sizes.  Windsor Hills Resort has homes ranging in size from 2 – 7 bedrooms.  Other nearby resorts have homes with as many as 14 bedrooms! Hate sharing a bathroom?  Vacation rentals are designed with guests in mind – most have multiple bathrooms so everyone has their own personal space. With multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, private pools, outdoor living, and living areas, vacation homes provide ample space for families to spread out, relax, and enjoy their time together without feeling cramped or confined.

While Disney does many things well, they simply cannot compete with the vacation rental industry in Orlando. Onsite versus offsite is a completely different outlook on your vacation. If you’re searching for the Disney bubble, go ahead and book that average of $350/night  (that’s not even the “luxury” resorts) tiny hotel room on property! If you want to relax and have plenty of room, hit up those vacation rentals that often start around $200/night. 

Do that math – that’s a HUGE difference.  As an added perk, mom and dad don’t have to go to bed the toddler crashes after a day at the parks :) Offsite rentals = the best bang for your buck. Hands down.

Tailored Accommodations

Offsite properties offer so many more options and amenities than Disney hotel rooms. With offsite vacation rentals, you can really cater to your family’s wants and needs when it comes to choosing a place to stay. 

Love the pool?  Vacation rentals often have private pools and hot tubs.  Need to entertain the kids?  Look for a home with a game room, outdoor living space!  Movie lover?  Some owners have installed movie rooms complete with streaming.  Need baby items?  Just ask the owner – many include things like strollers, pack-n-plays and high chairs for guest use.  Afraid you will miss Disney theming?  Most vacation homes near Disney have themed rooms and game rooms.  Check out some of the themed rooms in Kissimmee homes.

The bottom line is your own personal game room or movie theater just doesn’t exist on property.  If your 3 year old daughter has to have a Moana themed bedroom, and your son prefers Jungle Cruise that is so easy to find off-site!

Peaceful & Quiet

A vacation rental is truly an oasis. We’ve all had nights in a hotel where that lovely family either right beside you or above you will not be quiet.  Or you hear every excited family as they walk by your door.  Guests escape the stress of the real world as they enjoy a beautiful, fully equipped home.  Vacation homes are also great for guests who actually like to escape “the bubble”.  Enjoy the morning at the parks – then “head” home for a swim or nap before gearing up for Epcot in the evening. 

Location Location Location

While a vacation rental might not be walking distance to Magic Kingdom, you can effectively where you want to be located while on vacation.  You will want to choose a resort as close to Disney as possible.  Kissimmee is home to a large variety of  vacation rental resorts where the entire community is geared towards Disney families. However, Kissimmee is a large area.  Remember a few extra miles can dramatically increase your travel time.  We recommend Windsor Hills Resort™   as it is less than 3 miles to Disney World!  Windsor Hills™ is so close to Disney that you can watch the Magic Kingdom Fireworks from many locations in the community.  You will find everything from grocery stores to fast food to drug stores to restaurants to shopping near vacation resorts. You are really not missing much by choosing to stay offsite.

Resort Style Amenities

Vacation rental resorts in Kissimmee cater to guests with amazing amenities.  For example, Windsor Hills™ offers a guests a variety of things to do without leaving the resort!  The  clubhouse features a welcome center, game room, movie theater, fitness center & The Marketplace & Grill.  Just outside the clubhouse, guests have access to the beach entry style pool and waterpark.  

Feeling sporty or wanting the kids to burn off some energy?  The recreation center provides grills, a picnic pavilion, tennis/pickleball courts, sand volleyball court, basketball courts and a putting green.  You can even rent sports equipment at the welcome center for a small fee. For the kids, there are 3 playgrounds including the amazing castle themed playground at the corner of Dinville Street and Teascone.  

Last but not least, Windsor Hills™ has a full calendar of family friendly activities for you to enjoy.  Be sure to check the entertainment and activity calendar a week or so before your arrival so you do not miss out on the fun!  Kid’s of all ages love glitter tattoos, bracelet making, tie dye, the interactive DJ parties and more! 

Once you leave...

The truth is, once you gather enough courage to quit paying crazy Disney prices and rent that first offsite property, odds are you will never go back to staying in a hotel room again. Vacation rentals just do vacationing right. 

Looking for a place to stay 2 miles from Disney? Check out this link!