Do I Really Need to Stay in Disney Hotels to Have a Good Time?If we wanted to, we could make this the shortest blog in history by answering our own question with a single world: No. It is not necessary to stay in Disney hotels to have a good time when you’re visiting in Orlando. In fact, there are several ways in which you’ll likely have more fun if you stay in a non-Disney hotel in Orlando

Save money and use it on something fantastic

There’s no way around it: Disney hotels are more expensive than hotels in Orlando near Disney. Whether you stay in their most affordable option, known as their “Value” resorts (which still start at over $120 per night) or you stay in their “Deluxe” resorts (which can cost upwards of $500 a night) there is a comparable hotel room nearby for a fraction of the price.

Sometimes we hear from tourists that they don’t mind paying the extra money. They say that getting the full Disney experience is worth the added money. We would like to remind you that if you want to go into your vacation with a huge budget, that’s great – but use the money wisely. Would you rather stay in an overpriced resort and skip out on incredible meals, or that extra day at the water park? Or would you rather stay in a hotel so affordable that you can pay for extra without a second thought?

It’s not just the hotel you’ll be saving money on

Financial reasons aren’t the only reason to consider staying off property, we promise – but we do want to address another issue before we move on. When you stay in Orlando Florida hotels, you’re not just saving money on the room – you’re also saving money on meals, fees, and more. For example, if you’re staying in a Disney hotel, you have little choice but to eat at their overpriced and not always that tasty restaurants.

On the other hand, when you’re staying at a hotel that has easy access to outside roads, you can easily stop at a cheaper spot for dinner and lunch, or even bring your own into the parks. With a smaller fridge that’s included in most hotel rooms, you can buy your own bottled water, get yourself some milk for breakfast, and otherwise make sure that you’re not wasting money on overpriced foods and drinks just because you have no option.

Hotels offsite have their own exciting activities and amenities

When it comes to Orlando hotels, you have lots and lots of choices. You can pick one that’s a true bargain and has a simple clean bed and shower for you. This is great for the family that plants to spend most of their time in the parks. On the other hand, you can decide to stay in a hotel with spa amenities, games for the family, and luxury concierge services.

You can still get to the parks for free

Another reason people often think that Disney hotels are the better deal is because Disney provides free transportation between their parks and their hotels. Guess what? So do most hotels near Disney. In fact, depending on the time of year and the hotel you choose, they may even run more frequently than Disney’s own shuttles do.

Sometimes you need a break from the Disney immersion

There are so many things to love about a trip to Disney, including the fact that it’s such an immersive experience. When you’re walking through the China pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase, you’ll feel that you’re in China. When you visit the new Avatar-based land in Animal Kingdom, you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to a magical place.

But does that mean you want this kind of immersion 24 hours a day? Do you want your trip to be 100% Disney all the time? Some families like to be immersed while at the parks but come home to a nice, relaxing spa resort that reminds them that they’re truly on vacation.

You can take off and see other things Florida has to offer

When you’re staying in a Disney hotel, you’re likely to feel as though you must take advantage of every second. You’ll feel as though you must go to the Disney parks every day from open to close. This may be an exaggeration, but we do find that those who stay at Disney parks are much less likely to see other attractions in the area compared to those who stay at other Orlando hotels.

For example, you may want to visit the Orlando Eye and see a view you’ve never even imagined. You may want to take a day trip and visit Cocoa Beach or Clearwater Beach. Perhaps you want to take a day to travel around to the local outlet malls and get a great bargain. Whatever your preference is, you’ll feel more relaxed doing it if you’re not staying at a Disney hotel.