• Planning a Trip to Walt Disney World

Planning a Trip to Walt Disney World

Luiz Alberto H.

Created: Jan 10, 2024

Last Updated: Apr 25, 2024

Planning a Trip to Walt Disney World

Getting to Disney World

So, how do you get to Disney World? By this point, you know that Disney World is located in Florida, near the city of Orlando. Most people just fly there, so make sure to plan your visit in advance. You already know the best dates and weather conditions in Florida, so now it’s time to check your schedule and start planning how to actually get to the Happiest Place on Earth.

In this part of the guide, you will learn about:

  • Where to stay while visiting Walt Disney World
  • Theme Park ticket prices
  • Extra costs related to your trip

It’s usually a good idea to buy your plane tickets about three to twelve months before your visit. This way, you can save money and still have plenty of time to plan your itinerary and even book restaurants and hotels several weeks in advance.

If you board a plane to Orlando, you will be taken to the Orlando International Airport (MCO). From there, you can head directly to your hotel or rented property. Disney World is only about 40 minutes away from the airport.

You can also choose to fly to Miami, Florida, and then rent a car and drive to Orlando. Plane tickets to Miami are usually cheaper than the ones that go directly to the Orlando International Airport, so you can save a few bucks this way, and you also have the chance to visit one of the biggest cities in Florida. Driving from Miami to Orlando should take you around 4-5 hours.

Disney hotel Boardwalk inn.webp

Where to Stay

Of course, you will need a good place to stay, store all your Mickey merchandise and get a good night's sleep between your adventures in Walt Disney World. There are several options for places that you might stay near Orlando, and here we present you the mains ones.

  • Standard Hotel
  • Disney World Hotel
  • Rented House/Property

Every option has several advantages and, honestly, just small disadvantages. Disney hotels offer guests several perks, as they let you enter most theme parks 30 minutes earlier than usual on selected days. A rented house might be cheaper, and it’s perfect for people that want ample space and a lot of privacy to even have a barbecue if they want.

Let’s check the options in detail.

Standard Hotel

Recommended for: people that want to save money, small parties.

Not recommended for: big groups.

One of the most common options when you are traveling abroad. A good hotel takes time and patience to find. There are way too many options and different prices, even if you are just browsing Booking.com. Speaking of prices, they will vary A LOT depending on availability and time of year.

When browsing hotels, it’s important to check a few things. First, see if the hotel is closer to Disney or Universal, and the time it takes to get to either park. Second, check if the hotel offers free breakfast. This can be a really good way to save money and postpone your lunch to a later hour, when lines are shorter at your favorite restaurant inside Walt Disney World.

Oh, it’s also a good idea to see if the hotel offers free parking, otherwise expect to pay around $20 per night if you need a parking lot.

A good, cheap option for a quick vacation is the Quality Inn hotel. Don’t expect anything similar to the Cinderella Castle, but it gets the job done. There is nothing special about it, but we never had a problem with it either. You get a small room, twin beds, a microwave, a bathroom and that’s it. Perfect for college students or just someone that wants to save precious money. Their hotel chain almost always offers free breakfast (I love the waffles) and also free parking, all for around $130 a night. Not bad at all.

A better, more expensive option is the Drury Plaza Hotel. You are looking at around $250 per night, but the accommodations are great, you get an amazing free breakfast and you’re basically right next to Disney World. The downside is that parking costs $25+ taxes per night.

Disney World Hotel

Recommended for: people that want to experience Disney World perks, guests that want to try character dining, guests that want free transportation/free parking at the theme parks.

Not Recommended for: people that want to save money.

Another classic option for people that want to experience Disney World to its fullest! There are a few perks for staying at a Disney World hotel. Here they are.

  • The chance to enter some theme parks 30 minutes earlier than everyone else.
  • Free Parking in theme parks
  • Free transportation to move from hotels to theme parks

The main perk is the possibility to enter theme parks thirty minutes before everyone else, which is a great option for you to just rush to the most popular attraction. You do need to check the official Disney website to see which parks are offering this perk, since it changes depending on the week.

There are even more perks. Most Disney hotels also offer free transportation to the theme parks, with buses leaving every thirty minutes or so and taking you to specific theme parks. Some hotels are also located near skyliners, and you can board them and go to your destination in a rather fun way. It’s also important to notice that Disney Hotel guests get free parking in each theme park. You only need to show your identification and then you can park inside Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Animal Kingdom without the need to spend $30 daily on parking.

There are dozens of Disney Hotels, and talk about each one of them here is impossible. Some of them also offer character dining, and give you the chance to have breakfast or lunch with some of your favorite Disney characters, like Mickey and Stitch. Certainly something fun and unique, even more so if you are traveling with children.

What are the cons of staying in a Disney Hotel? First of all, some hotels can get really, really expensive. There are cheaper options, sure. Some hotels, like the Disney's Art of Animation Resort and Disney's All Star Sports Resort offer rooms starting at around $180 per night. You shouldn’t expect anything too fancy in their rooms, but it gets the job done. The buses here are also shared between various resorts, so it might take longer to get to Disney World.

As always, paying more means a better service. Disney's Polynesian Village Resort offers an amazing service starting at $690 per night. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is another amazing hotel that costs around $480 a night. As you can see, prices vary a lot, and there are way too many options. Want a pro tip? If you want to stay in a Disney Resort Hotel, send Famvia a message with what you want in your Resort, price ranges, number of guests and let us handle it.

Disney resort disney yacht club.webp

Rented house/property

Recommended for: big groups, people that want more privacy, people that are staying in Florida for weeks, if you want to prepare your own food and wash your clothes.

Not Recommended for: small groups, people that don’t want to do groceries and spend time with laundry.

Rented houses are the perfect option for big groups, guests that want a little bit more privacy or if you are planning on staying in Florida for two weeks or more. As it happens with hotels, prices do vary a lot, but you are looking at something around $300 per night. 

I said that rented houses might be a good choice if you plan to stay for more than two weeks, since there are deals that might give you a discount if you plan on staying for several days in a row. It’s also a good choice for large groups of friends traveling together if they want to share the expenses. It’s not hard to find houses and big properties with three or more bedrooms, which is perfect for groups of 7+ guests.

Townhouses in particular are a big deal now in Florida and a good option for a party of 6-9 guests. Don’t know what a townhouse is? It’s fine, I learned about them not that long ago too. Townhouses are basically part of a gated community, sharing common amenities like a swimming pool, a bar or a restaurant. The apartments are narrow and made of two to three floors, offering a good number of bedrooms for up to three families. They are usually clean and come with a washing machine, a stove and anything else to make it feel like you are in your own home.

The Magic Village Yards in Kissimmee is a good example of a gated community made of townhouses. Famvia was there in March 2023 and had a good experience overall. Bonus points since the Magic Village is relatively new, so the houses aren’t even five years old and you get the feeling that everything is fresh and clean. 

Now, do you want to know the main problem with a rented property? You have to do everything by yourself. Most people go out on vacation and just want to relax, certainly not wanting to spend time thinking about groceries or doing the dishes. You have to do this in a rented property, which also means that you probably need a car to visit the nearby stores and buy everything you need.

For some people, that is great. It’s like living in your own home, after all. For others, though, this means spending precious time doing something that they don’t want to think about when they are enjoying their vacation in Disney World.

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