Walt Disney World resorts can cost a pretty penny. With value resort rack rates nearing the $300 starting point, one can only imagine the limit of a luxury stay in a Disney Vacation Villa or Deluxe resort. I can tell you, it’s easily thousands of dollars when all is said and done. For this reason alone, it’s worth looking into the best hotels near Walt Disney World.
What are the best off-site hotels near WDW?
Resorts not owned by Disney that know hospitality and don’t cost too much. One thing that used to showcase Disney’s genius was the way they always included perks with no real monetary value. Things you couldn’t put a price on that would blur the cost of the trip. Those intangible perks would make you feel like you were getting more. Not to mention, there were real cost-saving perks like Magical Express transportation as well.
Now, there are virtually no perks. However, the perceived value of these hotels hasn’t changed despite all the other vacation costs continuing to rise.
The best hotels near Walt Disney World are exceptional resorts. Many are owned by Marriott, Hilton, and others highly regarded in the hospitality world and give you more for your money.
The Added Cost of Convenience
Despite the rising prices and the lower standards for guest experiences, Disney has had no trouble packing guests into their parks. Or getting them to pay more for food, merchandise, and even rides now. The hotel rates are no different.
A standard room at the Contemporary can be more than $800 per night. That’s not to mention studios, suites, and Vacation Club villas. Still, many long-time Disney fans continue to book vacations, undaunted by the rising costs. If you’re planning an upcoming Walt Disney World trip. You may consider these alternative stays.
Top Off-Site Hotels Near WDW
Tripadvisor guests consider all of these to be the best hotels near Walt Disney World based on location, pricing, and superior service.
Ritz Carlton Orlando – 5-Star Hotel
Having a view of the fireworks from your park-facing balcony at the Contemporary may be nice, but have you considered that you could stay at a 5-star resort for less money only 30 minutes away from the Magic Kingdom?
The Ritz Carlton is the gold standard for luxury hotels and this one near the gates of Walt Disney World does not disappoint. Besides standard rooms, there are executive suites, villas, and residences and there is even a spa and a golf course on the premises.
Sabal Palms or Royal Palms – 4-Star Hotels
These are two of the best hotels near Walt Disney World. Both are by Marriott and they are not only close to the Walt Disney World entrance, they are close to each other. That makes these a really good interchangeable option if you find all the rooms are booked.
However, one benefit of staying off-site for a Walt Disney World vacation is that you don’t have to plan nearly as far out in advance. You have more options and usually can upgrade to a higher quality of experience for less money than the Disney resort rates.
These 4-star hotels offer 2- bedroom villas for an astounding $250 per night and they don’t charge resort or parking fees!
Hilton Grand Vacation Club Las Palmeras – 4-Star Hotel
Another excellent option for a four-star hotel comes from Hilton. Here you can book a one bedroom full kitchen suite from $299 or pay $556 for a two-bedroom. That’s a massive cut compared to Disney’s DVC resort villas. In addition to the savings, the Las Palmeras resort is very close to the freeway which takes you to EPCOT Center drive in short order. This is a family-friendly resort, but it does not allow pets.
Hampton Inn Orlando/Lake Buena Vista – 3-Star Hotel
I made my picks for the best hotels near Walt Disney World based on personal experience but also objective information from Tripadvisor. I chose Tripadvisor as a reference tool because it’s the website Walt Disney World recognizes for reviews and ratings of its on-site restaurants.
Now, the best-reviewed hotels are those very luxurious 4 and 5-star resorts and it’s no wonder. The value is very impressive. However, It’s harder to get very positive feedback for hotels of lower status. There are no significantly high ratings for 2-star hotels. I have stayed at one of these and while I had a great Disney vacation, I would not recommend a place like the one where I stayed. Rather, I would look to Hampton Inn Orlando which offers a better overall experience than any Disney Value resort for under $250 per night.
Grand Beach Resort by Diamond Resorts – 3-Star Hotel
A slightly elevated rate and experience in the 3-star resort category is the outlier Grand Beach Resort. Orlando is dominated by Hilton and Marriott with the odd Holiday Inn here and there. Diamond Resorts slips in this entry for high marks across the board at a relatively moderate price of $250-350/night.
For many Disney fans, there was a time when venturing to other theme park resorts would be unheard of. But as perks dried up and Universal became a major player in Orlando, more Disney guests are visiting both. If you plan to split your trip, consider making Universal your base camp. The pricing is far more affordable than the rates of their Disney counterparts.