After three recent Disney World visits (and six on property hotel stays) I’ve come to appreciate staying on site. Between extra magic hours, extravagant theming, amazing customer service and surprises even after you get home I understand the value of paying extra for on-site hotel stays. However, WHICH Disney World Hotel you pick will largely determine how much value you get for the extra cost. With that in mind I present six Disney World hotels that I DON’T recommend:
All Star Resorts (Music, Sports, and Movies)
I go back and forth on the All Star Resorts but have finally landed on “no”. Yes, there’s some theming and the staff is nice, but the rooms are tiny and the buses crowded. No amount of Disney art makes up for the plastic Motel 6 cups and budget feel. I’d either pay slightly more for a moderate or go off site.
The Swan and Dolphin
I’m going to get some pushback on this one, but hear me out. The hotels are perfectly nice and in a normal circumstance I’d recommend them. But this is Disney and there is absolutely no theming in the rooms or at the pool. Even if you redeem points you’re on the hook for $18/night parking and $23/night resort fee. I just can’t justify 10,000 StarPoints (or 8,000 if you spend five nights as one is free) that could have such better uses.
(PS: I’m fully aware Swan/Dolphin are Starwood properties. However, they show up in the Disney app, so to me they’re Disney.)
I might put Old Key West on the list also, but only have firsthand experience with Saratoga. Again, perfectly nice, but the hotel is WAY on the fringes on Disney Property and really only convenient to Downtown Disney. Even in low season studios here can be over $300/night. I’ve stayed off property for 1/4 the price and gotten to the parks more quickly then from Saratoga.
So where DO I suggest? I’d either go moderate or (if money were absolutely no object) totally themed deluxe. Otherwise? Off-site. I’m sure you have thoughts on this topic and I’d love to hear them in the comments.
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