Is Renting a Vacation Home at Disney the Right Choice for You?
I got into an interesting discussion with a friend recently, who is planning a Disney World vacation with extended family. We were talking about the various options for where to stay: official Disney resort, off-property hotel, or vacation home or condo. It was kind of interesting, as they all have pros and cons, and when it comes to deciding the best option, especially if you are trying to have as affordable a Disney vacation as possible….as she was….then the picture isn’t always black and white. As she was leaning towards renting a home, I’m going to focus this post on the pros and cons of vacation home rental at Disney, and then would like to hear from you.
In the interest of full disclosure here, we have not stayed in a vacation home when visiting Disney World, but I know plenty of people who have, and every one has been very pleased with the experience. And I always find this interesting, as I personally would miss that “Disney emersion” that you get when staying at a Disney resort, but for these folks it was no problem. In fact, as one told me, “it’s kind of nice to get away from it for a bit.” ……OK. I do get that.
Beyond that part though, the case for renting a vacation home at Disney World can definitely be made, as there are several great reasons for doing it.
- If you are traveling with more than the typical size family of parents and a couple of kids, it will more than likely be cheaper than renting multiple hotel rooms, or even a Disney villa. Probably a lot cheaper in fact, because having this “home away from home” means that
- You can do some cooking/preparing meals, to save money on food costs. Now, personally, I kind of really hate to do much cooking when I’m on vacation because, well, I’m on vacation. But even so, the ability to have a decent breakfast before going to the parks is pretty nice. And if you want to have a relaxing day and not rush off to the parks right away….or even <gasp> take a day off and not go to the parks at all one day…how nice would it be to just hang out at your house, eat in, and just chill? Vacation homes in Florida typically come with a private pool, so you can just unwind at your own pool, frosted beverage of choice in hand. I must say, that scenario sounds pretty tempting, doesn’t it? Which leads me to
- The relaxation factor. And this is the one that I find most intriguing, because “relaxing at Disney” sounds like an oxymoron….but honestly, having a vacation home makes it easier to do than staying on Disney property or even at a non-Disney hotel. It’s just you. And I think for many people, that is the single biggest attraction: the ability to get away from the crowds and the noise and the “go go go” feeling, and just chill a bit in between. It makes for happier, more relaxed families, and that makes for happier vacations.
So what would be the downside? Well, if it matters to you, not having that Disney feeling 24/7 for starters. And second, I think would be the transportation issue. You will need a car, and need to factor that into your plans: cost of car, gas, and parking at the parks, as well as time involved going to and from the parks. It won’t be as convenient perhaps as just hopping on the monorail to go back to your hotel for a swim, so you would need to keep that in mind. Clearly there would be others as well, like not being eligible for things like the Disney Dining Plan, so again that needs to be factored in.
But all in all, as I discussed with my friend, especially if you have a large group or family, renting a vacation home or condo at Disney World can be a very affordable option. I believe her plans are to do just that, so I will be interested in how her experience works out.
In the meantime, I am curious: Have you ever rented a vacation home or condo at Disney World? What was your experience like, both good and bad? Would you do it again? Please let me know in the comments below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will share results in a future blog post!
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