polynesian - Step 2: Choose where to stay

When deciding where to stay during your Disney World trip, the first question you should decide is "off-site or on-site?"

Here are the pros and cons of each...


Off-site hotels offer the option to have more space for less money. For those who want a break from all-things-Disney, off-site options can be a very good thing. For recommendations on off-site options, please check out the list of preferred hotels from Mousesavers.com.


On-site hotels at Disney World offer some advantages, such as:

  • access to free Disney transportation
  • FastPass+ bookings up to 60 days beforehand, and 180 days beforehand for dining (which can be booked all at once for your whole trip - off-site guests can't do it all at once)
  • ability to use Extra Magic Hours
  • option to use a Disney Dining Plan
  • being able to be immersed in Disney theming throughout your trip
  • ability to send purchases back to your room
  • option of charging things to your room

One big disadvantage to staying on-site: the hotels are more expensive than their non-Disney equivalents.

How to choose an on-site hotel?

There are a couple dozen hotels to choose on-site, but these are my favorites in each category:

  • Best value in Value category - Pop Century
  • Best value in Moderate category - Port Orleans Riverside
  • Best value in Deluxe category - Beach Club

Pros and cons of every Disney hotel

You might want to check out my huge list of pros/cons of every Disney resort to help you choose a resort.

The 6 step planning process