There seems to be two different types of people in the world, those that wouldn’t dream of staying on Disney property and those that wouldn’t dream of staying any place else. I’m not sure where I fall yet, but I do know where I’m staying this time.
I spent a lot of time looking into the options, probably days (we have already established that I'm a little obsessive). I started with the Disney website. I’m not going to lie, the cost of staying on property shocked me and I ruled it out almost immediately! So my plan was to land in Orlando, take a cab to an off-site hotel, and rely on their shuttles to the park. I don’t want to rent a car to rely on exclusively as it’s quite possible that my husband will run out of steam and want to either sleep in one day or leave a park early, so we needed some flexibility.
Luckily I ran across a warning on one of the tip boards to check the shuttle schedule of the hotel you want to stay at. I started checking and was disappointed to see how limited these shuttle services are and that they are on routes that will likely make more stops than the shuttles inside the parks. Also, I was reading stories of overcrowded shuttles from these hotels forcing you to either wait for another or grab a cab. I would definitely save money up front by staying off property, but it really didn’t work for us logistically.
There are tons of house rentals in the Disney area and they were very tempting as many have their own pool, but again we would be tied to a car so I let my dreams of midnight skinny dipping drift away. Actually, once I pictured that in my mind I knew a house was a bad idea!
The next best thing might be to rent Disney Vacation Club points. There is a great website called David’s Vacation Club Rentals that looks like it makes the process pretty easy. I looked into the options available and thought it was too expensive to get the more spacious rentals and the rentals in my price range were tiny. Not to mention that with the DVC rentals you don’t get daily maid service. If we’re all going to spend every night in the same room I really need to have someone make the beds every day and take the garbage out!!!
Frustrated, I went back to the beginning and started over. I had seen some mixed reviews on the Disney Magic Express but on closer inspection the really bad reviews were older and it seemed a few kinks had been worked out in the system because more recent reviews were better. It seems there are still a few issues here and there, especially if there is a delay in your flight, but overall it seems pretty reliable. Reviews of the Disney transportation system were acceptable, glitches will happen from time to time but the general schedule gives us a lot of flexibility so I bit the bullet and decided we will stay at Disney.
Now the really hard part….which resort? But that’s a question for my next post.
Note: All this happened before I contacted a Disney Travel Expert, she probably could have saved me a lot of time and energy!