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At first blush, the Disney Springs Resorts seems to give you all the same benefits as the Disney resorts do, except they come with a cheaper price tag. But, looks can sometimes be deceiving. We’re breaking down all the pros and cons of the Disney Springs resorts so you can make the best decision on where to stay with your family. Here is what you need to know before you go.
What are the Disney Springs Resorts?
Before we dive into the specifics, let’s start with the basics. What exactly are we talking about when we say “Disney Springs Resorts?” What hotels are included? And where are they located?
Unlike the Disney resorts, the Disney Spring Resorts are not owned or operated by Disney. Instead, they are independent chains that have partnered with Disney.
There are currently 6 Disney Springs Resorts. They are: B Resort and Spa, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton, Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace, Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, Holiday Inn Orlando, and Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista.
These 6 hotels are located on Disney World property, just down the street from Disney Springs. The Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace is located on Buena Vista Drive, while the other 5 are located on Hotel Plaza Blvd.
You can find more specific details on each of these hotels and check availability at disneyspringshotels.com.
Disney Springs Resorts vs. Disney Resorts
While located on Disney World property, the Disney Springs Resorts are not completely identical to the Disney resort hotels. They do share some of the same benefits, but there are also some big differences between the two.
Benefits of Disney Springs Resorts
The benefits shared by the Disney Springs Resorts and the Disney hotels include:
- the convenience of being located within the Disney World complex
- the ability to make your Fastpass reservations 60 days prior to check-in (due to COVID precautions, Fastpass is currently not available in 2020)
- access to Extra Magic Hours so you can enjoy more time in the parks
- free transportation to and from all of the Disney World parks
There are some advantages to staying in one of these Disney Springs hotels over staying at a Disney resort. These include:
- The rooms at these non-Disney hotels tend to be bigger than those you will find at Disney resorts.
- The price is usually cheaper than staying at a Disney-owned hotel.
- The Disney Springs hotels are all within walking distance of the restaurants and shops at Disney Springs (only a couple of the Disney hotels are this close to Disney Springs).
- You will receive a booklet full of discounts and other savings to use at Disney Springs when you stay at one of these partner hotels.
Disadvantages of Disney Springs Resorts
Before you get too excited, let’s look at the differences between the Disney Springs hotels and the Disney resorts because these may have a big impact on your Disney vacation. These disadvantages include:
- You can not get the Disney Dining Plan if you stay at one of these non-Disney hotels. (Please note that the Disney Dining Plan is currently unavailable to everyone in 2020 due to the COVID precautions.)
- Disney’s Magical Express (which takes you to and from the Orlando airport and your Disney hotel) is not available to those staying at the Disney Springs hotels.
- You can’t use Disney’s MagicBands to open your hotel room door, like you can at the Disney owned hotels.
- There is very minimal Disney theming at these hotels.
- Even though these hotels are on property, you are still taken out of the Disney bubble when going back to your hotel due to the lack of Disney theming.
- Compared to Disney transportation, the transportation to and from the parks at the Disney Springs area hotels is not very efficient and can be frustrating to use.
- Lastly, there are some hidden fees associated with staying at these hotels, such as parking and resort fees, that can make your price tag higher than it first appears.
Disney Springs Resorts vs. Off-Site Options
When comparing the Disney Springs Resorts to off-site options for your Disney World vacation, you will probably find that they are very similar in price, quality, room size, and amenities to comparable hotels.
However, the biggest advantages to these hotels are the location onsite, transportation to the parks, and fastpasses and extra magic hours benefits reserved for guests staying on property.
Because every family is different, the perfect accommodations for one family may not work for another family. What works best for you will come down to the size of your family, your budget, and your priorities.
Given that, however, we recommend staying at a Disney resort if you can make it work. We feel that the transportation alone makes staying at a Disney hotel worth the extra cost. But, we would recommend staying at a Disney Springs Resort over offsite options if you have a smaller budget.
Many times, it gets confusing trying to figure out whether the Disney Springs Resorts are a good fit for your family and what exactly the difference is between them and the Disney owned hotels.
I hope this comparison helps you to make a better informed decision on where to stay in Orlando.
For ways to make your trip more affordable, see Disney on a Dime, how much does a Disney trip REALLY cost, how to save money on food at Disney, how to save money on souvenirs at Disney, grocery delivery at Disney, and how to make your Disney trip special. Happy travels!