To stay on or off property-that is the question!

We have a great deal at the Sheridan Vistana resorts for 13 nights. $189 USD including taxes. I know there is a resort fee as well (but I don’t know how much) and I know that we will need to pay for parking every day we are at the parks or resorts. I feel like that is another $40 USD a day… is that right? Is there any other hidden fee you could think of that we should budget in? Trying to decide if on property might actually be the better deal at this point. (Granted a much larger space off property.) Thoughts?

How many are traveling? What ages?? How much time do you spend at hotel/resort?

For me i travel with my husband or another adult friend. I stay at all stars music and love it. I do not need so much room. And i am only there to sleep for the most part.

My next stay in sept is an average of $100 a night and i expect i can probably get it cheaper watching and waiting for sales.

I do not know how iften you travel. Crunch the numbers and consider an annual oass for one person. That would get you frew parking memory maker food discounts at certain places and discounts in the gift shops.

For a “WDW trip”, I always stay on site. I don’t want the hassle of driving back and forth and parking every day, and as there are only 1 or 2 of us going, room size really isn’t that big a deal. Also, if off site, you can only make FPPs at 30 vice 60 days. That’s not to say that I haven’t been to Orlando for a conference, stayed off site, and still went to WDW on off days, but it would never be my first choice. As for fees, you can call the hotel and get an exact quote for the room rate with taxes, resort fees, etc. Also check to see if there is a parking fee at the hotel; some are free, but I’ve had to pay anywhere from $10 to $20 per night, depending on the hotel.

Is that $189 per night? Is that a one or two bedroom villa? What time frame? That seems a bit high. Where did you get this offer? Compare what your deal is with the rates you can get direct from the property. Are you a SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) member?

There is no resort fee, only taxes. Parking is free at Vistana. Parking in Disney is $20 a day. Factor in also that you can prepare meals in the villa versus eating in restaurants all the time.

Sheraton Vistana is a timeshare resort. Does your deal include a presentation? If so, do NOT buy from them. Resist the sales with everything you have. Refuse to even attend the presentation if you can, if you think you cannot resist the sales spiel. If you like the resort and want to own there (better to own at the other resort (Vistana Villages), so you can trade in the Vistana network) I can show you how to get an ownership interest for free or nearly free. DO NOT BUY!!

I had this dilemma, but it was definitely better priced for us to stay off property. We went through airbnb for a house, but we are traveling with 3 kids (ages 7 and under) and 2 other adults. It also has a private pool, etc. We are also going to Universal for a day, which factored in as well.

The $40 parking is for preferred, so if you are fine with “regular”, it’s half the price. I’ve read that most of the parks are easy to get to, with the exception of MK, of course.

We are also driving, so a rental wasn’t an issue. If we were just going to do DW and flying, we would have probably stayed on property for sure to avoid that fee, too.

We stay there every year and love it, it’s a great resort with way more amenities than a similarly priced Disney resort. What time of year are you going, and is it a one or two bedroom? We got a one bedroom for $122/night. I also loved that there was a washer/dryer in the unit! Driving time is about 10 min to all the parks, not bad at all. Tell then at check in you’re not interested in the timeshare sales pitch to save yourself some time.

I have never stayed there but hear great things. Parking will be around $20 a day for standard parking. I assume preferred - which is $40 would put you closer to the parks but is it worth it

You would also need to have a car - which does cost things. So I would just run the numbers. See what you could get at WDW for similar price. If you are getting a 1 or 2 bedroom suite - there is NO WAY WDW will be anywhere close to that price.

I know there is the whole in / out of the bubble - but we NEVER stayed on site as a kid (there were way fewer hotel options). YES there are certainly some benefits - but not sure it is worth it. You MAY want to split your stay. Do some on site and then save the money and stay off site for the balance of your time.

My family of five has stayed on-site in deluxe one or two bedroom villas for our past four visits. For our upcoming trip, we have decided to stay off-site because we would like to do several other non-Disney days. We are staying in a 1,200 sq.ft. two bedroom suite off site. We will LITERALLY save thousands of dollars over the cost of a two bedroom at Disney, and the resort is simply stunning. I cannot wait to relax here! Trip Advisor ranks it higher than most Disney deluxe, and I bet the Sheridan Vistana is right up there, as well. Yes, we will rent a car, drive 10 minutes to the parks, pay for parking and pay a small resort fee, and we will STILL SAVE THOUSANDS of dollars when compared to a two bedroom at Disney. Further, I have been looking at FP availability at 30 days out, and every ride has had availability at 30 days, including 7DMT. The ONLY exception to the FP is Frozen Ever After, but I have also seen several days where this is available at night at the 30 day mark. My tweens don’t have an interest in this ride, so it’s not a big deal for us to potentially miss it.

Don’t get me wrong. Staying at Disney is amazing. I know I don’t need to elaborate on that in this forum; however, my family loves trying new hotels and experiences, and we feel that it’s time to change things up. It’s refreshing. I wouldn’t be nervous about staying off-site. Orlando has so much to offer!


You get free magic bands if you stay on site, $13 each if you buy yourself. Just another added value to staying on site.

We stayed at Sheratan Vistana last year and had a great experience. Lots of room for a large family and the kitchen & washer/dryer were amazing to have. No offer of a timeshare presentation. and pools were great. It was ~15 min drive to the parks. They have a shuttle, but it’s very inconvenient. You really need your own car. We got a lot more for our money staying off-site, and this was economically necessary for us with a large family. If that is not an issue and you are ok with a much smaller room on-site, there are definite benefits - earlier FP & EMH, as well as free transportation.

I think Melissam1 summed it up pretty good. You will have to crunch the numbers and weigh what is most important to you and your family. A couple of other things to think about…is seeing characters outside of the parks important, can you stand 13 days of quick service and sit down meals.

We just spent eight days in early February off site. Four days at the Marriott harbour villas (we all loved it and could of spent a day or two just enjoying the resort) and had a two bedroom villa. We then spent four days at Cabana bay Universal resort. We went to WDW for two days and UOR for five (the last three hours of the day each day as I was attending a convention). We got a great deal on a small SUV through USAA and drove to the WDW parks. $20 bucks per day and can go to any of the parks. We went to HS, Epcot, and AK the first day. Second day we went to MK went back to the hotel and then spent the last two hours at Epcot. For us it worked perfect. My girls are 13 and 10 years old and as a family we enjoy the rides and theming. We don’t do character meet and greets and are not really into the shows (we did catch Illuminations). I hear the WDW transportation buses can be a headache.

Having lots of space, a kitchen, and a car for us helped make the trip. We made several good dinners and breakfasts. My girls sometimes struggle with a formal evening dinner when on a regular vacation (so I know trying a sit down dinner at the end of the day at the parks or hotel can be a challenge). We shopped at the grocery store twice on our trip and had Subways a few times for lunch. My girls also wanted to go to the outlet malls. I Drive, the area between SeaWorld and UOR, has so many places to eat and offers night life. I am sure similar accommodations on site at WDW would have been significantly more expensive. We were able to get the FPP we wanted in February (the girls are not into Frozen so it was nice that we did not need to dedicate a FP to FEA).

We love going to WDW, we just don’t put a high value on 7/24 immersion. And as Melissam1 said “Orlando has so much to offer”.