The best Disney Springs hotels: How to get Disney benefits at bargain prices
Between park tickets, hotel rooms, food, souvenirs and skip-the-line access, planning a Disney World vacation can be quite the budget-busting endeavor.
There are plenty of ways to save money at Disney World, but one popular way to cut costs in a hurry is to stay slightly removed from the main stretch of Disney property without being fully off of it.
More specifically, we are referring to staying at one of the hotels that are located near the Disney Springs shopping and dining district. These hotels are very close to all things Disney but offer pricing that can start under $100 per night, a rate that comes in well below those at many official Disney World resort hotels.
Wondering if these cheaper properties are worth considering for your next Disney World vacation? Read on to discover the benefits of staying at the best Disney Springs hotels, plus how much money you can save by staying “close enough” to the magic.
What are Disney Springs hotels?
Disney Springs, formerly known as Downtown Disney, is a large entertainment, shopping and dining district located on the eastern edge of Walt Disney World. There are seven main Disney Springs hotel complexes located adjacent to and within walking distance of Disney Springs on Hotel Plaza Boulevard.
Like many of Disney World’s on-site hotels, Disney Springs hotels are relatively close to Disney’s theme parks, offer some theme park perks and are technically on Disney property. Unlike Disney’s main on-site hotels, though, you probably won’t get the same level of sticker shock when you start pricing out your stay at a Disney Springs hotel, as these properties charge significantly less per night.
An added bonus is that most Disney Springs hotels belong to major hotel chains like Hilton, Wyndham and IHG, so you can potentially use points to pay for your Disney hotel stay. The money you save can help cover other Disney expenses, such as Genie+ passes and pricier meals at Disney World's best restaurants.
What are the benefits of staying at a Disney Springs hotel?
- Guests of Disney Springs hotels can get into any of Disney’s theme parks 30 minutes early every day.
- You are close to the parks by bus or car, though there is no walkable access to them. However, you can walk to Disney Springs, especially from the hotels that sit right by the entertainment district.
- There are some Disney perks, such as theming, ticket assistance and on-site ticket sales, though the exact Disney touches you'll encounter vary from hotel to hotel.
- Complimentary shuttle service to all four Disney theme parks is available throughout the day.
- Disney Springs hotels typically offer more promotions than Disney-owned hotels, so you can look for discounts on sites like Undercover Tourist and the Disney Springs hotels page before booking. You can also use hotel points at many of the properties.
- You can start booking Genie+ attractions at 7 a.m. and can join virtual queues for new rides, such as Tron Lightcycle / Run, right at 7 a.m. However, unlike on-site Disney World resort guests, those who stay at Disney Springs hotels can't make their first paid individual Lightning Lane selection for popular rides like Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at 7 a.m. Instead, Disney Springs hotel guests will have to wait until the parks open for the day to buy those.
Which properties are the best Disney Springs hotels?
The Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando – Disney Springs Area takes all your preconceived notions about staying at Disney World and turns them on their head. It's new, it's affordable and there's lots of free food and drinks included with your stay — really.
All guests at the Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando get daily access to free hot breakfast, afternoon sodas and popcorn, and evening snacks and beverages, including up to three alcoholic beverages per adult guest per night, all with no resort fee. It's hard to believe an affordable and convenient option exists, but we tried it and were thoroughly impressed.
It's not all about the free food and new rooms at the Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando, though. There is also a resort-style saltwater pool, a toddler-friendly splash pad and an arcade with all kinds of games.
One potential downside is the property's location. It is the farthest Disney Springs hotel of all the ones by the shopping and dining area, requiring a walk of about 3/4 of a mile, so keep that in mind if you're hoping to frequent popular Disney Springs spots like Wine Bar George and Gideon's Bakehouse.
Rates at the Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando – Disney Springs Area start at $126 per night. There is no resort fee.
The DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando – Disney Springs Area is one of three Hilton-owned properties at Disney Springs. It’s also usually the least expensive of the three and the only all-suite Hilton property at Disney Springs, with both one- and two-bedroom suites available.
It’s nothing flashy, but this hotel is one of the most affordable on Disney property. It has a small outdoor pool, a hot tub and a splash pad for kids, plus a playground and multiple on-site dining options.
In addition to the cash prices generally being low, you'll find that points pricing is often reasonable, though it can vary quite a bit because of Hilton’s dynamic rewards-pricing structure. If you're planning on using points, remember that your fifth night is free on Hilton Honors award bookings and that the resort fee is also waived (so long as you're not paying with a combination of cash and points).
Rates at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando – Disney Springs Area start at $110 or 34,000 Hilton Honors points per night. Keep in mind that there is a nightly resort fee of $23.
The Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace – Disney Springs Area is larger and has more amenities than the DoubleTree, but it also tends to have a higher price point.
At Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace, you’ll have access to a large pool complex with plenty of seating, cabanas, a lazy river and a splash pad.
The property is home to multiple dining locations, too, including a spot for poolside bites, a sports bar, a cocktail bar with seasonal fare and an American comfort food restaurant. There is also a grab-and-go venue, Citrus 28, should you crave snacks, hot sandwiches or Starbucks coffee before heading to the parks early in the morning or after coming back late at night.
Accommodations range from an Island Penthouse suite that sleeps two to a two-bedroom suite that has space for up to eight people. The room decor may not draw much inspiration from the nearby parks, but with an upgraded room with a view, you can enjoy watching the scene at Disney Springs or Epcot's spectacular fireworks out your window. Just note that if your room faces into the atrium, you might be able to hear guests having a drink down at Sunnies until late into the evening.
Rates at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace – Disney Springs Area start at $165 or 57,000 Hilton Honors points per night. Keep in mind that there is a nightly resort fee of $39.
As its name suggests, the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – Disney Springs Area is very close to Disney Springs. From the hotel's front door, it's only about a five-minute walk to the shopping, dining and entertainment at Disney Springs, thanks to a pedestrian sky bridge.
On-site water amenities range from two large heated pools to a shallow splash pool for kids to a hot tub. Additionally, families can take advantage of the game room, borrow DVDs for in-room movie nights and seek assistance from the Disney travel planning desk.
There are a few dining options at the hotel as well, including a to-go market with snacks, travel essentials and Starbucks coffee (which, let's face it, is a travel essential); a Benihana restaurant dishing up sushi and teppanyaki classics; a breakfast buffet; a pool bar; and a sports bar.
Guest room layouts are also diverse, with everything from smaller king-bed rooms that sleep up to three guests to a spacious one-bedroom suite that can accommodate up to eight people. The room decor is subdued (great if you need a break from all things Disney by the end of the day), but you can still get awesome views from the rooms that face Disney Springs, available for an upcharge.
Rates at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – Disney Springs Area start at $134 or 43,000 Hilton Honors points per night. Keep in mind that there is a nightly resort fee of $35.
The Holiday Inn Orlando – Disney Springs Area is an ideal spot for Disney visitors sticking to a tight budget, as both the property's cash and points rates are generally low.
Offering at least 357 square feet of space, each room comes with one king- or two queen-size beds. While standard rooms do not have a view, upgraded accommodations have balconies that face the pool, Disney Springs or the theme parks (and their nighttime fireworks).
In the pool area, guests can swim in the pool (which has a zero-entry end), take a dip in the Jacuzzi or lounge on poolside loungers. Additional amenities include an outdoor activity area with cornhole and pingpong, plus a game room and a 24-hour gym.
Though on-site dining options are limited to an all-day restaurant and a grab-and-go market with snacks and sandwiches, guests can also head to the lobby for complimentary coffee every morning and cookies and lemonade in the afternoon. Plus, all kids 11 and younger eat for free when with a paying adult.
Rates at the Holiday Inn Orlando – Disney Springs Area start at $100 or 17,000 IHG One Rewards points per night. Keep in mind that there is a nightly resort fee of $35.
B Resort & Spa is the only Disney Springs hotel that is not a part of any major loyalty program, but what it lacks in brand identity it more than makes up for with its design. It is easily one of the most stylish Disney Springs properties, offering a mostly bright white interior with vivid pops of color (mainly blue) throughout.
Standard rooms overlook the surrounding area, while upgraded spaces provide views of Disney's fireworks or the free-form pool. Most accommodations have one king- or two queen-size beds, though some pool rooms also have a set of bunk beds.
For meals, you'll have your pick of three eateries: a restaurant specializing in artisanal American fare, a pool bar with light bites and a coffee shop serving snacks, sandwiches and Disney-favorite Joffrey’s coffee.
Rates at B Resort & Spa start at $90 per night. Keep in mind that there is a nightly resort fee of $34.
The Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs Resort Area is one of the closest hotels to the Disney Springs shopping area, making it a potentially solid choice if you want to be near the shopping and dining action.
While this budget-friendly property has an exterior-access design reminiscent of what you'd find at a motel, the recently renovated rooms are far from dated. You'll notice handy wall hooks, 55-inch TVs and fresh appearances that include white and light wood furnishings, brown patterned carpets and light green accents.
There are multiple on-site dining options, including an outpost of Joffrey's, a 24-hour market and a breakfast spot that serves Disney's famous Mickey waffles. You can even opt to dine by the pool, should you wish to spend the bulk of a non-park day cooling off in the sprawling pool, which has a zero-entry area, a water playground and a rock waterfall feature.
Rates at the Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs Resort Area start at $80 or 30,000 Wyndham Rewards points per night. Keep in mind that there is a nightly resort fee of $34.
If you are on a budget but don’t want to miss out on some key Disney World perks, you can't go wrong with any of these Disney Springs hotels. They not only have starting rates that are much lower than traditional on-property Disney hotels but also offer all kinds of theme park essentials, including free shuttle service and on-site planning assistance.
While you may not find the obvious Disney themes featured at hotels like, say, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort and Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, you will still enjoy touches of Disney magic — and even some Disney staples like Mickey waffles and Joffrey's coffee — just at an easier-to-stomach price point.
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