Discount Orlando Florida Hotels Tips and Tricks

Where Should I Stay?

The good thing about visiting such a popular tourist spot is that there are almost endless accomodation options for you to consider.  It doesn't matter what your budget is, if you prefer Disney over Universal, a villa over a hotel or Davenport over Kissimmee, there will be something for you.

Below is a brief guide to some of the most popular options.

On-Site

'On-site'- refers to when you decide to stay in accomodation on either Disney or Universal property. These come with a host of perks but usually also have a price tag to match.

Disney

To make this even more appealing you can save an extra £10 per booking with Attraction Tickets Direct by using this link and entering TR10 at checkout!

The benefits of staying on site at Disney are:-

  • Reserve FastPasses 60 days in advance rather than 30. Much more chance of getting one for Flight of Passage!
  • Extra Magic Hours. You get to enter certain parks on certain days earlier than other visitors and/or stay longer.
  • Complimentary Magic Bands
  • Complimentary Transportation - The Magical Express runs between Orlando International Airport and Disney properties in both directions. Plus, you'll get to use the Disney buses and/or monorail from your hotel to all the parks and back free of charge. They run very frequently and are a great way of getting around.
  • Disney Dining Packages. These give you credits to use towards food and drinks within Walt Disney World Resort. They are loaded onto your Magic Band and instead of paying you tap your Magic Band and a credit is taken from your balance. Service charge (gratuity/tip) is not included so you still have to pay that and there are also some exclusions from what is covered by the dining plans.
  • Booking advanced dining reservations (ADRs) is also better for on-site guests as you can book from 180 days in advance PLUS 10 days.  

There are three main types of Dining Plan.

  • The Quick-Service Dining Plan entitles guests to 2 self-service meals, 1 drink per meal and 2 snacks per night of your stay and also a refillable Disney mug.
  • The Disney Dining Plan entitles guests to 1 waiter service meal, 1 self-service meal, 1 drink per meal and 2 snacks per night of your stay and also a refillable Disney mug.
  • The Deluxe Dining Plan entitles guests to 3 waiter or self-service meals, 1 drink per meal and 2 snacks per night of your stay and also a refillable Disney mug.

Keep an eye out for promotional periods where Disney offer these Dining Plans for free! They are hugely popular.

The Disney resorts can be split into four main categories, Value, Moderate, Deluxe and Deluxe Villas.

Value resorts are basic but clean, fun and in our view, absolutely perfect for younger kids. The Value resorts are:-

  • Disney's All-Star Movies Resort (our favourite!)
  • Disney's All-Star Music Resort
  • Disney's All-Star Sports Resort
  • Disney's Art of Animation Resort
  • Disney's Pop Century Resort

Moderate resorts have a more upmarket feel than the Value resorts and are set in some spectacular grounds. They are:-

  • Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
  • The Cabins at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
  • Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside
  • Disney's Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter

Deluxe resorts are exactly as you would imagine. Deluxe. Stunning properties in amazing locations with all of the facilities you can imagine. The Deluxe resorts are:-

  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Disney's Beach Club Resort
  • Disney's BoardWalk Inn
  • Disney's Contemporary Resort
  • Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney's Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney's Yacht Club Resort

Deluxe Villas are often found at Deluxe resorts but differ in room type and feel.  More villa rather than hotel.  We often look at these and think, 'one day'.  Maybe if everybody uses Ticket Rangers!  They are:-

  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
  • Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Jambo House
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village
  • Disney's Beach Club Villas
  • Disney's BoardWalk Villas
  • Disney's Old Key West Resort
  • Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
  • Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

There are some other properties that get some Disney on-site perks, too.  The Swan Hotel and the Dolphin Hotel are both on Disney property, near The Boardwalk, but are not actually owned by Disney.  You'll qualify for the things like extra magic hours and 60 day FastPass booking but not the dining plans. This is also the case for Four Seasons Resort and hotels in the Disney Springs area.

Universal

A very popular option with Universal Resorts is to stay for one night at the Hard Rock Hotel, Royal Pacific Resort or Portofino Bay. The benefit and appeal of this is that for the day you arrive and the day you check out of the hotel you will receive an Express Pass for Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure for every guest at the hotel. You can turn up at reception very early on arrival day, we usually get there ~7am, get our Express Passes, leave our bags with the porters and head over to the parks for another benefit - on-site guests get early entry to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! The next morning you can check out but still gain early entry and have another day with your Express Pass. Of course, if you stay for more than one night the benefits extend for your entire stay.

Universal also have other resorts that are cheaper but do not include the Express Pass. They are Sapphire Falls Resort, Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Aventura Hotel. With these hotels you will receive early entry to the Wizarding World.

The grounds and waterways within the Universal Resort are beautiful and CityWalk is great on a night time - Ticket Rangers couldn't recommend staying there for at least one night enough.

Off-Site Hotels

There are hundreds of off-site hotels to pick from. The majority are based along International Drive, the 192 or around Lake Buena Vista. You will find a multitude of bars, restaurants and entertainment around them. There are hotels and facilities perfect for every budget and requirement.

Keep an eye out for hotels with complimentary transport to the parks, free Wi-Fi and make sure you are aware if you will be charged a resort fee for your stay.

Villas

Fancy your own space and pool then a villa could be for you. We have stayed in a villa numerous times and love how relaxed it is - plus the villas are out of this world!

Realistically, you are going to need a car if you stay in a villa but we do feel it gives you a lot of added freedom. If you are travelling during a not-so-hot month then you may have to pay extra for pool heating should you wish to comfortably use the pool.

It can be daunting renting a private villa but as long as you use reputable sites, read reviews and testimonials you can bag yourself a superb base for your trip.

There are a huge number of websites offering comparisons and prices on hotels in and around Orlando. It’s really quick and easy to search through them to try and find the best price. 

To help your search, Ticket Rangers have provided links to look through some of the very best that we have found on the web. We love them all as at different times they will have the best prices.  Please find our guide on where to stay underneath the links below.

For those in search of a villa we have provided links to two of the biggest providers as well.

If you sign up to our newsletter and we will periodically send you any bargains, sales and news that we find.

Hotels

Hotels.com
Trivago
Booking.com
Trip Advisor
Expedia
Agoda

Villlas

HomeAway
VRBO

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