Disney Resort on a Budget

How My Family of 5 Stays On-Site at Walt Disney World On a Budget

Finding on-site Disney resorts on a budget can be a challenge for larger families. Most think a stay on-site at Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida is out of reach. This may not always be the case. Here are my 5 best on-site Disney resorts on a budget for families of 5(or more).

Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida offers so many on site hotels. They range from Value to Deluxe to fit any budget with themes from playful to sophisticated. If you are a family of 5 or more, your hotel options are a little limited if you are trying to stay within a budget.

I’m here to tell you it can be done! I love staying on-site and I always recommend people price it out and see what they can do. I wrote about Why I Like to Stay On-Site When Visiting Walt Disney World if you need to be convinced! The convenience and the magic of staying on-site is the best. I know I didn’t need any convincing but I was concerned about how we could make it happen within a budget. Luckily there are some amazing resorts on-site that are within budget and don’t skimp on any of the Disney magic.

Disney Resort on a Budget

 

Disney Caribbean Beach Resort

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is an island themed hotel in the Epcot area.  It is a moderate resort and prices range from $160 and up.  They offer themed pirate rooms at an added expense.  This resort is huge.  There are multiple bus stops and many different villages.

I was a little concerned about the size of it when we arrived but I was pleasantly surprised. Before we arrived, I did some research about what house I wanted to stay.

Quick Tip: Take a look at the map of the resort and decide what is important to you.  We wanted to be close to a bus stop and the food court.  The bus stop was more important because we would be spending more of our day at the park then at the resort.

On-Site Disney Resorts on a Budget

All the Details:

Location: Epcot Area/Moderate Resort

  • Room Details: 2 Queen Beds & a Murphy Bed
  • Food Details:
    • Counter Service-Old Port Royale Food Court
    • Table Service- Shutters(Reservations Recommended)
  • Resort Entertainement:
    • Large Pool with 2 Waterslides
    • Splash Area for Children under 48′
    • Smaller Pools across the Resort
    • Playground
    • Evening Movie Under the Stars
    • Ongoing Daily Activities by the Pool (Check your resort schedule.)
    • Arcade
  • Transportation:
    • Bus to All Theme Parks and Disney Springs
  • Extras:
    • Pirate Adventure Cruise(This requires reservations/extra fee.)

Disney Port Orleans Resort-Riverside

Disney Port Orleans Resort-Riverside is all about the charm.  This resort can be confusing because there is a Port Orleans-Riverside and a Port Orleans-French Quarter.  Port Orleans-Riverside has the rooms that accommodate 5.  If you stay at one resort you can walk between the two and use the pools at both. They also offer Royal Guest Rooms that have a Royal Princess theme and can be booked for an extra charge.

On-Site Disney Resorts on a Budget

Image Courtesy: Have Diapers, Will Travel

All the Details:

Location: Disney Springs Resort Area / Moderate Resort

  • Room Details: 2 Queen Beds & a Murphy Bed
  • Food Details:
    • Counter Service-Riverside Mill Food Court
    • Table Service- Boatwright’s Dining Hall(Reservations Recommended)
  • Resort Entertainement:
    • Large Pool with Waterslides
    • Splash Area for Children under 48′
    • Smaller Pools across the Resort
    • Playground
    • Evening Movie Under the Stars
    • Ongoing Daily Activities by the Pool (Check your resort schedule.)
    • Arcade
  • Transportation:
    • Bus to All Theme Parks
    • Water Taxi to Disney Springs
  • Extras:
    • Pirate Adventure Cruise(This requires reservations/extra fee.)
    • Horse Drawn Carriage Rides (Fee)
Disney Resort on a Budget

Image Courtesy: Have Diapers, Will Travel

Disney Art of Animation Resort

Art of Animation Resort is one of the newer resorts on Disney property.  It is also the best “Disney” themed in my opinion.  Art of Animation has 4 themes: The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, Cars, and The Lion King.  The Little Mermaid is a standard room and fits up to four people. The other three sections are 6 people suites.

My only issue with this hotel is that it is not really a value price. During peak seasons, I have seen it as high as $400 a night.  I feel like this is a little steep for a night at a hotel that you often don’t spend much time in.  If you can visit in the off-season it is worth a look.  I have also seen it as low at $220 a night.  Still a little expensive but the space of the suite is a really nice perk.

Disney Resort on a Budget

Image Courtesy: WDW News, Photographer: Kent Phillips

All the Details:

Location: Wide World of Sports Resort Area/Value Resort

  • Room Details: 1 Queen Bed and 1 Double-Size Table Bed and 1 Double-Size Sleeper Sofa
  • Food Details:
    • Counter Service-Landscape of Flavors Food Court(I have read great reviews of the food here.)
    • Table Service- None
  • Resort Entertainment:
    • Largest Pool at any Disney Resort (No waterslides)
    • Splash Area
    • Smaller Pools across the Resort
    • Playground
    • Evening Movie Under the Stars
    • Ongoing Daily Activities by the Pool (Check your resort schedule.)
    • Arcade
  • Transportation:
    • Bus to All Theme Parks and Disney Springs
On-Site Disney Resorts on a Budget

Image Courtesy: WDW News, Photographer Matt Stroshane

All-Star Music Resort

All-Star Music Resort is all about the music. Fun music themed décor are all over this value resort. Similar to Art of Animation this hotel offers suites that fit up to a family of 6. All-Star Music is among 3 of the All-Star hotels. These include All-Star Sport and All-Star Movies. Each resort is themed around this topic. It is not specific to Disney characters like Art of Animation but kids love the larger than life decorations that you find throughout this hotel.

Another perk of All-Star Music is it is less expensive then the suites at Art of Animation. When I searched, it was about $75 less than the suites at Art of Animation. If you are looking for a family suite on a budget this might be the right pick for you.

On-Site Disney Resorts on a Budget

Image Courtesy: WDW News

All the Details:

Location: Wide World of Sports Resort Area/Value Resort

  • Room Details: 1 Queen Bed, 1 Twin-Size Sleeper Chair, 1 Double-Size Sleeper Sofa, 1 Twin-Size Sleeper Ottoman
  • Food Details:
    • Counter Service-Intermission Food Court
    • Table Service- None
  • Resort Entertainment:
    • Themed Pool Area (No waterslides)
    • Splash Area
    • Smaller Pools across the Resort
    • Playground
    • Evening Movie Under the Stars
    • Ongoing Daily Activities by the Pool (Check your resort schedule.)
    • Arcade
  • Transportation:
    • Bus to All Theme Parks and Disney Springs(At times buses are shared between all 3 All-Star resorts.)

The Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort

The cabins are located at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. It is themed like a campground and they offer campsites as well as on-site lodging. This resort is huge. They have a resort bus to take you around the resort as well as bus and boat transportation to the theme parks.

Location: Magic Kingdom Area/ Moderate Resort

  • Room Details:1 Queen Bed and 1 Bunk Bed and 1 Double-Size Sleeper Sofa
  • Food Details:
    • Counter Service-P & J’s Southern Takeout
    • Table Service- Trail’s End Restaurant(Reservations Recommended)
    • Dinner Shows- Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue & Mickey’s Backyard BBQ (Reservations Required)
  • Resort Entertainment:
    • Large Pool with Waterslides
    • Splash Area
    • Smaller Pools across the Resort
    • Playground
    • Evening Movie Under the Stars
    • Ongoing Daily Activities by the Pool (Check your resort schedule.)
    • Arcade
  • Transportation:
    • Bus to Epcot, Disney Hollywood Studios, & Disney Springs
    • Water Taxi to Magic Kingdom
  • Extras:
    • Archery
    • Tri-Circle-D Ranch
    • Chip & Dale Campfire Sing-Along(Free. Bring your own Marshmallows. Can be purchased on-site)
    • Horse Drawn Carriage Rides (Fee)

Disney Resort on a Budget

If these resorts are not in your budget, do not let that stop your family from planning a Walt Disney World vacation. Another great option is to book 2 adjoining rooms at a value resort. At times the Value Resorts can be booked as low as $87 a night.  We have booked adjoining rooms in the past and the cast members were very helpful and accommodating.

Things to remember:

  • Always run the numbers on every sale that is offered.
  • Figure out what you really need. Will you be spending time at the pool or in the hotel room?
  • How much will it cost for transportation and parking if you stay off-site?

 

Planning your first visit? Check out my tips for visiting Walt Disney World.

 

29 Comments

  • onepeainthepod February 14, 2017 at 10:59 am

    What great tips to plan an amazing vacation! I can’t wait to take my son to Disney!

    Reply
    • Leah February 15, 2017 at 11:25 am

      Yay!! Hope they help you plan!

      Reply
  • projectlifewellness February 13, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    I’m definitely going to bookmark this. My Hubby and I were just talking about planning another trip for next year and this is super helpful!

    Reply
  • homeboundbuthopeful February 11, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Oh my gosh, you are absolutely killing me! All this snow outside, and you’ve got me itching to visit a Disney resort and enjoy some fun in the sun!

    Reply
    • Leah February 11, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      HA!! It helps me get through these cold months!!

      Reply
  • Harmony,Momma To Go February 11, 2017 at 7:20 am

    We’ve done the port orleans and we’re very happy. I’d love to do the cabins next time!

    Reply
    • Leah February 11, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      There are so many fun options. Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  • Amy Crooks February 9, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    All so great!! 🙂 We have stayed at most of these. So fun!

    Reply
  • 21flavorsofsplendor February 9, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Definitely saving this for when we plan our Disney trip. My girls are still getting over their fear of mascots, so we may have a year or two before we make the big trip.

    Reply
    • Leah February 9, 2017 at 7:41 pm

      Oh no!! Yes you would have to avoid the characters!! Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  • Jess February 9, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Great list! We always stayed athere all of these when I was a kid because they fit a family of 5. I have good memories of all of them. This got me extra excited to start planning my twins’ second visit next fall!

    Reply
    • Leah February 9, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Thanks for reading!! Writing it made me want to plan another trip soon!

      Reply
  • babiestobookworms February 9, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    These are some great options! It is totally worth it to stay on property!

    Reply
    • Leah February 9, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      Thanks for reading!!

      Reply
  • Hi There! February 9, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Great suggestions! You do want to be careful with the murphy bed options if you have bigger (tweens/teens) kids. They may not fit.

    Reply
    • Leah February 9, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      So true!! The murphy bed options are a little tight and more suited to smaller kids.

      Reply
  • Meredith from Mommy in Leggings February 9, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    OMG I’m seriously drooling over here, I want to go to Disney SO BAD!!!! I haven’t been in years, and not since my daughter was born. She’s only 10 months, but I can’t WAIT to take her!!

    Reply
    • Leah February 9, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      Ha! We took my youngest when he was 10 months!! He had a blast!

      Reply
  • Stephanie Lowry February 9, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Certainly saving this one! We are beginning to plan + save for a Disney trip!

    Reply
    • Leah February 9, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Yay!!! I am happy to help!!

      Reply
  • Rebecca February 9, 2017 at 10:05 am

    These are some great tip! Thanks I will definitely save this for when we finally take our family of 5 to Disney.

    Reply
  • Elizabeth @ CrazyBusyHappyLife February 9, 2017 at 9:43 am

    I looooove the Riverside Resort. We stayed there on our first family trip to Disney so it will always have a special place in my heart. We like All Star Movies as a value resort. It’s obviously not as fancy as Riverside but for the price, I can’t complain.

    Reply
    • Leah February 9, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      Yes if you are trying to do it as budget friendly as possible the All-Star resorts are a good choice.

      Reply
  • Halee February 9, 2017 at 9:29 am

    We’ve done all of these minus the lodges. My daughter loved the princess room at port orleans. The decor is amazing. Since we only had 4 people, we did little mermaid at art of animation. That resort is so beautiful and colorful!

    Reply
    • Leah February 9, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      The Little Mermaid rooms are adorable!

      Reply
  • crazylifewithlittles February 9, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Bookmarking this for our next trip! We live about 2 hours away, but I would love to stay on site!

    Reply
    • Leah February 9, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      That’s awesome! Thank you for reading! I wish I lived that close…I would be there all the time!!

      Reply

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