Non-Disney Hotels on Disney Property

Man, this trip to Disney keeps getting better every day.  The last time we went to Disney, my parents were nice enough to let us stay at their timeshare about 20 minutes outside of Disney.  This time, we wanted to try staying on property.  I researched MouseSavers to find out which hotels were the best in each of the category types.  I was fairly certain we were going to stay at Coronado Springs or Fort Wilderness Lodge.  But I have a hard time paying full price (or in this case AAA prices) for a hotel.  I was talking with a friend of ours about where were planning on staying.  During the course of the conversation, he mentioned Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort.  I can’t remember why he mentioned them, but it got me thinking.

Later that night, I was searching around to see if I could find a deal for for the resort.  And low and behold, the Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort is a Westin hotel and part of Starwood Hotels!  That means I could use points!  I was hoping that the cash and points option would be available, but unfortunately it’s not right now.  The hotel is listed as a category 4 hotel, so it is 10,000 points per night.  And they give you the 5th night free when you use points for the first 4.  Now I am always very reluctant to use Starwood Hotel points because they are so valuable.  But the hotel is more than $200/night.  We’re staying for 5 nights and using 40,000 points.  When you can transfer 40,000 Starwood Hotel points to an airline, Starwood gives you an extra 10,000 points in the transfer (so you get 50,000 airline miles).  I value airline miles at 2 cents per mile.  So for it to be worth it to me, I need to get at least $1,000 worth of value from 50,000.  And I would in this case, so it’s worth it to me.  You have to love not having to pay for an on-property Disney resort!

What’s great about the Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort is it’s right on Disney property (near Epcot and Hollywood Studios).  And you get Extra Magic Hours with this hotel.  The only hotels, outside of Disney owned hotels, that offer Extra Magic Hours are Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort, Hilton Orlando Buena Vista (located across the street from Downtown Disney), and Shades of Green (a resort for U.S. military and Department of Defense personnel).

There are also hotels located on Disney property that are not run by Disney.  These hotels are usually less expensive than the Disney hotels.  And you can use the Disney transportation buses to get to the resort (so you don’t have to get a rental car).  The hotels are:

Check out this map I created to see where these hotels are located in comparison to the Disney Parks.
View Non-Disney Owned Hotels on Disney Property in a larger map

I’m going to continue to check hotel deals as we get closer to our travel dates, but as it stands today, we’re staying at the Disney Swan Resort.

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One Response to Non-Disney Hotels on Disney Property

  1. InACents says:

    Couple of items I thought of to add to your idea planning.

    1) We have stayed at both the Royal Plaza and Holiday Inn, both located on property by Downtown Disney. While we have never yet had the experience of staying in a Disney themed hotel, our wallets have thanked us, and we have been tremendously happy with both hotels.

    2) Don’t forget to make your dining reservations 180 days out.

    3) If you are staying on Disney property and if you will be able to take advantage of the Disney free dining, then you will need to get tickets through Disney. However, I have always had tremendous results by using UnderCoverTourist for our tickets. There is not a huge savings, but every little bit helps.

    We are headed to Disneyland next summer on our way to Hawaii and in search of cheaper ticket options too.

    Good luck!

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