Staying in a luxury hotel on Walt Disney World property, just a stone’s throw away from two of Florida’s most popular parks, may be more affordable than you think.
If you shop around, you can bag a night in a high-end resort in a prime location for only £80 a night.
Official Walt Disney World hotels are notoriously expensive, with even the budget accommodation on the outskirts of the resort coming in at around £114 per night.
As Disney World is about the size of two Manhattans, staying on site is a popular option for families.
The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is located in the exclusive Epcot area of Disney World, right beside Disney’s Boardwalk.
The rooms are luxurious, walkable to Epcot and Hollywood Studios and offer views of the Epcot fireworks.
Most people compare the Swan and Dolphin to their Disney neighbours The Yacht and Beach Club and The Boardwalk Inn thanks to their prime location and high standards.
And like its Disney neighbours, the Swan and Dolphin are classed as deluxe or luxury hotels but cost less than half of the price.
They even come with many exclusive Disney benefits – and, by choosing to stay there, you can save hundreds of pounds a night compared to other properties in the area.
Many people mistakenly believe that the striking hotels belong to Disney but they don’t.
The properties are actually owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts – who also own the likes of Marriott – and are known to fans as ‘official unofficial Disney hotels’.
It means they have a prime location, offer Disney benefits, but come at a fraction of the price of their Disney-owned counterparts.
The Disney benefits offered are on par with those available in the ‘official’ hotels.
They include extra magic hours in the park, the ability to book fast passes and make dining reservations earlier than non-Disney resort guests, and free official Disney transportation (taking you to all four theme parks, two water parks and Disney Springs shopping complex).
Plus, there are Disney gift shops on site, and the option to dine with the characters in the resort.
The downside is that you can’t take advantage of the Disney dining plan while staying at the Swan and Dolphin, and the hotels aren’t serviced by the free airport transfer, the Magical Express.
Even taking this into account, you’re still saving a lot of money.
The beauty of these hotels – beside the cost – is that you can stay close to the action and not feel as though you’re sleeping in a theme park.
The sister hotels offer everything you would expect from deluxe hotels and more.
They have 17 restaurants and lounges, including two celebrity owned eateries, Shula’s Steak House and Todd English Bluezoo.
They also boast five swimming pools, two health clubs, a spa, games room and supervised children’s activities.
As the hotels are so close to Epcot, you can choose to stay in a fireworks view room, which means you can watch the nightly display from the comfort of your bed!
For us it’s a no-brainer. However some Disney fanatics won’t entertain the thought of staying in a non-Disney hotel.
The Swan and Dolphin does not have any Disney theming in the rooms and the staff members are not affiliated with Mickey and Co – so if that’s important to you, you might want to pay the extra couple of hundred quid and stay in a Disney hotel.
But, if that isn’t an issue for you, you can make a real saving.
Sun Online Travel recently revealed that there’s a secret spot in Disneyland Paris where families can meet lots of characters in a short amount of time.
Fans have been sharing details of the site on a secret Facebook page and many have raved about how their kids were able to see popular characters and even get photos without the crowds.
And if you’re a fan of theme parks, Sun Online Travel has also revealed some of the unusual things you can do in them.