Top 10 Off-Site Hotels Near Disney World
If you’re looking to save money or get more bang for your buck with better luxury accommodations, this list of the best third party hotels at and around Walt Disney World is for you. There are many great resorts in Orlando that are near the parks, including several that are on-site and closer than Disney-owned properties. (Updated October 9, 2022.)
What we do not cover here is whether you should stay off-site to begin with–this post assumes that you’ve already made that decision. In Off-Site v. On-Site at Walt Disney World, we cover the pros and cons of staying off-site. One thing we will note here is that many on-site perks have been eliminated entirely in the last two years.
While things like Disney’s Magical Express and the FastPass+ booking window are gone for good, some on-site guest benefits have simply changed. Extra Magic Hours has been replaced by Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours. Many of the third party hotels covered here are actually be eligible for one or both perks. See our Guide to Early Entry at Walt Disney World and Guide to Extended Evening Hours at Walt Disney World for more eligibility, strategy, etc.
With some 330+ hotels in Orlando, it would literally take an entire year of testing to come up with a comprehensive list. Rather, I want to rank our favorite hotels near Walt Disney World at which we’ve stayed, prioritizing those that are on-site or barely off-site. Consider this a work-in-progress, though. As we continue stay in more off-site/non-Disney/third party hotels, we’ll update and re-rank this list.
This list also doesn’t include the many excellent Universal hotels, a few of which would make the top 5 here. In general, those offer great value for money, on-site perks, unique themes, and efficient transportation to the parks. See our Rankings & Reviews of Universal Orlando Resorts for more on those.
With those caveats out of the way, let’s take a look at which hotels made the cut. Click on any of the hotel names to see more photos and read a full review.
10. Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace — Given the divisive response to my review and mixed reviews on TripAdvisor, I sort of feel bad about including this. Not bad enough to leave it off, as this is my opinion, not crowd-sourced malarky. Besides, what does the general public know? You people are the ones who make every Transformers film a huge box office success. Joking aside, this property has seen several management changes in the last few years, and should now be better and more consistent.
There’s a lot to love about the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace. The hotel has an impressive slate of amenities, great guest rooms, nice interior design, and is an easy walk to Disney Springs. It’s also a bona fide resort complex, with a sprawling pool area that features Recreation Island and lush landscaping. All of that, plus great bang for buck.
9. B Resort & Spa — I know a hotel is cool if it makes me feel out of place. B Resort isn’t quite that hip, but it’s without a doubt a chic boutique hotel. With trendy atmosphere and nice rough-around-the-edges style, it’s unlike anything else at Walt Disney World and feels more like something you’d find in Miami.
This alone differentiates it from most other options. While I wouldn’t say it’s nearly as posh as something like the Waldorf Astoria, it brings to the table a totally different aesthetic and vibe. Prices are very competitive considering its quality and on-site location at Walt Disney World, too. It’s definitely not for everyone, namely, families with small children. Conventioneers or honeymooners looking to go out after the parks close and have a good time at Disney Springs will enjoy it.
8. Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – Like many of the best off-site hotels, the Hilton Orlando LBV is a great value for money option offering an exceptional location within walking distance of Disney Springs and solid amenities at a reasonable price. One of the biggest selling points here is the bedding.
Everything has been recently upgraded: Pacific Coast Touch of Down pillows, European 250 thread count linens, and Hilton Serenity Beds with pillow-top mattresses that will have you screaming SERENITY NOW! There are also something like 7 restaurants in the hotel, which overall features a sleek, modern style.
7. Floridays Resort Orlando – There are two villa-style properties on this list, with Floridays being the cheaper option of the two. Floridays makes the list solely because of its value proposition, which offers some incredibly nice villa accommodations for shockingly low prices.
Rooms that are far nicer than they have any business being at this price point. To be sure, it’s not a hotel that’s going to be featured on any Travel Channel specials covering the ritziest hotels in the world, but the value here is too good to ignore, especially given the solid quality.
6. Wyndham Grand Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort – One of the more well-rounded hotels on this list in terms of balancing price point, room quality, amenities quality, and location, the Wyndham Bonnet Creek snuck up on this list higher than I originally expected it would.
It checks off every box that it should, and at the end of the day, there is a lot to be said for reliable, upscale accommodations. However, due its relatively bland style and lack of a wow-factor, it can’t climb above #6.
5. JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa – This is the newest on-site hotel at Walt Disney World, and between that and this brand’s reputation, it’s slightly disappointing that the JW Marriott at Bonnet Creek doesn’t rank higher. We love its smart styling and modern design. Both the guest rooms and common areas are incredibly nice–and to our tastes. It’s luxurious and offers a formidable slate of amenities that should make it appealing to couples or solo travelers looking for a more adult option with convenient access to (or even isolation from) the parks.
However, the JW Marriott is not for everyone. In particular, we have a more difficult time recommending it to families. It’s not that the hotel isn’t kid-friendly—to the contrary, it’s laid back and not even remotely stuffy or unapproachable. It’s more that other resorts cater to families better. In particular, the pool area is relatively pedestrian, with no waterslide, lazy river, or other fun features you might find at many hotels in Orlando.
4. Swan Reserve, Swan & Dolphin Resorts — The most “Disney” of the third party options (besides maybe Shades of Green, which doesn’t make the list because it’s not open to the public), Swan & Dolphin is the best compromise between Disney and non-Disney hotels. The rooms are nice, dining is solid, and amenities–especially the pool areas–are top notch.
The newest addition here is the Swan Reserve, which is located across the street from the core Swan & Dolphin complex. It’s quite a bit different than the main resort, with more suites and significantly nicer and more modern rooms. The trade-off is fewer in-hotel dining, higher nightly rates, and a slightly longer walk to the parks.
Essentially one in the same, the Swan & Dolphin are great options if you’re looking for a luxury experience or walking-distance proximity to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at a considerably lower price point. The resort fees here do bug me, but the fact remains that prices at the Swan & Dolphin are significantly better than comparable Disney-owned hotels even with added costs factored in, and the amenities give virtually every Disney-owned hotel a run for its money.
3. Waldorf Astoria Orlando — Now that Statler & Waldorf have opened a hotel in the name of synergy, I’d say it paves the way for Rizzo the Rat to open a pizza parlor. Arguably one of the most iconic hotel labels in the world, the Waldorf Astoria offers exceptional quality at prices that won’t make you sell a kidney to afford a stay here.
The hotel is superior to a Deluxe Resort at Walt Disney World in nearly every regard aside from theming, making those prices not at all unreasonable. One of the most luxurious hotels in all of Central Florida, the Waldorf Astoria is arguably the best overall option on this list. I just happen to prefer the top 2 options here.
If you’re looking for a more cost-effective option, the Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek is a sister property of sorts to the Waldorf Astoria. It’s not quite as nice or luxurious, but has a lot of family-friendly amenities, some of which are shared between the two. (The only reason the Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek doesn’t make the list on its own is because we haven’t stayed there since it was recently rebranded and renovated–but we’ve heard great things!)
2. Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress — I have to admit that I’m a total sucker for Hyatt. If there’s such a thing as a “Hyatt Fanboy” (I doubt there is), you could call me one. I think it’s an exceptionally well-managed chain that strives to offer exceptional service, accommodations, and unique style. This is especially true in its Regency, Grand, and Park lines.
The Hyatt at Grand Cypress is no exception, with the most robust slate of activities and amenities at any hotel at which we’ve stayed in Orlando. The pool and water play areas even give the Yacht & Beach Club a run for their money. Chic style, top-notch service, exquisite dining, and great rooms–this Hyatt has a lot to offer. The price is certainly higher than other off-site options, but as far as luxury resort hotels go, it’s by no means bad.
1. Four Seasons Resort Orlando – Another hotel that’s on-site at Walt Disney World, this sprawling complex is inside the private Golden Oaks community and behind Fort Wilderness. It’s surrounded by natural beauty, including an Everglades sanctuary, and it feels like tropical paradise meets a country club. Of course, the rooms are luxurious and well-appointed, the dining is phenomenal, and there’s an array of amenities you’d expect from the Four Seasons.
Outside, the grounds of the Four Seasons Orlando are a veritable oasis. The pool areas are brilliantly suited to both kids and adults, with an area called Explorer Island, delightful lazy river, and secluded areas for lounge chairs amidst a lush environment and canopy of palm trees. It’s simultaneously exciting for kids and relaxing for adults. Orlando has a lot of hotels with ambitious pool complexes, but few (if any) others manage to strike this balance. This is far and away the nicest hotel in Orlando, Disney-owned or otherwise. And it’s usually less expensive than the Grand Floridian and other Deluxe Resorts at Walt Disney World.
Ultimately, this just scratches the surface when it comes to great third-party accommodations near or on-site at Walt Disney World. Each of these hotels has a lot to offer, and the value proposition is definitely better than staying at a Disney-owned hotel. If you determine a third party hotel is right for you, these are great options!
There are many worthy candidates this list snubs, including but not limited to the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes, Marriott’s Cypress Harbour, Gaylord Palms, Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, and more. Some of these are too far from the parks, while others we simply haven’t done yet. We will keep this list updated as we try out more hotels around Walt Disney World!
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
Do you have a favorite non-Disney hotel in Orlando? Thoughts on any of the hotels on our list if you’ve stayed at them? Considering one of these or a different off-site hotel? Do you agree or disagree with our list? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
I wish you would have included a little more info on the hotels like if they provide free transportation to the parks or not.
Hi Tom. great info on the hotels. I have a question though. When staying let’s say at one of these hotels you mentioned if I drive my own to the parks do I have to pay for parking or is there a connection between these hotels and Disney that I don’t have to pay?
We stayed at the Swan on our trip in March. We really wanted to stay at the Beach Club because we had stayed there once before and loved that we could walk to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Beach Club is just SO expensive though. So, I thought we would give the Swan a try to have the same convenience. The Swan was SO much less expensive (and they have a teacher rate which made it even less). We absolutely LOVED the Swan. I don’t know if we will ever stay anywhere else at WDW. The only drawback was the bus transportation wasn’t quite as reliable, but it didn’t really matter. One night we left Animal Kingdom really late (like the last ones out) and we missed the last Swan/Dolphin bus. One of the transportation people helped us out and got us a bus (to ourselves) to the Boardwalk and we just had to walk the short walk from there. After that, we pretty much just utilized the bus at the Boardwalk most of the time when we needed a bus.
Hi Tom…have you looked at any of the Gateway hotel offerings at Flamingo Crossings? Our family is wondering about staying in this newer area in May 2022, but we are a little concerned about the stage of development and the transportation offerings to the parks. We would love to hear your thoughts on the hotels.
How crazy would it be to stay at a Universal Hotel that costs $88 per night and go to WDW from there? This is a serious question.
Not crazy at all, especially if it’s a more leisurely trip and/or you have your own vehicle. I would not want to rely on Uber/Lyft, especially at rope drop, though.
It looks like Universal has some excellent hotel deals coming up this fall.
We I’ll be staying at the Sheraton Vistana Villages Resort Villas in late Jan. Great deal via Costco. Online I see that it’s a good neighbor hotel but I don’t see it on this list.
We haven’t stayed there yet. Have heard a lot of good things, and it seems like the price can’t be beat. Enjoy your trip!
I so appreciate you including Shades (even though officially you left it out)!
No being sarcastic, it’s our favorite hotel and we feel very blessed to be able to stay there. Great value, large rooms, friendly staff and for my husband, enough of an escape from some of the immersion of the parks!
Can’t bring myself to drop the dough on the on-site hotels, when this one is a clear winner for our family!
Growing up, my family stayed at Shades of Green every year following the Department of Defense’s acquisition of it (my dad was a Huey, the Blackhawk, instructor pilot). Have done one more stay with them as an adult. Still have a ton of fond memories there and am VERY glad to see SoG included for early entry and extended evening hours!
We booked a room at the Westgate Vacation Villas (the one with the huge Pirate Ship Resort Pool) for 4 adults and 3 kids for $798for 6 nights. I got a great deal since we are on a super tight budget but would love anyones experience there>
I am upset that you unveiled the best offsite disney hotel the Swan & Dolphin. The location is great with a short walk home from Epcot/Yacht & Beach/DHS/ Jellyrolls. While you miss out on magical express and disney dining, Extra magic hours, mini golf, and park transportation is available. Further, the ability to use Marriott Rewards formerly Starwood points has been a game changer for my family of five. If the Todd English wine night returns that is a top tier event on the pathway between Swan and Dolphin. Lastly we prefer the pool bar and resort style.
Thanks for your insights as always.
Hey Tom, Anything to say about the Hilton Bonnet Creek, I can’t find any comments on it via your website? Although not owned by Disney I’m told that it is an official Disney Hotel. I’d appreciate any comments on it including construction work planned etc.
The hotel expense fees at the Hyatt (and others!) is outrage!
I also spent a remarkable time at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress during my last journey and came back with amazing experience. In my point of view it is a best place to have comfortable stay at Disney world.
It is expensive, but the Four Seasons is an incredible hotel. I would put it far ahead of the Waldorf-Astoria. We stayed at the Waldorf for Hurricane Matthew and Four Seasons for Marathon weekend 2017. I felt like the adjoining property (blanking on name) to the Waldorf would be a lower priced near equivalent.
The four seasons is a true luxury hotel. It has subtle Disney theming and a character breakfast. It’s buses, however, were not great. We were splitting up our group and I didn’t think to use Uber and it was pre Minnie vans. If you want to maximize park time and Disney feel, do one of the monorail or Epcot area resorts. If you want to enjoy a luxurious hotel and spa (my wife’s goals) the four seasons is our top pick.
We stay at the Holiday Inn Disney Springs. We have always had clean, quiet rooms, great service and good breakfasts at the restaurant. Plus free bus to Disney.
The Marriott Cypress Harbour is the only resort our family has unanimously agreed we want to stay at again (we are time share owners and we trade a week to stay here). We’ve stayed at nearly all the Marriott resorts now and this is our favorite. Going back in June actually.
And the B Resort is good for those with older kids as well-the poolside rooms with bunk beds are awesome!! Look for special bookings to get Resort fees waived!
I have a question…it looks like the Swan & Dolphin is an off-site resort that still has Disney property benefits (early booking fast passes, extra hours, etc). Am I right? Are there any other off-site resorts that are linked to Disney and have these benefits? Thank you!
The Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels also offer Extra Magic Hours (started January 2018). These hotels are all technically on-site, just owned and operated by third parties.
We love the lake buena vista Hilton palace, literally across the street from Disney Springs and Saratoga Springs. I consider it inside the wdw bubble. Another offsite resort to checkout is Caribe Royale on 535 just minutes from Disney Springs.
Sheraton Vistana Villages Resort Villas. Had a wonderful one bedroom apartment here three years ago for $110/night. Fully equipped kitchen. Huge bathroom, bigger than most WDW hotel rooms. Washer and drier. Multiple swimming pools. Responsive staff – they brought me a replacement toaster within 10 minutes.
If we stay off site again, it will be here.
We just returned from a stay at the Gaylord Palms (5 nights). I was nervous at it was the first time we have stayed off site in years. We loved it, the grand floridian is our go to disney hotel , my family preferred the gaylord palms. The pool was fantastic (it is actually a water park), it has multiple slides, basketball goals, a huge movie screen. It was better than yacht/beach clubs pool. The restaurants were great (there were 5 sit down and a starbucks locations with sandwiches etc..). We used there transportation to and from the parks and it was great and always on time. We had no complaints and will stay there again:).
I was shocked to see Gaylord Palms didn’t make the list. It’s incredible! We love the GF as well. The price point gets to be a bit much every year, though.
Tom what is your take on the Four Seasons. I am coming with our 2 year old for the first time. We love the Four Seasons at other locations across the world. We are sticklers for clean, great service and luxury..