Why Vacation Homes Can be a Better Choice Than a Hotel at Walt Disney World

When we booked our holiday to Orlando a few years ago, the question most people asked us was, which hotel are you staying in?

We weren’t staying in a hotel, we had booked a large villa with private pool.

“Oh” came the response, followed by long pauses or forced comments about how they were sure we’d still have a good time.

Newsflash people – it is possible to do Disney without staying there! There seems to be this assumption that if you aren’t staying in one of the Walt Disney World hotels you aren’t doing it properly.

We love Disney and I’m sure at some point we will stay in one of the hotels but for now we love villa accommodation and here’s why:

Private pool

My family all love the water so a villa with a private pool is always going to win them over. A swim before breakfast, a swim after a busy day in Disney or even a late-night swim with the stars, how could you say no to that?


This is another thing for us. You might think that you won’t be bothered about being in a hotel room as you won’t be there much anyway, but after a few days that can wear off and everyone needs their own space, or you just need space to unpack, store things and so on.  For large families like ours, the space in a villa can be a huge advantage.

Everyone can have their own room, possibly their own bathroom and you’ll no doubt have a mix of showers and baths too.


The cost of villa accommodation is often much more affordable than staying in a Disney Hotel. It might mean you can stay an extra week and really make the most of your trip.

The other cost benefit of staying in a holiday villa is in relation to food and drink. Yes it would be lovely to enjoy a glass of wine or beer by the pool of your hotel, but it would also be nice to relax by your private pool and enjoy the same. The big difference – the wine and beer come from the local grocery store and leave more money in your pocket!

Life outside Disney

I know it’s hard to believe, but there is in fact…life outside of Disneyland and a whole lot of other things to see and do in around Orlando that have nothing to do with Disney.

Disney can get a bit intense after a few days, even for the mega fan. Staying in a villa outside the Disney Resort avoids it all getting a bit too much, as you escape back to normality each day at some point.

Home from home

The other reason we love villa accommodation is that is can be a real home-from-home, which ends up being way more practical for families.

Having a microwave, kettle, cooker, fridge and freezer of your own can be a massive benefit, especially to families with young children. Also having more flexibility with regards to meals and not being restricted to specific times set by the hotel is also useful. Parents of fussy eaters feel much more relaxed when they can just go with the flow and do their own thing.

In a villa there is also no need to worry how you might manage with interconnecting rooms. Families are all together in one villa and it’s much easier overall.

Basically, for the time being at least, villa accommodation in Orlando ticks all the boxes for us, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Charlotte Pearson is a British mum of four, she blogs at Mummy Fever about parenting, lifestyle and family travel and her family are huge fans of Orlando.