If you’re planning a Walt Disney World vacation, nothing beats the convenience of staying near the park. After a long day of standing in lines, sweating, getting Cinderella’s autograph, standing in lines, running after the kids, sweating, changing training pants, the escape back to your lodging needs to be as swift as possible.
But visitors shouldn’t assume that hotels–especially those affiliated with the park–are the only accommodations worth your money. A whole family of Disney Area vacation rentals exists outside the property, and often for better prices and with more space.
Take the Kissimmee vacation home above. It’s a three-bedroom townhouse in a luxury community just two miles from the park. Three bedrooms. Unless you can swing a suite or multiple hotel rooms, the better value is off-site for $149 a night.
The property adds a few more dimensions to your trip, too, beyond Disney. If you don’t feel like schlepping the kids to Mickey Mouse and friends one day, you can stay “at home,” prep your meals in the kitchen (which will save hundreds), shoot down the water slide into the lagoon-style pool or hang out in the 12,000-square-foot clubhouse. Still not enough stimulation? Head to the movie theater within the community or the castle-themed playground designed with a giant chess board.
There is life outside the park. And thankfully for you exhausted parents, it doesn’t involve a single turnstile.
Valerie Moloney is your resident blogger and the Expansion Markets Editor for Citysearch.com, who oddly enough, feels panicked when asked, "What's the best place to eat in Chicago?" or her favorite, "It's my birthday. Where should we go with a party of six?" No stranger to travel--and traveling with kids--she is a young mom who ODs on the Internet when it comes to planning family trips or buying clothes. Here's hoping she finds you the vacation you deserve.