How We Do Disney for Under $200 a Day as a Family of Five: Part 1 the Hotel

Disney's Yacht Club Resort

I have teetered back and forth all year long “Almost” booking a stay at a Disney resort on more than one occasion and just before I hit that binding button with the mouse I come to my senses and remember that we do not need to be in a Disney hotel to experience the Magic of Disney. In fact, we often spend less than $200 a day when we visit as a family of five and that includes our hotel, meals, gas and tolls. So how do we do it, well it all starts with the hotel.

Our Favorite Budget Savvy Disney World Vacation Hotel

I know your dying to know…..bum bum bum…dramatic drum playing here….it is, Celebration Suites at Old Town. Located in Kissimmee, just two miles from Disney property, it takes us all of five minutes to get to any of the parks. Don’t worry though, if you’re flying in and don’t want to rent a car, there are multiple shuttle bus departures from the hostel to the Disney parks, free for guest.

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Screen clipping taken: 12/20/2011 of Room Layout from Suites at Old Town

What makes this hotel so awesome is that it is an all suite hotel with rooms that feature a living area with Murphy bed (in some cases a sleeper sofa too) a kitchenette/dining area that has a table that seats 4, full sized refrigerator, two burner stove top, microwave, coffee maker and dishwasher. You can bring your own dish/cook ware if you are local like us or pay the very fair fee of $10 to use theirs. Then you have a bathroom of course and the main bedroom which features either two double beds or a king bed, vanity area with sink and nice sized closet. Basically, for their average nightly rate of $60* you get a room that is almost three times as big as the standard rooms at the Disney resorts, with the added benefit of being able to save money on your meals thanks to the kitchenette.

In addition to the rooms, the hotel features multiple pools, playgrounds, a children’s activity center, business center and more.

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Screen clipping taken: 12/20/2011 from Old Town

Another perk of the hotel is that it is literally adjacent to Old Town, where there is plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment, including the FREE muscle car cruise in and Classic car cruise in that occur every weekend on Friday and Saturday nights that are followed by live entertainment, also FREE. Our kids LOVE this and it makes for a nice relaxing break after a crowded day at the parks.

So why doesn’t every stay here you ask? Well, probably because of the fact that they are scared away by the lack luster appearance of the exterior, that while it has a fresh coat of paint, shows it age. The fact is though, that it is a clean, comfortable, affordable and safe hotel for your next stay to Disney.

*We have never paid more than $33 a night before tax thanks to Expedia’s unpublished rates and some clever deducting on my part to single the hotel out based upon amenities.

So, tell me, what do you do for lodging while on vacation or when you visit Disney? Do you stay on property where you are visiting or do you find more budget friendly options? Stop by next week, when I’ll share our tips on saving money on dining while at Disney.