A Disney World vacation is very expensive. The cost of park tickets alone can run a few thousand dollars for a large family. It is important to do a lot of research before making your plans for a Disney World vacation. Many people are not even aware that there are quite a few neighborhoods that offer short term rentals for Disney World vacationers. Short term rental communities are specifically zoned for this type of rental and are found primarily along two corridors, the Poinciana area to the east of Disney and Route 27 to the west and south. The Poinciana area is a bit more crowded but offers numerous dining choices along its busy corridors. The route 27 area is a little quieter but still offers many dining and shopping choices.
Rental home communities, like hotels, vary greatly in price, amenities and quality. Some communities are 25 years old and offer very affordable no frills rental homes at prices as low as $75 a night. Don't forget to add 13% local tax to these rates and generally, if staying less than a week, a $125 cleaning fee. Other communities offer golf course locations in prestigious resort locations for $500 a night. In between you can find luxurious gated communities with 5 bedroom homes for around $170 a night. We'll examine some of these communities, but first, what are the advantages of the rental home?
A rental home is affordable as the nightly price compares favorably to any single room at a decent area hotel and is almost always less than even a value resort at Disney World. But we all know that price is not the only consideration in our dream trip to Disney World. Convenience is a key selling point for Disney resorts. So how convenient is a rental home? The answer may surprise you. Staying inside the parks is fun, but not as convenient as you may think. You are usually at the mercy of the Disney transport system to get anywhere, and it can take awhile. Your food choices are limited and very expensive. If you want to try something else in Orlando you will need a rental car or pay a steep price for transportation. A rental home, on the other hand, does require a rental car to make the ten to fifteen drive to the parks. But for this you get freedom to travel anywhere and on your schedule. You will have unlimited food and entertainment choices. The Orlando area offers numerous things to do other than just the Disney parks and a rental home is a great base from which to see it all.
We all want to be comfortable on a hectic vacation. So how does an Orlando area rental home compare to Disney World resorts? While you generally won't have daily maid service in a vacation rental home, you will have loads of comfort. If you have ever stayed with four people in a single hotel room you know just how crowded and cramped it becomes by day two. In a rental home you have lots of room to spread out with multiple bedrooms and living areas. When it comes to comfort the vacation rental home beats a hotel room by a comfortable margin.
Amenities are a big factor in choosing a Disney resort hotel and the same holds true for a rental home. Just as you can choose between a Holiday Inn or the Polynesian, rental homes have choices too. Some, like Reunion, offer water parks and resort style amenities. Other rental homes offer no amenities other than usual home amenities. But in either case a rental home offers you space to have family fun. A moderate priced rental home will have more than enough amenities to keep you busy at the end of a long day. Consider this home which, in addition to 3200 square feet of living space, offers a pool and spa, games room with billiards, foosball and air hockey, a huge kitchen and a clubhouse with community pool, volleyball, gym and party room. The home also offers seven flat screen televisions and XBox with Kinnect. Try getting all that in your resort and your cost will be exorbitant In this case, you get all that and five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a 40' balcony, gated community and more for about $175 to $225 a night.
If you have done your homework and now your trip comes down to price, what is your best option? Here is another area where a Disney World area vacation rental home blows away any value resort at Disney World. As discussed in a previous article, rental homes are a fraction of the nightly cost of Disney resort rooms. However, that is just the beginning of the savings. One of the greatest expenses at Disney World are all the incidental items; food, drinks, souvenirs. Disney resorts typically have restaurants and snack areas where snacks can be purchased at several times what they cost outside the park. Worse yet, if you are interested in a few adult beverages, you will pay very high rates inside the park for this privilege. In a rental home you will typically have a full kitchen and an outside barbecue where you can cook as much or as little as you want. Just a few meals, even cereal in the morning, can save a small fortune. And if you like a little wine or beer with your dinner you will save even more. Even if you choose to eat out, the prices at offsite restaurants are considerably less than in the park. And yes, those tacky souvenir shops offsite do offer incredible savings.
So where do you stay? If you can afford $5000 a week a luxury golf course home at Reunion is a great choice. It is in a nice location and offers many amenities including championship golf courses. For the rest of us the choice boils down to location, size and price. Generally speaking, the larger homes in any neighborhood are not that much more than the smaller homes. Therefore, strive for as big a home as you might need for ultimate comfort. As for location, choose the area you like best. Close in is not as big a factor as you might think. A home 3 miles from Disney is not really twice as close as one 6 miles away as most of the traffic is in the last few miles. However, keep in mind that the entrances on the east side are generally more crowded. The easy access is the back way on the south side at Sherberth Road. This consideration favors the Route 27 area homes to the south in Davenport. Gated communities are often favored for the extra privacy and security they offer. Also keep in mind the feel of the location. Those homes close to International Drive will be part of the hustle and bustle surrounding Disney. If crowds don't bother you then this may be your area. If you want to get away a bit, the homes at West Haven in Davenport are in a quieter area but a stones throw from the beautiful Champions Gate Resort with golf, shopping and more and yet just 15 minutes to Disney World.
When pricing your rental home keep in mind several factors. First, the nicer neighborhoods will be more expensive. Except for a few neighborhoods, the increase in price is generally worth it. Having a gated community, professionally landscaped with community clubhouse is a nice feel for the one or two hundred bucks extra for the week. The price may or may not include all charges. Hotels quote prices without taxes. In Orlando the hotel tax runs between 12.5% and 13%. Many vacation villas include the tax in the price. A hotel charging $149 a night is generally abut $169 with tax. A rental home also has a cleaning fee that costs between $110 and $135 but is usually waived for stays of 7 nights or more. Also, expect significant discounts for longer stays, even discounts for a one week stay. Like hotels, many rental homes offer specials at different times. For instance, this home offered a discount of nearly 15% to fill an unfilled week. You can find many vacation rentals by a simple Google search for "disney area rental homes". Good planning and good research will make your Disney World vacation both enjoyable and affordable.
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