Disney Honeymoon Dreaming: Deciding Where to Stay

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning
digital collage by Miss Road Trip

digital collage by Miss Road Trip

I’d managed not to pester Mr Road Trip for a honeymoon decision for a whole 8 months before reminding him that, if Disney was to be it, some decisions would need to be made soonish (this being back in March). While I know that plenty of people go to Disney World for short and long vacations both and only make minimal preparations, there’re so many things that you can miss if you just go with the flow.

I’m not really much of a go with the flow kinda girl (in case you hand’t noticed).

While I’ve been visiting  Disney World since I was a toddler, most of the more recent trips have been quickie weekends and nothing since 2006. Our honeymoon will be the first time I’ve spent a full week at the parks in over 20 years! For Mr. Trips it’ll be 20 years exactly, as he was there in 1993 with family, and that’s his last trip to The World period!

We’ve got some time to make up for, wouldn’t you agree?

Of course, the first thing you have to decide when planning a Disney honeymoon is where to stay, and the first decision is whether to stay on- or off-site.

In the interest of full disclosure I need to confess that I sleep on the side of on-site lodging: it puts you totally inside the Disney “bubble” and unless you really want to do otherwise, you can park your car and not even think about it until it’s time to (regrettably) head for home.

Still, there are options outside of staying at one of the numerous Disney-owned resorts, and they can offer some savings on your room as well as additional flexibility if you’re interested in hitting up other Orlando-area attractions. Everything from condos and vacation homes to hotel rooms of all sizes and prices exist out there and all of them will say the same thing: “minutes from Disney.”

And that might not necessarily be untrue, but minutes can be hours when you’re fighting the rest of the Orlando/Kissimmee area trying to drive to the parks, too. Then there’s parking (and the parking fees–$15/day, currently) and (ugh) the drive back. Like I said, I’m biased.

The other perk of truly nearby hotels and communities is that they run shuttles to save you some of the offsite hassle. Keep in mind, though, those shuttles tend to be hourly at best, whereas on-site shuttles are every 15-20 minutes. Just saying.

Not surprisingly, the Road Trips will be staying on-site, and we’ve picked the fun and cozy Port Orleans French Quarter–my absolute, hands-down favorite (and where the Jackrabbits will be honeymooning the month before–suddenly I’ve got “It’s a Small World” stuck in my head). I’ve stayed there once in the past, and just love the attention to detail (though that can be said of any of the resorts). It’s the smallest of the Disney resorts, and tends to be quieter, which makes it perfect for couples, I think!

Scenes from Port Orleans (circa 2004)

Scenes from Port Orleans (circa 2004)

Little details and an amazing river view.

Little details and an amazing river view.

I understand there was a recent renovation to the inside of the rooms and the lobby is being updated currently, so even though I’ve been there before, I’m looking forward to a new experience in the greater scheme of things.

If you’re heading to Disney (for a honeymoon, mini-moon, or just plain vacation). You probably want to avoid paying rack rates, and I can hardly blame you! Check out the resources at Passporter.com and TheMouseForLess.com to find out the best specials going on during your travel dates. If you have a Disney Visa or buy Annual Passes (more on this in the next post) you may qualify for additional discounts, as well as service members, Florida residents, nurses, teachers, and government employees (those last three for the Swan and Dolphin only). And if you book your hotel and a discount or special offer comes out later on, all it takes is a call to 407-WDW-MAGIC to see if those offers can be applied to your existing reservation.

Oh, and be sure to let them know if you’re making a honeymoon reservation or celebrating anything else–there’re no guarantees, of course, but letting them know it’s a special occasion can sometimes result in a little extra pixie dust thrown your way.

 Would you consider staying on-property at Disney for your honeymoon?
Why or why not?

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