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The Disney Springs hotels: How to get Disney benefits at bargain prices

June 06, 2022
11 min read
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Between park tickets, hotel rooms, food, souvenirs and skip-the-line access, planning a Disney World vacation can be quite the budget-busting endeavor.

There are plenty of secrets to saving money at Disney World, but one popular way that can cut a lot of costs off the trip in a hurry is staying not quite on Disney property — but also not quite not on Disney property.

More specifically, we are referring to staying at one of the seven Disney Springs hotels that are located just across the street from the Disney Springs shopping and dining district. These hotels are very close to all things Disney but offer pricing that is a world away from what you'll pay for some official Disney World resort hotels.

Read on to discover the benefits of staying at the Disney Springs hotels and just how much money you stand to save by staying "close enough" to the magic.

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What are Disney Springs hotels?

Enjoy a character breakfast at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace Disney Springs Area. (Photo courtesy of Booking.com)

Disney Springs, formerly known as Downtown Disney, is a large entertainment, shopping, and dining district located on the eastern edge of the Walt Disney World Resort. There are seven Disney Springs hotels located on Hotel Plaza Boulevard, adjacent (and within walking distance) to Disney Springs itself.

Like many of Disney World's on-site hotels, Disney Springs hotels are physically relatively close to Disney's theme parks, offer theme park perks and are technically on Disney property. But, unlike Disney's on-site hotels, you probably won't get the same level of sticker shock when looking up prices.

Disney Springs hotels also belong to major hotel chains like Hilton, Wyndham and Holiday Inn, which means you can potentially use points to pay for your Disney hotel stay. With how tricky it can be to use rewards points at true Disney World resorts, that's a pretty big benefit.

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Rest assured, we can also confirm that they all serve warm, golden, delicious Mickey waffles.

Related: What it's like to visit Disney World on three different budgets

What are the benefits of staying at a Disney Springs hotel?

(Photo courtesy of the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – Disney Springs® Area)

Disney Springs hotels offer many of the same benefits as other Disney World hotels. Guests of Disney Springs hotels can get into any of Disney's theme parks 30 minutes early every day and complimentary shuttle service to all four Disney theme parks is available throughout the day.

For families planning to rely only on Disney transportation while on vacation, Mears Connect airport transportation services both Disney World hotels and Disney Springs hotels. Unlike the now-retired Disney’s Magical Express – which did not service Disney Springs hotels – it comes at a cost. That cost may be less than the monetary cost of a car rental or the emotional cost of lugging multiple car seats through the airport, though. And, you now have to deal with the cost of travel to/from the airport even if you do stay at a true Disney resort.

Disney Springs hotels typically offer more promotions than Disney-owned hotels. You can look for discounts on sites like Undercover Tourist or the Disney Springs Hotels page before booking. Disney Springs hotels also frequently show up in Priceline’s Express Deals section, though note that they do often have daily resort fees and parking fees that you need to factor in when calculating costs.

Unfortunately, Disney Springs hotel guests do not receive quite the same treatment as on-site Disney World hotel guests when it comes to skipping the line using Disney's Individual Lightning Lane service.

While everyone can start booking Genie+ attractions at 7 a.m. each day, Disney World on-site hotel guests can make their first paid individual Lightning Lane selections at 7 a.m. for rides such as Guardian's of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance that sell on a per-ride basis.

Disney Springs hotel guests will have to wait to buy those until the parks open for the day, so official Disney World hotel guests do have a real advantage there.

DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando

The DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando is one of three Hilton-owned properties at Disney Springs. It's also usually the least expensive of the three and the only all-suite Hilton property at Disney Springs, with both one- and two-bedroom suites available.

It's nothing flashy, but this hotel is one of the most affordable on Disney property and has a small outdoor pool, hot tub and splash pad for kids, a playground and multiple on-site dining options.

Cash prices start around $100 per night and points pricing starts as low as 33,000 Hilton points per night, though points pricing can vary quite a bit because of Hilton's dynamic rewards pricing structure. Keep in mind that your fifth night is free on Hilton Honors awards bookings and the resort fee of $23 per night is waived on award bookings (but not cash or points-and-cash bookings).

Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace

(Photo courtesy of Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace)

The Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace is larger and has more amenities than the Doubletree, but it also has a higher price point.

Related: How to Use Hilton points for Disney vacations

Here you'll pay at least $184 in cash (plus a $35 daily resort fee) or 55,000 Hilton Honors points per night, but you'll also have access to a large pool complex with a lazy river and splash pad, Epcot fireworks views from some rooms, multiple on-site dining locations and, usually, access to a character breakfast (temporarily suspended because of the pandemic).

Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista

(Photo courtesy of Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista)

Of the three Hilton Disney Springs hotels, the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista is the closest to Disney Springs, accessible via a pedestrian sky bridge.

The hotel has two heated pools, a hot tub and a kids' pool and the daily resort fee covers, among other things, two cups of Starbucks coffee from the coffee shop each day. There usually is also a weekly character breakfast (temporarily suspended due to the pandemic).

Cash prices start around $134 per night plus a $35 daily resort fee, and points pricing starts at 43,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

Like at the other Disney Springs Hilton properties, Gold and Diamond Hilton Honors members can receive a daily food and beverage credit during their stay.

Related: Best points hotels near Disney World

Holiday Inn Orlando

(Photo courtesy of Holiday Inn Orlando - Disney Springs Area)

The Holiday Inn Orlando - Disney Springs Area has one-king and two-queen rooms, some of which have balconies overlooking the pool. In addition to swimming, guests can play corn hole, ping pong and more in the outdoor activity area. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and kids 11 and under eat for free (applies to one child per paying adult).

A pool-view room with two queen beds starts at just over $100 per night (plus a $35 daily resort fee) or 15,000 IHG rewards points. You also have the option to combine points and cash if you don't have enough points to cover your entire stay.

Wyndham & Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista

(Photo courtesy of Wyndham Lake Buena Vista)

The Wyndham Lake Buena Vista and the Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista share a lobby, pool complex with kids' play area and dining locations. They are also the closest hotels to Disney Springs overall, accessible via a pedestrian bridge.

The Wyndham's rooms are in a 19-story tower and the Wyndham Garden's rooms are in two five-story, courtyard-style buildings on either side of the tower.

Wyndham Rewards members can book a stay at the Wyndham Garden for as little as $94 per night, or for $113 per night at the Wyndham. Using Wyndham Rewards' flat-rate pricing structure, that translates to 15,000 points per night at the Wyndham Garden and 30,000 points per night at the Wyndham.

The $32 daily resort fee is waived on "Go Free" award stays, but on “Go Fast” points-plus-cash stays the resort fee applies.

Wyndham does not offer free breakfast to elites, but it does have a character breakfast (temporarily suspended due to the pandemic) that features Goofy and another of the “Fab Five,” which is usually Pluto.

Related: How to use points for Disney theme park tickets

B Resort & Spa

(Photo courtesy of B Resort & Spa)

The B Resort & Spa is the only Disney Springs hotel that is not a part of any major loyalty program, though it is the most stylish of the bunch. That said, you can use flexible miles such as those from the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card for an award stay at the B.

The B has standard rooms with one king or two queen beds, as well as family rooms with a king bed and a set of bunk beds. Some first-floor rooms have patios that open directly to the pool, there is an on-site restaurant and the coffee shop serves Disney-favorite Joffrey's coffee.

Room rates start at just over $100 per night, with higher rates for rooms with pool or fireworks views.

Related: Best credit cards for Disney vacations

Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando

(Rendering courtesy of Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando - Disney Springs Area)

Now accepting reservations and scheduled to open on Oct. 27, 2022, the Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando Lake Buena Vista is currently under construction. Introductory rates for standard rooms begin at around $150 cash or 20,000 Drury Rewards points per night, with a resort fee of $25 per day.

Amenities include complimentary hot breakfast each morning and complimentary evening “Kickback” (Drury speak for happy hour) with snacks and drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). There are multiple on-site dining options, including a grab-and-go marketplace, plus a lakeside pool and kids’ splash pad.

Drury Rewards members can earn 10 points for every $1 spent on qualifying stays and take advantage of exclusive member rates. Points can be redeemed for future hotel stays, airline miles, gift cards and more.

Gambling on a brand new hotel is always a tradeoff. It’s likely the rooms will be at their cleanest, but any operational service kinks may still be getting ironed out.

Related: We tried one of Disney's under-the-radar hotels and it's fantastic

Bottom line

If you are on a budget but don't want to miss out on some Disney hotel and proximity perks, the rates at Disney Springs hotels will help keep your vacation spending in check while allowing you to get into the parks early and take advantage of some complimentary theme park transportation.

While Disney Springs hotels aren't as heavily themed as Disney hotels like the Polynesian Village Resort or Animal Kingdom Lodge, you will find touches of Disney magic and — it bears repeating — Mickey waffles to start your day.

Featured image by (Photo by Madison Blancaflor/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
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Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.