Going to Disneyworld for New Years weekend. Where should we stay?
September 6, 2011 9:51 AM   Subscribe

Going to Disneyworld for New Years weekend. Where should we stay?

So I've been to Disneyworld several times, but never during a big holiday time and never without staying at a Disney resort. My girlfriend and I are looking for a cheap place close to the parks to stay for 3 nights, including New Year's eve/day. Any opinions or suggestions as to where would be a good hotel to stay? We will have our own car so we can drive to the parks ourselves.
posted by rbf1138 to Travel & Transportation around Orlando, FL (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Every chain hotel known to mankind has at least one location in Kissimmee. I would think that is your best bet for a cheap place to stay. Although I do suspect cheap is a relative term for any hotel near Disney over Christmas break. One thing you might try, which I've done successfully in the past, although not at Disney. Make a reservation at a place you can live with, making sure you understand the cancellation policy. It's probably going to be 24-48 hours at a chain hotel. Then, the week of the trip, while you can still cancel with no penalty, hit Priceline and Hotwire to see if you can score an awesome deal. If you do, take it and cancel the reservation.
posted by COD at 10:20 AM on September 6, 2011

You really should do this soon. Like today or tomorrow. A lot of hotels in that area might already be booked solid.
posted by majortom1981 at 10:28 AM on September 6, 2011

There is no cheap in that area around New Years. It's the single biggest week for Disney Park attendance, the week between Christmas and New Years. So cheap is secondary to just finding something available.
posted by inturnaround at 10:42 AM on September 6, 2011

Response by poster: I found Holiday Inn Express, 15 minutes from the parks, at $90 a night. I'm satisfied with that, plus they allow fully refundable cancellation up to day of. How long should I expect line rides to be? We're just doing Magic Kingdom and Epcot, and I'm used to 15-45 minute lines, in my past visits...
posted by rbf1138 at 10:46 AM on September 6, 2011

Do not hesitate on this - Christmas is a big thing at Disney. Rooms will be sold out quick.

How cheap is cheap? The Walt Disney World Hilton has rooms for $200 per night. It is right across the street from Downtown Disney, which is a good spot to spend New Years Eve.

If you end up staying further away, you will end up paying money for cabs (or a rental car), and that could easily end up being $50 per day. If you stay at the Disney Hilton, you can use transportation the whole time (including getting from the airport to the hotel).
posted by Flood at 10:50 AM on September 6, 2011

Response by poster: We're driving down from Georgia, so cabs/rental is a non-issue (although gas...). Anyway, I booked the Holiday Inn at $90. The other main issue is park passes...I should buy those now as well? I booked restaurants already in the parks, including New Year's Eve in Epcot. What time will we need to get there Saturday (Epcot) to ensure we can get in?
posted by rbf1138 at 11:01 AM on September 6, 2011

Response by poster: Should also clarify- we're going from Saturday the 31st through Tuesday the 3rd.
posted by rbf1138 at 11:02 AM on September 6, 2011

I went last year between Christmas and New Years. That is the busiest week of the year, so waits will definitely be longer than you're used to. The lines will be the longest on New Year's Eve. They will taper off after that. In fact, some areas might be rather ghost-town like after the new year. I waited at least an hour for all of the big attractions.

Our tour group operator told us to get to all parks as early in the morning as possible - the Magic Kingdom definitely before 9-10am.

There are pretty useful iPhone apps to tell you waiting times.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 11:14 AM on September 6, 2011

Bear in mind that the parks close for capacity on NYE (so you cannot get in past, I don't know, 10 or 11 for Epcot if you're staying off property, because they close the parks to people staying on the property later than people not) and the parking lots fill up very early NYE. As in: you should plan to get there near when the park opens, and not leave until it shuts, and do not plan to park hop. (This is NYE only.) A restaurant reservation does not guarantee admission to the park.

For all parks, lines at this time of year will be hours long for the popular rides. Lines are far shorter at the beginning of the day.

I do not think it mattes when you buy your passes, just don't do it at the gate.
posted by jeather at 11:36 AM on September 6, 2011

You might look at a place like All Star Vacation Homes if you want a little more space. I've heard that people can get a lot of room for the dollar.

Lines will terrible on the 31th and 1st and will drop off noticeably on the 2nd (Monday). This there busiest time of their year. I've been there during July 4th which is the third busiest time after Easter/Spring Break. The secret to short lines during these busiest periods is to get there very early. So early that you are there before the park opens. When the park opens you then visit the rides (and pick up FastPasses) that are extremely popular as well as the rides that have very poor throughput. Taking this approach along with saving less popular things like parades and large theater shows until later in the day will save you tons of time in line. Hell I'd say at night you are better off walking around and enjoying the atmosphere and the decorations rather than standing 1-2 hours in line for a ride.

This approach does mean you will have a long day ahead of you and if this was a more normal time, I'd recommend going back to the hotel for a nap or a swim but as others have mentioned, the parks can and will close for capacity on NYE so you don't want that. You can however take some downtime for a long lunch somewhere.
posted by mmascolino at 12:43 PM on September 6, 2011

For minimizing lines, nthing being there before the park opens. We were at Magic Kingdom last December right before Christmas, and we managed to bang through all the rides we wanted before noon with minimal line-waiting. As we left for Epcot after lunch, we could see the 2-hour lines for rides we'd been on that morning with less than 10 minutes waiting.
posted by Daily Alice at 5:13 PM on September 6, 2011

« Older TrumpetFilter II: Electric Boogaloo   |   Learning about $ Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.