The Perks of Getting “Off Property” at Disney World

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The more I travel, the more I appreciate my hometown of Orlando, FL.  Don’t worry, I’m not slowing down, but Orlando has been my home for over a decade now and I absolutely love it.  There are so many ways to experience Orlando.  Disney World and the rest of our theme parks are obviously what we are known for, but I’d love to see Orlando getting the recognition it deserves as a destination in it’s own right.  Especially for those who have done a Disney Vacation before, it’s time to branch out.

World Traveler at Epcot

I’m not saying “don’t go to Disney”, I would never do that!  In fact, if I didn’t live here there’s not a chance I would be anywhere near Orlando without a trip to Disney!  I absolutely love DIsney World, it just doesn’t have to be your whole vacation.

If you’re traveling to Orlando just for Disney you’re doing yourself a disservice. Everyone knows about the many theme park options, but most people don’t know about Orlando’s amazing dining scene.  I live in Orlando and truly believe it’s one of the most underrated food cities in the country.  We have Disney to thank for this because they bring a diverse group of employees and travelers from all over the world and we all know that immigration leads to great food!  While we owe a lot to Disney, the food culture is best experienced outside the gates (it’s quite a bit cheaper out there too).  There are several Westgate Resorts in Orlando that offer a more homey feel, with all of the resort amenities you’d expect and provide the perfect jumping off point to explore the Orlando outside of Disney.  I could list all of my favorite food spots in town, but that’s another post in itself.  I will tell you that the Westgate Palace is located close to Cafe Tutu Tango, which is home to my favorite bottomless brunch every Saturday and Sunday.  (If you need more Orlando food guidance just ask!)

Disney World Christmas

However if your heart is set on a Disney vacation, there are a few smarter ways to do that too. Disney World is obviously amazing.  We all know that, but here’s something you may not have heard… Disney World is also crazy expensive!  So there’s your bit of insider knowledge for the day.  Do not fear, there are ways to save some serious cash on your Disney vacation, and one of those is to stay off property.  Sure the Disney Resorts are great, but there are plenty of other options just as close to the action.  The Westgate Town Center is a great option just one mile from the maingate of Disney at a fraction of the costs.  As an added bonus, this property is home to the new Shipwreck Island Waterpark, a pirate themed water park.  So if you’re really looking to maximize savings, you could probably convince younger children that it is Disney World!  

Shipwreck Island Waterpark at Westgate Town Center in Kissimmee, FL

Photo Courtesy of Westgate Resorts

Of course if you’d rather not resort to trickery, there are discount disney vacation packages available at Westgate properties as well.  The packages are largely customizable and there’s something for every need and budget.  Most importantly, booking your hotel and park tickets together saves you money!  Disney World is famous for a reason. I don’t care how old you are, you can’t travel to Orlando without a visit to the mouse!  Just make sure you plan a few extra days and use all the money you save on the Disney portion of your trip to explore the rest of what Orlando has to offer, and don’t hesitate to reach out for a few recommendations.  I love showing off my town!

*Disclosure- This post contains sponsored or affiliate links, but all opinions are my own*








16 thoughts on “The Perks of Getting “Off Property” at Disney World

  1. I’d definitely have to go beyond Disney if I ever got the chance to go to Orlando Mags! I’ll hit you up for tips if I ever get there 🙂
    Dannielle | While I’m Young recently posted…The Ultimate Guide to Mysterious Margherita Di Savoia, PugliaMy Profile

  2. Nice to know the off property secrets!

  3. If I go to Orlando, Disney would be the last thing I do (unless I take my daughter then it will be the first thing I do) 😀 Nice to share some of the property secrets, didnt even know about this.

  4. I haven’t been to the Westgate stuff but have always been curious. Most of our trips involve Disney but every now and then I like to venture out and do other things. Orlando has so many awesome options!

  5. Danielle Desir

    I’ve only been to Disney once but I am planning a return trip and this time I want to do more exploring – get off the beaten path. Do you think 4 days is enough to get a decent feel?

  6. I’ll definitely check these packages out! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  7. Megan Jerrard

    Totally agree that Orlando is more than just Disney – of course this is a fantastic attraction, though I was really glad we spent a couple of days experiencing the city – such a vibrant cultural, food and urban outdoor scene too. Thanks for the tip on the Westgate packages 🙂

  8. Insider secrets from a local, perfect! Good tip on Westgate – Better food, better prices.

  9. Last time I went to Florida I’m guilty of only getting to Disneyworld! But it was such a cool experience staying at the yacht club and all

  10. I’ve never been to a Disney property but I’ll have to keep this in mind for when I do go. Lots of great tips. It looks like you had fun.

  11. Nice to know about the off property option of Westgate. The water park looks fabulous! You have a great home town.

  12. We’ve never stayed onsite in Disneyland or Disneyworld, and our kids didn’t care one way or the other. Money saved on accommodation can be used in so many other places. As you say, the theme parks are not cheap places to visit, so every little bit helps. Thanks for the Westgate tip!

  13. I totally agree! Most places are more than just their touristy things! There’s more to a place than amusement parks and we can all agree that we are in no way discouraging people not to go but somehow hope that they see beyond those places. And more often than not, touristy places can be expensive so thank you for your tips! And for sharing info about Westgate packages.

  14. I too love Disney and want to visit it in future. But at the same time also know that it is damn expensive. So, once I am around I would love considering your post to save certain pennies and explore the other places in Orlando. Thanks for the amazing post.

  15. I havn’t been to Florida before so of course will be checking out all the Disney sites but think Ill consider what you said and also try to explore the rest of Orlando on some free days – I guess there is more than the castle after all 😛
    Jordan recently posted…15 Cultural, Culinary And Creative Oaxaca City Things To Do!My Profile

  16. Impressive off-property secrets! I have pleased to read the entirety of the post as mentioned above in detail. I am going to bookmark the site for further assistance. By the way, The water park looks so nice. Keep up the good writing.

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