Best Vacation Home Rentals Near Disney World – Disney Tourist Blog


Vacation home rentals near Walt Disney World have become a popular way to stay in large accommodations near the parks with private pools, game rooms, full kitchens, laundry, and other features. In this post, we share photos from inside luxurious and themed houses, offer thoughts on reputable companies, and thoughts on whether vacation homes are right for your WDW trip.
It’s increasingly obvious that guests are looking elsewhere to get better value for money. This much became clear to us in reading the hundreds of comments in response to our “Is Walt Disney World’s On-Site Advantage Disappearing?” Keep in mind, that was published at a time when transportation, Extra Magic Hours, and FastPass+ benefits still existed.
In addition to that, some of Walt Disney World’s on-site perks are still temporarily suspended, including the Disney Dining Plan and other reasons guests typically cite for staying on-site. At this point, the primary benefits to staying on-site are plus proximity to the parks and transportation. The actual benefits of those perks are debatable, especially if you’re renting a car or are venturing beyond Disney during your Florida vacation…
Many Walt Disney World fans have already have made the move off-site, whether it’s to hotels at Disney Springs, options at Universal that offer perks at those parks, or other nearby hotels. Another option growing in popularity is vacation home rentals, whether that be via large booking engines like Airbnb or via specialized Disney sites.
We first learned about the option to rent a house near Walt Disney World while listening to the (now defunct) WDW Today Podcast and hearing ad pitches for (the also now defunct) All Star Vacation Homes. It all sounded a little too good to be true: arcades, home theaters, private pools, countless bedrooms, and so on. But it was true. The homes were really as-advertised, with reasonable prices that were a fraction of comparable on-site hotel prices.

Since then we’ve used Airbnb extensively with great results around the world, including months at a time. That’s pretty much been our go-to, but usually for smaller flats or apartments. Rentals near Walt Disney World are a totally different ball game, as most are newly-built houses (the term mansion is apt for many of them) for the express purpose of rentals. (Airbnb is actually not the best option near Walt Disney World, for reasons we discuss below.)
In other words, when you rent one of these, you’re not staying in someone else’s personal home some random week they are out of town. These houses exist solely for the purpose of being rented, and are operated much like a hotel.

With most of our Walt Disney World trips being just the two of us, we haven’t had the need for a vacation home rental in years, and hadn’t really kept apprised of this burgeoning market. However, I’m really curious about homes in Central Florida and I find the explosion in large and expensive properties endlessly fascinating.
So, I decided to do some research, visiting the resort areas like Windsor Hills, Champions Gate, and Reunion. This gave us an excuse to tour some of those homes.

Beyond the size and themed areas of the flagship houses available for booking, the biggest surprise for me was the size and scale of the businesses. They have curated a sizable home inventory of Disney-centric homes, and are partnered with management companies that offer a dedicated team and 24 hour customer service.
I was also surprised by the variety of accommodations offered. In addition to the lavish and spacious multi-bedroom homes with every amenity you can imagine, there are also smaller homes. More interesting to smaller parties looking for a quasi-hotel experience, they have 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo units in the Reunion Grande Luxury Hotel Tower. These units actually offer views of Walt Disney World, and the fireworks at night!

To my surprise, this is not atypical for the big players in the Orlando-area vacation rental space. Doing further research about vacation homes around Walt Disney World was a bit daunting. The various rental outfits seem to be in a race to the bottom to create the least coherent descriptions, stringing together a slew of spam-like keywords they believe will please the almighty Google gods.
Once you cut past the messy search results and begin delving into the pages of the respectable rental companies (including reviews from actual guests), there’s a lot to like. I found 6 different companies in the Walt Disney World area that I would consider to be reputable.
That’s just in doing research for this article; there very well could be other exemplary under-the-radar businesses that I’m missing. In combing the reviews, guest experiences are generally very positive–on par with crowd-sourced reviews for Deluxe Resorts at Walt Disney World.

The main players in the Orlando vacation home rental market scene all seem legit. Although we haven’t used or dealt with them all, ones that appear reputable include Orlando Vacation, Windsor Hills Orlando Condos, and Magical Vacation Homes.
There are a handful of other agencies, including Go Disney Vacations and Emerald Island Rentals Orlando that have good ratings, and I wouldn’t hesitate to rent from any of them if we were in need of such a property. In addition to all of these being legit and trustworthy, they are also in places where such rentals are legal, which is very important. Developments including Reunion were created with such rentals and mixed-use in mind. This is not true of places where many other rental options are located.

Accordingly, I would exercise extreme caution in using other options, especially newly-established ones. Along with the explosion in Central Florida’s real estate market has come a lot of questionable investors and attempts to make a quick buck. Many HOAs are now banning short-term rentals and cities are attempting to discourage Airbnb and other fly-by-night rental companies.
There are horror stories of Airbnb guests near Walt Disney World getting kicked out of their accommodations halfway through their trip because their rentals were illegal. As for renting from the credible and legal vacation home rental companies, we personally have zero hesitations whatsoever.

The point is that these Walt Disney World-centric vacation home rental companies are even safer, as they have direct control of and access to the properties, real-time support, and physical storefronts/offices in the area. They are basically like a hotel, but instead of their inventory consisting of individual rooms, it consists of entire houses.
Like hotels, they also have reputations that are inextricably intertwined with the properties, whereas Airbnb is decentralized and is only a booking service/engine; it doesn’t take a reputation hit when an individual property receives a poor review, nor does it have the means of offering a real-time solution, beyond a refund.

As for the pros and cons of vacation homes, we cover the basics in our Off-Site v. On-Site at Walt Disney World article. Beyond that, the biggest strength of vacation homes is in the size of the accommodations. If you’re looking at price per square foot, nothing any hotel of comparable quality offers at or near Walt Disney World can touch vacation homes.
Other upsides include free parking, having a full kitchen, laundry, game rooms, private pools, and whatever other features the specific home you book has. Many of the aforementioned communities where the homes are located are gated, ensuring safety, and have shared common areas, like pools and water play areas on par with those at some Walt Disney World resorts.

The biggest real downside is being off-site and having to drive or use Uber/Lyft.
However, you figure that adds $25/day to your Walt Disney World vacation budget, and gets you private transportation from your door-front to the parks in about the same time (if not less) commuting from the All Star Resorts via Disney transportation–at a per square foot price that’s lower than even the All Stars.

Nevertheless, it should also be noted that vacation home rentals are not for everyone. As much as I enjoy having a good freakout a la Kevin McAllister in Home Alone and running all over a mansion, one of these houses would be total overkill for just Sarah and me. We like our space, but don’t need that much.
Even if we did need more space, we like the hotel experience–and are particularly suckers for staying on-site at Walt Disney World. As we noted in the above-mentioned ‘Disappearing On-Site Advantage’ article, the nostalgia and emotional pull of staying on-site is incredibly powerful for us.

However, your mileage may vary on that, both in terms of your party size and how much emotional or nostalgic weight there is in staying on-site. If you have a party of 4 or more and want nice and spacious accommodations, vacation home rental near Walt Disney World might be perfect for you.
This post basically serves a primer to the ever-growing rental market in Orlando, cuts through the fluff, and provides insight into what to expect from these homes. Basically, if you’re in the market for the best vacation home rental near Walt Disney World, use one of the other handful of companies discussed in this post, and avoid the rest.
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
Have you ever rented a vacation home near Walt Disney World? Which company did you use? What did you think of the experience? Would you recommend it to someone else? What do you perceive as the pros & cons of renting a vacation home as opposed to staying in a Walt Disney World resort? Do you agree or disagree with our thoughts? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!

Great list of properties. My youngest would love the Toy Story room.
I want a great 4 bedroom home lavishly furnished
Please get in touch dates: June 19th – July 5th 2023 to check out July 6th
You mention several agencies with “good ratings”. How can you tell if an organization has good ratings and is trustworthy? I am looking at the agencies you noted but also found a few others with some options for us, and I want to make sure I book something both in our budget and also from a trustworthy and legit company. Thank you!
We are loyal followers of your blog and usually your recommendations are spot on, for example my husband would have never survived HS in August without that neck fan fromTarget. However , we rented this summer from Incredible Vacation Homes based on this article and were very disappointed with the results. When our rescheduled Disney cruise was cancelled we decided to rent a home in Reunion resort to give the kids a change of scenery from the DVC resorts. The home we rented was offered through a few different management sites, but we opted for Incredible Vacation Homes based on this article. There was minimal communication with the property management company. They are a subsidiary of another company so they don’t even answer their own phones. This would prove to be an issue once we arrived at the home. The pool was never cleaned and was a murky color , there was no skimmer for it either. The ice maker and water dispenser in the fridge didn’t work which meant another trip out to Publix for ice. The dishwasher pulled loose from the counter and never drained from the previous use so it flooded the kitchen floor when opened, and the a/c cooled the arcade room to penguin climate but couldn’t go below 72 for any other room. I called the first night when checked in , then the next 2 days as well. I had to leave a message each time and was promised a call back which never came. On the last day of our stay someone finally showed up with a pool skimmer and was apparently aware of all the other issues but did nothing to solve them. The morning we checked out, there was someone knocking at the door at 9;45 Am ( 10 AM checkout) and another person showed up in a van with a box of parts for either the fridge or the dishwasher. So it appears the next people to drop thousands on their stay would have the quality home we had been promised. Incredibly disappointed with this rental management company and will never use them again.
Tom, we had the same thoughts after years of staying on property and ended up purchasing in Windsor Hills this year. We would love to host you guys at Spark of Imagination Villa sometime! ✨
We have stayed on property and off, but like staying off property so much that we bought two homes which we rent out. Here are some advantages you haven’t mentioned: 1. Adult time. Private bedroom as well as living room space to enjoy after the kids go to bed 2. Peace and quiet to rejuvenate your overstimulated nerves after a day at the park. Imagine the difference of a private pool overlooking a serene lake versus searching for loungers at a crowded and noisy resort pool. 3. Incredible savings. Our 6 bedroom pool home rents for as little as $205/night. The renovated hotel rooms at the Polynesian will be renting for around $1000/night. Add to the savings breakfasts and any other meals you make yourself. 4. The time myth. When you stay on property you have to wait for and walk to everything – breakfast, resort transportation. So when you add up the actual time it takes to get going to the parks in the morning, staying off property and renting a car can actually be saving you time. Our properties are 18 minutes away from Disney. Disney resort buses run every 20 minutes at best. And you can make your own breakfast and not have to wait for everyone in your family to shower in the one shower in your hotel room in the morning! 5. Privacy. Spending a day at the parks can be over stimulating for you and your children. Balancing park time with laid back family time in your own private pool, family room and games room calms nerves and helps rejuvenate you for another day at the parks. 6. Adult time. Having our own bedroom and places we can hang out after the kids have gone to bed really add to the enjoyment of our Disney holiday.
Hello I’m looking at renting a place for next end of October for 2 weeks. October October 27th until November 10th is this possible? Would you have availability?
Not sure how to view your places
Thanks for your time Katie
Hello Laurie;
Can you give the information on your rentals. the name and the resort it is on. We are looking to do my entire family which is My husband and myself and our 3 children and their families. We were thinking of staying at one of WDW resort but we just feel we will never see each other.
But we also are concerned about how we will get to WDW for we would be flying in and we have 8 grandchildren who need car seats.
Thank you
Lynn
We ended up purchasing in Windsor Hills we loved it so much – our home is Spark of Imagination Villa (www.sparkofimaginationvilla.com) if you want to check out booking direct 🙂
We love staying there with all our fam and provide some strollers, pack n plays, toys, high chairs, etc too. 🙂
This is a great article! I love seeing the various themed rooms, etc. People have such creative ideas. My husband and I bought two 7BR homes at Emerald Island Resort and renovated and themed them for our guests. We are, I think in a niche, that is not as high end/$$$ as Reunion, and more in keeping with Windsor Hills. We are hoping to reach multigenerational families visiting Disney and other attractions. We just put up a direct booking site and would love to get feedback on out site and homes. We are hoping to stop depending on AirBnB/VRBO and their high surcharges – and provide better value to our guests. I hope this is an appropriate post for this site. http://www.disneyfunspot.com is our site. We’d love to hear from you!
Thanks,
Jeanne
interested in renting your place, please email me!!
Ginger Leggett
[email protected]
Thank you. I’m a die-hard “on property” person, but now that I’ve got older teens, we’re entering another phase of life when we’ll be bringing down our kids’ friends with us. That would be enormously expensive to have suites to fit everyone on Disney property, so your suggestions are perfect for us. I think we’ll be booking in Windsor Hills soon. Thanks!
Hi. I’m really trying to find a cool themed place to stay this time traveling to Florida. I’m looking for the Disney theme rooms & hopefully one with a side my girls would just absolutely love that. Can you please help me out with where you find the rental with that side. Or rentals with princess theme bedrooms?
Thanks so much
Wow! This is great! I found the article very inspiring and interesting. Thank you for sharing this
Where is the toy story villa and frozen villa? Love these!! Thanks
We rented in Windsor Hills over Thanksgiving. It was nice, and was economical because it was 4 families. I did miss the Disney feel that you get staying on site and transportation was sort of an issue because I have 2 small kids so Uber/Lyft didn’t work. At least on site you can take the Minnie Van and they have car seats. We are going back next week and did choose to stay off site again. It was soooooo much cheaper and the idea of the private pool and kitchen couldn’t be passed up. This one is in Storey Lake. I am anxious to see what it is like!
We stay off-site all the time when we go. When we go w the whole family 15 + of us or just the 5 of us off site is cheaper and much much more convenient w young ones, pool, extra space, game rooms….the kitchen is invaluable. Being able to cook breakfast when we don’t have a character meal, making sandwiches to go to parks, freezing waters.
We dont like the transportation system at Disney,unfortunately. When we need to go we have to go….we always rent a car, I can go anywhere we want at anytime uber/Lyft would cost more anyway w two car seats a stroller and 3 kids. We always Stu with it 15 minutes or Disney or in between near universal….houses w pools are amazing , no matter what time. And above all else? The cost….we can’t afford to stay on property sadly…but we love our Disney and we do it our way whenever we go…
Usually your recommendations are spot on, Tom, but I think something BIG is missing from this post: cancellation policies. I know a lot of people got burned by airbnb/vrbo and similar rentals when Disney parks closed earlier this year. If the parks close again (either due to local government order or because Disney can’t afford to keep running them with such low attendance) people could find themselves with a non-refundable stay in a Covid hot spot with nothing to do. We’ve all been stuck at home for months… the idea of being stuck in someone else’s home does not appeal.
That’s a great point. When I reshared this on Facebook yesterday, I noted that in the description, but forgot to address that when updating the post itself. I’ll update accordingly.
It’s true that cancellation policies vary from rental to rental. I pay special attention to these when booking on VRBO. In my experience, most Disney-area rentals have a penalty-free cancellation policy 15-30 days out. Travel insurance is available on most bookings through VRBO, for about $100-$150 per reservation. I will also mention that I have two friends who had to cancel their Disney area home rentals on short notice, in late March. Both of them were given credit from the homeowners – one can be used before the end of 2020, and the other has been given until the end of 2021.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *










Get Our FREE Newsletter!

Sign up for news, Disney deals & free planning tips.
This site is not affiliated with, endorsed by, or in any other way associated with The Walt Disney Company. For official information concerning Disney, visit Disney.com.

source

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *