Why you should consider a timeshare instead of a hotel for your next Disney World vacation

Timeshares can be a monumental waste of money if you don't know how to use them but did you know you don't need to own one to use them?
Mystic Dunes Resort by Diamond Resorts. Image by Brian Miller
Mystic Dunes Resort by Diamond Resorts. Image by Brian Miller /

When you hear the word "timeshare" you probably roll your eyes and throw out a few choice words you wouldn't want kids to hear. There isn't a great reputation when it comes to these often sleazy sales tactic companies.

When you go to a Disney World park for vacation, you will likely do one of two things, stress over where you will stay or just pony up the dough to stay on property and call it a day.

Personally, I loved staying on property. It was a continuation of my Disney day when I returned to a Disney resort. I also realized that as my family got bigger, my options of where to stay dwindled. I would love to take my family of six which also now includes my 20-year-old son, to a value resort. That won't happen without getting two rooms.

Staying at the Polynesian or the Contemporary is pretty cool but my kids are too big to squeeze into one bed or a rollaway. So..."Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off property we go!"

Over the years I have stayed at several local hotels and resorts. Hit up any of the travel sites on the web and you can likely find a great option for under $100.00 per night until you read there is a resort fee and daily parking fees that pump it over $100.

Here is the deal though, you could stay at a timeshare without having to buy shares of time in their resort. You don't even have to attend one of their little sales pitches unless you want the $100.00 gift card they will throw at you, among other stuff.

On sites like Expedia, Travelocity, and others, booking Hilton Vacation Club rooms, Diamond Resort rooms, and even Marriot resort hotels can not only be more cost-effective but offer a lot more space for your dollar.

Diamond Resort hotels are now under the Hilton name but they tend to be the cheapest per night of the three. They can run you as little as $90.00 a night for a studio room, which is perfect for two, or up to $130 a night for a two-bedroom room with a full kitchen and in-room laundry. They have big living areas, and dining room tables, and cost a fraction of the big on-property resorts.

Most of these resorts are within five to 10 minutes of the main Disney gates. They all have pools, some of them very nice, and they all have guest areas you can take advantage of. Yes, many have a daily resort fee but you won't escape that in most resorts or hotels around Disney. Most do not, however, charge a parking fee.

Next time you are looking for a resort stay in Orlando, don't simply click off options like Mystic Dunes, Liki Tiki Village, Orbit's One, Cypress Point, and so many more. You will get far more for your money and will be a lot more relaxed.