View Full Version : Disney hotels -vs- off sites - HELPPPPP
03-09-2002, 11:03 AM
HELP!! I'm confused - more so than normal!!
This is the scenario. We're booked October 16th to stay in Wyndham Palace & Spa at Downtown disney for 7 nights (then on to Marco Island for another 7 nights, then the Keys for 2 extra nights).
Just sat down for my ritual Saturday itinerary mulling and pricing, when it suddenly dawned on me that for a few extra quid (c £50) we could stay at the Swan or Dolphin, or for an even greater saving of £200 we could stay at Caribbean Beach Resort, Port Orleans or Coronado Springs. Because they include the all bells and whistles Disney passes, we would not need to spend £500+ on them.
There's me, DH and DD (9).
We had planned on purchasing a 5 day hopper, as we also want to go to US/IOA for a couple of days.
What are your (honest) views if you've stayed at any of the above. Any thoughts appreciated as soon as you can as I need to make any changes soonest as we go 16th October ready for half term and Virgin seem to be getting really busy then.
We've been to Orlando three times previously and always stayed offsite (couldn't afford Disney), but my impending redundancy end-July is helping to pay for some of our (possibly) last visit in a while and I really do want it to be one to remember more so than normal. When I'm frantically searching for a new PR job, I can sit back with a smile on my face and remember a great holiday!!
Can you convince me that staying in a Disney hotel is all it's cracked up to be??
I appreciate any comments/advice you can give and hopefully DH won't read this so if I do decide to change booking it'll be a nice surprise for them both ... and me!!
Thanks so much everyone - great to be back up and running.
03-09-2002, 11:44 AM
In my opinion a Disney Hotel is definitely all its cracked up to be. I would not stay off property (again a personal choice). My brother has been many times , has stayed in off-site hotels and in villas. He went last month and stayed at CBR - when he came home he raved about how much better it was staying on-site. If you have the opportunity to try it then give it a go. It may be the best holiday you ever have or you may think its just the same as off-stie.
We love the atmosphere at the hotels - the disney magic is always there. The convenience - popping back for a swim or a sleep in the afternoon. The transportation - never having to worry about parking.
Again, this is a personal view.
03-09-2002, 01:31 PM
If you can afford it you really must stay on site. I've stayed off site once, then tried a Disney hotel and keep going back each year because I'm so hooked! Once you've stayed at a Disney hotel everything else just won't do. From the moment you pull up to the entrance of the resort it really is superb, the service, the atmosphere and the convenience of the Disney transportation system (if you want it). Of course everyone has different views but I think if you've never stayed on site before you've got to do it. If you do decide to stay on site you've just got to decide which resort ...... decisions, decisions. (Go for POR it's beautiful, but then so is CBR and so is Coronado!!).
03-09-2002, 04:47 PM
I have stayed at both CBR & the Dolphin - both are wonderful resorts for different reasons. If you are asking me which one is better if money isn't really the issue the I have no hesitation - <b>Dolphin</b>
It's a wonderful hotel - you are basically getting a Deluxe resort for about the price of a Moderate, but the no.1 thing about it is....location, location, location! No matter which way you look at it, you just can't being in walking distance to <b>2</b> parks. It's priceless. Plus, you are right next door to Boardwalk and the shops & restaurants there - another big plus in my opinion.
But like I said at the start, they are both wonderful resorts, the CBR has wonderful theming, though it is a little on the large side (put in a request for either Jamaica or Aruba, just a short walk across the footbridge via Parrot Cay to the food court), so you really cannot go wrong, whichever you decide on :)
03-09-2002, 05:07 PM
I haven't stayed in the Wyndham Palace, but I would always stay on-site if I possibly could. We stayed off-site for our first Orlando trip and loved the hotel, but having been to a Disney resort the next time, there's now no contest!
Have I read it right that you could actually <b>save money </b> by going to POR, CS or CBR? If so then I have absolutely no doubt which option I'd choose, and of those three, POR would get my vote (but that's just down to personal preference).
Disney resorts offer some excellent benefits, even with the suspension of the early entry programme. We love not having to drive to the parks, we like to be able to pop back for a rest in the middle of the day. I like being in the Disney atmosphere all the time, I love the attention to detail in the resorts. If you like Disney, you'll <b>love</b> their resorts. (Do you think I could help them do their adverts? ;) )
03-09-2002, 06:14 PM
As you only have 7 nights in Orlando I think it's definately worth staying on site. I would go for the Swan and Dolphin as they are in a great location and , if you do decide to stay on site, the main reason is for the convenience. The S+D certainly win on the convenience stakes.
03-10-2002, 08:17 AM
I would definately stay on site we have been to Orlando to many times but never get fed up with it we have stayed off property always a Villa which are wonderful but doesn't get anywhere close to the magic of on site. We haven't stayed at either of the resorts you mentioned but have stayed at the Boardwalk, wilderness lodge, Grand Floridian, Old key west and old orleans each stay was very diffrent but each had it's own special magic, to be honest our fav is wilderness lodge, and our least fav is Grand Floridian, this is of course our personal choice. We have also stayed a Vero beach which was wicked, it is about an hour and half away from Disney right on the beach, it's a nice twin destination holiday.
I know we haven't been much help but I would really if you can stay on property, there are so many benefits.
03-10-2002, 10:02 AM
Thanks everyone - I've just posted a new thread on the Swan/Dolphin as I'm (again) a little confused with exactly where they fit in with the Disney resorts.
Hilary - I'm in PR, suggest we contact Disney to offer our advertising and PR skills! Wouldn't that be such a cooooooool job!!
03-10-2002, 06:13 PM
Just to say that (a) once used on-site accomodation there's no comparison to off-site IMHO
and (b) The Swan & Dolphin are hotels on Disney property, but NOT Disney owned or maintained.
03-11-2002, 04:16 AM
Just to muddy the waters,
While I LOVE on-site Disney hotels, the Wyndham Palace at Downtown is SUPERB. We stayed there Dec 2000 for 5 nights before moving on to Wilderness Lodge for 5 nights and its fantastic.
As for location it literaly is right across the road from Downtown Disney about a minute and a half walk. We were on the 16th floor overlooking downtown and the view at night was superb but the sunrise in the morning was even better.
Whatever choice you make, you will not be disappointed. !!
Enjoy which ever one you choice (have I made it worse ;) )
03-11-2002, 04:25 AM
To add another opinion,I don't stay on site because we chose not to! For us our Orlando holiday is just that,some Disney ,some Universal and loads of things that aren't even theme parks (shock horror!)I know for many others its a Disney holiday only,in which case I guess its best to stay onsite.
We went to O'Hanas last October at the Polynesian and I found it noisy and manic and was relieved to leave and go back to our villa!
Not the general opinion I know but not eveyone feels it is essential to stay with 'the magic' 24/7!
03-11-2002, 04:42 AM
I'm with Karen. I absolutley <i>adore</i> Disney, but I love all the other stuff too and I wouldn't want to be cocooned in WDW for my entire vacation. The ideal compromise for us is to stay offsite in a villa, but to spend a couple of days onsite (although next trip our 'onsite' will be at Hard Rock Hotel - we love Universal every bit as much as Disney). Anyway, that's just a bit of background - doesn't help you much Mrs D!
I haven't stayed at any of the resorts you mention, but if I was in your position having to make the choice I think my thinking would be along the lines that Wyndham Palace is onsite but not onsite if you get what I mean. I think if I was going to forego the benefits of being offsite, I'd rather be in a Disney hotel. Having said that, I wouldn't include the Swan and Dolphin in the same category as WP - for me they'd be as good as a Disney hotel for all the reasons Penny has mentioned.
My choice would be to split the week between two - the Swan or Dolphin and one of the mods. But then having to pack up and move half way through the week wouldn't be an issue to me - for others I know it would.
03-11-2002, 05:31 AM
I too love Disney but would never stay on-site as for me it would be a little of Disney overload. However with chidren I can definatly soo the attraction. We always choose to stay on the I-Drive but then as you say is totally a personal chice. If you are getting a good deal then go for it.
03-11-2002, 07:05 AM
We have not stayed on site, but have looked at this many times.
I don't think we would because, for 1 it is cheaper to pay £1000 for a villa + passes than stay even in the All Sports 2, we have our own swimming pool. 3, where are not a prisoner for ALL our food at Disney prices, can keep drinks cool and make snacks. 4, when my daughter needs to go to bed, when have a living room and are not all in the same room (as in a hotel).5, as much as we LOVE Disney it is nice to escape and good for the children to wind down at little,
Just my opinion though.
03-11-2002, 10:18 AM
Mrs Dazzle - great idea re the advertising / PR job! (shall I send you my CV? ;) )
03-11-2002, 05:00 PM
Yes we love disney but although we stay on site we also do universal, Bushe, Is of adventure, seaworld etcand bucket loads of shopping, just because you stay on site doesn't mean you are restricted to Disney, some people choose to stay on site and do nothing but Disney, but we all know there is alot more to Orlando than Disney.
I can honestly say, we enjoyed our stay's in villas, the benefit is having your own pool, but to be honest we didn't really get the chance to use it much we were to busy, but we loved our stays on resort. It really is a matter of personal choice.
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