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mamamac
06-08-2008, 01:55 PM
Nothing like planning ahead, but I hear it's pretty important. We are planning on going to WDW Sept 09, with my inlaws, my neighbors and their grandma. There will be 7 adults and 3 kids (ages 3, 3, & 4). I know the kids will need naps and will be exhausted. At first I was thinking at staying on a WDW resort for easy transportation back to the room. Now after searching online at house rentals in the Kissimmee area, I don't know what to do. Is it worth the convenience to just jump on the monorail? Is it worth only spending $200 a night at a house and paying the $8 for parking each time we leave and go to the park (saving tons of money)? If we stay at a house we need to rent a car, otherwise we weren't? Suggestions? Reasons to do it one way and not the other?

danny1649
06-08-2008, 02:10 PM
I am going to move your post to our Resorts Board,I think our experts there can give you some solid information to help you plan.:goodvibes :goodvibes Danny

mamamac
06-08-2008, 02:11 PM
I am going to move your post to our Resorts Board,I think our experts there can give you some solid information to help you plan.:goodvibes :goodvibes Danny

Thanks!

Cool-Beans
06-08-2008, 02:13 PM
Nothing like planning ahead, but I hear it's pretty important. We are planning on going to WDW Sept 09, with my inlaws, my neighbors and their grandma. There will be 7 adults and 3 kids (ages 3, 3, & 4). I know the kids will need naps and will be exhausted. At first I was thinking at staying on a WDW resort for easy transportation back to the room. Now after searching online at house rentals in the Kissimmee area, I don't know what to do. Is it worth the convenience to just jump on the monorail? Is it worth only spending $200 a night at a house and paying the $8 for parking each time we leave and go to the park (saving tons of money)? If we stay at a house we need to rent a car, otherwise we weren't? Suggestions? Reasons to do it one way and not the other?You can spend a lot less than $200/night and get a LOT more. I paid less than $1000 for eight nights in a nice, clean, 3 bedroom condo. I stayed here: http://dreamsvillas.com/ I choose it because the DIS advertised it and I was kind of trusting them not to advertise a skanky place. They sure didn't. :)

I have an AP and don't pay for parking anyway, but even adding on parking, it would still be much, much, much cheaper.

I was always worried that the traffic offsite would be a nightmare or I'd be the one stuck with the bug-infested, dirty condo...so I stayed at Disney for YEARS. I'm now kicking myself. It took 17 minutes from front door to Epcot parking spot using the toll ($.75) road. And it was super-clean. It's nice to have different bathrooms. Nice to have couches and a kitchen and laundry and stuff, too. Plus, we got a free gift.

But there is something to be said for the monorail, no doubt about it. It's really nice, especially to/from the Magic Kingdom!!!! And the Disney hotel have wonderful themes. AKL and the Poly, especially, really take me away and make me feel a little like I've been dropped down elsewhere. I adore the quiet pool at the Polynesian with its palm trees and polynesian music. Never liked any pool better and I'm a big fan of the pool, especially on vacation. There is something to be said about staying on property, especially the monorail. You just have to say it 3 or 4 times, because it costs that much more to stay there. ;) :)

This is something you have to figure out on your own. :) Good luck with your decision.

danny1649
06-08-2008, 02:13 PM
TIA for helping our new Dis member with information to his post.:goodvibes :goodvibes Danny

goofyernmost
06-08-2008, 02:18 PM
OK, here's the deal...To just "hop on the Monorail" requires staying at one of the high end resorts, Grand Floridian, Polynesian or Contemporary. At any of those places accommodations for that many people will make $200.00 per night seem like parking meter change.

I recently rented a 6 bedroom villa just 2 miles from WDW Route 192 entrance. It had a Florida room enclosed pool, hot tub, wide screen TV, Computers, Full kitchen, 5 full bathrooms and the list goes on. The parking fee is about $11.00 per day, but, compared to the savings in staying off site, it isn't even noticeable. It also gives you a car or two to commute with and even adding that in is a savings. Some of the rentals include a car rental with the fee. You can come and go as you please, not have to wait for buses. I went in high season so the rate was more like $325.00 per night, still a huge savings. I had 11 people in my party.

Oh, and just to head off those that are going to tell you that it is much quicker to jump on a bus and go to the resorts, all I can say is bull. I can and have been back to the car and at the house before people I knew even could get on the bus.

AllyGirl_79
06-08-2008, 03:13 PM
I think it's a matter of personal preference and the type of vacation you'd like to have.

I'm a big fan of staying on site. I understand that it costs more, but I like that I don't have to leave the magic until it's time to go home. I like that I don't have to drive anywhere unless I want to -- and we drive to FL so it's not a question of paying for a rental car. I don't want a kitchen on vacation. I don't want to do laundry on vacation. (That said, I only travel with small kids about half the time -- my nieces are 5, 4, and 1 and they can go through an astonishing amount of clothes.) I like playing all day, collapsing at night, and starting over the next morning.

My aunt and uncle, who live here in Chicago, built a really lovely 5 bedroom house in Clermont with a pool/hot tub because they wanted to go down to FL a lot with their grandkids. They rent it out much of the year, but it is always available for the family if we want it. I did it once, but I'm really an on-site sort of girl. (And I work for a non-profit, so it is a matter of priorities. There's not a pile of money behind the house or anything.) My favorite thing about Disney is the details, and I think the resorts are the best examples of Disney putting on a show. There are others who truly like having room to spread out, their own pool, a kitchen, etc. That group would be much happier off site, possibly even if those accomodations cost more.

Given the ages of the kids in your party, I'm guessing you'll be spending a lot of time at the MK. If you can afford rooms at one of the three monorail hotels or the WL, you will benefit from pretty speedy transportation to the MK. You can take boats and monorails (or walk to the CR) without folding up strollers, dealing with car seats, etc. If you stay at a place like the Beach Club or Swan/Dolphin, you'll have easy access to Epcot and Disney Studios, with a longer bus ride to the MK. Transportation won't be perfect anywhere -- and the monorail only goes a few places - so I wouldn't go in expecting that. At a Disney resort, though, you will also have the opportunity to go to the parks for extra magic hours, use the package delivery service, have Mickey & Stitch make your wake up call in the morning, and buy a package with the dining plan if that appeals to you, among other benefits. Be sure to look at all the angles.

You will need at least two rooms for your party, even at a deluxe resort, unless you rent a villa. You also need to factor in extra person charges for the extra adults if you can squeeze in two rooms. At that point, I don't know that any sort of financial argument makes this look like a "good deal." If you choose to stay in three rooms at a moderate or value, you will be dealing with bus transportation to all locations on property. You won't need a car or to pay for parking, but bus transportation can be hit or miss for some folks. (I don't have any horror stories about buses, but lots of people have had long waits.) Final calculations will still probably come out looking better for an off-site location.

If you can easily afford it, I think the magic of staying on site is worth it, particularly if this is your first trip. If you'd rather use the money saved by staying off site for other activities, like character meals or souvenirs, there are many very nice offsite accomodations that offer more space and different ammenities. Do your research and decide what kind of feel you're looking for in a vacation, and I'm sure you'll find a great option.

Oh, and one last thing, September 2009 isn't that far away in Disney terms. And, with promotions like Free Dining this year and previous years during September, lots of people make reservations early in the hope of benefiting from a promotion during that time frame. I'd make the reservation in the next few months if you plan to stay on site. You can always change or cancel, but I would want to have something booked with a party as large as yours.

Disneyfan1977
06-08-2008, 04:25 PM
I agree with all the posters here. I am a BIG fan of staying on site. The is the only way I have ever done it (aside from work trips where we stayed off site for a conference and than went into some of the parks).

That being said, my boss and his family of 9 were looking for an affordable place to stay in Disney. I did my best to point them in the direction of renting a two bedroom villa but when it was all said and done it was very expensive. They ended up getting a house for like 1000.00. So theres no comparison. They aren't huge disney nuts like my family. So for them its no big deal.

We wouldn't do it any other way. There is a certain atmosphere that you get when you stay at an onsite resort. But this is coming from a person who has been going to disney since I was a baby.

Others are just as happy staying offsite as I am staying onsite. :thumbsup2

Good Luck with whichever way you go...you are going to have fantastic time.

rwdavis2
06-08-2008, 05:21 PM
In my opinion if you can't stay at a monorail resort you may as well rent the house. We rented a townhouse with All Star Vacation homes in January and it was great. They rent from condos to 5-6 bedroom houses with pools. With that many people I'd go with the house.

Also, you only have to pay parking one time a day. Not on each entry. All Star's houses are about 10-15 minute ride to the parks. In some cases driving may be quicker than Disney Transportation.
Good luck,
Bob

dgaston
06-08-2008, 06:35 PM
I think you should post this question on the Orlando Hotels board too -- you will see different answers there.

I think the Disney Magic is what you make in memories with your family, and I think that's always easier when you have enough space. There are many options, and many of us like Windsor Hills and Windsor Palms which have pool homes, townhouses with splash pools, and 2 and 3 br condos.

I also want you to know that parking is now $11.

With the group you're traveling with I recommend 2 offsite properties.

jlewisinsyr
06-08-2008, 07:15 PM
Having stayed offsite and onsite, onsite is definately more convenient, but we also rent a car, even onsite because we find the buses too much of time killer.

I can understand the financial impact, but the magic is much more cohesive staying onsite.