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View Full Version : on-site Disney versus renting a home/condo


disneycruiser2007
11-09-2008, 12:08 PM
There will be seven of us, 2 Grandparents, Aunt, 2 Parents and Two kids (5 & 8) for five nights this X mas holiday season. I looked at the prices on the website and it doesn't seem as if Disney's resorts are competitive with what can be rented off-site very close to the park. Is there any price advantage at all of staying on-site versus off-site? Given the times we're more budget focused this year. Thanks.

mbanks21
11-09-2008, 01:38 PM
Disney doesnt have to be competitive with offsite. Offsite you have to drive to disney and pay for parking every day. Onsite you walk outside and jump on a bus or ferry boat or monorail, enjoying the disney atmosphere the whole time. Offsite you cant do the DDP which would save you money with holiday food pricing and the fact that you have 2 children under 10. Offsite you cant do EMH, if one of the kids or grandparents is tired or gets sick you have the hassle of driving all the way back to your house/condo. Theres dozens of other reasons, walking back to your resort with disney music playing, enjoying the themed resort pools/restaurants/etc/etc/etc.

Trullclan
11-09-2008, 02:02 PM
If budget is your main consideration, staying offsite, as long as you have a car, is a great option. We rented a five bedroom five bath home at Windsor Hills, which is less than a five minute drive away from Animal Kingdom and 15 away from the Magic Kingdom, and it was wonderful. You can save yourself a ton staying offsite, but the tradeoff is that you do lose some of the Disney magic you get from staying onsite. Personally, with the nine of us who went, we wanted peace and space, and were happy to trade off the loss of SOME of the Disney magic if it meant we wouldn't want to kill each other by the end of the week. Staying offsite was a good decision for us.

Disneyadore
11-09-2008, 02:57 PM
Condo means also cleaning,wash dishes,do laundry,ironing,make beds etc etc. The list is endless and you just do the same work as at home.

No thanks ,no condo but a nice room with Mousekeeping to do the work for me.:rotfl2:

Trullclan
11-09-2008, 03:09 PM
Remember being economical is what the question was about. You answer did not address that at all. In an ideal set of circumstances we'd all stay where we would have everything done for us, but that is not always possible. Staying offsite is MUCH cheaper.

bgirl29
11-09-2008, 03:22 PM
Well can you stay offsite cheaper than onsite-absolutely. But just make sure you add in the cost of a rental, one that will hold all 7 of you and your luggage, gas, parking and realize that onsite people will have a few more hours to spend in the parks than you. Also make sure you arrive to the parks plenty early, if they need to close due to crowds those driving in are the first ones out of luck, so to speak.

kjblovesdisney
11-09-2008, 03:23 PM
We have done both. We stayed off site last March at Windsor Hills in a 6 bedroom house and really enjoyed it. There are trade offs but money wise its a good deal. We were a mixed group like yours and having the space and privacy was great. When we travel and there are fewer of us we like to stay on site. Most rental homes have their own pools and hot tub, multiple tvs, full kitchen for cooking and everything you need for your stay. With the number of adults in your group, you can divy up the chores so that no one is doing it all. Many are a short distance to the Parks and at the end of the evening, you can just head to the car and drive home. Also renting a home plays to different schedules, so if you have folks who want to sleep, they can, others can stay up and swim, read, watch TV etc.
I am a diehard Disney freak and I love staying onsite but this was a good compromise for us financially. I am heading back to the World December
13th, staying at POR and really excited. We can swing it because it is just myself and a girl friend. Enjoy whatever you choose!!

bkfree
11-09-2008, 04:34 PM
Hi, we have done both.
When we stayed offsite, we shared a 5bdrm house with close friends who had kids the same age as ours. The private pool was great and after bedtime, the hot tub was wonderful. I do think it was a successful trip because our kids were the same age and we were on the same schedule as far as parks and stamina. It was cheaper cost wise.

The only thing that makes me wonder if this would be as great an option for you is the varied age groups of your party.
If you will have more than one car and the group can split up if others don't want to stay as long, want to stay longer or do something different from the group than it will work.
We have learned that the more people, the more age ranges then the harder it is too reach a consensus on activity schedules with in the group and this can become stressful.This is why I think onsite works great for a diverse group. It is easier to do things together and do strike out on your own.Also easier make more spontaneus changes, which can be necessary with young kids.
I know that my parents like more down time to chill at the resort than we do and they like an earlier evening while we have the stamina to go late at the parks. Some days we like to be there at rope drop in the mornings and they like a more leisurely morning approach. Onsite allows for all of our individuals wants and needs.
I think an honest look at these factors and an open talk with the others involved can get you a clear picture of what everyone has in mind for the trip.
I know just how much economy factors in these days, but you still want to have the best time too.
My husband agrees that using valuable vacation time and precious time with our kids warrants a few extra dollars to have the best time we can.

digskat
11-09-2008, 06:26 PM
There will be seven of us, 2 Grandparents, Aunt, 2 Parents and Two kids (5 & 8) for five nights this X mas holiday season. I looked at the prices on the website and it doesn't seem as if Disney's resorts are competitive with what can be rented off-site very close to the park. Is there any price advantage at all of staying on-site versus off-site? Given the times we're more budget focused this year. Thanks.

We just returned from a 12 night split -stay trip, and found no price advantage to being onsite. Our first week we paid $500 for a 2 bedroom/2 bath condo on 535. While we did have to pay $12/day for parking ($60), we enjoyed the jacuzzi tub, full kitchen and space of our condo. We figured we quickly made up the parking fees in breakfasts and snacks.
We then paid $500 for our studio at OKW and room at ASMo for 5 nights. While the WDW environment was great, we definitely missed the space and amenities of our condo. We averaged under $100/day for food, so the Dining Plan wouldn't have been a big benefit for us.
Considering you will need at least 2 rooms during prime time, I can't see a financial advantage being onsite

mbakun
11-09-2008, 09:48 PM
There is nothing better than staying on-site.... the easy of using the transporation, being able to go back to your rooms to relax, taking advantage of the extra magic hours. One place to look for a more economical way to stay on-site is to look at the DVC rent/trade boards on this forum. It is a place where Disney Vacation Club members rent out their "points" so that non-members can stay at the vacation club resorts. They will make the reservation for you and you pay them, rather than Disney. We are DVC members, but recently did this to add on to our own points. At the vacation club resorts, you can get up to 3 bedroom condos with kitchens, laundry, etc. This allows you to save as well, because you can bring a lot of your own food and not spend so much money eating out.

Hope that helps!
Michelle

digskat
11-09-2008, 11:55 PM
renting DVC points is definitely a way of saving money, we did it last month at OKW. However a 3 bedroom grand villa during christmas will cost the OP about $6500-7000 for a week Saratoga, and at least $5400 at OKW. A 2 bedroom will still be well over $3500. THe OP can easily find a 3 bedroom house to rent for under $2500.

rie'smom
11-10-2008, 09:29 AM
We've done both and we enmjoyed both.
Onsite is great but noisy.
Offsite is well, offisite but the quiet is wonderful!

Disney soap isn't worth spending the extra$$$$. You can take advantage of EMH if you're onsite but again you'll be there at a very crowded time and I would NOT reccommend EMH because of the crowds.
Room to move around and the ability to go to your own bd. is wonderful

LglBlonde
11-10-2008, 10:24 AM
Ahhh, the age-old question. To me, it really only seems fair for those to weigh-in who have DONE both!

And we have. We were on-site diehard fans, until we had a child and MIL who wanted to go, and grandparents. So, we rented a house last year. Our son was 16 months old. We had no desire to stay in a hotel room with him since he goes to bed at 7 pm. We loved the house.

And it's not that far from Disney. And with a small child, who wants to wait 30-45 minutes for a bus. I guarantee we could beat those people back to our house who were waiting on buses to go back to their resort.

But you asked about the $$. it's definitely going to be cheaper for you to stay off-site in a house with that size group. Simply price it both ways and see. You will be able to enjoy some meals/snacks in your home, and have the advantage of eating offsite much cheaper than the dining plan or eating onsite.

Onsite is about "disney magic" and "convenience" for many people. I'm sure when our son is old enough to appreciate the "disney magic" aspect, we would stay onsite, but for now, with the size of our traveling group, we'll rent houses!

eliza61
11-10-2008, 11:31 AM
There will be seven of us, 2 Grandparents, Aunt, 2 Parents and Two kids (5 & 8) for five nights this X mas holiday season. I looked at the prices on the website and it doesn't seem as if Disney's resorts are competitive with what can be rented off-site very close to the park. Is there any price advantage at all of staying on-site versus off-site? Given the times we're more budget focused this year. Thanks.

This question pops up a couple times a year. Short answer is: If you are on a budget and trying to go the least expensive way, OFF site is always more economical.

Kitka
11-10-2008, 12:06 PM
Yep - we're considering adding on a trip this year and the only way we can do it is if we rent off-site with our group of 10. We've done both in the past and yes, the 'magic factor' is a big deal but sometimes the trade off of being able to experience more magic in the parks because of the savings in the lodging is worth it. Good luck!

Desnik
11-10-2008, 12:09 PM
renting DVC points is definitely a way of saving money, we did it last month at OKW. However a 3 bedroom grand villa during christmas will cost the OP about $6500-7000 for a week Saratoga, and at least $5400 at OKW. A 2 bedroom will still be well over $3500. THe OP can easily find a 3 bedroom house to rent for under $2500.

Forget the price, the OP will have a very hard time, nearly impossible to get a grand villa for this Xmas.

We've done both and we enmjoyed both.
Onsite is great but noisy.
Offsite is well, offisite but the quiet is wonderful!

Disney soap isn't worth spending the extra$$$$. You can take advantage of EMH if you're onsite but again you'll be there at a very crowded time and I would NOT reccommend EMH because of the crowds.
Room to move around and the ability to go to your own bd. is wonderful

I agree the value resorts can be noisy, but not deluxe or DVC resorts. SSR and OKW are really very quiet. So is AKL/AKV, WLV/WL.

I think since the OP is going during the busiest time they would want to stay onsite. The parks can close early due to crowds and onsite guests get preference. EMH could give them more time to enjoy the parks. Being able to send their packages/purchases back to the resort and not having to carry them around is also helpful. Not having to pay for parking or fighting traffic during Xmas week offsite. Being at a Disney resort for the holidays enjoying the atmosphere and decorations is priceless IMHO. Also, I don't know about your family, but DH likes his privacy and we could never stay in one house. Also you can't use DME, or the DDP.

I can totally understand if your budget doesn't allow for you to stay onsite and offsite could save you some money. Just make sure the cost difference is really worth it especially during the busy holidays. Take into account car rental, parking, and the cost of your time.

This question is really an individual thing. It just depends on your priorities and budget. For us onsite is the way to go, we are DVC'ers!;)

MotherOf2Princesses
11-10-2008, 12:26 PM
You are going during XMas. I would stay on site especially with kids. Going to and from Disney will be a big hassle. Plus with the crowds you will want to take advantage off the extra hours given to on site guest.
I've been to Disney several times most trips on site. To me off site is fine if you stay close to Disney and go during off season.

disneycruiser2007
11-11-2008, 08:53 AM
Thanks to everyone for your replies. Very knowledgeable! I didn't quite understand all of the acronyms, but I guess I'm earning my ears. We ended up reserving a villa off-site. We even did call the Disney representative and tried a variety of rooms to book, but price-wise it just didn't fit into our budget. (They are out of suites for the pop, and they couldn't guarantee rooms that are connected by interior door). We are very excited about going and can hardly wait. Thanks again for all of your expertise.

Trullclan
11-11-2008, 11:39 PM
Onsite or offsite you'll have a blast. Especially during Christmas, there is more than enough Disney magic for everyone.