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View Full Version : Disneyland : Onsite vs. Offsite and general questions


mbrittb00
05-14-2012, 01:10 PM
We leave in the southeast and have have been to Disney World several times. We are now considering a Disneyland / Southern California vacation in the next couple of years. I was starting to try to do some research and I've got a few questions.

1) What the advantages were of staying at one of the three Disney hotels, as opposed to staying at one of the Good Neighbor hotels?

2) How many days would we need to be able to do most (if not all) things at Disneyland/California Adventure? (we would probably be going in the October time frame.

3) What other things are there to fill up our vacation? We would probably take a couple of days and go down to San Diego to see the Zoo and Sea World. Six Flags Magic Mountain is also a possibility. Is Universal Studios different enough from the Florida Park(s) to make it worth our while?

Thanks.

blackjackdelta
05-14-2012, 01:18 PM
Click on this link, go down and read all of hydroguys tips and all your questions will be answered.

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1072276

Jack

HydroGuy
05-14-2012, 01:25 PM
Click on this link, go down and read all of hydroguys tips and all your questions will be answered.

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1072276

JackHere is one the OP may want to start with:

"A DLR Guide for WDW Vets" www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1162599 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1162599)


:wizard:

nannyz
05-14-2012, 01:58 PM
For me, the thrill of DLR is the moment I walk through the turnstiles, regardless of where I spent the night.
I've never been able to justify the high rates of the onsite hotels, so if I am missing something really wonderful, I don't know about it. And I plan to keep it that way. We stay at the HoJo and are always pleased with our rooms and the service.
We always do 6 days so we don't have to stress out trying to do everything we want to do.
If you have the time, the San Diego Zoo is a wonderful experience. And Balboa Park is lovely and has several very interesting museums.

ValpoCory
05-14-2012, 02:16 PM
We leave in the southeast and have have been to Disney World several times. We are now considering a Disneyland / Southern California vacation in the next couple of years. I was starting to try to do some research and I've got a few questions.

1) What the advantages were of staying at one of the three Disney hotels, as opposed to staying at one of the Good Neighbor hotels?

2) How many days would we need to be able to do most (if not all) things at Disneyland/California Adventure? (we would probably be going in the October time frame.

3) What other things are there to fill up our vacation? We would probably take a couple of days and go down to San Diego to see the Zoo and Sea World. Six Flags Magic Mountain is also a possibility. Is Universal Studios different enough from the Florida Park(s) to make it worth our while?

Thanks.

If you weren't so close to your vacation, renting DVC points for the Grand Californian is a great option to stay onsite at about half price. But you usually have to be at least 7 months out to get availability. YMMV.

Also, with the new Extra Magic Hours (called Magic Mornings at Disneyland) being a daily thing starting next month, staying onsite is even nicer.

mbrittb00
05-14-2012, 02:38 PM
If you weren't so close to your vacation, renting DVC points for the Grand Californian is a great option to stay onsite at about half price. But you usually have to be at least 7 months out to get availability. YMMV.

Also, with the new Extra Magic Hours (called Magic Mornings at Disneyland) being a daily thing starting next month, staying onsite is even nicer.

Our trip wouldn't be until NEXT October at the earliest, so I will defiantly consider the DVC idea.

mbrittb00
05-14-2012, 02:45 PM
If you weren't so close to your vacation, renting DVC points for the Grand Californian is a great option to stay onsite at about half price. But you usually have to be at least 7 months out to get availability. YMMV.

Also, with the new Extra Magic Hours (called Magic Mornings at Disneyland) being a daily thing starting next month, staying onsite is even nicer.

From what I've read about the MM hours, you can get access once if you purchase a ticket of 3+ days. Anyone know if this will still be true once they go to everyday? Also, is this early entry for both parks or just the Magic Kingdom?

rramstad
05-14-2012, 04:21 PM
From what I've read about the MM hours, you can get access once if you purchase a ticket of 3+ days. Anyone know if this will still be true once they go to everyday? Also, is this early entry for both parks or just the Magic Kingdom?

3+ day ticket with offsite stay gets you ONE Disneyland MM.

No access to early hours at DCA, and only the one Disneyland MM.

mbrittb00
05-14-2012, 07:25 PM
3+ day ticket with offsite stay gets you ONE Disneyland MM.

No access to early hours at DCA, and only the one Disneyland MM.

With a family of 6 we would either have to have 2 rooms or a Suite. Either way we are looking at $700+ per night compared to $200 a night for the Good Neighbor hotels. Have to decide if $500+ per night is worth more than ones MM entrance (we'd probably do 3 or 4 days total).

Of course there is the option of renting points for a Grand Califorina DVC 1 or 2 bedroom. Any idea how much that would cost?

ValpoCory
05-15-2012, 12:54 AM
With a family of 6 we would either have to have 2 rooms or a Suite. Either way we are looking at $700+ per night compared to $200 a night for the Good Neighbor hotels. Have to decide if $500+ per night is worth more than ones MM entrance (we'd probably do 3 or 4 days total).

Of course there is the option of renting points for a Grand Califorina DVC 1 or 2 bedroom. Any idea how much that would cost?

DVC 1-bedrooms have a maximum capacity of 5 adults/kids plus a toddler in a crib. So it sounds like a 2 bedroom is what you'd need, or two studios.

October 2013 DVC point chart (http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-vacation-club/VGC-Points.htm#grandcalifornianvillas2013) at $10/point shows a 2-bedroom is $520 weekday/$650 weekend per night for 10/4-10/31/2013. That's one spicy meatball. Two separate Studio rooms would be better financially, if that is something your family is ok with (there are no adjoining Studios at the VGC). 2 Studios would be $400 weekday/$480 weekend per night.

But keep in mind it's not just the additional Extra Magic Hour mornings that you are buying. A lot of it is intangible though, like the Disney immersion and not being taken out of that Disney feeling. Sappy stuff I know. But there are some other onsite perks too.

squirrel
05-15-2012, 01:08 AM
When going to WDW, I stay on property. I find there is a lot of value for the price.

When going to DL/DCA, I stay off property.

There are some places that have one large suite that will accomidate 6. At BWPPI they have a suite with 2 queen beds and a sofa bed. Depending on your children's ages / sex one room might work. Two rooms would give you more space and an extra bathroom, which will come in handy when getting ready to go to the parks. Most if not all include a breakfast, which I'm sure you know adds value with a large family.

ValpoCory
05-15-2012, 01:40 AM
When going to WDW, I stay on property. I find there is a lot of value for the price.

When going to DL/DCA, I stay off property.

There are some places that have one large suite that will accomidate 6. At BWPPI they have a suite with 2 queen beds and a sofa bed. Depending on your children's ages / sex one room might work. Two rooms would give you more space and an extra bathroom, which will come in handy when getting ready to go to the parks. Most if not all include a breakfast, which I'm sure you know adds value with a large family.

In my opinion, the only value for the price in staying on property at DLR is renting DVC points. Definitely agree about on property at WDW.

nunzia
05-15-2012, 07:43 AM
I stay on property and that is why I bought DVC. The off site hotels are fine, but to me it is just so much more special to leave the outside world behind once I arrive. The only time I stay off site now is for the Expo and then I stay at the Jolly Roger by the Convention Center. I had a couple nights booked at HoJo prior to Destination D, but a killer show deal came up at DLH so will now stay there 6 nights..I love the Grand Californian, but DLH..especially after the remodel (still miss the waterfall though) is a close second.

mbrittb00
05-15-2012, 08:30 AM
Are there any tangable benefits other than total emersion and MM. Just not sure that is worth $500 extra a night. We are accustom to staying off site at WDW (although xPass may change that)

hootey
05-15-2012, 09:09 AM
We have stayed off site 3 times and on site 6 times. We do prefer on site completely. The Grand is nice but, we prefer the DH. We use all the perks that come with being disney guests. Short of winning a trip to the DLR, we do not plan on ever traveling to the parks without staying on site. :cool1:

Butterfly123
05-15-2012, 09:37 AM
I think you'll find a split on these boards in regards to this question. I think that lots of people are on budgets, and staying on site is just not worth that extra money. I know we don't spend that much time in our room when we visit, and I would much rather use the money we save for an extra day! You might be able to accomplish a lot on a MM, but you can also accomplish a lot with an extra day, and still have saved money. If we had no budget would I like to stay on site? You bet I would. Would it be worth an extra few hundred dollars a night? Not for us. But people have different budgets, and different ways of enjoying their vacation, so for some people it's worth it. I think it is a personal decision on what is important to you. If you do stay off site, I would recommend staying close by on Harbor, not a hotel you have to use a shuttle for.

ValpoCory
05-15-2012, 09:44 AM
Are there any tangable benefits other than total emersion and MM. Just not sure that is worth $500 extra a night. We are accustom to staying off site at WDW (although xPass may change that)

http://disneyland.disney.go.com/hotels/resort-benefits/

Nothing on this list is "worth $500 extra per night", in my opinion. But being onsite is worth some amount of money to every person. Once you decide that number, check out renting DVC points and see if you can get within it. I decided being onsite was worth $100 per night, and when I found $178.33 per night at the VGC, I bought it since it was well within the $100 difference between that and the HoJo ($158.73 after tax for 2 Double Beds Standard Room). So for $19.60 per night, would you stay onsite?

DisneyMomma81
05-15-2012, 10:10 AM
http://disneyland.disney.go.com/hotels/resort-benefits/

Nothing on this list is "worth $500 extra per night", in my opinion. But being onsite is worth some amount of money to every person. Once you decide that number, check out renting DVC points and see if you can get within it. I decided being onsite was worth $100 per night, and when I found $178.33 per night at the VGC, I bought it since it was well within the $100 difference between that and the HoJo ($158.73 after tax for 2 Double Beds Standard Room). So for $19.60 per night, would you stay onsite?

Oy! That's high for HoJo, I'll admit I only stay there with the $59 retro rate *got it for late Oct :woohoo: otherwise I look for a place within walking distance that is no more than $70 per night - we have and will in the future spent/spend part of a visit on site, we've stayed at all 3 DLR hotels *DLH is my fave* I'd like to check out renting a studio @ the VGC sometime.

ValpoCory
05-15-2012, 10:22 AM
Oy! That's high for HoJo, I'll admit I only stay there with the $59 retro rate *got it for late Oct :woohoo: otherwise I look for a place within walking distance that is no more than $70 per night - we have and will in the future spent/spend part of a visit on site, we've stayed at all 3 DLR hotels *DLH is my fave* I'd like to check out renting a studio @ the VGC sometime.

Yeah, that price is their best available rate on their website right now for 6 nights in January in their cheapest room. "Total Cost* 952.38 USD " But likely there are deals that will lower that price somewhat.

mbrittb00
05-15-2012, 06:21 PM
We have stayed off site 3 times and on site 6 times. We do prefer on site completely. The Grand is nice but, we prefer the DH. We use all the perks that come with being disney guests. Short of winning a trip to the DLR, we do not plan on ever traveling to the parks without staying on site. :cool1:



But what ARE the perks to staying inside aside from MM and being able to charge to your room?

sonnyjane
05-15-2012, 06:32 PM
But what ARE the perks to staying inside aside from MM and being able to charge to your room?

They've pretty much all been mentioned - the MM's, potential for an extra Fastpass if it's during a special promotion (it's happened in the past occasionally when new rides open), being able to charge things to your room, being able to buy things in the park and have them sent directly to your room, and being able to use the GCH entrance into California Adventure. We're not holding out on you, that's really pretty much it lol.

It's definitely not worth $500 extra A NIGHT! I'd pay $50 extra a night to stay on-site, but DEFINITELY not $500 extra! You could pay for an entire second trip!

Butterfly123
05-15-2012, 06:42 PM
While I would love an extra MM on a trip, if I can get my family up and out for one MM I am doing well. I think if I tried for more than one, there would be a mutiny. There aren't tons of benefits, other than the "Disney" experience....worth it to some, and not to others.

ValpoCory
05-15-2012, 08:51 PM
But what ARE the perks to staying inside aside from MM and being able to charge to your room?

http://disneyland.disney.go.com/hotels/resort-benefits/

mbrittb00
05-15-2012, 11:48 PM
http://disneyland.disney.go.com/hotels/resort-benefits/

So other than being closer the most other hotels, the Califorina Adventure entrance, and MM, the benefits are mostly superficial. I'd probably pay an extra $100 or $200 a night for that, but not what I would have to pay.

So, with that said, which are the better offsite hotels. We would be most interested in the ones that have 1 and 2 bedroom suites, like the Double Tree, Desert Palms, etc.

Thanks for all the info so far, it has been a huge help.

HydroGuy
05-16-2012, 07:03 AM
So other than being closer the most other hotels, the Califorina Adventure entrance, and MM, the benefits are mostly superficial. I'd probably pay an extra $100 or $200 a night for that, but not what I would have to pay.

So, with that said, which are the better offsite hotels. We would be most interested in the ones that have 1 and 2 bedroom suites, like the Double Tree, Desert Palms, etc.

Thanks for all the info so far, it has been a huge help.What you call "superficial" others call "magical".

This view from our room at the GCH in 2010 (we stayed in nearly the same room in 2011) some might call superficial. I call it inspiring:

View From Our Room 5438 at the GCH
http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa174/HydroGuyCO/100_1123.jpg

I woke up early and sat out on the balcony in the morniing and watched the sun come up. Very cool.

I am not at all saying you should stay at a DLR hotel. I am saying that dismissing the above view into DCA as "superficial" is a bit like saying that the differences between being on a beach in Hawaii and one in California are superficial. It is why some people are fine staying in a Super 8 motel while others must stay at a Hyatt.

With all that said, 5-10 years ago I was firmly in the camp of "the extra cost for onsite at DLR is not worth it". I looked at how much extra we would pay for hotels and say with that money we could stay an extra day or two at DLR or do a whole separate trip.

I was also firmly against special touches such as Fantasmic Dessert seating. $60 a person for a family of 6? That equated to us one whole extra park day (hotel plus park tix for a day).

What changed? Well, in some way my trips to WDW changed my mind on this. Some of the extras they offer made me look at things differently.

Do we stay at GCH every time now? No, as my signature line shows. But what used to be "not worth it" to me has become "worth it".

It really depends on the person and I totally get it when folks conclude it is not worth to stay onsite. At DLR the offsite hotels are still magical - especially the ones right one Harbor or Katella by DLR. Further away not so much.

So in answer to your question, when you ask about "better offsite hotels" you end up with the same kind of issues. When I say "better" I mean "closer to the DLR gates" not "nicer and more upscale". With my definition the hotels from HoJos to Candy Cane Inn along Harbor are the best choices with HoJos and CCI being a step up in quality and the others, for the most part, being of fine quality. But none will compare that well with the Hiltons, Hyatts, DoubleTrees or Sheratons in quality - but which are all 1+ miles away from DLR.

See "HydroGuy's Hotel Rule" www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1199862 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1199862)

Have a magical trip!

:wizard:

nunzia
05-16-2012, 07:32 AM
What you call "superficial" others call "magical".

This view from our room at the GCH in 2010 (we stayed in nearly the same room in 2011) some might call superficial. I call it inspiring:

View From Our Room 5438 at the GCH
http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa174/HydroGuyCO/100_1123.jpg

I woke up early and sat out on the balcony in the morniing and watched the sun come up. Very cool.

I am not at all saying you should stay at a DLR hotel. I am saying that dismissing the above view into DCA as "superficial" is a bit like saying that the differences between being on a beach in Hawaii and one in California are superficial. It is why some people are fine staying in a Super 8 motel while others must stay at a Hyatt.

With all that said, 5-10 years ago I was firmly in the camp of "the extra cost for onsite at DLR is not worth it". I looked at how much extra we would pay for hotels and say with that money we could stay an extra day or two at DLR or do a whole separate trip.

I was also firmly against special touches such as Fantasmic Dessert seating. $60 a person for a family of 6? That equated to us one whole extra park day (hotel plus park tix for a day).

What changed? Well, in some way my trips to WDW changed my mind on this. Some of the extras they offer made me look at things differently.

Do we stay at GCH every time now? No, as my signature line shows. But what used to be "not worth it" to me has become "worth it".

It really depends on the person and I totally get it when folks conclude it is not worth to stay onsite. At DLR the offsite hotels are still magical - especially the ones right one Harbor or Katella by DLR. Further away not so much.

So in answer to your question, when you ask about "better offsite hotels" you end up with the same kind of issues. When I say "better" I mean "closer to the DLR gates" not "nicer and more upscale". With my definition the hotels from HoJos to Candy Cane Inn along Harbor are the best choices with HoJos and CCI being a step up in quality and the others, for the most part, being of fine quality. But none will compare that well with the Hiltons, Hyatts, DoubleTrees or Sheratons in quality - but which are all 1+ miles away from DLR.

See "HydroGuy's Hotel Rule" www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1199862 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1199862)

Have a magical trip!

:wizard:

Well said.. I think what I love most about the park views is hearing all the activity during the day, seeing it all change at night, seeing WOC and hearing the crown from my balcony and then seeing all the workers prepping for the new day in the early morning. I also like to sit on the balcony late at night and watch WOC testing, vehicle testing etc. Magical.. For a large family a DVC rental would be ideal if it can be had.

ValpoCory
05-16-2012, 09:31 AM
Thanks HydroGuy. That's a great picture there from the Grand Californian. I can't wait.

Also, I noticed the Disneyland Hotel Super Thread (http://www.www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2802175) that there are some other minor benefits for Resort Guests. Look for the "Disneyland Resort Hotels Weekly Calendar of Activities" section.

1) A daily (and free!) Get Up and Go Power Walk, that lets guests 14 and up walk through DCA at 7:30am. My DW and I are planning on taking turns doing that on different weekdays while the other stays with the kids. Seeing the sunrise on an empty and quiet Cars Land ... magical.

2) getting a World of Color Fastpass at 9:15am when the park opens at 9:30am unoffically/10am officially

3) letting Resort Guests in at 9:15am to ride The Little Mermaid,

4) participating in hotel activities in Pinocchio's Workshop like a 30-minute learning to draw Mickey class (only problem is the time on that one ... 10am is prime park time ... but that time might change)


Overall ... when we heard about Cars Land and first started considering a Disneyland trip instead of our usual WDW trip, I never was considering an onsite hotel, even though we always stay onsite at WDW. I had started looking into Good Neighbor Hotel deals. I was convinced. DLR hotels were just too expensive. But then I looked closer at renting DVC points for the Villas at the Grand Californian ... and slowly I came to the realization that not only is this doable, but also a financial decision I could easily live with. The Magic of it all is important to us. Each individual perk is small, but when you add them all up, to us it was worth the extra $20-$80 per night over the HoJo.

jdb in AZ
05-16-2012, 10:15 AM
Next time we go to Disneyland we'll be taking our 19-month old grand son (and his parents.) They'll be staying off-site (freebie Marriott points) but we'll most likely stay at the GCH since it will be off-season. We refuse to pay high-season rates.

DH and I both rent scooters and will not have a car, so the closer we stay to the parks, the better.

We've also been known to get soaked(!) on the Grizzly River Rapids ride, and being 5 mins away from a change of clothes is so very handy.

Our grandson will need a nap and it's so much easier for grandma to babysit him at the GCH while his parents enjoy the parks.

When it's hot during the day and cool at night, it's easy to return to the room for extra jackets, a blanket, etc before WOC of starts.

As for the Magic Morning perk -- we're not morning people, and the best rides don't open early anyway, so we don't bother.

Getting an early fast-pass to WOC at the hotel before the parks open was a perk when WOC first opened, but now the fast-passes for WOC are readily available even in the afternoons. It will be interesting to see what the Disney hotels offer when Carsland opens.

Your mileage may vary.

blackjackdelta
05-16-2012, 11:04 AM
This was a view from our room in 2010, I also get up and sit outside listening and enjoying the sounds of the park before it opens.

http://blaqprl.smugmug.com/photos/971176692_4Le8h-L.jpg


http://blaqprl.smugmug.com/photos/995391309_iKYwd-L.jpg

http://blaqprl.smugmug.com/photos/995403348_F9NLy-L.jpg





I think Hydroguy put it very well.

Jack