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View Full Version : I thought I had it all figured out, but maybe not.


MommyMissy
09-15-2012, 12:57 PM
I am planning our family's first trip to Disney World for Oct. 2013 and can't figure out where to stay. Our family consists of myself, DH, DS6, DS5, DD3, baby 8months and my niece 16 who will help with the kids. Originally we were going to stay at POR in AB. Once we decided to bring my niece along that option was off the table. Now I am looking at either AoA family suite or Bonnet Creek (I am also open to other affordable similar options. I just can not decide what would be best for us. As our first visit I want it to be magical and fairly hassle free which makes me lean towards AoA, but I also want to make it as affordable as possible so that we have more $ for extras like the fireworks cruise and MNSSHP. Advice?

MMS1125
09-15-2012, 01:12 PM
I think you'll be happy in a suite at AoA. You could also look into renting DVC points but you'd require a 2BR and those can be $$. (2500-3000 in October 2013 for 6 nights if you go thru dvcrequest)

There's also the option of the FW Cabins. You'd get a full kitchen and could save a little $$ in food if you stay there. Are you firm on your dates or going to wait and adjust once a discount is released? I'm sure there will probably be something for your dates most of October has been included in the past with at least a room discount.

The cheaper but riskier option for onsite is 2 connecting value rooms. You'd get 4 beds, 2 bathrooms, and a little more space than 1 room but there's always a risk you won't get connecting rooms and you and your husband would have to split up rooms

Missyrose
09-15-2012, 01:14 PM
I am planning our family's first trip to Disney World for Oct. 2013 and can't figure out where to stay. Our family consists of myself, DH, DS6, DS5, DD3, baby 8months and my niece 16 who will help with the kids. Originally we were going to stay at POR in AB. Once we decided to bring my niece along that option was off the table. Now I am looking at either AoA family suite or Bonnet Creek (I am also open to other affordable similar options. I just can not decide what would be best for us. As our first visit I want it to be magical and fairly hassle free which makes me lean towards AoA, but I also want to make it as affordable as possible so that we have more $ for extras like the fireworks cruise and MNSSHP. Advice?

If you truly want affordable (and space for your large group), I would suggest you look at rental homes in Windsor Hills. There are lots decorated in over-the-top Disney themes and it would keep your group from feeling on top of each other.

I love staying in the Disney bubble. But when I was planning an extended-family trip for 5 adults and 1 toddler, a Windsor Hills townhouse ended up being the best option for us. Especially when you factor in the house for the week cost less than half of what two Disney value rooms would have cost for the same week.

BYC
09-15-2012, 01:43 PM
Stay onsite. With children that young, someone can always go back to the resort for naps and such, while another adults does stuff with the other kids. Off site makes it harder to do that. AoA would be my choice.

MommyMissy
09-15-2012, 02:13 PM
I think you'll be happy in a suite at AoA. You could also look into renting DVC points but you'd require a 2BR and those can be $$. (2500-3000 in October 2013 for 6 nights if you go thru dvcrequest)
Thank you for your reply! I did check out renting DVC points but we are staying for 9 nights and with a 2BR and it is just too much. I would have loved to stay at BWV or BCV
There's also the option of the FW Cabins. You'd get a full kitchen and could save a little $$ in food if you stay there. Are you firm on your dates or going to wait and adjust once a discount is released? I'm sure there will probably be something for your dates most of October has been included in the past with at least a room discount.
I was also considering the cabins, though I do not plan to cook on vacation.;) I do love some of the onsite offerings there. It would cost about $1000 more to stay there then AoA, not sure that the money couldn't be put to better use. Our dates are not locked down, but my husband will need to put in vacation time in a month or so and once he does that, the dates are fairly set, though we may be able to adjust the dates by a day or 2.
The cheaper but riskier option for onsite is 2 connecting value rooms. You'd get 4 beds, 2 bathrooms, and a little more space than 1 room but there's always a risk you won't get connecting rooms and you and your husband would have to split up roomsBecause my kids are so little, it makes me nervous to do that. though it is an idea that I should look into a bit more before completely dismissing.

If you truly want affordable (and space for your large group), I would suggest you look at rental homes in Windsor Hills. There are lots decorated in over-the-top Disney themes and it would keep your group from feeling on top of each other.

I love staying in the Disney bubble. But when I was planning an extended-family trip for 5 adults and 1 toddler, a Windsor Hills townhouse ended up being the best option for us. Especially when you factor in the house for the week cost less than half of what two Disney value rooms would have cost for the same week.
Thank you! This is exactly my reasons for thinking of Bonnet Creek, I will look into Windsor Hills as well. Are these homes or timeshare properties? What exactly will we be missing if we opt to stay off site? DO ADRs work the same way? How is transportation from offsite? At this point we are not planning on renting a car. I am going to check out your TR from your Windsor Hills trip to get some more info.

MommyMissy
09-15-2012, 02:14 PM
Stay onsite. With children that young, someone can always go back to the resort for naps and such, while another adults does stuff with the other kids. Off site makes it harder to do that. AoA would be my choice.
A valid point, thank you!

mom to minnie&mickey
09-15-2012, 06:10 PM
Another option to save some $ is to price out the family suites at ASmusic.
They are identical in size and amenities but are significantly less than AOA, being that obviously there is more demand for AOA since it is new.
I am pricing out a trip for August 2013 and, everything being the same, ASmusic is $200 cheaper than AoA (regular room not family suite).
Have a magical first trip.:)

MMS1125
09-15-2012, 06:51 PM
You'd actually get 1 more sleeping space at ASMu than you will AoA. It has a bedroom for mom and dad, a pull out sofa (double I think), pull out chair (twin), and a pull out ottoman which is like a jr size bed. I kinda forgot about it since AoA has been open

Backstage_Gal
09-15-2012, 07:56 PM
I am 99.9% sure that with you kids such as yours connecting rooms are guaranteed

rosiegmendez
09-16-2012, 10:40 AM
Because my kids are so little, it makes me nervous to do that. though it is an idea that I should look into a bit more before completely dismissing.


Thank you! This is exactly my reasons for thinking of Bonnet Creek, I will look into Windsor Hills as well. Are these homes or timeshare properties? What exactly will we be missing if we opt to stay off site? DO ADRs work the same way? How is transportation from offsite? At this point we are not planning on renting a car. I am going to check out your TR from your Windsor Hills trip to get some more info.

We booked two connecting rooms and they certainly guarantee they will be connecting as long as there are only 2 adults and the rest are minors (confirmed with two different Disney reps). Grandma was considering joining us and I was told that if we add her then she would be the adult in the 2nd room and they couldnt guarantee connecting at that point. Hope this helps!

nkereina
09-16-2012, 10:55 AM
Actually, Disney does NOT guarantee connecting rooms, no matter the situation. If you read the fine print on your reservation, the only thing you are guaranteed is a room (or rooms if more than one is booked) on Disney property. They don't even guarantee you a room at that resort. While rarely are people ever moved from their resort, there are instances when they can't honor connecting rooms. They will certainly try and I would bet that you would get it, but it's never guaranteed in any circumstance. Since you are traveling in October which is not a busy season, I wouldn't be too concerned about not getting it.

As a former manager in hospitality, a hotel rarely "guarantees" anything thats a request. They need leeway to shuffle things around in the event of issues arising, etc.

shalom
09-16-2012, 11:14 AM
Are these homes or timeshare properties?

There are both but I think the OP is recommending homes.


What exactly will we be missing if we opt to stay off site?

Extra Magic Hours. Magical Express. The Dining Plan. Disney transportation. Key to the World.


DO ADRs work the same way?

If I remember rightly, onsiters can reserve sooner. Otherwise, it's the same.


How is transportation from offsite?

Depends on where you're staying. Bonnet Creek has pretty good transporation (shuttles to the TTC, HS and AK multiple times a day); rental homes will have nothing but your own car or the local buses; a lot of condos or hotels offer something but the only one I've seen that compares to Disney transportation is Bonnet Creek. And Bonnet Creek has a "hole" if you want to head back for a nap in the early afternoon, IMHO, however people have reported catching buses back that were dropping people off when they wanted to go home around lunch time.


At this point we are not planning on renting a car. I am going to check out your TR from your Windsor Hills trip to get some more info.

I would not stay offsite without a car. OTOH, I would not stay onsite without a car. :rotfl2: If you don't want a car, I'd recommend Bonnet Creek (more space than you'll get in the average DVC two bedroom; pretty good bus system to the parks but you'll have to transfer to Disney's system if you're eating at one of the resorts) or onsite (limited space, bus transportation from the airport).

Missyrose
09-16-2012, 11:30 AM
Thank you! This is exactly my reasons for thinking of Bonnet Creek, I will look into Windsor Hills as well.

Bonnet Creek is a timeshare property that is on Disney property, just not Disney-owned, so none of the transportation/EMH/room charge options apply.

Are these homes or timeshare properties? What exactly will we be missing if we opt to stay off site?

Windsor Hills has condos, town homes and single family homes. I rented 3-bedroom townhouse (with a splash pool in the back yard) and it was perfect for our crew of 5 adults and 1 toddler.

Windsor Hills also has a huge feature pool at the neighborhood's main clubhouse.

Check out the Orlando Hotels and Attractions board (http://disboards.com/forumdisplay.php?f=15), there is LOTS of great info about accommodation options outside of Disney's.

The things to keep in mind when staying off property are:

Parking is $14 per day at the parks (though you only pay the fee once per day, no matter how many parks you visit that day. If you park hop, show your receipt from the previous park and you won't have to pay again).

You won't be eligible for EMH. Though I generally avoid parks with EMH even when staying onsite because those parks tend to be much more crowded than a non-EMH park.

You can still use Disney transportation to and from Disney's parks and resorts. Let's say you want to eat at the Poly on your MK day, you're free to use the monorail or ferry, even if you aren't staying at a Disney resort.

DO ADRs work the same way? How is transportation from offsite?

The only difference is you can make your ADRs 180 days out from each meal. Onsite guests can make 10 days worth of ADRs 180 days from the first day of their trip. This makes for several days of early wake-up calls to make the ADRs, but we saved so much money by staying offsite, it was worth it for us.

I would agree with PP, I wouldn't stay offsite (Windsor Hills or Wyndham Bonnet Creek) without a car. Check out the Transportation board (http://disboards.com/forumdisplay.php?f=16), there are threads with rental car codes that can make renting a car very reasonable.

But like I said before, once you're at the parks, you're free to use Disney transportation to any of the other parks, resorts or Downtown Disney.

At this point we are not planning on renting a car. I am going to check out your TR from your Windsor Hills trip to get some more info.

Feel free to post more questions, or you can PM me if you'd like. I'd be happy to help.

I know in a perfect world, everyone would like to stay at a Disney resort. But sometimes, especially with a large group, there are more practical options that will serve your group better. :goodvibes

KELLY
09-16-2012, 11:52 AM
Actually, Disney does NOT guarantee connecting rooms, no matter the situation. If you read the fine print on your reservation, the only thing you are guaranteed is a room (or rooms if more than one is booked) on Disney property. They don't even guarantee you a room at that resort. While rarely are people ever moved from their resort, there are instances when they can't honor connecting rooms. They will certainly try and I would bet that you would get it, but it's never guaranteed in any circumstance. Since you are traveling in October which is not a busy season, I wouldn't be too concerned about not getting it.

As a former manager in hospitality, a hotel rarely "guarantees" anything thats a request. They need leeway to shuffle things around in the event of issues arising, etc.


This is true. But where you are going in October I wouldn't worry about not getting connecting rooms. Disney does anything possible to make things happen. October isn't as busy as other times of year.