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View Full Version : Anybody offsite by choice?


missypie
06-20-2003, 02:20 PM
The "conventional wisdom" is that folks stay offiste either because they can't or don't want to pay the high cost of the on site hotels. But I've looked a bit on line and some of the off site hotels look very nice. I'd love to hear from anyone who has found a very very nice hotel offsite (comparable to a deluxe), and/or from anyone who chooses to stay off site not strictly because of the cost.

gyver65
06-20-2003, 03:00 PM
I chose to stay offsite because I have not seen any hotels onsite that seemed to accomodate two adults and three children (ages: 9,15,&17) like I found with Wyndham Palms (two bedroom, two bath).

I wasn't necessarily looking for the cheapest place to stay but I got a great deal at this place for $89/night. My main priority was to find a place with separate rooms with privacy.

Bobby

missypie
06-20-2003, 03:08 PM
We also have 3 kids - hotel designers don't seem to believe there are such families! The other issue is have is food. We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel for a week this year and each room comes with a small fridge. We bought milk and cereal and yogurt and had breakfast in the room, but still a week of fast food/beige food was hard to tolerate. At night, I'm sure our kids would have much preferred a frozen pizza or something equally as un-glamorous to waiting to be served at a restaruant when they were so tired.

C.Ann
06-20-2003, 04:06 PM
I definitely stay off-site by choice! I have no desire to stay on-site - for many reasons..

Right at the top of the list would be "what you get, for what you pay".. I've looked and looked and even asked others on these boards what makes the rooms on-site worth the rates that are charged and so far, I have yet to hear even ONE reason that would justify those rates to me..

I also don't buy into the "magic" theory (for me the "magic" is in the parks - not a hotel room) and I don't need (or want) to be submersed in "Disney" 24 hours a day..

I hate the concept of "public" transportation (because we do much more than just Disney while in Florida) and have no problems with renting a vehicle at all..

According to the comments on these boards the rooms at the value resorts are terribly small and cramped and anything other than the value resorts (with a code) just don't seem worth the money..

I prefer to have a LOT of room while vacationing and no matter where we go, I always look for cottages, condos, villas, etc.. I like to relax and feel that I'm AWAY from Disney for the evening and then look forward to returning to the parks the next day..

The only exception to this rule would be the Fort Wilderness Cabins.. I like the atmosphere of Fort Wilderness and MIGHT give it a try someday - IF they want to give me a cabin for $89 or less a night.. We all know THAT'S never going to happen though - and I don't think they're worth anymore than that - so I'll continue to stay off-site - by choice..;)

Of course all of this is just my own opinion and I'm sure some of you have your own good reasons for staying on-site.. I just haven't heard one that was "good enough" for ME yet - LOL!

missypie
06-20-2003, 04:17 PM
We got a fantastic rate at the Disneyland Hotel in CA this March and one of the things that made it so nice is that once we checked in, we could walk wherever we went ... no cars, no shuttles, no public transportation (expect the monorail when we wanted it.) At WDW it looks like you can walk to one or a max. of 2 parks from an on-site hotel, but not everywhere.

dg39
06-20-2003, 05:25 PM
We go to disney every year & always stay in the CR. This past april, we had to go to Tampa for a few days. On the way back home, (we drove down) & stopped in orlando. We stayed at the Marriott Orlando World Center. We stayed there for 3 nights. What a beautiful resort. We loved it so much that in 2 weeks AFTER our stay at the GF concierge, we're going back there for 5 nights. So as we can afford to stay on site, we will be staying off-site also by choice.

disneysteve
06-20-2003, 06:52 PM
My answer would be almost identical to C.Ann's.

We have done on and off-site and are now firmly in the off-site crowd. Even though we only have 1 kid, we still greatly prefer the space available at off-site locations for less than the cost of a regular room on-site. We've rented 3-bedroom houses with fully stocked kitchen, private inground pool, washer and dryer, multiple tv's, etc. and paid less than a Disney moderate hotel room. There is absolutely no comparison between the accomodations.

We much prefer doing our own driving, so even if we stayed onsite we would still use our own car to get everywhere.

We've also stayed at budget offsite places like Days Suites ($39.95/nite last November) and been right next to Old Town for evening entertainment when the parks close early. Plus, with all the money we saved, we had some nicer meals on property and can more easily afford our regular WDW trips.

Can I afford to stay onsite? Yes. Do I think it is worth the price? No.

I've said in other threads that the next time I anticipate taking the plunge and staying on site is when my daughter (now 7) is old enough to wander around on her own or with a friend and we want her to have access to Disney transport. So for at least the next 5 or 6 years, we'll stick with offsite.

Steve

suei
06-22-2003, 05:01 PM
We stayed a week at ASMovies at Easter in 2000 when it my dh and 1 ds's birthdays, and it was great-we loved the theming of the resort and the room-we were in Buzz Lightyear, but thought it pricey considering how little time we spent there. We also stayed a week off-site, and found it much cheaper to stay and to eat than on-site. We're going again this August, and will be staying off-site for the week we're in Orlando.
Not long to go now!

tazdeb
06-22-2003, 08:17 PM
While I'm a big believer in the magic of Disney, and have stayed in many onsite places(The Beach Club is my favorite). We now almost always stay offsite. Why? Because we found just as nice places offsite. I suggest next time you visit, take a morning to visit some of the area hotels. Try the Hyatt Grand Cypress or the Gaylord Palms. Both have all the amenities and class of the Grand Floridian and the locations are great. For the moderates in the house....Try great family places such as HIFS or the Marriot World. Each of the mentioned hotels have just as good pools, bars and resturants as onsite BUT at much less the cost. THAT TRASLATES INTO MORE DAYS. I personally would never stay at a place like the Allstars with much nicer, cheaper offsites around...TAZ

Lisa P.
06-23-2003, 03:05 PM
For me, it's hard to separate the cost from the onsite/offsite issue. Both can be very nice. But for the cost of a single NIGHT in a 2BR condo at Disney's Old Key West Resort, we get a FULL WEEK in a 2BR timeshare condo at a Gold Crown or 5 Star offsite resort, by trading our timeshare from elsewhere.

The cost difference for us is not a small matter, since we always strongly prefer a really comfortable condo, with full kitchen, inroom washer/dryer, inroom jacuzzi tub, extra bathroom and plenty of privacy when our teens take along friends or we entertain friends. It covers our park passes, restaurant meals, parking, gasoline, pretty much everything! Even when we owned DVC, it was much more expensive than our offsite timeshare arrangements.

For us, the offsite timeshares also compare in cost to about 3-4 nights stay at Disney's All Stars hotel (can't call those "resorts," IMHO). We don't fit in one room at All Stars, so that would be 2 nights really (2 rooms). But, unlike All Stars (and some posts about the moderates too), we have never been disturbed by crowds of rowdy teens in school bands, sports teams or cheerleading squads at offsite resorts.

DH prefers the quieter Florida atmosphere at most offsite properties without the commercial Disney marketing machine in action, as it is at the Disney hotels and resorts. We also like to visit other Orlando attractions, besides just Disney. And we wouldn't make use of "onsite privileges" anymore. BTDT.

So you see, cost is a major factor for us. But we have terrific vacations offsite. :)

DocRafiki
06-24-2003, 01:01 AM
Originally posted by Lisa P.
For me, it's hard to separate the cost from the onsite/offsite issue.

Looks like it's difficult to everyone else here, too. The only non-cost-related preference I've read is C.Ann's preference to stay offsite in order to escape Disney & the crowds for a while.

Other than that, it looks like everyone would stay onsite if the prices were equal for equal amenities.

If I had stayed at all the WDW hotels, I'd like to wander offsite to experience something different. I've heard good things about Gaylord Palms and Caribe Royale. I'm not impressed by Marriott World Center; it needed a good rehab last January (2002) when I was there... very bland, run-down, and out-of-date.

Robinrs
06-24-2003, 09:29 AM
I like to stay offsite because I go to Orlando to visit ORLANDO, not just Disney.

I personally feel trapped onsite.

I've done both MANY times, prefer offsite. I also like variety when I visit so I stay someplace different everytime I go.

As for price, I have lots of contacts that can get me on and offsite for a song. I choose off because it's what I prefer.

On the OTHER hand, I'd stay onsite Universal over anything! The three Loew's hotel match the deluxe Disney hotels with one plus, FOTL access. That is worth any price!

Lewisc
06-24-2003, 11:10 AM
Some people stay offsite just to save money. People staying at places like Days Inn.

Some people stay offsite for hotel type accomodations that aren't available at Disney. Places like HIFS, Summerfield etc. give a free breakfast and give you second room for privacy.

Some people stay offsite because they are looking for a much larger home like setting. People can get 2-5 bedrooms in a condo or vacation home. DVC has limited availability through CRO, tend to be very expensive and not everyone wants to go through the process of renting points.

Some people are doing more of a Orlando trip (Sea World, Universal, Kennedy...)and find off site more convienant.

disneysteve
06-24-2003, 11:57 AM
Originally posted by DocRafiki
Looks like it's difficult to everyone else here, too. The only non-cost-related preference I've read is C.Ann's preference to stay offsite in order to escape Disney & the crowds for a while.

Other than that, it looks like everyone would stay onsite if the prices were equal for equal amenities.

I'd have to agree with this. If I could get a nice size 1-bedroom suite with kitchen onsite for under $50, I'd probably stay onsite. I'd even consider it up to $100. But that is never going to happen. Even if I did stay onsite, I would still use my own car to get around as I'm not a fan of Disney transport (except for the monorail). Early Entry doesn't appeal to us because we only go offseason when the parks aren't crowded anyway so we never have to wait more than 10 minutes to ride anything.

So basically, I stay offsite because I get a lot more space for far less money and don't lose out on anything so there is no downside in my opinion. It is when I stay onsite that I am forced to make sacrifices.

Steve

familyoffive
06-24-2003, 12:57 PM
We are a family of five and my kids:DS-12,DD-7,DD-5 prefer offsite. We normally rent at one of the vacation villa properties and enjoy all of the added room,w/d, multiple tvs, kitchen,etc. It is nice to come back from a day of touring theme parks and not be tripping over eachother in a standard room. We are staying onsite in Nov., but we could not get a better rate than the FTP. Once we leave WDW, we are staying at HIFS, Royal Pacific, MOWC and possibly Grande Vista. We really enjoy trying other hotels. I am being fiscally responsible by staying in a FW cabin.

pixiemomma
06-24-2003, 11:12 PM
My family and I stay offsite by choice. We always go in the offseason (and usually drive)so some of the resort guest benefits wouldn't apply to our stay on site. We like being outside the property because there is access to many restaurants, gas stations, ect.

FLeisure
06-25-2003, 11:12 AM
Personally, I have difficulty in understanding why you would stay on site ! The cost factor alone is prohibitive for people on a budget and who wants to be mixed in with thousands of tourists all the time ? Add to the fact that Orlando has many many many other attractions and I fail to see why staying in a Disney hotel is attractive.

I understand why folks stay in the top hotels but those folks are unlikely to be on these Boards, so why do so many of you like to be on site ? Not that I'm grumbling....keeps the roads nice and clear ;)

I agree with the Wilderness cabins suggestion, in all my years of visiting Orlando and now living here, that is the only place I would even consider. It is a lovely setting.

missypie
06-25-2003, 11:18 AM
This morning I was pondering how the onsite WDW hotels can have the nerve to charge $10 a night for a small fridge...even in the deluxes when you're paying huge amounts of money per night. With what you pay on site, they can't even throw in a fridge? We stayed at the DL Hotel in CA and the rooms cost much less than at WDW and there fridges come with each room.

C.Ann
06-25-2003, 11:38 AM
Originally posted by missypie
This morning I was pondering how the onsite WDW hotels can have the nerve to charge $10 a night for a small fridge...even in the deluxes when you're paying huge amounts of money per night. With what you pay on site, they can't even throw in a fridge? We stayed at the DL Hotel in CA and the rooms cost much less than at WDW and there fridges come with each room.
---------------------------------

My guess would be simply because people are willing to pay it... As long as they are able to brainwash people into thinking that they miss the "magic" by staying off-site, they can pretty much charge whatever they want for a room and get it..

I've spent a lot of time pondering this "magic" rationalization for exhorbitant room rates and this is what I came up with.... If Mickey Mouse came and slept in the room WITH me, it STILL wouldn't be enough "magic" to justify the cost!!

I'll take 14 days off-site over 5 days on-site every time..;)

Local_Girl
06-25-2003, 11:51 AM
Another off-siter here...and proud of it too!!;) If even a fraction of the folks who stay onsite because they *need* the magic were to figure out what great resorts and deals can be found off-site...it would be much more difficult for me to win Skyauction bids or find availability at such resorts! :smooth:

Long live the onsite magic! :bounce:

ILUVDXL
06-25-2003, 11:56 AM
Although we love DXL (POR) and have stayed there 7x's, DH is now an employee of the Radisson Hotel Corp and with his employee discount Disney can't even come close to the rate we get. We'll be staying at the Radisson Lake Buena Vista in October. The Radisson Parkway is beautiful but a bit out of the way without a car.

missypie
06-25-2003, 11:57 AM
So what are the "best" offsite resorts? Criteria: large rooms (we're a family of 5); great pool; pretty grounds; at least a micorwave and fridge in room; close to Disney.

Red-Snapper
06-25-2003, 01:36 PM
I prefer offsite, not because of price but because we go to Orlando for everything - not just Disney. Have checked out the GF but it seemed very crowded and busy. (full of people like me checking it out!)

You could try the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress as mentioned above. Currently #1 Orlando resort on tripadvisor.com based on user reviews.

It has everything you mention above apart from the fridge and micro (which I generally dont think you tend to get in a deluxe hotel property of this type).

I am planning to take a look at the Gaylord Palms and the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes when we visit in August.

:cool:

Robinrs
06-25-2003, 03:49 PM
I read an interesting article in Orlando magazine where they listed the top hotels that the "celebrities" stay. Of them only two were onsite Disney, The Grand Floridian and the Boardwalk Villas, one was the Swan (NOT an onsite for the committed Disneyites!) the rest were OFF. The Westin Grand Bohemian, the Grand Cypress Villas, the Portofino Bay and the Hard Rock came in on top for people who don't CARE how much it costs.

I have to agree with C.Ann, the "magic" I don't get. I sat in my onsite hotels just WAITING for the magic to hit me! I guess in my case it was expectation that led to disappointment. Imagine being a moderator on a Disney site and NOT liking staying onsite Disney!! :earseek: The HORRRRRRRRORS!!! That's why I moderate HERE! :teeth:

With everything there is preferance. I wouldn't stay onsite for any price. I like my freedom and I like Orlando. My sister was shocked how I navigate the place, I know it better than my own hometown. I like to try the OTHER places, I like walking up and down Intl Drive, I like visiting the New York Pizza places, I like talking to the locals. Shocking as it seems, I like talking to people OTHER than other tourists!

Good Lord, I think I just agreed with FLeisure.... :p

disneysteve
06-25-2003, 04:00 PM
Originally posted by C.Ann
If Mickey Mouse came and slept in the room WITH me, it STILL wouldn't be enough "magic" to justify the cost!!

Now maybe if it was Esmerelda from Hunchback...LOL.

As for the fridges, you can BUY a cube fridge for under $100, so paying $70 to rent one for a week is ridiculous. Just one more reason to stay offsite where I can get a fridge and microwave, or even a full kitchen, for under $100/nite.

Steve

dg39
06-25-2003, 04:03 PM
I've only stayed off-site once, this past April. The end of next week, we'll be going to disney and will be staying both on-site (GF) and off site, MOWC. Its not a matter of being brainwashed to stay on-site, its just what some people prefer. It's really to each his own.

lexis53
06-25-2003, 05:51 PM
I've never been so take this for what it's worth;) . I am planning our first trip for DD and I in December. When I thought my parents and sister were going, I knew a house would be it. But now they probably won't be able to go so I am looking for a place just for DD and I.

I don't feel the urge to stay at a Disney resort. I am probably going to try PL to see about an inexpensive DTD or somewhere close. If money were no object, I would be staying as close to MK as possible for this trip. DD is going to be focusing on that. since we aren't going anywhere but Disney for this first trip, I don't need access to the world at large. I just cannot justify the expense of a nicer Disney. I can get a great hotel (like the dolphin for about the same as a moderate during my stay in December).

BonnieA
06-25-2003, 07:46 PM
I also stay off site. That's where my memories are. I can drive down 192 and remember each trip I took. Our very first trip, the trips with both my parents, the trips with my father. They're gone now but I can recall each place we stayed. In the early days there were so many things to do off site, we would go to Circus World, Mystery Fun House, Sea World, Busch Gardens, Cypress Gardens and the Magic Kingdom.
I still go about once a year. I could afford to stay onsite but I always stay off site. I like to see the tourist traps, the souvenier shops, the fruit stands (oops, I think most of them are gone). The magic is in my heart and mind not in a hotel room.

C.Ann
06-25-2003, 08:17 PM
Originally posted by BonnieA
The magic is in my heart and mind not in a hotel room.
---------------------------------------

Bingo! We have a winner!!! ;)

I too enjoy exploring Orlando as a whole.. So many interesting things to do and see - interesting people to talk to.. I'm amazed at the number of people who go to Orlando and never have the opportunity to enjoy anything other than Disney because they're trapped on-site.. Sometimes it's a blast just to drive around and look at the houses - certainly nothing like the houses you see up here in the northeast!

I just LOVE staying off-site - in nice big roomy accomodations - and having 14 days to explore every little nook and cranny of the area.. And of course the huge savings allows us to take in US/IOA and Sea World as well - a MUST for every trip!! ;)

robinb
06-25-2003, 08:36 PM
I have stayed onsite and offsite and I will stay onsite every time I can swing it. Yes, it's the "Disney Magic" for me. I really like being surrounded by The Mouse 24/7. I remember the first trip that really cemented it for me. I stayed at All Star Sports for 4 days, then we moved to the Hilton for 4 days (on my DH's business) and then back to the All Stars for another 3 days. I was soooo much happier when I returned to the tiny All Stars room. The Hilton was nicer: the hotel had internal hallways, the room was bigger, the hotel restaurant was better, the pool had a great hot tub, I could walk to Downtown Disney, yadda, yadda, yadda. And yet ... I only tolerated the Hilton and I loved the All Stars.

I can understand where some people like to save money. Others like to have "more bang for their buck". Me, I like to be surrounded by The Mouse. I feel a let down when I exit the purple gates into a traffic jam back to my off-site hotel. When I stay onsite I find it an extension of my Park experience and I'm still in that Disney frame of mind relaxing at my hotel or sleeping in my tiny All Stars room.

kazzie
06-27-2003, 03:34 PM
My reasons are the same as many of you,I can afford to stay onsite but choose to stay offsite.
For many people it seems Orlando is Disney and nothing else.I'm sure many peoole who stay onsite at Disney never even venture out of their parks.

For me Disney is only a small part of my reckoning that Orlando is the place for the perfect, complete and unmatched family holiday!

When we have had a PS in a Disney resort eg Ohanas, that is long enough to know I could NEVER stay in a hotel like that for my holiday.It felt as far from magic to me as anything I could think of,it was hot,very noisy and crowded everwhere I could see.

Maistre Gracey
06-27-2003, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by robinb
I have stayed onsite and offsite and I will stay onsite every time I can swing it. Yes, it's the "Disney Magic" for me. I really like being surrounded by The Mouse 24/7. I remember the first trip that really cemented it for me. I stayed at All Star Sports for 4 days, then we moved to the Hilton for 4 days (on my DH's business) and then back to the All Stars for another 3 days. I was soooo much happier when I returned to the tiny All Stars room. The Hilton was nicer: the hotel had internal hallways, the room was bigger, the hotel restaurant was better, the pool had a great hot tub, I could walk to Downtown Disney, yadda, yadda, yadda. And yet ... I only tolerated the Hilton and I loved the All Stars.

I can understand where some people like to save money. Others like to have "more bang for their buck". Me, I like to be surrounded by The Mouse. I feel a let down when I exit the purple gates into a traffic jam back to my off-site hotel. When I stay onsite I find it an extension of my Park experience and I'm still in that Disney frame of mind relaxing at my hotel or sleeping in my tiny All Stars room. Oh, so nicely said.... :cool: