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View Full Version : Disney resorts -as opposed to DTD - worth the extra $$ ???


jessgood1
06-21-2003, 12:59 AM
Is it worth the extra for the "Disney experience" I would get by staying on grounds? I have 3 small kids (ages 2, 4, 5) and it is their first time there. The best I can come up with is ~$1000 more on grounds for 6 days (not to mention BFast is included in the DTD spots). Is the experience of a Disney Resort incomparable to what we would get at DTD?

FayeW
06-21-2003, 12:10 PM
I say save the cash. You can't miss something you've never experienced, and I can't imaging that any amount of theming is worth $1000. for a week in small accomodations.The first trip should be magical enough just being in the parks. Keep in mind that I am thrify by nature, and I am also planning our first trip now.(We will stay offsite, of course). Maybe someday money will not be an issue, but I generally like to get as much value for my money as I can.

C.Ann
06-21-2003, 06:35 PM
I agree 100%.. Save the money.. The "magic" is in the parks - not the hotel room..

Actually I think being totally submerged in "Disney" 24/7 could be a problem with children that young.. They need a break from it all and doing or being somewhere else for a bit is just the ticket!

Where were you planning on staying in DTD?

Reflection
06-21-2003, 08:31 PM
I generally combine offsite and an onsite stay with my WDW vacations.

Although I enjoy my stays in WDW accomodations, I've always been bemused by the 'must-stay-at-WDW-cuz it's more magical' view. I've had magical stays during all my Orlando vacations-- including Universal/IOA.

That said, I do like the WDW deluxe hotels and the home-away-from-home accomodations. But, IMO, I feel you get more 'bang for the buck' with offsite accomodations, particularly if you want suite-style accomodations or are considering an offsite hotel on the level of WDW Value or Moderate accomodations.

Some things to consider:

Transportation: Will you have a car (your own or a rental)? Even when staying onsite, I always have a rental car--my idea of vacation is not to be tied to bus schedules--so access to transportation is not a major issue for me. For many people, not having to drive is a big plus to staying onsite. WDW transportation is extensive and runs more frequently than offsite transportation. Although, I've not used the DTD transportation, I understand the busses run pretty frequently.

Dining--Offsite provides accessability to wider variety of restaurants in various price ranges.

You stated a six-night stay. If the Fairy Tale Package is available during your stay, you may want to consider that. For a package, it is very good deal. Basically, you pay for four nights and get three nights free (the package is inclusive of the Ultimate Park Hopper Passes, which provide access to all WDW parks, water parks, Disney Quest, and Pleasure Island). Given the age of your children, those features--eg., Disney Quest, Please Island--may not be as important to you.

So in closing, is it necessary to stay on property to have an enjoyable, magical WDW experience? I don't think so. Whatever you decide, have a terrific vacation!

disneysteve
06-21-2003, 10:28 PM
Count me in as an off-site devotee. I don't see anything that makes the onsite hotels worth the price. I can spend a week offsite for the cost of one nite onsite. The Disney hotels are beautiful but at the end of the day, a bed is a bed. Stay offsite and use the money saved to enjoy some of the fine dining Disney has to offer. Or put it away for a return trip.

Steve

susy
06-22-2003, 02:24 PM
I have stayed at three DTD hotels (BW, CY, and Hilton). I have also stayed at all three levels of Disney Resorts-value, moderate, and deluxe. There is a very different atmosphere to each. The DTD hotels are great for adults whjo will spend tiem at DTD, Pleasure Island, and do some things offsite. I would only stay at DTD with a car. Onsite is completely different. You don't need a car at all. With little ones that age, I would stay at ASMo or CBR. CBR has great rooms-large with lot of storage. ASMo has wonderful theming. I grew up in FL and have been to wdw countless times. Always offsite. I was indifferent to Disney-until I stayed onsite. You NEVER leave the magic. Onsite is worth $$$ to me!

BibbidiBobbidiBOO
06-22-2003, 03:08 PM
I'm with suzy on this one. Having stayed offsite, at the DTD resorts, and now 3 WDW mods and 2 deluxes(another in the plans) we will never go "back" to offsite. The experience is completely different. I too grew up going to WDW, but did not "get it" until we stayed at a WDW resort.
It will be so much easier to get around with little ones staying onsite. We find each resort is a "theme park" in itself and love to take a day to explore it:D ! The CM's are so nice, the pools are great and there are several lifeguards(at least 3) on duty. Have never had such attention in a pool elsewhere!
We never would have tried the WDW resorts the first time without the discounts. You can get a great resort and a great price most of the time. Keep an eye on mousesavers if you go this route. New discounts pop up from time to time. :D
You can save money on breakfasts too. One day at CR we bought a box of Entemann's doughnuts for around $3.50 and they lasted 2 breakfasts. We enjoyed character breakfasts 2 other mornings so we felt this was a way to compensate for that expense :p ! Another morning we ate in the food center there.
My kids now make a point of "fake" crying when we leave and drive off the property for the first time since we arrived. It is a different world outside those gates to them.:earseek:

C.Ann
06-22-2003, 06:21 PM
A thousand dollars can buy an AWFUL LOT of "tangible" "magic" that you can bring home with you!! Or you could put it aside for another "quick trip" to Disney at some point in the future..

I still say off-site.. No matter how long or how hard people profess it's worth the extra thousand dollars to stay on-site, the true "magic" is in the parks - so - if you're not going to put it aside for another trip, why not have a ball spending it on souveniers that you can bring home with you and have FOREVER?;)

BibbidiBobbidiBOO
06-22-2003, 06:31 PM
Can I ask how the $1000 more for onsite is calculated? We have stayed at Moderates and WL and CR(SOG rate) and never paid more than $119 a night:D . We have stayed in mods for $84 and $99, though I have seen them for less. What are your dates? With your youngest just 2 yrs old, you could stay(fit) in any resort. There may not be discounts yet, but they usually are available at some point. FTP is also a great deal.

MulanMom
06-22-2003, 10:02 PM
I don't know what time of year you are going, but no one has pointed out one of the advantages of staying on Disney property---Early Magic Hour. Especially with the ages of your children, I would imagine Fantasyland in MK would be a big draw. Getting there early for EMH helps get Fantasyland done easily with little or no wait times in comparison to the rest of the day. If you are going in the off-season, though, you *might* be able to accomplish the same if you get to Fantasyland when the park opens.

Another advantage to on-property is the transportation system. If you are traveling with another adult, it would be much easier for your group to split up than if you were staying off-property. Also, if you are not renting a car or driving your own, getting around is much easier on-property than off.

Only you can decide what's important to you and whether the extra money to stay on-site is worth it. Personally, for a first time trip which will be magical, I'd say enhance the magic with staying onsite. The FTP is a really good deal if you are planning a trip before Nov. 20th of this year.

Good luck making your decision! It's a tough one!;)

Maistre Gracey
06-23-2003, 12:35 AM
Originally posted by C.Ann
A thousand dollars can buy an AWFUL LOT of "tangible" "magic" that you can bring home with you!! Or you could put it aside for another "quick trip" to Disney at some point in the future..

I still say off-site.. No matter how long or how hard people profess it's worth the extra thousand dollars to stay on-site, the true "magic" is in the parks - so - if you're not going to put it aside for another trip, why not have a ball spending it on souveniers that you can bring home with you and have FOREVER?;)
Well, I certainly respect your opinion, but I have a different opinion. To our family, the magic is just as "true" at the Disney resorts, as in the parks. In fact, the resorts are my favorite part of the trip. A thousand dollars of tangible stuff that ends up in the back of the closet???.....No thanks,.....I'd rather have a thousand dollars of great memories.

Again, this is just my opinion. I understand not everyone agrees with it. :cool:

C.Ann
06-23-2003, 07:21 AM
Originally posted by Maistre Gracey
Well, A thousand dollars of tangible stuff that ends up in the back of the closet???.....No thanks,.....I'd rather have a thousand dollars of great memories.

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I agree - that memories are a wonderful thing to have - and I'm sure the OP will have wonderful memories of WDW no matter where she stays (how could you go to Disney and not?? :) ) - but I look at it this way... She can bring home her thousand dollars worth of tangible goods - enjoy them for however long she so chooses - and then in a couple of years, take them OUT of the back of the closet, sell them on eBay, and at the very least, probably make enough money to finance one or more additional memory-making trips! ;)

It just saddens me when people are led to believe that if they don't stay on-site they're missing out on the "true" magic of Disney.. It sets them up for a "negative" attitude before they even leave their homes.. :( The resorts are beautiful - and hold a "resort-type magic" - but the "magic of the parks" is in the parks.. If it weren't, then all of the millions of people that stay off-site wouldn't return year after year.. If someone is questioning whether it's worth the extra thousand dollars to stay at one of the resorts then it would seem they are already questioning the wisdom of spending that much money on a hotel room and the only thing that is causing them uncertainty is this theory that their vacation will be "less than" if they don't stay on- site.. Wonderful memories are made by attitude - not by the number of dollars thrown at them... ;)

Lewisc
06-23-2003, 08:05 AM
I'd rather stay offsite in a 2 room suite type hotel, 2 connecting rooms or even a condo type of property before I'd put 5 people in a value (or even moderate) resort. Yes. with the 2 year old you're within the rules BUT 5 people in a small room isn't a magical experience.

BibbidiBobbidiBOO
06-23-2003, 08:07 AM
Maistre Gracey-I was having the same thoughts last night as I went to sleep. Of all the souvenirs we did get, the pictures and the memories are the most precious. The most priceless one is the reaction on my children's face when they realized we could see the fireworks real well from our room at CR. Swimming or sitting in a lounge chair watching the kids swim while the monorail whisked by is another great memory. The arcade and the ease of the monorail as we stepped onto and off of it will not be forgotten. A fond memory from another trip is watching EWP from the beach of WL. Many of our best memories are from the resorts themselves.

And EMH is lots of fun at the MK. We love being there for an hour before the others arrive-we can do SO much in that time. With little ones, it is easy to take a midday break if needed. And if we decide to drive to a park, it is free and we are waved through.

We did not even pay $1000 for 5 nights, so one does not have to spend $1000 more to stay on property. I do love a good discount! Several years ago we realized we could stay at a moderate for the same price as we had at the DTD hotel; there was no question as to what we would do from then on!

I can't wait to make some memories at AKL later this year:cool: !
I think I am looking forward to the Lodge more than the parks;) !

C.Ann
06-23-2003, 08:24 AM
Originally posted by Lewisc
I'd rather stay offsite in a 2 room suite type hotel, 2 connecting rooms or even a condo type of property before I'd put 5 people in a value (or even moderate) resort. Yes. with the 2 year old you're within the rules BUT 5 people in a small room doesn't make a magical experience.

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LOL .. Good point you bring up there.. I didn't even think about the number of people.. Cramming all of them into ONE room definitely COULD result in a very "unmagical" experience!! ;)

allshookup
06-23-2003, 09:22 AM
For me there is just a certain feeling I get when staying at a Disney Resort. Call it magic or whatever you will, but it is a feeling I did not experience staying off-site. I don't think everyone experiences a Disney Resort the same way. Especially if all you can think about is how much more you could've saved somewhere else then I imagine you wouldn't feel extra special staying at a Disney Resort. The only way to know if you really believe it's worth the money is to try both. Stay a few nights at an off-site resort and then a few nights at a Disney Resort then you can decide what suits you best.

C.Ann
06-23-2003, 09:46 AM
Originally posted by allshookup
For me there is just a certain feeling I get when staying at a Disney Resort. Call it magic or whatever you will, but it is a feeling I did not experience staying off-site. I don't think everyone experiences a Disney Resort the same way. Especially if all you can think about is how much more you could've saved somewhere else then I imagine you wouldn't feel extra special staying at a Disney Resort. The only way to know if you really believe it's worth the money is to try both. Stay a few nights at an off-site resort and then a few nights at a Disney Resort then you can decide what suits you best.
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That might be a very good way to determine if it's worth the money - maybe 2 nights on and the rest off - but definitely NOT with the number that are in her party for this particular trip.. Just all being crammed together in one room would definitely kill any resort-magic right there!

It's a great suggestion for a future trip though!

BibbidiBobbidiBOO
06-23-2003, 09:48 AM
I think the OP was comparing DTD hotels and WDW resorts. Our room at CR(2 queens and a daybed) seemed much bigger than our tower room at Hotel Royal Plaza(2 queens and a sofabed). The bathroom was set up better too, with a separate area for the toilet. Our rooms at WL and the Mods have been more than adequate. Never stayed at an All-Star, so I don't know how big they are.
I am not sure if the OP is coming back here, seems she is looking into WL or the Villa's now.

C.Ann
06-23-2003, 10:32 AM
Originally posted by BibbidiBobbidiBoo
I think the OP was comparing DTD hotels and WDW resorts. Our room at CR(2 queens and a daybed) seemed much bigger than our tower room at Hotel Royal Plaza(2 queens and a sofabed). The bathroom was set up better too, with a separate area for the toilet. Our rooms at WL and the Mods have been more than adequate. Never stayed at an All-Star, so I don't know how big they are.
I am not sure if the OP is coming back here, seems she is looking into WL or the Villa's now.
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Oh - I didn't realize she was looking for only a "room" in the DTD area.. I'm spoiled in that respect - I have to have some sort of suite, cottage, condo, whatever.. I'm miserable if I have to be confined to one room.. I like the "home" atmosphere after a long day in the parks.. And if I were traveling with 3 small children, I would definitely need a separate room where I could lock myself away for awhile!!! LOL

crazelion
06-23-2003, 11:57 AM
I think it's more of personal comfort whether to stay onsite or offsite.

For me staying onsite is I am not going to get lost trying to find my way back to the hotel. Trying to figure out which Hoilday Inn or some other hotel. When I'm tired leaveing the parks. You say how easy to navagate Orlando all you want. I get lost easy and i have maps and driving directions with me.

So I stay onsite so I want end up in Tampa at midnight because I have got lost.

It has happen to.

I think split your stay and decide which is best for that's my advise .