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View Full Version : Is staying on-site REALLY more magical and are the Value Resorts just as good?


luvitmoreachtime
09-11-2004, 09:57 AM
We had a reservation at the Windsor palms for a 3br /3 bath condo and cancelled (Lost $25) cause someone said that we just had to stay on site with our Woody and Buzz obsessed 2 year old daughter. We choose the ASMo because of the Woody statue and the cost $55.00 per night. Is it going to be worth the lost of kitchen, extra rooms and free laundry facilities??? I need some opinions here.....
By the way, We have stayed at the Marriot Grande Vista on our honeymoon and loved it, Stay at Westgate Resorts last year and hated it and this is our first onsite stay.

TINKTWINS
09-11-2004, 10:14 AM
Well if your used to the comforts of condo vacationing, you may not like it. However, to me, nothing compares to the Magic, and I get some everytime!! For instance, in August we spent a week in Disney then a week in Vero, we decided to drive back up to Orlando and spent our last night there, so I booked Pop. I had promised my 4 yo twins a morning swim. As my DD was sitting poolside, a lifeguard asked her if she would like to turn on the flower sprinklers. Well it waw quite a little ceremony with lifeguards in wigs, DD in a wig waving here magic flower power wand, I had tears in my eyes. They even gaver her a certificate for doing it. It was awesome, I was so glad I stayed a night there just for some last minute magic!

J.C.&ALI'SMOM
09-11-2004, 10:14 AM
I just wanted to say that there are laundry facilities at ASMo, and I know that it costs to use them but if you bring your own laundry detergent, that lowers the cost considerably. I put my detergent in an empty 20 oz. coke bottle and stow it in my toiletries bag. In my experience, the dryers at the resorts I have stayed at are not the best so you are better off letting the clothes air dry in the room. I bring clothespins to help me hang up the smaller things in the closets, like socks, underwear, etc.

Bring a big cooler for snacks. We wouldn't cook big meals on a vacation anyway so a kitchen per se, is not a big draw for me. We do buy snacks and drinks though. So we either rent a fridge or bring our cooler for them.

Personally, I prefer onsite over any other room. That is just me. I like not having to see rows of tacky touristy stores, restaurants, etc. while having to drive to a park. I like being where everything is NICE! But that is me.

Pea-n-Me
09-11-2004, 10:20 AM
Your daughter will love it and therefore you will like it too! Nothing beats the Magic of a Disney Resort! princess: Why don't you bring her a Princess (or Jesse) outfit so she can *really* get into it?

Pkdcoastrs
09-11-2004, 11:49 AM
Yes stay on-site! The transportation is what makes the BIGGEST DIFFERENCE. Off-site hotels that even have buses get dropped off FAR AWAY and show up at weird times!

I reccomend Pop Century, it takes the best of the All-Star hotels and makes them even better! FUN times will be had!!

jiminy579
09-11-2004, 12:24 PM
Staying onsite is a definite must! The words Disney World have true meaning, because once you hit WDW property, you are truly in another world, and for the length of your trip you don't have to leave! I still remember our first trip to WDW, and how magical it was pulling up to the All Stars Resort! Here are just a few of the things I love about the All Stars:
<p> "Over the top" decorations<p>Amazing kid's area provided while you check in<p>Huge food court<p>Wonderful pools<p>More photo ops than you can imagine<p>Out of this world theming <p>And how can I forget to mention........rates that will knock your socks off!<p>
Disney does it right, down to the smallest detail. You will find Disney magic around every corner!! Our second trip we stayed at the All Stars Movie Resort and requested the "Mighty Ducks" since the two men in my life, DH and DS love hockey! Trust me, you are in for a huge treat, and your daughter is going to have the time of her life! I sincerely hope you have a magical vacation!!
ENJOY!!

2Disneybuggs
09-11-2004, 12:37 PM
I would love to stay onsite- preferably The Poly! But it's not in our budget right now. We're staying at the Grande Vista and it cost us 249.00 for the week. It's a beautiful resort but I need too stay onsite sometime. But I would rather take my Disney magic this way than waiting two years to do a trip..

So in my opinion if you can go for staying onsite do it! If you can;t Disney is magical even if you are offsite.

jarestel
09-11-2004, 12:51 PM
Well, you can certainly find cheaper ( and larger ) accomodations off-site than you can on Disney property. The biggest draw ( I don't think there's any such thing as Disney magic, others assertations to the contrary, so I don't count that for much ) to staying on-site is convenience. If you can swap saving money for convenience, then on-site is great. Loading up the vehicle with children, strollers, etc to drive back to the off-site hotel vs hopping on a Disney boat, bus, or monorail to return really shouldn't be minimized. But neither should being comfortable when you arrive at your hotel room. If saving money and getting a much better room is of more importance, then off-site will work quite nicely. If the convenience of staying right in the middle of "the world" is more important, then on-site is for you. Good luck with whatever you decide!

Mom of Sleepy, Bashful and BabyDoc
09-11-2004, 01:03 PM
You gotta do what you gotta do to get you there. I'd rather go more often because now I'm really hooked. And it's only going to get worse since next year we are planning on buying AP's. In 2005/2006 we are hoping to do three trips for a total of 6 weeks at WDW. That can't happen for us if we stay on site.

luvitmoreachtime.............well, I wouldn't advise you to change your ressies again. Go, have a great time. I'm sure you will. We've stayed at AsMovies and loved it. My DH even loved it. The food court was good and my children loved the atmosphere.

But that being said, we had never stayed off site before. Now that we have, I don't see us staying on site again unless it's when Dh and I fly down (our family drives when it's all 5 of us) for a 3 day weekend and don't want to rent a car. We just came back, and while my DH was sitting in the living room at our condo there he said,"So, what do you think.....we could fit our whole room at Disney in this living room and dining room." And we had a kitchen, 2 bedrooms and two bathrooms on top of that. I don't know, I had plenty of magic sitting in my jacuzzi with the TV remote in one hand and a virgin pina colada in the other. :p

A lot of your vacation is what you make it. I know you will have a great time. I think staying on WDW property is awesome, I just can't afford it. :D Say Hi to Woody and Buzz for us!:wave2:

Castillo Mom
09-11-2004, 03:10 PM
We just got back 2 weeks ago from our first trip. I can't speak from experience with regards to staying off site, however, we loved staying at a WDW resort. It was so nice not to have to worry about renting a car and not having to drive anywhere or find parking meant we could relax a little more. We also loved the convenience of having easy access to our resort. My husband wasn't feeling well a couple of times so he went back to the room by himself while our boys and I kept going. If we would've been staying off site, we would have all had to go back with him. It really is a different world once you enter Disney property and we had a wondeful experience. If you can swing it, stay on site.

mickey0216
09-11-2004, 03:33 PM
Other advantages...

- Rather than having to carry cash for eating and shopping - you can charge it back to your room.
- If you do any shopping, even at Downtown Disney - you can have the packages delivered to your room for free vs. lugging your purchases for the balance of the day.
- Early Entry at one park per day
- Refillable Resort Mugs - Added benefit of being able to enjoy the ongoing, everlasting debate...

Jen4974
09-11-2004, 04:25 PM
My husband and I love the value resorts. Once our child is born, regardless of our budget, we will stay there. They are themed so fun for kids.

And I *do* believe in Disney Magic. The atmosphere on a warm night when everyone is out and strolling about and the kids are playing and people are swimming....It cant be beat.

I think you made a good decision. It is Disney everywhere. The arcades are also so much fun, for whatever age your child is. They have baby games and adult stuff. Definitely worth a roll of quarters and a couple hours of fun!

You will love it!

luvitmoreachtime
09-11-2004, 04:42 PM
I'm getting chills just thinking about it. I'm 35, I shouldnt be this excited but I just cant wait to see my daughter's face when she sees all those huge statues. I just bought a digital camera and plan to take 6,000,000 pictures. lol. I'll blow the following months budget on developing. lol
The ASMo wasnt anymore expensive than staying off-site in a decent hotel as far as I am concerned. It was $55 per night even on the weekend and an extra $10 for an extra adult. We pay more than that when we travel to visit family in Wilmington, NC. Most good hotel rooms are over $60 now days especially on the weekend.
I just worry about the food costs being higher but it gives me a great excuse not to cook for 2 weeks. lol
Have i said it yet...I JUST CANT WAIT!!!!!!!!

swilphil
09-11-2004, 07:48 PM
Originally posted by luvitmoreachtime
We had a reservation at the Windsor palms for a 3br /3 bath condo and cancelled (Lost $25) cause someone said that we just had to stay on site with our Woody and Buzz obsessed 2 year old daughter. We choose the ASMo because of the Woody statue and the cost $55.00 per night. Is it going to be worth the lost of kitchen, extra rooms and free laundry facilities??? I need some opinions here.....
By the way, We have stayed at the Marriot Grande Vista on our honeymoon and loved it, Stay at Westgate Resorts last year and hated it and this is our first onsite stay.

I, too, stayed at a Westgate condo and hated, and I, too, have young children who are obsessed with Woody and Buzz. They are actually watching Toy Story 2 as I write this ("I'm a married spud, I'm a married spud.")

To answer your question, we stay at the Swan/Dolphin. We find the location to Epcot and MGM to be fantastic--you can walk to both. We make several trips to Pizza Planet and Al's Toy Barn to see their "special friends." They also like the giant play-dough at the MGM play area. A 2-year-old doesn't really care where they sleep. They just want to go to the parks and the pool.

Staying at the S/D is a nice compromise to staying on-site. You are technically on-site (literally between Boardwalk and Yacht Club), but you don't have to pay the pricey rates to stay at a Disney deluxe. We get discounted rates of $150 a night, and you can have them empty the mini-bar so you get a fridge. After staying so close to parks, I can't stay at a value where you have to take a bus to get everywhere.

raysnkaysmom
09-11-2004, 09:25 PM
Just my 2 cents...staying on site really sets the tone for your whole vacation. The first time I did WDW, we stayed onsite, value for 2 days, moderate for 2...and the value is just as wonderful in my opinion, especially with kids.
The 2nd time I went, I couldnt afford onsite, so we stayed offsite and drove our own car as opposed to disney buses....and although I wasn't disappointed with offsite and it didn't diminish my trip by any means...onsite is still the 'whole enchilada'
:)

mudnuri
09-11-2004, 09:39 PM
Our first trip this past April, was to ASMovies. We stayed in the 101 buildings.

At first, we were going to stay off site. I ended up getting a room only code- THANKS TO THE DIS! of 61. and change with tax per night. This is what i looked at in the decisions...

1st- We had our truck with us since we drove from VT so transportation of we stayed offsite wasn't an issue but the $7 per day was...X 7 days- almost 50 bucks

2nd- my kids I think could care less where we stay. They were 6 & 7 during the trip..

3rd- I chose to stay onsite, due to the $$, and the convienience. Having never been before (okay once back in the early 80's and I remember NOTHING of it)...there wasnt any worry about magic. Being at WDW is magic enough.

Here's why Im glad we made this choice-

The transportation.

yes, I did drive to AK one day, but becuase we had late reservations at Rainforest for dinner, and I knew after a long day the last thing the kids would want to do is wait for a bus.

The convienience.

Being able to hop on a bus, get back to the hotel, for pool, or rest within usually 20 minutes depending on the time of day and park, was perfect!

One morning, DD2 wanted to sleep late and DD1 wanted to go on Rocking Roller Coaster it was EE to MGM and she KNEW it...Dh and DD1 went to MGM first thing. DD2 and I relaxed in the room, ate a relaxing breakfast, walked around ASMovies for awhile, then headed over to meet them at MGM for lunch. If we stayed off-site no way could we do this.

I liked watching the younger kids on the bus in the AM...they were always SO EXCITED...you could see it in their eyes...so happy!..it was wonderful.

My kids had a great time meeting friends on the bus and in the lines.

Was it magical? Oh sure it was. Will I stay there again..sure I will. If we do a budget trip, it will be ASMovies again for us. If some how I can swing it, we will try Animal Kingdom Lodge, but we've stayed in every type of hotel so a deluxe is nice yes, but really, we only slept in our room in Disney.

Good luck
Brandy