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View Full Version : off-site AND on-site - Am I crazy?


jtn280
08-28-2005, 09:14 AM
Ok - first time as a family (mid-30's w/ girls 7 and 4, boy 21 months)...

Thanks to all the great posts here - have learned a lot - maybe just enough to be dangerous!

Was considering two All-star rooms (connecting = ~250 sq ft X 2 = 500 sq ft for ~ $160 / night), but then also looked at off-site condo's - found plenty 3bdrooms (~1400 sq ft!) for $100 / night...

Dates are Dec 3 - 9, 2005.

I like the idea of staying on-site because a) the boy will have quicker / easier access to a room during the day in case he has a meltdown, b) like the idea of getting meal plans, c) parking / disney transportation, d) EMH, e) 90+10 for reservations, f) charging to room, g) packages delivered to room, etc.

However, I can't stand the idea of the small quarters! Also, like the flexibility of being able to cook at condo, some meals off-site, etc...

So - for the same cost of two All-star rooms, I'm thinking I can do the condo and one All-Star room, and use the All-star room to give me all the advantages that come from staying on-site, but sleep at the condo...

Is this crazy? I haven't seen anyone do this, but it seems that it meets a lot of my needs... Other than the fact that it sounds crazy, I'm not sure I see anything wrong...

Help, help, help!! I'm going to make a decision soon - so please give me your honest opinion!

Thanks

kdtwiss
08-28-2005, 09:28 AM
while you would not be able to get the meal plan - have you looked into renting DVC points at all? It won't be as cheap as a condo - but it would be on Disney property. Then you could rent an all star for the meal plan if the #s worked for you.

disnut8
08-28-2005, 10:37 AM
My first question would be where the condo was located. We rented a house a few years back and the haul out to Route 27 every morning and evening was a bit much for me.

That being said, two rooms at All Stars with your group would give you plenty of room. We actually did four adults and one six-1/2 years old in one room. Yeah, I know, not "legal" but it was a last minute thing. We were never cramped at all. You can store your luggage under the beds at All Stars. We did have a connecting room with the in-laws and they had three adults in their room. Again, never felt cramped at all.

Sounds like you will have a car so the offsite meals wouldn't be a problem. There are a ton of choices just right outside World Drive in either direction on Highway 192.

As for cooking, we had a cabin at Fort Wilderness once and my daughter-in-law and I planned on so many meals in the kitchen. We only did that once and we actually just grilled outside. The rest of the time, we were too busy at the parks.

Aanna
08-28-2005, 10:51 AM
Unless they come out with another free dining plan, you'd need to pay extra for it. Would it be worth it to pay for the dining plan and then still pay for/prepare some of your own meals off-site?

The other possible downside I'd see is the need to have a rental car. If you stay completely on property there would be no need to pay for the extra rental, so splitting your stay you'd need to figure in that cost. If you plan on having a car there anyway that is moot, though. But if you drive your own car, why do you need Disney transportation at all? Why not just use your car to go to and from the condo instead of All Stars? Besides, you're entitled to use Disney transportation any day you have park tickets.

Seems to me you'd be paying an extra $60 per day for EMH.

Personally, I'd rather stay entirely on-site: no car or parking to worry about, no meals to cook or clean up after, no traffic to fight, only one reservation/check out to worry about. :)

Deb & Bill
08-28-2005, 12:27 PM
while you would not be able to get the meal plan - have you looked into renting DVC points at all? It won't be as cheap as a condo - but it would be on Disney property. Then you could rent an all star for the meal plan if the #s worked for you.

It's waaaay to late to be looking for early Dec 2005 using DVC points. It's booked up solid by now with waitlists for members a mile long.

Montana Disney Fan
08-28-2005, 12:46 PM
We always go down early and stay offsite for 3 days then move to our DVC property for 10 more. We just like being on property for some reason.

Our next trip we are going to try this --> http://www.wyndham.com/hotels/MCOTP/main.wnt

It looks very nice with a big screen tv and two bedrooms. We stayed at Camsun Vacation properties which was down the street from the Wyndham where we are staying on our next trip and it was pretty close to the parks. It would take us about 10 minutes to get to MGM, 15 to AK, 20 to Epcot and a lot longer to MK since you have to park at the TTC and then take the monorail or boat in from there. About 45 minutes total to the front gate of MK.

When staying off-site with our two kids (DS 6 yo, DD 4 yo) we really had no problems with melt downs or getting back to our hotel. If you plan on using Disney transportation while staying at the park it would take just as long at three of the parks to get back to the room. MK of course is a different story and may be your deciding factor. It's just too dang difficult to get to MK if you're staying off site IMHO.

jtn280
08-28-2005, 04:12 PM
re: DVC: Just started looking at those - wow! Is that a whole nother complex piece...

In general, We have our own car - coming from Atlanta - so that's not an issue...

Re: Meals at condo - would think we would do b-fasts and maybe a dinner if we were not on property...

Re: Distance: Condo is Winsor Hills - they say "2 miles from Disney"...

Re: Space: Not sure 4 adults and one 6 year old is as bad as 2 adults, 7 yo, 4yo and infant! You haven't seen my kids run around or all try to go to sleep at the same time or take a nap! Whew!!

Dining plan is ~$35 for an adult that gives you 1 snack, 1 Counter Service meal and 1 Table Service meal per day... That seems to me to be quite a savings if you indeed eat two full meals (on CS and one TS) / day in Disney...

If we didn't have the infant, we probably would be fine w/ two rooms - or even one nicer room - on-site...

Has anyone heard of anyone doing this before?

Thanks for everyone's help...

Stitches12
08-28-2005, 04:45 PM
I'd consider a few things. First, although your resort is advertised as "only 2 miles away" if you know the traffic around Disney you know this could take you quite a long while to get to and from. Consider - getting into car - driving - arriving at disney - parking - walking to tram service - taking tram to TTC - transfer from TTC to wherever you're going - finally arriving at destination. Driving and parking and walking are going to be much greater than if you only had to take a disney bus to wherever you want to go. For this reason alone, I wouldn't want to be off property with small children. It's a lot of extra work for them just going to and from which causes a "melt-down" all in itself (sure I don't have to tell you that).

Also, you're considering the meal plan here but you're going in December so meals would be extra.

If it were me - I'd try to rent points from a DVC member. You can get 1 bedroom units with full kitchens and lots of room. Check the DVC rent board and see what you come up with. Its a lot cheaper than having 2 rooms.

Just my 2 cents - at any rate, you'll be at the happiest place on earth and whatever it takes to get you guys there will be worth it - good luck

CarolA
08-28-2005, 04:59 PM
I would stay offsite before I would spend $160 a night for two All Star rooms and I like the All Stars, but I think with three kids the space and "food Options" of a condo would be better. (I don't know about your kids but my friends kids eat about three things so the meal plan would probably be a waste of money LOL!)

The DVC option may or may not work... DVC is booked right now for those days. (Lots of posts on the DVC boards about waitlists) so you need to find someone who already has a room reserved.

DisneyMomx7
08-28-2005, 05:12 PM
Have you considered one moderate - less money than two values - more rooms and more things to do at the resort. This way you could get the dining and the EMH and the transportation. I think off-site will actually be harder in the long run with young kids. This way you must wake up, get dressed and wait for the bus instead of dealing with traffic!

soccer mom
08-28-2005, 05:12 PM
cook?......cook?......your on vacation, girl!!

minnie61650
08-28-2005, 05:22 PM
Sleeping at the condo and booking one room at the All Stars for a place to come back to in the day so you can rest and /or swim might be a good idea for your family.
Maybe you ask about the condo you are thinking about on the offsite property board. Someone there might be able to tell how much time it usually takes to travel those 2 miles. I don't know if would be "legal" either.
But I think would be. The room is for 4 people and 1 child under 3.

All Stars is my favorite resort.
I am 55 years old and travel several times a year. I often stay at 4 star hotels.
So the deluxe resorts do not have anything special for me.
All Star is like being in the heart of the Magic and that is where I want to be.

All Star Music is my favorite.It is quieter because more couples stay there. I love staying at the Clypso building. It is closer to the pool,food court and bus stop.

Here is a site with a map of All Star Sports and All Star Music.
http://www.wdwinfo.com/resortmaps/allstarmap.htm
Scroll down.All Star Music is at the bottom of the page.
The Calypso buildings at All Star Music are #1 and #10 are nearest to the food court and bus stop.
They are the preferred buildings and cost about $12 extra per night.
The Calypso pool at ASMU has Donald Duck.

Here is the map of All Movies.
http://www.wdwinfo.com/resortmaps/allstarmovie.JPG
The Fantasia Buildings are the preferred buildings.
The All Star Movie Fantasia pool has Mickey.
It is a great place to stay .
Preschoolers love it.
It is like being in the middle of a Disney Movie Fantasyland.
All Star Movies has pop up fountains now also.
The buses are wonderful.

Bus rides are quite short from the ALL Stars according to PassPorter.com

All Star Buses-CBR buses---CSR buses--PO buses--- Contemporary
MK 20 min---- 20 min-----15 min------10 min---20 min(mono)
Epcot 10 min-- 15 min-----15 min------10 min---15 min
MGM 10 min----12 min-----15 min------15 min---20min
AK 10 min------20min-------10 min----15 min---20 min
DTD 15 min----20 min------35 min-----15 min---35 min

It only takes 10 minutes to get to Epcot,MGM and AK from All Stars.
MK is 20 min away. That's the same amount of time it takes on the monorail from the Contemporary.

I have visited WDW more than a dozen times with the 1st time in Oct. 1971. It was brand new. I've stayed at FW, Disney Inn, a few the of Hotels on hotel Blvd., CBR and the towers at the Contemporary. I got to see the MK from my balcony at the Contemporary and I'm happy I got to experience it once. I just prefer the All Star Resorts.
The theaming is pure Disney.
My last 4 visits have been at The All Stars and this fall when we take dd,dsil, and our grandson age 3 we are staying at the All Stars Music. I thought about AKL and even though we can well afford AKL I just wanted Alex to experience the Disney Magic :wizard: at the All Stars on his first visit.
Where else can one find Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse at the pool?
Keep us posted about your decision.
Have a great time at Disney!
Linda ::MinnieMo

kaytieeldr
08-28-2005, 05:25 PM
I wouldn't use your son's potential melt-downs as a determining factor in deciding where to stay. You're better off finding a quiet place - either in the parks or even the Baby Care station. Even though the Allstars are onsite, it'll still take you quite a while to get back to your room. Say you're at the American Adventure in Epcot when he has a melt-down. You have to get all the way to the opposite end of the park, then either wait for a bus or if you've driven get a tram to your car, get him in the car, drive back to your resort, get from the car or bus to your room....

WDW Fan
08-28-2005, 05:59 PM
I think you're better off staying on-site and getting two connecting rooms at either All-Star or Pop Century. You'll have access to two bathrooms which really helps when trying to get ready in the morning and the food court at the value resorts are great for families. They're pretty reasonable in costs and there is plenty of tables to sit at without having to wait for someone to get up and leave. You probably wouldn't cook in the condo as often as you think. It's hard to leave the parks once you're there to go back to the condo to cook a meal. The traffic in Orlando can be very congested at times which eats into your park time also! :earsgirl:

videogal1
08-28-2005, 06:18 PM
No delivery to room...just to gift shop of resort you're staying at...

jtn280
08-28-2005, 07:20 PM
re: Meal Plans - not sure what you meant by "because you're going in December, the meal plan would be extra"... If I book on the disney site, I can add "Magic Your Way plus Dining" - yes for a cost, but I'm assuming the cost is not free in non-December months!

Thanks to everyone - again - amazed at the care and knowledge of the folks here...

maxiesmom
08-28-2005, 07:34 PM
With the ages of your children I would definately do the 2 all-stars rooms. It is so much easier to pop back to your room if you need a break. I have stayed on site and stayed off site with young children, and it makes a huge difference to be so close to the theme parks. No matter where you stay off-site the drive seems much longer. Have a great trip no matter what you choose to do!

Joy
08-28-2005, 08:30 PM
Why not try a cabin at Fort Wilderness? It wouldn't be too much more than the condo plus the All Stars room. You have a kitchen and a seperate bedroom. Plus I think you can park your car right outside your door. Then you could drive to the parks - you can take the boat to the MK. Plus you'd have the Disney transportation if your family needs to split up.

minnie61650
08-28-2005, 09:55 PM
Why not try a cabin at Fort Wilderness? It wouldn't be too much more than the condo plus the All Stars room. You have a kitchen and a seperate bedroom. Plus I think you can park your car right outside your door. Then you could drive to the parks - you can take the boat to the MK. Plus you'd have the Disney transportation if your family needs to split up.

The cabins are a great idea but I'm sorry to say you cannot park your car outside your door.
You have to park it in the parking lot a bit of a distance away.
Also Ft Wilderness has an internal bus system. That means you get on a bus which takes you to the parking lot. Then you get off the bus and either go to the bus stop to catch another bus for the parks or you can head to your car to drive to the parks.
You can take a boat to the MK. That ride is about 15 min.
Bus ride times according to Passporter.com are::
Epcot 25 min
MGM 30 min.
AK 30 min
DTD 35 min
Linda ::MinnieMo

minnie61650
08-29-2005, 04:27 AM
Have you concidered Doubletree suites. It is smaller than a condo but it is on Disney property in the Hotel Plaza resort area. It sleeps 6. It has 2 rooms ,A bed room and a living room with a sleeper sofa. 3 TV's a small kitchen area with a fridge,a microwave and a coffee maker.

http://www.doubletree.com/en/dt/hotels/photo_gallery.jhtml?ctyhocn=MCOFHDT&category=0

http://www.doubletree.com/en/dt/hotels/photo_gallery.jhtml?ctyhocn=MCOFHDT&category=0&index=0&photo=3

Of course than you give up the option of buying a meal plan.
Just another option for you to think about.
Myself? I would opt for 2 rooms at the All Stars but then I love that resort. It is almost as much fun as the MK. JMHO
Linda ::MinnieMo