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mommytothreeboys 10-05-2012 11:44 AM

Considering Offsite trip...HELP!
 
There are no opinions I trust more than those of my DIS friends! Our last family trip to WDW was in 2009. We have only ever done onsite and we are dining plan people.

With that said, we are hoping to make it back to our favorite vacation destination this spring! YAY! Our initial plan is to do 4-5 days at Disney and a 3 night Bahamas cruise. Our budget is tight. When I say tight, I mean tight. My husband just took a new job that was a step in the right direction for his health and the well being of our family, but a step back in salary. So, we need to cut costs on this trip wherever possible. We are already considering driving rather than flying to save some money.

We are a family of 5. My boys are 18 (getting ready to graduate HS), 15, and 12. I have been looking into vacation rentals and considering staying offsite. Unless Disney comes out with a fantastic deal for spring travel, I think we will be trying offsite accommodations this trip.

I need help! I have been reading extensively on this site and doing lots of research. I have read that going directly through the owner is better, and I have heard that I should stick with a broker or third party. This is all new to me and any advice would be greatly appreciated!

jamuth 10-05-2012 01:49 PM

We have used Ken and Denise Price at vacation upgrades for a 2br/2bath condo at Wyndham Bonnet Creek. We paid $120/night. They do have a shuttle but I have never used it. We like it there and will be going back for a 2nd trip soon.
If staying on site is better.. check out the All star music family suite. Price didn't seem that bad compared to deluxe or Art of Animation.

Ed J 10-05-2012 02:48 PM

I prefer offsite (condo /timeshare) so I can enjoy real bedrooms, full kitchen and a W&D.
But if I'm looking to spend the least, a value on site if your youngest will sleep in a pull out is usually your most cost effective answer. If you have to get 2 rooms at a value then off site will be cheaper.

Is all of you in 1 room an option?

mommytothreeboys 10-05-2012 03:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ed J (Post 46359756)
I prefer offsite (condo /timeshare) so I can enjoy real bedrooms, full kitchen and a W&D.
But if I'm looking to spend the least, a value on site if your youngest will sleep in a pull out is usually your most cost effective answer. If you have to get 2 rooms at a value then off site will be cheaper.

Is all of you in 1 room an option?

I was under the impression that 5 in a value was strictly a no-no. We are not opposed to staying in one room (we normally do at POR), but won't trying to sleep 5 in a value room mean one person won't be able to get DDP or EMH?? :confused3

Upatnoon 10-06-2012 02:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mommytothreeboys (Post 46360076)
I was under the impression that 5 in a value was strictly a no-no. We are not opposed to staying in one room (we normally do at POR), but won't trying to sleep 5 in a value room mean one person won't be able to get DDP or EMH?? :confused3

You can only legally fit 4 in a value and they are tiny. With all those boys, wouldn't you rather have a 2 bedroom, anyway?

You will get a ton more for your money by renting a timeshare resort or home. Look on ebay to get an idea of what the prices are.

Bonnet Creek is a great place to start.

Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina 10-06-2012 07:56 AM

Is Disney a must-do for the pre-cruise portion of your vacation, or are you up to considering a different Orlando option?

Just wondering, as SeaWorld packages are typically much more affordable than Disney, are tons of fun, and offer some excellent perks.

To give you an example, we priced out our Christmas vacation in a value resort (cheapest room we could find), base tickets, no dining at Disney. Total = $2300+ .

We got a full one bedroom suite with kitchen at the Residence Inn SeaWorld, buffet breakfast daily, free wi-fi, free transportation to the parks, unlimited admission to both SeaWorld and Aquatica, one day of free dining at both parks for the whole family, and free Quick Queue at SeaWorld (front of the line passes). Total = $1330. A $1000 savings PLUS you get a much bigger room, and have a lot of your meal costs covered. Yes, you do have less parks to visit but that may not be an issue if you are only staying 3-4 days anyway. Or, you could consider using some of the savings and booking a day at Discovery Cove.....which is an experience in itself :thumbsup2 .

My 16 year old son enjoys SeaWorld even more than Disney, and loves having a waterpark option on our trips. If your boys are coaster lovers, Manta is amazing (my DH and DS's favourite coaster, EVER) and Kraken is also fantastic. Just thought I'd toss it out as something to consider :) .

dtum 10-07-2012 06:27 AM

WH is great. They have lots of condos (we had 4 bed/bath house) but a condo would go cheaper. Try here:

http://www.vacationcentralflorida.co...rtiesinfo.html

You can sign up for Dave's emails and get really good deals.

momto2js 10-07-2012 10:35 AM

One of your limiting factors is going to be 4 days. Most of the times owners and most timeshare places give their best deals for 7 day rentals. I would look at places like vistana, or a residence inn with a AAA or entertaiment card discount and see if that helps. Otherwise maybe one of the area holiday inns or something like that. Look for a car deal then plan to go off-site for meals.

I do agree that you can save some money by doing an "other" than disney parks trip too. Good luck.

ChristineNic 10-07-2012 10:54 AM

If you can plan your Disney stay to be Sunday through Thursday, renting points would be a good option. DVC points are higher for Friday and Saturday stays.

mommytothreeboys 10-07-2012 11:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina (Post 46364629)
Is Disney a must-do for the pre-cruise portion of your vacation, or are you up to considering a different Orlando option?

Just wondering, as SeaWorld packages are typically much more affordable than Disney, are tons of fun, and offer some excellent perks.

To give you an example, we priced out our Christmas vacation in a value resort (cheapest room we could find), base tickets, no dining at Disney. Total = $2300+ .

We got a full one bedroom suite with kitchen at the Residence Inn SeaWorld, buffet breakfast daily, free wi-fi, free transportation to the parks, unlimited admission to both SeaWorld and Aquatica, one day of free dining at both parks for the whole family, and free Quick Queue at SeaWorld (front of the line passes). Total = $1330. A $1000 savings PLUS you get a much bigger room, and have a lot of your meal costs covered. Yes, you do have less parks to visit but that may not be an issue if you are only staying 3-4 days anyway. Or, you could consider using some of the savings and booking a day at Discovery Cove.....which is an experience in itself :thumbsup2 .

My 16 year old son enjoys SeaWorld even more than Disney, and loves having a waterpark option on our trips. If your boys are coaster lovers, Manta is amazing (my DH and DS's favourite coaster, EVER) and Kraken is also fantastic. Just thought I'd toss it out as something to consider :) .

Well....this trip is really a compromise. I would prefer to do just Disney, my DH wants to take the boys on a cruise. The split trip is our way of handling that. That being said, Disney is kind of a must do.

The Sea World info is much appreciated though. I will put that in my back pocket for a future trip as I'm sure my boys would love it! Thanks!

Quote:

Originally Posted by dtum (Post 46371768)
WH is great. They have lots of condos (we had 4 bed/bath house) but a condo would go cheaper. Try here:

http://www.vacationcentralflorida.co...rtiesinfo.html

You can sign up for Dave's emails and get really good deals.

Thanks! That is a site I have been to and done some research. Good to know it is reputable.

Quote:

Originally Posted by momto2js (Post 46373454)
One of your limiting factors is going to be 4 days. Most of the times owners and most timeshare places give their best deals for 7 day rentals. I would look at places like vistana, or a residence inn with a AAA or entertaiment card discount and see if that helps. Otherwise maybe one of the area holiday inns or something like that. Look for a car deal then plan to go off-site for meals.

I do agree that you can save some money by doing an "other" than disney parks trip too. Good luck.

We're actually looking at 5 nights, late Saturday through Thursday. If an owner has a minimum stay requirement, that will be posted, right? I've checked out a few hotels, DTD and others, and the rates seem to be higher than the vacation rentals. Thanks for the input!

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChristineNic (Post 46373633)
If you can plan your Disney stay to be Sunday through Thursday, renting points would be a good option. DVC points are higher for Friday and Saturday stays.

I've looked into this too. Still checking it out...thanks!

At World's End 10-07-2012 12:27 PM

We have stayed at this townhouse in Crestwynd Bay and would recommend it. The owner is great to work with. It is right next to Windsor Hills, but less expensive. We paid $65/nt. It has 3br/3ba, full kitchen and laundry.

http://www.vrbo.com/281521

If you need to rent a car, sign up for the Emerald Club with National or Alamo Insiders. when you rent an intermediate you can choose from any car on the aisle and should easily be able to find something to fit 5. I was able to rent an int. with Alamo for $150 for 10 nights and we got a minivan.

Eating some dinners offsite will save some money, too. Look into restaurants.com gift certificates. We used one for Giordanos and had great pizza and lots of leftovers. Steak N Shake is another great offsite option that is fun, good food, and very inexpensive.

The other big cost savings optio would be to look at cruise lines other than Disney.

mommytothreeboys 10-07-2012 02:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by At World's End (Post 46374303)
We have stayed at this townhouse in Crestwynd Bay and would recommend it. The owner is great to work with. It is right next to Windsor Hills, but less expensive. We paid $65/nt. It has 3br/3ba, full kitchen and laundry.

http://www.vrbo.com/281521

If you need to rent a car, sign up for the Emerald Club with National or Alamo Insiders. when you rent an intermediate you can choose from any car on the aisle and should easily be able to find something to fit 5. I was able to rent an int. with Alamo for $150 for 10 nights and we got a minivan.

Eating some dinners offsite will save some money, too. Look into restaurants.com gift certificates. We used one for Giordanos and had great pizza and lots of leftovers. Steak N Shake is another great offsite option that is fun, good food, and very inexpensive.

The other big cost savings optio would be to look at cruise lines other than Disney.

Thanks so much! I emailed for a quote for the townhouse. We will most likely be driving, so a car won't be an issue. But, if it is, I will keep your advice in mind. We are most definitely looking at non-Disney cruise options. That would be the only way we could go. ;)

jenne 10-11-2012 08:54 AM

just came back from a similar trip...
 
I went on a trip this summer with my husband for my 40th - we did 5 days at Disney and 6 days on a Carnival cruise - we had a blast!

My family were dedicated onsite trippers for decades, but I changed my tune once I started going with my own kids. I can't stand sharing a hotel room and bedtimes with my DS5 and DS2. We have stayed offsite now twice and I will NEVER stay onsite again. The first time we rented a private house that had its own pool and hot tub, and the second time we had a townhouse at Windsor Hills. We will be returning to Windsor Hills again.

The reason the offsite townhouse works for us is that I don't mind cooking on vacation. We drive there (even from Canada!) and that allows us to save tons of money. I make and freeze a lot of stuff before we leave and take it with us. Spaghetti sauce, lasagne, homemade chicken nuggets, casseroles, etc are all made ahead of time and frozen. I take dinner for every day of our trip except the ones where we plan to go out. I don't think that disney has the highest quality food, so I feel we aren't missing much by not going out.

We pay - $900/week - spring break premium time - for the townhouse
- $50/week - parking fees for not being a resort guest
- $200/week - additional food for breakfast, lunch, snacks - to combine with the food I brought from home for dinner

I imagine with bigger boys, you would have a slightly higher grocery cost, but it should still be fairly close. We already have our tickets, so we can manage a spring break trip to Disney for just over $1500 - including gas for the way there and back. With any luck you can squeeze that into your budget!

mommytothreeboys 10-11-2012 10:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jenne (Post 46412908)
I went on a trip this summer with my husband for my 40th - we did 5 days at Disney and 6 days on a Carnival cruise - we had a blast!

My family were dedicated onsite trippers for decades, but I changed my tune once I started going with my own kids. I can't stand sharing a hotel room and bedtimes with my DS5 and DS2. We have stayed offsite now twice and I will NEVER stay onsite again. The first time we rented a private house that had its own pool and hot tub, and the second time we had a townhouse at Windsor Hills. We will be returning to Windsor Hills again.

The reason the offsite townhouse works for us is that I don't mind cooking on vacation. We drive there (even from Canada!) and that allows us to save tons of money. I make and freeze a lot of stuff before we leave and take it with us. Spaghetti sauce, lasagne, homemade chicken nuggets, casseroles, etc are all made ahead of time and frozen. I take dinner for every day of our trip except the ones where we plan to go out. I don't think that disney has the highest quality food, so I feel we aren't missing much by not going out.

We pay - $900/week - spring break premium time - for the townhouse
- $50/week - parking fees for not being a resort guest
- $200/week - additional food for breakfast, lunch, snacks - to combine with the food I brought from home for dinner

I imagine with bigger boys, you would have a slightly higher grocery cost, but it should still be fairly close. We already have our tickets, so we can manage a spring break trip to Disney for just over $1500 - including gas for the way there and back. With any luck you can squeeze that into your budget!

Thank you so much! Pricing townhouses, even going at the end of spring break, it seems to be the way to go. I'm nervous about working with an owner, but I'm sure we'll be fine.

We are most definitely driving. From our home in western NY it will be about a 20 hour drive. But, it will save us about $1000. Using the end of the boys' break will buy us a bit of extra travel time to make up for the driving time.

As far as food goes, I probably will not pack dinners, but do not mind having breakfast at the house. We may eat a few off-site meals to save on food costs, but I'll just budget a bit more for food per day.

We are planning a Carnival cruise, for 4 nights. 5 days at Disney, 4 night cruise. Did you feel rushed through either part of your vacation? I am concerned about that as we are trying to kill two birds with one stone...I don't want to feel shortchanged on either end.

Thank you for your response! Much appreciated! :thumbsup2

Ennazus8810 10-11-2012 11:46 AM

resortcerts.com

This lists all of the RCI timeshares, and when they extra rooms they put them up for way cheaper than you would expect. Basically you buy a certificate for 500.00 that entitles you to a week at any of the properties they have listed. You can also buy the certificate on skyauction.com at an even greater savings (half price!). You don't have to bid on the certificate, you buy them outright.

I was skeptical at first, as I have always stayed onsite as well. We did this deal last August, and I will never stay onsite again. We had a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom with a full kitchen and a kitchenette for 250.00 for a week at Wyndham Cypress Palms. It was amazing! And only 10 minutes to the Disney gate. Saved a ton on hotel, plus food because we had a full kitchen and could eat and relax after the parks!

I almost hate to give this secret away, but I did learn about it on the DIS. We have another trip planned for May, and I am watching the site daily for the 2 bedrooms to open up. There are plenty of other resorts, but I really liked Cypress Palms.

BTW, there were no other fees or taxes applied. We paid the $250.00 up front, and nothing else. They did ask us to do a timeshare presentation upon check in, but we declined and never heard from them about it again.


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