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3littlecuties 04-25-2013 02:27 PM

Do you lose some of the "magic" off-site?
We stayed at Poly last Oct and are considering going back to Disney the week of June 7-15, 2014. We have found options for a family of 5 to be limited without spending a ton. DH mentioned looking at staying off-site but I'm afraid that we would lose some of the "magic". However, it looks like we could stay in a bigger place for much cheaper.


summerrluvv 04-25-2013 02:29 PM

I stayed off site once, loved the space, free breakfast, having a car and the price (free with points). It did feel slightly less magical, and I'm not sure why, I guess because I was driving to the parks instead of sitting on an overcrowded bus with Disney advertisements plastered all over the inside LOL. You def. get more bang for your buck off site. You lose Disney's Magical Express and Extra Magic Hours those (we didn't utilize either this past trip).

mguedes 04-25-2013 02:41 PM

You might lose some of the "magic" but I it is well worth the cost, especially if you are renting a home.

YouŽll get much more space and it is also a lot more private than a hotel.

I believe everyone should try a nice vacation home rental once.

Janet Hill 04-25-2013 02:53 PM

IMO there's more magic. It's called a bedroom door. Of course you can get this is with a DVC stay as well. Maybe you can look into renting points.

pieface 04-25-2013 03:35 PM

If you like staying off property more power to you. I love staying on property you miss the magic of Disney when you stay off property. Your in the real world when you stay off property. I rent a car and drive every where except M.K. you get free parking everywhere, extra magic hours, And treated like family from the cast members. It is so nice to be in a magical place.

Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina 04-25-2013 03:37 PM

For me, the magic is found offsite. Tons of space, tons of savings, and tons more sanity than we have when we're squeezing the family into one tiny hotel room.

You might find this recent thread interesting:

rdevine10 04-25-2013 04:25 PM

To me there is more magic staying off site. Why? Well, 1st off we are not crammed into a tiny hotel room (with double beds). We have our own washer and dryer (hey, I love packing light and coming home with mostly clean clothes, now that IS magical to this mom!), I love having a full kitchen to at least eat breakfast in (savings and lets face it MUCH healthier food!).

For us to enjoy our family time (which is what vacation is), we have learned we love it more when we have a bit more space. Now if its just a night or 2, a hotel room will work, but for a longer trip (our last one was 9 nights), we all appreciated the space and LOVED having our own separate beds (well, me and DH had a king, but the kids each had their own double). We all slept great, and no more arguments about who was hogging the covers, bed, or stop kicking me, etc. Again, that is magic to me.

And as for loosing the magical express and disney transportation, we loved not waiting to get in our rental car (which was parked within walking distance to all parks (minus the MK where it was parked within walking distance to the TTS), and getting in and driving directly to where we wanted to go. It was SO much quicker and we were all guaranteed a seat! Again, thats magic to me.

We stayed again at Bonnet Creek, which we LOVE. And I paid less than what I would of at a value resort. Again, thats magic to me.

So, I guess it all depends on your definition of magic :) I do love the Disney bubble, but some where along the line with kids, it started to pop when they kept raising the prices to crazy amounts.

pigletto 04-25-2013 05:06 PM

We've always stayed onsite and I really do love being immersed in the Disney magic.. until I don't. Yes, at some point on every vacation I am over the crowds, long lines, screaming children, constant restaurant or counter service food and cramped quarters. Especially on our yearly August trip. All of that plus insane heat wears on my patience.
So, we're trying Bonnet Creek for this trip and I am really looking forward to being able to cozy up on the couch and read a book in the evening while I do a load of laundry or shut myself in the bedroom for a quick nap. It's vacation afterall and I'd like to relax a bit. :)

However in December we are going back for a more Disney intensive trip to see all of the holiday action and decorations. For that one, I am glad we'll be onsite because I want to be immersed.

Honestly though I am afraid that BC is going to ruin us for going back to one small hotel room!

KTSMOM 04-25-2013 05:18 PM


Originally Posted by pieface (Post 48212631)
Your in the real world when you stay off property.

This is exactly how I feel. I love staying on site as it allows me to get away from the real world for awhile. No dealing with traffic, no going to the grocery store, no watching the news. It's just a nice break from reality. But that's just for me. You can always try staying off site and seeing if it works for you.

Sparkly 04-25-2013 05:28 PM

No, you absolutely don't. Magic is as much your attitude and expectations as anything else.

We've stayed offsite every trip and always had a fantastic time. We're trying onsite next time because we've never really done it and I loved the experience of staying at Disney, even for a small amount of time in Feb. But coming back to our 3 bed condo and being able to relax in peace and quiet and sleep in separate bedrooms to each other has its own magic too. Especially last time.

One thing I noticed last trip was that we always seemed to be in the car driving somewhere. To a theme park, from a theme park, to a shopping mall, from a shopping mall, to a restaurant, from a restaurant. I guess the onsite equivalent is taking the buses everywhere though. I've also noticed the 192 (or at least up where we stayed) looks a bit tired now and lots of things have closed leaving empty buildings, not particularly nice to go past every day.

spiceycat 04-25-2013 05:34 PM

do both - stay offsite and onsite - sometimes in the same trip.

offsite is cheaper so it is easier to do other stuff - plus my cats get to come.

onsite is great too.

sbd78 04-25-2013 05:47 PM

I struggled with this when booking our upcoming trip. Last time we went to Disney, our oldest was our only child and we stayed at POP. I really enjoyed taking the buses everywhere and was afraid I would miss it. Now that we have 3 kids though (2 of which are young and take naps), cramming us all into one hotel room would be a nightmare. I couldn't imagine myself, DH, and my oldest all sitting in the room, silent, so the 2 little ones could sleep. And the prices Disney is charging for a family suite for our dates is crazy! So we will be staying at Embassy Suites. We are getting a 2 room suite which includes a daily breakfast buffet and 2 hour happy hour (alcohol included). Free breakfast and free drinks is pretty magical to me! And for much less than a value room. We were planning to rent a car regardless since we are flying into the Sanford airport so Magical Express isn't an option anyway. And I figure with the savings, we can do a few extra character meals to make it more "magical".

purpledisneyprncess 04-25-2013 06:11 PM

Been to Disney World 3 times and only ever stayed off site so I don't have anything to compare to at this time. However, staying "off site" to us is at the Wyndham in DTD and it's definitely magical in our eyes... where from the hotel entrance to Earl of Sandwich in DTD, it's literally a 3 minute walk. We are so close to that which is so nice, and also our bus shuttle to Disney World is free and runs every 30 minutes. So we aren't staying "On property" but it's still listed as an official Disney hotel. We love the aquatic playground, well more importantly our kids love it.. We did visit AoA on our past trip and obviously the Wyndham's pool can't compare! BUT, we still love the Wyndham and love the prices!

2Pirates2Princesses 04-25-2013 08:15 PM

I think if you stay offsite with the mindset that it is not going to be magical, then it won't be. Definitely not the same kind of magic, just different.:) The Disney resorts are great, but for our family whether or not we stay at one isn't going to make or break our trip because we can go to the same parks, do the same special events/experiences, and dining reservations regardless of where we stay. I think there are pros and cons to staying onsite or offsite and there are aspects about both that I appreciate. We stayed onsite in a family suite at All Star Music for our last trip and had a great experience. For this trip we are renting a 3 bedroom condo at Windsor Hills and purchased our park tickets through UnderCover Tourist. Even with renting a minivan and paying for gas and parking, we are saving a great deal more than what we would have if we got two standard rooms at a value resort with the spring discount promotion. We will also be able to do several extras such as Legoland, the Pirate's League, and several dining reservations. We may very well stay onsite again at some point if that is how things work out for future trips; but we are excited about staying offsite in a condo for this upcoming trip. We will have three separate bedrooms, my kids will each get their own bed (which wouldn't happen in a hotel), we will have a full kitchen, flat screen televisions in every room, a balcony, and our own washer and dryer :goodvibes. I know I will miss having the Magical Express service, housekeeping service, and being able to split up if some of us want to stay in the parks and others want to leave; but those are the tradeoffs for all we will get and the money we will save by staying offsite for this trip. We are excited and looking forward to another magical Disney trip :goodvibes

mjohnson96 04-25-2013 08:30 PM

Last year was my first time staying offsite, it was a last minute let's add Disney to the end of a conference I was attending so I just extended my stay at WBC. I loved it! I had a car so I didn't have to worry about busses, and usually we use a car anyways when staying onsite. The extra room and bathrooms were great, and staying at WBC we were in the middle of the magic as well.

I never got that feeling that I was treated any differently by cast members because I stayed offsite :) How do they know honestly.

I did miss the daily housekeeping though and the ability to get the meal plan. Next year we are doing a 2 week trip and as of right now we will be staying offsite again at WBC. I am just keeping an eye open on how dining and the new fast pass program are working before making any reservations.

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