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libertyschool 06-26-2013 10:12 AM

Disney or Bust! Spring 2014 from Ontario, Canada
Hi There. I'm planning a trip next spring (first week of May) to Orlando with my family of 5. 3 daughters ages 20-13-10. This will be our first time doing Disney. We are driving down from Ontario, Canada. I'm looking for advice on where to stay. My tentative plan is to rent a house... but I'd love to hear from others and get opinions regarding the advantages to staying onsite versus offsite ; condo versus house versus hotel or resort. All advice welcome. This is all brand new to me. Thank you all in advance! :wave2:

p.s. Should this be posted somewhere else?

ParrotBill 06-28-2013 08:54 AM

Hello and welcome! I live across the little pond known as Lake Ontario.

Driving with 3 daughters! My one is a handful.

You should ask your questions in specific forums. I can tell you my opinion:

I've stayed in all types of places. Almost all people here will advise you to find a way to stay onsite you you get the magic 24 hours a day. For a family of 5, there are not a lot of choices. Art of Animation has the new familty suites, after that, you would be crowded in any standard room, or you need to jump up to an expensive DVC villa (they can be rented as a hotel room too with more limited availability.) You can get a DVC villa for a more reasonable price by renting timeshare points one time from an individual or from a person who brokers free points from people.

I would not stay at an offsite hotel, if you can get onsite for a reasonable price.

Finally, a house offsite can be an awesome deal and a great experience. You typically get a nice place with a screened in pool! Research carefully and go with a house that has specific reviews you can read so you know what shape it is in. Sometimes there are gotchas, like someone who is slow to return your damage deposit or a place that is more worn that pictures suggest. We had a great house once, where the only thing wrong was the gas grill, which was not safe to use (all parts rusty).

I know a lot about driving routes and advantages/disadvantages, feel free to ask me about that too or post on the Transportation board.

libertyschool 06-28-2013 11:54 AM

Thank you so much for the reply! I really appreciate it. I will re-post this on the accomodations thread I guess.

I live very close to that big pond you are referring to, but on the other side :)

Three daughters for that kind of drive will for sure be fun, but they are older now so it's not too bad. We have a comfortable vehicle with double DVD/blu-ray screens so that should help as well. This trip will be the "break in" trip for this new vehicle.

I was leaning towards the house because we will also be heading over to Universal for a couple of days, so I didn't want to be "stuck" on one site or the other. The plan is 3 days at Disney and 1 or 2 days at Universal and maybe throw a beach day in between somewhere. I got a name of a housing rental "agency" from my boss who drives down every year and rents a house and I've heard good things. But part of me still likes the idea of a hotel with room service and daily cleaning.

Well thanks again for the help. I'll post a more specific question on the transportation boards, I'd love your tips. :):

ParrotBill 06-30-2013 08:45 PM

For driving you can head down I-90 then go south on either I-79 past Pittsburgh or I-77 south just before Cleveland.

I-79 is a bit more hilly and you need to take the cutover of US19, but that means you can stop at one of the Tudor's Biscuit World retaurants on US 19 (just pick up a biscuit each if nothing else!)

I-77 is flatter through Ohio, but you get more of the West Virginia Turnpike which is hilly and curvy. I don't enjoy that part at night.

When we stop, we usually target Charlotte NC or Columbia SC, making a longer first day of driving and a shorter second day. We did drive straight through once but had to switch off every hour by Florida... and stop at every Starbucks.

Enjoy the planning!

jesswindsor 07-01-2013 04:22 PM


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