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Old 10-06-2012, 10:40 AM   #1
Scuttle
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Convince us to stay off property....

We are jones'ing for a trip to the World, and trying to make it all come together in late January 2013. We have been DVC members, but with the change in the economy, we are no longer

I am noticing that we could double our trip if we didn't stay onsite. But this is a completely foreign venture for us!!

We have our favorite onsite restaurants, and I was trying to price out eating at those places only, but then trying to save money by cooking at a rental or suite hotel. Obviously this would mean carrying in our lunches and snacks. This would mean no dining plan - which is another substantial savings - yet also foreign. (We have some pretty complicated food intolerances and allergies and LOVE Disney's amazing accommodations, so we aren't opposed to eating on property - just trying to stay longer by not staying on site and saving money somewhere.)

Then comes the question about the cost of parking.

This all still has to be cheaper than the all inclusive price we just got for the "Dine, Play, Stay" cardmember deal.

I am convinced, but now I have to convince my other half that it really is OK not to stay onsite?!!! HELP!!
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:43 AM   #2
cara76
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We stayed offsite once between gas, parking and food we could have stayed on site with the dining plan. I don't think anyone could convince me to stay off site again, sorry. I know a lot of people do and love it, we just aren't those people.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:51 AM   #3
wdwmom0f3
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Check out Wyndham bonnet creek. It's actually on Disney property right next to CBR. They offer two bedroom condos. There is a huge thread about it on here under Orlando attractions or something.

You can also go to vacationupgrades.com for more information. I'm an onsite person but we are going to try this for our next visit. I refuse to stay outside of the Disney gates.
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:53 PM   #4
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I can't even imagine staying off site. It's an entirely different experience to me. You waste too much time in traffic...never mind I have no desire to drive when I'm there. I want to be immersed in the Disney bubble 24/7! It is worth every extra penny IMHO! We even stayed at Bonnet Creek once while we were there for basketball...absolutely no magic! Wouldn't do it again. Extra Magic Hours are worth it!
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:03 PM   #5
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See, I've stayed onsite 2x but never off site, but after this trip I am definitely considering it for next time. You guys say disney busses are great, but I just got back from an 8 night trip and only once, ONCE did I get to my destination in less than 1 hour. ONCE! We had two morning dining reservations and waited for a bus that never showed. It was so bad, people were hopping in taxis so they didn't miss their ADRs. Transferring from our home resort to another resort was never less than 1 hour 15 minutes. Instead of it being relaxing, I was constantly stressed. I think I only made our ADRs on time once, because we left 90 minutes before our reservation, which was at 4:30 pm. And I didn't go at peak times, neither opening or closing as my girls were asleep by 7pm. It seemed I always just missed a bus or boat no matter where I went. And of course, I have learned never take the monorail if you have an ADR anywhere. In case anyone is wondering, the September trip was at POR.

I am definitely thinking of trying Bonnet Creek next time. They have a bus schedule. My kids are not able to wake up too much earlier or stay out late so EMH doesn't appeal to me at this age, and it would be nice to have a kitchen, as lots of the food was blah. I don't cook at home, so cooking on vacation wouldn't be bad for me. And the ability to put my kids to bed and close the door would be very nice. $300 for a week at bonnet creek v. $300 a night at AoA suite for a door is night and day.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chimilady View Post
See, I've stayed onsite 2x but never off site, but after this trip I am definitely considering it for next time. You guys say disney busses are great, but I just got back from an 8 night trip and only once, ONCE did I get to my destination in less than 1 hour. ONCE! We had two morning dining reservations and waited for a bus that never showed. It was so bad, people were hopping in taxis so they didn't miss their ADRs. Transferring from our home resort to another resort was never less than 1 hour 15 minutes. Instead of it being relaxing, I was constantly stressed. I think I only made our ADRs on time once, because we left 90 minutes before our reservation, which was at 4:30 pm. And I didn't go at peak times, neither opening or closing as my girls were asleep by 7pm. It seemed I always just missed a bus or boat no matter where I went. And of course, I have learned never take the monorail if you have an ADR anywhere. In case anyone is wondering, the September trip was at POR.

I am definitely thinking of trying Bonnet Creek next time. They have a bus schedule. My kids are not able to wake up too much earlier or stay out late so EMH doesn't appeal to me at this age, and it would be nice to have a kitchen, as lots of the food was blah. I don't cook at home, so cooking on vacation wouldn't be bad for me. And the ability to put my kids to bed and close the
door would be very nice. $300 for a week at bonnet creek v. $300 a night at AoA suite for a door is night and day.
That is why DH hates the buses and will only stay at an Epcot walking distance resort or Bay Lake Tower. He does not like to drive on vacation because he drives so much for work.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chimilady View Post
See, I've stayed onsite 2x but never off site, but after this trip I am definitely considering it for next time. You guys say disney busses are great, but I just got back from an 8 night trip and only once, ONCE did I get to my destination in less than 1 hour. ONCE! We had two morning dining reservations and waited for a bus that never showed. It was so bad, people were hopping in taxis so they didn't miss their ADRs. Transferring from our home resort to another resort was never less than 1 hour 15 minutes. Instead of it being relaxing, I was constantly stressed. I think I only made our ADRs on time once, because we left 90 minutes before our reservation, which was at 4:30 pm. And I didn't go at peak times, neither opening or closing as my girls were asleep by 7pm. It seemed I always just missed a bus or boat no matter where I went. And of course, I have learned never take the monorail if you have an ADR anywhere. In case anyone is wondering, the September trip was at POR.

I am definitely thinking of trying Bonnet Creek next time. They have a bus schedule. My kids are not able to wake up too much earlier or stay out late so EMH doesn't appeal to me at this age, and it would be nice to have a kitchen, as lots of the food was blah. I don't cook at home, so cooking on vacation wouldn't be bad for me. And the ability to put my kids to bed and close the door would be very nice. $300 for a week at bonnet creek v. $300 a night at AoA suite for a door is night and day.
Thank you!!! The prices at Disney are nuts, and the food isn't very good (with a few acceptions) I can't wait to stay at Windsor Hills 4 bdrm house with it's own pool! My hubby says he will miss the dining plan, but if there is no free dining in May we would be spending $6200 for 7 days??? Yikes, the house is $1300, and we can eat breakfast at the house and eat light in the parks. We are the type of people who forget to eat when we are busy, so when we are hungry we will just stop and grab whatever is nearby. Im exited about not having to plan out ADR's and having to stop what we are doing to go to an ADR. A lot of the time we were not even hungry yet. Im excited to try Off-site. And we always rent a car when we stay on property, we think the busses are a joke, and driving around disney couldn't be easier.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:52 AM   #8
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I love off site because I like to have some room to get away from the family for a bit. I also love each person being able to decide when to go to bed, vs. having to turn of the lights and tv at the same time in a hotel room. I like having more than one bathroom and love having a full size kitchen, and (gasp!) even a washer/dryer. We go in summer and sometimes change clothes in the middle of the day. I also love driving to the parks--having my own car, AC and music and not having to wait for the buses is priceless to me and so worth the $14/day parking fee.

We just rented a 5 bedroom pool home for 7 nights next June for $700. I guess $800 if you add in daily parking. We will eat at least breakfast and lunch in the house(take a break mid day).
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:06 AM   #9
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  • $ vs. $$$$
  • easy access to grocery, drug store, etc.
  • many of the same wdw tv channels
  • it's often better to avoid the emh parks anyway
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:16 AM   #10
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You might look into Windsor Hills condo rentals from vacationcentralflorida.com. We've rented from them 3 times now and been pretty satisfied. We've tried the 2 and 3 bedroom condos and one of the townhouses. Personally I didn't care for the townhouse as much as I'd thought I would. But that's mainly because I didn't care for dealing with everything being spread out over 2 floors. I just checked their website and a 3 bedroom condo for the week of Jan 19-26 was about $598. That's all taxes and fees and such for 7 nights. And what you see in the pictures on their website is a pretty accurate depiction of what you get. Windsor Hills is gated with 24 hour security and a nice community pool, playground, and some onsite recreation.

All that said, I prefer onsite. But if my budget says it's offsite or we don't go, we go with Windsor Hills. Location is great - easy drive to the parks and plenty of grocery stores and restaurants close by. And it isn't hard to find accommodations there that save you enough to more than make up for the cost of gas and parking.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:19 AM   #11
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We stayed at the world quest resort. It was really nice, only a short drive to the parks and downtown Disney. Our 3 bdrm suite was huge, it must have been at least 1400 square feet! We paid just over one hundred per night. Disney just can't compete with that.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:34 AM   #12
kalc12345
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We have stayed on property a lot...everything from Saratoga Springs Resort to Pop. Last year we tried staying at Bonnet Creek and LOVED it!!!!!!!!! It is the only place we stay at now.

Bonnet Creek is on Disney property so you are close to everything. You can also get a fireworks view room and watch the Epcot fireworks each night. And you just can't beat the price!! We always rent for a wonderful lady on VRBO. We get a 2 bedroom and normally pay around $65 a night.

I love having a kitchen (we deal with food allergies too) and the washer and dryer comes in handy as well. What I love the most is having more room. I love my kids but it is nice to have some quiet time at night after they go to bed.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:24 PM   #13
Scuttle
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Quote:
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Bonnet Creek is on Disney property so you are close to everything. You can also get a fireworks view room and watch the Epcot fireworks each night. And you just can't beat the price!! We always rent for a wonderful lady on VRBO. We get a 2 bedroom and normally pay around $65 a night.
Ok, you had me at hello (or $65 a night), BUT I can't get that rate when I try it on their website. I mean, I can't even get it under $200 a night.

What am I doing wrong?
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:50 PM   #14
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Ok, you had me at hello (or $65 a night), BUT I can't get that rate when I try it on their website. I mean, I can't even get it under $200 a night.

What am I doing wrong?
Don't go through their website their prices are NOT good. I will PM you some info on the lady I use. Also we always go in off-season so the rates are a lot cheaper then.
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:52 PM   #15
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We only stay onsite when we are going for a few days. If we are going to be there for a week or more, off-site is the way to go for us.

Once I stopped drinking the kool-aid and tried offsite, I became a believer!

We do Windsor Hills. LOVE having tons of room to spread out, love having washer and dryer, love having full kitchen, and love the resort pool.

As for rental car and driving....the rental minivan cost $225/week, parking is $14/day and $50 for gas. We get to the parks much quicker than the buses, no overtired kids crying on the bus, no stroller wheel stuck in the back of my leg cause the bus is so crowded, and no waiting for the bus at the end of the night.

We don't love disney food (or their prices) so we are happy to have a car and go to Subway, Panera, Olive Garden, etc. We always use coupons and save $$.

I know there are dye hard WDW fans who will only stay onsite (look for a Kool-aid mustache), but we aren't one of them. And that is just fine with me. If everyone saw the beauty of staying offsite, the prices would rise and the supply would go down.

So thank you to all who stay on site! You make our family trip more affordable!
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