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Old 11-05-2012, 09:27 AM   #1
indimom
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Onsite or Off, that is the question...

I'm asking this question both here and on the camping board. I know this isn't the best spot, but I want the opinions of people who are not "diehard" on-site fans. I'm not sure I'll get that on the other board...

BACKGROUND
We are thinking about taking a "dirt cheap" tent camping trip to the world next July. I have rewards to cover two-day park passes with water parks and more for the four of us. By then, I may also have enough rewards to take care of lunch each day. The rest of our meals we'll have to get off-site on the cheap or make ourselves at the campground. We would be going to Epcot, both water parks, and either AK or DHS. (My kids are teens so MK isn't a fave anymore.)

I've priced out two nice campsites offsite and camping at Ft. Wilderness (similar sites and ammenities). Ft. Wilderness will cost $121 more for four nights. We will have to pay parking at the two major parks if we stay offsite, so that brings it down to just under $100 difference.

I checked mapquest and the drive time seems to be comparable (about 15-20 minute); so, gas would be comparable on site or off... We will not be using the onsite transportation because we don't want to waste a lot of time on transfers between campground buses and resort-park buses and buses to the water parks (from my experience that eats up a lot of time).

AND NOW THE QUESTIONS:
Would you spend about $100 just for the privaledge of staying onsite and having access to EMH? Or would you save those couple bucks toward food and stay offsite?
Are there any good, inexpensive dining places near the parks that we should know about? CiCi's or similar?
Are there any other perks or drawbacks that I'm missing as far as onsite and offsite?

Thanks for any and all opinions!
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:13 AM   #2
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First ~ I have never stayed at Fort Wilderness, so this is all just based on what I have read.

I would definitely pay the extra $100 to stay at the fort. There seems to be smuch stuff to do on the property (I think I saw there s a petting zoo, the horses are there, chip and dale's campfire, you can see the electrical water pagent at night ~ just to name a few). Are you driving to the parks? If you stay at Fort Wilderness you get free parking, whereas off site you will have to pay $14 (?) a day to park. Good luck with your decision!
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:39 PM   #3
indimom
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Thanks. That's what I was thinking, but wanted to get some input from others if possible. I talked to DH about it this evening, and he thinks so too. In fact, he thinks we should drive through the night on our way down so we'll have some time to enjoy the campground on check-in day. Works for me!
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:24 AM   #4
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Parking is $14/day so $28 for two days. If the price difference is $121 then with the parking the difference is $93. I would definately stay at FW for that price difference. We returned a week and a half ago and stayed "off" property for the first time at Bonnet Creek. It was great as it was really "on" property, but we went off property to eat a few times and the traffic was a nightmare. For that reason alone I will never stay off the WDW property roadways! WDW traffic flows, off property...not so much. Gridlock and LONG lights!!
We used to live in Winter Park, FL (back in the 70's) and I have great memories of camping in Fort Wilderness! They have a lot to offer there
We ate at Steak n Shake (one of our favs) and they have 4 (I think) specials for under $4. They also have $1 iced tea. Delicious burgers for cheap prices!
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:42 PM   #5
indimom
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Thanks again.
I got the responses I expected from the Camping/Disney board.
I just wanted to see what the other side thought as well.

I talked to my DH about it last night and his vote was to do FW also, so it looks like that's what we're going to do. I really hope this all works out (our schedules are CRAZY, but I'm hopeful we can pull off a week).

Also thanks for the tip on a place to eat. I was hoping to find some affordable options nearby.

We plan to do a light, cold breakfast at the campsite, use rewards $$ for lunch (and maybe a snack) in the parks, and finish off the day with something offsite. We're trying to avoid cooking at the campsite so we don't have to bring as many supplies (doesn't seem worthwhile to drag all of that 16 hours south for just four days ).

Thanks again. I will gladly take any other advice and tips!
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:10 PM   #6
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I think FW is a good choice! I haven't been camping at Disney offsite or on but I did take a stroll through Ft. Wilderness the other evening and I thought there was so much to offer there - the Meadows pool looked great! The dining really smelled good as I was walking by- Trails End and the Hoop de Doo Review - don't know if you are planning to do any meals onsite or the shows. It was a lot of fun just walking by watching the ponies eat their evening meal plus the location can't be beat. The boat ride from the MK to FW is a fun way to get around. I think it would be worth an extra $100 for sure.
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