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Old 11-26-2012, 10:21 AM   #1
Earning My Ears
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Staying offsite

I have planned to stay on site Disney property but I am now debating on possibly staying offsite. We will have our own vehicle and will not utilize Disney transportation (my hubby will not ride with anyone else) so that is not a benefit for us. Tell me 1) why stay off property vs on property as well as 2) what is your favorite off site place to stay and why. We are a family of 4... One of which is a 2 year old. We will be traveling jan 31 through Feb 4.

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Old 11-26-2012, 11:13 AM   #2
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Windsor Hills for sure-- We have stayed on site and

love the off site much better. We have always stayed in a townhouse but next visit plan on staying in a condo. The only reason is to be closer to the clubhouse pool
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:18 AM   #3
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We stayed on-site last year and I was kind of disappointed. Don't get me wrong, the cast members and mouse keeping were awesome as were the resort grounds, but I felt like I was paying an arm and a leg for a room that I would consider a $60 motel room. This next trip we are staying off site in a three bdrm condo. We get a kitchen and a private pool and still be saving over $1000.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:20 PM   #4
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more room for your money - look at Wyndham bonnet creek or another timeshares. get a 1 or 2 bedroom if you can.

you can cook (don't have to) and save money that way - even if you don't want to cook - you can get fully prepared meals at Publix - get heat them up.

or just get the meat and go the vegetables fresh.

Florida has wonderfully fresh vegetables and fruits.

also stay onsite - but lately just a night or two in a 7 day stay.
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:43 PM   #5
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We just stayed offsite for the first time last month. I love onsite, but DH wanted more space...and we were traveling with my Dmom. We booked a 2BR deluxe unit ($837 for the week) at Bonnet Creek and loved it. It is really on property (right next to Carribean Beach) and was so easy to get around. We also drove our own van (except for one morning that I took the shuttle...not a fan of that!)everywhere we went.
We ventured off property for a few meals and to get groceries. Bonnet Creek was lovely and spacious and we will most likely stay here from now on...unless WDW gives us an offer we cant refuse
8/87-Disneymoon, offsite 7/92-DD's 1st trip 2/94-Land/Sea, Dixie Landings 10/99-offsite 4/03-CR tower MK view 11/05-POP 12/06-WL 1/08-POP, DD's Grad Trip 3/09-Poly 5/10-BLT, 1BR 6/11-POP 10/12 Bonnet Creek 6/14-Bonnet Creek/2 nights at AOA
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:36 PM   #6
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We are staying offsite for our Christmas trip and I was wondering whether you had any tips? Transportation and parking, particularly.

We will have our own car, this is our first trip to DW and therefore have absolutely no idea what to expect

We have a 5-day hopper and are planning on doing MK, HS, AK & Epcot. We got our tickets from AAA.

Thanks in advance!
Christmas 2012 - Disney World
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Northernlites View Post
love the off site much better. We have always stayed in a townhouse but next visit plan on staying in a condo. The only reason is to be closer to the clubhouse pool
please excuse my ignorance, but what's the difference between townhouse and condo?
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:49 PM   #8
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We will NEVER stay onsite again
We stayed at Emerald Island and I have to tell you I was a nervous Nellie! We have only gone a few times and we have stayed at Wilderness Lodge and Port Orleans..don't get me wrong they were nice...but staying in a rental home with our own hot tub, heated pool, theater room, our own ensuite bathroom, huge kitched and a game room...it was AWESOME!
I thought the drive to the parks would be the downer...IT WAS THE BEST. WE were not stuck on a bus with cranky kids and parents for 1/2 hour as the bus made it's few stops at the resorts, we were able to walk right to our cars get in and GO! Driving was super easy in the area and there were so many other things we were able to see by not being just on site at WDW.
I guess you could say I HIGHLY recommend renting a villa or townhouse!
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:57 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Daisydd77 View Post
1) why stay off property vs on property
The big perks of staying onsite are driving, EMH, and getting the dining plan. We'd drive either way, and the Extra Magic Hours don't excite us much because you have to either get up earlier or stay later to take advantage of them, and they usually put you in the busiest park. We'd probably like them better if we Park Hopped, but we're too lazy.

I'm not overly enthused about the DDP because I hate being tied down to ADRs, and I think it's likely too much food. The kids aren't enthused about the dining plans because it's not enough food -- they love SeaWorld's plan because they can nosh all day. Maybe we'd like the Disney plan better if we could trade in the meals for bunches of snack credits.

The big perk of staying offsite, at least for us, is you get a lot more space for a lot less money. We also value the full kitchen -- even if we never use it otherwise, we much prefer having a quiet breakfast in the unit. Having a full kitchen and a nice dining room makes our day start out right.

Depending on where you stay, you can also get a much quieter unit than the average onsite noise level. Pretty much all the onsite hotels have a pretty high energy level, and part of that is just noise -- kids loudly having a good time, music everywhere you go, parties at the pool with lifeguards on the loudspeaker, boathorns or buses reving up in the morning that you can hear from some rooms, etc.

Some people find that kind of thing energizing and all part of the Disney Magic. Other people find it outright annoying either from the git go (bus noises) or within a few days as they get more tired and worn (boathorns, happy kids). There are plenty of places to stay offsite that are pretty high energy, but if you're looking for quiet, it's easier to find offsite.

For me, most of the "Disney magic" is the theming, and while that excites me enough I'd love to stay onsite sometime, it would be on a trip where we're onsite for a while, then we'd move somewhere quiet to recover.

Originally Posted by married2mm View Post
please excuse my ignorance, but what's the difference between townhouse and condo?
I don't know if it's the official difference, but around here a townhome may be attached on either side, but you never have anyone above you and you always have direct access to the street and sometimes even an assigned parking space right by the unit. And that's the definition used in the TS systems we've used (all two of them with townhomes ).

Condos, OTOH, are like apartments in that you may be above someone and have someone above you, your door may open into a common corridor and you may have to walk a fair way to get to your car, etc.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:38 PM   #10
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We have done plenty of both, but we have stayed offsite for the past 7 or 8 years at Bahama Bay Resort. Very large condos, nice pools and landscaping, and a low price. You get a real kitchen, laundry, 2-3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 balconies, etc for less than $100/night.

However, for our January trip we are staying at POR. The Play/Stay/Dine offer, free ME airport ride, no parking fees, and no gas made the total cost of an on-site stay less than off-site.

It's a trade-off between more space vs on-site convenience/ambiance.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:56 PM   #11
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We are staying offsite right now. Unless you staying in a condo, my main dislike is the laundry facilities or lack of. Also, you don't really feel like you're at "Disney" I feel that if you are going to Disney you should experience the Magic. If you're taking a vacation in Orlando, then that's something different.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:13 PM   #12
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We are staying in a 3 Bedroom condo at WH in 3 weeks for the price of $900

Onsite in POR with my family of 5, least expensive accomodation, $2000

I love staying onsite, I loved our DVC that we since have sold.

I love the savings for our upcoming trip more!!! Save money, larger accomodations!

Bus Transportation or Driving my car, same commute times.

Im excited to try something new, I just can't afford the MAGIC this year!
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:42 PM   #13
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We love renting a villa. so much room and pvt pool. Now I wouldn't like staying in one room for more than one day. I enjoy visiting the Disney hotels.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:23 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by spiceycat View Post
views - Disney has some really great views - OKW, AKL, and my favorite BLT.
There are some good views offsite as well. Our unit at the Fountains had a terrific view with a lake below, and then SeaWorld in the distance.

I liked our view from Orlando Sunshine as well, although it was just the garden area by the pool. Nice view, though, and, with the padded lounge chairs and big screened porch, really comfy place to relax.

I do not expect much of our next stay at the Sunshine, though -- we're in the other building, which faces the pool but also a bunch of really big power lines. Still not as hot and nasty a view as some at the Beach Club, however -- WDW has some of the best views, but also some of the worst.

Originally Posted by mjwheelerali View Post
can anyone book a timeshare condo/town or do you have to have a connection?
Anyone can rent points or weeks from individuals, and get very good deals that way. And a lot of places you can rent from the developers -- Wyndham, Blue Green, etc. -- or from the guys who run the place, like Floridays. All of those have two bedroom condos available for less than most rooms onsite cost. I'd pick a few places that sound good and look into how to find the best deal for that particular resort.

For instance, I believe the best deals at Bonnet Creek are the e-bay rentals; I'd probably go with Vacation Strategy myself, because using a broker is less risky. Less risky first because they've got a known reputation -- excellent, in the case of VC -- and second because they often have better protection if things go soft. Most rentals from individuals, OTOH, you pay your money upfront, and that's it; if you can't get there, tough. If you can't make your vacation with a broker, sometimes they will put your payment into an account so you can use it later or otherwise work with you. Using a broker is not the same as working with a hotel, but it's usually closer to that than renting from individuals can be.

Renting direct from Wyndham or Bluegreen -- generally the more expensive option, but also usually cheaper than onsite (the exceptions being free dining or some other deal) is pretty much like renting a hotel room, except you will not get daily maid service. Which is the big difference between being in a hotel and renting a timeshare in general, I suppose, but people who rent direct get surprised by that difference the most.
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:12 PM   #15
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We went with another family about 3 years ago and stayed at a 3BR townhouse in Windsor Hills during the low season and absolutely loved it so much that we are going back again in 2013.

Windsor Hills is very close to Disney (only 5 minutes to get on property) and the money we saved plus the extra room to spread out makes it completely worth it in my opinion. No crowded resort pool, washer/dryer, full kitchen, and separate bedrooms... absolute heaven...

We had breakfast in the condo every morning, ate off-site or at the condo for a few dinners and lunches depending on when we took breaks, and I don't think that I would ever stay onsite again unless I was going with just my husband. The thought of packing us all in a hotel room for 8 days just makes me anxious.
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