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Old 04-25-2013, 12:39 PM   #1
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Staying off-site?

OK...one more question for today. DH has mentioned staying off-site because we can get a place significantly cheaper than the deluxe or moderate Disney hotels. I feel like some of the "magic" will be lost though.

Thoughts? Has anyone done both and can compare?
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:31 PM   #2
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You might want to also pose this question on our Orlando Hotels and Attractions board, to get some opinions from the folks who regularly stay off site.
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:35 PM   #3
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I've done both. We do like staying onsite and not having to drive but lately more of our trips have been offsite at timeshare resorts and they really do save us money and we get a lot more room. I don't know about the 'magic' of it. It still feels like vacation at WDW and you still spend a lot of time in the parks.
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:01 PM   #4
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Well I have done both and enjoyed both. I guess you'll only know once you try an off site stay how you feel about it. My personal preference is to stay onsite in the "Disney bubble" but I do think it is all magical really.

If I were going to stay offsite I would definitely stay in a place I would really enjoy, comfortable with amenities and/or space I might not be able to get onsite at the same price (like at the Waldorf Astoria - LOL) - that way I have something special to look forward to even in my off site stay.

Have a great trip whatever you choose!
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:12 PM   #5
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As a DVC member, I have cast my lot with staying on property, but to me the issue is not so much the cost per se as it is with, as people will say, the magic. Even staying at OKW, I still felt that I was at WDW and not at a local hotel. I feel more connected with WDW by staying on property and I guess it comes down to what you expect to get out of your vacation.

If you look at WDW is just a glorified Six Flags, then staying off property is probably the way to go, but if you look at WDW as something special, then staying on property is what you need. Everyone has to answer that question for themselves and what works for me may not work for you.
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:47 PM   #6
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We have done both, and both have their benefits.

Off site you usually have way more space for a lot less money. But for me, that is the only benefit. You have to rent a car if you don't have one (off site transportation is no where near as good as Disney's) and then you have to pay for parking. If you are a family who usually ends up splitting up so that some can go back to the resort to relax while others want to stay in the parks, now someone has to pay for a taxi to get around.

I like using DME to get from the airport to the resort. I like being in the Disney Bubble the whole time I am on vacation. I like being able to walk to a bus stop, and hop on a bus to the theme parks. I like Extra Magic Hours, and I like being able to have purchases delivered to my resort, so that I don't have to carry them around the parks.

I would have no problem staying off site again, and actually found a great rate on a trip we are hoping to make in the fall. But I was out-voted, and even if it costs a lot more, we are staying on site. For this trip, convenience wins out over savings.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:24 PM   #7
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My stepbrother and family stayed off-site the first year and did not "get" why I would spend so much money to stay at POR.

The second trip, I helped them snare FD at POP with QSDP - which was just their speed. They "got" it.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:31 PM   #8
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We have averaged going twice a year since 2000, twice we stayed offsite, once in 2000 and once in March. Both times we swore we would never stay offsite again, we hated it. The magic so so much a part of WDW and you just don't get it offsite. Onsite you are in the magic the entire stay, off site only while you are at the parks.

This though is only my opinion, some people don't feel the magic like I do.

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Old 04-25-2013, 05:30 PM   #9
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Less magic, scads more space. We love akv, stayed there in January. No embers trip we will have a 2 bedroom condo at silverlake, literally 5 minutes from akv for $229 for the week. Very pleasant place to stay. It just depends on the situation for us.

I can't imagine always having to stay on or off site. I'd much rather be flexible.

Lol. What kind of answer do you expect to get asking on the resort board?
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:53 PM   #10
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This may fall under the Abe Lincoln quote: "Most folk are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." Either approach has pros and cons. I've done both, and now seem to usually go with a combo of both. Now that I'm retired and can spend more time travelling, and have a lot more experience with knowing how to budget my travel dollars (used to have to watch every penny, so could only stay off-site anyway), I've worked out ways to stay in the area longer -- a lot of it is by fixing most of my/our own food, which is healthier as well as a lot cheaper.

As noted already, only you can answer the question for yourself. We stayed next to WDW in a timeshare once (for DGS's 8th birthday) and did not even go to WDW on that trip (did other stuff, had a great time). I bought some DVC points because as I'm getting older, it will be handy for me to use WDW transport to get back and forth if others want to do other things than I will want to do. Staying on property is great, but so is off-site. There are ways to make your own magic.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:16 PM   #11
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Definitely on Disney property! The convenience is worth it!
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:30 AM   #12
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I have done both several times. We are a family of four with two daughters 13 & 15. I usually stay on property when they offer the free dining because it makes the cost comparable to staying offsite. We stayed at AOA LK suites in October and while it had a great theme, the resort was very loud and crowded. We usually travel with family and booking a 2 or 3 bedroom at WDW is too expensive. This year we are staying at a timeshare just minutes from Animal Kingdom. We are booking a 4 bedroom for the 10 of us going and for 5 nights it will cost our 2 families $600 each. While there is some magic staying on property, I find it much more magical when the whole family can stay together in comfort. We have a washer and dryer, a kitchen, and a separate bedroom for the kids. We always rent a car anyway because each trip also includes Universal Studios and this year a cruise on the Dream! Whatever you decide, you will have a great time.. I have enjoyed each one of our annual trips regardless of where I stayed. Disney and family time together is a perfect combination!

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Old 04-26-2013, 11:14 AM   #13
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We have done both and have enjoyed both. I will say that if you stay offsite, you should have a car. Lots of offsite places will tout their transportation to and from Disney, but it can be unreliable. They drop off and pick you up farther from the park entrances, the shuttle times are often sporadic and their buses fill up fast.

I will also say that we found driving to and from our condo at Windsor Hills to be a faster process than waiting for and riding Disney transportation when staying onsite. And it's hard to beat getting a 3 bedroom condo for the price of a tiny Value resort room.

But our next trip is going to be onsite because we haven't done it in awhile and want to give the kids the full experience this time.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:40 PM   #14
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Our last 3 trips, and the only ones we've taken since having kids, have all been on site. Before that, the vast majority were off site.

We fly from JFK, so for us one huge advantage is the transportation system. From the time we check our bags at JFK until we pick them up there a week later, transportation is not an issue. We've never waited more than about 10 minutes for a bus (we go in August if that makes a difference.)

I also love access to the DDP.

If we were to choose not to stay at a Disney resort, we would be at the Dolphin, using the teacher's discount.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:30 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by 3littlecuties View Post
OK...one more question for today. DH has mentioned staying off-site because we can get a place significantly cheaper than the deluxe or moderate Disney hotels. I feel like some of the "magic" will be lost though.

Thoughts? Has anyone done both and can compare?
I've done both numerous times. Like many PPs have already said .... there's pros and cons for each.

Can't deny how fabulous being immersed in the "magic" is by staying ON-site. There's the CMs, the theming, the music, the buses drop you right at the park entrances, etc. If I could stay on-site every time, I would!!! (But it does cost a bunch more.)

That said ...

Check out Liki Tiki Village. They have an AMAZING pool area with slides, etc. They call it a water park. http://www.likitiki.com/
We've stayed there several times and loved it. It's straight down 5 miles or so from the park entrances. Publix across the street (practically) and you can have breakfast, etc. in your room. Non-park days are a lot of fun at this place. Obviously you'd have to rent a car though.

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