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Old 09-11-2012, 10:07 AM   #1
DSNY4ever
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Can a family of 3 save at an off-property resort?

We are going to WDW in Sept/October of 2013. It will be me, DH and our 2 year old. We are renting DVC points for one week and then we need a cheaper option for the second week. I was going to do a value resort, but I am trying to see how we could save money by looking into off-property resorts...

In order to stay off-property we would have to add in the price of a car rental and parking at the theme parks, (and then we would probably have to rent a car seat too?) So it is looking like maybe staying at a value resort would just save us money.

Any advice from any other budgeters on good places to stay on the cheap or is off property really only for large families and people who want a villa?
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:20 AM   #2
Brian Noble
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If you are flying in, it can be hard to beat the price for a single value room under the prevailing discounts, once you add in a rental car and theme park parking.

But, for about the same price, or a few dollars more, you can often get a much bigger/better equipped place. Even a family of three can benefit from having two rooms with a door between them---especially when that third person is a toddler.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:31 AM   #3
Stitch'sCousin
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By the time you add in the price of a car and parking, I think you will find it to be cheaper, and more convenient, to stay onsite at a value resort.
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:59 PM   #4
DSNY4ever
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Yes, as I am crunching numbers here and doing some searches it looks like budget wise the Value resorts are the best option for us if we just want 1 room.

We are going to Disneyland this year so I can get an idea of how much we might want a room with a separate bedroom for our toddler (he is not used to sleeping in the same room as us at home, so that could be interesting). I think we'll have to wait till it is closer to see how much that will play in as a factor. My husband is not keen on the idea of off-property to begin with so I have to make sure that it makes financial sense and is nice enough to not make him say "I told you so."
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:52 PM   #5
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The bottom line may not be the only consideration. Will the 2yo rest better if you can put him into a separate bedroom and close the door during naptime (with you listening via baby monitor or through the door)? Will you eat in instead of out part of the time and save money and aggravation that way? Will you be able to pack less and do your laundry as you go along? Would you be more rested if you had a balcony on which to sip an evening soda pop (or other beverage) rather than being crammed into a single room with the aforementioned sleeping child? A personal favorite - do you and your husband get along better when you have separate televisions to watch?

We have been staying in condos for so long that a single room makes me nutty. If you don't mind all being in the same room for the entire vacation, go for it. My family all likes a little space to spread out. I can get up early and putter around the kitchen while DH and the kids sleep in. I can go to bed early when they don't.

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Old 09-12-2012, 10:06 AM   #6
blessedby3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSNY4ever View Post
We are going to WDW in Sept/October of 2013. It will be me, DH and our 2 year old. We are renting DVC points for one week and then we need a cheaper option for the second week. I was going to do a value resort, but I am trying to see how we could save money by looking into off-property resorts...

In order to stay off-property we would have to add in the price of a car rental and parking at the theme parks, (and then we would probably have to rent a car seat too?) So it is looking like maybe staying at a value resort would just save us money.

Any advice from any other budgeters on good places to stay on the cheap or is off property really only for large families and people who want a villa?
I would say that adding in the rental, car seat and parking fees you will be cheaper to do the value. That said, I would book the value first and then move to the DVC...otherwise it will be a huge letdown to move from DVC to a value
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:17 AM   #7
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DH and I just did the numbers on this. Keep in mind that he absolutely hates the value resorts, but our upcoming trip needed some budget trimming. So, we sat down and ran the numbers.

We're driving down, so will have our own car. By the time we added in parking at the hotel (most charge upwards of $15.00 per day) and parking at WDW, plus the cost of tickets, the value resort ended up considerably (about $200) less expensive and included quick service dining! DH said "Book it. For that amount, I'll learn to like the bed-in-a-box!" I've decided, however, that the first time he complains, he's sleeping in the car! He's going to learn to LOVE the value resorts!!!
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:00 AM   #8
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I would want to stay on property if I thought we could could manage with the sleeping situtation/less space. My DS is a teenager now and even though we are just a family of three we need more room than a value can give us.

A value resort may be fine for your family though...I'm pretty sure I read that there is a curtain now that separates the closet/sink area from the beds. Maybe you could put a packnplay in that area to give your 2yo a quiet space to nap/sleep without you having to go to bed too.

Another option may be a hotel like Buena Vista Suites. I think you can get deals for about $89/night - check mousesavers. It is an actual one bedroom suite - 2 queens in the bedroom, and then a separate living area, small fridge and microwave. They have a pool, and it includes free breakfast everyday. They do have a shuttle, but you would definitely want to rent a car.

The option we decided on for Jan 2013 is Bonnet Creek. We are getting a two bedroom/two bathroom unit with living room, full kitchen and balcony. It is a lot of space for our family of 3, but that's a good thing, right? We are paying $600 for 7 nights. There is some stress about renting from an owner rather than staying in a hotel, and there is no free breakfast or housekeeping service. There are several pools, two lazy rivers, splash pads and play areas for kids and mini golf. Again they have shuttles, but you would want to rent a car. I have done lots of reading on the DIS about Bonnet Creek and we are going to give it a try!

Whatever you decide...enjoy your trip!
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:59 AM   #9
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If you just decide to hang at the timeshare resort the second week and relax I think it would work for you. We typically rent a one bedroom suite at a nice resort and pay around $900 for 7 nights. We hit the Publix and stock up on all the food we need for breakfast. lunch, snacks, drinks, and we go out for dinner. The resorts have activities all day long which are usually free as is that beautiful Florida sun. Between the food savings and hanging at the resort we stay right pn budget. We return home fully relaxed and with a nice tan
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:28 PM   #10
Lauren81M
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Hubby and I have stayed off property twice this year, and a third time in a few weeks, in 2-3 bedroom very nice units for WAY cheaper than you will pay for a value resort, even on a special. We have an 18 month old and a 3 1/2 year old that have their own rooms at home and are very light sleepers, and both still nap in the afternoon, so this saves us a lot of headache. Plus hubby and I get our own room, so we get relaxing husband and wife time away from the kids. Means we get a real vacation where we can unwind and reconnect together. Here's what we do:
1. We have annual passes that pay for parking.
2. We eat breakfast in the room, take sandwiches into the park for lunch, and cook 2-3 meals a week in the full kitchen in our unit.
3. We rent timeshare units from places like SkyAuction.com or Ebay, or users on tugbbb.com (a nice timeshare users website). We only stay at places that are very close to Disney property, which in most cases makes our transit times much shorter than Disney buses.
4. We go off-season at less busy times, so we never have to park out in the boonies at the parks, and we take a AAA Diamond parking pass with us, so we can park nice and close to the park gates in most cases. We find this much easier than waiting for Disney buses, as our children are not patient, and not having to fold the stroller and lug it on to the bus, with 2 children and bags
4. We drive usually, but when we want to fly, we use either Southwest.com or AllegiantAir.com to find cheap flights. Neither company sells on regular travel websites, so you have to go to their own company sites to find flights. Southwest still allows 2 free checked bags. Allegiant charges quite a big for luggage, including overhead compartment usage.
5. When we fly, we rent cars cheap from hotwire.com or priceline.com. The last time we flew, we rented a mid-size car for $200 for the week, including all taxes and fees (we brought our own car seats, free check-in on the plane).

You have to be patient and watch SkyAuction and Ebay very closely, about 2-5 months before your trip. If you're willing to wait until the last minute (like within 3 weeks), even better deals can be had. I just bought a 2-bedroom at Sheraton Vistana Resort on Ebay this week for $400 for check-in 10/6/12, for 7 nights. In May we paid $390 for a 7 night stay at Diamond Resort's Grand Beach in a 3 bedroom (Ebay). In February we stayed at the same place, 7 nights, in a 3 bedroom for $550 (ebay). We have reservations at Wyndham Bonnet Creek for 12/14/12, 7 nights, 2-bedroom for $540 (from a travel company). The deals are out there, you just have to spend the time looking, and be patient. For us, getting the extra space and alone-time is worth it. Good luck!
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:47 PM   #11
Lauren81M
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Forgot to make suggestions for resorts that won't make your transit times longer than Disney buses, and often will be shorter. We've only stayed at Grand Beach, and I can vouch for how wonderful it is! The most comfortable master bed and bedroom I've ever stayed in!!! But from the hours of research I've done, here are suggestions:
Marriott's Sabal Palms, Royal Palms, and Imperial Palms (SkyAuction does not sell these); these are all together on the same property right off of World Center Drive.
Wyndham Bonnet Creek (on property next to Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort)
Grand Beach
Sheraton Vistana Resort (not Vistana Villages, it's further away)
Cypress Pointe Resort
Cypress Pointe Grand Villas (separate from CPR above because it's managed by Diamond Resorts).
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April 2005 (honeymoon): PO Riverside
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Jan 2009 (7 mo pregnant): PO Riverside
Feb 2010: Coronado Springs
Nov 2010 (5 mos pregnant): PO Fr Quarter and Beach Club Villas
Sept 2011: Boardwalk Villas
Feb 2012: Regal Palms and Grand Beach
May 2012: Grand Beach
October 2012: Grande Villas at Cypress Pointe and Sheraton Vistana Resort
December 2012: Marriott's Harbour Lake and Wyndham Bonnet Creek (thus ended our Grand Year of the Annual Passes).
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:00 PM   #12
DSNY4ever
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Thanks for all the suggestions! I will definitely have to check all those out. My husband is very reluctant to try off property and we don't mind the value resorts, but I feel like there must be a way to do it cheaper (and these resorts look great!).

We have never rented a car for WDW, but I think with a toddler it might be better. I can't imagine leaving the park when the buses are packed in the evening and you have to hold onto the poles, what if he wants to be held? We never had a problem with the busses, but I think if we could find a bargain it would be useful.

Thanks everyone!
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