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Old 11-05-2012, 09:31 AM   #1
indimom
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On site or off, that is the question...

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). 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?
We won't have much time to enjoy the campground so those perks don't really weigh in. Otherwise, my decision would be much easier.

Thanks for any and all opinions!
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:42 AM   #2
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I always try to stay onsite if there is a choice....
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:50 AM   #3
luckycharm19335
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I always stay onsite.
It would not even be an issue for us.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indimom View Post
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). 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?
We won't have much time to enjoy the campground so those perks don't really weigh in. Otherwise, my decision would be much easier.

Thanks for any and all opinions!
For us, there would be NO question, it would be FW only But, under the circumstances you are at Disney, time limitations, etc. I would probably opt to save the $100 extra for food.

That said, it would also depend on how far away the campsite is, and the time involved, coming and going.

Whatever you decide, have a wonderful time at Disney!
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:39 PM   #5
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For us, there would be no question. It's the Fort ! It's not just the "privilege" of staying there it happens to be a VERY nice campground. If, however, you don't plan to use the campground resources or the transportation system or take an hour or two to fish in the canals, you're probably just as well off with Brand X ! Have a wonderful time in the parks, no matter what you decide. There's no food option inside that is as cheap as a comparable offering outside.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:42 PM   #6
indimom
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Thanks for all the responses! I felt that way too, but was trying to see if there was any logical reason to talk myself out of it. ha ha
I talked to DH tonight and he agrees. In fact, he suggested we drive through the night so we have a little time on check-in day to enjoy the campground. Works for me!

Would you all agree that we should drive to the parks each day? We hope to do both water parks, Epcot, and either DHS or AK. I know there are a lot of bus transfers involved and think it might just be quicker/easier to drive.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indimom View Post
Thanks for all the responses! I felt that way too, but was trying to see if there was any logical reason to talk myself out of it. ha ha
I talked to DH tonight and he agrees. In fact, he suggested we drive through the night so we have a little time on check-in day to enjoy the campground. Works for me!

Would you all agree that we should drive to the parks each day? We hope to do both water parks, Epcot, and either DHS or AK. I know there are a lot of bus transfers involved and think it might just be quicker/easier to drive.
Again, that is a very personal decision. We NEVER drive there, like the relaxation of using their transportation. Also, even though driving is sometimes (not always) quicker, you have to count in the time for parking, and getting to the entrance with trams, etc. The exception is probably the water parks - probably quicker there.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:05 AM   #8
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No brainer. Definitely on site!

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Old 11-06-2012, 11:54 AM   #9
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We will always stay on site, we love it. And when we do make the Disney to Universal switch because of our children's ages, we'll still be staying at Ft. Wilderness.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:04 PM   #10
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We never drive to the Parks, and we always stay at the Fort. We let Disney do the driving while we relax.
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:47 AM   #11
indimom
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Originally Posted by retired and happy View Post
We never drive to the Parks, and we always stay at the Fort. We let Disney do the driving while we relax.
I can understand that. Our first trip in 2005, we didn't even have a car, and we loved the relaxing rides to and from the parks. In 2010, we stayed two weeks and we did use the car a couple times to do some off site shopping. We didn't find it horrible getting around, so that's good.
What has me thinking about the car were our trips to the water parks in 2010. Those were some LONG commutes and even longer waits. At the minimum, I know we'll drive to those, I don't want to deal with that again.

Thanks again for the opinions and tips!! I am glad to hear that most of you are happy with the Ft. Wilderness buses. I read so many bad reviews online, It seems to be the only thing people complain about at the Fort. You give me hope!
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:06 AM   #12
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When we go we drive to the water parks as it is easier to bring in all the stuff we need. Other parks it the transportation system all the way.

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Old 11-15-2012, 09:17 AM   #13
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I am going for the first time in February for two weeks. I live in my RV full time. The option of staying off site never even popped into my brain. If I am going to have a "vacation" at WDW there is no choice for me but onsite.
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