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Old 03-04-2013, 05:23 PM   #61
floydfamily4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abharmagic View Post
Don't drink the on-site Kool-Aid-- offsite can be JUST as magical, way less expensive, and you can find much nicer accommodations than WDW resorts. Enjoy and have fun!!!
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:24 AM   #62
OrangeCountyCommuter
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Originally Posted by Brian Noble View Post
I guess that five grams might make a difference...

To be fair, I do charge to my KTTW...a LOT. Especially during F&W. But, still.
I stay on site during F&W using my DVC and still don't charge to room. I buy a gift card and use that. (I really don't want to have to reconcile two pages of $10 charges and since I don't trust Disney's IT I would never just "assume" they got it right.. they seem to do very little right!)

And the "parking fee" argument just cracks me up...

SO here goes another one (Sorry, Disney keeps loosing!)

Hyatt Cypress BEAUTIFUL HOTEL and there's a "back door" road into Disney so traffic is a no brainer. Get the hotel to tell you I am horrid at directions)

Weekend of 4/12 to 4/14. Room $177. Parking 13. Resort fee 22. Parking at Disney $14 Total per night $226

Disney Boardwalk same nights $306.

Savings $80

Magical... Yeah, for Disney!

Or... Even better IMHO. The same weekend you can get the Swan for $169. No Disney parking fee. Swan charges $14 for parking and I think $20 for a resort fee (They waive it for me so I am not 100% sure on that, but let's use it for comparision) $203 Total. Savings of $100 a night for a hotel that's NEXT door! LOL!


Note: All pricing was publicly available. I used on discounts etc.. you can probably do better on all of them... but I didn't want to compare an AAA rate to a full rack rate so I just went with what Expedia was selling
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:15 AM   #63
OldSpiceGuy
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My wife and I didn't think the magic was real but it is

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Originally Posted by StitchesGr8Fan View Post
DH and I are having our first child this year. BOTH sets of grandparents have hinted that they want to take a big family Disney trip next year.

As an adult I've always stayed on site to get the most magic. As a kid we stayed offsite and I never noticed less magic, but the hotels and restaurants aren't built up to what they are now.

So do you think a trip can still be magical if you stay and eat offsite? Do you lose that special something? We could probably afford on site, but I wonder if it is worth the money for a baby who won't know the difference. I just don't want our parents or my handicapped brother to miss out because we want to save money.
We just got back from staying in a four bedroom presidential suite at Bonnet Creek which is pretty much on Disney property but not associated with the mouse. The resort was absolutely gorgeous and in my opinion pristine even over and above Disney standards. My room put anything I have stayed in at Disney to shame and it was roughly a third of the price. But....my wife and I both agreed that something was just different about it. We didn't have a bad time or anything like that. I wish I could put my finger on what was different. For one thing there were a lot of elderly couples there. Definitely more of them than younger families. However everyone was super nice to my kids so we still felt welcome. The staff would even say "welcome home" like the Disney hotels do. Even with that it just wasn't the same. Going forward we'll probably just pay the extra money and stay on site. We really wanted to like it more but we just didn't.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:43 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by OldSpiceGuy View Post
Even with that it just wasn't the same. Going forward we'll probably just pay the extra money and stay on site. We really wanted to like it more but we just didn't.
They've done studies where they offer people three kinds of beer or coffee or whatever, and if the drink is unlabeled, people will often put their supposed favorite last. But if you offer them another selection and tell them what they're drinking, they enjoy their favorite more than any of "those first three." They've done brain studies on this phenomenon, and when people who respond this way drink their favorite brand, a different part of the brain activates; the pleasure they experience is literally of a different kind.

It's weird that brand names work that way for some, but if you give offsite a good try and that's the way your brain works, makes sense to go with what gives you the most pleasure if you can afford it.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:21 AM   #65
floydfamily4
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Your definition of magic...

I love the line that the magic is in you I don't have a lot of experience going to Disney but this is my experience. I've been to WDW 3 times and the first 2x we went we stayed in Kissimmee at a Best Western and still had a great time. Granted that was before I found the Dis and realized all the many things that are offered at WDW. We took my twins who were turning 5 for their first trip and we stayed at a WH townhouse. We had a truly magical trip We were able to do the things that were important to us and still drive up to the door of our townhouse and unload sleeping children. We could put them to bed and enjoy the property together without worrying that we would wake them up. It was great. But what was magical was the first time my daughter saw Belle at Akershus Princess breakfast or the when my son told Tigger he couldn't stop and talk to him because he was on a mission (kim possible) or when my daughter almost knocked over Minnie or when my son did boot camp with the green army men outside of TSM. The magic was in the moments as a family, the moments where we remember that our kids still believe, the moments when we sit on a bench and watch a parade that lights up the night. Maybe it's corny but I am confident that I will take the magic with me and share it with my kids when we travel. I just cannot justify spending $300-$400 per night for a room ANYWHERE. The value hotel is nice but it is like staying at the local best western but more expensive. I wanted to love being in the bubble but I want to rest at the end of the day and one value room with the 4 of us just isn't going to cut it. So even if the $$$ is a wash, its still a win for the 2 bedrooms and dining flexibility. But everyone has to define "magic" for themselves. Have a great vacation and take the time to enjoy the blessing of multiple generations creating memories.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:52 AM   #66
jenjordan
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For me, the "magic" is having a little personal space, quiet, a king size bed and liking each other still at the end of the trip.

Let's compare. I am staying at WH in August in a 3BR condo. I am paying (with all taxes) less than $100/night.

So in an apples to apples (or as close as possible) scenario, I would have to go to a 2BR villa at AKL (which is 1 mile from where I am staying at WH)

8 night stay
Windsor Hills - 3BR condo $728
AKL - Kidani - 2BR villa $3300 (using point rental)
AKL - Kidani - 2BR villa $6670 (going through Disney)

That is a $2500 - $5900 savings going offsite. MAGICAL That covers my airfare, park tickets, parking, and rental car and if renting from Disney, meals, souvenirs, clothes for the trip, etc...
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:59 PM   #67
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I think it depends on the person. We stayed at royal plaza the night before our Disney 9 nights and I didn't feel the magic. The room was bigger, they had a Disney gift shop, it was IN downtown Disney....but couldn't wait to get to POR.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:41 AM   #68
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We are making our first trip in late May/June and we were struggling with the onsite/offsite decision. I had made up my mind to stay onsite to be in the 'bubble'. However, once I discovered we could stay in a 3 bed condo at Windsor Hills for 8 nights (which allows 6 parks days plus a rest day) for less than a 7 night stay at a Moderate resort, we booked the condo. It came down to comfort and money. We have two young kids and rest is of the utmost importance. I just didn't think we would have the proper downtown we need sharing a very small room. Plus, Windsor Hills is so close to the Disney property, I don't think we are costing ourselves that much time (maybe a little at MK). It also is a nice feeling that with the money we saved from lodging, we can now do a few extra things for the kids like character meals.

I can guarantee the magic my kids feel will be enhanced simply by a good night's sleep.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:14 AM   #69
loveysbydesign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alhurricane View Post
We are making our first trip in late May/June and we were struggling with the onsite/offsite decision. I had made up my mind to stay onsite to be in the 'bubble'. However, once I discovered we could stay in a 3 bed condo at Windsor Hills for 8 nights (which allows 6 parks days plus a rest day) for less than a 7 night stay at a Moderate resort, we booked the condo. It came down to comfort and money. We have two young kids and rest is of the utmost importance. I just didn't think we would have the proper downtown we need sharing a very small room. Plus, Windsor Hills is so close to the Disney property, I don't think we are costing ourselves that much time (maybe a little at MK). It also is a nice feeling that with the money we saved from lodging, we can now do a few extra things for the kids like character meals.

I can guarantee the magic my kids feel will be enhanced simply by a good night's sleep.
ITA!!!!! You won't regret it.
We always prefer off-site as like you we all need our rest. Some people only need 5-6 hours of sleep a night. Not me and my family!

Plus it is so nice to know you saved money to be able to use on other things...and heaven forbid someone gets sick it's much, much easier for that person to rest and not spread the germs to others when you're not cooped up in one little room!
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May 2006-1st family trip to WDW! Loved Windsor Hills! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$1800
Nov. 13-22 2007-2nd trip to WDW with Baby Hartley #3-it's a boy!!! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$2200
May 2009- 3 nights in a 2 bedroom at SSR and then our 1st Disney cruise on the Magic! Total cost for 2 Cat. 12's -upgraded to Cat. 10's=$2900

June 11-20 2010- Our super cheap, surprising the kids, 1st time driving, celebrating Ryan's 3rd birthday trip! Total cost=$950
Nov.12-22, 2010 Took our in-laws along for their 1st trip ever! Stayed at Indian Creek and had a blast!
Oct.10-15, 2011 Crazy Columbus Crowds(did YES program) & cruised on the Dream Oct. 16-20
Oct. 19-29, 2012 Our trip re-do w/the in-laws, swam w/ the manatees & drove home through Sandy!
June 21-30, 2013 Celebrating our 17th anniversary!

Last edited by loveysbydesign; 03-10-2013 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:00 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alhurricane View Post
We are making our first trip in late May/June and we were struggling with the onsite/offsite decision. I had made up my mind to stay onsite to be in the 'bubble'. However, once I discovered we could stay in a 3 bed condo at Windsor Hills for 8 nights (which allows 6 parks days plus a rest day) for less than a 7 night stay at a Moderate resort, we booked the condo. It came down to comfort and money. We have two young kids and rest is of the utmost importance. I just didn't think we would have the proper downtown we need sharing a very small room. Plus, Windsor Hills is so close to the Disney property, I don't think we are costing ourselves that much time (maybe a little at MK). It also is a nice feeling that with the money we saved from lodging, we can now do a few extra things for the kids like character meals.

I can guarantee the magic my kids feel will be enhanced simply by a good night's sleep.
Yes, yes yes! The last sentence especially. We just spent a weekend in Indianapolis in a small hotel room and none of us slept well. Our boys can't share a bed yet and therefore we each slept with one. We all slept bad because our boys CANNOT sleep without laying on top of us, or kicking us, etc. Not even joking - my two year old ended up on TOP of me somehow. Just rolled right up there. Anyway, after the first night, we looked at each other and said, "thank god we have a condo in Disney". We will all be well rested with sleeping arrangements we are accustomed to at home. The boys will share a room with separate beds and we will have a separate bedroom. Plus, we will have a kitchen for breakfast and a living room to unwind in after the boys go to sleep. Not to mention, we will have a lanai to enjoy a glass of wine. We are really excited about making our own magic and know the trip will be better since we will have our sleep. Plus, now we can afford a character meal and dinner at BOG as well. I'm happy.
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May 1987 - off-site
March 1996 - off-site
March 2003 - off-site
June 2013 - off-site, Windsor Hills
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:53 PM   #71
davinakb
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Agreeing w/ PPs that the magic is what you make it and that for us, off site gives more.

It's more space, more comforts of home, more flexibility - and often more amenities at significantly lower prices. The times we've been on site - location was nice but not worth the premium - not when we can get more rooms, beds, baths, TVs, laundry and kitchen.

B/c it's less expensive via PL or vacation rentals, it's more Disney IME - more trips, longer stays, dining at more resort restaurants, more souvenirs at the outlets, etc.

Longer stays mean we're less rushed, more relaxed - and b/c of the savings a little less concerned about the $$. Tickets of course being the exception. :-)
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:28 AM   #72
tomgreen41
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I'm not a big advocate of on-site hotels because of the money, but I think it depends on the type of disability your brother has and the balance between that an how much your budget is. If price is no object, on-site is definitely the way to go. If you want convenience but don't mind a so-so hotel you can do on-site too. If you want high end AND ONSITE, then that could be a problem.

Maybe try a bottom up approach... start with your budget and then see how far you can get onsite and if there are other places to cut corners. There's lots of ways to save money on WDW vacations. The unnoficial Priceline blog has some great ideas: Disneyworld Vacation Savings is a good article. Splurge in some areas and save in others.

P.S. The longer you hold off, I think the better experience it will be for your child.
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