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Old 04-19-2013, 05:15 PM   #16
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Yes, we did it last October! We joined the DVC, so we did a split stay, 2 nights at OKW and 4 nights in a THV at SSR. We did Typhoon Lagoon and Legoland but otherwise did things at the resort or in the local area. I never thought in a million years I could go to WDW and not go to the theme parks, but it was wonderful! Our kids (DS11 and DD9) didn't complain at all about not doing the parks. We did things we never have time for on park trips. We especially loved the poolside activities (esp the ice cream drop and treasure hunt at OKW), mini golf at WinterSummerland, riding surrey bikes at POR, and dining at Cali Grill and watching fireworks from there. We were never bored and would definitely do it again!
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:59 PM   #17
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Last year I decided to stay at the Art of Animation one night pre-cruise. I had originally booked cheaper hotels to save money but I ultimately decided that the Disney hotels are just so much more fun and festive, so it was like our 7 night cruise was extended to 8. I am doing something similar this year by staying at the Wilderness Lodge before going on a 4 night cruise on the Dream. I had looked at other hotels but I find it impossible to stay at a non-Disney hotel while in Orlando. I don't miss the parks at all, just love the atmsophere and theming at the hotels.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:00 PM   #18
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I think it would be very hard to take small children and not go to the parks. Mine would drive me crazy. If it was just dh and I then we have many other favorite places to go.
Personally, we love to cruise at spring break. It is a great, relaxing, family vacation. And if you don't choose dcl then it can be a very affordable time to go.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:39 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by chasgoose View Post
I can't imagine paying the hefty premium for on-site WDW hotels if I wasn't going to the parks. The hotels simply aren't nice enough for the price you are paying. I love the WDW resorts and they are definitely part of the experience, but I always feel a teeny bit ripped off when I think about the quality of hotel I could get for the same price elsewhere. My family usually stays in very nice hotels when we travel, think Four Seasons/Ritz Carlton level (unless its a super expensive city like NYC) and our last trip to WDW 10 years ago at the YC (granted during the peak season and CL) would still be ranked with the highest we have ever paid for a hotel room.
I agree about the quality of the hotel versus the price. I have DVC though, so a trip to Kidani or the boardwalk area makes sense ... We have already paid for our rooms for the next 50 years!
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:40 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by tmbacon View Post
Curious if anyone here has stayed at WDW resorts for vacation but NOT gone to the parks, or spent very minimal time there? Thinking of heading down again Spring Break 2014 (we've been to WDW during Spring Break three other times so we know what we're in for ), would stay for 5-6 nights but only go to the parks 1 or 2 times (or maybe not at all??). This would be our 11th trip to WDW, so we have some experience here.

If you did this, did you regret not spending more time at the parks? Were you and your family "bored"? I think if we tried this approach we'd probably splurge on deluxe hotel/villa, like Beach Club, or something like that. Thanks for providing your experiences with this type of situation.
I can think of many, many much more deluxe resorts in scenic areas at half the cost of Disney Deluxe resorts.

For us, we would not go to Disney unless we were going to the parks.

We put up with their poor excuse for the word deluxe and their mediocre food BECAUSE of the parks.

You could stay at the Four Seasons Palm Beach with an ocean view room for less money than a Disney Deluxe, no comparison in my book if you aren't visiting the parks.
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:56 AM   #21
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We do it quite often. DH is not a Disney guy at all and it is great if we can go and not do the parks much.

We are going again this week for 9 days, we are going to golf for 4 of them which is a first for us. We are going to do 1 park day, maybe a 2nd and we will do a waterpark 1 day. Along with that we will lay around the pool and read etc.

We also did the DDP and booked 6 of our dinners, will wing the others. Will do the Boardwalk a couple of evenings (ESPN probably for a game and Jellyrolls another evening) and then DTD a couple of evenings.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:11 AM   #22
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We just did that this spring break! However, We could not justify paying the spring break Disney prices so stayed off site. We were nervous that we would miss the parks but we had a blast! We had a car so we toured all the resorts. We rented bikes at Wilderness Lodge, spent some time on the Poly beach, ate Dole Whips, watched fireworks, ate at T-Rex, pin traded at DTD, saw Yee Haw Bob, played an ESPN bean bag game on the boardwalk, used night vision glasses to look at the savannah at AKL, ate Zebra Domes....ect ect. We were never board. It was one of the most relaxing trips we have had to the world. We finally had a chance to tour all the places we never have had time to see. Plus! we did not have any trouble with sprin break crowds.

Our kids are young and they still had a great time. Plus they are still young enough to love spending time at the resort playgrounds.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:45 AM   #23
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Okay for one but family not so sure

I snuck over to POR for a night after I was at a conference. I had a rental car and drove around the different resorts to eat something special, hang out, and just soak in some Disney magic. I spent time at Downtown Disney. I also spent time around Seven Seas Lagoon, walking the Poly beach, having a drink at GF, gawking at the animals at AKL, watched the fireworks from outside while riding the monorail here and there. Footloose and fancy free for 2 days/1 night (thanks to my DW for letting me have another day). It was great by myself and would be fun with my DW there. If I had a family with younger kids I'm betting it would be much tougher to do. Perhaps when my kids are older they would also like that, including hanging out at the resort pool.
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:29 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Bob NC View Post

I can think of many, many much more deluxe resorts in scenic areas at half the cost of Disney Deluxe resorts.

For us, we would not go to Disney unless we were going to the parks.

We put up with their poor excuse for the word deluxe and their mediocre food BECAUSE of the parks.

You could stay at the Four Seasons Palm Beach with an ocean view room for less money than a Disney Deluxe, no comparison in my book if you aren't visiting the parks.
Exactly... I guess everyone's idea of an ideal vacation is different, but the only reason I can think of to go to Orlando is the theme parks. There are tons of places in the world with more interesting sights and activities (assuming not going into WDW), better restaurants, and cheaper (and nicer) hotels...
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:59 PM   #25
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This summer, we are doing a 3 night post DCL cruise stay at the Poly with no plans to go into the parks, except possibly one day at Blizzard Beach.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:18 PM   #26
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I would never do this... for the cost of a Resort at WDW, especially that time of year, I would rather go to an All Inclusive resort in the Caribbean or Mexico for the week.

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Old 04-20-2013, 07:16 PM   #27
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My wife and I did a room only no theme park ticket trip for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon last year. I ran the race, and even though my race entry included a ticket to Epcot for the after party, we only transited the park on our way back to our hotel.

The trip was three nights and not six or seven like the OP is suggesting. My wife and I went and left the kiddo with grandma because we were not going in the parks and I didn't want to hear the whining.

We stayed at the Beach Club - Club Level, and enjoyed the sand bottom pool. I also gave the Itinerary Planning Office a bit of a challenge: set us up with a romantic dinner without entering a park. The hit the ball out of the park: a table for 2 in the north west corner of the California Grill at the Contemporary Hotel just as the Magic Kingdom's firework show was starting. That dinner (and not the race) was the highlight of the trip.

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