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Old 04-26-2013, 10:14 AM   #16
Dallas_Lady
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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, 10:30 AM   #17
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Quote:
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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Old 04-26-2013, 10:58 AM   #18
sharadoc
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It all depends on where you are coming from, financially. We have stayed onsite since 1992 at all levels and loved it every time. We like the amenities at the resort, we like to use the pools and activities on a daily basis, and the Disney feel is great.

BUT - the staffing has decreased lately and we don't feel the customer service as much. Lines at check-in and concierge are longer, attitudes are a little grumpier, like the cast members are overworked and underpaid (just like the rest of us LOL) and it seems to be showing.

Disney has raised their resort prices so much over the past 5 years that we seem to be effectively priced out of staying onsite for what we want and need in our vacation. In 2010 we stayed at a 1BR at BWV for a 45% discount, for under $300 a night. Now the best you can get is 30% and with the base price of $600, we'd still pay over $400 a night. That's a significant difference, and we really can't afford to spend that much and buy park tickets so - we are staying offsite our next trip.

We're going to Bonnet Creek which seems to be a perfect alternative. Because we drive to Disney from home, we almost always drive to parks, so transportation will not be an issue. Distance to the parks should be about the same as OKW distance and location, so we feel good about that, we'll still be inside the overall Disney geographic bubble. Paying $120 a night for a 2 br condo, so no one is on a sofabed. We are hopeful that this will work for us and we can continue to do our week-10 days every year and not break the bank. We only go on cash so we won't go into debt for any trip.

Disney onsite comparable room $3000 vs. offsite $900. Total trip cost reduced over $2,000. Wow!! Our condo cost is comparable to a value resort room onsite.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:21 AM   #19
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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.
This is us pretty much to a tee
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:43 PM   #20
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I've done both.
While I did like saving the money on an offsite hotel, I missed not having to drive anywhere. I also missed having purchases delivered direct to the resort so I could pick them up at my convenience.

Also there are 4 of us and 3 of them now like to sleep in instead of enjoying the parks early. Staying onsite works much better for us because of that. I can't stand wasting my precious vacation time sleeping in. I want to be doing something so I get up and go to the parks while the rest sleep in - I'd be major grumpy if I couldn't do that.

So for us it's better to stay onsite.
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:47 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by maxiesmom View Post
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.
This describes us too. Add to it the fact that we really enjoy exploring other Disney resorts besides the one we stay at and it explains why we stay onsite. For us it isn't going to "Florida", it is going to "Disney" and we love the immersion.

We too wouldn't rule out an off site trip and some other sightseeing, but we absolutely love our onsite Disney only vacations.
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:24 PM   #22
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The big drawback is parking. You'll pay $14 a day to park at WDW if you stay offsite, even Bonnet Creek. Unless you have an annual pass which gives you free parking. If you stay onsite, you get free parking at the theme parks.
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:40 PM   #23
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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 04-27-2013, 05:59 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by sharadoc View Post
It all depends on where you are coming from, financially.

Disney has raised their resort prices so much over the past 5 years that we seem to be effectively priced out of staying onsite for what we want and need in our vacation. In 2010 we stayed at a 1BR at BWV for a 45% discount, for under $300 a night. Now the best you can get is 30% and with the base price of $600, we'd still pay over $400 a night. That's a significant difference, and we really can't afford to spend that much and buy park tickets so - we are staying offsite our next trip.

We're going to Bonnet Creek which seems to be a perfect alternative. Because we drive to Disney from home, we almost always drive to parks, so transportation will not be an issue. Distance to the parks should be about the same as OKW distance and location, so we feel good about that, we'll still be inside the overall Disney geographic bubble. Paying $120 a night for a 2 br condo, so no one is on a sofabed. We are hopeful that this will work for us and we can continue to do our week-10 days every year and not break the bank. We only go on cash so we won't go into debt for any trip.

Disney onsite comparable room $3000 vs. offsite $900. Total trip cost reduced over $2,000. Wow!! Our condo cost is comparable to a value resort room onsite.
We too will be staying at Wyndham Bonnet Creek this trip (in just under two weeks from now). We got a one bedroom deluxe villa for just $896.00 ($89.60 per night for the ten nights). Even with my AP discount I couldn't beat that, for even a WDW Value resort. We planned on renting a car and driving to the parks anyway, because we don't like waiting around for Disney transportation, but even if we didn't, the money we saved on accommodations would be alot more than enough to pay for a rental car. With the AP we don't have to pay for parking and since my mom is going with us, we'll have her handicap tag, so will be able to park close to the gates (except at MK). As you said Bonnet Creek is physically within the WDW geographic bubble (within the gates of WDW), so is closer to the parks than some of the WDW resorts. Paying less than we would for a tiny value room with two regular beds, we will be getting a one bedroom villa in a deluxe resort with a fully equipped kitchen, dining area, living room with sofa bed, a seperate bedroom with king size bed, a jacuzzi tub, a large walk in shower, two flat screen TVs, and a washer and dryer (that will allow us to easily do carry on only, saving baggage fees). Bonnet Creek has mutliple really nice themed pools, several pool slides, hot tubs, two lazy rivers, a kids water play area, a free mini golf course, game room, kids activities and crafts all day long, plus several nice eating places within walking distance. Why would I pay more to stay in a tiny WDW Value room? We plan on using the rental car to run over to Universal for a few days and over to the outlet malls, and will do most dinners offsite, because you can get better food for much cheaper prices, but if we didn't want to go offsite, we could easily never go back outside those entrance arches once we arrive and never lose any of the Disney ambience.

I always swore I'd never stay offsite, but last Oct a coworker offered me a week in a her timeshare (just one mile off property) for just $400.00 for the week. A week in a one bedroom villa for just $400.00 seemed to good of a deal to pass up ($57.00 per night), so I canceled the reservation I had at CBR and decided to give offsite a try. We loved it so much, that we've sworn we would never stay onsite again. We had tons of room, two TVs, jacuzzi tub, huge walk in shower, washer/dryer, fully equipped kitchen, multiple pools and hot tubs to choose from, a mini golf course, paddle boats, onsite free disney movies, etc. We were only about five minutes from AK and not too much farther from any of the other parks and had a ton more room and nicer facilities than if we'd stayed onsite. We ate better and cheaper than we ever had down there and spent a ton less money for the trip. With the money we saved, we could make another trip down there, staying in nicer accommodations than we could get at WDW.

Last edited by aubriee; 04-27-2013 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:18 AM   #25
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oops, duplicate

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