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Old 04-26-2013, 08:18 PM   #31
2Pirates2Princesses
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Originally Posted by shalom View Post


That actually sums up my kids' position. They were excited by the idea of staying onsite right until they saw the displayed Beach Club unit and realized how small it is. Then they started thinking of all the things they'd lose out, staying there...




I think there are different kinds of magic. As demonstrated in that thread Gina linked to, the price of Disney magic changes substantially when you've got more kids/a larger party. Right now, we've got the magic (and the luxury) of being able to vacation with all our kids.

In time to come, we'll be vacationing with one kid at a time or by our selves or with only a couple grandkids -- at that point, we'll have the magic of staying onsite... buuuuut miss the magic of more space, easier transportation, traveling with the tribe, and so on. IMHO, visiting Disney is magic, either way.

Isn't that the truth I feel so fortunate that DH and I are in the position to be able to take all four of our kids to Disney World for a second time within two years. The theme park tickets alone for all six of us is a small fortune within itself Coming on the DISboards a lot can make me lose perspective at times . I also agree with the other poster who said it doesn't have to be "all one way or another". Depending on your needs and goals for a particular trip you may choose onsite and then choose offsite for a future Disney trip. I can see this being the case for my family. Regardless of whether we stay onsite or offsite, I know plenty of magic awaits us and to be able to walk down Main Street again and see my kids smile with delight at that first glimpse of the castle is so much magic within itself
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:08 PM   #32
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We stayed at Poly last Oct and are considering going back to Disney the week of June 7-15, 2014. We have found options for a family of 5 to be limited without spending a ton. DH mentioned looking at staying off-site but I'm afraid that we would lose some of the "magic". However, it looks like we could stay in a bigger place for much cheaper.

Thoughts?
There are people on both sides of the camp here. Obviously, you can get larger, cheaper accommodations offsite. We stayed offsite years ago when we had no choice, but given a choice, we much prefer onsite as we felt it is a lot more magical. Now, we never leave for anything, use Disney transportation for getting around, and love the whole 'inclusive feel'.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:17 PM   #33
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We have stayed on site and off site. I loved the trips both ways. I didn't lose any magic by not staying on Disney property.

When we did stay on property we stayed in a family suite at ASMu because there were 5 of us and I wanted the kids to have a bit more fun at the pool and the grounds of the resort.

They went down to the pool in the afternoon and played PIng Pong and played the Bingo and trivia games by the pool. After dinner they would go down and watch the movie by the pool.

They had the freedom to roam around the resort without us. (They are tweens and teens)

We stayed in a suite so we had a separate bedroom for mom and dad. But it costs about $240 a night.

The place we like to stay off site is the Quality Suites Lake Buena Vista on Palm parkway. It is a one bedroom suite with a living room and a full kitchen and hot free breakfast for $71 a night. They have a 2 bedroom suite that sleeps 8 for $150 a night.

It is in a good part of town half way between Universal and Disney and is surrounded by shops and restaurants. You can't beat the location or the price.

We don't need a vacation rental HOME when it is just the 2 of us.

If and when we ever take the kids back to Disney we will probably stay in a family suite again or rent a private vacation home that has a private pool and a game room.

You can still break up your day and take breaks back at your house/room mid-day. We do. We always have a car and drive ourselves everywhere. But we leave the parks after lunch and go have a rest/nap at the resort and then head back out for dinner and some other activity in the evening. (Blue Man Group, Cirque Du Soleil, Downtown Disney or a different park)

You will get probably 50/50 split on ppl who say they would never dare stay off site and then you will have ppl that swear by saving money and staying in a much bigger place for less money.

When our whole family goes we are having to spend $7,000 for a 9 day trip so paying a bit more for a room on site is no big deal for us. But when it is DH and I we try to keep our trip cost below $2500. We couldn't do all the extra things we like to do if we stayed on site and had to pay double for our room accommodations.

Also we like having the separate bedroom and living room because Dh always wakes up about 4 or 5 in the morning and I don't get up until around 6:30. So he wakes up and go in the living room and watch TV or do his own thing, get on the computer or whatever and not wake me up.

When we were giving DH's dad advice on taking his family to Disney we recommended him staying off site. It will save him a ton of money and he will be driving himself around anyway so no big loss of magic for him either. Plus he has never been before so he won't miss it, staying on site.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:31 PM   #34
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We have done both and enjoyed both. Both have their advantages.

Pros for onsite is you are immersed in Disney 24/7, transportation (yes we love the buses), EMH (if you use them). We park our vehicle and never get in again until we leave....love that.

Pros for offsite-- way more room (we are a family of 5 also) and for us the washer/dryer because we stayed at WH.

We are staying onsite again and it is our favorite but I definitely wouldn't hesitate again to stay offsite.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:52 PM   #35
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Definitely think its up to you. Before kids, we stayed on property once. Probably the last time. Can't see spending that kind of money to stay in a hotel room. On top of that having the feeling of being trapped waiting for buses or boats to get places and not being able to leave the property to eat. After staying in a two-three bedroom timeshare with a rental car,we find it hard to justify staying on property. We love eating wherever we want and coming and going when we please. At the end of the day, we typically spend almost every day at the parks, where we feel the real 'magic" is. To each their own. Enjoy!
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:27 PM   #36
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Smile Have you ever camped?

My wife , daughter and myself go several times a year. We have stayed off site and had allot of problems. We stay at Value and mid level resorts during the year and we camp at Christmas time at Ft Wilderness, so we can decorate. Ft Wilderness is great. Its like my wife has said " I can be at WDW and sleep in my own bed". No RV rent one in Orlando or save money and tent camp. You can save allot of money. Good Luck on your trip .
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:31 PM   #37
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Just back from our first offsite experience. For us it was a totally different trip, missed being submersed in Disney Magic 24/7, however, with young kids (3 and <1) it was the best way to do it. They would have been overwhelmed with more park days. We loved the resort setting (stayed at Hilton Grand Vacations Seaworld) and loved the pools and the extra space it allowed us to have.

We will probably return off site again next year, then take a year off and get back to staying onsite once the kids are older and able to stay at parks longer adn go to sleep later.
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:37 PM   #38
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We just returned from bonnet creek and no magic was lost on us for sure!! We had a great time and the extra room and lower price made it even better.
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:25 PM   #39
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You can always stay in a themed condo or house. Our last trip we stayed at AKV and WL and while both were nice, we were far from the food courts in both and we started feeling cramped in WL. Both were gorgeous resorts, but 4 people in a small room, including 2 kids that like to sleep with their knees in your back, can really start to get to you after a few days.

This trip we are staying at Ethan's Little Disney, which is more Disney themed than most Disney rooms and we have our own beds!! Our girls saw the princess room and were super excited.
No magic lost for us!!

http://luxurydisneyvacationhomes.com...little-disney/

Good luck!!
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:52 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Mama Moose View Post
You can always stay in a themed condo or house. Our last trip we stayed at AKV and WL and while both were nice, we were far from the food courts in both and we started feeling cramped in WL. Both were gorgeous resorts, but 4 people in a small room, including 2 kids that like to sleep with their knees in your back, can really start to get to you after a few days.

This trip we are staying at Ethan's Little Disney, which is more Disney themed than most Disney rooms and we have our own beds!! Our girls saw the princess room and were super excited.
No magic lost for us!!

http://luxurydisneyvacationhomes.com...little-disney/

Good luck!!
That looks like a REALLY nice place!
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:50 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Mama Moose View Post
You can always stay in a themed condo or house. Our last trip we stayed at AKV and WL and while both were nice, we were far from the food courts in both and we started feeling cramped in WL. Both were gorgeous resorts, but 4 people in a small room, including 2 kids that like to sleep with their knees in your back, can really start to get to you after a few days.

This trip we are staying at Ethan's Little Disney, which is more Disney themed than most Disney rooms and we have our own beds!! Our girls saw the princess room and were super excited.
No magic lost for us!!

http://luxurydisneyvacationhomes.com...little-disney/

Good luck!!
Now that's a magical place! Wow.

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Old 04-30-2013, 10:21 PM   #42
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You had me at Poly...

For me, the Poly is THE ultimate place to stay. It's the place I stayed in my childhood (there were only 2 places back then - Poly or Contemporary) and the place my children love most. We have stayed at other Disney resorts, and nothing has been as memorable for us - Animal Kingdom Lodge, Beach Club, Old Key West. We have stayed offsite too - rented a house in Windsor Palms, Hilton Bonnet Creek (we loved this place!), and Hilton Parc Soleil.

If you fell in love with the Poly, then you might be slightly disappointed in an offsite stay. The way we look at it is...we like to try new things. We have tried other places, but our hearts stay with the Poly. Have we enjoyed those places/trips, of course! But we always say, "Next time, it's back to the Poly."

I think Dumbo sums it up best...you've had it all along. You don't need the feather. The magic is within you. Different places offer different experiences. You won't know until you try.

But you will return to the Poly...
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:04 AM   #43
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I guess I have a slightly different perspective, because although I adore all things Disney, to me the "magic" lies in the vacation with loved-ones, of which Disney enhances the experience - but it is not THE experience. We have resources to be able to travel well occasionally, but they are not unlimited. My preference is to find a great condo-type resort or timeshare where we can spread out and be "on vacation" at a smaller fraction of the cost of staying on-site, and using the savings to do other things, whether it be not worrying about getting that extra dacquiri at the pool bar, or taking an evening and going out to one of the many dinner shows, or buying that pricey outlet item or souvenir, etc. I don't like using shuttles or transportation, driving doesn't bother me, and I'm not really generally crazy about the food quality and value within the WDW complex - so personally (and this is just our preference) we find the atmosphere and accommodations at some of the offsites to be preferable to anything offered at WDW, regardless of cost. I do love the Mouse and all his friends, but no offense to him, he's part of the vacation experience, not the reason we go on vacation.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:18 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Minnies Boy Toy View Post
I guess I have a slightly different perspective, because although I adore all things Disney, to me the "magic" lies in the vacation with loved-ones, of which Disney enhances the experience - but it is not THE experience. We have resources to be able to travel well occasionally, but they are not unlimited. My preference is to find a great condo-type resort or timeshare where we can spread out and be "on vacation" at a smaller fraction of the cost of staying on-site, and using the savings to do other things, whether it be not worrying about getting that extra dacquiri at the pool bar, or taking an evening and going out to one of the many dinner shows, or buying that pricey outlet item or souvenir, etc. I don't like using shuttles or transportation, driving doesn't bother me, and I'm not really generally crazy about the food quality and value within the WDW complex - so personally (and this is just our preference) we find the atmosphere and accommodations at some of the offsites to be preferable to anything offered at WDW, regardless of cost. I do love the Mouse and all his friends, but no offense to him, he's part of the vacation experience, not the reason we go on vacation.
Well said!
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:41 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Minnies Boy Toy View Post
I guess I have a slightly different perspective, because although I adore all things Disney, to me the "magic" lies in the vacation with loved-ones, of which Disney enhances the experience - but it is not THE experience. We have resources to be able to travel well occasionally, but they are not unlimited. My preference is to find a great condo-type resort or timeshare where we can spread out and be "on vacation" at a smaller fraction of the cost of staying on-site, and using the savings to do other things, whether it be not worrying about getting that extra dacquiri at the pool bar, or taking an evening and going out to one of the many dinner shows, or buying that pricey outlet item or souvenir, etc. I don't like using shuttles or transportation, driving doesn't bother me, and I'm not really generally crazy about the food quality and value within the WDW complex - so personally (and this is just our preference) we find the atmosphere and accommodations at some of the offsites to be preferable to anything offered at WDW, regardless of cost. I do love the Mouse and all his friends, but no offense to him, he's part of the vacation experience, not the reason we go on vacation.
This!
We need the space we can find offsite. We also need flexibility, watch out for cancellation policies at places like WH, we have a daughter who is medically complex, for us to end up in the hospital one day when she was fine the day before is routine for us, a liberal (24 hr) cancellation policy makes us happy, even with trip insurance.
We found, on our last trip, what I consider a gem, will definitely stay there again. It was not new, counters were not granite, the only thing that bothered me was that the carpets really needed replacing in one of our rooms (we added days so had to change rooms). BUT the rooms were spotlessly clean, even the carpet that was very worn was still clean. That, to me, is way more important than granite or newer fixtures.
We were minutes from the parks, via a back road, so NO traffic. BUT we had 2 (2nd half, 3) bedrooms, kitchen, balcony, living room, laundry etc. We were able to get to our car in just a few minutes, and it was under $800 for a week--Christmas week. http://www.palisadesresortorlando.com/ When we wanted to add days onto our trip (we had to delay the start, due to my daughter's illness), the clerk at the desk worked with me to find a room, at a decent price, that was 4 doors down from the room we were in, so it would minimize the hassle of having to move.
If we were to stay on site we would have to have two rooms or a suite, we would likely drive anyhow, as it's easier with my daughter's wheelchair. It would cost a fortune (for us), and we would not have been able to do the ADRs that we did, so no Cape May dinner buffet or Crystal Palace, among others. We found the magic in the space. If I had oodles of extra cash I'd love to stay at BLT in a 2 br suite, that would be Perfect. Barring that, I'll stay offsite!
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