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Old 05-01-2013, 12:41 PM   #16
OasterP
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I read a ton of information on both sides recently b/c we are planning our first trip to WDW and taking our four year old son (well he'll be 4 at the time).

I think it just depends what you are looking for most. Many people want to be totally imersed in Disney. I think if that's what you want, then on site is probably worth it.

For us we knew we had no plans on doing the Dining Plan b/c it wouldn't come close to paying off. We ended up deciding to stay at WBC. We will be there in "off" season (September) but I ended up booking a condo with a full kitchen, two bathrooms, room for four to sleep, living room, etc for eight nights for 608.00. WBC has a lot of perks/activities that I know we will use/participate in.

We had already planned on renting a car because I like to have the freedom to go where I want. Such as food - we will eat very little in the parks. We will likely plan one "fun" dinner or lunch in the park and the rest will be outside of the park. We just didn't feel the food was worth the price.

I think there is no "right" or "wrong" way to do Disney - just do what works best for you! If you try it offsite and don't like it as much - at least you tried! Go back next time.
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:13 PM   #17
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Before kids we only ever stayed offsite and last trip with my 2 1/2 year old was the first one we stayed onsite. I think while our kids are young we will definitely stay onsite and then when they are older we may consider offsite again.

The one thing for us when offsite we absolutely had to have a car. So if you aren't driving there I would figure in the cost of a rental and see if it's still worth it. There are shuttles from many area hotels, but we have not found them to be very convenient at all.
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:17 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by kandb View Post
We have been going to disney and staying on-site for the last 8 years. We love disney and always have a great time. We are planning our next trip the beginning of November. We love staying onsite but the prices have gone up so much and discounts have gone down considerably that we are thinking of going off-site for the first time. I will have a hard time spending $210 for a moderate hotel (which rooms are small and one of my kids will have to sleep on a bed that comes out of the wall), as compared to an Embassy Suites I could get with the AAA discount for around $100. The Embassy Suites room is much larger and also comes with a full hot breakfast. I love being right in disney but the prices for their rooms are getting ridiculous, not to mention the deluxe rooms which are $400-$500 a night. For those who stay off-site, and have stayed on-site before, how different is it when you stay off-site?
kandb- I mean this in the nicest possible way...but maybe you need to sit back and evaluate for yourself, what you want to do.

As a frequenter of the Disboards, you kind of get to "know" people by the the titles of their posts...and when I saw this one, I said "kandb" and I was right.

It seems like you are constantly trying to justify your trips. And how you do your trips. A few months ago, you indicated that you would no longer do Disney because they were offering less for the money. Well, you apparently got over that because then about last month you indicated that you wouldn't go without a discount...(what happened to not going at all??)

Now, you have apparently decided that you will go without a discount, (because you are planning for November) but that you will be looking offsite.

All of your posts are kind of the "who is with me?" type posts, but of course you are going to get opinions on both sides.

What is important to you? If you don't think on site is worth it any longer, than don't stay on-site...pretty simple. You don't need others to justify your decisions. And you have been to Disney enough to know what you are getting for your money in order to determine whether it's "worth it".

I am honestly not trying to be mean, I actually feel bad because you are obviously so conflicted in your planning. I hope you can come to a decision that you are completely happy with.
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:28 PM   #19
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If I were going to get a car anyway, I'd stay offsite in an instant (when I'm out of DVC points of course). Without a car, no way.
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:37 PM   #20
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My sister and I will be staying offsite also for the first time in a very long time but Disney just priced us out of a room. Even the Values are getting ridiculous especially for the amount of time we'll be in the room. It's just 2 adults with a rental car and since we do Disney several times a year as AP it was either stay offsite or don't go. The air fare has gone up considerably also so we can't do both so offsite it is! But we would go back in an instant for a really good deal. Come on Disney, let us go back!
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:45 PM   #21
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we have done both, and both were WONDERFUL vacations. Obvious advantages to staying onsite were the transportation offerings and the EMH. Advantages to staying offsite were MUCH more room, access to low cost meals (groceries, chain restaurants, etc.) and much lower cost for accommodations. We will only stay onsite if free dining is offered, because we can not justify the additional cost of the onsite resort without FD to offset it. We are only in the room for rest and to clean up. We never even swam in the pool! It just comes down to what we prefer to spend our money on, so for us, we go where the savings take us

Either way, the Magic is found in the parks, and it is all what you make of it.

Enjoy!
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:47 PM   #22
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I've done both on site and offsite. I love onsite
In 2011 we stayed offsite and we had great time.
But last week we stayed at animal kingdom and it was awesOme
Just pulling up to the hotel was exciting. We stayed at kidani and when those doors opened up to lobby we were blown away.
I just felt good there. We do use the pool a lot and pool was great with tons
Of Disney activities for kids. I guess for us it's the entire Disney experience that was fun. I was actually depressed when time to leave. Lol
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:08 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kandb View Post
For those who stay off-site, and have stayed on-site before, how different is it when you stay off-site?
Your responses here will tend toward "onsite is so much better"; if you post this to the Orlando Resorts board, likely a higher percentage of people will say, "Offsite is great!" Just pick the response you want.

More seriously, offsite ranges from "total dump with an ugly drive to WDW" to "nice as Deluxe and as close to the parks as the onsite average, but for a lower price!" Staying offsite does mean doing a bit more research, IMHO.

I also wouldn't stay offsite without a car; Wyndham Bonnet Creek is the only place I've seen that offers anything close to the onsite bus service, and it's not that close.

Unless WDW has some discount going, staying offsite is cheaper than the equivalent onsite unit, and usually you can kick up a level for the same price. We go offseason, and have always been able to get 2 BR condos offsite for less than Disney value rooms. With that full kitchen, we can do breakfast at "home", and sometimes lunch or dinner as well, which saves us a lot. But my kids aren't that excited by Disney meals -- Disney snacks and decadent desserts, yes, but meals, not so much -- and they can all cook a simple meal or two so I don't have to cook on vacation; saves us money and isn't a big hassle. I don't mind planning meals, but if I had to do all the cooking, I wouldn't appreciate offsite as much.

There are great vacations to be had both offsite and on, and a fair variety of experiences within either. You just need to figure out what works best for you.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:52 PM   #24
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We've done both & for us it's not even close. If your going to WDW (and not planning on going anywhere else e.g. Universal) onsite is the only way to go. At least it is for us.
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:09 PM   #25
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MOUSEMOMMY1- I just wanted to answer a few your questions. I NEVER said "we won't do disney anymore because they are not offering discounts". Can you please post where I said we won't be going to disney anymore. I did say we won't be going in "September" if FD is not offered, but never said "we won't do disney anymore". I am not "confused" or conflicted, I just post and state facts that I see happening and try to get other people's point of views before I make a decision about our trips (thought that was what the DIS was suppose to be about). I know there are some on the DIS that if you say anything negative about WDW, they get offended, not meaning to offend just get other's views.
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:09 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kandb View Post
We have been going to disney and staying on-site for the last 8 years. We love disney and always have a great time. We are planning our next trip the beginning of November. We love staying onsite but the prices have gone up so much and discounts have gone down considerably that we are thinking of going off-site for the first time. I will have a hard time spending $210 for a moderate hotel (which rooms are small and one of my kids will have to sleep on a bed that comes out of the wall), as compared to an Embassy Suites I could get with the AAA discount for around $100. The Embassy Suites room is much larger and also comes with a full hot breakfast. I love being right in disney but the prices for their rooms are getting ridiculous, not to mention the deluxe rooms which are $400-$500 a night. For those who stay off-site, and have stayed on-site before, how different is it when you stay off-site?
I have to say that I don't blame you! We are DVC members and I don't think we would stay onsite if we didn't stay at a DVC resort that was (for all intents and purposes) pre-paid. I just can't stomach paying so much for so little.

Last December we stayed offsite at a pool home for a week near Windsor Hills for $800 total (including tax and pool heat) and it was GREAT. This was over Christmas when there are no discounts and the All Stars was around $175 per night. For the same price as 4 nights in a tiny All Stars room we had 4 bedrooms (for only 3 people ), 2 bathrooms, a living room, a family room and full kitchen, a washer & dryer and a private pool which was warmer than the one at AKL when we moved to a Jambo House the week after.
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:34 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kandb View Post
MOUSEMOMMY1- I just wanted to answer a few your questions. I NEVER said "we won't do disney anymore because they are not offering discounts". Can you please post where I said we won't be going to disney anymore. I did say we won't be going in "September" if FD is not offered, but never said "we won't do disney anymore". I am not "confused" or conflicted, I just post and state facts that I see happening and try to get other people's point of views before I make a decision about our trips (thought that was what the DIS was suppose to be about). I know there are some on the DIS that if you say anything negative about WDW, they get offended, not meaning to offend just get other's views.
I'm not offended. Hope you weren't either. But I was simply coming from the title posts...for instance "can't justify staying on site"....sounds like you have already made up your mind...but then looking for reasons to not stick with that decision.

Also in your "paying more. Getting less" thread you indicated that you were going to take time off and enjoy other destinations...

I'm not judging your opinion, just seeing if you stand by it.
Again, I hope you come to a resolution that you are happy with.
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:44 PM   #28
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Over the years we have done both. All of the trips since the 1990s were on site though. I have always loved being on site. We used to purchase APs and do 2 or 3 trips with them to get our monies worth plus get great room discounts. The AP has gone up quite a bit over the last few years. Our last AP was for the 2010 trips. We did have very good room discounts. The last trip was using FD and honestly not really worth it. The trip was at an ASMu family suite, while nice not really worth it to us. We did drive to the parks on the last 2 or 3 trips since I feel the bus transportation has gone down hill from what it used to be (at least in our experience) The FD has also decreased as well, the values did have the regular FD the first few years and that was a good deal, we did have ap but bought the 1 day passes and kept them. Now a 2 day requirement so with an AP, a big expense and also just CS for values and even a decrease in the snacks. We will be staying offsite this fall and getting a 2 room villa very near (not much difference than the drive from the Allstars. This will have full kitchen 2 bedrooms and washer / dryer. We will be able to eat breakfast at the room and save there. I just love staying on Disney property but for the cost and the cost of AP trips have become further apart and we do other things between. The ticket costs have really gone up as well. We may get a nonexpiring 8 day and use for 2 trips spread out more than a year. (it will be a reason to go back! ) I guess we shall see what comes up with onsite offers, but they too are not the discounts offered all through the years since going to WDW. Just my thoughts of course but I have gone many, many times. Way back in the day, up until the 2001 trip, you could buy a multiday ticket, use it and return within 1 year and upgrade to an AP for the price difference. While you still only received the 1 actual year, you didn't have to put out the money all at once and if for some reason you couldn't come back within a year you didn't pay all the money for an AP. Disney back in the 80s told us this! We saved tickets and used to upgrade almost every time we were there within a year for over 20 years! Wish they still did this. They don't lose any money by doing it so I really don't see the issue with doing so. You still only got an annual pass good for 1 year but paid in 2 pmts!
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:51 PM   #29
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I don't know so much about off site, but I have stayed on site without staying in a Disney hotel. Same reason price. We loved POR when we went there in 2008. Since we have been staying SoG. ....

Heck I can never figure out why military take the 40% off at poly, they still pay $350 or more a night, when I pay $105 or less, the room is the exact same in the two queen beds and sofa sleeper, size SOG is bigger, and every morning we walk the beautiful grounds of SoG and poly to get where we are going,to us we miss nothing but others feel it is not the same. But as I say our room is to sleep in, we don't hang out there, we don't ACTH tv, we hardly use the pools. So it is not worth the price of $250 to $550 more for what you get, but that is us. Most people can not understand how we can be in wdw and be in bed at 10 or 11!
Well, first, of course you know that there are relatively few people who CAN stay at Shades of Green. I will never be able to stay there. So bringing up SOG with such a question is tricky, because you might get someone to want to stay there when they can't. I try to avoid threads about SOG b/c it makes me envious.

And I imagine that military members might go for different resorts because their priorities are different and they want different things.




OP, my current version of offsite at WDW is staying at a Universal resort. So that's hardly a cost-saving measure. But really, for me, being onsite at Disney isn't something I do for the perks, it's what I do for the actual hotel. We almost always rent a car during our stays, and have decided after our last trip that it will only be in the most drastic circumstances that we'll take disney transportation to and from parks. We'll drive or take a cab. We just don't much like the buses. We did DME last trip, and while it was OK, having a car would have been better. We don't have things sent back to our resort when we buy them, not after experiencing the way the Loews hotels up the road at Universal do it, where they actually deliver packages *to the room*, not just to the resort.

I stay at POR because it's beautiful. OKW because we love it. I have a new found adoration for VWL. etc. Our hotel stays are based mainly on the hotel, and also what we can afford, $ or Points, wise, at that time. Out at Disneyland, we have bounced back and forth between off and on site, solely dependent on what we need on that trip.

In January I'm signed up for the half-marathon. That race is 2 weeks before a cruise we're already booked on. We had planned on a week in the parks before. So that leaves me in the area a week before DH can get there. Whoopsie. We're still deciding what to do. Go to Daytona and stay with family for that week? Stay in a beachy hotel there and be near family? Stay in the area, perhaps at Windsor Hills for the first time? That would be really cool, actually. And probably the combo of cheapest AND easiest for all involved (with family would be cheapest but definitely not *easiest* for all involved).

I have no overriding philosophy or never-do-that-again sort of idea; I just go with what works for each particular trip.

Do what you need! Do what you want! I'm sure you know the perks (dubious though I personally feel them to be) of staying onsite, and if you would miss any of them if they weren't available to you. There are a gazillion options in the area, and many of them look INCREDIBLY cool. I mean, have you seen some of the slides while going along I4? They look amazing!
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:00 PM   #30
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We're venturing offsite for the first time to Bonnet Creek this summer too.
I'm looking forward to it. For me it's not an either/or thing. It's just what the budget is, and what matters to me at the time. This summer is a "sneak in an extra trip" trip and the budget is the main focus. I don't want the DDP. I do want to be able to have food that I can make quickly in the kitchen. I don't want to do the parks from sun up to sun down. I do want to take it easy and relax quite a bit. So for us, 120 a night for 2 bedrooms and a kitchen was a no brainer.
The onsite perks weren't a pull at all this time. We avoid EMH's anyway, don't want the DDP and always rent a car so we can go to Universal as well.

Now at Christmas we're surprising the kids with a trip, want to be immersed at Disney for all of the Holiday festivities, and plan to use Tables In Wonderland so we'll eat in the parks and resorts a lot more. Even then, I rented points. I'm over the Disney method of drastically over pricing their hotels and then dangling a carrot in the form of a dwindling discount structure. That's after 8 tips in 5 or 6 years though. Reasons for wanting onsite or offsite change, as do finances and priorities.
It does seem like I am seeing the offsite topic come up a lot more lately, but that could easily be because I've started really paying attention for the first time.
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