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Old 12-31-2013, 08:46 PM   #1
lemonears6
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to stay at a disney resort or not????

my hubby and i have taken our kids to disneyworld twice so far. we have never stayed at a disney hotel/resort. we have 4 kids, all are under 9 right now. I am thinking about our next trip and thinking we might go the first week of december 2014. is it worth it to spend the extra money staying at a disney hotel? we can get a condo for a week 10-15 min away from the parks for 230.00 and thats for 7 night. thats a little over 32.00 a night. if we stay at a disney value resort we would play 250-300 a night for a family of 6. thats allot more. we plan on being at the parks all day every day. is it worth it to spend that much more just to stay at a disney resort?
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:06 PM   #2
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No. But I also would be a little reluctant to stay in a place that was only 32.00 a night as well.
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:11 PM   #3
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Before our past trip feb 2013 I would say absolutely not we have been going pretty regularly since 2004 with our kids and had always stayed in nearby condos even bonnet creek a few times which is technically inside the WDW gate but we decided that we wanted to try the ddp our youngest kids are 7 and 4 and I have a 13 year old brother who always comes with us so we decided to try the AOA because our DS loves the cars movie we had a fabulous time it was like a different more magical experience like we'd never been to WDW ever before we parked our van immersed our selves in the Disney magic and never got back in the van until the day of check out. I can't really explain the real difference besides the obvious price it was just so much more magical kinda like being in an all inclusive resort. I don't think you will regret spending the extra $$$ if you can
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:11 PM   #4
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If your budget will allow it, most definitely YES.

1. You will be able to get the DDP that will allow you more character meals/buffets with the kids.

2. You will be able to use the FP+ system to your advantage. Right now, offsite is beginning the first test stages, but for your group, you'll know you have the coveted places in line.

3. Disney will drive you.

4. Depending on when in December...parks get to capacity, but on site still allowed in.

HOWEVER, if your budget will not allow it. Just stay calm and enjoy what you can. Our current budget won't allow on-site this year, but we will pack picnics and enjoy the extra space in the condo.
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by MinnieLovesMickey12 View Post
No. But I also would be a little reluctant to stay in a place that was only 32.00 a night as well.
Agree!! We looked at a few Armed Forces Vacation Club places that gave us this type of price...Then checked on TripAdvisor and on here. We ran quickly away from there. Also, the 10-15 minutes quoted on many sites is not accurate in the real traffic. They may be stating to the outside gate--not a parking area. Check with your mapquest or google directions with current traffic.
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:19 PM   #6
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It is absolutely worth the extra money! My daughter and I just returned today. We always stay on site, but didn't have it in the budget this trip because of holiday expenses, so we stayed off site. We hated it. Our hotel wasn't awful; it just wasn't magical...no sign of Disney anywhere We just really missed the whole Disney immersive experience. The whole trip comes up a little short in the magic department when you stay off site. If you are going to Orlando to do Seaworld, or Legoland, that's another matter. If you are going to Disney (or even Universal...gasp!), you need to stay on site to get the full experience, not to mention the bonus extra magic hours and bus transportation. Boy did we hate driving our car every day....Disney really spoils you by dropping you off right by the park gates. We will never stay off site again!
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemonears6 View Post
my hubby and i have taken our kids to disneyworld twice so far. we have never stayed at a disney hotel/resort. we have 4 kids, all are under 9 right now. I am thinking about our next trip and thinking we might go the first week of december 2014. is it worth it to spend the extra money staying at a disney hotel? we can get a condo for a week 10-15 min away from the parks for 230.00 and thats for 7 night. thats a little over 32.00 a night. if we stay at a disney value resort we would play 250-300 a night for a family of 6. thats allot more. we plan on being at the parks all day every day. is it worth it to spend that much more just to stay at a disney resort?
Usually what I think when I hear the "worth it" question, my answer is no, it's not. You don't have to kill your wallet to have a good experience at Disney.

I see many people stressed out because they spent a fortune, and that means they're not having a great vacation.

I say, relax, have a good time, do what is in your budget, don't worry about where you are staying.
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:27 AM   #8
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For me personally - it is totally worth it - however everyone would have to make this decision for themselves.

You'll only know if it is worth it for you to stay onsite once you do. Look for discounts or free dining - have a great trip - then you'll know if you want to stay onsite again or not. :
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:46 AM   #9
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It depends on the person and what you value most out of your vacation. I think everyone, if budget allows, should try both to see what they prefer. I have stayed off-site. My vacation was still amazing! However I do not like staying off-site if I have a choice in the matter. The benefit of EMH (which even though if being cut back, I still love) is a good pro for staying onsite. Also, there is no car rental involved, and the option of the DDP is something to consider as well. I just like being in the Disney bubble, with a few exceptions *cough cough Harry Potter world.*
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnieLovesMickey12 View Post
No. But I also would be a little reluctant to stay in a place that was only 32.00 a night as well.
We stayed in a 1BR at Silver Lake resort last May. The total cost was $300 for the week, so $42/night. A little more than the OP, but we were close enough to be essentially "inside the gates" for our entire trip (using Sherbeth Road) - after we grocery-shopped, we never had to go back out onto 192. Location-wise, it would be comparable to staying at AKL (with needing to drive, of course - no buses). And it's highly rated on TripAdvisor; our stay was quite nice. So I wouldn't let the price tag necessarily affect my opinion of an accommodation.
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:28 AM   #11
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For that kind of savings? I would definitely stay in the condo.

However, keep checking the Disney sight to see what the promotions are during your time frame. Maybe a package deal, room only discount, or free dining promotion would significantly reduce your cost. Then you could make a switch if necessary.
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemonears6 View Post
my hubby and i have taken our kids to disneyworld twice so far. we have never stayed at a disney hotel/resort. we have 4 kids, all are under 9 right now. I am thinking about our next trip and thinking we might go the first week of december 2014. is it worth it to spend the extra money staying at a disney hotel? we can get a condo for a week 10-15 min away from the parks for 230.00 and thats for 7 night. thats a little over 32.00 a night. if we stay at a disney value resort we would play 250-300 a night for a family of 6. thats allot more. we plan on being at the parks all day every day. is it worth it to spend that much more just to stay at a disney resort?
For us, it's definitely worth it to stay onsite, but as other pp's have posted, everyone is different. What's worth it to one person isn't necessarily worth it to another. With that said, if it's doable financially, I would stay onsite. Once we get onsite, we don't go anywhere else. We love being immersed in Disney magic 24/7 and we like not having to drive anywhere. Good luck with your decision, although I'm sure you will have a great trip no matter where you stay .
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:44 AM   #13
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Maybe try a split stay...substitute or add on a night or two on the end of your trip and stay at a Disney resort. Best of both worlds...save some money and get a taste of a Disney resort as well. Try to do most of your park stuff while you are in the condo, and then make sure you set aside enough time to just to enjoy the resort.
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:44 AM   #14
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What about a split stay? My family and I've done this before. It's nice to be able to experience both aspects and I love finishing up my vacation at a Disney Resort. All of Disney's Resorts are so submersive.
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:30 AM   #15
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Don't forget to factor in parking prices when you book off site. Without the Disney transportation, you pay for parking. That will up your off site price.

I have always stayed on site so I can't compare but my friend always stayed off site and now has changed her mind and only stays on site now. She didn't know what she was missing.

Try to pick a time when it is free dining, for a family of 6 that is huge cost savings, eating in the parks with that many kids can get quite costly. Also with all kids under 9, you can pick a character meal every day if you want to.

Good luck with your planning
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