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Old 06-14-2014, 09:22 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Help me reason this out Off Site Condo Vs Deluxe

I know they sound like a big leap from each other but let me give you the details. We have a family of 6 so we either have to rent 2 rooms or we have to get a villa/condo. We are taking a 2 week trip with plans outside of Disney for at least a few of the days. So here are my pros and cons:

Condo Pros:

Plenty of space
Full kitchen
Private swimming pool
Very cost effective

Condo Cons:

Off site obviously looses some of the magic
We would need to rent a car to get us to and from the parks
There is something less luxurious about the condo. Will it feel too much like home?

Deluxe Villa Pros:

We are taking a longer vacation this year so being able to spend a few days relaxing and enjoying the resort will be fabulous
Being on the monorail route means no busses
We only need the rental car for 1 week instead of two since we wont need to drive to the Disney Resorts
My brother is in the military so we do get a substantial discount. There is no way we will ever be able to do a deluxe hotel again if we don't take the opportunity now.

Deluxe Villa Cons:

The biggest con I can think of is the $4,000+ difference in price but it is a big one. Can I really justify that amount of money? Even if money was no object I would have a hard time justifying the difference. For that amount we could do several fine dining experiences or enjoy other activities or just save it for the next vacation.
Space is the only other thing I can think of and that really wouldn't bother me since we would spend most of our time enjoying the amenities rather than sitting in our room.

I really have no idea what to do! I can see great things about both! I am so glad I have a year to decide! Someone do this for me. At least tell me what you would do.
Anna-Homeschooling mama to 3 little ones
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:33 PM   #2
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Have you looked at the cabins at FW? They sleep six. The bedroom has a full size bed & bunks. The living room has a Murphy bed. There is a full kitchen. A grill outside & a deck to relax on. You can park right outside your cabin. I love the boat ride over to MK.

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Old 06-14-2014, 09:51 PM   #3
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Ultimately, you will have to decide if the cost difference is worth it to you. But, I will give you our experience. We have stayed off-site once (beautiful house, way more room than we needed, great in-ground pool, hot tub, very close to WDW, etc.) and we have stayed multiple times on-site. As much as we thought we were going to love our stay at the off property house - it felt like a totally different trip for us. We just love the feeling of being totally Disney-immersed.

We also love the monorail hotels in the Magic kingdom area. Specifically, the villas at Bay Lake Tower are great for us.

Good luck with your decision!
Jen (39) DH (42) DD (17) DS (10)
Past WDW Trips: April 1992 ~ April 1999 ~ December 2009 ~ April 2012 ~ April 2013 ~ April 2014 ~ July 2014
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:30 PM   #4
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We've done both multiple times and like you said, there are pros and cons to both. We very much enjoyed our offsite stays and didn't feel like they were any less magical. Honestly, getting away from the magic (and crowds) is sometimes a relief. We loved having the private pool and found the drives to the parks easy. Since you are planning to do things outside of Disney anyway and will need a car, it may not cost much more to rent it for longer. Are you only planning to go to MK and EP? Even if staying on the monorail line, you still have to take buses to DHS and AK. That said, we joined the DVC because we enjoy the amenities of Disney resorts. Would it be possible for you to do a week onsite and a week off? Then you could get the best of both worlds.
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:38 PM   #5
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We have also stayed both onsite and offsite. We spent two wonderful weeks at Wyndham Bonnet Creek last summer and save a boatload! We have a fantastic time and honestly, did not miss staying onsite at all! It was nice to have our own car to get to and from the resorts when we wanted. For shorter trips we would stay onsite, but for two week, definitely stay offsite in a larger condo with lots of resort amenities.

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Old 06-14-2014, 10:55 PM   #6
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I've done on site mostly, and once off site.

I wouldn't hesitate to do an off site stay...especially with six people. It is so nice to have some space in the evenings.

There are lots of houses and condos you can rent very close to Disney that are Disney themed and many have private pools.

I was a DVC owner at the BoardWalk and, frankly, didn't feel like it was all Disney special when I was in my villa. No more special than any other condo.
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:42 PM   #7
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Have you thought about doing one week of each?
Late 70's early 80's visits as a kid, Feb 2001 Off Site, Oct 2004 Off Site, Oct 2005 Disney Land, Jan 2010 CSR, Oct 2010 POR, Oct 2014 WL.
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:40 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ws1995 View Post
Have you thought about doing one week of each?
My same thought about this. Then the cost difference is $2000, I'm guessing? It sounds like you have the cash for any scenario, and with a trip this long, you can experience both types of accommodations easily. Have a great time!
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:22 AM   #9
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FW is out for us. It doesn't appeal to my husband.

I have thought about a split stay and it is an option. We have stayed off site before and really enjoyed it, but we did feel it took away from the trip a bit. However, those were Disney focused trips and this one is not.
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:40 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ariekannairb View Post
FW is out for us. It doesn't appeal to my husband.

I have thought about a split stay and it is an option. We have stayed off site before and really enjoyed it, but we did feel it took away from the trip a bit. However, those were Disney focused trips and this one is not.
Aside from the extra cost, the bolded part would be a big factor for me. We have taken 2 (big) family trips and rented a house both times (and had a great time). We did do a few Disney park days, but it wasn't a Disney-centered vacation, but more of an Orlando vacation. For a Disney-centered trip, I am the first one to suggest staying onsite as I love being immersed in the Disney magic 24/7, but it wouldn't be worth an extra $4,000 to me to do so. That is a lot of money that can be spent on food, activities, etc. or for a future onsite trip. If doing a split is an option, that would be my choice; however, if you prefer to stay in one place the entire time, I would save the money and go with the offsite condo. Good luck.

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Old 06-15-2014, 12:07 PM   #11
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We have done both off and on site. The one time we did off recently it was very similar to your trip. We had 7 people and stayed two weeks. We enjoyed the off site trip and it was especially nice having an escape and a kitchen for a longer stay. We have also stayed in a two bedroom villa at BWV with 7 and it is just not as roomy as the 3 bedroom, two story condo. Off site is not as magical, but as long as you know what to expect and focus on the pros it provides I think off site will be a great trip.
Yearly day trips growing up.....mostly pre-Epcot '78, '79, '80, '81, 82. Off resort '89, '91, '92, '94. Royal Plaza DTD '2004, DD 1st day trip 2008, POR 2009, Windsor Hills 2010, BLT 2011, CSR, POP, BWV, & WLV 2012, DTD Wyndham and POR 2013, Disney Wonder 2013, CBR July 2014.
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:50 PM   #12
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we have a family of 5. For many years, and sometimes still now, we stayed in offsite timeshares/condos and had excellent trips. We also have DVC and now stay mostly onsite. We love onsite b/c of transport, EMH, Mickey everywhere, etc. I agree with PP, do a split stay. 1 week onsite/1week offsite. Even better if you can group your non-WDW days for the off-site stay. Plus, off-site gives you the option to save even more $$$ by eating a few meals in condo--even if it is just breakfast and packing some lunches, or taking a rest later afternoon and doing simple grilling meals, rotisserie chicken from store, tacos, etc.
We had offsite 3BR with private pool--that was a super fun treat for my kids--and me--I could throw simple dinner in the oven and then enjoy a glass of wine watching the kids in the pool--my kids still remember that place 8 years later. So, I think a split stay would be the best of both.
You can rent a car from the airport for 1 week and return @ WDw care care center/Downtown Disney hotels/Dolphin hotel after you have moved over to your wDW hotel for the 2nd week. Or you can get car at above, move to offsite for 2nd week and return car to airport.
We really like staying in the SeaWorld area. Super convenient to SW, Univ, and WDW.

Last edited by ldo; 06-15-2014 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:55 PM   #13
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I would stay offsite and use that extra money for a fireworks cruise, signature dinners, tours, and maybe a spa treatment.

DH & I:
most recent trips: Disneymoon Oct 2013- offsite May 2014 - offsite July 2014 - AKL Aug 2014 - Pop Dec 2014 - offsite Feb 2015 - Pop
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:45 PM   #14
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Maybe you could rent points and stay onsite for the time your are doing the "Disney" part? Then you could move to an onsite condo for the "Orlando" part. That would almost make it like two separate vacations and renting points would keep cost down.

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Old 06-15-2014, 08:14 PM   #15
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Thanks everyone! I think I am going to check into a split stay and see about staying at one of the 5 stars during the off site portion. I want to be spoiled, but I think I can do it at a fraction of the price staying off site for at least part of the trip. I think we will see about finishing up our week at a deluxe disney resort.
Anna-Homeschooling mama to 3 little ones
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