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Old 10-09-2012, 11:46 AM   #16
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Robin's point about the AP is a good one. Only one person needs to buy one for free parking, plus there are a few other discounts it offers.

Enjoy planning.

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Old 10-09-2012, 02:02 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by qman View Post
Assuming we rent a car and have to pay for parking each day, what is the savings of staying off site?
If you need two rooms or a DVC unit onsite, it's almost always cheaper offsite. If you fit in one room onsite and can go off season, sometimes Disney discounts can make staying onsite cheapest (especially if someone's renting a car).

For us, although onsite is more expensive, the real factor is space. We drive, and usually take two weeks for a trip to Orlando, and even if it was just hubby and I in a DVC 1 BR, we'd likely switch to offsite after the first week just because we find onsite units so small. I hope to eventually try out many of the onsite hotel rooms, and those we'd only last a couple of days in.

We also love having our own kitchen. I don't care how good the local restaurant food is, we tend to prefer a fair percentage of "old favorites" while on vacation. Well, I like to try out some new food on vacation, myself, but hubby and the kids are much more open to food experimentation at home.

Also, in my experience, part of what makes the "Disney magic" is the fact that the resorts are so high energy. Some people sleep fine in those high energy environments; often I do not, and hubby's more sensitive to that now he's older than he used to be. I would guess that Saratoga Springs and maybe the Yacht Club are as low as onsite energy gets; offsite you can go much higher energy than those two, but also much lower energy. Just as onsite resorts offer a lot of variety, so do offsite resorts, so often it isn't just "onsite resort versus offsite," but rather finding the best fit for you in either place.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:41 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by princessap View Post
That is a great price for Bonnet Creek...do you mind me asking who you booked with?? You will love it there..have stayed twice and I am the opposite of you, having a hard time going onsite from off! lol
We booked through Vacation Strategy. Our check in date is at the start of WBC value time if that helps (4/12/2013). It is a One bedroom villa, let's see... the 2 bedroom quote was $744 for 8 nights beginning 4/12.
March 2004 Disneyland Hotel, March 2006 Port Orlean's Riverside, February 2008 POP Century, May/June 2009 Port Orlean's French Quarter, August 2010 Wilderness Lodge, February 2011 POP/Coronado Springs, December 2011 Port Orlean's Riverside, April 2013 Port Orlean's Riverside, June 2014 Port Orlean's Riverside
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:06 PM   #19
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For me, the money savings is a big factor in my decision. The space factor is bigger though. We do drive our own car however. I also think it has a lot to do with how big/old your party is and how you like to vacation.

I know some people hate driving the car on vacation, but we don't mind it. Would probably drive if we stayed onsite anyway. We timed it a few times and beat my cousin's family who were also there that week to the park each time. They were using Disney transportation. This was from the condo, Buena Vista Suites was even closer.

Some people don't like leaving the arches once they arrive. We love driving under them everyday.

We got a condo decorated with Disney decor. My kids LOVED it. I've gotten the comment on another thread that someone could throw up a mickey shower curtain in their house, doesn't mean that they're at disney. True. But, I don't have any disney decorations at my house AND at my house we don't get up and go to the parks everyday. My kids were thrilled when they walked into that condo and made me take pics of every little detail.

First trip we stayed at the Buena Vista Suites. Had a bedroom and separate living room. Lots of space for my daughter's pack and play and we could close the door and have our own space while she slept. They also had a free full breakfast which was nice. We'd eat a huge breakfast before the parks and then eat lunch or snack mid-afternoon and shared a snack or meal for dinner. We saved a lot of money on food and ate at off times avoiding the crowds.

Second trip we stayed with my parents in the condo. Was so nice to have separate bedrooms for the older kids and a huge bedroom for us and the baby. Plus a bedroom for my parents. I'm just more relaxed when we're not on top of each other and our stuff is picked up. The huge plus that trip was the washer/dryer. My 4 month old soiled at least one set of clothes a day that trip.

Having a fridge for milk was a must for me. I don't cook on vacation, but I need a fridge. At the time the Values didn't have them, but I've heard that now they do.

If my kids were older, I'd consider staying on-site so they could use transportation to split up some. But, I think then we'd need the space even more, so I don't know. Super happy with our offsite stays.
me dh ds (8) dd (6) ds (2)

A few trips as a kid, first in 1979 last in 1991.
Trips with dh and our kids:
April/May 2008 - Buena Vista Suites
March 2011 - Windsor Palms
February 2013 - Disneyland!! TR in progress!

Last edited by lsulindy; 10-10-2012 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:22 PM   #20
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Well, I can tell you that we went on our first Disney vacay as a family in June 2011. There were 4 of us at the time (Me, DW, DD3, and DS 18mo), and we really try to do our best to stick to the kids' sleeping schedules when traveling. Separate bedrooms were a must!

Before we even decided on that though, I broke down the on-site and off-site costs first. Assuming we were staying at the cheapest resort on Disney property, even when I added in the cost of a 3 br condo for a week, car rental, groceries for breakfast and lunch, parking at the parks and an $800 allowance for dinners, the condo still came out almost $300 cheaper.

I'm talking a 3 bedroom condo, minutes from the parks, at a resort that also has other facilities like playgrounds and a pool. We were able to enjoy most breakfasts at the condo, and it was a great break mid-day to stop, get the kids a nap (or try to ), have a homemade lunch, and then head back to the parks in the afternoon. All in all, those were the best days for us when we could 'step away'. I think in a lot of cases too, we were better off with our own car than depending on the Disney trans - especially when you are talking about the value resorts that are farther away from the parks.

Another factor with us is that my wife is a teacher, so our 'window of opportunity' is very narrow and Disney rarely gives discounts during the summer.

So, really, only part of it is cost. A lot more has to do with your family situation and the convenience. I think when the kids are older, we may end up doing something onsite and 'splurging' on one of the nicer resorts. Until then though, I'll swear by my condo-loving ways.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:37 PM   #21
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I think when the kids are older, we may end up doing something onsite and 'splurging' on one of the nicer resorts. Until then though, I'll swear by my condo-loving ways.
I tried this two years ago. I was traveling with just my DD and since we didn't "need" a large condo, I figured - let's try a deluxe resort. We went to Wilderness Lodge. The resort was nice and the pool was cool but I was less than impressed with the room. The walls were paper thin and it really felt like your everyday hotel room to me. I missed the kitchen (even though we don't use it much) and just the overall feeling of the nice, clean, bright condo. We had a car and ended up driving to all the parks except MK anyway. It took just about the same amount of time as offsite. I am sticking with offsite!
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