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Old 04-26-2014, 10:00 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Anc96 View Post
For most of you, if you went to a random resort that had the room sizes and prices that Disney's resorts did, there's no way you would pay the prices Disney charges. Attaching Disney to the name doesn't justify the price to me. Although we've always had a car (we either flew down and rented, or drove down) but we have used Disney transportation, and were very NOT impressed! The only transportation we liked was from AKL to AK. Short and sweet. But seriously, that's it. We were always treated well at the resorts, but I would expect that from anyplace I was paying that much for. The place we were treated the best ever oddly enough, was the Peabody Hotel on International dr. We even booked through Bookit.com, very cheap, and still treated wonderfully.
I'm with you. I know some people like to feel "The Bubble" but all I need is to be on the property whether I'm staying there or not. In my mind, Disney's transportation is actually an inconvenience/hinderance to my vacation. I know paying the parking is a pain, but I like the fact that we can just leave, get in our car and be back to our place in about 10-15 minutes. The only real inconvenience with our own vehicle is going to MK because the lots are not right outside the park. Also I like being in my own comfortable car and going directly home as opposed to standing on a jam packed bus that stops at 2 or 3 other stops before I get back to my room.
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:13 AM   #92
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I haven't read all the replies.

We have never stayed on site at Disney, and it is for several reasons:
1) dh is not a huge fan of Disney or any other theme resort and needs to be in a more relaxing atmosphere when the boys and I are not dragging him through parks.
2) I would rather save money by driving instead of flying, staying nearby instead of on site, etc. Money saved is more money for the parks. Yes, we have to pay for daily parking and don't make rope drop every time, but we have more money for things that matter more to us.
3) My parents have so many Wyndham points, they don't know what to do with them. Why pay premium prices for Disney resorts when we can have a 2 bedroom condo with tons of amenities for free?

Now, if my kids were younger or more into Disney, it might be nice to have a big stay at one of the nicer onsite resorts. But if we were going to spend that type of money, we'd prefer to go to Europe.

At this point, possibly the only thing that would make me book a full-on Disney experience with an onsite stay would be if you could not have a good experience in the parks without the wristbands and the extra hours. But even then, I think our family would enjoy doing something else if Disney was becoming that much of a hassle.

ETA: Even if we didn't get to stay at WBC for free, we would buy a week there. We enjoy our vacations much more when we have room to spread out (ie: 2 bedrooms) and I like having the w/d pair. We also cook a couple of times each trip, b/c we just get tired of eating out all the time.

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Old 04-26-2014, 10:15 AM   #93
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We have been off site 3 out of maybe 30 trips. Here is my #1 reason for being onsite...travel times. Time is of the essence for most folks on vacation, WDW cant be seen and fully taken in on a 1 week trip. So time is valuable. Money saved vs time spent traveling is a no brainer for me. But that doesnt mean its right for everyone, it works for my way of thinking though
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:53 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by jimmytammy View Post
We have been off site 3 out of maybe 30 trips. Here is my #1 reason for being onsite...travel times. Time is of the essence for most folks on vacation, WDW cant be seen and fully taken in on a 1 week trip. So time is valuable. Money saved vs time spent traveling is a no brainer for me. But that doesnt mean its right for everyone, it works for my way of thinking though
I find I get from my rental home to the park or from park to park much faster in my own vehicle than with Disney Transportation. I get in and go. No waiting for an overcrowded bus to make extra stops on it's way to and from the destination.
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:55 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by ArwenMarie View Post
For our next trip, we are probably going to stay at Universal onsite and see Disney from there. We just love the Express Pass and we also loved Portofino compared to the Disney Deluxes, at least the ones where we have stayed. The food was also better. So I think in the same way DCL spoiled you, Portofino/Uni spoiled us for the Disney resorts in a way. But we still love the Disney parks.

We always rent a car, so Magical Express and the internal park transportation isn't a perk for us.
Personally for, service and amenities we think the Hard Rock equals almost WDW Deluxe resorts. The free Express pass is a bonus.
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Old 04-26-2014, 11:28 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by jimmytammy View Post
We have been off site 3 out of maybe 30 trips. Here is my #1 reason for being onsite...travel times. Time is of the essence for most folks on vacation, WDW cant be seen and fully taken in on a 1 week trip. So time is valuable. Money saved vs time spent traveling is a no brainer for me. But that doesnt mean its right for everyone, it works for my way of thinking though
I was just wondering what travel time you were talking about.
We now stay off site, but used to stay on site every year. I can say with certainty that I can get to any park almost as fast, and most of the time, faster, than any bus could get you from resort to park. And I'm not speeding (OT: Anyone else think that the WDW police should be wearing big white Mickey hand gloves? )

We stay at windsor hills. Akl busses can probably get to AK faster than us... But factor in walking from your room to the bus stop and possibly waiting for the bus, and we're faster. Other resort busses get to MK faster because they go straight to the park entrance. But other than MK, I'm sure we get to the other parks faster. And we're not tram people, we walk... It's always faster than the tram, less crowded. I do understand people with little children probably can't walk.
It's wonderful to have the freedom! No waiting on lines for busses (a HUGE waste of time), no crowded busses and watching rude people not stand for older people, young children, or women with small kids (a pet peeve of mine).
We have APs so no parking fees. That's a plus for us. We use them for 2 vacations (late June/ early July.. And the next year early June), with the parking fees saved and some discounts, it justifies the cost even though we live so far and can't visit often.

We have no desire to go back to staying onsite. The cost is ridiculous for what you get. And for us, we save time (and a bit of sanity, cause we only have a bit ) by traveling at our own pace, any time we want. We have our own room, our own bathroom, a private pool, BBQ.. An extra room for guests! All for less than half of staying on property.

Also, we remeber what it was like so long ago.. The resorts being much more affordable, getting more with the dining plan and AP discounts, the parks (and resorts) being cleaner and better upkeep, and overall, the CMs seemed more pleasant and willing to give you the most magical experience they could (due to much higher crowds and, less face it, rushed and rude people, this is not so easy for them to do anymore).
So some of that magic has faded... But we still love Disney.

What could get me back? If I could step on property and go back 10-15 years.....

June 2004 12 nights @ Pop Century
Dec 2004 8 nights @ Coronado Springs MVMCP
June 2005 10 nights @ AKL 7/nights OP
July 2006 7 nights @ AKL 4/nights OP
July 2006 7 nights @ WL
Dec 2006 5 nights @ AKL MVMCP
June 2007 10 nights @ Beach Club CL /10 nights OP
Oct 2007 5 nights @ POR MNSSHP
June 2008 14 nights @Windsor Hills/ 6 nights @AKL
June 2010 16 nights @ Bahama Bay Resort/ 6 nights @ Double Tree, Universal
July 2011 3 nights Best Western/ 14 nights@Windsor Hills
June/July 2012 1 night Best Western/ 21 nights@Windsor Hills/ 3 nights HIE
June/July 2013 14 nights Windsor Hills
June 2014 Windsor Hills 7 nights/ 3 nights B resort
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:05 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by AliceandAriel View Post
I didn't have to fret from the airport, didn't have to fret around on property, the only thing I did have to worry about was if I needed to leave the property for something, and I didn't.
I don't mind driving on vacation at all, but if I did, I would either stay onsite or at Wyndham Bonnet Creek. Some people are okay with the shuttles from other places, but WBC is the only non-Disney resort I've seen that offers anything that remotely compares to Disney's onsite transportation. And if you get desperate at WBC, you can always walk over to CBR and catch Disney transportation from there.

Another possibility, though, is picking an offsite resort right on the public bus route that goes into WDW. The buses run once or twice an hour (too lazy to look it up_ and don't drop you at as many places as Disney's will, but my son was very happy with that option when he went to WDW by himself (there's a youth hostel on the bus route he stayed at), and at his age a bus pass was a pretty good deal (he was just under the cut off). Using the public buses gives people much more flexibility than the shuttles most offsite resorts offer (or than the International Drive tourist shuttle, for that matter).

Still, Disney transportation is part of what the higher resort prices at Disney are paying for, and that transportation can be a serious perk for some.
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Old 04-26-2014, 06:59 PM   #98
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I downloaded the apps from wdwinfo I think it was onto my GPS and there was absolutely no 'fretting' at all. The directions were simply amazing. I made it to every park MUCH quicker than via disney transportation and NO crowds on the big bus.

For me- it's a space issue. We have stayed at AKL and for a 'deluxe' the space was the size of a shoebox. Even the bathroom was ridiculously small for a family. For me- I'd need to see rates around 200/night for a family suite OR 200/night at a 1 bedroom DVC to make onsite a consideration.

We LOVE Wyndham bonnet creek- it's the only ONSITE (offsite) place to stay- we were at Epcot in 7 minutes PARKED I kid you not.

I was SO worried about driving around disney but with the GPS downloaded maps it was seriously a no brainer.
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:55 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by practicallyperfect77 View Post
Thanks much...and you too Gumbo4x4. Very valid points. The kiddos really don't know what they are missing and I'm sure it would be nice to have the extra room. We'll be there 10 nights. Actually thinking maybe about doing a split stay with 3 nights at Pop and then moving to a.condo. Decisions...decisions.
We usually stay offsite but have done a few onsite stays (POP, OKW, CS, POFQ, BWV upcoming). None of the rooms have been particularly impressive. I expected POP to be bright and exciting, but the bedspreads and room boarder are actually pretty dull. POP feels like the EconoLodge inside the room, and CS, POFQ, and even OKW felt like a Comfort Inn. Tiny bathroom, cramped quarters, sometimes not even a fridge or coffee maker in the room. With POP, while there are resort things to do (themed pools, hula hoop contests, etc) you have to actually BE at the hotel, not the park, to experience these "extras." My favorite stays are in condos, villas, or suites, where there is plenty of space, a full kitchen, and several bathrooms. I can put the kids in bed, close the door, and have grown-up time with whoever else is on the trip- DH, my sis/bil, MIL. It's LOVELY to wake up early in the morning, shower, and make coffee in the kitchen, then sit on the balcony or by the pool while everyone else is sleeping because they are NOT in the same room as you are while you are showering, making coffee, etc. Even doing laundry on vacation is a different story when you can throw a load into the washer and go to bed, drying it in the morning, instead of hanging out in a hot, sweaty laundry room, waiting for the washer, paying for the dryer (several times over until things dry), etc. We always enjoy our Disney trips, regardless of where we stay, but our best vacations happen when we are offsite.
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