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Old 12-31-2009, 12:40 AM   #1
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off property vs. on property?

HI! We have only ever stayed on disney property but I'm wondering if it is cheaper staying off site?

We have done dosney 2 years in a row...moderate.

Do most people stay on disney property or off disney peoperty? Which is cheaper? I know on disney property is more convienent but which is cheaper? Thanks
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Old 12-31-2009, 03:48 AM   #2
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We have been getting 2 an 3 bed/2bath condos cheaoer than we could even stay at a value resort. DH an I no kids we prolly won't ever spend a week in a hotel room again

1. We like the xtra space, having a comfy sofa to relax on, balcony at a condo that is our private balcony, having 2 bathrooms I put my clothes an tolietries in 2nd bed an bath shower an dress there while dh uses the master we both can shower an dress at same time without falling all over each other.

2.We LOVE the hot breakfast I fix every morning an it gets us off to a good start, we often eat at an offsite sit down resturant for dinner without the wait without paying disney prices usually the dinner is much quieter an much more relaxed. An we did not have to plan months in advance where we was going to eat. We have a fridge an microwave for leftovers can often get another meal off our leftovers saving use even more money.

3.LOVE having washer an dryer in the condo it really saves on how much we have to pack an it is so nice to come home with clean clothes

4.We always used disney transportation when we stayed onsite we do not miss the cattle cars at all. The trams that takes ya to an from parking lot not near as crowded as the cattle cars no one allowed to stand no stranger standing over the top of you sweating strange body fluids all over you an yours. Never stood in line for tram like I have bus at the end of day.

5.Staying offsite an driving to the parks we can relax once in our car, turn on a/c an cool it to our comfort without sweating all over others quicker than on bus. We can drive to the park an get into park just as quick if not quicer than when we used disney transportation with the exception of the MK an having to transfer at the TTC gets ya there. From our condos we can usually be on disney property in less than 5 mins...we have also noticed somehow we make the drive faster than disney cattle cars once on property yet the buses always passing dh cause he drives slower an safer than disney buses. ODD I know.

6.We never used EMH so not missing anything there. We don't do rope drop but try to make it to parks very soon after most mornings. We still take our afternoon break even tho we offsite.

Had I been asked about on or offsite a year ago I would have said ONSITE hands down ...but now that we have done 4 offsite visits I'd go offsite hands down.

Had we contiuned to stay onsite in that little bitty value room (moderates not much bigger) I would have gotten to go maybe twice this calander year but by staying offsite I got to go 5 times because by staying offsite we was able to afford annual passes for dh an I....we scheduled to return to disney again early feb an early may of 2010 oh an sept and early december with maybe a couple other weeks thrown in. We live 900 miles away so not close by any means.
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:41 AM   #3
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Thanks for posting. We are staying for the first time off site this Feb. I have been so nervous about the transportation part. We will have our own car, but thought it would be a big hassle to park. I'm not fond of paying the extra $14 a day to park
We love staying on Disney property, but had to use points from another time share this year.
Now that you say it's sometimes easier and less crowded, I'm excited!
Getting in our own car and turning on the air sounds good to me
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:47 AM   #4
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I have to second what the PP said. We LOVED staying offsite. And I'm a DVC owner. It can be cheaper, but that really depends on what you perceive as value. If your family is 4 or less in size, and your park commandos, you likely only sleep in the room, and it doesn't matter so much. OTOH, with more than 4 people and/or a more relaxed vacationing style, you'll appreciate the options available for offsite stays.

As to price, there are a ton of options offsite that can vary in price. Closer to WDW is more expensive, as is fancier and larger. A 2BR condo, 10 miles away, is very reasonable, but you could rent a 4-5 BR house and pay as much or more as onsite hotel. Also, offsite you have more choice of amenities, from private pools and community playgrounds to kitchen and laundry facilities. These may be valuable to you, they may not be.

The best thing I can tell you is, carefully consider what's important to you and your family, then price both. I will say, we rented a 4BR house in Windsor Hills last year. We loved it so much that, in Feb., we're going to Orlando again--not to WDW, just because we loved the house! But, your needs might be totally different.
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:53 AM   #5
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Kespo--parking and driving was much less hassle than we thought it would be. The only park where it might (MIGHT!) be more painful is MK, due to the parking arrangements. Of course, we also had annual passes (I think they gave us free parking--something did), and AAA passes which gave us up-close parking. We did our week offsite followed by a week at OKW, and still drove everywhere but MK from OKW. And that was in July--big crowds, big heat.
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:02 AM   #6
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I hate off-site. For me it breaks the Disney magic too much. Not a big fan of getting into a hot car that starts to cool off just when you get to your location. Also, if one or two are tired they can head back to the room onsite. DME instead of renting a car is another plus for us. For those who complain about how long it takes, in May it took us 45 min to pick up the car because the first three cars they gave us smelled like smoke. If I wanted to go during peak season, I wouldn't pay $$$ for a value, but in value season you can get a room w/extra magic hours and DME for around $50 with a pin code.
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:12 AM   #7
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For the last 7 or 8 trips we have stayed on site, but I'm not opposed to the idea of going back to off site. Especially since we are now a family of five and a 2 BR condo sounds very appealing.

My one big reservation is the pool area. The kids love the Disney pools and I would want to make sure any off site condo had a really good pool area for the kids.

Can anyone recommend a resort with a really kid friendly pool area?

BTW - not really interested in a condo with its own pool for safety reasons since we have toddlers.

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Old 12-31-2009, 09:18 AM   #8
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It all comes down to what is important to you.
I have some clients who would never even dream of staying anywhere offsite, regardless of how good the deal is. And I have clients (most in fact) who really enjoy the space and cost savings of staying offsite. It all depends on your personal situation and what components of the trip are most important to you.

For me, I've done both and HIGHLY prefer offsite. With two teens, a regular hotel sized room and one bathroom does NOT cut it.
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:27 AM   #9
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My wife and I went during free dining a couple of years ago and stayed at Pop Century. It was SO small, I couldn't imagine trying to get a family into one of those rooms....plus I hated waiting for buses all the time.

The 3 times with the kids it has always been offsite and will always be. We can get 2 or 3 BR condo's within minutes of the park for $350 from AFVC (armed forces vacation club). "Magic" to me is not cramming us all into a small hotel room....it's having a full kitchen, seperate bed rooms from the kids, 2 baths and plenty of space to move around. I hate that Disney charges $14 for a 4 x 6 parking space, but still its much cheaper off-site. We can eat real meals for 1/10th of the park cost and don't have to wait in lines for shuttles back to the hotel.

I 100% recommend staying off-site if you can get a good condo deal.
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:40 AM   #10
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I have 2 suggestions for this. Our all time favorite is the Marriott World Center, has a huge million gallon free form pool, water slide, kiddie pool, multiple hot tubs, plus an indoor pool and hot tub for those rainy or cold days.
Also if you get rooms pool side, you can actually see Downtown Disney from your balcony as well as the fireworks from several parks every night. That being said, it's not "cheap", best price we've gotten has been $129 a night, and usually try to get one of their package deals that include breakfast (fantastic buffet there with made to order omelets and Mickey panacakes) for around $150. My second recommendation is the one we use the very first time we took our neices who were 3,4, and 5 at the time and intimidated by swimming pools. It is the Springhill Suites at Little Lake Bryan, and the pool there while very large has a zero depth entry that is kind of like starting at one inch deep and very gradually getting deeper, really good for small kids who want to piddle around in very shallow water or go deeper as they get more courage.
Originally Posted by The Iron Giant View Post

My one big reservation is the pool area. The kids love the Disney pools and I would want to make sure any off site condo had a really good pool area for the kids.

Can anyone recommend a resort with a really kid friendly pool area?

BTW - not really interested in a condo with its own pool for safety reasons since we have toddlers.

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Old 12-31-2009, 09:53 AM   #11
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We've stayed offsite a few times and onsite many times. Our last trip we stayed offsite in a 6 bdrm house with a total of 11 people. You cannot beat the space and price of staying off site. We are a family of 6, so we typically rent two rooms at Pop Century--$150-$200/night. We paid for 1/2 the house and per night (for 3 bedrooms) it was just over $100/night. We had 3 bedrooms, full kitchen, many bathrooms, our own pool...and the owners of the home had a lot of Disney touches in the house...kids' rooms were decorated with Disney characters, Mickey dishes in the kitchen...lots of movies for us to watch, playstation 2, etc. Overall, for a group that large, it worked out great. Parking/driving for us is not an issue. I think it is pretty easy to get around (we stayed in Kissimee right off of 192).

That said, I think next time we're going back to on-site. It will cost us more and we'll have less space, but I did miss it a bit. We may stay off again in the future as our kids get older, need more space...

Good luck!
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:36 AM   #12
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We stayed on-site one year (Port Orleans). Hated the bus service -- although my sister said it was the worst they ever experienced. The next time, we stayed at Springhill Suites at Lake Buena Vista. For us, it was better than the moderate on-site. Since then, we've rented 4 bedroom homes with pools and honestly it was the best risk we ever took. We love all of the room and all the extras we get with the house. The worst part is getting to MK, but IMO the benefits far outweigh that minor hassle.

My sister never could imagine staying off site (moderates or Polynesian). Until she tried it this year. I've converted her!! LOL

I know there are pros/cons to each so it's just a matter of what you value most for *your* family vacation.
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:04 AM   #13
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For us it depends on whose going and what kind of deals are being offered. If its just 2-3 of us we usually end up staying on-site (last trip was free dining and we went during value season). If the whole family is going (there are 6 of us) we stay off-site in a private pool home. Here are some examples of our last two trips. One was on-site and one was off.

2 Adults, 1 Child - All Star Music for 5 nights with MYW base ticket and free dining = $1,182 to stay on-site. Off site would have been more. I factored $250 for hotel, $150 for rental car, $70 for parking, $25 for gas, $684 for park tickets, and to eat the same meals we were able to eat on the dining plan it would be $750. Total to stay off-site = $1,929.

7 adults (10+), 2 children - 5 bedroom/3 bath private pool home, 2 rental cars, parking, gas and park tickets was $3,275. To stay onsite with tickets would have been almost $4,600 (3 rooms at a value resort). We had much more room to spread out and a private pool which was wonderful. We also had the full kitchen so we saved a lot of money by eating in and loved having the game room and washer/dryer.
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:07 AM   #14
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how do you deal with going back to the room to rest when you are off site?

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Old 12-31-2009, 11:10 AM   #15
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We have mixed offsite and onsite, depending on what rates are being offered. Me personally, I love offsite. I just found a terrific hotel, country inn and suites in lake buena vista. free breakfast, free internet and location is right by downtown disney. This is what I hate about onsite: parking is terrible at the hotels (I have always stayed at pop or all stars). You have to walk "a mile" to get to parking at the hotel. Whenever we used the bus transportation, we always have to stand in a very long line since they don't use as many busses at the value resorts. We always rent a car and end up driving. We never used the early morning entry because I can't get up that early. We have stayed a few times for the evening extra magic hours but it is still very crowded. We tend to go to a park that doesn't have the extra hours on that day. Also you end up paying a lot of money for food onsite. If you stay offsite you have more options of what to eat, like the hotel I just stayed at, there was a subway, mcd's, burger king, etc.

It also depends on the rate you can get offsite. You can always check travelzoo.com and see if there are any good rates. We usually go for a week and only go to the parks 4 days out of the week. We end up at universal, water park or seaworld, so paying the parking fee at the park isn't that bad when I get a low rate at an offsite hotel.
To answer your question, you need to weigh all options. if you always drive to the park and dont do extra magic hours then staying onsite is really not worth it.
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