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Old 08-15-2011, 01:28 PM   #1
alcie27
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Cost difference off-site vs on-site?

Does anyone have a breakdown of what you would actually save by off-site vs. on-site? I've been looking at the AoA family suite vs. an off-site condo and obviously that price difference is huge. But what I'm having trouble with is by staying off-site you have to get a rental car (we wouldn't be using the off-site hotels shuttle), pay for parking, and pay for gas. Is there really a huge difference in cost once you break it all down? Or am I doing something wrong?

Here's what I'm coming up with:
AoA total = $4,187
Hilton DTD = $4,064
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:05 AM   #2
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Is there really a huge difference in cost once you break it all down? Or am I doing something wrong?
I can't speak to your numbers but I can say onsite and offsite may be about the same price, especially when you're talking one of the DTD hotels, because those parking charges and whatnot can really add up.

It depends on your individual situation whether staying offsite is a huge deal or not. For us it's always considerably cheaper staying offsite because I'm traveling with six people (seven total) and we prefer to drive anyhow. We only eat one meal a day onsite as a rule -- usually an early lunch around 11:30, then we take a break in the afternoon and come back after dinner. I can get an offsite 2 BR condo renting points or going through RCI for about $50 a night or less, with a nice full kitchen (DVC kitchens lack counter space, which bugs me). If we like the kitchen layout, then quick meals and doing the dishes are no hardship. So for us, staying offsite and paying for parking at the parks (I've never stayed offsite in a place that charges for parking there) is considerably cheaper.

If you hate to drive, can fit into a regular room, eat all your meals onsite, and like eating according to the rules of the Dining Plan, then staying onsite can be cheaper. If Disney's offering a deal, maybe much cheaper. If you take a break in the middle of the day anyhow, then eating offsite can save you money without costing you any time in the parks; if you're commando and go dawn from dusk, staying offsite isn't going to save you any money on food because you're going to be eating onsite anyhow. Etc.
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Old 08-21-2011, 05:23 PM   #3
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I'm trying to figure the same thing also. Right now I'm torn between a value at Disney; but that means I would need to rent a fridge and pay for internet through Disney

If I stay off site I have to rent a car; pay to park and pay a resort fee per night.

So I guess the best way to do it is make two columns. One for each option (On-site v. off site) Add all costs and viola!
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:01 PM   #4
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I was just wondering the same thing also. What about a split stay? Maybe stay off site for a a couple of nights then finish out the rest of the vacation on site?? Has anyone done this?? I am finding it hard to budget a trip for 2012 now that my youngest is 3. (We are a family of 5 and can no longer fit into one value room.) It would be cheapest for us to stay at a moderate as opposed to getting two value rooms or one value suite but I am still finding that to be expensive. I also noted how expensive the DTD area hotels are. I am sure there are some fairly decent hotels that are a lot cheaper nearby.
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:31 PM   #5
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I was just wondering the same thing also. What about a split stay? Maybe stay off site for a a couple of nights then finish out the rest of the vacation on site?? Has anyone done this?? I am finding it hard to budget a trip for 2012 now that my youngest is 3. (We are a family of 5 and can no longer fit into one value room.) It would be cheapest for us to stay at a moderate as opposed to getting two value rooms or one value suite but I am still finding that to be expensive. I also noted how expensive the DTD area hotels are. I am sure there are some fairly decent hotels that are a lot cheaper nearby.
WE did this in December. We stayed at ASMo because they had free dining for 3 nights. Then, we stayed 1 week off site in a 2 BR timeshare. So glad we had the bigger accommodations at the end of the stay. For us, we rent a car anyway as I need to be on my own timetable and want a guaranteed seat. If I was just staying in an off site hotel room I probably wouldn't do it. Although, sometimes on mousesavers you can get suites like Caribe Royal for $69 a night. THat would be worth it to me.
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:19 PM   #6
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I did an onsite vs. offsite comparison after our last trip because I'm always tempted by the free dining offers, but can't stand the thought of sacrificing the space. Here is my comparison: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2651035

I'm sure the price difference would be huge between either of the hotels you list and a private home or condo. Some things people don't think about when comparing the two: at any hotel you have to factor in daily housekeeping tips, laundry, and possibly a daily resort fee and parking. These can add up quick.

I was once again tempted by the free dining option this year and ran the numbers again, including a split stay. For our family, it just isn't worth it to stay anywhere but an offsite condo or house. The total cost difference between a moderate and our 3br/3ba condo is about $100 for a 10 night stay. But $10 a night is worth it to us to have seperate bedrooms, two extra bathrooms, be able to do laundry while we sleep and park right outside our door.
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:42 PM   #7
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For may family, the cost difference is AMAZING. For 7 Days our 3 bed townhouse was $600 for 7 days. A moderate is at least $1000. So that $400 pays for a car for a week (even though we drive), gas and parking. In addition, many of your trips are last minute and getting ADR's it tough, instead we call in an order to an eatery and pick it up on the way "home". Then the kids can run around while we eat if they want to.

We have spent less than $1500 including park tickets for a family of 4 for a week. We couldn't even come close staying onsite!!
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:52 PM   #8
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I'm always surprised at how small the savings are when I price out staying off site. We do 2 rooms at a value (family of 5) and have always gone when free dining is offered. By staying off-site in a condo, buying YES tickets, and cooking a lot of meals at the condo, we could save a few hundred dollars in a week (we drive down, so car rental is not an issue)...but we'd be staying in a condo and cooking a lot of our meals. To us it's not worth it. Of course, if we preferred having the extra space in the condo and didn't really care about staying on property, it'd be another story. But two rooms at Pop is plenty of space for us, and we've found we very much prefer staying on site (we did rent a condo one year). If it were a choice between staying in a condo or not going at all, we wouldn't hesitate to stay in a condo...but if we can swing it, the relatively small amount of extra money is worth it to us.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:41 PM   #9
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I'm always surprised at how small the savings are when I price out staying off site. We do 2 rooms at a value (family of 5) and have always gone when free dining is offered. By staying off-site in a condo, buying YES tickets, and cooking a lot of meals at the condo, we could save a few hundred dollars in a week (we drive down, so car rental is not an issue)...but we'd be staying in a condo and cooking a lot of our meals. To us it's not worth it. Of course, if we preferred having the extra space in the condo and didn't really care about staying on property, it'd be another story. But two rooms at Pop is plenty of space for us, and we've found we very much prefer staying on site (we did rent a condo one year). If it were a choice between staying in a condo or not going at all, we wouldn't hesitate to stay in a condo...but if we can swing it, the relatively small amount of extra money is worth it to us.
It really depends where you are looking at off site. As the poster above you indicated, they got a 3BR for $600 for the week. 2 rooms at Pop would run approx $200 a night or $1400 for the week. That is an $800 difference. For that you could pay all meals OOP and still come out ahead. I prefer to pack some lunches and take them in to the park rather than waiting in the QS lines for mediocre food. As you indicated, you prefer to say on site. Some people would pay more to stay on site no matter what. Some people don't have a preference, they just want to spend the least amount of cashe. Some people want to be able to spread out in their accommodations or put their children to bed in their own bedroom while staying up awake enjoying apps for conversation watching t.v.
It's so great Orlando offers enough for everyone.
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:53 PM   #10
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It really depends where you are looking at off site. As the poster above you indicated, they got a 3BR for $600 for the week. 2 rooms at Pop would run approx $200 a night or $1400 for the week. That is an $800 difference. For that you could pay all meals OOP and still come out ahead. I prefer to pack some lunches and take them in to the park rather than waiting in the QS lines for mediocre food. As you indicated, you prefer to say on site. Some people would pay more to stay on site no matter what. Some people don't have a preference, they just want to spend the least amount of cashe. Some people want to be able to spread out in their accommodations or put their children to bed in their own bedroom while staying up awake enjoying apps for conversation watching t.v.
It's so great Orlando offers enough for everyone.
Absolutely! And I really didn't know which I would prefer until I'd tried both. There are certainly pros and cons either way.

....we upgrade our free dining to the plus plan ($33/night this year, with one kid who's 10)...if we ate a Disney table service meal and then another quick service meal every day and paid out of pocket, I don't think we could break even, even with such a big cost savings on the accommodations. Just one meal at Boma, for example, would cost our family $160 before the tip. Of course, if we stayed off site we probably wouldn't eat at the restaurants nearly that much. But for us that's one of the big things we like about vacation. We rarely eat out when we're home, but we love not having to worry about food prep when we travel. Again, as you say, all a matter of priorities and preferences.
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:48 PM   #11
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Absolutely! And I really didn't know which I would prefer until I'd tried both. There are certainly pros and cons either way.

....we upgrade our free dining to the plus plan ($33/night this year, with one kid who's 10)...if we ate a Disney table service meal and then another quick service meal every day and paid out of pocket, I don't think we could break even, even with such a big cost savings on the accommodations. Just one meal at Boma, for example, would cost our family $160 before the tip. Of course, if we stayed off site we probably wouldn't eat at the restaurants nearly that much. But for us that's one of the big things we like about vacation. We rarely eat out when we're home, but we love not having to worry about food prep when we travel. Again, as you say, all a matter of priorities and preferences.
Very true. Out of curiosity, have you tried the restaurants in the Orlando area? There are really some amazing places that are so much less expensive (and better IMHO) than the restaurants in Disney. That's part of the reason why I love getting a rental car.
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:07 PM   #12
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Very true. Out of curiosity, have you tried the restaurants in the Orlando area? There are really some amazing places that are so much less expensive (and better IMHO) than the restaurants in Disney. That's part of the reason why I love getting a rental car.
We have...just a couple different ones, though, the year we stayed off-site.
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:15 PM   #13
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We have done offsite and onsite.....onsite was Pop and last year was offsite at Windsor Hills. Windsor Hills was great and we loved the space but decided that we definitely only want to stay onsite anymore. To us we lost a little of the magic and missed using the transportation system. Staying .onsite we park and never get in again. Now we are getting free dining this year so that makes a difference.

We have opted for less room and more magic (for us anyway) .

I do agree that we had some better food offsite ---umm Giordano's! and will be going there again the day we arrive!!!

Either way choose 's best for your family. If I was staying in a Downtown Disney resort and the price was that close I would opt for onsite myself....
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:26 AM   #14
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For us, off site is WAY cheaper, and we are not going to be cooking in the room (except maybe a breakfast or two).

Free internet for 7 days, free fridge (full size one to boot) already saves us and 3BR/2.5 bath is so much more comfortable. The condo costs $490 for the whole week - including tax and cleaning fees.

We rent a car through priceline and paid $206.00 for 7 days including the tax.

To top it off, we are going with another couple and SPLITTING these already inexpensive costs! So it's super cheap. We will be eating in the parks doing a TS every day and paying OOP and will still be far ahead of staying on property. $35 a night for the condo is pretty much unbeatable. $103 for a car and $6 a day for parking (splitting with the other couple) is negligible. A tank of gas might cost us $25 (again, splitting).

I guess if we weren't splitting, it would come out to just about even - about $109 a night total. But we wouldn't have rented a 3BR/2.5 BA condo for just the two of us, either. So that one's hard to calculate. Not sure what a 1BR condo would go for or if those even exist.

We'd probably go back to the Radisson Celebration where they are having a special of $58 a night right now if we went by ourselves. And still rent a small car. We just like the freedom. We will be going to Universal Studios too, and we like to grocery shop, so it's always worth it to us to have the car. Plus I just don't like waiting for busses. But that's just me (personal preference). Most people don't mind the busses at all.
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:59 PM   #15
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For me if I can get a free dining deal onsite it makes is worth it to stay onsite.

However when I stay offsite I make sure I book through hotwire and lastminutetravel.com to get the best prices on hotels and rental cars. Through hotwire I was able to get a rental car for $16/day total including all taxes and fees - for two weeks. I was able to book the Hilton DTD for $71/night through lastminutetravel which made the $10 parking charge not so much of a bummer. So for me it really depends on the rate I am able to get to make it worth it - this time around I was able to stay offsite for two weeks for what is would have cost me to stay onsite for a week - I needed the extra time in the area so it was a bonus. Really do have to crunch the numbers to see if it adds up!
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