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Old 09-03-2012, 04:54 PM   #1
KShopshear
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Offsite hotels

We normally stay on disney property. We like the convience of the Disney transportation and the dining plan. I would be open to offsite hotels or possibly a rental house but is it really and cheaper or better to stay offsite? Please list any pros or cons.
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:11 PM   #2
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We normally stay on disney property. We like the convience of the Disney transportation and the dining plan. I would be open to offsite hotels or possibly a rental house but is it really and cheaper or better to stay offsite? Please list any pros or cons.
The major pro for us is that we can get more space for less money, often in places just as convenient to the parks (if you drive anyhow) as the on-site resorts. But we prefer to drive and are unenthused about the dining plan, so two of the big onsite parks don't matter to us.

For most people, offsite stays are more relaxed than onsite -- there are offsite resorts with the energy of onsite, but as a whole offsite resorts tend to be more laid back, and house rentals are more relaxing yet, especially if you get one with your own pool.

Onsite tends to be more high energy -- I think that's a bit part of the "magic" for a lot of onsiters; onsite is more "noisy," both in a literal sense (more people in less space) and in a visual one (although some of the resorts have a quieter theme, most of them are visually exciting). Not a hard and fast rule, but generally people who find the crowds and noise of the parks exciting tend to be happier onsite; people who burn out on the noise of the parks tend to be happier offsite.

For larger families or groups, offsite is almost always the better deal financially; for families of four or fewer, it depends on what deals Disney's running when you're going which choice will be cheaper. Also, if you compare like with like (i.e., same room size), offsite is usually cheaper. Add in the dining deal and it depends on how much use you make of the deal (some people discover they spend less paying for their onsite meals out of pocket, or just that the dining deal wasn't a good fit and they're happier getting what they want instead).
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:45 PM   #3
Ed J
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It's cheaper to stay at a value that off site. Even cheap off site the savings if any is marginal, score free dinning and it's a no brainier to stay on site.

I travel quite a bit for work, the last thing I want to do on vacation is stay in a hotel room. We don't go commando anymore in the parks so the idea it's only a place to sleep don't fit, and I'm not going to shell out the dough for a villa on property. We like going to places in Orlando and we will always rent a car. We don't stay off site because it cheaper, but because it fits what we want better. If we want that on site feel, we do a split stay like our next trip, 4 days on and a week off.
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ed J
It's cheaper to stay at a value that off site. Even cheap off site the savings if any is marginal, score free dinning and it's a no brainier...
Sorry, disagree.

I am a totally frugal overplanner who likes a very nice vacation when we can. I priced out our trip a few different ways before booking off site. Even figuring in parking and dining OOP costs, off site saved us a significant figure. Our room is a lot less (and we would have needed two rooms onsite due to family size unless we really anted up for a room). It also let us purchase the YES tickets because we didn't need to book a vacation package to get "free" dining. We will have greater dining flexibility thanks to the car and the full kitchen in the 2 bedroom unit. Off site is saving us around 2 grand even after I figure in OOP dining estimates. That is not a marginal savings.

Edited to add: I could totally see how the onsite v offsite costs could be marginally different for people who don't have the space needs that we have due to a larger family or the YES ticket option. I really dislike blanket declarations, so I posted. I'm not trying to be cantankerous, really.
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Last edited by artemis4; 09-03-2012 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:49 PM   #5
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Based on a family of 4, free dinning, staying in a value is cheaper, and close to 2500 for the whole trip, saying you can save 2 grand on somethig that out of poctet wont cost 3 grand is not realistic.

We generally stay off site but math is math.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:37 PM   #6
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Based on a family of 4, free dinning, staying in a value is cheaper, and close to 2500 for the whole trip, saying you can save 2 grand on somethig that out of poctet wont cost 3 grand is not realistic.

We generally stay off site but math is math.
Right, based on a family of 4. Hence my edit to say that I could see how for a smaller group, the calculation is way different. Make it group of 7, and the math totally changes.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:59 PM   #7
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I'm not good at math but I still don't see how you can save 2k..... even with 7 by moving off site.

7 people = 2 rooms at a value = $1400 in lodging instead of $700 (100 a night give or take for a value) half of the $1400 is offset with a car, and with 7 you are not getting a compact, so car(van) gas a and parking eats up half the cost of the second room.

So how can you save 2k when the cost of lodging was only a little over a grand when staying on site. I'm not busting your stones, I'm curious how you can come up with that kind of savings.

Were you comparing a deluxe or something like that?
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:48 AM   #8
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For larger families or families who prefer their privacy (like us! We couldn't spend more then a night in a hotel room together without complaints), offsite villas are great. You can't really compare offsite villas with onsite hotel rooms though.
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ed J View Post
I'm not good at math but I still don't see how you can save 2k..... even with 7 by moving off site.

7 people = 2 rooms at a value = $1400 in lodging instead of $700 (100 a night give or take for a value) half of the $1400 is offset with a car, and with 7 you are not getting a compact, so car(van) gas a and parking eats up half the cost of the second room.

So how can you save 2k when the cost of lodging was only a little over a grand when staying on site. I'm not busting your stones, I'm curious how you can come up with that kind of savings.

Were you comparing a deluxe or something like that?
You're right; when I went to my other computer this morning, the one that had all the numbers on it, my memory was off. The savings for offsite versus onsite at AS Sports was ~$1100 for us. The numbers I was thinking of were for moderate, and those savings were ~$2700. Frankly, the idea of spending more than one night in the level of accommodations that a value provides is not going to happen for us. I'd rather camp, TBH, than do that.

I'm going to have to justify these numbers, right? So, I looked at total cost for lodging, tickets, parking, and food. This could get long. I tend to go on tangents. LOL

The car will be with us regardless of where we stay because we are driving. Big ouch on flying with seven people. The cost savings justify the drive for us. $84 parking fee for six days in the park if we stay off site. On site: -$84

If we are staying onsite in value, we lose the full kitchen. Therefore, the only way it can be cost effective is to stay with free dining. To get free dining, we must book a MYW package for room and tickets. This means we cannot purchase YES tickets. YES tickets + 2 bedroom condo are costing us $1675. Two value rooms plus 6 day MYW tickets cost $3535.51. On site: +$1861.51

Dining. Free dining at a value resort is quick service dining: 2 CS meals and a snack per day. This seriously is not adequate for the way my family eats (we like real food), but I'll pretend that it is. I've planned and budgeted our meals. 6 CS park meals (4 lunch, 2 dinner) and in park treats to share @$60 per day. 4 dinners out with restaurant.com certificates at HOB (~68 OOP) and Giordano's (~$20 OOP), coupons (Sweet Tomatoes <$40 OOP) and date night thanks to Orlando Magical dining prix fixe menu at Deep Blu ($72 OOP). Big breakfasts in the condo: $0. 2-3 lunches in the condo: $0. 1.75 dinners in room: $0. High protein snacks to carry in: $0. I've been picking up non perishable food items a few at time each grocery shopping trip since April, so I can't assign cost. This has come out of our regular budget a few bucks at a time. All we need to pick up down there is cheese, soy milk, and eggs: $15. These figures give me a total of $575. I've planned $600-800 for food, so we have $25-225 to play with for treats. I don't see us splurging $200 worth, so I'm going low side on this. My kids do not expect to eat sweet treats every day, and two of them really should not eat corn syrup, which I can safely assume is going to be in most CS meals and sweet snacks. We just can't eat that way. On site: -$600

Total cost to stay onsite in a value with free dining: $1177.51 greater than off site paying for meals OOP.

This does not consider the intangibles:

~ Disney will not guarantee adjoining rooms, so there is a chance that DH and I could spend the vacation sleeping in separate rooms. Gee, fun.
~ The kids are also really looking forward to the YES class, which they can't do if we purchase MYW tickets.
~ Free dining at a value is quick service only. Seven days of 2 fast food meals and a snack for each of us. There is no way we wouldn't spring for something offsite to eat real food, so that increases the on site cost because we won't have a kitchen.
~ Free dining was available when we booked this trip, but it might not be for times that others are coming to WDW. I tried to book a FD trip just so that I could fully verify costs, way back in Marchish. I never was able to do so for French Quarter due to availability. There is no guarantee that I would be able to nab a FD reservation at the least expensive value resort, upon which the numbers for this post are based.

For me, even $1100 is not a marginal difference. That is more than a year's worth of art classes for four kids. It isn't the the close to $2k I thought last night, though, and I apologize for the mistake.

IMO, comparing two value rooms on site to a two bedroom with kitchen off site is not apples to apples, anyways. The only way to get apples to apples is to compare with a 2 bedroom villa like in Old Key West. That would add $4k+ to the trip, but we could eat in a way that makes sense to us, unlike in a value or even moderate resort.
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:24 PM   #10
Ed J
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Nice brake down, I get it .

There is a guy who often comments on the on vs off site threads and he makes it easy to understand.

Of the 3 things you want

Reasonable cost
Location
Room to spread out

You get to pick two, we like to spread out, a couple nights in a hotel is more than enough for me, we like the condo / time share places too.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:05 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by KShopshear View Post
We normally stay on disney property. We like the convience of the Disney transportation and the dining plan. I would be open to offsite hotels or possibly a rental house but is it really and cheaper or better to stay offsite? Please list any pros or cons.
This summer, we rented a week in a 2 bedroom for $615 at Marriott Harbour Lake, an excellent property.

For the same week, a 2 bedroom at Old Key West would cost $3,000 - $3,900 on the rental market.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:38 AM   #12
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This summer, we rented a week in a 2 bedroom for $615 at Marriott Harbour Lake, an excellent property.
Where did you get such a great rate?

Thanks!
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:29 AM   #13
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Offsite has always been cheaper for me, and I get to stay at the Shades of Green. I also don't do a dining plan, so it really comes down to the room size. Sometimes we rent a car (if we fly) and other times we have our car (if we drive). I never go without my own car--don't like wasting my time waiting on busses.

I usually have at least five people traveling with me. So I would always need at least two rooms. SoG gives me a $130 per night price. Times that by two and I'm up to $260.

This past trip, I rented a 5 bedroom vacation home for $150 per night (that included all taxes/surcharges). It had a full size pool in the backyard, and was about 3 miles from the Animal Kingdom gate. I had to pay for 4 days of parking. Day 5 was free because we drove to a Water Park, and Day 6 was at Universal which we can never get out of some sort of fee to either park there or get there. So just on my room, I saved $110 per night. I was also able to eat breakfast at my home and store lots of frozen bottled water. Both of which led to a cost savings.
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:27 AM   #14
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Where did you get such a great rate?

Thanks!
On ebay. This was a great rate, as that place usually goes for more.
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