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Old 11-09-2012, 01:44 PM   #1
mom2princesses2
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Considering Off-Property for the 1st Time

So, after 7 trips to WDW and staying on-property, we are considering cancelling our ressie at POR for our upcoming Jan. 31-Feb 8th trip and staying off-site.

We are looking to save costs and since Disney believes the neighbors FIVE houses down from me are worthy of free dining discount but we are not, we are thinking we could be happier staying outside of the World and even spending some of our days at Universal.

I need advice on where to start planning a non-Disney resort stay. Any suggestions? I'm thinking we want a car and a stay at a hotel vs. a property rental.

Any suggestions out there?
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:50 PM   #2
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I have stayed at Windsor Palms before and it was fabulous.

Go to vrbo.com and close Florida, then Central/Disney, then Kissimmee, then under Kissimmee Central West chose Windsor Palms (formerly Wyndham Palms).

We got a three bedroom condo next to the pool for $500/week.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:05 PM   #3
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Staybridge Suites LBV. It is our go-to off site hotel. It is located very close to DTD, so you are not far away from Disney property at all. They do offer a park shuttle, but we have never used it. They also have a free continental breakfast.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:28 PM   #4
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The current play, stay, dine is not that much more than free dining for your dates. As another family of 5, I can tell you that I have priced off site many times and it is never cheaper than getting a decent discount with Disney.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:19 PM   #5
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The DTD area resorts on Hotel Plaza Blvd are nice. I've stayed there three times - twice at the Hilton, once at the Best Western. Shuttles to the parks stop at each hotel, which is convenient, and you can also walk to DTD. The Hilton even offers the EMH perk to its guests, but it's the only Hotel Plaza Blvd property that does this. Like I said, I've stayed in this area three times, and each time we've come away very pleased. I've never stayed on-property, so I can't compare my experiences to any of the official Disney resorts.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:38 PM   #6
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you might consider a timeshare - wyndham bonnet creek - is fairly inexpensive and it is across the creek from Pop and CBR - this should be cheaper than a moderate

plus for the price of a moderate - or you could look for a special
http://www.hiltonbonnetcreek.com/

or this one - again look for specials
http://www.waldorfastoriaorlando.com/

both are high rated hotels - as you would expect with those names

so do you want a cheap no-name place - or even nicer than Disney:? (hotels not timeshares)
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:07 AM   #7
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we live in FL (about 3 hours away) so we go to Orlando often for long weekends. We always rent a condo in either Windsor Hills or Windsor Palms. It is about $85-100/night for a 3 bedroom! I have rented using vrbo but the last few times just went through www.closesttodisney.com. They dont have a minimum number of nights you have to rent so for us that is ideal. The condos are always clean and fully equipped. Plus, they are very close to WDW. I have teenagers to feed so for us it is easier and cheaper to feed them at least some of the meals at the condo. We drive over so we have our own car but even when we came from NH on vacation we often rented a car because we liked to have dinner at the different resorts and it was sooo much easier to get around that way.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:52 AM   #8
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We have stayed offsite at Wyndham Bonnet Creek. We really like it there and are staying again next June. You can get a two bedroom condo for less than what you pay for a moderate resort. Also it's within the WDW gates next to Carribean Beach resort, so it's very close to all the parks.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:57 AM   #9
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Hi - if the main purpose of your stay is to visit Disney you want to stay in one of the off-site resort communities that are in the immediate vicinity of the WDW park. These are Windsor Hills, Emerald Island and Reunion. There are several rental sites you can try, here's some all similarly themed for the 3 resorts mentioned:

http://************************************/
http://*************************************/
http://*******************************/

Thanks, D
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:41 PM   #10
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For a nice hotel stay I might suggest Hilton Bonnet Creek or Waldorf Astoria if you want to be on Disney property. If you don't mind being not as close but a convenient bit away I would look into the Convention/Sea World area - it is quiet, peaceful but nearby good shopping and dining - convenient to i-ride trolley, buses to Disney. For this area I would look into the Hilton near the convention center, Doubletree Suites Seaworld, or Hilton Vacation Club at Seaworld. Also south International Drive is a good area - if you like outlet shopping I like the Outlets on Vineland Road - nearby would be Sheraton Vistana Villages, Floridays and a host of a lot of others. I would avoid the north side of International Drive.

If you want a full kitchen start looking into Hilton Vacation Club, Sheraton Vistana properties.

You can find good rates for many of the above hotels on websites such as lastminutetravel.com.

Good luck!
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:21 PM   #11
4kids4karen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2princesses2 View Post
So, after 7 trips to WDW and staying on-property, we are considering cancelling our ressie at POR for our upcoming Jan. 31-Feb 8th trip and staying off-site.

We are looking to save costs and since Disney believes the neighbors FIVE houses down from me are worthy of free dining discount but we are not, we are thinking we could be happier staying outside of the World and even spending some of our days at Universal.

I need advice on where to start planning a non-Disney resort stay. Any suggestions? I'm thinking we want a car and a stay at a hotel vs. a property rental.

Any suggestions out there?

How many in your party?
What price range per night?

There are lots of choices. Do you qualify for discounts such as military or Florida resident?
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2princesses2 View Post

We are looking to save costs and since Disney believes the neighbors FIVE houses down from me are worthy of free dining discount but we are not, we are thinking we could be happier staying outside of the World and even spending some of our days at Universal.
yes - Disney only seems to give discounts to people who have never visited WDW or people who don't come every year.

if you need tickets don't buy thru disney - so hopefully they won't know if you are there....

so also don't charge anything on Disney property.

remember before the WDW system and DVC system were together - would stay a couple of nights using WDW and paying cash - then would stay DVC.

since WDW did not seem to know that I was there but using DVC - they would give me some great discounts. Those days are gone.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:09 PM   #13
baler31
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I have not stayed at POR so cannot compare what amenities you are looking for but we either stay Disney Deluxe or off property depending upon what type of trip we are doing and available discounts. Our favorite off property resorts are:

Waldorf Astoria
Hilton Bonnet Creek
Swan/Dolphin
Hilton DTD

These are all very close to the parks and we always rent a car even when staying on property. Although we like being on property when the parks are super busy we don't have a problem with off. The Swan/Dolphin rooms have a very thoughtful layout and you can walk to Epcot and HS. They also have very comfortable beds.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:26 PM   #14
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Give us some more info and you will get lots of excellent advice. Firstly, how many adults/children in your group. You said you want a rental car, but want to stay at a hotel instead of a vacation rental. Any particular reason why you want a hotel instead of a condo? Having a kitchen for drinks and light snacks, or just coffee in the morning comes in pretty handy, and more than one bathroom and in-unit laundry are awfully convenient.

Lots of great management companies out there if your concern with a condo is renting from an owner. We stayed at Windsor Hills and rented through www.floridasunvacationhomes.com and they were fantastic. Highly recommend them for the qualify of the rental and the professional rental process.

Having said that, I did give some thought to Buena Vista Suites and Drury Inn. Both get excellent reviews, and the Drury is brand new. I was really tempted to stay there but at the end of it couldn't pass up a 2bdrm condo at Windsor Hills for $500 total for 6 days. I believe Drury Inn has free shuttles to Universal parks. Even though you will have a car it would be nice to save the parking fee.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:53 AM   #15
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We recently stayed "off" property at Bonnet Creek. It was our first off property stay and it was great. It is technically on property (located right next to Caribbean Beach resort). You never have to get off the WDW roadways (which is a big plus for us). Once you are really off property you have to fight terrible traffic. We loved being so close to the parks and the space was great. If WDW is not running a great special next time we go, we will definately stay at BC again.
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