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Old 03-28-2013, 11:37 PM   #1
Tracy NS
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The debate of staying on site vs. off site

This is one of our biggest debates right now.

I'd like to hear the pros and cons of each but do have some questions too.

Are on site resorts (at least the ones at reasonable prices) only hotel like rooms? Meaning, do they offer any on site places to stay that are more than just one big room (which is what I mean by hotel like).

This is one of the only things deterring me from looking into staying on site is the fact that the space would be too small. We'd really like a place that we could relax at for a day and do nothing else. Can't really do that in one little room.

Alright, let's hear it!
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:55 PM   #2
ironpig70
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Only been once but loved staying onsite as you never leave the magic. Grabbing a bus, boat, monorail to the parks is so easy. I have kids and need a mid day break so this makes it very easy.

As for larger rooms you can get a suite or a villa and they are all over the property. On my next trip I am looking at going this route.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:29 AM   #3
GenGen22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy NS View Post
This is one of our biggest debates right now.

I'd like to hear the pros and cons of each but do have some questions too.

Are on site resorts (at least the ones at reasonable prices) only hotel like rooms? Meaning, do they offer any on site places to stay that are more than just one big room (which is what I mean by hotel like).

This is one of the only things deterring me from looking into staying on site is the fact that the space would be too small. We'd really like a place that we could relax at for a day and do nothing else. Can't really do that in one little room.

Alright, let's hear it!
I've only been to WDW 1 time and I stayed onsite and I have to say it was the best hotel stay I have ever experienced... The customer service is amazing!!! My phone charger was missing from my room and they took full responsibility no questions asked.. They paid for a taxi to take me to a store to buy a new charger and reimbursed me for the charger!!! Also, we had a character breakfast and we woke up late and ran to the bus stop to get there and only had 15 minutes to get there and the bus driver called in and said he had to VIP's that were late to their character breakfast and took us right away instead of waiting for others to get on the bus to transport them. Those are just a few examples of AWESOME customer service they have nothing like you would get at an off site place. They have outdoor movies and pin trading and all sorts of activities daily. All I have to say is it was an amazing experience. I just wished DL had a resort like WDW and was affordable
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:42 AM   #4
clapton
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Staying on site is definitely the way to go. Once you experience it you will never stay offsite again!
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:07 AM   #5
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If you stay on site you will be 100% immersed in the Disney bubble, which we really like. It's like nothing else, you don't really think about much except what's right there in front of you. It's a great way to remove stress.

The resort hotel rooms are just regular rooms, unless you want to spend more money on 1 bedroom suites. The experience is definitely not the same as renting a vacation home for a week. Although you may have more space in a rental home, you won't be in Disney. You will have to go to Disney, then back to the rental house. It's really not the same if staying off-property. We've stayed off-property and it's just not as good for us. Leaving is disruptive to the whole experience.

If you are in Disney, you probably don't want to spend your time in your hotel room. But the rooms are fine, what you would normally expect in a hotel room. There are other ways to relax, the resort pools are great. Watching fireworks, riding their boats, walking through the parks or Downtown Disney.

If you are at a Disney resort, you can use the Disney's Magical Express free transportation to and from the Orlando airport. You get Extra Magic Hours at the various parks, this is only for on-site guests and gives you the chance to get onto rides with less wait, and be in the parks earlier or later than the general public. You can use all Disney transportation, busses, boats, etc.
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:50 AM   #6
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I have done both, we used to stay off site in the DTD area and thought it was awesome! Priced reasonably and the location felt like we were inside disney. We thought others were silly for paying so much more!? Until..... We were camping at the fort and needless to say there was an incident the site over and received a two night stay to the cabins! Lets just say those complimentary nights from Disney turned us into in property disney obsessed travelers I can't explain it, I don't believe it's fair to say you have a better time its just Different! The atmosphere, the disney spirit is constant because the customer service, the CMS attitude is contagious yes the rooms in the "regular" rooms are smaller then traditional rooms off site but there are soooo many activities and things to do that you really don't hang in the room. The transportation. Dining options, stores, arcades, numerous pools, numerous bars, kids activities, movies, campfires, pool parties make the stay worth it. I saw everyone should give the on property stay at least one shot to really see. You really pay for the amenities and beautiful grounds !!
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:40 AM   #7
Mousemommy1
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For my family, there is no debate at all. When we go to Disney, we go to Disney.

I'm sure you have heard of the Disney "bubble" before? Well, it's real and we love it! DH loves not having to drive anywhere. We love that once we go through those Magical Express gates, we know that we are going to be taken care of. We love not seeing anything that reminds us of everyday life. You are literally in a whole new world while you are there.

Now, I guess other people don't like, don't care or don't value that aspect of staying onsite, but my family puts a high premium on it and a nice, long Disney vacation (we typically go 11 days) is absolutely worthy of our vacation dollars.

20 more days until we are back in our bubble. Oh my!!!
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:32 AM   #8
Kim1964
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This summer we will take our twelfth trip to WDW. As our kids have gotten older (they are 16 and 10 now), sharing a single hotel room onsite has become more of a challenge. So, a couple of years ago we decided to venture into offsite accommodations. We rented a lovely townhouse at Windsor Hills for a very reasonable price. It was a three bedroom, three bath unit.

We had no issues with the townhouse at all, absolutely nothing to complain about there. However, it was the least Disney feeling trip we've ever taken and I've decided that we won't do it again. I do value and am willing to pay a premium for the Disney bubble. We still rent a single room, but pay to upgrade to CL. This gives us another place to be AND a convenient breakfast stop.

There are many people whom I like and respect who will completely disagree with me on the value of the Disney bubble, and who will choose price and space over location. You will read a lot of varying opinions on the topic. Ultimately, you will have to figure out the priorities for your traveling group and go from there. As I mentioned earlier, we've gone a few times now, and it took some trial and error for us to find what works best for us.

Good luck. Whatever you decide, make the most of it and have a magical time.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:59 AM   #9
sunsetbeachgal
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Staying on site makes the trip so easy....the bus service drops you right off in front of the Parks and so easy to come and go. And we love extra magic hours!
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:15 AM   #10
Annie78
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The size of the room will vary with the resort category. In the Deluxes, you will get 400-440 sqft. In the Values, you will get ~260 sqft.
If you want separate sleeping and living space, plus a kitchen, you could look at the Deluxe Villas. You can book these direct from Disney - pricey but simple - or you can rent points from a Disney Vacation Club owner - you'll save a lot, but you need to make sure you're renting from someone reliable and there is usually no cancellation possible.

Last year I went to the Dolphin for one trip (which has most, not quite all of the on-site perks, but does have the absolute biggest perks: location and transportation) and off-site for another trip. Going off-site made sense for that trip, because we had a big group, were going for a full week, and wanted a kitchen/washer dryer - off-site we got that for much, much less. However, I'm glad to be staying on-site for my upcoming trip.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:22 AM   #11
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Major advantages to staying on site for us are Magic Express and the dining plan. They are the reason we choose to stay Disney rather than Shades of Green.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:28 AM   #12
JKeenz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mousemommy1 View Post
I'm sure you have heard of the Disney "bubble" before? Well, it's real and we love it! DH loves not having to drive anywhere. We love that once we go through those Magical Express gates, we know that we are going to be taken care of. We love not seeing anything that reminds us of everyday life. You are literally in a whole new world while you are there.
Love the Disney bubble! I love that you are on Mickey time, and not having to go "the wrong way" under the WDW arch until you go back to the airport is wonderful. We left Disney property back in 2011 to go to Universal, and didn't like leaving the Magic, even if only for a few hours.

Try it once, just to see! You can decide for yourself, but I'd bet you won't go back to staying offsite!
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:16 AM   #13
GaBelle
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I am also onsite all the way! Our first trip was offsite and while the room was bigger than what we've experienced thus far at a Disney owned property, it was very inconvenient and just blah!
If you are looking at a larger space, maybe consider a deluxe villa? They are essentially timeshare units and therefore are larger.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:26 AM   #14
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We have stayed both onsite and offsite. We are a family of 6 with 3 teenagers now and while Disney has finally built some accomodations for larger families, they are still really expensive. We own timeshare points with Wyndahm and lately we have been staying at Bonnet Creek. That really is a beautiful resort. We could pay for family suites at Disney, but that would cut down on sit down restaurants, souveneirs and anything else extra we want to do.

We have had wonderful vacations staying offsite and we are now spoiled to timeshare vacationing because of the amount of space we have in our rooms. We get 2 bathrooms, full kitchen, washer and dryer, etc. We are really not in our room very much anyway.

You have to prioritize what is important for your family. My husband hates being crowded, so staying onsite with a grumpy husband would not be a magical vacation for us anyway

All of that being said, I really want to stay onsite this coming trip. It is likely the last one with all of my kids together as my oldest will be graduating high school and who knows if her schedule will allow her to come with us in the future since we only go about every 3 years. I am looking at the suites and cabins, but I just can't get over the price so we will probably end up at Bonnet Creek again

Good Luck!
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:31 AM   #15
Dreaming of Disney
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BTW, if you post this question on the Orlando Hotels and Attractions forum you would likely get an overwhelming response about the benefits of staying offsite. Just in case you want to hear from both sides of the spectrum.
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