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Old 03-16-2013, 11:12 AM   #31
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Last week they had three-bed condos at WH for $299/week.

We are staying for $159/night in a 4-bed, 3-bath pool house in July at Emerald Island. With three families the kitchen, laundry and private pool are so worth it. Second trip off site and we would never go back on site.

Even if DH and I went alone, we'd still get a condo off site.
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:27 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by sympatico View Post
Maybe if you compared an offsite hotel room similar to what you would have at Disney instead of a condo then you would see more savings. It always seems like that when people start comparing off site to on site they compare a Disney hotel room to a condo/vacation home. Compare apples with apples and not apples with oranges and you may see the difference easier.
I agree! Why do people do that? To me, a Disney value resort is a Motel 6 with the Disney name slapped on it. I've never stayed at the Blue Heron but compare prices to the Disney equivalent. Chances are good it's more like comparing to a 1BR at BCV.
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:44 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by ruadisneyfan2 View Post
I agree! Why do people do that? To me, a Disney value resort is a Motel 6 with the Disney name slapped on it. I've never stayed at the Blue Heron but compare prices to the Disney equivalent. Chances are good it's more like comparing to a 1BR at BCV.
Motel 6... LOL! But you are right, not even a microwave or frig and the Best Western gives you those. Really need to compare apples to apples.
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:53 PM   #34
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The funny thing is, usually once people finally get up the nerve to try staying offsite, they'll choose a really cheap hotel like a Best Western, Comfort Inn, or Los TeePee (lol!) then compare the room to their last WDW stay at BC and say, "Wow, these offsite hotels sure are dumpy! I'll never try offsite again!"
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Old 03-16-2013, 05:10 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by ruadisneyfan2 View Post
The funny thing is, usually once people finally get up the nerve to try staying offsite, they'll choose a really cheap hotel like a Best Western, Comfort Inn, or Los TeePee (lol!) then compare the room to their last WDW stay at BC and say, "Wow, these offsite hotels sure are dumpy! I'll never try offsite again!"
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:19 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina View Post
It really depends on where you place "value". While we could stay at POP for the same price as our upcoming vacation at Sheraton Vistana Resort, we get some major differences:

2 full bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, full kitchen, washer and dryer, screened balcony, and three TV's

as opposed to one, standard-size hotel/motel room.

We also get a resort with seven pools, tennis courts, activity centers, onsite mini golf, and a host of activities for guests, which is much more than is offered by POP or any of the values.

We are giving up free transportation to the theme parks, which we would not use anyway. And large Disney icons decorating the resort.

We do not utilize the dining plan (as its another poor value for our family) so there's no loss there.

We can eat more cheaply (and just as well......in some cases better) at offsite restaurants, yielding a substantial savings.

And then there's the sanity savings. We have a wonderful, amazing, and well behaved teenager, but there's no way I want the three of us to be stuck in one small hotel room for a week and call it "vacation".

We are paying $120 per night (tax included) for our SVR stay (2 bedroom). A one bedroom villa at Saratoga Springs for the same time period is $452 per night. There's the value .
I agree with this, we stay offsite for the extra space. Our Windsor Hills condo has 3 bedrooms, a kitchen, washer dryer, etc for the same price as a tiny value resort room.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:30 AM   #37
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not even a microwave or frig
To be fair, the Values did finally add dorm fridges recently.
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:39 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Kallie724 View Post
We just got back from Disney with my parents and stayed at Port Orleans Riverside and had a great trip. My husband didn't go with us and hasn't been since he was 5. When we got back he said he would like for us to go next year. It will be me, him and our DD (6). He knows I'm a deal hunter so he said for me to find the best deal. We will be going in May 2014 so to get an idea of prices and things I started price comparing rates for this May.

I thought going offsite would be the way to go but now I just don't know. Here's what I found.

Blue Heron 1 bedroom - $728 for 8 nights plus a $50 cleaning fee, 6 day park hoppers and water park, and then $15/day to park at Disney - Grand total - $1945

All Star Resort on property - with the current promo they are offering discount on room and tickets I can get the 8 nights plus 6 day park hopper and water park for $2028. Without the promo it would be $2167.

I honestly thought that staying offsite would save me more but I guess since we aren't a large group and we don't have to rent multiple rooms or cram 5 people into one the savings just isn't adding up. I know I would save some money but I like the Disney bus service a lot in case we have to go back to the room or if DH wants to go back and we want to stay.

Am I missing something?
I could see how you could feel this way but as another person mentioned, you are not comparing apples to apples.

If you want to compare an equivalent hotel (motel) to one of the all stars you'd probably stay at a Motel 6 for the same square footage and room type. (Not decor obviously)

Example

Motel 6 on W. Irlo Bronson Hwy for May 11-19 (randomly picked) with tickets purchased from undercover tourist and 6 days of disney parking:
Room $227.36
Tickets $1079.85
Parking $84.00
Total $1391.21

If you instead wanted to compare an all star to let's say a 1 bedroom room like this one http://www.vrbo.com/315434 (randomly picked from vrbo) your cost would be something like this:
Room $533.36 (estimating a middle range for their prices)
Tickets $1079.85
Parking $84.00
Total $1697.21

With the one bedroom condo, you get a kitchen where you can prepare meals if that is important to you. I know some people (like me ) do not like to cook anything on vacation. But to save some $$$ I'm willing to throw together a few quick meals.
We've stayed on sight for all of our trips thus far and our next trip we'll be staying at a 3 bedroom condo in Reunion in October for $640 for 7 days. Good luck with your decisions. It's all on what you are looking for.
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Last edited by VeeHam; 03-17-2013 at 10:40 PM. Reason: misspelled word
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:37 PM   #39
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where to book?

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The cost all depends on the amenities you want. You can stay off property for way cheaper, but it all depends on what you want. We prefer to drive and not use bus system (we are APs, so we don't have to pay to park). We spend all our time at the parks, so the pool and other amenities don't really matter. I like to have a full kitchen for breakfasts and sometimes to cook a quick late dinner or for snacks. I also like to have a washing machine/dryer.

We are renting a 3 bedroom 3 bath townhouse in Crestwynd Bay for $75 a night this June. With 2 teenagers and a preteen we all need space, especially if we are together for a week. A few days we can handle in a suite type hotel room, but not for longer than that. When they were younger....10 years ago or so, we could do a regular hotel room and it was ok, but not anymore.

Disney can be very expensive or not so expensivey, it's just a matter of your personal preference and what you want and what you are willing to do without.
Can you advise as to how you booked for Crestwynd and how far it is from Universal?
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:01 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina View Post
It really depends on where you place "value". While we could stay at POP for the same price as our upcoming vacation at Sheraton Vistana Resort, we get some major differences:

2 full bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, full kitchen, washer and dryer, screened balcony, and three TV's

as opposed to one, standard-size hotel/motel room.

We also get a resort with seven pools, tennis courts, activity centers, onsite mini golf, and a host of activities for guests, which is much more than is offered by POP or any of the values.

We are giving up free transportation to the theme parks, which we would not use anyway. And large Disney icons decorating the resort.

We do not utilize the dining plan (as its another poor value for our family) so there's no loss there.

We can eat more cheaply (and just as well......in some cases better) at offsite restaurants, yielding a substantial savings.

And then there's the sanity savings. We have a wonderful, amazing, and well behaved teenager, but there's no way I want the three of us to be stuck in one small hotel room for a week and call it "vacation".

We are paying $120 per night (tax included) for our SVR stay (2 bedroom). A one bedroom villa at Saratoga Springs for the same time period is $452 per night. There's the value .
^^This. Yes, you're saving a little bit by staying on property, but you're not comparing apples to apples. In order to get a closer and more accurate comparison you'd have to price out an off site value hotel to an on property value resort. Motel 6 vs. All Stars, if you will. Then compare your off site 1 bedroom "condo" to a similar 1 bedroom villa on property.

I love staying on Disney property and we try to use all the amenities we can so that it really "pays" to stay on site. We usually stay moderate (Caribbean Beach and POR), plan at least one resort day so we can enjoy the pools, activities and restaurants at the resort, use Disney transportation whenever possible and take advantage of EMH and package delivery to the room. We have never participated in any of the dining plans and since having kids we haven't park hopped in years.

That being said, we have also stayed off property twice and are about to do it again this year. We are now a family of 4, with 2 young kids. We do not travel lightly. So, we are staying in a 2 bedroom condo through my father-in-law's time share. We are paying NOTHING to stay for a week in that condo. We are welcoming the chance for the kids to have their own bedroom and for us to have a kitchen, even if we only use it handful of times for breakfast or snacks in the evening. Yes, we'll pay to fly to Orlando ($1000 for our family), to rent a small SUV ($400 a week), for a few groceries (maybe $100), but to have that space.....OH THE SPACE!

We hope to return to on site resorts at some point in the future, but as long as my father-in-law has this time share and is willing and able to loan it out to us for a week every other year or so, we'll be staying off site.

Everyone has their own ideas of "value" and what is important to their family. You have to do what is right for you. However you get to Disney, get to Disney!! And enjoy it.
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:06 PM   #41
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OP: For us staying off property, I can sum it up in 1 word - Privacy!
We love people, but after basically seeing, hearing, bumping with and smelling strangers all day, we REALLY have had enough.
We do not want to transport with, wait for, line up with or eat with the masses 24/7.

-We always rent a house near WDW and I don't think we'd ever stay on site.
-We enjoy having our own private fenced in - not overlooked pool for nearly every morning and evening swims.
-We enjoy having our own private non-overlooked hot tub, especially after the kids are asleep, so nice to relax away the days aches and pains.
-We enjoy everyone having there own bathroom and bedroom.
-We enjoy having the garage turned game room with multiple activities.
-We enjoy lounging on real and comfortable living room furniture.
-We like having a full kitchen and BBQ grill for when we want it.
-We enjoy having a bit of lawn to play on if we desire.

-We go to the area for the Theme Parks yes, but we also want more from our vacation than just Disney...R & R and fun family togetherness are important too.
-Most neighborhoods have playgrounds, trails, clubhouses, pools, etc....
-We rent a vehicle because sometimes we like to drive to the coast, Universal, a restaurant, show or whatever.

Our next visit it 8 nights in a 5 bdrm / 4 bath home with very private backyard.
This is in June for only $1300. There is no comparison to the price, space, privacy and amenities with any Disney accommodation.
Thank goodness there are lots of options, so everyone can pick what will work best for their family/friends/visits!
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:16 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by 6packdoesdisney View Post

-We go to the area for the Theme Parks yes, but we also want more from our vacation than just Disney...R & R and fun family togetherness are important too.
I love this. Yes!! We are staying off site this June and are looking forward to our time back at the condo. We're bringing some games and planning on having some down time together. This is a vacation and our kids are young, so we will have a napper as well. He can nap and our oldest can hang out in the living room with us for some down time. That is definitely worth it to me!!
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:05 PM   #43
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The value in this case can also be on how good of a sleeper your daughter is and how much alone time you desire. If you get back to the all-star room at 8pm and want to hang out you are all in one room with 2 double beds. I believe the Blue Heron is a suite set up. Putting the child in a closed bedroom and enjoying your own space for a few hours, can't put a dollar figure on that.
Last time we stayed on site we stayed at CSR, very nice room, nice resort, and I believe we had free dining on that trip. I was so tired of going to sleep the same time as the kids, or sitting on the floor of the bathroom so I could use the laptop or read after 9 pm. We have two kids, now 10 and 12. They loved the private pool and so did I...I could schlepp out in my jammies to supervise. Loved playing pool in the games room with dh after they were safely in bed. Loved having a full kitchen, not being dependent on restaurants for every meal (even with free dining, it's a hassle). At $100/nt last time for a 4-bd house with private pool, we were definitely saving money and getting a more luxurious and relaxing experience. And even if we are onsite we want our own car. Personally we thought the budget Disney hotels don't offer much--really a motel 8 kind of experience at the room level at least. Pools and ambience were great, but we didn't use the buses. So, it's really "YMMV", as others have said.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:10 AM   #44
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Staying offsite at a condo or rented timeshare can't be beat

I've been to Florida quite a few times and I used to stay offsite at a low priced regular hotel. We had a good time, but then I saw a discount on Disney hotels and then I was hooked staying onsite. My nephew who was about 7 or 8 when we stayed at Pop Century had such a good time.

About two years ago I was planning a trip which was going to be onsite at Pop Century again, but then I was able to go with a friend who owns a timeshare through Wyndham and we stayed at Star Island.

Yes, you can't beat the convenience of staying on site if the majority of your vacation is spent at the parks. It was harder going to the Disney parks and we didn't have the convenience of the buses and going back to the hotel for some down time and then going back to the parks in the evenings, but when I sat out on the balcony in the evening with a cup of coffee I was really on vacation. My nephew who was 10 at that time had a blast. He was able to venture out to the game room or basketball court on his own. My other nephew who was 1 at the time, had so much room to run around. He loved pushing his stroller on the balcony in the evenings and falling asleep under the stars.

Having a full kitchen, washer & dryer and plenty of space for a toddler to run around, you can't beat it. The grounds, having large pools that aren't as crowded as onsite Disney pools is great.

I am going back to Florida in July again with my niece and her 2 sons and we are going to Bonnet Creek. It looks great. The kids will have a ball. I don't think I could stay onsite any more.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:51 AM   #45
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I've only been once but I agree, we were at a condo timeshare and it was so great, so much room, and a break form all of the Disney magic was kind of nice. We are trying to go for a few days as an add on to another trip next November and since we will have almost no hotel time am thinking of one of the Disney properties. However even for a short time the thought of a tiny room and a 2 year old is daunting compared to last time!
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