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Old 03-13-2013, 02:52 PM   #1
JustAKid
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Three questions: Which? Just How? And When?

We are a family of 5, and we're looking at staying on-site vs. other options. So far, off-site seems to be the better option mostly due to the price of the resorts that will allow 5 people per-room, or that we'll have to get 2 rooms, the 1 we simply will not use.

My questions are these: Which resort would you stay if you had a family of 5 and had to be budget conscious? Just how strict are they on how many people can be in a room? And when should one book their stay if they are going to be on-site?
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:03 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAKid View Post
My questions are these:
1.Which resort would you stay if you had a family of 5 and had to be budget conscious?

2Just how strict are they on how many people can be in a room?

3And when should one book their stay if they are going to be on-site?
1.POR Alligator Bayou is the least expensive option.

2. Very strict. Room occupancy is a firm limit. If you exceed the limit and are found out you will be thrown out of the resort.

3. As soon as you have firm dates. This avoids the problem of the resort being booked up if you wait too long. You can always change your booking at a later date to take advantage of any special offers or discounts that come up.
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:08 PM   #3
JustAKid
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Originally Posted by minnie mum View Post
1.POR Alligator Bayou is the least expensive option.

2. Very strict. Room occupancy is a firm limit. If you exceed the limit and are found out you will be thrown out of the resort.

3. As soon as you have firm dates. This avoids the problem of the resort being booked up if you wait too long. You can always change your booking at a later date to take advantage of any special offers or discounts that come up.
Thanks! I tried searching for my dates (April 2014) via the website and it won't let me access more than 1 year to the day. Should I call directly or is it only possible to book 1 year in advance?
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAKid View Post
We are a family of 5, and we're looking at staying on-site vs. other options. So far, off-site seems to be the better option mostly due to the price of the resorts that will allow 5 people per-room, or that we'll have to get 2 rooms, the 1 we simply will not use.

My questions are these: Which resort would you stay if you had a family of 5 and had to be budget conscious? Just how strict are they on how many people can be in a room? And when should one book their stay if they are going to be on-site?
Have you looked into the new Art of Animation suites? They are designed for larger families. Off site is an option but once you get there you realize that it is worth staying on property. Even if you want to go back to the room for a break its so much easier. You can also take advantage of EMH and dining plans. You would also have to rent a car. You would have to add that into your budget. I would try to tally what it would cost for both options. Good luck!
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JustAKid View Post
Thanks! I tried searching for my dates (April 2014) via the website and it won't let me access more than 1 year to the day. Should I call directly or is it only possible to book 1 year in advance?
As minniemum stated, the Alligator Bayou section of POR is the least expensive option. Plus it's a lovely resort. The prices for 2014 have not been release yet so you can't look online for packages or room only reservations. You can call and reserve a room only and will be charged the cost of one night at 2013 rates. Then when the 2014 rates are released, your reservation will be adjusted to reflect the new rates.

They usually release the new rates around June or July.
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:57 PM   #6
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I'm confused, in your signature you have 6, people, in your post you say 5, just want to make sure the info is right. Since there are three adults, have any of you ever served in the military. Even if you do not serve now, if you ever served you are eligible for SoG in sept and jan, of if one of you serve now you are eligible all year. They have extra large rooms that fit 5 easily, for some of the best rates especially those two months. They also have suites for 6. Just a thought, you said April, but if you can save hundreds it may be worth changing dates.
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:07 PM   #7
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I'm confused, in your signature you have 6, people, in your post you say 5, just want to make sure the info is right. Since there are three adults, have any of you ever served in the military. Even if you do not serve now, if you ever served you are eligible for SoG in sept and jan, of if one of you serve now you are eligible all year. They have extra large rooms that fit 5 easily, for some of the best rates especially those two months. They also have suites for 6. Just a thought, you said April, but if you can save hundreds it may be worth changing dates.
DBiL has gone with us to DL, but will not be accompaning us to WDW because of unpredictable college situations (meaning we can't plan too far out which is a basic requirement, it seems, at WDW). He usually does EVERYTHING with us so I feel kinda weird taking him out.

No one has ever served in the military, although my oldest daughter is an ex-dependant of an ex-military member, does that count?!
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:34 PM   #8
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No one has ever served in the military, although my oldest daughter is an ex-dependant of an ex-military member, does that count?!
If only it were that easy!

I know that the up-front cost of staying onsite is staggering. My wife and I had this same conversation last year!

However, we stayed at AoA for about $500 more than the price of staying off-site, renting a van, food, etc. I know it is a hard option, but when you consider the convenience, it really is worth it.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:21 PM   #9
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Disclaimer: I have never stayed onsite.

We've done three trips to WDW. Stayed at a timeshare resort once and Windsor Hills twice, first time in a 2 br condo, second time in a 4 br town home w/its own pool. You are very close to the parks, and if you are driving you may have a shorter trip than those taking Disney transpo. We loved our offsite trips, found it extremely easy to take midday breaks and felt very immersed with the themed bedrooms. It was awesome having so much space, a kitchen if we wanted to use it (not that we did...breakfast was about it as I don't like cooking on vacation), and our own private pool. All for less than staying onsite. We take the auto train down so we have our own car. If we had to rent a car, I'd do the math and figure out if it was still as good a deal.

That said, we are attempting to stay onsite next year, only because we can use RCI points to trade into DVC, which is the only way I will travel with kids It's no fun for our family of four being stuck in one room, even if we did only sleep there.

Just wanted to give you another opinion...
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gilesmt View Post
I'm confused, in your signature you have 6, people, in your post you say 5, just want to make sure the info is right. Since there are three adults, have any of you ever served in the military. Even if you do not serve now, if you ever served you are eligible for SoG in sept and jan, of if one of you serve now you are eligible all year. They have extra large rooms that fit 5 easily, for some of the best rates especially those two months. They also have suites for 6. Just a thought, you said April, but if you can save hundreds it may be worth changing dates.
I hadn't heard that prior military could stay at SOG in Sept and Jan. My husband was in the Navy, but did not retire from the Navy. He did 4 years before going to college. Where can I find information about this option. It might just be a good excuse to make a Sept. or Jan. bonus trip.
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:22 PM   #11
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Have you checked into renting points for a 2 bedroom villa. You would have a full kitchen for quick breakfasts in the morning, snacks, and drinks. You would have an in-room washer/dryer so you wouldn't have to pack as much and have room to spread out.
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:33 PM   #12
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If it were my choice - I would go with POR. They only have a certain amount of rooms that sleep 5 - and I admit that I have not seen the pull-out bed - but it is your least expensive option.

I believe that the next in amount spent is a suite at All Star Music.

Since I have only stayed Value & Mod - I cannot give advice on Deluxe resorts.
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:35 PM   #13
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On-site, the cheapest options would be the following, each one varying slightly in price:

-POR staying in the Alligator Bayou section. The room would have two queen beds and a pull down murphy bed that is about the size of a crib mattress. This bed is meant for children about 12 and younger.

-Fort Wilderness cabins

-AoA suites or All Star Music Family Suites

-renting DVC points to stay in a villa. Only downfalls with this are that you have to book through the DVC owner and you pay for everything up front and about 7 months in advance and it's non-refundable.


What are the ages in your party? As PPs have said, POR is the cheapest but depending on how old people are, one of the suites might give you more room.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:58 PM   #14
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I would not consider renting DVC points for a 2 bedroom villa for the budget conscious. Just using 2013 rates it would be about $3,000 for 7 nights, or about $2,500 for a one bedroom, and that is at only $10 a point, which you will not get for April.
Like PP have noted, POR or 2 value rooms will be the cheapest way to go. I
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nkereina

-renting DVC points to stay in a villa. Only downfalls with this are that you have to book through the DVC owner and you pay for everything up front and about 7 months in advance and it's non-refundable.
Just as a quick note here, if you're going to rent points for a DVC stay, you're much better off finding an owner to rent from at the resort you would like to stay. Owners can book home resorts at 11 months out and everyone can book at any resort starting at seven months. So if you want one of the resorts with parks access (BCV, BWV, BLT or VWL) you do much better booking your stay as close to the 11-month mark as you can.

For a party of five, you could fit comfortably in a one-bedroom villa at BLT, AKV-Kidani and OKW, they all have a sleeping chair in the living room in addition to the pullout couch and king size bed. And there are second bathrooms in these units, as well.
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