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Old 04-15-2013, 02:55 PM   #1
TBGOES2DISNEY
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Disney with a family of 6

The price of Disney keeps going up for us as my kids move into different price brackets. In the past, we've been lucky enough to stay for 6-9 nights, which was great! However, while I could still afford to stay on sight, I don't know if I really want to pour so much money into a vacation.

When we were too large to fit in a value, we moved up to moderate at Alligator Bayou. Now that we're too large to fit there, we would have to get two value rooms. I'm really not willing to pay for the cost of a suite.

So, the rumor mill is saying that there may be no free dining for values. It was already a bummer that it was quick service only. So anyway, I'm considering staying off site. Of course, we'd lose some on site perks. We'd have to pay for meals OOP (probably wouldn't do any table service). We'd have to pay to park at the parks.

So I'm just curious what other larger families do? Do you find it a better value to stay on sight? Is it only a better value with free dining? What if there is no free dining? Do you find it's still a better value to stay off site?

Love to hear opinions either way! Thanks!
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:08 PM   #2
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During my dozens and dozens of hours of research, I learned that free dining isn't what it's cracked up to be, resort discounts are often a better value. We're staying off-site, doing one TS and one QS OOP every day, and we will still be coming in under what we would pay staying on-site. (parking fees included) It's just a matter of finding a really great off-site resort property. We are also a family of 6.
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:14 PM   #3
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Hi, fellow big family!
You can see by my times-up ticker, that we are camping onsite, in a matter of days. We don't have an RV, (yet). That's one way to stay onsite.

We will be driving down and renting a furnished pop up. Staying 2 weeks, parks half the time, visiting resorts, downtown disney, canoeing, archery, ponyrides, biking, swiming at Fort Wilderness on off Park days. We have decided to stay onsite at the values only with free dining deals and short trips. This will be a long one.
We will also be doing a split stay, with a Windsor Hills condo visit at the tail end, renting from a lovely family and 'resting up and cooling down' from Disney.

If camping isn't your thing, try BC or WH. I've discovered that, in the case of a big fam, off site can be wonderful. The pros, despite what 'everybody' says, can out weigh the cons, hands down, happily. Just choose your route and enjoy!
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:21 PM   #4
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And, Missy13d69, have been reading and enjoyed your pre TR! The dark side isn't so bad!
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:44 PM   #5
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Maybe do one of the off-site hotels near Downtown DIsney so you can take advantage of the transportation. You can just walk over.
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Old 04-15-2013, 04:10 PM   #6
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I'm not a disney veteran as i've only been 2 times. But we are planning on a visit in sept and i found a 2 bedroom condo thru vacation strategies for basicly the same price as a value room. Bonnet creek is surrounded by disney and it has a full kitchen and laundry, so we can cook our meals which saves money and pack less clothes since we are flying. I think they have 3+ bedroom units avaliable so check them out online.

I was thinking about staying onsite in a value hoping for dining because we have never done the DDP but decided staying in such a small space wasn't a good idea for us.

Price out your vacation options both ways, and include $14 a day for disney parking and see which option works for your budget
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Old 04-15-2013, 04:26 PM   #7
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Question

Our story is the same as yours. We did the value, French Quarter, then moved to the alligator @ POR and this year we book AOA. It is expensive but we were able to get a bounce back offer last year so we will get free qucik service. It's a sore subject since we paid less @ POR and were able to get regular dining plan included. I think this may be our last trip for a few years.

We do cut back in other areas like bring to the parks snacks and drink by ordering from Garden Grocer. We pack breakfast items in our luggage while home. We also do a photpass share. Work a few extra shifts a month.

It's hard to decide 2 value vs suite BUT for our family size and ages of the kids, on site works best. We didn't mind being cramed ina POR room since we basically just slept there. Wish we could still fit. Being able to use Magical Express, Disney busses, no vehicle rental, EMH is a relief. We did decide to splurge on a AOA suite, we work hard for our money but have a lot of stress with medical problems. It's nice to think and plan our Disney trip.
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Old 04-15-2013, 04:51 PM   #8
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We're a family of 6 and I can honestly say once we stayed off-site the first time we wondered why we didn't do it sooner. We rent a vacation home with a private pool. Something like this: http://www.vacationhomerentals.com/v...oID-61533.html or this: http://www.vacationrentals.com/vacat...promoType=none.

There's plenty of room for all of us to spread out and having a private pool is wonderful. We typically have a big breakfast, hit the parks and bring our own waters and snacks. Depending on the time of year and park hours we'll either eat a late lunch/early dinner in the parks and stay until close (if they close early) or go back to the house around 1 pm for a swim/rest and lunch/dinner and go back to the parks at night (if they're open until 9 pm +).
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:26 PM   #9
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We are a family of 6 and we stay off-site at Windsor Hills. I don't feel like we're missing out on anything.

We can make it from our townhouse to the TTC center in about 5 minutes.

And we have a 3 bedroom townhouse with a full kitchen, a washer & dryer, and a private splash pool for $100 a night.

Can't beat it.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:55 PM   #10
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Another family of 6 and another vote for Windsor Hills. Last year we stayed at a 2 BR condo for $575 for the whole week. Can't beat it. Other advantages are being able to save money on food by eating breakfast and some other meals at the condo. A full kitchen, washer and dryer, and extra living space makes a huge difference with a large family.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:11 PM   #11
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We are a family of 6 going for the first time...a few things I have been mulling over while waiting on announcement of fall specials..

1) Renting DVC points --- if you are patient and keep a vigil you can often times get them for about $10/point. OKW is 181 points in Sept. for 6 nights (Su-Sa). For tickets looking at option of doing the YES program. It ends up saving us about $400 on tickets. Then purchasing DDP out of pocket (going 1 q/t/s a night).

2) Anticipating a 30% off stay (ie what the current promotion is)...pricing out the vacation using the same type of stay (Su-Sa), with tickets, and DDP (again 1 q/t/s).

3) Pricing out options at full rack rate with tickets and playing on Free DDP.

4) Pricing out the various off property place.

Another option to consider is Wilderness Lodge Cabins. They are slightly more than the Family Suites, but sleep 6). Also, Club level of AKL 1 bedroom suit sleeps 6.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:31 PM   #12
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We are a family of 9. Soon to be 10. We are staying on site for the first and last time as a family. I had originally planned a kid free trip but due to babysitting issues kids have to come. We are doing two value rooms (baby is 2) and at this point due to food expenses not sure how many park days we will get. We are only staying for a weekend. Hoping to take advantage of the FL 3 day discover disney tickets. We usually stay off site and eat CS only. We have only eaten once at crystal palace as a family of 7. I am planning a mother daughter trip for NOJ and we will stay onsite. Its a special treat. And any other onsite trips will be special or tent camping since that will fit us all and is cheaper than value. Plus we can cook at our site too.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Readerbug View Post
And, Missy13d69, have been reading and enjoyed your pre TR! The dark side isn't so bad!
Yay! I'm glad I have a reader! I'm actually looking forward to the Dark Side. Being able to make waffles at 3 AM, or go for a swim before breakfast...PRICELESS!
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:53 AM   #14
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We're just a family of 4, but we have traveled with extended family (so 8 of us total) and have stayed offsite at Windsor Hills twice. We didn't feel like we were missing out on anything and enjoyed having a kitchen and a private pool.

We ended up joining DVC in 2011, mostly because we knew we'd want a 2bdrm villa in Hawaii (going this fall and taking FIL with us). But if we hadn't, we wouldn't have hesitated to stay at WH again.

Price it out compared to AoA or the FW cabins, and I bet you'll find that even with parking fees, you're saving enough to have a couple of TS meals.
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBGOES2DISNEY View Post
The price of Disney keeps going up for us as my kids move into different price brackets. In the past, we've been lucky enough to stay for 6-9 nights, which was great! However, while I could still afford to stay on sight, I don't know if I really want to pour so much money into a vacation.

When we were too large to fit in a value, we moved up to moderate at Alligator Bayou. Now that we're too large to fit there, we would have to get two value rooms. I'm really not willing to pay for the cost of a suite.

So, the rumor mill is saying that there may be no free dining for values. It was already a bummer that it was quick service only. So anyway, I'm considering staying off site. Of course, we'd lose some on site perks. We'd have to pay for meals OOP (probably wouldn't do any table service). We'd have to pay to park at the parks.

So I'm just curious what other larger families do? Do you find it a better value to stay on sight? Is it only a better value with free dining? What if there is no free dining? Do you find it's still a better value to stay off site?

Love to hear opinions either way! Thanks!
Only a family of 4, but have friends and family in your situation. Here are the 3 suggestions from them:

1) Rent DVC points. It is less expensive and you basically get deluxe resort amenities. There are several on line sites if you do a search.

2) Stay off-site in a condo/home. You lose the EMH benefits, but get a lot more room and save $$.

3) They have camped at Fort Wilderness. Not sure if this is an option, but they said it is fun as a change of pace.

The only other option is two rooms. More $$, but you do get the two bathrooms. Good luck!
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