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Old 05-01-2013, 10:19 AM   #1
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Can't justify staying onsite anymore!!!

We have been going to disney and staying on-site for the last 8 years. We love disney and always have a great time. We are planning our next trip the beginning of November. We love staying onsite but the prices have gone up so much and discounts have gone down considerably that we are thinking of going off-site for the first time. I will have a hard time spending $210 for a moderate hotel (which rooms are small and one of my kids will have to sleep on a bed that comes out of the wall), as compared to an Embassy Suites I could get with the AAA discount for around $100. The Embassy Suites room is much larger and also comes with a full hot breakfast. I love being right in disney but the prices for their rooms are getting ridiculous, not to mention the deluxe rooms which are $400-$500 a night. For those who stay off-site, and have stayed on-site before, how different is it when you stay off-site?
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:28 AM   #2
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Well it is different but you are still at Disney and can have a wonderful trip! When staying off site I just set my heart to enjoy the things I enjoy (like breakfast at Embassy Suites, extra room in the suite and the tram from the parking lots) (LOL yes I really love riding the parking tram - just gets me in the Disney mood) and I have a good time!

Even if you miss some of the onsite Disney magic you can always plan future onsite trips and enjoy all the off site things there are to enjoy. Hey Disney is fun on or off site IMHO!

Have a great trip!
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:46 AM   #3
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Besides when my husband and I drove to Disney for the day and a CM friend let us in, I have always stayed on site. We never went for long periods of time, either. My grandparents live in FL, so when we visited we'd go to Disney for a few days and stay at the Contemporary or Polynesian- paid for by my grandparents and I was a kid, so I didn't know how much it cost. When we brought our own kids for the first time in 2011, we stayed at POFQ. Now we're planning a trip with my parents. My mom said she figured we'd want to stay on the monorail- I don't think she realized how ridiculously expensive it is to stay in a Deluxe! I mean, I'd love to do that, but I just can't justify the cost, especially because we have 6 people in our party.

So, we are going to do Bonnet Creek next time. For less than the cost of two value rooms, we can have an entire condo and a ton more amenities. We'll enjoy the "magic" in the parks. I don't think we'll miss anything. My kids sure won't feel like they're missing anything when they're hanging out in the lazy river. They love those things.

Go for it. If you don't like it, stay on site next time- at least that's what I'm telling myself.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:47 AM   #4
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I don't know so much about off site, but I have stayed on site without staying in a Disney hotel. Same reason price. We loved POR when we went there in 2008. Since we have been staying SoG. What do we miss, well we miss the very small cramped quarters, and the pull down Murphy bed (back then it was a crib mattress on the floor). We miss the the long walk from the mansion to the bus stop, we now take a shorter walk to the monorail each morning. We miss the high price breakfast, since food is cheaper at SoG and it is tax free and they don't make you pay 18% tip, you can pay for what your service was for. We miss the very high price souvenirs in the gift shops, we now get them several dollars cheaper. We miss the DME to the hotel from the airport, we now have to pay $120 for a luxury SUV with a private driver and a stop at the store for bottled water. We miss the shock factor of the hotel price and all the added fees, we now pay one price with no taxes. We miss not getting the sticker shock of our tickets not being discounted and then taxed even after we pay twice as much for the hotel. We miss the dining plan that charges us for food we are not going to eat but does not discount that plan.

No seriously, we really do not miss anything. We use our room to sleep at night and sometimes for a quick nap. Other than that we are at the parks. We don't miss the pools, we used POR pool one day when we were there for our 10 day trip. But we use the water parks. We are like you we just can not justify the price of POR. You have to go offsite, we go SOG, but get a few less amenities but none that put a damper on our vacation. I think the only thing that would be in question to me, is EMH, we are rope drop people, and can hardly ever do late nights after 10, so for us getting in early is important. But that being said, we use EMH more at DLR than at WDW since the only one at WDW we got to is MK EMH. Really if you can live without EMH you probably won't miss anything except the sticker shock on you package price.

Our trip for 13 nights at POR would cost well over $7,500, we have it down to $4,000 and that is with souvenirs and food and all the extras, not just the hotel, food and tickets. To us saving is a big deal, we can now afford to go to DLR at Christmas, and again next year on just what we are saving on our vacation at WDW.

Good luck, you will get a lot of people disagree with you and me. Heck I can never figure out why military take the 40% off at poly, they still pay $350 or more a night, when I pay $105 or less, the room is the exact same in the two queen beds and sofa sleeper, size SOG is bigger, and every morning we walk the beautiful grounds of SoG and poly to get where we are going,to us we miss nothing but others feel it is not the same. But as I say our room is to sleep in, we don't hang out there, we don't ACTH tv, we hardly use the pools. So it is not worth the price of $250 to $550 more for what you get, but that is us. Most people can not understand how we can be in wdw and be in bed at 10 or 11!
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:53 AM   #5
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I have done both. I love staying on site because of the convenience. I love being in the Disney bubble. For us we have to fly in and if we stay off site we have to rent a car, then we have to pay to park. Pluses are you can eat off site. Good Luck! I will probably always spend the money to stay on site
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:00 AM   #6
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This is certainly understandable and you need to do what works best for you. Last year we stayed at the Hilton at DTD because it was cheaper then the values. Fortunately they have the park shuttle service and EMH. We did have to pay for hotel parking, $13 per day in addition to our room rate. It still came out cheaper then staying at a Disney resorts. I am an AP holder so I dont pay for parking at WDW. I would love to read a report from you when you return.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:00 AM   #7
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Before we bought DVC we stayed offsite to get more space for less money. We used to get our Disney resort fix by having our TS meals at our favourite hotels. (Kona Cafe, chef Mickeys, Grand Floridian Cafe)
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:06 AM   #8
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I do understand what you are saying. I guess for us Disney is the destination, not Orlando area attractions. Once onsite we don't go off site unless we need something from Walgreen or Walmart. We want to be right in the middle of everything Disney. Offsite just wouldn't work for us no matter the savings. We just go less often than we used to to make up for the cost increase.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:30 AM   #9
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I think it is a personal preference. Our family will always stay onsite. I like to be totally immersed in Disney. The hotel is part of that for us. When we did stay offsite, the shuttle service was awful. We could never make a rope drop or stay for some of the night time shows which is important to us. We had a car, but parking gets expensive and we were tired sometimes.

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Old 05-01-2013, 11:44 AM   #10
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DW and I our usually offsite people. We usually book a resort through our timeshare company, and the resort we stay at isn't too far from WDW. About a 5-10 minute drive depending on which park we're going to. Last year we did a split stay. Part of our vacation was onsite at CBR and part of it was at our timeshare. We received a room only pin from WDW, so we decided to stay onsite for our first time.

We enjoyed staying onsite, but I think we both kinda missed our resort. We missed having a kitchen and more space in general.

I know there are many things to consider when staying offsite:
Paying for meals OOP.
Renting a car.

By staying offsite, we were often able to eat for much less. We had the convenience of a rental car to go and buy groceries. We would often eat breakfast each morning at our resort and maybe splurge on dinner at the parks. There are times we would make dinner at the resort.

There are days we would go to DTD, or tour the resorts and not have to pay for parking. Even when we did pay for parking, park hopping we found to be easier as parking for the day is transferrable from park to park. By also having a rental car, we could take our time leaving from the parks at night. No need to rush down and wait in line for the busses. We did that once while we were staying onsite. We didn't really care for it that much. And since we had a rental car and free parking at the time, we never used the busses again.

Don't get me wrong, would I stay onsite again? Absolutely. As someone else said though; we primarily use the room to shower and sleep. The rest of time, we are never in the room; so to us, we can't justify spending that much money either. If it hadn't been for the pin we received, we may have never tried staying onsite.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:49 AM   #11
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I hear what you're saying. Wdw prices are getting ridiculous. We do enjoy on site. But if it gets unaffordable we will stay off site.
We did stay off site our first time at the Courtyard on Palm Parkway. It was nice, and rooms were a good size. But it is different. We relied on their shuttle, and there wasn't a way to come back for a mid day break, then return to the parks later. So if we wanted to stay for fireworks, we were there opening to closing. Even my teens were exhausted! If I did it again I'd rent a car.

Another trip we stayed 1 night Pre POR package at the DTD Doubletree. Breakfast was included in our rate from Mousesavers.com. It was a 1 bedroom suite similar to what you'd get at Embassy. The good thing about staying in DTD is you are closer, and they have continuous shuttles running every 30 min. So no need for car rental. But if you want a car, they have a Budget desk in lobby.
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Aug 2003 WDW Marriott Courtyard, [B]Aug 2005 [/BSeaWorld, Universal, Busch Gardens Hilton Garden Inn, ]Aug 2007 WDW CBR, Jan 2008WDW WL, Aug 2008St. Pete Beach, Universal-HRH, Sea Workd & Aquatica- Hyatt Place & Doubletree, Jan 2009WDW AKL, Aug 2009Key West Sheraton Suites, Cocoa Beach Hampton Inn, & WDW POR/WL, Jan 2010WDW Poly, Jan 2011WDW POR, Aug 2011WDW POR/BC CL, Jan 2012WDW WL, Aug 2012AKL CL, Jan. 2013POFQ Aug. 2013 WDW Pop, GF, YC Jan 2014POR, Aug 2014 Universal Portofino Bay, & WDW GF,

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Old 05-01-2013, 12:05 PM   #12
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I can't justify not staying on site. Even it it takes six months more to fund our trip, it's still worth it, you can't beat that magical feeling of being in the middle of it all. We always stay for at least 20 days and we share our time between staying on site at Disney and them moving to stay on site at Universal and experience all others attractions Orlando has to offer and I feel ten thousands better when I step foot into Disney property.

Of course if it was a matter of choosing between staying off site and not going at all, I wouldn't hesitate on my choice but as long as I can afford it, staying on a Disney hotel for at least half of my time there will always be my choice.
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:13 PM   #13
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I'm staying onsite this year. After several years of HBC I am ready for an onsite trip. I just want a change and to relax right across the MK this year. I also added up how much my 7 nights on free points really cost me. $400 to rent a van with gas and tolls. $15 a day to park at the parks b $15 a day to park at the Hilton. Then no ME so have the hassle of getting the car. No EMH. The point I used I switched to a short beach trip worth $1000. My husband likes to upgrade at the hilton so that costs $$$. So I wasn't really saving a whole lot on my free points.

Maybe after a few onsite trips I will be ready for offsite again.

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Old 05-01-2013, 12:22 PM   #14
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We stayed offsite a few times before having kids. What we did was plan some days doing non-Disney stuff too. It was still fun, just a different type of trip. And I totally see what you're saying about Disney resort pricing. If your dates are flexible, value season can be much more manageable than even regular season.
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:41 PM   #15
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I can not imagine going to disney and not staying on site. I have 2 small kids DD6 & DS2. It is so much easier to stay on site. Magical express , transportation to the parks, the pools, everything u need right at your resort.

No way would I stay off site and we could stay in a family members villa that is vacant unless they use it for travel to FL for pretty much to 0$. I still would choose on site. I know I must be crazy

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