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Old 05-01-2013, 04:01 PM   #31
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After staying onsite for our first three trips, we decided to try offsite in a condo at Lighthouse Key Resort & Spa for our trip this January. We loved it. We had tons of space (a 3 bedroom condo for just the two of us), the full kitchen and washer/dryer were great. We loved the living room with the big TV and DVD player. We always rent a car even when on property and we have AP's so we didn't have to pay for parking at the parks. We avoid parks with EMH so that wasn't an issue with us. The main drawback was that it wasn't super convenient to go back to the condo mid-day for a rest so we ended up with a few really long days when we wanted to stick around for fireworks or parades.

We're back onsite for our December trip because we're going with my parents. With more people it's easier to stay onsite so that we can use Disney transportation to give us the flexibility of coming and going as we please. I really don't like driving in from the airport and staying at a Disney resort lets us use DME and then pick up the rental car from the Car Care Center.

We're regular Disneyland visitors and never stay onsite in Anaheim. We always manage to have a great time no matter where we stay.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:46 PM   #32
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Alot of you have mentioned about staying at Bonnet Creek. I did price that for our November trip and it came up to almost $300/night. Is there anyway to get that price down? How is the transporation at the hotel? We stayed at the Dolphin last Sept. and loved the location and the hotel was beautiful.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:07 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by kandb View Post
Alot of you have mentioned about staying at Bonnet Creek. I did price that for our November trip and it came up to almost $300/night. Is there anyway to get that price down? How is the transporation at the hotel? We stayed at the Dolphin last Sept. and loved the location and the hotel was beautiful.
Many people rent from different owners or brokers who have access to points. We used Vacation Strategy. There is a dedicated Bonnet Creek thread in the Orlando Hotels and Attractions forum that has tons of information and people to explain it all for you
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:32 PM   #34
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I'm in a different boat - I'm pricing trips to SE CT and dying because the hotel prices are higher than I'm used to paying at Disney!! I mean we're going to CT not NYC!
Can't wait to go to WDW again in 2015 - In January and May (SWW)!

Previous Magical Adventures:
  • AP #3 September 2013 - AS Music; November 2013 - AS Music; January 2014 - AS Music; May 2014 SWW AS Music
    AP #2 January 2013 - AS Music: October 2012 - AS Music; September 2012 - AoA - LM opening day!; April 2012 - AS Sports; January/February 2012 - AS Music
  • AP #1 September 2011 - AS Music; May 2011 - AS Music - D23 Scavenger Hunt - Team "Pixie Dust"!!; February 2011 - AS Music; December 2010 - POFQ; September 2010 - AS Music
  • September 2009 - AS Music & CBR
  • January 2009 - AS Music
  • January 2008 - POP
  • January 2007 - AS Movies
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:02 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by pigletto View Post
It does seem like I am seeing the offsite topic come up a lot more lately, but that could easily be because I've started really paying attention for the first time.
That's my impression as well, and I've definitely been following those kinds of threads since before I joined. Mostly because I've been trying to justify the cost for us since then!

But maybe initially I'd get busy and behind on the boards just when those threads were popping up, and now I'm more in synch with them.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:08 PM   #36
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I'm kind of the opposite--at first I stayed off site more than on, but now it has been a few years sense I have stayed off site.

For me, all of the convenience of staying on site are more important than extra space. I'd rather be in a room on site than a suite off site, but I know not everyone agrees with that. Another factor is that most of the time I am part of a family of 6 or 8, so a rental car won't do, we would need a van. And vans are way more expensive than cars to rent. No way would I stay off site and depend on the resort's transportation.

I really don't think one way is right and another way is wrong. It is just what works best for each family.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:47 PM   #37
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We r staying in a 3bed 3bath condo in Reunion Resort for 145 a night. We r 5 people. this is our first time as well. y doing this we can end the last few nights at the Poly with a discount.
Summer 2015??
Mar 2014 3 nights OKW
June 2013 6 nights Reunion/5 nights Poly GVCL
Nov/Dec 2010 5 nights at the Poly with my 3 children
June 2010 3 nights at the Poly w/ DH
Oct/Nov 2009 8 nights at the Poly GVCL
Oct/Nov 2007 9 nights at the Poly

Me DH DS 17 DS 14 DD 12 Sebastian 6
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:21 PM   #38
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We have done both on site and off. Our first trip we rented a pool home, It was a great time! so nice to have 3 bdrms and our own pool with jacuzzi right out our bedroom door!
The other time we stayed offsite we rented at windsor hills. It was so close to disney and again having all the extra room was great. goodtimes

But for me there is nothing like staying onsite
Have you thought of maybe renting dvc points? We are renting points at AKV this year and it is costing the same as it would for me to stay at POR w/FD...

Next year we are moving to Florida, and although we will be close to disney and will get AP's I will probably still want to stay onsite for a few days here and there
whatever you decide you will have a great time!!! Its Disney
2001- (100 yrs of magic)-offsite, 2005-windsor hills, 2006-POFQ,2008-AKL, 2009-OKW,2010 POP,
2011-POR - 2012 (skipped disney for Cruise & trip to Legoland FL) Sept-2013 AKV JAMBO!!!!
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:50 PM   #39
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Like others have posted, we have done our share of both on and off site. First trips were super budget and we stayed off. Then we tried on and were hooked. We loved the Disney bubble and for many years and 8 trips we stayed on site (several deluxe and one value trip and numerous stays at POFQ).

Last year prior to our Disney cruise on the Fantasy, we decided to do a few days in Orlando. Since we would have our Disney fix on ship, we decided to do Sea World. I actually snagged a super deal and we stayed 6 nights before the cruise - the deal was an eye opener!

We stayed 6 nights in a two bedroom Marriott hotel suite with free breakfast, a week's worth of tickets at Sea World and Aquatica and two days of free food for 6 people (one at each park) for a cost of $1300!!!

We learned several things this trip for us. We may be over Disney food. We have had our share of it (and several free dining trips). Being able to eat at restaurants off site was actually nice...no big plan required with ADR's and no need to alter our schedule to fit in the dining times. That was liberating. And the cost - holy cow, that was also an eye opener, for it was a real savings.

The hotel we stayed at was actually like a 5 minute drive to DTD and driving to MK (we opted to do a day). Once on Disney property it was no different than an onsite hotel, and truly our drive was not any longer than when we stayed at POR.

We have a two week tripped planned this summer and we opted to stay offsite. We truthfully could have stayed a week on site or two weeks off - it seemed like an easy choice after our trip last year.

Last edited by PA Princess; 05-02-2013 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:23 AM   #40
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you don't have to choose. You can do offsite for this trip - and in a few years (or trips) stay onsite again.

it is not the end of the world. everyone in this economy must look at their budget - if you don't have one - then make one. if you realize that staying onsite at Disney is too expensive (which it has been for a few years - my opinion) - then offsite is a good choice.

right now the offsite price is very reasonable. so would do it NOW. if disney kepts increasing it rates then offsite prices will go up too.

supply and demand.

soon going in week and few days - staying offsite the entire time (generally schedule some dvc resorts in those days). staying at a place that accepts pets a 2-bedroom condo - for less than one day at a moderate. hoping to look at some places to move too.

going again the summer another timeshares this place is not pet friendly - first time leaving my cats at home since got them....

anyway on that trip this summer going to AKV July 3 and BLT July 4 - so have my on and off time at WDW.
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:49 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by kandb View Post
Alot of you have mentioned about staying at Bonnet Creek. I did price that for our November trip and it came up to almost $300/night. Is there anyway to get that price down? How is the transporation at the hotel? We stayed at the Dolphin last Sept. and loved the location and the hotel was beautiful.
We'll be at Wyndham Bonnet Creek in just eight more days and can't wait! Never, never, never book directly through BC though. Their prices are ridiculous. We booked through Vacation Strategy and got a one bedroom Deluxe condo for ten nights for just $895.00 (so $89.50/night). We normally stay at a Moderate resort, but can't beat $89.50/night even using our AP discount for a single Value room, much less the Moderate resorts we prefer. We rent a car anyway and BC is physically within the Disney gates, so is closer to the parks than alot of the Disney resorts. We couldn't care less about EMH or the DDP, so can't think of a single reason why we would pay more for a tiny, value room than for a one bedroom villa with a fully equipped kitchen, dining area, seperate living room, two TVs, king size bed, fold out couch, a jacuzzi tub, walk in shower, washer/dryer, several pools that are nicer than Disney pools, several pool slides, several hot tubs, two lazy rivers, free mini golf, etc. Just wouldn't make sense for us.

As AP holders we go to WDW several times a year and have always been big proponents of staying onsite and swore there was absolutely no way we would ever stay offsite. In fact, I swore I'd stay home first. Lo and behold last Oct a coworker offered us a week in her one bedroom condo at Westlake Town Center, just one mile outside WDW gates for just $400.00 for the week. It was too good of a deal to pass up, so we thought we'd give offsite just one try. We loved it so much, there is no way I can see us ever staying onsite again. $89.00/night for a fully equipped one bedroom condo vs $244.00 for a single, tiny moderate room that are almost side by side geographically seems like a no brainer to me.

Oh yeah, as far as Bonnet Creek prices go. If you read over on the Love Bonnet Creek thread on the Orlando Resorts section of the DIS, you will see that Vacation Strategy, Vacation Upgrades, Farrell's Vacations, and several renters on VRBO and even Ebay come highly recommended and have great prices. In fact, after I had already paid Vacation Strategies our deposit, I got an email from a seller on VRBO (Shelby Resorts) that offered me a one bedroom even cheaper (just $750.00 for the ten nights I needed--so just $75.00/night). Lets see: $75.00/night for a 902 sq ft, one bedroom condo at a Deluxe resort or $244.00/night for a single 314 sq ft room in a moderate or still around $100.00 per night for a tiny 260 sq ft room in Value? Nope, I'll take more space in a nicer resort, for less money.

In fact, last Oct/Nov we actually did a split stay at my coworker's one bedroom time share and Royal Pacific Resort over at Universal. Even though RPR is a Deluxe resort, the room felt so tiny after staying in the one bedroom all week, that my husband said he really wished we'd just stayed the whole trip in the time share and driven back and forth. We are doing the same thing this trip though, because no way am I giving up the front of the line pass perk that people staying onsite at Universal get. If Disney offered their onsite guests front of the line passes, then I'd be willing to pay more to stay in one of their little rooms (maybe).

902 sq ft in a fully equipped one bedroom villa here: http://www.bonnetcreekvacationrental...egory/39784513 vs 314 sq feet at CSR here: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...electedIndex=0 for almost three times less money, seems like a no brainer to me and with the exception of AK, we'll be closer to the other three parks than if we'd stayed at CSR.

Last edited by aubriee; 05-02-2013 at 06:28 AM.
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:39 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Good Morning Dewdrop
I'm in a different boat - I'm pricing trips to SE CT and dying because the hotel prices are higher than I'm used to paying at Disney!! I mean we're going to CT not NYC!
Se CT can be tricky, particularly during beach season. There is ltd availability in each of the resort towns (eg, mystic). A few suggestions to get the price down to "moderate" territory (rather than theme park view grand floridian) - unfortunately unlikely to get to value territory. One, consider weekday rather than weekend- often a big difference. Two, consider staying a bit outside the particular town, but recognize there are ltd roads to get around, and get crowded. Three, check the two casinos (mohegan and foxwwods), partic if weekday - weekend they can be 500 plus. Fourth- try the hotels just "offsite" the casinos. Good luck, there amay be others with better suggestions.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:55 AM   #43
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Rack rate on deluxes can now rival prices at the Ritz Carlton and believe me there is no comparison in service or amenities!

Problem is -- Ritz Carlton doesn't have the parks -- those are Disney's ace in the hole. But, if they keep at it, I think they eventually will see a decline in bookings as people decide it's just to worth it to book an on-site hotel.

Other than convenience, as far as I'm concerned, there is no reason, really, to book an on-site hotel.

Extra magic hours are crowded now that everyone can stay in the parks for the full time.

The buses are a horror -- noisy and numerous stops -- so we always rent a car.

The dining plan has been gutted and the price raised to the point where it's much cheaper just to purchase meals as we go.

Magical Express seems the worst possible way to begin a vacation -- welcome to noisy kids and noisier adults and crowded conditions as soon as one leaves the airport -- no need to wait for the parks! And since we like to go other places with our car (like Universal), we do not want to be a Disney captive, which is the effect of Magical Express.

Unfortunately, for us, convenience continues to be worth the extra cost -- but I'm not sure for how much longer that will be the case.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:55 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Grumpy92 View Post
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.
How is the Hilton. I have wondered about staying there as well.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:03 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by lustergirl View Post
How is the Hilton. I have wondered about staying there as well.
I had the same question! As we plan for our next trip (hopefully next spring), lI'm ooking at all our options including split stay at a DTD hotel and also at a "real" onsite resort or renting DVC points.
Disney resorts: Animal Kingdom, Grand Floridian, All-Star Music, All-Star Sports, Port Orleans French Quarter (twice), Pop Century, Coronado Springs, Villas @ Wilderness Lodge, and a few off-site hotels too.
Did our FIRST Disney Cruise Spring Break 2010.

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