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Old 07-02-2013, 11:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by MichiganDVC View Post
People alway "prefer to drive" when they're not staying walking distance to a park. This is the key factor, for me, in wanting to stay on-site at a deluxe.
Those condos, houses, etc..all sound great IF I was staying in Vermont. Or Northern California. But at WDW, I want to be AT Disney! I want Mickey waffles for breakfast, Mickey-shaped pools in the afternoon, and be able to walk back to my resort after the fireworks.

As a PP mentioned, look into renting DVC points. It gives you more space and amenities than a regular, deluxe room...and at a competitive price!
Well she mentioned staying at AoA so I would think pretty much everyone would prefer to drive vs. walking to the parks...unless they want to hoof it about 3 to 5 miles to the different parks every day. I would think that almost nobody would want to walk that far after watching the fireworks The OP never said she was thinking of offsite vs a deluxe, but AoA was her choice and was thinking to stay offsite to get deluxe accommodations...two totally different things. Oh and our WH rental had a mickey mouse waffle maker so you could even get those!! Seriously though, the onsite restaurants are amazing and we ate on property pretty much everyday. I think every character meal and restaurant was amazing and pretty much the food everywhere was great. You don't have to miss out on those perks off site. We also did the Pirate Cruise at POR and spent a day at FW riding the ponys etc. You can basically do everything but swim in the pools, but I'd prefer a private pool with the option to go to a bigger pool if it isn't crowded. Again you need to weigh all the options and what is more important for your specific family
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:16 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by msquire80 View Post
Nugov2 where did you find a deal off site for 6 bedrooms? I could use a place that big for my family trip.

Here you go!!! If you book I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. The only real complaint I could make is that the carpet was worn in couple of places, but otherwise the place was super clean(and I am very anal about being clean) and you are immersed in WDW decorations. The owner was great to work with and responds very quickly. The rest of the resort was very quiet and well kept. Even a great park for the kids to play at. They also do have transportation to the parks, but we never used it so cannot comment on that.

Wanted to add we stayed at the Storytime Kingdom
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:31 PM   #18
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We're going down from July 23-August 13.

No way to do it all on site, as family will be joining us on July 29, and our number will swell to 13. Since we're treating everyone to the accommodations, on site wasn't in the plans.

We're going offsite out of necessity, but even with that set-up, we're on site the first week. 2 BR at AKL from July 23-29 with my fam of 6 plus niece before we move to 6 BR offsite home.

There is something special about on site, but occasionally offsite fits the family dynamic/size better. We're six by ourselves, so it is either a 2BR or bust usually. Those get pricey.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:22 AM   #19
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I have stayed off site many times but after first on property stay & it was at Asmo I was hooked and we haven't stayed off site since.

There is nothing like staying in site, your travel time will really eat into your time. Plus the $12 to $15 parking per day.

AOA is a brand new &. Amazing resort I visited it in Dec & was blown away! Pure Disney magic!

I've stayed at 9 different WDW resorts ranging from value, mod & deluxe & never regretted any of my choices!

It sounds like you want a deluxe w/o cost of deluxe. Maybe a mod like POR or CSR would be good for you? They are beautiful resorts! Or you can go lower cost deluxe w/o giving any of the amenities or beauty up & go with CR, WL or AKL!

Staying on the monorail line will have you always returning, the views are the best on WDW property & convenience of the monorail is priceless! We like to take afternoon swim breaks & this makes trips back to resort 10 mins or less! It's amazing what a difference it makes & how much more relaxing it is! Your going in Sept , we go every Sept for our anniversary, it will be quite hot & those swim breaks will make a world of difference to hot, cranky families! Plus you can watch Wishes from somewhere at you're resort if your family is too tired to be at the parks! That way your not missing anything!

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Old 07-03-2013, 07:27 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by smorkovsky View Post
After continued researching, I really don't want to settle for AofA, but I really don't want to pay for Poly.

Sooooo, thinking of staying off site because we REALLY want a nice room! We'll rent a car, and drive. I like the idea of that freedom anyway because we still will have a 4 year old and require some down time, and the ease of stopping at Wal Mart whenever I really need it!

Will I regret this?
I cannot say you will regret it but for a first trip with a little one, I would compromise and stay at a moderate onsite resort.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:10 AM   #21
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Here is what convinced me to stay at the Poly.

I was travelling with 5 year old twins and my goal was to spend no more than 4 hours at a park at a time. That meant mid-day breaks, and that was most easily achieved at the Poly. Hop on the monorail, hop off, we were where we wanted to be quickly.
It was my first ever Disney trip, and I wanted the full treatment. I didn't want to drop a significant amount of cash and not feel ALL the magic. I didn't want any regrets. So, I turned that significant amount of cash into a bigger pile of cash and went for it.
I had no regrets. Could I have saved $2000 by staying off site? Yes. But, I would have had to take a ferry or monorail to the parking lot, then hopped on the tram, then walked to my car, gotten into a Florida hot car and driven to my offsite hotel. All the while my exhausted kids would be struggling and just want to cool off and lay down.
I would have been reluctant to go back to a park later, knowing that I would have to park, walk, take a tram to the ferry or monorail, take the ferry or monorail to the park and repeat it again to go home. I feel like we got more park time by saying onsite, because it was easy to pop back on the monorail and head back to the park after a nap or swim time or just downtime laying down and watching TV.

I am the first to admit that I've never stayed offsite. I have not experienced this gauntlet firsthand, this is only conjecture based on the information I've learned here. People talk quite highly of staying offsite and wouldn't do it any other way, so it can't be all that bad I guess.

For me, I just wanted the most convenient way to travel with my 5 year old twins, and staying at the POLY was exactly that. So, I spent the money and I have no regrets.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:59 AM   #22
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Am I correct at you are staying in Sept? If so you may want to research on the free dining offer for that month. If you stay on disney property you would get the free dining, think of the savings!!! you will pay possibly for a nicer hotel but free food my out way the offsite hotel plus paying for food. I have never stayed offsite so I can't say what would be a better fit. I just wanted to mention the free dining so you can think of that as well. What ever you decide, enjoy your trip!

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Old 07-03-2013, 09:14 AM   #23
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Well, great you guys! Now you all have me addicted to DIS Boards because of your awesome advice and first hand experiences!! Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and help me make my family's trip MAGIC!! <3
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:21 AM   #24
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You won't regret this at all. This will give you more options too. Dining and shopping outside of WDW. A couple hours at cocoa beach. Check the off site threads for ideas. There are some fantastic places where the rooms for kids are fantastic with Disney themes.

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Old 07-03-2013, 09:23 AM   #25
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We went in September 2013. I have a 14 year old daughter and a 10 year old son. They would not share a bed. We stayed at Pirt Orleans Riverside. We had 2 queen beds and a pull down (Murphy style) bed. It worked out perfectly and the price for the moderate resort was very reasonable. We are going back next September and we will not stay anywhere but on property. Not a huge problem to go back to your room and rest. I say...stay on property.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:54 AM   #26
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If you plan on taking breaks during the day, you can't beat the ease of staying on Disney property. I've stayed off site, and while it is fine, driving back and forth multiple times a day is a hassle, no way around it.

I'm also thinking given your children's ages your family may want to split up a bit, and some take a break and some stay in the parks. Staying on site makes that easy to do.

If you truly think this is your one and only trip to WDW, do it right and stay on site. It is a very different experience than the one you will get staying off site. Stay in the Disney bubble. It is a great place to be!
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:59 AM   #27
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Last time my Dh and I did a split stay - we stayed at All Star Music (trying to save $$) and then rented a fancy condo off site because we like to stay in nicer places and it was cheaper. The time onsite was AWESOME. We were in the parks from RD to Close everyday and loved the magic of being at disney. The resort itself wasn't bad really as all we did was sleep. We also drove to the parks each day & avoided the buses because I wanted flexibility

When we moved off site it was a nice place but not worth the $$ saved. I actually found myself wishing I was back onsite in our value hotel (which was the same cost as the off site fancy place)

Now I will only stay onsite because the benefits - Extra Magic Hours - are worth it IMO.

We are going back this Dec and staying at the French Quarter (mod) which will be a step up because we are going to try not to be comando tourists and spend a little more time at the resorts...once I am able to admit that I don't want to spend 100% of my time at the parks I will spring for the Poly.

Also if you have the chance to do free dining I say you should stay onsite and get the free dining. You can eat for less at DW, but having the dining plan that's free anyway gives you the flexibility to do things you might not normally do (like eat at a signature dining...or certain character meals that are expensive). Just food for thought!

Let us know what you decide!
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:12 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by smorkovsky View Post
After continued researching, I really don't want to settle for AofA, but I really don't want to pay for Poly.

Sooooo, thinking of staying off site because we REALLY want a nice room! We'll rent a car, and drive. I like the idea of that freedom anyway because we still will have a 4 year old and require some down time, and the ease of stopping at Wal Mart whenever I really need it!

Will I regret this?
If you had posted this on the Orlando Hotels section you would see overwhelming support for staying offsite. I just want to make sure you realize that. Some would do anything to stay onsite, even in a value, and some feel differently. It all really depends on what's important to you.

I also want to mention that there are offsite locations as close to the parks as the value resorts. So I agree with a pp -- staying at the Poly is one thing convenience wise but the same cant be said about many of the other Disney hotels. I've read over and over how someone staying at Windsor Hills says they can get back in the car as fast or faster than Disney buses. I thought the valet idea was genius and will be using it myself if its still permissible on the next family trip.

Anyway, we just made our first trip to WDW. We stayed at AKL CL. We really enjoyed the resort and would recommend it. However, we were happy to get out of that hotel room at the end and it was a short stay. We used the Kilimanjaro Club to relax some and let our son watch Disney Jr in the evening as there was no place to do that in the room. We learned for sure that we will stay offsite for a future longer trip. The location of AKL did not bother me at all. The size of the room did.

So figure out what's important to you and go with it. The deluxe properties are 30% off in September this year so that does help. I'm considering going back and staying onsite but just with my son and at the Poly or WL.

Good luck!
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:10 AM   #29
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I have similar thoughts sometime! Sometimes I want a little luxury at a value resort price. Sometimes I just do exactly that and stay offsite.

I might look into Hilton Bonnet Creek - it is practically on site (provides its' own transport shuttle to the parks) - very nice, lazy river pool. The only downside are the extra charges - resort fees, taxes, parking - however if you know all the costs going into it - it is easier to make a decision. The last time I was looking Hilton Bonnet Creek came out to $20 more than Pop would have been for the same time. The Ritz, Waldorf Astoria, JW Marriott GL all offer deluxe experiences for a moderate/low end deluxe price.
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:36 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by dimndgal1 View Post
In another post you made it sound like you want to take it kind of easy and take some breaks, which might make off-site a bit time consuming for you. Also, I'm not sure what time of year you are thinking of going, but take into consideration the traffic you might have to face when you hit the parking lots.
I was going to say the same thing. If you are there during a crowded time, you need to allow at least 15 minutes to get from the park to your car, then at least a 30 min. drive. So there you have "lost" at least an hour and a half round trip before you even took your break.
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