Are we REALLY missing out if we don't stay in a resort?

Discussion in 'Orlando Hotels and Attractions' started by adoptivemomx2, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. adoptivemomx2

    adoptivemomx2 Mouseketeer

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    Or does it turn out a hotel is just a place to sleep?

    We've been looking at all the cool resorts outside of Disney (and there are some bargains out there!), but we're thinking of just staying at a chain hotel (in a family suite at the Fairfield Inn Buena Vista Lakes) instead. Here's why:

    1. Whenever we travel we stay at a Fairfield Inn because they are the same wherever we go...we know what to expect.

    2. Their beds are SO comfortable.

    3. They are always clean.

    4. The service is consistently good.

    5. They offer a free breakfast.

    6. The family suite offers the kids thier own space, beds, and t.v.

    7. We're going to be running around all day...really the room is just to sleep.

    8. Even though we're planning on fixing some food to take with us to the parks, I can't imagine I would turn on a stove or oven (I'm on vacation!). The small fridge and microwave seem plenty.

    9. Maid service is included.

    10. Internet it included.

    11. Three pools, but nothing fancy. (But we have 2-3 days of water parks planned)

    12. They have a small food court with a pizza hut, etc.

    13. About $75 a night.

    Am I REALLY depriving my family (Two adults/Two 9 year-olds) of something special if we don't don't stay at a 2BR/2BA condo with a water park, etc? For a little more money we could get a condo, but I'm thinking KNOWING something will be comfortable/clean is better than taking a chance on someplace I've never been. I do want to give my family a memorable experience. Opinions, please! :)
     
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  3. isla bonita

    isla bonita DIS Veteran

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    After reading your list I think you have answered your own question. it is what you are use to and you are never disapponited.

    If you feel you could throw caution to the wind then try something different and have that a part of your holiday.

    I try to mix things up with my kids to see whats out there. We syay in a rental home but I am starting to try one night at other places so they get to try it but I don't have to give up my holiday.
     
  4. Beccabunny

    Beccabunny Mouseketeer

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    I don't think you're depriving your kids at all. If you're going to the water parks, you certainly don't need elaborate pools and water parks at a resort. You've found an economical way to enjoy your Disney vacations. If everyone one is happy and having fun, stick with what you know. Over the past few years, due to DD's medical issues, we have had to have a full kitchen. Because she tires easily, we can't spend all day in the parks. We have to schedule in lots of down time, so a condo or townhome makes sense for us, and we really enjoy that extra space. Still, I look at the great rates people are getting on hotels in the area and sometimes find myself wishing that would work for us.
     
  5. Beemitchcowski

    Beemitchcowski Mouseketeer

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    I don't think so...your kids are probably still at the age where they associate any hotel with being on vacation..and since you have stayed at several Farfield Inns and thats what you feel comfortable with...why not? The Disney Waterparks are AWESOME! I would look into any extra costs that they might have not included in the base rate (like parking at the hotel) so there are not any suprises. Good luck and ENJOY! :)
     
  6. bcinohio

    bcinohio DIS Veteran

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    We stayed offsite for the first time in 2010. We rented a house and are renting the same house this summer. I was a little scared when we first booked after reading on here that you will miss so much. It was great. We love WDW but being able to have a whole house to ourselves and not hear doors slamming in the late night it was great. It was the best sleep we ever got on vacation. I don't think we missed any of the "magic". We are looking forward to it in June. Just 20 more weeks to wait:banana:

    I think you will have a great time!!
     
  7. kkandaj

    kkandaj No longer a lurker

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    This. We NEED the kitchen because of food allergies. We need lots of space because our kids are young and they nap/go to bed early. We need down time because they can't go, go, go all the time. Hopefully DS will grow out of his food allergies and when our kids are older, we could stay in a hotel.

    I don't think you are depriving your children at all. They are going to DISNEY WORLD!!! Honestly, any kid that is getting to go to WDW is not being deprived with their vacation. Have a great time!
     
  8. adoptivemomx2

    adoptivemomx2 Mouseketeer

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    SUCH a good point LOL. Y'all are making me feel much better about this! Thank you!
     
  9. swilshire

    swilshire DIS Veteran

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    Everyone has their own vacation style and if you're happy, that's what is important. I don't even like to stay in a regular hotel room when alone. We get a Residence Inn or Homewood Suites even when stopping for an overnight. We like the sofa and chairs instead of just a bed. We prefer not to sleep all in the same room, so a separate bedroom is nice.

    When we stay in a 2br condo, the boys can sleep late and I can get up early without waking them to putter around the kitchen or read on the sofa. If they want to stay up late and watch television, I shut my bedroom door and leave them to it.

    The only thing missing is the free breakfast and daily maid service. I don't have maid service at home, so I don't really miss that. We just stop at the store for a few breakfast items and we can eat in our pjs on our own schedule.

    The other part of it is the activities at the resort. We can't do commando style theme parks day after day without wearing ourselves out. We tend to go to a park every other day and enjoy other things on the alternate days. Some of the resorts, particularly the DVC ones, are vacations without ever seeing a park.

    Sheila
     
  10. Sugar Jones

    Sugar Jones DIS Veteran

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    Not at all! All your reasons for staying at a hotel are vaild and make total sense to me.

    And my kids would be upset if stayed somewhere that seemed like a house or a home. They get excited just staying at a hotel :lmao:


    I am on the other end and trying to convince myself that I don't need to stay on site and would just as happy staying offsite in a hotel and saving some money........;)
     
  11. jeff968

    jeff968 DIS Veteran

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    Well, you paint a good picture but will you really have NO downtime? That is where the resort excels. We now spend our week in Florida with 80% downtime and 20% parks so with so much time spent at the resort we want a great place. The Marriotts and Hiltons are fantastic with great pools, so much to do, food on location, quiet, and beautiful, all within steps of your room. That's our ticket.
     
  12. kathy884

    kathy884 DIS Veteran

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    Ton of great choice in Orlando and what you want to do is one of them. // And no your kids are not being deprived. Have they expressed a different preference??

    We go to Orlando a great deal, there are so many great deals out there, and we typically like to mix things up. Our favorite for value is a condo timeshare resort rental from an owner. We like to try different ones (so many good ones). Note, though, we only do a park every other day, so spend quite a bit of time at our resort meaning resort ammenities and space (balcony / kitchen / large common areas) have a greater importance for us. We travel with exended family too, so larger common areas for hanging out are wonderful. For little mini stays where we are just crashing out, we've done hotels like Hilton Garden Inn, etc.

    Have a fantastic time. // There is no right or wrong place to stay, and Orlando rocks! // Do what you are comfortable with. If you don't want to go the condo route, don't -- why bother if that's not what you are looking for, and it's easier to do something else that you'll be very happy with that has some things the condo doesn't.
     
  13. dennise

    dennise DIS Veteran

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    We have never stayed on site, but have visited the resorts. We don't spend a lot of time at our hotel so fancy pools don't really mean a lot, but with children they are nice. Clean, comfortable, safe and the free breakfast are important to us. Love having my bed made and towels changed daily, I do it most of the year so this is nice. Just going to disney is the main treat, especially for children. We ususally only do 1-2 parks per trip and find lots of other things to do.
     
  14. greenclan67

    greenclan67 Callie35

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    I did a house the first year, and kind of felt like I was missing the "vacation" part. That being said, I can't stand being in a motel for a week with my 2 kids. I just need 5 mins of seperation sometimes, and love that they can go to bed, (as they don't go to sleep well in the same room, we like to watch TV or read in bed) I love doing condo rentals through owners, and don't think I would go back now! I am renting a 2 bdrm at Cypress Point for 13 days, it works out to approx $65/night, we have breakie in our PJ's, eggs, bacon, toast, whatever, sometimes we spend a whole day at the resort and have lunch on the patio or down by the pool. This resort is very close to most restaraunts in the Crossroads section, so we can walk if we want. Close to parks, and we find it the most relaxing type of vacation for us!! We get a resort, for less then a room, and kids have space to move around, eat with real dishes and relax! It is whatever works best for you!
     
  15. PrincessBrianna

    PrincessBrianna Mouseketeer

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    unless you have the money to stay at the nicer Disney resorts like AKL, Contemporary, etc... I personally think it's not worth the money at all. The convenience really doesn't make up for it in my opinion. I usually stay at Marriott Grand Vista (we have a timeshare there) or Hilton Grand Vacation Suites, both are absolutely GORGEOUS and the last time I went, the 1 bedroom suite with king bed, sofa bed, full kitchen, jacuzzi, and balcony was cheaper than a pirate room at port orleans- we went from the HGV to Disney POR and I can tell you, it was SOOOO disappointing. It was basically a motel room decorated with pirate garb. I recommend staying somewhere else.. HGV has shuttles to disney r/t for $9. Worth it in my opinion. The grounds are prettier, both places are just basically "Classier" than the Disney value places.

    That being said, I've stayed at the nicer Disney resorts and they are gorgeous, but you definitely pay for it.

    Save some money and stay off-site. Both the places I mentioned have TONS of kid stuff to do but are still way more "grown up" friendly, and are just more relaxing for sure.
     
  16. brucerob62

    brucerob62 Mouseketeer

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    stay onsite and pay less than $100 a night..try Wyndham Bonnet creek..on disney property..without the high price...free shuttles ..awesome place..I get fireworks view everytime..try it..you wont miss disney prices..and not worth it..in my opinion..I paid $80 a nite last november for a 2bd condo..so sweet..being able to sit on the balcony and watch illuminations fireworks..and could see wishes in the distance ..will be back...kids loved it
     
  17. Beemitchcowski

    Beemitchcowski Mouseketeer

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    I agree with what Greenclan67 says...We went last September and stayed at Windsor Hills in a townhome...really enjoyed our stay...LOVED having some separation from the kids (especially at night!)...but it did feel kinda sorta not "vacationish"...HOWEVER...it was our first family vacation to Disney/at this level.....AND I think when I did all kinds of research before this trip....which included talking to people that have only stayed onsite (these people are DVC members so they stay at the really really nice places...;) )....I think I was thinking about it too much..and kept thinking that we were missing out.:confused3

    BUT....Our children loved it...My 6 year old is actually disappointed that we are not going back to the same place this upcoming trip. HE LOVED having the splash pool...My suggestion is that if you can get a townhome rental at a really reasonable rate...do give it a try...your kids would probably love being able to swim in the pool (not sure how good of swimmers they are..but the pool is just over 3 ft deep) while the adults are grilling.:thumbsup2

    I've also heard really good things about Bonnet Creek (thats where we are staying in May)..If you check redweek or EBay..I've seen some really good deals lately. We went through Vacaton Upgrades are are getting a good rate because of the dates we are traveling! :) We are renting a car but I think we may try the shuttles just so we can get our own opinion on them. :)

    Also, its a good thing that you posted this question on the "Orlando" side of the Disboards..if you posted this on the Disney Resort side..they would be telling you that you could get a room at POP for almost the same price as an Orlando Hotel...and then you get shuttles/free parking/magic hours...yadda yadda..We of course have never stayed at those...we have thought about it...but basically its a Motel with fun theming (which isn't bad....BUT you can always go there to walk around (not use the pool)..and see how you like the atmosphere...:thumbsup2
     
  18. greenclan67

    greenclan67 Callie35

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    Thanks, we have also stayed at Bonnet Creek, and really liked it!!!! If we were doing Disney, we would def go there. As much as Cypress Pointe is not as upscale as Bonnet Creek, I really like the location better (just down from crossroads on Apopka Vineland) it's not as busy as the disney traffic area. I love the feel of Bonnet Creek though, and probably spent 4 days of vacay, just hanging around the resort at the pool parties and so on! YOu will love it!
     
  19. Brian Noble

    Brian Noble His Curmudgeonly Highness

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    It sounds like your current take works for you. If so, great! I can tell you why I really prefer a condo, but if these features don't matter to you, then they don't matter. There is no way in which you can be "depriving" your children in the process of taking them to WDW!

    1. Separate sleeping spaces: I need to have a door between where the parents sleep, and where the kids sleep. They still nod off earlier than we do, and I actively resent having to pretend to be sleeping in a dark room while that happens. The "kid suite" setups that some places use aren't enough, because you can't close off the spaces.
    2. Multiple bathrooms: speaks for itself, especially with a teenaged girl.
    3. Kitchen: we don't "cook" per se, but it's nice to have breakfast on real dishes with real cutlery, and have some people eat while other people are getting ready. Makes the mornings a lot simpler. Also---the blender comes in very very handy...
    4. Washer/dryer: Allows us to pack lightly and/or not worry about whether or not we have exactly the right number of shorts vs. jeans, etc.
    5. Resort-style pools and amenities: we tend to take mid-day breaks, especially important in the warmer times of year, and we enjoy being able to spread out in our unit and enjoy the nicer pools, pool slides, mini-golf, etc. that many of these resorts have.

    Many of your other features are met here too. The beds are comfortable, they are cleaned very well on checkin, many offer free internet service, many have a CS-like location (and some even have a TS-like location). You don't get daily maid service, but we don't really miss it. We don't wash towels (or, even make beds) every day at home. We can do without on vacation.
     
  20. zippermom

    zippermom Earning My Ears

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    We have spayed off-site and on-site. The best time to stay on-site, imo, is when they have free dining promotion with your stay. I have a big family and the free dining has allowed us to have several vacations that we would not have been able to afford otherwise! Also, when your kids are older you may find that the free transportation is great because it makes it easy for teens to head out on their own!
    One of the things you may not know is that you can go to a Disney hotel just for the restaurant! We have enjoyed eating at O'hanas and Whispering Canyon even though we never stayed at those resorts.

    We have enjoyed every trip to Disney! My kids never complained about any place we've stayed and they were just as thrilled with Disney wherever they slept. Have fun!! :thumbsup2
     
  21. greenclan67

    greenclan67 Callie35

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    Have you ever went to O'hanas and ate then watched the fireworks on the beach? We are doing a non-disney trip this year, and would like to take the kids to watch the fireworks. Is it hard to do, or is it easy peasy?
     

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