Cost comparison on-site vs off

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by taylorcpa, May 27, 2010.

  1. taylorcpa

    taylorcpa Mouseketeer

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    I am trying to do a comparison to see the cost difference between staying on site versus off site. Here's what I have so far:

    Lodging
    Disney Dining (plan for on site, OOP for off site)
    Groceries
    Parking
    Tax/Tip for Disney dining

    Am I missing anything? I am trying to compare a moderate (CSR), deluxe (WL), and a Windsor Hills townhome.

    Thanks for your help!
     
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  3. MrsPete

    MrsPete DIS Veteran

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    Don't forget the intangibles, the differences between an onsite trip and an offsite trip:

    Staying on site you'll do more; you'll have the freedom to go to the parks early, return to your hotel for a mid-day break, and then head back to the parks to take advantage of the cooler evening hours (yes, you can do this staying off-site, but realistically, it's not as easy). You'll have transportation between parks, you'll never get lost in the maze of Disney streets, and you'll never get into a hot car. You may have access to some extra hours in the parks.

    Staying off-site, you'll relax more. You'll have more space and privacy to spread out. You'll have access to a greater variety of inexpensive restaurants. Depending upon where you stay, you may have the ability to cook, and you may have great pools or other amenities. Unless you make expensive choices, you'll spend less staying off-site.

    But, having done both, the two trips are very different. The question isn't just which is less expensive, it's also which trip do you want?
     
  4. deerhart

    deerhart DIS Veteran

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    rental car
    gas
    parking (both at the offsite if applicable and at Disney)
    any extras that may be charged at the offsite place (if at hotel, look for resort fees, charge for a fridge, etc)

    don't forget to throw in the "costs" of availability of EMH, distance to and from where your staying to where you want to be, having to drive versus not driving, luggage collection, travel to and from the airport etc..

    We realized long ago that it would probably save us a few dollars to stay off site, but the monetary cost is not enough to offset the non-monetary costs which are important to us. I BASK in the luxury of not having to drive a vehicle the entire time I am there (I spend way to much time driving my car for work). That alone is worth just about anything!
     
  5. taylorcpa

    taylorcpa Mouseketeer

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    We will be driving so we won't need a rental car. I figure our gas would be about the same regardless.

    I know there are intangibles for staying off site and on. I am so undecided that I am hoping for a LARGE price difference to sway me one way or another.
     
  6. taylorcpa

    taylorcpa Mouseketeer

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    DUHH - forgot a big one - park tickets (but that price would be the same regardless)!!!
     
  7. Golf4food

    Golf4food Mouseketeer<br><font color=red>Male pirate last ti

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    How's $14 per day for parking if you stay off-site for large vs. free for on-site? ;)

    Do you have seasonal or annual passes, by chance? Florida resident? There are discounts to factor in for those as well.


    I agree that the intangibles are as much a reason that we stay on site as anything - proximity, themeing, quick access to everything, etc.
     
  8. VAN

    VAN DIS Veteran

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    I think I'd lean toward off-site if you are doing a lot of non-Disney things. Definitely, on-site if your trip is targeted to the WDW theme parks.
     
  9. AllesonWonderland

    AllesonWonderland DIS Veteran

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    Windsor Hills is so close, I think you can easily get there at rope drop, take a break in the afternoon and come back in the evening without losing much time traveling. That's what we did both times we went to WDW.

    PP's are correct, it all comes down to what you want your vacation to be. We saved so much staying offsite, even factoring in a rental car, parking, etc...I can't imagine my family cramming into 1 room to stay onsite. (But maybe hubby and I can go without the kids sometime to see what we're missing onsite. hee hee) But, some people don't want to have to think about cooking while on vacation, or making their own beds, or trying to find your way driving around unfamiliar places.

    Our first trip was easy to see the savings of staying offsite. We went over Spring Break and there were no deals to be had onsite. This year I was a little nervous that I had made the wrong decision when 40% off sales, etc. started popping up, but we were a group of 9 this time, so after I found us enough rooms or large enough units onsite, we still did better with the 6 bedroom house we stayed at in Windsor Hills.

    Have fun comparing!:goodvibes
     
  10. cjnix29

    cjnix29 DIS Veteran

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    I have to agree with this. The two trips are very different. You will pay less staing off site. Especially if you have a family bigger than 4, big eaters, etc. Off site resort fees and parking are the two obvious ones you will have to pay. You can cook, have snacks, etc. in your room. But you still have to pay to eat no matter what, and there are economical ways to eat at Disney. The time factor is a big one. Parking, getting to and from the parks, etc. is more when you stay off site. But off site is a better value because you get a larger accomodation for a cheaper price.

    The question really comes down to what kind of vacation you want. Having done both, can't really say which I prefer. Staying off site feels more like a "vacation" to me because we relax more. We have a condo, sit by the pool, see things other than Disney. Staying on site....I feel like it is go go go. I always feel like we have to be in the parks, or else we aren't getting our money's worth or aren't doing what we came for. To me, that is a big part of the cost factor.

    as far as hidden costs....staying on site, you know what you pay for. Room rate, free transport, food, tickets, and whatever you spend on souveniers. Offsite...condo fees, resort fees?, parking, food, and whatever other activities you may want to do.
     
  11. Tiana

    Tiana Mouseketeer

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    .
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2015 at 10:00 PM
  12. taylorcpa

    taylorcpa Mouseketeer

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    Thank you Tiana for your post. Honestly, I don't know that I can stand to stay in the same room with my kids for an extended number of nights. It is good to hear from someone who has done both.
     
  13. Jennifer in MI

    Jennifer in MI DIS Veteran

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    Seems like you've thought of almost everything! We have done both. We definitely spent less staying in a condo off property. The only park where it was a pain to get to was Magic Kingdom (park, take a tram, take the monorail). It took about 30 minutes door to door. Not too bad, but when it was 5 - 10 minutes for a couple of the other parks, that was hard to swallow!

    They really are two different vacations! If you want a vacation where you aren't doing the things you normally do at home - clean, cook, laundry, etc - stay on property. If you don't mind doing some of that stuff, and want a bit more space - stay in a condo. Personally, we find the condo more relaxing just because there's SO much room for all of us! Now that we're a family of six, staying on property is VERY expensive.

    Have fun with your decision!!!
     
  14. ICF

    ICF DIS Veteran

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    Im not sure you can put a cost on the extra space you would get if you stayed in an offsite condo / townhome. Sharing a 1 room 'house' with 3/4 people for a week isnt my idea of fun.

    Also...it while it stinks having to pay $14 to park, with your own car you are on YOUR schedule and not waiting with hundreds of your closest friends to grab a seat on a bus when the parks close and the kids are tired and cranky. IMO, being crammed onto a bus next to sweaty / stinky strangers is overrated.

    Looking forward to our week long stay in a Windor Hills townhouse in 10 days!!! 3Br / full kitchen and a private pool??? Cant beat that.
     
  15. Trixiezzz

    Trixiezzz Budgeting my way to Disney!

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    We have done both and I do truly love staying onsite -- especially in a moderate or above.

    But our last 2 visits we've stayed in a condo and driven our car to the park. I have to admit that on both trips we got back to our lodging WAY faster than waiting in those looooong lines for Pop Century.

    I was surprised at how fast it was to catch the tram and then get our own car!

    I had always viewed WDW buses as a plus, but have to say it was so nice to not be packed like sardines with my face in someone's folded stroller for that long ride back.

    It's all your personal preferences. But my crew can never wake up early enough to use the morning EMH and we enjoy having a living room and access to a kitchen and washer/dryer. Now if I could afford a WDW villa, I'd be there in a minute!! :)

    Edited to add:
    Oh, and I forgot to add that we got a two-bedroom condo with separate living room (2 tvs) with full kitchen and washer/dryer for THE SAME PRICE PER NIGHT that our tiny 200-sq-ft room at Pop costed us. (I love lying in bed and NOT being able to touch the front door. LOL!)
     
  16. mnrose

    mnrose Queen of all she surveys

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    Really? I disagree. We went to Disney twice in 2009. Stayed at POR one time, and rented a large home offsite the next. My time spent getting to and from the park (comparing when I walked out the gates in the evening and arrived at my accommodations, and reverse in the morning) was FAR less staying off site. I NEVER had to wait for a bus (which I always did using Disney busses...sometimes more, sometimes less, but always at least 5 minutes, average was more like 10-15, not including the walk to and from my room to the bus stop, add another 5 minutes to that). When I stayed off site (the Emerald place...whatever it's called..LOL), I was IN the park at AK in less than 15 minutes from getting into my car in the morning, and returning home. Epcot and DHS, about 20 minutes each, and MK was about 30 (by far the longest because of having to the TTC thing). And, in the evening, no wait to get in my car, drive home, and walk the 15 steps into the door. Believe me, after a long day at Disney, the last thing I wanted to do was stand around a bus stop, stand on the bus for the ride (often there are not seats) and then take that trek back to the room. And, I'm not an out of shape person in the least. It's just tiring.

    Then, if you want to go sit by the pool at your resort, it's another trek. At our house, it was right there...a mere 10 steps from the house to in the pool. It was heaven.

    Also, for us at least going back and forth in the middle of the day by car (to take a break) was a whole heck of lot easier than the time spent on busses in the middle of the day.

    Bottom line, if you stay close to Disney, there is no difference (or even a difference IN FAVOR of off site) in travel time. This has been shown time and time again...witness the Unofficial Guide travel times.

    Now, if you stay at a monorail resort, you will get to Epcot and MK faster on site, no question. However, you will have a far longer trip to DHS and AK than off site. And, of course, you will pay dearly for the privilege of staying at a monorail resort.
     
  17. Purseval

    Purseval DIS Veteran

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    Anybody who thinks staying onsite is a deal compared to staying offsite has been snorting too much pixie dust. All they can offer is the "intangibles" of Disney Magic, which is their way of convincing themselves that all of that extra money, cramped space or both makes it worth staying onsite. They have too much invested to think otherwise.

    If you want to stay onsite just to say you've done it that's a good enough reason. If you want to justify it costwise you're wasting your time. Embrace the magic and take lots of pictures.
     
  18. deerhart

    deerhart DIS Veteran

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    MK from 11pm-2am is not crowded at all! But if your not staying onsite, your not there to see that. In fact none of the parks DURING the EMH aren't crowded.

    In my experience, staying away from EMH parks doesn't equate to a less crowded park at other palces (perhaps because everyone reads that and then avoids the emh park making the other parks just as crowded), but we tend to use the time DURING the emh regardless of what park we were at earlier that day.
     
  19. abmitch01

    abmitch01 DIS Veteran

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    just came back from second stay at Windsor Hills. Love it there, no complaints, did not take long to get to the parks.
     
  20. mrsklamc

    mrsklamc <font color=blue>I apologize in advance, but what

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    If you are looking at JUST cost, WH will win hands down.

    Since you are talking about WH specifically, there are no resort fees and no need to worry about travel time. It will literally take you less than 10 min to get to any park (5 to AK), which can't be said for buses. It's very easy and there's no reason you should get lost.

    Now, if it's going to bother you to organize meals and not have the beds made for you daily, that might be a concern. Though even if you didn't want to cook, you could still eat out cheaper off property.
     
  21. PrincessDadx2

    PrincessDadx2 Openly has the hots for Wuv Tigger

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    Truly hit or miss. I have seen MK MORE crowded at 11pm than it was during the day. It really doesn't clear out until around 1:30am. Epcot is always crowded - over 1 hour on Soarin with no fast passes available. Had good luck with AK in the offseason and DHS some. Early is always not crowded, late is crowded more often than not in my experience.
     

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