This was our first stay offsite in a vacation townhome rental and I just thought I'd post some impressions for others considering it: The Good: 1. The accommodations were awesome. We got a "too good to be true" deal on our townhome. $500/week at Emerald Island (including taxes) for an entire home. The house was immaculate and well furnished. We really enjoyed being able to spread out. 2. Drive times were fine! I don't know if it was the schedule we keep or what but we really never hit the kind of traffic I read about on the boards and guidebooks (I always left the house by 7am, maybe not rush hour?). It took about 1 hour to drive to Universal, park and be standing at the front gates waiting for it to open. I remember alloting about an hour last summer at WDW to walk to the bus stop, wait for and catch the bus, and be standing at the front gate. So I really didn't see much of a time difference. 3. Souveniers are cheaper off of Disney property. Lots of big souvenier shops around. They all sell the same thing and they're cheaper than buying Tshirts from Disney or Universal. The quality is not exactly the same, but I have tons of Disney stuff from last summer so I didn't need much. 4. I saved sooooo much money on food by eating at home and packing a lunch to take with us! The Not so Good: 1. The area scenery is cheesy! This is funny, but last summer I never got off Disney property and I drove to and from the airport in the dark. I didn't really see what I got to see this time. Huge Mermaids and Wizards on the top of buildings... Emerald Island is beautiful, but the 192...yuk. 2. I mentioned this on another thread, but Emerald Island is really quiet...It's not a bad thing per se, but I enjoy getting to know other vacationers and chatting with them around the pool...having the kids play together etc. There really wasn't alot of that going on. Overall, I would definitely rent a vacation home again. I enjoyed our stay and we saved alot of money.