off property vs. on property?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by PaDisney02, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. PaDisney02

    PaDisney02 DIS Veteran

    Mar 24, 2008
    HI! We have only ever stayed on disney property but I'm wondering if it is cheaper staying off site?

    We have done dosney 2 years in a row...moderate.

    Do most people stay on disney property or off disney peoperty? Which is cheaper? I know on disney property is more convienent but which is cheaper? Thanks
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  3. dyna

    dyna DIS Veteran

    Jun 30, 2005
    We have been getting 2 an 3 bed/2bath condos cheaoer than we could even stay at a value resort. DH an I no kids we prolly won't ever spend a week in a hotel room again

    1. We like the xtra space, having a comfy sofa to relax on, balcony at a condo that is our private balcony, having 2 bathrooms I put my clothes an tolietries in 2nd bed an bath shower an dress there while dh uses the master we both can shower an dress at same time without falling all over each other.

    2.We LOVE the hot breakfast I fix every morning an it gets us off to a good start, we often eat at an offsite sit down resturant for dinner without the wait without paying disney prices usually the dinner is much quieter an much more relaxed. An we did not have to plan months in advance where we was going to eat. We have a fridge an microwave for leftovers can often get another meal off our leftovers saving use even more money.

    3.LOVE having washer an dryer in the condo it really saves on how much we have to pack an it is so nice to come home with clean clothes

    4.We always used disney transportation when we stayed onsite we do not miss the cattle cars at all. The trams that takes ya to an from parking lot not near as crowded as the cattle cars no one allowed to stand no stranger standing over the top of you sweating strange body fluids all over you an yours. Never stood in line for tram like I have bus at the end of day.

    5.Staying offsite an driving to the parks we can relax once in our car, turn on a/c an cool it to our comfort without sweating all over others quicker than on bus. We can drive to the park an get into park just as quick if not quicer than when we used disney transportation with the exception of the MK an having to transfer at the TTC gets ya there. From our condos we can usually be on disney property in less than 5 mins...we have also noticed somehow we make the drive faster than disney cattle cars once on property yet the buses always passing dh cause he drives slower an safer than disney buses. ODD I know.

    6.We never used EMH so not missing anything there. We don't do rope drop but try to make it to parks very soon after most mornings. We still take our afternoon break even tho we offsite.

    Had I been asked about on or offsite a year ago I would have said ONSITE hands down ...but now that we have done 4 offsite visits I'd go offsite hands down.

    Had we contiuned to stay onsite in that little bitty value room (moderates not much bigger) I would have gotten to go maybe twice this calander year but by staying offsite I got to go 5 times because by staying offsite we was able to afford annual passes for dh an I....we scheduled to return to disney again early feb an early may of 2010 oh an sept and early december with maybe a couple other weeks thrown in. We live 900 miles away so not close by any means.
  4. kespo

    kespo <font color=blue>Is there an advantage to this?<br

    May 11, 2006
    Thanks for posting. We are staying for the first time off site this Feb. I have been so nervous about the transportation part. We will have our own car, but thought it would be a big hassle to park. I'm not fond of paying the extra $14 a day to park:(
    We love staying on Disney property, but had to use points from another time share this year.
    Now that you say it's sometimes easier and less crowded, I'm excited!
    Getting in our own car and turning on the air sounds good to me:)
  5. BuzznBelle'smom

    BuzznBelle'smom <font color=red>There are tomato-ey paw prints all

    Mar 18, 2002
    I have to second what the PP said. We LOVED staying offsite. And I'm a DVC owner. It can be cheaper, but that really depends on what you perceive as value. If your family is 4 or less in size, and your park commandos, you likely only sleep in the room, and it doesn't matter so much. OTOH, with more than 4 people and/or a more relaxed vacationing style, you'll appreciate the options available for offsite stays.

    As to price, there are a ton of options offsite that can vary in price. Closer to WDW is more expensive, as is fancier and larger. A 2BR condo, 10 miles away, is very reasonable, but you could rent a 4-5 BR house and pay as much or more as onsite hotel. Also, offsite you have more choice of amenities, from private pools and community playgrounds to kitchen and laundry facilities. These may be valuable to you, they may not be.

    The best thing I can tell you is, carefully consider what's important to you and your family, then price both. I will say, we rented a 4BR house in Windsor Hills last year. We loved it so much that, in Feb., we're going to Orlando again--not to WDW, just because we loved the house! But, your needs might be totally different.
  6. BuzznBelle'smom

    BuzznBelle'smom <font color=red>There are tomato-ey paw prints all

    Mar 18, 2002
    Kespo--parking and driving was much less hassle than we thought it would be. The only park where it might (MIGHT!) be more painful is MK, due to the parking arrangements. Of course, we also had annual passes (I think they gave us free parking--something did), and AAA passes which gave us up-close parking. We did our week offsite followed by a week at OKW, and still drove everywhere but MK from OKW. And that was in July--big crowds, big heat.
  7. fakereadhed

    fakereadhed The Tag Fairy has me on "ignore"!

    Feb 1, 2006
    I hate off-site. For me it breaks the Disney magic too much. Not a big fan of getting into a hot car that starts to cool off just when you get to your location. Also, if one or two are tired they can head back to the room onsite. DME instead of renting a car is another plus for us. For those who complain about how long it takes, in May it took us 45 min to pick up the car because the first three cars they gave us smelled like smoke. If I wanted to go during peak season, I wouldn't pay $$$ for a value, but in value season you can get a room w/extra magic hours and DME for around $50 with a pin code.
  8. The Iron Giant

    The Iron Giant DIS Veteran

    Jun 14, 2008
    For the last 7 or 8 trips we have stayed on site, but I'm not opposed to the idea of going back to off site. Especially since we are now a family of five and a 2 BR condo sounds very appealing.

    My one big reservation is the pool area. The kids love the Disney pools and I would want to make sure any off site condo had a really good pool area for the kids.

    Can anyone recommend a resort with a really kid friendly pool area?

    BTW - not really interested in a condo with its own pool for safety reasons since we have toddlers.

    Thanks :thumbsup2
  9. 4Seasons

    4Seasons DIS Veteran

    Apr 13, 2007
    It all comes down to what is important to you.
    I have some clients who would never even dream of staying anywhere offsite, regardless of how good the deal is. And I have clients (most in fact) who really enjoy the space and cost savings of staying offsite. It all depends on your personal situation and what components of the trip are most important to you.

    For me, I've done both and HIGHLY prefer offsite. With two teens, a regular hotel sized room and one bathroom does NOT cut it.
  10. ICF

    ICF DIS Veteran

    Jan 2, 2004
    My wife and I went during free dining a couple of years ago and stayed at Pop Century. It was SO small, I couldn't imagine trying to get a family into one of those I hated waiting for buses all the time.

    The 3 times with the kids it has always been offsite and will always be. We can get 2 or 3 BR condo's within minutes of the park for $350 from AFVC (armed forces vacation club). "Magic" to me is not cramming us all into a small hotel's having a full kitchen, seperate bed rooms from the kids, 2 baths and plenty of space to move around. I hate that Disney charges $14 for a 4 x 6 parking space, but still its much cheaper off-site. We can eat real meals for 1/10th of the park cost and don't have to wait in lines for shuttles back to the hotel.

    I 100% recommend staying off-site if you can get a good condo deal.
  11. cndij

    cndij Mouseketeer

    May 14, 2008
    I have 2 suggestions for this. Our all time favorite is the Marriott World Center, has a huge million gallon free form pool, water slide, kiddie pool, multiple hot tubs, plus an indoor pool and hot tub for those rainy or cold days.
    Also if you get rooms pool side, you can actually see Downtown Disney from your balcony as well as the fireworks from several parks every night. That being said, it's not "cheap", best price we've gotten has been $129 a night, and usually try to get one of their package deals that include breakfast (fantastic buffet there with made to order omelets and Mickey panacakes) for around $150. My second recommendation is the one we use the very first time we took our neices who were 3,4, and 5 at the time and intimidated by swimming pools. It is the Springhill Suites at Little Lake Bryan, and the pool there while very large has a zero depth entry that is kind of like starting at one inch deep and very gradually getting deeper, really good for small kids who want to piddle around in very shallow water or go deeper as they get more courage.
  12. nexttrip4us

    nexttrip4us How many times is too many?

    Nov 6, 2009
    We've stayed offsite a few times and onsite many times. Our last trip we stayed offsite in a 6 bdrm house with a total of 11 people. You cannot beat the space and price of staying off site. We are a family of 6, so we typically rent two rooms at Pop Century--$150-$200/night. We paid for 1/2 the house and per night (for 3 bedrooms) it was just over $100/night. We had 3 bedrooms, full kitchen, many bathrooms, our own pool...and the owners of the home had a lot of Disney touches in the' rooms were decorated with Disney characters, Mickey dishes in the kitchen...lots of movies for us to watch, playstation 2, etc. Overall, for a group that large, it worked out great. Parking/driving for us is not an issue. I think it is pretty easy to get around (we stayed in Kissimee right off of 192).

    That said, I think next time we're going back to on-site. It will cost us more and we'll have less space, but I did miss it a bit. We may stay off again in the future as our kids get older, need more space...

    Good luck!
  13. mom2mikel

    mom2mikel Mouseketeer

    Nov 12, 2008
    We stayed on-site one year (Port Orleans). Hated the bus service -- although my sister said it was the worst they ever experienced. The next time, we stayed at Springhill Suites at Lake Buena Vista. For us, it was better than the moderate on-site. Since then, we've rented 4 bedroom homes with pools and honestly it was the best risk we ever took. We love all of the room and all the extras we get with the house. The worst part is getting to MK, but IMO the benefits far outweigh that minor hassle.

    My sister never could imagine staying off site (moderates or Polynesian). Until she tried it this year. I've converted her!! LOL

    I know there are pros/cons to each so it's just a matter of what you value most for *your* family vacation.
  14. Darcy03231

    Darcy03231 DIS Veteran

    Nov 1, 2006
    For us it depends on whose going and what kind of deals are being offered. If its just 2-3 of us we usually end up staying on-site (last trip was free dining and we went during value season). If the whole family is going (there are 6 of us) we stay off-site in a private pool home. Here are some examples of our last two trips. One was on-site and one was off.

    2 Adults, 1 Child - All Star Music for 5 nights with MYW base ticket and free dining = $1,182 to stay on-site. Off site would have been more. I factored $250 for hotel, $150 for rental car, $70 for parking, $25 for gas, $684 for park tickets, and to eat the same meals we were able to eat on the dining plan it would be $750. Total to stay off-site = $1,929.

    7 adults (10+), 2 children - 5 bedroom/3 bath private pool home, 2 rental cars, parking, gas and park tickets was $3,275. To stay onsite with tickets would have been almost $4,600 (3 rooms at a value resort). We had much more room to spread out and a private pool which was wonderful. We also had the full kitchen so we saved a lot of money by eating in and loved having the game room and washer/dryer.
  15. CRdisMom

    CRdisMom DIS Veteran

    Feb 12, 2008
    how do you deal with going back to the room to rest when you are off site?
  16. buzz2400

    buzz2400 <font color=teal>The TF waves to buzz2400's DS

    Feb 14, 2001
    We have mixed offsite and onsite, depending on what rates are being offered. Me personally, I love offsite. I just found a terrific hotel, country inn and suites in lake buena vista. free breakfast, free internet and location is right by downtown disney. This is what I hate about onsite: parking is terrible at the hotels (I have always stayed at pop or all stars). You have to walk "a mile" to get to parking at the hotel. Whenever we used the bus transportation, we always have to stand in a very long line since they don't use as many busses at the value resorts. We always rent a car and end up driving. We never used the early morning entry because I can't get up that early. We have stayed a few times for the evening extra magic hours but it is still very crowded. We tend to go to a park that doesn't have the extra hours on that day. Also you end up paying a lot of money for food onsite. If you stay offsite you have more options of what to eat, like the hotel I just stayed at, there was a subway, mcd's, burger king, etc.

    It also depends on the rate you can get offsite. You can always check and see if there are any good rates. We usually go for a week and only go to the parks 4 days out of the week. We end up at universal, water park or seaworld, so paying the parking fee at the park isn't that bad when I get a low rate at an offsite hotel.
    To answer your question, you need to weigh all options. if you always drive to the park and dont do extra magic hours then staying onsite is really not worth it.
  17. Darcy03231

    Darcy03231 DIS Veteran

    Nov 1, 2006
    Honestly, I found it really didn't take us any more time to go back to the car and get to the rental house than it did to wait for the bus and get back to the All Star Resorts. We went in August so we found what worked best for us was to get up early and get to the parks. We stayed until about 1 pm and then went back to the house until about 5 pm when we returned to the parks until closing.

    Friends of ours stayed on-site at the same time we were staying offsite. They ended up coming to our house to use the pool with us after the first couple of days as the pool at the resort (ASMo) was so crowded during that time. According to them you could hardly get in the pool and there was really no room to swim.
  18. IDoDis

    IDoDis Knows the password to get into the Moose Lodge

    Jan 14, 2006
    We've done both on & off-site depending on what deals were being offered at the time. Our off-site experience was wonderful. We stayed in 3 bedroom/2 bath condo at Windsor Hills for $80 per night. Windsor Hills is only a couple of miles from the gate entrance. It had a big outdoor pool with decent water slide, an indoor game room, and a free movie theater. It was faster for us to get in the car and be at a park in less than a few minutes vs waiting for the Disney buses.

    The parking was no hassle at all. There was always one of those parking lot train things waiting when we pulled in which took us right to the front gate. No walking at all! We were there during Memorial Weekend which was a busy time and still no problems with parking.

    We did have an AAA parking pass for the closer-up parking spaces, but after using it once and having to walk (no free ride to the gate with that pass), we opted to just use the regular parking and take the little trolly/train thing to the front gate.

    We always spent less staying off-site. The only negative is you can't get the dining plan staying off-site.
  19. littlbugmom

    littlbugmom DIS Veteran

    Sep 16, 2007
    For us, off-site is much cheaper. Last year we saved $2,500 and that includes our food and character meals.

    *We always want a car. In our opinion, the Disney transportation takes longer and is uncomfortable. We get AAA parking, so our car is close. We're back at our hotel in 15 minutes. It took the same amount of time to drive back to the on-site resort.

    *We won't do the dining plan again. We don't want that many sit down meals because it takes up so much of our time. We ended up with so many credits leftover. We always have a full kitchen. I buy groceries the first day (arrival day for us is always at the resort) that lasts us 8nts. We make ADRs for the restaurants we want and the character meals we want but the majority of meals are eaten back at the condo.

    *We always want a suite. My ds5 has sensory issues that make it very important for us to spend downtime in the suite every day. Even during downtime, he needs room to move around and I need the space for my sanity. The cost of a villa on-site is just ridiculous compared to off-site. We stayed in a 1bedroom at OKW and it was beautiful but so expensive. We got a 2bedroom condo for a fraction of the price. This year, we're getting a 3bedroom condo with a private splash pool, again for a fraction of the cost of the on-site 1bedroom suite. The off-site condos are in beautiful resorts and have all the extras we want.

    The only negative I was worried about was that off-site didn't have a "Disney" feel to it but I quickly realized that it's all about how you look at it. At OKW, we certainly didn't get a lot of "Disney" feel but at the condo last year, I brought posters and wall clings and Disney toys was very "disney-fied"! This year, our condo has Disney themed bedrooms. :banana:

    I think staying on property probably has a lot of pros for different people. For us, for what we want out of a vacation, off-site is the only way to go.

    Have fun planning!
  20. loveysbydesign

    loveysbydesign I can pinch a penny so hard you can hear it scream

    Dec 30, 2005
    We love off-site for many of the reasons mentioned here. We love Windsor Hills. We've only stayed onsite once at 2 bedroom at SSR through a friend that owns DVC. We tried the busses and it was nuts...we kept saying if we'd driven over ourselves we would have been back to the place a half hour ago! We all hated waiting for the busses.
    It's great to have luxurious 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, own kitchen, washer/dryer etc. for cheaper then staying in a value resort. It's also really great in case someone ends up with a stomach bug, then you're not all trapped in one room!
    As far as the Disney themeing goes we choose a condo that is decked out in Disney, there are many of them to choose from at WH!
  21. mrsklamc

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

    Oct 29, 2006
    Windsor Hills is the only way to go for us!!!

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