Offsite...can't find the value like everyone else

Discussion in 'Orlando Hotels and Attractions' started by Kallie724, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. Kallie724

    Kallie724 Mouseketeer

    Apr 26, 2011
    We just got back from Disney with my parents and stayed at Port Orleans Riverside and had a great trip. My husband didn't go with us and hasn't been since he was 5. When we got back he said he would like for us to go next year. It will be me, him and our DD (6). He knows I'm a deal hunter so he said for me to find the best deal. We will be going in May 2014 so to get an idea of prices and things I started price comparing rates for this May.

    I thought going offsite would be the way to go but now I just don't know. Here's what I found.

    Blue Heron 1 bedroom - $728 for 8 nights plus a $50 cleaning fee, 6 day park hoppers and water park, and then $15/day to park at Disney - Grand total - $1945

    All Star Resort on property - with the current promo they are offering discount on room and tickets I can get the 8 nights plus 6 day park hopper and water park for $2028. Without the promo it would be $2167.

    I honestly thought that staying offsite would save me more but I guess since we aren't a large group and we don't have to rent multiple rooms or cram 5 people into one the savings just isn't adding up. I know I would save some money but I like the Disney bus service a lot in case we have to go back to the room or if DH wants to go back and we want to stay.

    Am I missing something?
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  3. jennyjinx3

    jennyjinx3 DIS Veteran

    Nov 28, 2011
    We stayed offsite our first year and we spent the same if not more on our trip. We also had more hassle, inconvenience, loss of time, and stressed out kids from too much travel time back and forth. We too will pay a little bit (because for us it really is only a little bit) more to stay onsite. Well worth it for us.:)
  4. Ds4angels

    Ds4angels Mouseketeer

    Nov 24, 2012
    Like you said in your case since you only need the one room, you might just make out better staying on site. I will say the AS resorts are on the small side, but it's just the 3 of you.
    How much time will you really spend in your room?
  5. Kallie724

    Kallie724 Mouseketeer

    Apr 26, 2011
    Not really that much time in the room we will probably come back to take a nap but it's not like we will be hanging out in the room. I've never been in an AS room before. We've only stayed at Riverside and Carribean Beach.
  6. hpriamson

    hpriamson Mouseketeer

    Jan 8, 2013
    One thing you haven't taken account of is food. Having a full kitchen can save you a ton of money, even if you only use it for breakfast and a few other meals.

    But otherwise, discounting the difference between a 1 bedroom suite and a single value room at Disney, (and that difference may be meaningless to you), it is harder to realize savings when you only need a single room. As soon as you get up to 5 people though, the savings start to show quickly.
  7. Kallie724

    Kallie724 Mouseketeer

    Apr 26, 2011
    Yeah for food we are either going to hope for a dining plan discount if we decide to stay on property or we will just pack sandwiches for lunch or something. When I'm on vacation I don't cook. That's the whole point of vacation to me :) So the kitchen thing wouldn't really make a huge difference to us b/c for breakfast it's going to be pop tart or muffins or something that we bring with us, and then lunch or dinner will be a sandwich and chips.

    If you have a larger family I can see where off site plays a huge factor but with my small family I'm just not seeing it.

    I have come across a website that seems to have some great deals. Anyone used them before? Some of the deals seem too good to be true.
  8. loveysbydesign

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

    Dec 30, 2005
    try or
    Check out Crestwynd Bay for a townhome for $75 a night or less. Also look for Windsor Palms.
  9. katyjeka

    katyjeka DIS Veteran

    Dec 27, 2003
    With our party of eight we would need at least two rooms, more likely three if staying at a value. I really don't believe onsite is cheaper when you have larger parties. We stay at least ten nights and enjoy a little downtime at our resort. We also love a kitchen. We have strange kids I guess because they don't eat well at WDW, and I like to cook a few meals for them in the middle of the trip. My dh loves a balcony which requires deluxe. For all of the reasons mentioned we've stayed at Bonnet Creek several times. We arrive this Dec. 6th for 11 nights in a 3 bedroom for $1495.00, tax included. I can't justify spending thousands more to stay onsite. Have a great trip.
  10. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

    Sep 12, 2008
    It really depends on where you place "value". While we could stay at POP for the same price as our upcoming vacation at Sheraton Vistana Resort, we get some major differences:

    2 full bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, full kitchen, washer and dryer, screened balcony, and three TV's

    as opposed to one, standard-size hotel/motel room.

    We also get a resort with seven pools, tennis courts, activity centers, onsite mini golf, and a host of activities for guests, which is much more than is offered by POP or any of the values.

    We are giving up free transportation to the theme parks, which we would not use anyway. And large Disney icons decorating the resort.

    We do not utilize the dining plan (as its another poor value for our family) so there's no loss there.

    We can eat more cheaply (and just as some cases better) at offsite restaurants, yielding a substantial savings.

    And then there's the sanity savings. We have a wonderful, amazing, and well behaved teenager, but there's no way I want the three of us to be stuck in one small hotel room for a week and call it "vacation".

    We are paying $120 per night (tax included) for our SVR stay (2 bedroom). A one bedroom villa at Saratoga Springs for the same time period is $452 per night. There's the value :).
  11. NHDisneyFan

    NHDisneyFan Mouseketeer

    Aug 18, 1999
    The value in this case can also be on how good of a sleeper your daughter is and how much alone time you desire. If you get back to the all-star room at 8pm and want to hang out you are all in one room with 2 double beds. I believe the Blue Heron is a suite set up. Putting the child in a closed bedroom and enjoying your own space for a few hours, can't put a dollar figure on that.
  12. Mickfarland4

    Mickfarland4 Mouseketeer

    Mar 9, 2013
    As far as the redweek site...Someone put a link for this site up that I came across. I think he owns timeshares so, I would guess it's ok. I found a studio villa at Animal Kingdom lodge for $130 on there today that you may want to check out. I want a full kitchen and bedroom so it won't work for us. We are also going in May of 2014!
  13. conniehar90

    conniehar90 DIS Veteran

    Apr 5, 2005
    Probably fair comment if you are comparing to a value. For us, it is not the huge savings - it is the space and the quality of the space. A 2 or 3 bedroom condo that feels like your home compared to a cramped, motel room. Many that have moved offsite may be coming from mods or deluxe resorts and that would show a significant savings.

    We don't really use the kitchen to cook but it is nice to run to the store and buy a pack of $3.99 water, keep a gallon of milk cold for cereal, etc

    Totally worth it to us. After staying offsite for many years, DD and I decided to try onsite again. We even went Deluxe (WL). Still felt like a cramped motel room to us. I will never go back onsite.
  14. Anya22

    Anya22 Mouseketeer

    Nov 14, 2010
    It definitely depends on the family. For us, we wanted to rent a car to drive ourselves, so that didn't feel like an "added" expense to us. We can't stand staying in one hotel room with our two young kids because we mostly stick to their regular bedtimes even when on vacation. And we have lots of food allergies so it makes things easier to cook some meals just so we don't have to stress over every meal of the day (although Disney is fabulous with special diets compared to just about every other place on the planet!). The values onsite do not appeal to me at all, so compared to a moderate or higher, we do save money (and our sanity....we need to unwind in the evenings after the kids are asleep!)
  15. Brian Noble

    Brian Noble His Curmudgeonly Highness

    Mar 23, 2004
    This, exactly.

    There are three things you might want in WDW lodging:
    1: To be onsite
    2: To have a reasonable amount of space
    3: To spend a reasonable amount of money.

    You can't have all three at the same time. Your 1BR condo gives you 2 & 3 (though you can probably get a 2BR, *and* pay a little bit less, and be even more comfortable.) A Value resort gives you 1 & 3.

    In the Value, the three of you will be sharing two double beds, one bathroom, and one sink, but will have the benefits of Disney transport and EMH access, etc.. In a 2BR condo, you'd have to drive yourself, and avoid EMH, but would have two bathrooms, a king in the master, and the living room for early risers/night owls to hang out in without disturbing the others.

    In my personal experience---a little more than half of my stays are onsite, the rest off---as long as you are in a reasonable location, getting to/from the parks takes no more time from an offsite resort than some of the onsite ones. If you compare driving from offsite to the bus onsite, driving is often faster---again, assuming you have a good location. Of the places I've stayed offsite, any of these would qualify: Windsor Hills, Vistana Resort, Bonnet Creek, and Vacation Village @ Parkway.

    Finally, speaking for nearly all husbands (and, for that matter, quite a few wives!) don't discount the value of a separate bedroom with a lockable door while on vacation. :thumbsup2
  16. Luv Bunnies

    Luv Bunnies DIS Veteran

    Sep 3, 2006
    We stayed in value with our two boys when they were 8 and 11. It was OK, but we felt a little cramped. Fast forward to our next trip coming up in August. They'll be 18 and 14 (almost 15). There's no way we'll want to cram the four of us into a small room with two double beds. We could get two rooms, but for less money offsite ($150/night), we found a 3-bedroom, 2-bath villa with a full kitchen, washer/dryer and balcony. My sister will be joining us a few nights into the trip, so she can have her own room. The boys will share a room but will have their own beds. One can sleep on the pull-out in the living room if they really want their own space. Plus, every room has it's own TV which will cut down on little squabbles. After spending a few hours doing laundry at Pop, I am really looking forward to having a washer/dryer. We will only pack for half the week and toss stuff in the washer every night.
  17. sharadoc

    sharadoc Visiting Disney World since 1986, happily driving

    May 6, 2008
    As others have said, it's not the cost only, it's the space difference. Same price offsite is much more space. We are trying Bonnet Creek for the first time in November because we need a villa, we won't stay in a single room. A one bedroom villa Thanksgiving week at WDW is around $600 a night. A cabin at Fort Wilderness around $400 and a family suite around $275. We are paying $120 for a 2 bedroom, so 3 rooms, 3 TVs, 2 bathrooms and surrounded by Disney World. We won't see a difference driving between BC or OKW (which we love). We'll miss out on EMHs, but because of the holiday, there's not that many of them and we never do early EMH, so I think we're missing one late EMH.

    We love staying onsite and will again if we can get a good deal. Or we'll love Bonnet Creek and buy some points in the resale market for next to nothing and go there all the time. We'll have to wait and see.
  18. blessedby3

    blessedby3 Actually Blessedby4 now, but cant change my userna

    Mar 7, 2003
    OP, you have only one small child, so for you the money factor may not be a huge difference as you have found. We have 4 kids and need 2 rooms at any resort (pretty much) or a 2BR villa (very costly). Our last trip (Oct 2012) was offsite at Bonnet Creek. We were able to get a 2BR deluxe for $837 for the whole week. Way cheaper than 2 rooms at a value even.
    As our kids have gotten older (and since we have 4, with a new SIL to boot), we value the space more than being in a WDW resort.
    Our future trips will most likely be offsite. We have seen the difference and love the space and lower cost. I love WDW resorts, but unless they offer me a GREAT deal...its offsite for us:thumbsup2
  19. ohionola

    ohionola Mouseketeer

    Feb 17, 2010
    I think it is to early to tell on a discount for offsite. I find most off site places get dramatically cheaper the closer to the travel date. Also, the ticket prices might be a tad high. Did you price them from an authorized reseller? I would suggest you book with Disney to secure something but to look monthly at condos in case a good deal comes around.
  20. sympatico

    sympatico DIS Veteran

    Feb 18, 2006
    Maybe if you compared an offsite hotel room similar to what you would have at Disney instead of a condo then you would see more savings. It always seems like that when people start comparing off site to on site they compare a Disney hotel room to a condo/vacation home. Compare apples with apples and not apples with oranges and you may see the difference easier. :)
  21. sheetz

    sheetz DIS Veteran

    Apr 13, 2012
    ^Yeah, I can't see how this is a valid comparison. All star resort standard rooms are 260sf, but 1br at the Blue Heron is 885sf and comes with full kitchen, 2 bathrooms, and washer/dryer. The fact that the Blue Heron *STILL* comes out cheaper says it all.

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