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On site or off site?

Discussion in 'DIS Dads' started by alhurricane, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. alhurricane

    alhurricane DisDads #733

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    This is our first Disney trip and we have a 4 and almost 6 year old. We are currently booked at POR, but I have found some much cheaper town homes just a mile or so away. This has left me struggling to make a decision. In your Disney experience, what would you choose for a first timer with young kids?
     
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  3. IamTrike

    IamTrike DIS Veteran

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    My initial reaction would be to stay on-site. If you stay on-site the resorts are well themed and you spend your whole vacation surrounded by a cocoon of Disney. It's definitely our families preferred way to stay, but you do pay a premium for it.

    There are a couple of reasons I would consider staying off-site.
    1. If your family is too big to comfortably fit into a single room at disney. I have friends with 4 kids, for them it's just much easier and substantially cheaper to get a house offsite rather than get 2 rooms. With 2 kids I don't think these really applies to you.

    2. If we absolutely couldn't afford to stay on-site. You're already booked at POR though so I am going to assume you can afford to stay onsite. If you're financing this vacation and staying off-site would eliminate that then I would consider it. As much as like Disney I wouldn't want to go into debt for it.

    For your first trip, it's definitely worth it to stay on-site. Yes Disney is expensive. The rooms are expensive, the food is expensive and the merchandise is expensive too. That being said it is worth it. They do a wonderful job of creating magical environments for you to enjoy and experience with your family.
     
  4. mm1971

    mm1971 DIS Veteran

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    From our experience, if you are taking a "Disney" vacation, on site is the way to go. As Ryan pointed out it is expensive, but worth the money in my opinion. Our family only stays on site as we like to be immersed in the magic.

    The exception is if you cannot fit or if you are taking more of a Florida vacation. We have done vacations where we went to Disney, US/IOA, Seaworld and Daytona Beach all in one vacation. If that were the case we would most likely stay offsite since only a few days would be at any one location.

    Have a great time. We are staying POR in August and can't wait.
     
  5. wasnotafan

    wasnotafan All that fresh air over the years has done me good

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    On-site if you can swing it, but any Disney is better than no Disney.
     
  6. Emma's Dad

    Emma's Dad DIS Dad #115 8^) Virginia Beach, VA

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    On our first trip as a family we chose to stay onsite at Pop Century mainly because we wanted to be immersed in Disney and also not have to worry about how to get around the property in a car rental. We also got a really good rate at the time with free dining (which one cannot get by staying off site). Looking back, I'm REALLY glad we did not start off by staying off property. It's just more magical that way I think.

    Have to say, though, that with the economy the way it is, there really are some great deals off property. If money is a big concern then take the time to research some more. We have stayed off property the last 2 visits and our next visit is also "off property". I air quote that because we are staying at Wyndham Bonnet Creek... which is not owned by Disney but is still physically on Disney property.

    My choice would be to stay on property for the first visit. :thumbsup2

    Feel free to ask more questions about staying off site... or PM me.
     
  7. Cinderella's Fella

    Cinderella's Fella DIS Dad #215 Maryland, The Land Of Merry!

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. Wherem I Now

    Wherem I Now DIS Dad #30

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    +1 :thumbsup2
     
  9. Emma's Dad

    Emma's Dad DIS Dad #115 8^) Virginia Beach, VA

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    [​IMG]
     
  10. alhurricane

    alhurricane DisDads #733

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    Thanks everybody for the great feedback. We have enough budgeted to stay onsite, but then I noticed we could be saving a few hundred backs. Given the economy, I felt that I needed to take a closer look at all the options.

    We are leaning toward maintaining our reservation at POR. I definitely want our family to experience everything Disney, even if it is a bit more expensive.
     
  11. mm1971

    mm1971 DIS Veteran

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    :rotfl2::rotfl2:

    Thought I would throw in some details. POR has the marina where you can rent boats, bicycles and they have a boat that will take you to DTD that is a nice ride and very convenient. They have recently finished renovating all of the rooms and also have royal rooms if you are interested. The food court is OK, but you also have a sit down at the hotel and the lounge is a must if you want to just relax for a little while. The kids can go fishing at the Ole fishin hole that is fun. Usually just catch some sunfish. If you have any questions about the resort, let me know.
     
  12. Cinderella's Fella

    Cinderella's Fella DIS Dad #215 Maryland, The Land Of Merry!

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    [​IMG]
     
  13. Gumbo4x4

    Gumbo4x4 Note to the ladies who forgot to

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    Will you have your own car, or will you need to rent? I wouldn't want to try offsite if flying to Orlando, but we did just fine off site with our own car.
     
  14. alhurricane

    alhurricane DisDads #733

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    We will have a car. We are driving down from Alabama. However, I really don't want to drive all that much, which is a reason we are deciding to stay on site afterall.
     
  15. Gumbo4x4

    Gumbo4x4 Note to the ladies who forgot to

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    I didn't feel like we did all that much driving when we were off site. Cabin to parking lot was 8-15 minutes depending on which park, but we stayed REAL close (192 just East of I4).

    But yeah, it's not like we could just park the car for the week.
     
  16. AirGoofy

    AirGoofy DIS Dad#341

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    If it is only a few $100, then I would stay on property. DW and I Disneymooned there before children, have tried hotels off property, several WDW resorts, and are now DVC members. Staying on property and enjoying everything Disney just makes it so much more special.
     
  17. buzznina

    buzznina DIS Veteran

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    We have yet to stay off-site, but each year it seems like I look closer at it:( But one big key is that we always use EMH and you do not get that with off-site.
    We drive, and one of the best part is parking the van and not needing to use it. Our DD's love riding the buses, so for them that is part of the excitement. At the beginning we would sometimes drive to the parks but the time saved was minimal, so now I will drive if we need to go to another resort, but that is it.
     
  18. sadossey

    sadossey Mouseketeer

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    We went for the first time last year with kids 5&2, stayed at POR. We loved it. We are going back this April with my sisters family, they went a couple years ago and stayed off site and she said they would never do that again. It was nice to get away from the real world, no wal mart, no gas stations, no McDonalds!
     
  19. BigTex71

    BigTex71 DIS Dad #536...... Fort Worth, Texas

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    Our first time we visited WDW in 2004, we stayed off-site. We vowed to stay on-site the next time. Then we stayed at CBR and then POR. We tried giving off-site another try by staying in a 3BR condo we got for an awesome deal (see my trip report in my signature for details and the on-site vs. off-site debate.) The Cliff's Notes version: we had to go back later that year to stay on-site (POFQ) to feel like a true Disney vacation.

    There is something to be said for staying in the 'Disney bubble'. We learned our lesson (twice) and will always stay on-site from now on. Some people may enjoy staying off-site and getting a break from Disney, but we feel that it isn't a 'real' Disney vacation unless we stay on-site.

    We are going back to POR in late July/early August. We love that resort, and I am sure you will, too. :thumbsup2
     
  20. Grumpy Dan

    Grumpy Dan The beatings will continue until morale improves.

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    I would love to always stay onsite. However, as WDW will not guarantee connecting rooms, our only option there is a Villa. A big Villa at that. And even renting DVC points, it is just way more economical for us to rent a vacation house close by. Based on my research, we saved $3,500 in a rental compared to renting points for Treehouse Villas.

    I love the Disney bubble, my wallet does not.
     
  21. pbarager

    pbarager DDC #720

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    Last year was our first trip and we stayed onsite at CSR, glad we did to learn the ropes. Since then we bought into Wyndham through resale and are staying at Bonett Creek inside the Disney gates for a fraction of the price in a 1300 sqft. suite at an awesome resort. I don't think we will ever stay onsite again unless we trade into DVC.

    Paul
     

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