Staying offsite... what are your best tips?

Discussion in 'Orlando Hotels and Attractions' started by pamlet, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. pamlet

    pamlet DIS Veteran

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    Well we are finally getting to go back to "the world". My wonderful sister-in-law is letting us use a timeshare week of hers exchanging into Sheraton Vistana. As much as I would LOVE to stay onsite... somehow having a two bedroom condo for 149.00 for the week is too good to pass up. (Especially since my two "boys" ( 16 and 21) are both over 6'3"...)

    Anyway - I've been a little blue as I've always wanted to stay onsite - but when I can save 1000.00 - 2000.00 I have to be sensible.

    SO - what are your best tips about the Vistana... staying offsite... etc. I imagine we'll be going to the parks EVERY day.. as we probably wouldn't go back for a while.

    Is it feasible to come back during the middle of the day? We'll be driving down, so we will have a car.

    Please help me feel WONDERFUL about this trip..

    Thanks guys!!
     
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  3. spiceycat

    spiceycat <font color=blue>Own at BWV, VWL and BLT<br><font

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    there are 2 sheraton vistana - the resort is next door - the village is down IB so add 10 minutes or so.

    the Sheraton Vistana Resort is a lovely place to stay.

    some people don't like the older section. but after staying in the Springs section this Thanksgiving I would be happy with most of their villas.

    you can easily drive back to here - just be careful and get their directions - I always go for the DD (it is very close to DD less than a mile). You won't have any problems going to WDW - but coming back can be a big problem.

    of course I have fun getting lost at WDW - it is fun to see where some of those roads are going....

    remember that WDW has changed their tickets - so a 7 day is now a better buy than the 1 day....
     
  4. disneysteve

    disneysteve You have to enjoy life, not go

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    You should definitely feel wonderful about your trip. You're going to Disney!! Ignore all the folks who claim there is no "magic" if you stay offsite. The magic is what you make of it. We always stay offsite and wouldn't have it any other way.

    You'll have a car, which is tip #1. Staying offsite without one makes for a miserable vacation.

    Stop at the grocery store - there are several around. Pick up stuff to make breakfast in the room. Also pick up some snacks for when you come back during the day or in the evening. You can also carry some snacks into the parks with you and avoid a lot of the overpriced stuff on property.

    As for going back mid-day, you certainly can since you'll have your own car. We do it all the time. Go back, get off your feet, hop in the pool, take a nap, shower and change and head back for dinner and evening park activities.

    Have a great trip.
     
  5. DMOMof3

    DMOMof3 <font color=teal>When will my DS14 ease up on this

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    save your WDW parking ticket, its good for the whole day
     
  6. spiceycat

    spiceycat <font color=blue>Own at BWV, VWL and BLT<br><font

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    remember you have a washer/dryer - so you don't need to bring as many clothes.
     
  7. pamlet

    pamlet DIS Veteran

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    You guys are GREAT!! :love: I just had to get the excitement back!

    We're going for our 25th wedding anniversary... so it's really a special trip. The younger son is thinking this won't be so romantic.. laugh.. but I know it can be - also the boys are old enough to be off together on their own. To me our FAMILY is a big part of our marriage... and we'll be "on our own" soon enough. The night of our anniversary I think hubby and I have settled on "eating in the Castle".. kinda schmaltzy but we're not into "gourmet eating" and that just seems kinda romantic. :love2:

    I hadn't thought about the washer/dryer - that will be a big help.. :sunny:

    Also .. I think I'm buying our tickets from Ticketmania - 7 day park hopping plus... but let it expire. I'm sure we'll get our use out of it, as DisneyQuest is on the list.. as well as a water park for younger son and Dad.

    Ahhh the excitement's building!! I can feel it already!!
     
  8. pamlet

    pamlet DIS Veteran

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    It's at the regular Vistana resort.... for a two bedroom.. that's all I know.

    I've heard the tip about following out to DD .. from the map that really looks like the most sensible way to get out! It's been many years since we've been so I'm sure everything will look very different!
     
  9. dis-happy

    dis-happy DIS Veteran

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    One practical trip: find out where EMH is taking place and avoid those parks. For the ones that have EMH in the morning, the park will start off very busy by the time you are even admitted. For EMH in the evening, people start drifting over from the othe parks in the late afternoon. With PH's, you can plan accordingly for this. Have fun!!!
     
  10. spiceycat

    spiceycat <font color=blue>Own at BWV, VWL and BLT<br><font

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    tell the resort when you check in that it is your anniversary - sometimes they will do little things - sometimes not - but it certain won't hurt to ask.

    this is a very nice resort.

    One of the older section (in my opinion) might be more romantic than the newer ones.
     
  11. spiceycat

    spiceycat <font color=blue>Own at BWV, VWL and BLT<br><font

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  12. pamlet

    pamlet DIS Veteran

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    I haven't received it yet - they just called last week.

    The whole thing was supposed to be a surprise for me.. laugh... but my SIL blew it. hahahaha...

    Actually I was very suspicious .. DH was acting VERY odd... even odder than usual.. :rotfl:

    I just know it's a two bedroom that sleeps 8. It can either be a dedicated 2BR or lockoff. If dedicated the 2nd bedroom would have 2 beds - if a lockoff the second would only have 1 bed.

    From what I understand my SIL is supposed to forward the paperwork as soon as she receives it.
     
  13. Lewisc

    Lewisc <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    If part of your group wants to go back early have them take a cab. If you want to save a few dollars get a cab from DTD.

    A few dollars spent on taxis might make the day run much smoother.
     
  14. pamlet

    pamlet DIS Veteran

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    Actually that's been a point of discussion with the group.

    Older son drives - also - there may be some mornings younger son will need to stay back at the room. He has epilepsy - and sometimes mornings can be rough... He really does OK - but if he's going to have a seizure it's usually early morning. I could really forsee older son and myself heading out earlier - and younger son and DH getting a later start. (seeing as DH is the later sleeper in the family).

    Is there a cab stand at DD or do you have to call? Also do you have an idea of cab rates?

    Thanks,
    Pam
     
  15. snappy

    snappy <font color=deeppink>Survivor<br><font color="gree

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    Congratulations on your anniversary and have a great trip. You have a great price on the Vistana. We passed by it last week, it looks very nice, good location in my opinion.

    Bring some detergent tablets for the washer/drier.
     
  16. MNSusan

    MNSusan DIS Veteran

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    One of the things we always appreciated about staying onsite was the ability to have our purchases sent to our room. When you stay offsite, you can have your purchases sent to the Main Gate of the park you're in. Then just pick them up on your way out. It was really, really convenient.

    We were concerned about losing the magic when we stayed offsite. But almost everyone staying at the resort is going to WDW anyway, so it just seems like everyone's in a great mood and keeping the magic going all on their own.

    We also made sure we had a least one PS in a park each day, and we had dinner at a couple of the resorts (GF and AKL). That kept the magic going, too.

    Have a great time and Happy Anniversary!
     
  17. spiceycat

    spiceycat <font color=blue>Own at BWV, VWL and BLT<br><font

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    i think there is a cab stand - but be carefully - some of the unmarked cabs are big rip offs.

    however your sons should know where they are going - the fare shouldn't be but around $10 - Sheraton Vistana is only a couple of miles from DD.

    be sure that your sons have their ID with them - the security guards won't let the taxis in without someone in the car having a Sheraton Vistana ID...
     
  18. pamlet

    pamlet DIS Veteran

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    Wow - I am REALLY feeling much better! Thank you again for all these wonderful tips! ... and the congrats on the anniversary.. :flower: 25 years REALLY goes by fast... and it keeps getting faster!
     
  19. disneymom3

    disneymom3 <font color=green> I think I could adjust!! <br><f

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    This is a fabulous resort--you will not be missing out on any "magic" at all! The grounds are absolutely gorgeous--ponds with fountains, lush greenery, quiet walking paths, a wonderful screened porch to enjoy it all. It could be very romantic. (Way more romantic than sharing one room with two grown boys!!! LOL)

    There are a zillion pools--okay, 7, but it seems like a zillion--a cute little general store, some quite decent onsite eating places--the pool bar in Cascades makes a great daquiri (sp?)--they have surrey bikes you can rent to tool around the resort for fun, and the location is excellent. We actually never go through DTD to get to the parks though, we turn right out of the resort, right onto the next highway and then follow the signs. Seems faster to us--maybe it's not.

    Across the way from the resort there is a premium outlets mall and sort of on the other side of that is a really nice Publix so you can stock up on at least bottled water, pop, breakfast stuff and whatever else you need. We have found the prices pretty comparable to home. (Except fruit and that is WAY cheaper in FL than MN. No surprise there!)

    Have a wonderful time--after staying at the Vistana, anywhere else is not even comparable in my opinion. And yes, we have stayed onsite at the Poly in fact and we like Vistana way better!
     
  20. pamlet

    pamlet DIS Veteran

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    You are so right having 2 "almost grown" boys in one room... laugh...

    My oldest one confided he had the "heebie jeebies" about just having one room over our anniversary... laugh...

    It's funny you mentioned the Poly - it's the place I've always wanted to stay - but I honestly cannot justify the cost. :earseek: I know for some it's their vacation and that's how they choose to spend their money - but I look at the money and think of all the ways I can spend it on "home improvement" or new furniture... :rotfl:

    Publix is a nice grocery store it's good to know there is one near by. DH is a huge breakfast eater - fixes himself an omlet or breakfast taco every morning. I'm NOT a breakfast eater ... pastries are more my speed.. laugh.. so I imagine I'll be hunting down the bakeries at DW and taking things "home" for the next morning. Another thought - I'll actually be able to freeze some water bottles to take into the parks!! :cool1: Gotta stay hydrated!
     
  21. Big V

    Big V <font color=blue>DIS Meet Veteran!<br><font color=

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    Happy 25th to you and your DH! I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time! We were a little ways down on International Drive and the drive to the parks is so easy from there! :cool1:
     

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