Talk to me about staying offsite during Christmas/Easter...

Discussion in 'Orlando Hotels and Attractions' started by Hasil72, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. Hasil72

    Hasil72 DIS Veteran

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    Here's the scoop. We were planing our annual trek to the happiest place on earth for May but DS got really sick and missed a lot of school a this month so pulling him out is no longer an option and we have to go the week of/after Easter. :scared1:

    Now, I get that it's going to be insanely crowded and I know that every touring plan out there says we should stay on property but we really prefer the space we have renting a townhouse or villa. All the threads I'm reading are saying don't bother going if you stay off-site. I'm hoping that there has to be one of you out there who stayed off-site during peak crowds and survived. PLEASE tell me how you did it. :worship:
     
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  3. DCbride

    DCbride DIS Veteran

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    We have gone every Easter week the past 5 years. We started staying off site last year because there were no discounts. We stayed by sea world and went from parking lot to parking lot of DHS in 16 minutes. In Nov, we waited at AKL for 40 min for a bus one time! So driving, ticket booth and parking are not that bad during Easter. Parks, obviously you do not get EMH so plan to visit parks that do not have it that day. We are going again this Easter- offsite. We usually go 3x a year. Easter is my least favorite time to go, but when we try to plan something else we feel that crowded Disney is better than no Disney :)
     
  4. 7165red

    7165red DIS Veteran

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    I have rented a villa for xmas wk. and loved it. I love the extra space and pvt. pool and most villas are just a short drive to wdw.
     
  5. conniehar90

    conniehar90 DIS Veteran

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    We have also been twice at Xmas time and always stay offsite due to preferring the extra room and lower cost. No issues at all. MK opened an hour early every day to resort guest so obviously that wasn't ideal for us, but it worked out fine. We got to the TTC about 40 minutes before opening and they ended up letting us in early (once they let you past the TTC gates, you are good to go).

    We are going this year the week before Easter - wish our Spring break wasn't attached to Easter but I am sure we will have a great time! You just have to make sure you have your days planned out.
     
  6. KayR

    KayR DIS Veteran

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    I've done it with a group of 15 of us! I was dreading it because we usually go at a quieter time, but I followed Tour Guide Mike's plans and it worked out really well. By the time the parks were getting too full for comfort, we were done and ready to head back to the vacation home for a swim and a quiet evening. After being at the park each day, I can't tell you how nice it was to relax at the home with the quiet.

    The biggest things that helped - 1. do get there for rope drop/park opening (as well as picking parks that are not hosting EMHs that day) and 2. use the fastpass system to its fullest.

    Enjoy!
     
  7. Hasil72

    Hasil72 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! See, I knew you were out there. I already sub to Tour Guide Mike so we do have a plan. We're planning to head back in October so we're going into Easter week with low expectations. DS is on the autism spectrum so we know we'll need extra down time to decompress from the crowds. For those of you who leave the parks when they get unmanageable, do you go back later that night or just call it a day?

    Thanks again for the help!
     
  8. KayR

    KayR DIS Veteran

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    We would call it a day at the parks (unless we were going to go back for fireworks), however getting to the parks early and also seeing fireworks were a bit too much (burning the candle on both ends) so generally we would go for the morning and be leaving around 3pm. The rest of the day would be swimming, eating (either at the home or out at a restaurant), watching a movie. If we fancied going out and doing something in the evening, there are plenty of mini golf places around as well as dinner shows and live shows (loved Cirque and Blue Man Group!!)
     
  9. haPevraftr

    haPevraftr DIS Veteran

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    We Arrive at rope drop, stay until lunch time, then head back for a swim/nap. We return for a dinner ADR or return after dinner in the condo. The nice thing about Easter week is that the parks open early and stay open later. That is the upside to the busy season. You will have a blast because you are already planning to balance park time and resort time. This makes for happy kids and parents;) For this reason, we like to choose a resort that has a pool slide and activities at the resort. There are lots of off site options that fit the bill.
     
  10. puffkin

    puffkin DVC Owner- SSR & AKV

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    We are also going Easter this year (our spring break is always the week leading up to Easter) and staying offsite at Windsor Hills. We are normally rope drop to lunch/back in the evening types. How concerned should we be about getting back into parks (say around 6pm) due to hitting capacity? We are planning to avoid all EMH parks.

    We are PAP holders and have pretty low expectations for this week but we don't want to spend every evening closed out of the parks.
     
  11. DreaGirl

    DreaGirl DIS Veteran

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    We are here now staying offsite at Crestwynd. It has been great! I was really worried about the EMH, but it hasn't even factored in. We get there every day for opening, stay until we are tired and go back in the evening. We ride all the rides in the morning and then do shows or eat in the evening.

    Today is our "off" morning and we love the extra space!! If you have a plan I think you'll be fine.
     
  12. VeeHam

    VeeHam Mouseketeer

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    This is great to hear. We're planning a trip for next Christmas with 10 people all different ages.
     
  13. dougsmom98

    dougsmom98 DIS Veteran

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    We have only stayed off site and we love it. We went one year between Christmas and New Years and it was fine because we avoided the park with Extra Magic Hours and got there at rope drop. That being said, I was looking at the park hours for Easter one year and saw that Magic Kingdom had EMH EVERY morning. MK is our favorite park and I would not plan a vacation during that week for that reason.
     
  14. thenewgirl

    thenewgirl Mouseketeer

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    We have gone four out of the past five years at Easter, and we will be going again this year. We always stay offsite, and we love the rental homes so much, we are thinking about buying one ourselves.

    Easter week is crazy busy, but very manageable with some planning. Our DS is autistic, so planning is essential, and having a quiet and private home with plenty of room to spread out, a place for a quiet swim, and a kitchen for cooking meals (DS is remarkably picky) is very helpful during that busy week. Having our own car in the parking lot helps as well, since de-stressing can begin immediately after leaving a park.

    We do not do rope drops, because we are not morning people. In fact, we tend to do the exact opposite of what everyone advises! :dance3: We arrive mid-morning and stay very late. Each trip, we have done everything we wanted to except Toy Story Mania. We never seem to get to DHS in time for a FP, and there is no way DS could wait in that line (we don't usually get GAC for him).

    The only bad experience we have ever had was actually at Universal, not Disney. Terrible, terrible day.
     
  15. Ametista

    Ametista DIS Veteran

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    My daughter has a "mild-to-moderate" diagnosis of sensory processing disorder. We always do the parks at rope drop and leave by 1:00. After that she is usually swimming and resting. We have tried to go back to theme parks in the pm and it has been too much for her. I guess it depends on what your son's triggers are. For my dd its noise and crowds, so we lay low in the evenings. She can handle the water parks in the afternoon, those actually seem to calm her down a lot.

    We have been 3 times over spring break and have not found it to be too bad, especially if you go to Seaworld and Busch Gardens/Aquatica which tend to be a little less crowded.
     
  16. Hasil72

    Hasil72 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks again!!! We're so up in the air over this trip! We're definitely going and staying offsite; the big debate is do we just avoid Disney until next trip and explore SW/DC or US/IOA? I know one day will be at Orlando Science Center for the Star Wars display, at least one down day at the resort, but wondering if we can survive without doing wdw. It might shock my system to drive past that exit every day. ;-)

    The crowds are what will trigger/overwhelm my DS. My brother is there now with friends and said some of the group waited four hours for TSM. Yikes!
     
  17. Ametista

    Ametista DIS Veteran

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    We are also looking at purchasing a vacation rental. I think it would be good for our daughter to have a stable place to stay, as it will alleviate a lot of the anxiety that goes along with SPD. Plus having a place with a spectacular resort pool and amenities means we can take days off from the parks and spend less money on park tickets.

    They are not easy kids to vacation with but it seems the more familiar she becomes with the parks the better she is.

    I had no idea Orlando Science Center had a Star Wars exhibit. My kids love it there!
     
  18. Hasil72

    Hasil72 DIS Veteran

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  19. Ametista

    Ametista DIS Veteran

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  20. Karlzmom

    Karlzmom DIS Veteran

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    Not meaning to hijack, but I have many of the same concerns about an offsite stay during the holidays [in our situation, Christmas] What about ADRs, losing the 180+10 benefit by staying offsite - How bad will it be to get reservations? If the parks close for capacity, can I be stuck going to AK everyday for the week? :rotfl2: Any help, or advice is appreciated, as we are in serious debate in my house over whether to go offsite or stay onsite and we are taking a VERY picky family member and I want the trip to go off without a glitch. TIA!
     
  21. Ametista

    Ametista DIS Veteran

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    We always do one or two character meals and are able to get reservations. Don't forget that when offsite you have the whole Kissimmee/Orlando area full of great restaurants. Probably much, much less expensive plus that picky person will have more to choose from, even eating at your rental home. We always do that so we can eat healthy anyway. Don't know what the 180+10 benefit is. As far as parks hitting capacity, we are always long gone by then anyway. Plus when you are offsite you have a different view about the non-Disney parks and can take advantage of those. I prefer SeaWorld and Islands of Adventure to any of the Disney parks.
     

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