Three questions: Which? Just How? And When?

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by JustAKid, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. JustAKid

    JustAKid DIS Veteran

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    We are a family of 5, and we're looking at staying on-site vs. other options. So far, off-site seems to be the better option mostly due to the price of the resorts that will allow 5 people per-room, or that we'll have to get 2 rooms, the 1 we simply will not use.

    My questions are these: Which resort would you stay if you had a family of 5 and had to be budget conscious? Just how strict are they on how many people can be in a room? And when should one book their stay if they are going to be on-site?
     
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  3. minnie mum

    minnie mum Unapologetic Disney Fan(atic)

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    1.POR Alligator Bayou is the least expensive option.

    2. Very strict. Room occupancy is a firm limit. If you exceed the limit and are found out you will be thrown out of the resort.

    3. As soon as you have firm dates. This avoids the problem of the resort being booked up if you wait too long. You can always change your booking at a later date to take advantage of any special offers or discounts that come up.
     
  4. JustAKid

    JustAKid DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! I tried searching for my dates (April 2014) via the website and it won't let me access more than 1 year to the day. Should I call directly or is it only possible to book 1 year in advance?
     
  5. kimnvbva

    kimnvbva Mouseketeer

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    Have you looked into the new Art of Animation suites? They are designed for larger families. Off site is an option but once you get there you realize that it is worth staying on property. Even if you want to go back to the room for a break its so much easier. You can also take advantage of EMH and dining plans. You would also have to rent a car. You would have to add that into your budget. I would try to tally what it would cost for both options. Good luck! :thumbsup2
     
  6. dansdad

    dansdad DIS Veteran

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    As minniemum stated, the Alligator Bayou section of POR is the least expensive option. Plus it's a lovely resort. The prices for 2014 have not been release yet so you can't look online for packages or room only reservations. You can call and reserve a room only and will be charged the cost of one night at 2013 rates. Then when the 2014 rates are released, your reservation will be adjusted to reflect the new rates.

    They usually release the new rates around June or July.
     
  7. gilesmt

    gilesmt DIS Veteran

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    I'm confused, in your signature you have 6, people, in your post you say 5, just want to make sure the info is right. Since there are three adults, have any of you ever served in the military. Even if you do not serve now, if you ever served you are eligible for SoG in sept and jan, of if one of you serve now you are eligible all year. They have extra large rooms that fit 5 easily, for some of the best rates especially those two months. They also have suites for 6. Just a thought, you said April, but if you can save hundreds it may be worth changing dates.
     
  8. JustAKid

    JustAKid DIS Veteran

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    DBiL has gone with us to DL, but will not be accompaning us to WDW because of unpredictable college situations (meaning we can't plan too far out which is a basic requirement, it seems, at WDW). He usually does EVERYTHING with us so I feel kinda weird taking him out. :laughing:

    No one has ever served in the military, although my oldest daughter is an ex-dependant of an ex-military member, does that count?! :p
     
  9. CocaColaGuy

    CocaColaGuy That's what she said.

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    If only it were that easy!

    I know that the up-front cost of staying onsite is staggering. My wife and I had this same conversation last year!

    However, we stayed at AoA for about $500 more than the price of staying off-site, renting a van, food, etc. I know it is a hard option, but when you consider the convenience, it really is worth it.
     
  10. whitestavern

    whitestavern Earning My Ears

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    Disclaimer: I have never stayed onsite.

    We've done three trips to WDW. Stayed at a timeshare resort once and Windsor Hills twice, first time in a 2 br condo, second time in a 4 br town home w/its own pool. You are very close to the parks, and if you are driving you may have a shorter trip than those taking Disney transpo. We loved our offsite trips, found it extremely easy to take midday breaks and felt very immersed with the themed bedrooms. It was awesome having so much space, a kitchen if we wanted to use it (not that we did...breakfast was about it as I don't like cooking on vacation), and our own private pool. All for less than staying onsite. We take the auto train down so we have our own car. If we had to rent a car, I'd do the math and figure out if it was still as good a deal.

    That said, we are attempting to stay onsite next year, only because we can use RCI points to trade into DVC, which is the only way I will travel with kids :) It's no fun for our family of four being stuck in one room, even if we did only sleep there.

    Just wanted to give you another opinion...
     
  11. graceesmom

    graceesmom DIS Veteran

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    I hadn't heard that prior military could stay at SOG in Sept and Jan. My husband was in the Navy, but did not retire from the Navy. He did 4 years before going to college. Where can I find information about this option. It might just be a good excuse to make a Sept. or Jan. bonus trip.:thumbsup2
     
  12. francie57

    francie57 DIS Veteran

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    Have you checked into renting points for a 2 bedroom villa. You would have a full kitchen for quick breakfasts in the morning, snacks, and drinks. You would have an in-room washer/dryer so you wouldn't have to pack as much and have room to spread out.
     
  13. I Love Pluto

    I Love Pluto DIS Veteran<br><font color=green>I guess that make

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    If it were my choice - I would go with POR. They only have a certain amount of rooms that sleep 5 - and I admit that I have not seen the pull-out bed - but it is your least expensive option.

    I believe that the next in amount spent is a suite at All Star Music.

    Since I have only stayed Value & Mod - I cannot give advice on Deluxe resorts.
     
  14. nkereina

    nkereina Wendy Darling

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    On-site, the cheapest options would be the following, each one varying slightly in price:

    -POR staying in the Alligator Bayou section. The room would have two queen beds and a pull down murphy bed that is about the size of a crib mattress. This bed is meant for children about 12 and younger.

    -Fort Wilderness cabins

    -AoA suites or All Star Music Family Suites

    -renting DVC points to stay in a villa. Only downfalls with this are that you have to book through the DVC owner and you pay for everything up front and about 7 months in advance and it's non-refundable.


    What are the ages in your party? As PPs have said, POR is the cheapest but depending on how old people are, one of the suites might give you more room.
     
  15. buzznina

    buzznina DIS Veteran

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    I would not consider renting DVC points for a 2 bedroom villa for the budget conscious. Just using 2013 rates it would be about $3,000 for 7 nights, or about $2,500 for a one bedroom, and that is at only $10 a point, which you will not get for April.
    Like PP have noted, POR or 2 value rooms will be the cheapest way to go. I
     
  16. Missyrose

    Missyrose DIS Veteran

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    Just as a quick note here, if you're going to rent points for a DVC stay, you're much better off finding an owner to rent from at the resort you would like to stay. Owners can book home resorts at 11 months out and everyone can book at any resort starting at seven months. So if you want one of the resorts with parks access (BCV, BWV, BLT or VWL) you do much better booking your stay as close to the 11-month mark as you can.

    For a party of five, you could fit comfortably in a one-bedroom villa at BLT, AKV-Kidani and OKW, they all have a sleeping chair in the living room in addition to the pullout couch and king size bed. And there are second bathrooms in these units, as well.
     
  17. gilesmt

    gilesmt DIS Veteran

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    If you go under there web site and call the reservation number they can tell you. I read it all the time on the military sites that it is still an option, although I have noticed that last year they took it off the main SoG site. On military sites it tells you how to get a copy of a dd214, that is all you need to have to get the room in sept and jan, and in sept it was 40% off, but I see it is now only 30% off, I think as it fills up it gives less of a discount. I know for a fact that you can do this, because we stayed this way in the past, but then ex got 100% disabled and he now fits under that, so it can be done and we stayed jan and there was like a 50% off sale, so we paid something like $37 for a room, but that was years ago.

    As for tickets, you can buy the military tickets, not the salute tickets, because you would not qualify, but you can buy the discounted military tickets, the ones without tax, if you go during the months of sept and jan.

    I will try to find the military site, but if you call they will let you book in sept and jan, you will need a dd214 upon check in, and right now the rooms for 5 are going for about $75 depending on your rank, it may be cheaper in jan. since you missed some of the good discounts in sept.
     
  18. gilesmt

    gilesmt DIS Veteran

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    Here is the information I was able to obtain from military Disney tips, I thought the discount was long ago, like back in the 1990's but here it states it started in 2010. My ex has been eligible for 100% disabled since the early 2000's so maybe we never stayed under it this way, but I thought we had. SoG rooms are the biggest on site, so 5 fit easily. Sept and jan are very slow months. I love this resort, right on property, we pay less than $100 and use the poly monorail, and they are paying $500 a night, I just have to walk a few extra steps to get across the street, well worth the $400 a night I save.

    Hope this helps.




    Non-Retired Veterans now eligible for stays at Shades of Green Resort on Disney Property
    Are you one of the many who served your country in the US Military for less than the 20 years required to retire? Perhaps it wasn't right for you, you moved on to a better job, or you wanted more stability.

    Well now with their "Salute to Our Veterans" Program, Shades of Green is accepting reservations from non-retired US military veterans for stays in January and September.


    Shades of Green the military resort located on Walt Disney World property began this offer for non-retired Vets in September 2010.

    Eligibility Requirements are: Those who served in the military for less than 20 years and received an honorable discharge are eligible to stay at Shades of Green during the months of January and September only. A DD-214 is required at check-in as proof of your honorable discharge.

    You may obtain a copy of your DD-214 by clicking here if you don't have one.

    Shades of Green Basic Information

    Rooms and Reservations: Maximum number of rooms per sponsor is three (this includes suites). Maximum number of guests in standard, poolside, or ADA rooms is five; junior suites sleep a maximum of six guests; suites sleep eight guests total. Military sponsors should not reserve additional rooms under their name for other eligible military/DoD sponsors. Sponsored guests must be accompanied by the military/DoD sponsor at check-in and throughout the entire stay. A room reserved with multiple sponsors should be reserved based on the highest-ranking person. Reservations are not transferable.

    Room Rates: Room Rates are based upon verification of DD214 at the time of check-in. Guest showing their DD214 with an Honorable Discharge will pay the Category #2 rate. Please click here for Room Rate details. Room Rates are based on two adults occupying a standard room and four adults occupying the suites; for single occupancy, subtract $2 from the listed rate. Add $15 per additional adult 18 years or older.

    Amenities: All rooms include refrigerator, coffee maker, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, and in-room safe. Due to fire codes, any additional cooking appliances (such as microwaves) are not allowed in guestrooms.

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    Detailed Shades of Green Information

    Please check out the links to the left, the content they link to will give you a great overview of What Shades of Green has to offer.

    One of the great benifits is their ticket sales office where ther sell Military Discounted Tickets foe all local area attractions (including Disney).



    You can view Shades of Green's information for this program by clicking here (PDF download).



    How to obtain a military ID
     
  19. thisismyusername

    thisismyusername DIS Veteran

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    This question always comes down to what's most important to you and what you value. Often, you can find resort condos with several bedrooms and full kitchens and luxurious pools on site for the same price per night as a room at Port Orleans Riverside.

    If you don't want to worry about transportation, don't want to cook any meals, only plan to be "home" to sleep and shower, and want to be immersed in the Disney experience, then you will want to stay on-site. However, if separate bedrooms are a must for you on vacation, and you'll have a car (or don't mind renting a car), and if you want to prepare some/most/all of your meals to help save some money, then I think you should consider an off-site condo.
     
  20. JustAKid

    JustAKid DIS Veteran

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    In essence this was one of them beloved "convince me" threads. I was on the fence about on vs off-site. However, I think the benefits of being off-site out weight the magic of being on-site. Thanks for providing the other angle of the discussion - hearing my own thoughts repeated back to me was very reassuring and helpful!
     

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