Why do people stay off-site?

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by nan1217, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. nan1217

    nan1217 Mouseketeer

    Jan 25, 2005
    OK, I'm looking at several trips to WDW in 2013 and, although I've only stayed on-site before, I thought I'd look into trying off-site options as well.

    I'm not sure it's ever going to make much sense for us. By the time you add up the airport transfer fees for off-site hotels, daily internet fees and losing on-site benefits, there are only 2 times it seems like it would make sense for somebody to stay off-site:

    - people traveling with hotel points
    - larger families that need more space

    Am I missing something here? Are there people outside of those 2 groups that stay off-site and can help convince me to give it a try?
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  3. DisneyRegulars

    DisneyRegulars DIS Veteran

    Oct 20, 2011
    I've stayed off site and on site. I prefer on site, but for our offsite stays we rented large vacation homes, and I must say, it was pretty awesome to have our own pool, and separate bedrooms for everyone in our party all for less than the price of enough beds at Pop century.
  4. janiejake

    janiejake Mouseketeer

    Oct 18, 2002
    I am interested in the responses you get, as well. Haven't stayed off-site for the past 14 years, but am considering it for our January trip. We are only staying for 5 nights before departing on a cruise. The whole family is going, so need room for 7 adults and one toddler. On-site looks to be fairly pricy for this many people. Am considering a DTD hotel for a couple rooms. Hate to give up POR and the advantages that come with staying on-site.
  5. Pixiedust34

    Pixiedust34 <font color=blue>It's like I'm stuck in a music ti

    Jun 23, 2005
    I'm strictly an onsite person myself, but you can get a whole lot more space for less money off site. As you mentioned, that does work for larger families. It also works for longer trips (let's say 2 weeks or more) if you want a larger space, your own kitchen, laundry, etc.

    Also, some families split time between WDW, Universal, Sea World, visiting family in FL, etc. and staying off site may be less expensive and more convenient for their plans.
  6. dbrn

    dbrn Mouseketeer

    Aug 22, 2010
    We stayed in a 2-bedroom condo in Windsor Hills for less than we would have paid for a value room onsite. Our drive to the parks was quick and easy, much easier than our few encounters with Disney bus/monorail transportation during that trip. We had lots of space for the family to relax at the condo, we packed less because we were able to do laundry, and we enjoyed eating a few meals in instead of having every meal out. The condo was filled with Disney touches, and the kids loved the toys/games/DVDs that were provided at the condo.

    Overall, our off-site trip was cost-effective and comfortable for us, and the kids say they want to stay at the condo again when we go back - they much preferred that to being cramped in a hotel room for a week like we did during our last vacation - we didn't spend a lot of time in the room during either vacation, but there was a huge difference!

    I like staying on-site, too, and both on-site and off-site have advantages. Whichever you decide, I hope you have a great vacation!
  7. mouseketeermama

    mouseketeermama Mouseketeer

    Aug 13, 2010
    I have no idea. We live 25 miles away and I still stay onsite as much as I can.;)

    My guess is that financially it makes sense for some families though.
  8. SJerseyMommy

    SJerseyMommy Earning My Ears

    Apr 29, 2007
    For us, it made a lot of sense to try off-site this time. We are a family of 5 so we can only stay at select resorts (the most expensive ones!). We rented a timeshare at Wyndham Bonnet Creek for 7 nights. It cost us $800. The cheapest onsite room for us (AOA) was $1700. The week that we are going isn't eligible for FD anyway.

    In addition, we would have had a 500 s/f room at AOA whereas at WBC, we have 1500 s/f. The pools at BC are superior (IMO) to the pool at AOA.

    We rent a car anyway so that was a non-issue.

    BC has free internet, Disney does not.

    This is our first time staying offsite so we'll see how we like it.
  9. Kimosabe

    Kimosabe DIS Veteran

    Aug 21, 2012
    We have always stayed onsite when going to WDW, but were in Orlando last year for our DD's dance competition, which was very close to Disney (Gaylord) but not technically at a Disney property. Because of the dance schedule, we knew we would not be able to spend much, if any, time in the parks, so rather than tempt ourselves, we rented a house in Kissimmee. The cost of this three-bedroom, two-story house with a pool was cheaper than a room at the Gaylord would have been, even with the convention "deal" pricing. We even compared it to some Disney rooms, with the same result. Thus, when comparing prices and amenities, it might be worth looking at that sort of option, especially if you're considering any parks other than Disney.

    However, as a general rule, if we're going down strictly for WDW, we'll be onsite. You can compare dollars and cents, pools, etc., but for us, it is the intangible benefit of being surrounded by Disney that makes it worth whatever extra we might be paying (although depending on the level of resort and when you go, the price can sometimes be quite good). We are the people who want to maximize our time in the parks because we're rarely there for more than three days at a time, so there would not be much option for taking off during the day to go back to the off-site house for a meal or a swim break...and by the time we got "home" at night, we'd just collapse in the bed!
  10. nan1217

    nan1217 Mouseketeer

    Jan 25, 2005
    Disney does now! That's one of the reasons off-site seems more expensive to me - lots of places still charge a daily fee.
  11. Chelley00

    Chelley00 DIS Veteran

    Aug 21, 2005

    We do both. We stay offsite in a rental home when we have all four kids with us, and this trip are staying offsite since its a long trip (14 nights) at Bonnet Creek. We drive so there are no transfer fees and we don't stay in a hotel so no Internet fees. We are staying two weeks for considerably less than one week at AOA or renting DVC points would be. We don't use EMH because we find them too busy for our tastes. If you use all the Disney resort amenities, you probably wouldn't be happy offsite.
  12. GATORinaZ28

    GATORinaZ28 DIS Dad#764

    Jan 9, 2008
    We normally always stay onsite. However, back in 2010, my wife won a week stay in a 2-bdr suite at the Vistana Villas. We decided that it would be dumb to not use it, so we stayed offsite.

    With that said, I definitely prefer onsite to be in the Disney environment 100% of the time.
  13. 4kids4karen

    4kids4karen DIS Veteran

    Dec 25, 2006
    Not everyone uses airport transfer fees, a lot of families DRIVE to Orlando. But some off-site hotels do offer free airport transportation. Not every hotel charges for internet. What really are the "on-site" benefits? I don't get that. The dining plan? Extra magic hours? Not everyone needs that. We are just fine eating in or hotel or off-site where we have more options. There are cheaper hotels than on-site and are just as nice. For example, one of our favorite hotels is Gaylord Palms. The military rate often beats the price I am quoted by Disney.
  14. HM

    HM My tag from the Tag Fairy is now too long to use.

    Mar 8, 2001
    We've been lucky to use a family members timeshare points to stay offsite twice. The chance at having a nearly free place to stay outweighed onsite big time. We were apprehensive, but we really liked it. The rooms were bigger, more comfortable and we had activities around the resort just like at Disney. The drive was much easier that we thought and getting around in our own car was simple. We are staying onsite on our upcoming trip but think the next one after that might be offsite again.

    I've had three offsite trips and approx seventeen onsite trips in the last 12 years.
  15. GraceMonica

    GraceMonica DIS Veteran

    Jul 31, 2011
    I stay offsite because that's what my grandparents do! They used to stay at offsite hotels...but then they wanted to stay longer so they rent a vacation home for two months in the winter. Well, a 4 bedroom home gets pretty lonely for two old people, so they invite their kids and grandkids (me!) Down.

    Im one if five kids, so even if we were to go down there as a family without the DGP, we'd still stay in a rented home

    My grandparents say that what they spend on one month on the rental home, someone else would spend on one week on property.

    Plus, we drive down (lately it's been half driving, half flying) so we have our van.

    My parents agreed to take me to disney for my 21st birthday. Just me! (Well, and my boyfriend) so we're staying onsite for the first time! My boyfriend is flying since he can't take off work to drive, while my parents and I are driving. Saves money since we're spending so much to stay on property! (Going during peak times - spring break, because that's when my birthday is!)

    The only reason we're able to stay on site is because it'll just be four of us! I would only stay onsite again after this if it lives up to my expectations and if my boyfriend will agree to another trip! (I think im going to give disney a rest after my birthday until I get a ring on my finger and have a special reason to go back...which means I need to save a lot to make that happen!)

    That was a lot of rambling.
    Here's the breakdown.
    We stay offsite for free because my grandparents pay for the rental home.
    If we went down without the grandparents, we would still be staying off site because we are a family of 7 (plus this allows us to invite friends and significant others)

    Some of us drive down while others fly. This way we're cutting cost and we'll have a vehicle down there. (Next trip we're all driving while the high schoolers fly back early to get back to school!)

    I am able to stay onsite for the first time because its not a family trip. its a special trip for me because im the birthday girl!

    When I start my family, I hope to take disney trips. When I do, I would like to stay onsite. Its because I would want to be immersed in the disney magic...and if I have to save for a while to do that, that's okay! I think it would be worth it in the end. (Still would drive down though!)
  16. Suzanne033

    Suzanne033 Nobody on their deathbed ever wishes they spent mo

    Apr 2, 2004
    I have done both. While I prefer on-site due to the 24/7 Disney experience, my DD's volleyball team parents preferred to stay offsite because of the cost savings. We got a three bedroom condo (slept 7) at Windsor Palms for $500/week. It was literally a 5 minutes drive to the parks. I firmly believe that I could get to the parks faster from our condo than I could waiting for one of the park bus.

    The particular condo we stayed in was decorated in a Disney motif so we really did get the Disney-feel when we were there.

    The added amenities included free WIFI, washer/dryer, and a fully equipped kitchen. The breakfast savings alone were at least $120.
  17. reiella

    reiella DIS Veteran

    Mar 29, 2010
    Internet is not required, and Airport transfer fees aren't really relevant if you're renting a car anyway. And I believe Disney still charges if you want to use the hardline access instead of their WiFi.

    104$/night to stay at the Hilton at DTD. Buses aren't as great, but you still have access to the transportation network. And there's also the Swan and Dolphin which also tends to run a bit cheaper than Disney operated hotels.

    I prefer staying onsite, but off-site is significantly cheaper and many can find a different quality service at some of the off-site resorts because they aren't part of the themepark.
  18. musicmantrs

    musicmantrs Mouseketeer

    Mar 29, 2012
    We've done both. I like on-site when it's just me and one other person to save money on rental cars (at 24 they add a nice fee for me to rent) and FD/EMH. With that said, in March we stayed in a 5 bedroom 5 bath house with 4 King beds and a queen for around $1400 for the week. We rented 2 cars (my uncle and father did) and my sister drove down so we had 3 total. There were 6 of us and we used 4 of the bedrooms and it was soooo nice for everyone to have their own space. Me and my GF made RD every day while they slept in and we didn't disturb anyone else leaving the house.
  19. nfggirl5454

    nfggirl5454 Mouseketeer

    May 8, 2012
    I prefer to stay on-site, but I'm going with two friends and a toddler this weekend. We decided the values weren't an option due to the double bed size (and we prefer moderates anyway). The DTD hotels were much cheaper than the mods, even with my AP discount. One of the girls is only coming up one night, so I'm saving $50, even when the Holiday Inn's per night parking fee is added into my cost. I'd rather use that money at the F&W festival than pay for a room I won't actually be spending time in.
  20. nan1217

    nan1217 Mouseketeer

    Jan 25, 2005
    So it seems like everybody who has said they stay off-site has fallen into the 2 categories I mentioned (people traveling on points or needing more space) and also a third category: people with a car.

    I don't fall into any of those categories which is why I wasn't able to find an off-site hotel that made sense for me. We might be able to use some Starwood points to stay at the Swan or Dolphin which is not really off-site but it might be as close as we will get.
  21. nan1217

    nan1217 Mouseketeer

    Jan 25, 2005
    According to Mousesavers, ethernet access has been discontinued. http://www.mousesavers.com/walt-dis...er-disney-world-discounts-and-deals/#internet

    According to WDWInfo.com, you can use the cord provided for wired access in the room, seemingly for free. http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/resorts/wireless.htm

    I don't know who is correct but Mousesavers has been more reliable in my experience. Either way, there doesn't seem to be an extra fee involved.

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