Will I regret staying offsite?

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by jrtoastyman, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. jrtoastyman

    jrtoastyman Purveyor of Fine Latex Products

    May 22, 2011
    Prepping for a trip to Disneyland, our first. Been to WDW several times, and pretty much always stayed on site with the exception of the very first time. I really enjoy being on property at WDW, partially because of the ease of getting around, and partially because of the atmosphere of the hotels.

    As of right now, we're planning on staying at one of those condos west of the Disneyland Hotel. That still puts me close enough to walk so I'm not really concerned about it from that standpoint, but will I miss being at a Disney resort? For what it's worth, price is about the same, but the condo will give us a washer-dryer, full kitchen, and a LOT more space, which is why we're likely going that route.

    I do get that this is a completely subjective question, but is the theming and atmosphere at the DLR hotels such that they really add to the experience, like they do (IMO) at WDW?
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  3. awdsmama

    awdsmama DIS Veteran

    Nov 9, 2011
    In 2012 we stayed at Hojo and I did not regret it for even a nanosecond. The hotel was actually closer to the gates than the resort properties ;-) Check out this link, it's kinda neat

    Our room had a small stuffed Mickey for my son on our arrival, totally unexpected and nice touch!

    I saved so much money on that hotel vs staying onsite, it allowed us to splurge on extras like character dining.

    This trip we're staying at Tropicana which is even CLOSER since its directly across the crosswalk to DL. I just repriced it and to stay at the PPH instead of the Tropicana this year would be 300% more. TO ME that is not worth it. I'd rather spend the money on Fantasmic Dessert Seating, a nice meal at Blue Bayou, a tour or better yet - extra nights on vacation!

    Also, I know you get EMH every day by staying onsite, but 5hrs (1hr each morning of our trip) isn't worth an extra $240 per night to me ;-)

    I didn't feel like I left the "Disney Bubble" by staying offsite, although some do feel that way. Maybe its because I could still see DL so it didn't feel like we really left?

    I've toured all the onsite properties as a travel agent and while I do like them, I just cannot justify the cost.
  4. Luv2Diz

    Luv2Diz We love the Wonder and Magic of Disney cruising!

    Sep 10, 2005
    We normally stay onsite at WDW but are staying offsite at DL. I can't justify the cost of the DL hotels when we can stay offsite for around $250 per night less plus get free parking and free breakfast. We will be within walking distance. We don't spend enough time in our room to really worry about the "Disney difference" at DL!
  5. Coffee50

    Coffee50 Mouseketeer

    Aug 14, 2013
    I don't think you'll regret it at all.

    WDW & DLR are like apples & oranges when comparing the benefits of staying on property.

    Sure, the resorts are Disneyland are nice.....but because everything is virtually in walking distance, you aren't gaining anything in the way of convenience.

    Plus, it seems you'll get a lot more by staying off property than on (kitchen, w/d, etc.)
  6. Sweettears

    Sweettears 50 years of Disney and counting

    Sep 17, 2010
    I personally don't think that you will miss much. The theming of resort hotels at DL is much more subdued than at WDW. If money is no object I would stay on-site but to me it's not worth the extra expense.

    FYI this is from a person that would not consider off-site at WDW.
  7. gunka

    gunka DIS Veteran

    Jan 24, 2012
    We do both. Prefer to stay on-site, but can't always justify the cost. I do feel like you lose something when leaving the bubble...but that's me.

    Your circumstance are a little different..with the kitchen, washer/dryer etc...obviously you won't get that on property.
  8. sherilaine

    sherilaine DIS Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
    I think the only thing you lose staying off site is the EMH - if you are going to be in the park enough days and it's not peak season then I think you will be fine, especially with the conveniences you would never get on site.

    We stay at the HOJO in the kids suites, a room configuration we'd not be able to get onsite unless we booked two rooms or a suite, so you can imagine the cost savings! We find with the hotels being so close, as close as the on site hotels, that you really never leave that bubble. Sure, you are not on Disney property but you are not having to take a bus or boat like you would even staying on property in WDW.

    However, if we ever go to WDW, we will be sure to stay at an onsite hotel and we'll likely find it far less convenient than staying off site at DLR.

    Enjoy the savings and all the extras you get with the condo.
  9. All American

    All American DIS Veteran

    Aug 6, 2006
    We usually stay at my in-laws in Corona and just do day trips, but on one occasion my husband and I took a trip -- just us -- and stayed at the Marriott next to the Convention Center. It was a 20-minute walk, not too bad for able-bodied adults. Something that really surprised us (and we really liked) was how it *still* felt Disney-ish just walking down the road. Yeah, you get the traffic and real world stuff, but the people we were walking with really kept the feel going. In the morning, you're walking with people to the park, and everyone is excited to be going. In the evening, the walk is a little slower, but people have had an enjoyable day. Just that energy from fellow travelers kept that Disney vacation feel going.

    We're really looking forward to that again when we stay at the Embassy Suites this summer for the first time although we'll probably be taking the shuttle, but still the strangers we'll be with will hopefully be looking forward to their days at the park as well.
  10. kathy884

    kathy884 DIS Veteran

    Sep 26, 2009
    I'm doing my first trip as an adult to Disneyland too after 35 trips to WDW. The close offsite places are a shorter walk to the parks than the walk from the Contemporary to the Magic Kingdom, so how can you beat that. Our Disneyland add on is short just three nights / two days, and we picked the Fairfield Inn. // Sounds like your going to be pretty close too and for a decent length trip, a condo is so nice. I love having a condo. I'd personally go for the condo with no hesitation. // However, do note that I don't always stay onsite at WDW either. I mix it up quite a bit and love both.
  11. luvgoing2disney

    luvgoing2disney DIS Veteran

    Apr 9, 2007
    I don't think you will regret staying "offsite" at all. It is a complete different setup than WDW. You just walk down the block or cross the street mad you are there. We have stayed once on site but stayed at HoJos last trip and will be there again in 20 days. You may not be immersed in Disney but you will not really miss it IMHO.
  12. whoever

    whoever DIS Veteran

    Apr 7, 2013
    Its a personal decision. For us, we would hate offsite vs. GCH. Its always been GCH for us, and it will always will be.
  13. Tasia

    Tasia Mouseketeer

    Jul 14, 2012
    We stayed on site last time and will again this time but only because our kids are so young that the early hour helped us to get a lot done when it is less busy. But it is much more expensive. Both have ups but I really don't think you will regret staying in the condo. It sounds like a really great set up. :)
  14. lucysmom

    lucysmom DIS Veteran

    Oct 3, 2004
    I love staying onsite. I love being in the bubble. Actually, I don't want to stay at the PPH because you cross the city street to get to the parks. Because we go at Christmas time, we really need the EMH. I think you need to do what works for you and your family. Have fun either way.
  15. mikedoyleblogger

    mikedoyleblogger DIS Veteran

    Feb 11, 2013
    Most people actually stay off-site at DLR. The only on-site options are equivalent to WDW's deluxe resorts and there are only three options. So for cost and sheer availability of rooms, the average DLR guest, unless they're a local resident, stays at an off-site Good Neighbor hotel. The walk to the main gates is usually 10 minutes or less, and the entire Anaheim Resort Area is geared towards Disney guests. That said, I'm not entirely sure how accessible the parks are on foot from west of the Disneyland Hotel. You might want to consider somewhere on Harbor or Katella, instead.
  16. Disneyland1084

    Disneyland1084 OH PLEASE SOMEBODY TELL ME!

    Apr 29, 2005
    Although staying at onsite hotels is my preference when I go to Disneyland, I stayed at the Howard Johnson last summer and loved it.
  17. disneycat321

    disneycat321 Mouseketeer

    Jan 13, 2013
    I'm a local, but I did stay offsite as a preteen when I wasn't a local, does that count? ;)

    Honestly, we would never even consider staying offsite at WDW, but DLR is very different. If we were not locals, we would never stay at a DLR hotel. Just cannot justify that extra cost. They are very, very nice hotels and I'm sure staying there is a wonderful experience, but IMO they are not as fantastic as the deluxe resorts at WDW, though they cost the same or more.

    Like others have said, everything is just SO close, I don't think you will miss anything staying offsite. Also, with the exception of the Grand, you can actually be closer to the parks staying offsite.
  18. Malcon10t

    Malcon10t DIS Veteran

    Feb 21, 2006
    I enjoy staying both onsite and offsite. We frequently stay at the DLH, it is our preference of the 3 hotels. Staying offsite, my preferences are the Hilton, Fairfield Inn, Candy Cane, Hojo's, or Residence Inn Maingate (in no particular order.)
  19. LizzyS

    LizzyS DIS Veteran

    Sep 16, 2011
    We stayed offsite the first two times we went to DL and it was a great time. We didn't even stay super close; we stayed at the Red Lion and I would stay there again in the future. For our trip next month, we decided to splurge since it's our 5 year anniversary, so we're staying at Paradise Pier to get the onsite experience and get into the parks early everyday.

    If having a kitchen and laundry facilities is important to you, I would say you won't regret not staying onsite. Not to mention, staying onsite is pretty pricey, anyway.
  20. DollBabyKG

    DollBabyKG Mouseketeer

    Oct 23, 2008
    We have been to Disneyland 6 or 7 times in the last few years, and we've never stayed on site. But I wouldn't even consider going to Disney World and staying offsite.

    There just aren't enough benefits of staying onsite at DL to justify the cost for us. Honestly, really the only perk that tempts us at all would be the extra park entrance and early hour at CA if you're staying at Grand Californian. If our children were still small enough to need a mid-day nap, it might be worth the consideration to be so close to walk back to the room, and be right back in the park. Since we typically don't do mid day naps anymore that benefit is negligible in comparison to the extra $1200 it would cost for 4 nights.

    We actually really like staying offsite for a few reasons. First of all, we always book a suite. I use LMTclub.com, and we can get a 1 BR suite at Anaheim Marriott Suites for $68/night most trips, or Embassy Suites South for about $100/night. All that extra space is really nice, especially when we go in the off season and the hours are short, and we don't want to go to bed at the same time the kids do. The other bonus (and moneysaver) of staying offsite is that your food choices open up a TON. If we stay somewhere that doesn't have breakfast we can pick up McDonald's or something really cheap for breakfast instead of an expensive meal in the park. Same for dinner. We often get take out from places like Outback, or Bucca di Beppo and eat it in the room for much less cost. Again, this is a huge difference between DL and DW. At The World there are so many restaurants I'm DYING to try that I wouldn't even consider eating dinner offsite, but at the Land, not as much, so it's a big cost savings there.

    The only thing I will say is to be prepared that a lot of hotels/condos advertise themselves as being "walking distance to the park," but they really aren't comfortable walking distance to the parks. Some are QUITE long, which isn't an issue in the morning, but in the evening when you've been walking ALL DAY LONG, and your kids are tired and cranky, that walk seems MUCH longer and more for boding. We drive in from Utah, and we always park at Toy Story and take Disney's shuttle into the Park. It's fast, easy, and convenient, and the buses are ALWAYS there, waiting for you. The ART and hotel shuttles were a huge pain in the butt for us, and we felt like we wasted a ton of time waiting. Now again, we usually go in the off season, and I've heard they have better service during the busier seasons.

    Anyway this was a long response, but just wanted to reassure you. I grew up going to Disney World, and while it took me a couple of visits to warm up, Disneyland is now "our park." We go a couple of times a year, and it feels like "home." We love it. But it's a totally different vacation than Disney World. For us, Disney Land is our quick, "cheap" getaway, especially since we don't have to get plane tickets, and Disney World is a big, blow out vacation where we don't mind so much spending money on food and onsite hotels.

    Hope you love your trip to the Land!
  21. superrach

    superrach Mouseketeer

    Mar 12, 2012
    Tropicana is having a special on 5 and 7 nights stays. I just booked my 7 nights for $642! I wouldn't regret staying off site for those savings and it's one of the closest!

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