Always stayed on WDW Property - sell me on off site

Discussion in 'Orlando Hotels and Attractions' started by qman, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. qman

    qman DIS Veteran

    Jul 6, 2005
    We've been to WDW four times and stayed on site each time (CBR & CSR). We really enjoyed being on site but it is expensive. Assuming we rent a car and have to pay for parking each day, what is the savings of staying off site?
  2. conniehar90

    conniehar90 DIS Veteran

    Apr 5, 2005
    Even with a car and parking we usually always come out ahead. I wouldn't say it was worth it if you are just going to do a hotel but if you rent a condo in one of the communities just outside the gate, you will be soooo happy with all the extra space you gain, you will never want to go back onsite.

    Try Windsor Hills - super close and really nice!
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  4. momto2js

    momto2js DIS Veteran

    Oct 9, 2009
    We drive but assuming you can get a car on the less expensive side you can come out way ahead and have WAY more space. We have done a week with everything (granted we had the salute tickets) for our family of 4 for @ 1200. No way we could have done that at a value and we have always at least had 2 bedrooms and a full kitchen.

    I argue that it has never taken me longer to get to the parks from off-site than if I stay on and used disney transport. I have often been in the park and 30 minutes later had my kids in bed for a nap during the day.

    Good luck making a decision but for us it is easy.
  5. cherylsmike

    cherylsmike Mouseketeer

    Feb 7, 2009
    I did the math and made a spreadsheet because I am resisting staying off-site. We will be staying at Wyndham Bonnet Creek in a One-bedroom villa because even with rental car (they do have a shuttle) and parking fees it is still much cheaper than a moderate ($649 for 8 nights plus $350 over estimate for car and parking total $1000 with the freedom of a car) or about the same price as the All-Stars without a car ($909). Tickets and food not included. Except at Bonnet Creek we get a King size bed, sofa, kitchen, washer/dryer, garden tub, and balcony. And it is closer to the action than the All-Stars. I am still struggling with the choice, but I figured for the space, comfort, and budget I can at least try it.
  6. 4kids4karen

    4kids4karen DIS Veteran

    Dec 25, 2006
    What are you looking for? A larger place?

    I have stayed at a hotel right across the street from Downtown Disney and it was great being so close to our hotel and having DTD so close by. The hotel has changed names like 3 times, but is a nice hotel if you get in the towers. It was Regal Sun but I am pretty sure the name changed again because my brother just stayed there a few months ago under the new name.

    1GR8DISNEYFAN Mouseketeer

    Apr 9, 2008
    Our last trip we stayed at Bonnet Creek in a 2 BR presidential suite. The room and resort were beautiful, it was nice having the extra space. But, it just wasn't Disney. I love staying on site. While trying to make a decision about that trip I was on the fence about on or off property. I read the "We love Bonnet Creek" thread every day and looked at all the pictures. After a lot of consideration I decided to try off site. I do not regret my decision because now I know. From now on if at all possible, I will always choose on site. If you do choose off site I would highly recomend Bonnet Creek. We rented points and got a great deal. At Bonnet Creek you have a full kitchen so can eat all meals and snacks in which can be a big savings. You do get more for your money off site, it just depends on what you want from your vacation. I really think it is a personal choice. I realized that for me a big part of my vacation is staying at a Disney resort. I love being surounded by the magic 24 hours a day, and would rather stay in a smaller room to have it.
  8. LeahA

    LeahA DIS Veteran

    Jan 28, 2000
    It all comes down to money for us this year. We used to stay offsite and then spent many years onsite, most recently in our DVC which since we've had to sell. So this trip we have a 3 bedroom condo for 1 week at WH for $900.00. There is 5 of us, and POR is $2000 for the same week. Hopefully in the future we can stay onsite again, but, I'm excited to stretch out, save some money, and try something new!
  9. mommytothreeboys

    mommytothreeboys DIS Veteran

    Mar 2, 2007
    I am struggling with this same decision. We have always stayed onsite and used the dining plan. This year, money is really tight and it looks like it's either offsite or no Disney. :sad1: I understand the "immersed in the magic" feeling and, given an unlimited budget, would prefer it. But....with 5 of us, Value is not an option so the money we can save by staying offsite makes a Disney trip possible this year. The more I look at the options at Windsor Hills, the more excited I get to try something new. It will be a different kind of Disney trip, but one I am excited to be financially able to make work!

    Good luck.....I hope you get the advice and the trip you are looking for! :goodvibes
  10. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

    Aug 3, 2010
    It should be easy to beat the price you are used to. Compared to a moderate, an offsite resort will be less expensive and provide much more space. From your avatar photo, it looks like you are at least a family of 4. We love staying at a 2BR Villa with our family of 4, so much more room than any hotel room - space-wise the only comparable is a DVC 2BR in a Deluxe ($$$). We stay at Vistana and our cost is similar to two Value rooms, but there are many other options - the Hiltons (HGVC) are amazing, WBC is nice and close to staying onsite.

    Check out the transportation board for how to save on your rental. It really doesn't have to be very expensive at all.
  11. jm0925

    jm0925 Disney Dreamer

    May 18, 2012
    I know which hotel you are referring to also and for the life of me I can't remember the new name. I know one of its old names was The Grosvenor Hotel. My aunt worked at that hotel many years ago so my family would stay there for Disney vacations. I recently stayed at the Best Western down the street on that same road, but I wasn't impressed. The rooms needed some updating.
  12. 4kids4karen

    4kids4karen DIS Veteran

    Dec 25, 2006
    I just did a google search to find it. Yes, I remember it as the Grosvenor, then Regal Sun. It looks like now it is just called Wyndam Lake Buena Vista.

    I know online reviews many did not like the 1st floor rooms with the large sliding doors because of noise of guest coming in/out at all hours. I have only stayed in the towers and thought it was a very nice stay. I have stayed here twice. Once with my brother's family, who recently went back a couple months ago. They have a very nice pool and kids splash/play area.
  13. Upatnoon

    Upatnoon DIS Veteran

    Oct 4, 2005
    Money AND sanity savings: Staying offsite you get more space, more beds, more TVs, more bathrooms, full kitchen -- all for less than the cost of a tiny Disney value room. More space means more relaxation and better sleep. More rest means more fun and less stress.

    Food savings: Because you have a full kitchen, you can eat breakfast in or the occasional dinner in your room and save over eating out. It is often more relaxing to eat dinner in your room than trudge off to another restaurant when tired.

    Snack savings: Keeping snacks and treats in your kitchen means spending less on them at the theme parks. Not too mention if you get hungry at midnight.

    Laundry savings: Free laundry in your room means you can bring less luggage and not risk overweight bags. No trips to Disney coin laundry or paying a fortune for laundry service.

    Rental car ease: No waiting on the Disney bus. Want to go to Downtown Disney? Easy drive. Want to go to dinner at a Disney resort? Get there in 10 minutes instead of 90 minutes if you're unlucky with the Disney buses. Want to grab a meal at a nearby non-Disney restaurant or hit the outlet mall? No problem with a car.
  14. Brian Noble

    Brian Noble His Curmudgeonly Highness

    Mar 23, 2004
    There are three things you might want in WDW area lodging

    1: To be onsite
    2: To have a reasonable amount of space
    3: To spend a reasonable amount of money.

    Most of the time, you can't have all three at the same time, so you have to decide which one to give up. You can probably rent a 2-3 bedroom condo (with a full kitchen, washer/dryer, etc.) or maybe even a pool home (with a private heated pool), plus get a rental car and pay for theme park parking, for somewhere between what a Value and a Moderate room costs.
  15. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

    Aug 29, 1999
    I think you're really smart to ask this question here and on the Resorts board. Usually people ONLY ask over on the Resorts board and get the standard 24/7 Pixie Dust answer.

    Even though we own at DVC, we have stayed off site many times. We usually stay in a regular hotel room and not a condo, but I really want to stay in one of those Windsor Hills townhouses with their own private pool. Maybe on our next trip over Spring Break while my DD is still in middle school and will enjoy it.

    I think your monetary saving are:
    * Offsite hotels and condos are almost always cheaper than onsite hotels.
    * If you have hotel points, you can even stay for free (we stayed at the Hilton Bonnet Creek and the Hyatt recently for free).
    * You are more likely to eat lunch or dinner offsite since it's on your way "home" instead of paying the very expensive Disney food prices.
    * If you have a condo ...
    ** You can cook breakfast in your room at the very least.
    ** You have your own private laundry so you can carry fewer clothes with you, saving on luggage fees.

    Your expenses are:
    * A rental car is just about a requirement.
    * Parking fees at the WDW parks (free if you have an AP).

    I think that you will have to do like cherylsmike and make up a spreadsheet. I did that for a family trip where we were considering having a 12 person family reunion at a pool home. In fairness, we ended up at Pop Century because Free Dining was announced and that was back when you could get the regular DDP included at the Value resorts. Pop was more expensive than just the pool home alone, but it turned out that we would have paid more to stay at the pool home and then pay for food in restaurants. We really never planned using the kitchen for dinners.
  16. princessap

    princessap DIS Veteran

    Aug 20, 2009
    That is a great price for Bonnet you mind me asking who you booked with?? You will love it there..have stayed twice and I am the opposite of you, having a hard time going onsite from off! lol
  17. Kay1

    Kay1 <font color=red>Check out Ricki's hidden Mickey!<b

    Aug 30, 1999
    Robin's point about the AP is a good one. Only one person needs to buy one for free parking, plus there are a few other discounts it offers.

    Enjoy planning.

  18. shalom

    shalom DIS Veteran

    Mar 7, 2010
    If you need two rooms or a DVC unit onsite, it's almost always cheaper offsite. If you fit in one room onsite and can go off season, sometimes Disney discounts can make staying onsite cheapest (especially if someone's renting a car).

    For us, although onsite is more expensive, the real factor is space. We drive, and usually take two weeks for a trip to Orlando, and even if it was just hubby and I in a DVC 1 BR, we'd likely switch to offsite after the first week just because we find onsite units so small. I hope to eventually try out many of the onsite hotel rooms, and those we'd only last a couple of days in. :p

    We also love having our own kitchen. I don't care how good the local restaurant food is, we tend to prefer a fair percentage of "old favorites" while on vacation. Well, I like to try out some new food on vacation, myself, but hubby and the kids are much more open to food experimentation at home. :upsidedow

    Also, in my experience, part of what makes the "Disney magic" is the fact that the resorts are so high energy. Some people sleep fine in those high energy environments; often I do not, and hubby's more sensitive to that now he's older than he used to be. I would guess that Saratoga Springs and maybe the Yacht Club are as low as onsite energy gets; offsite you can go much higher energy than those two, but also much lower energy. Just as onsite resorts offer a lot of variety, so do offsite resorts, so often it isn't just "onsite resort versus offsite," but rather finding the best fit for you in either place. ;)
  19. cherylsmike

    cherylsmike Mouseketeer

    Feb 7, 2009
    We booked through Vacation Strategy. Our check in date is at the start of WBC value time if that helps (4/12/2013). It is a One bedroom villa, let's see... the 2 bedroom quote was $744 for 8 nights beginning 4/12.
  20. lsulindy

    lsulindy DIS Veteran

    Jan 25, 2011
    For me, the money savings is a big factor in my decision. The space factor is bigger though. We do drive our own car however. I also think it has a lot to do with how big/old your party is and how you like to vacation.

    I know some people hate driving the car on vacation, but we don't mind it. Would probably drive if we stayed onsite anyway. We timed it a few times and beat my cousin's family who were also there that week to the park each time. They were using Disney transportation. This was from the condo, Buena Vista Suites was even closer.

    Some people don't like leaving the arches once they arrive. We love driving under them everyday.

    We got a condo decorated with Disney decor. My kids LOVED it. I've gotten the comment on another thread that someone could throw up a mickey shower curtain in their house, doesn't mean that they're at disney. True. But, I don't have any disney decorations at my house AND at my house we don't get up and go to the parks everyday. My kids were thrilled when they walked into that condo and made me take pics of every little detail.

    First trip we stayed at the Buena Vista Suites. Had a bedroom and separate living room. Lots of space for my daughter's pack and play and we could close the door and have our own space while she slept. They also had a free full breakfast which was nice. We'd eat a huge breakfast before the parks and then eat lunch or snack mid-afternoon and shared a snack or meal for dinner. We saved a lot of money on food and ate at off times avoiding the crowds.

    Second trip we stayed with my parents in the condo. Was so nice to have separate bedrooms for the older kids and a huge bedroom for us and the baby. Plus a bedroom for my parents. I'm just more relaxed when we're not on top of each other and our stuff is picked up. The huge plus that trip was the washer/dryer. My 4 month old soiled at least one set of clothes a day that trip.

    Having a fridge for milk was a must for me. I don't cook on vacation, but I need a fridge. At the time the Values didn't have them, but I've heard that now they do.

    If my kids were older, I'd consider staying on-site so they could use transportation to split up some. But, I think then we'd need the space even more, so I don't know. Super happy with our offsite stays.
  21. quagmire0

    quagmire0 DIS Veteran

    Jun 28, 2010
    Well, I can tell you that we went on our first Disney vacay as a family in June 2011. There were 4 of us at the time (Me, DW, DD3, and DS 18mo), and we really try to do our best to stick to the kids' sleeping schedules when traveling. Separate bedrooms were a must!

    Before we even decided on that though, I broke down the on-site and off-site costs first. Assuming we were staying at the cheapest resort on Disney property, even when I added in the cost of a 3 br condo for a week, car rental, groceries for breakfast and lunch, parking at the parks and an $800 allowance for dinners, the condo still came out almost $300 cheaper.

    I'm talking a 3 bedroom condo, minutes from the parks, at a resort that also has other facilities like playgrounds and a pool. We were able to enjoy most breakfasts at the condo, and it was a great break mid-day to stop, get the kids a nap (or try to :) ), have a homemade lunch, and then head back to the parks in the afternoon. All in all, those were the best days for us when we could 'step away'. I think in a lot of cases too, we were better off with our own car than depending on the Disney trans - especially when you are talking about the value resorts that are farther away from the parks.

    Another factor with us is that my wife is a teacher, so our 'window of opportunity' is very narrow and Disney rarely gives discounts during the summer.

    So, really, only part of it is cost. A lot more has to do with your family situation and the convenience. I think when the kids are older, we may end up doing something onsite and 'splurging' on one of the nicer resorts. Until then though, I'll swear by my condo-loving ways. :lmao:

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