Do you lose some of the "magic" off-site?

Discussion in 'Orlando Hotels and Attractions' started by 3littlecuties, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. 3littlecuties

    3littlecuties Mouseketeer

    Jun 4, 2011
    We stayed at Poly last Oct and are considering going back to Disney the week of June 7-15, 2014. We have found options for a family of 5 to be limited without spending a ton. DH mentioned looking at staying off-site but I'm afraid that we would lose some of the "magic". However, it looks like we could stay in a bigger place for much cheaper.

  2. summerrluvv

    summerrluvv <font color=darkorchid>Work Hard. Have Fun.<br><f

    May 9, 2001
    I stayed off site once, loved the space, free breakfast, having a car and the price (free with points). It did feel slightly less magical, and I'm not sure why, I guess because I was driving to the parks instead of sitting on an overcrowded bus with Disney advertisements plastered all over the inside LOL. You def. get more bang for your buck off site. You lose Disney's Magical Express and Extra Magic Hours those (we didn't utilize either this past trip).
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  4. mguedes

    mguedes Mouseketeer

    Apr 9, 2013
    You might lose some of the "magic" but I it is well worth the cost, especially if you are renting a home.

    You´ll get much more space and it is also a lot more private than a hotel.

    I believe everyone should try a nice vacation home rental once.
  5. Janet Hill

    Janet Hill DIS Veteran

    Dec 6, 2005
    IMO there's more magic. It's called a bedroom door. Of course you can get this is with a DVC stay as well. Maybe you can look into renting points.
  6. pieface

    pieface Mouseketeer

    Apr 3, 2013
    If you like staying off property more power to you. I love staying on property you miss the magic of Disney when you stay off property. Your in the real world when you stay off property. I rent a car and drive every where except M.K. you get free parking everywhere, extra magic hours, And treated like family from the cast members. It is so nice to be in a magical place.
  7. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

    Sep 12, 2008
    For me, the magic is found offsite. Tons of space, tons of savings, and tons more sanity than we have when we're squeezing the family into one tiny hotel room.

    You might find this recent thread interesting:
  8. rdevine10

    rdevine10 All our dreams can come true, if we have the coura

    Apr 17, 2006
    To me there is more magic staying off site. Why? Well, 1st off we are not crammed into a tiny hotel room (with double beds). We have our own washer and dryer (hey, I love packing light and coming home with mostly clean clothes, now that IS magical to this mom!), I love having a full kitchen to at least eat breakfast in (savings and lets face it MUCH healthier food!).

    For us to enjoy our family time (which is what vacation is), we have learned we love it more when we have a bit more space. Now if its just a night or 2, a hotel room will work, but for a longer trip (our last one was 9 nights), we all appreciated the space and LOVED having our own separate beds (well, me and DH had a king, but the kids each had their own double). We all slept great, and no more arguments about who was hogging the covers, bed, or stop kicking me, etc. Again, that is magic to me.

    And as for loosing the magical express and disney transportation, we loved not waiting to get in our rental car (which was parked within walking distance to all parks (minus the MK where it was parked within walking distance to the TTS), and getting in and driving directly to where we wanted to go. It was SO much quicker and we were all guaranteed a seat! Again, thats magic to me.

    We stayed again at Bonnet Creek, which we LOVE. And I paid less than what I would of at a value resort. Again, thats magic to me.

    So, I guess it all depends on your definition of magic :) I do love the Disney bubble, but some where along the line with kids, it started to pop when they kept raising the prices to crazy amounts.
  9. pigletto

    pigletto DIS Veteran

    Oct 27, 2007
    We've always stayed onsite and I really do love being immersed in the Disney magic.. until I don't. Yes, at some point on every vacation I am over the crowds, long lines, screaming children, constant restaurant or counter service food and cramped quarters. Especially on our yearly August trip. All of that plus insane heat wears on my patience.
    So, we're trying Bonnet Creek for this trip and I am really looking forward to being able to cozy up on the couch and read a book in the evening while I do a load of laundry or shut myself in the bedroom for a quick nap. It's vacation afterall and I'd like to relax a bit. :)

    However in December we are going back for a more Disney intensive trip to see all of the holiday action and decorations. For that one, I am glad we'll be onsite because I want to be immersed.

    Honestly though I am afraid that BC is going to ruin us for going back to one small hotel room!
  10. KTSMOM

    KTSMOM DIS Veteran

    Jul 22, 2003
    This is exactly how I feel. I love staying on site as it allows me to get away from the real world for awhile. No dealing with traffic, no going to the grocery store, no watching the news. It's just a nice break from reality. But that's just for me. You can always try staying off site and seeing if it works for you.
  11. Sparkly

    Sparkly Starlight, starbright...

    Mar 5, 2012
    No, you absolutely don't. Magic is as much your attitude and expectations as anything else.

    We've stayed offsite every trip and always had a fantastic time. We're trying onsite next time because we've never really done it and I loved the experience of staying at Disney, even for a small amount of time in Feb. But coming back to our 3 bed condo and being able to relax in peace and quiet and sleep in separate bedrooms to each other has its own magic too. Especially last time.

    One thing I noticed last trip was that we always seemed to be in the car driving somewhere. To a theme park, from a theme park, to a shopping mall, from a shopping mall, to a restaurant, from a restaurant. I guess the onsite equivalent is taking the buses everywhere though. I've also noticed the 192 (or at least up where we stayed) looks a bit tired now and lots of things have closed leaving empty buildings, not particularly nice to go past every day.
  12. spiceycat

    spiceycat dvc-blt

    Oct 26, 2000
    do both - stay offsite and onsite - sometimes in the same trip.

    offsite is cheaper so it is easier to do other stuff - plus my cats get to come.

    onsite is great too.
  13. sbd78

    sbd78 Mouseketeer

    Feb 21, 2013
    I struggled with this when booking our upcoming trip. Last time we went to Disney, our oldest was our only child and we stayed at POP. I really enjoyed taking the buses everywhere and was afraid I would miss it. Now that we have 3 kids though (2 of which are young and take naps), cramming us all into one hotel room would be a nightmare. I couldn't imagine myself, DH, and my oldest all sitting in the room, silent, so the 2 little ones could sleep. And the prices Disney is charging for a family suite for our dates is crazy! So we will be staying at Embassy Suites. We are getting a 2 room suite which includes a daily breakfast buffet and 2 hour happy hour (alcohol included). Free breakfast and free drinks is pretty magical to me! And for much less than a value room. We were planning to rent a car regardless since we are flying into the Sanford airport so Magical Express isn't an option anyway. And I figure with the savings, we can do a few extra character meals to make it more "magical".
  14. purpledisneyprncess

    purpledisneyprncess DIS Veteran

    May 11, 2008
    Been to Disney World 3 times and only ever stayed off site so I don't have anything to compare to at this time. However, staying "off site" to us is at the Wyndham in DTD and it's definitely magical in our eyes... where from the hotel entrance to Earl of Sandwich in DTD, it's literally a 3 minute walk. We are so close to that which is so nice, and also our bus shuttle to Disney World is free and runs every 30 minutes. So we aren't staying "On property" but it's still listed as an official Disney hotel. We love the aquatic playground, well more importantly our kids love it.. We did visit AoA on our past trip and obviously the Wyndham's pool can't compare! BUT, we still love the Wyndham and love the prices!
  15. 2Pirates2Princesses

    2Pirates2Princesses mom of 2 pirates & 3 princesses now

    Nov 15, 2010
    I think if you stay offsite with the mindset that it is not going to be magical, then it won't be. Definitely not the same kind of magic, just different.:) The Disney resorts are great, but for our family whether or not we stay at one isn't going to make or break our trip because we can go to the same parks, do the same special events/experiences, and dining reservations regardless of where we stay. I think there are pros and cons to staying onsite or offsite and there are aspects about both that I appreciate. We stayed onsite in a family suite at All Star Music for our last trip and had a great experience. For this trip we are renting a 3 bedroom condo at Windsor Hills and purchased our park tickets through UnderCover Tourist. Even with renting a minivan and paying for gas and parking, we are saving a great deal more than what we would have if we got two standard rooms at a value resort with the spring discount promotion. We will also be able to do several extras such as Legoland, the Pirate's League, and several dining reservations. We may very well stay onsite again at some point if that is how things work out for future trips; but we are excited about staying offsite in a condo for this upcoming trip. We will have three separate bedrooms, my kids will each get their own bed (which wouldn't happen in a hotel), we will have a full kitchen, flat screen televisions in every room, a balcony, and our own washer and dryer :goodvibes. I know I will miss having the Magical Express service, housekeeping service, and being able to split up if some of us want to stay in the parks and others want to leave; but those are the tradeoffs for all we will get and the money we will save by staying offsite for this trip. We are excited and looking forward to another magical Disney trip :goodvibes
  16. mjohnson96

    mjohnson96 DIS Veteran

    May 20, 2009
    Last year was my first time staying offsite, it was a last minute let's add Disney to the end of a conference I was attending so I just extended my stay at WBC. I loved it! I had a car so I didn't have to worry about busses, and usually we use a car anyways when staying onsite. The extra room and bathrooms were great, and staying at WBC we were in the middle of the magic as well.

    I never got that feeling that I was treated any differently by cast members because I stayed offsite :) How do they know honestly.

    I did miss the daily housekeeping though and the ability to get the meal plan. Next year we are doing a 2 week trip and as of right now we will be staying offsite again at WBC. I am just keeping an eye open on how dining and the new fast pass program are working before making any reservations.
  17. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

    Sep 12, 2008
    Both completely optional even if staying offsite. We have stayed offsite now on several trips, and not one property forced us to keep up on current events or cook our own meals.
  18. shalom

    shalom DIS Veteran

    Mar 7, 2010
    If you're concerned about missing the magic, but want to save money, I'd try Wyndham's Bonnet Creek. I believe you can get a 2 BR condo there for less than it costs to sleep five onsite, and when staying at Bonnet Creek you're "inside the gates" -- it's right off Buena Vista Drive, beside Disney's Caribbean Beach resort. :)

    "Offsite" covers a much broader spectrum than onsite, IMHO. It goes from "nice as Disney but cheaper for the same space and amenities" to "right nasty, who cares if it's cheap" to "better than Disney's best, for less!" Some offsite places are as close to all four parks as the onsite average, although only Epcot has any technically offsite hotels within walking distance (Swan and Dolphin, which are cheaper than Disney). Other offsite places are a fair drive away from WDW. And so on.

    Personally, I don't like the drive in from 192, except from Vacation Village at Parkway, which is in a nicer-looking section than much of 192, plus it is so close there isn't much between it and WDW. I think the drive in from S. International Drive and World Center Drive is pleasant; I suspect there are strict local ordinances regarding signs and parking lots, which makes it tougher to find stores and gas stations when you want them, but also makes it prettier. Much of that area isn't landscaped, but the naturalized bushes and palms along the sides of the road are different enough from what grows closer to home that it definitely feels like vacation.

    Staying on International Drive on the other side of SeaWorld, however, means your best route in is I-4, which is typical city driving with a vengeance! And it's a longer drive, to boot. But that's where a lot of the people who've told me, "I'd never stay offsite" think of as "offsite." In some cases, because that's where they stayed, the one time they ventured offsite! ;)

    Plenty of people who will only stay onsite also say they'll never stay at this or that onsite resort again; even when it comes to onsite, sometimes you have to find the right fit. Offsite offers benefits you can't get onsite; more space for less money is at the top of that list, but it isn't the only thing. Some other possibilities might be your own private pool, or a resort with a true lazy river, or onsite canoeing, or nature trails, or an enormous pool with a double slide the kids can race each other on. I agree with whoever it was who said that we make our own magic, but for some families, there are some offsite resorts that offer a little help. :upsidedow
  19. scdak

    scdak DIS Veteran

    May 1, 2010
    I've done it both ways, my trip 3 weeks ago was off site but in a condo instead of a hotel for the first times, and I can honestly say I will be hard pressed to go back onsite again, heck, I will be hard pressed to go back to a hotel room again after having the space we did in a condo!
  20. crazelion

    crazelion <font color=blue>Form feet and legs...form arms an

    Mar 27, 2002
    I love offsite. We get 2 tvs, free wifi, free breakfast and I can get a suite that sleeps all us without getting two rooms. That is priceless. We is a family of 5 now.
  21. Kitkat6595

    Kitkat6595 Mouseketeer

    Mar 9, 2012
    We are staying offsite at a two bedroom condo at Windsor Hills for our upcoming trip. We almost booked a room at POFQ until I discovered the condos. We were in awe of the space. :thumbsup2 We still have a napper and our oldest gets over stimulated easily, so a quieter location was a good fit.

    And I am looking forward to a full kitchen, laundry and a lanai. I am envisioning a glass of wine in my hand while I relax on that lanai at the end of the day, while my boys sleep in their separate beds. :) Peace and quiet and no need to go to bed when they do? Priceless. ;)

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