Help - thinking about staying offsite!

Discussion in 'Orlando Hotels and Attractions' started by purplejam, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. purplejam

    purplejam Mouseketeer

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    We have stayed many times onsite and are starting to plan next August’s trip (flights are just starting to come out)

    There is me, DH and DD(14)

    DD is getting to an age where she’s bored with just me and her dad :sad1:
    So we are contemplating taking one of her friends along - there are lots of pros and cons with this idea. I feel I’m going round and round in circles even deciding if it’s viable - one of the main factors is that we come from England and therefore come for a relatively long time, can I stand a friend along for 3 weeks :scared:

    We normally stay in a one bed DVC unit and love it. But I just don’t think there is space enough for 2 adults and 2 teenage girls (especially one who isn’t family, privacy issues etc)

    We rent into DVC through RCI and there are only ever 1 beds available so getting a 2 bed onsite isn’t an option.

    We are therefore thinking about Vistana or Wyndham Bonnet Creek.

    There seem to be so many advantages of staying onsite (apart from space) I’m struggling to see how we can make it work in the same way staying somewhere else.

    If we stayed onsite the girls would have a certain amount of freedom in terms of not having to be with us all the time - I’d be happy for them to go to and from the parks occasionally on the bus on their own. Being offsite we would really have to stick together more (I couldn’t sneak off for a rest in the afternoon or give the fireworks a miss as we’d all have to travel together and pay parking fees!

    Does anyone know what the shuttle bus services are like from either of these resorts.

    Or more broadly has anyone gone from onsite to offsite and thought actually it’s not too bad!!

    Many thanks and apologies for rambling!
     
    roxiepenguin likes this.
  2. Magical2017

    Magical2017 Mouseketeer

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    I have no experience with Vistana. It really depends on your budget.

    I cannot say whether I would be comfortable letting my 14YO call Uber or Lyft, but that is something you could consider. WBC has a shuttle service you can pay for, but from what I understand, it is not that great. However, it might be a good option for your DD and her friend. Having them use Disney transportation would certainly be more convenient.

    There is no parking fee at WBC. To park at Disney, you pay $22 per day. If you are staying offsite instead of onsite, you would have to do the math about the cost of renting a car and paying the fees. We paid $134 for a 5 night, 6 day rental for a full size car.

    We just went last month for a 5 night stay. For fun, I priced out a week in August in 2019 renting DVC points at Beach Club in one bedroom unit (Stormalong Bay looks awesome). $4,500. A 2 bedroom is $5,600. Compare this to a week at Wyndham Bonnet Creek, which has lovely amenities and is right next to the exit to the Caribbean Beach Resort, and personally, I just cannot justify the difference in price.
     
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  4. Shanti

    Shanti Momketeer

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    I recommend staying onsite. Make the 1 bedroom DVC work. Isn't there some privacy with those? Mom & Dad can have the bedroom, while the girls share the living room. Then they can use Disney transportation to get around WDW independently, if you're comfortable with that.

    No way would I allow my 14 year-old daughter and her young female friend use Uber or Lyft independently. The risk of abduction and/or sexual assualt may not be huge, but it is very real.
     
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  5. a1tinkfans

    a1tinkfans Spreading Some Pixie Dust Today!

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    I’d stay onsite as well. The advantages far outweigh. That’s a long time to have a guest with the family and I’d personally think long n hard about the pluses and minus’ before committing to it. And buy travel insurance lol.
    As a parent of an Only child... it did change for us too... they re growing and somewhat Outgrowing their parents...a good thing lol

    but it can bring about a different type trip ( just ur family).
    If it Has to be Disney for you...
    Maybe including some tours, activities you typically don’t do, or go outside disney altogether... NASA, etc. or somewhere you think she’d love... a day at discovery cove ( dolphin swim?)
    perhaps finding some different things can
    Spark some conversations and excitement
    Towards a New family adventure??
    They seem to grow so dang fast...
    Have a wonderful visit however it works out!
     
  6. mjhtvchick

    mjhtvchick DIS Veteran

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    Would connecting rooms fit into you budget? I have friends that recently traveled to Disney with 2 teen girls and that is what they did.
     
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  7. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    This is really going to depend on your comfort level. I disagree with the posts above, but I'm a hard core offsite person. I couldn't imagine staying onsite, I would never want to do it. The value, room, comforts and convenience you get of being offsite makes staying onsite seem like a hassle IMO. If you're staying for 3 weeks, and bringing a daughters' friend along, I think you'll seriously regret staying in one cramped space that long. I personally wouldn't have an issue with a pair of 14 year olds using Uber or Lyft, or a taxi. You can also get plenty of free time...you all ride to the parks together, and they can then go off and do their own thing and then meet up later.
     
  8. smiths02

    smiths02 DIS Veteran

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    I would want to stay onsite. As the parent of the other girl, I would feel more comfortable letting my child travel if it was onsite as well.

    Could you consider AKL Kidani or BLT 1 bedrooms. Those have 2 bathrooms. How much privacy is necessary? If the parents are in their own room with a door and have their own bathroom, I think that would be enough.
     
    Shanti likes this.
  9. smiths02

    smiths02 DIS Veteran

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    Does Uber or Lyft allow underage riders without an adult?
     
  10. smiths02

    smiths02 DIS Veteran

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    LYFT
    Children are welcome to join you in a ride but aren't permitted to ride alone in a Lyft vehicle.

    We're happy to give kids a ride as well as adults as long as your children have the proper car seats that fit legal requirements in your state and city. Plan on providing your own car seat for children that require one.

    UBER
    Children are welcome to join you in a ride but aren't permitted to ride alone in a Lyft vehicle.

    We're happy to give kids a ride as well as adults as long as your children have the proper car seats that fit legal requirements in your state and city. Plan on providing your own car seat for children that require one.
     
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  11. KristinU

    KristinU DIS Veteran

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    We're also a family of 3 with a 14 year old, ours is a DS :) We've been traveling with a friend for a few years now and it has worked out great for us. We've stayed at Bonnet Creek for all of the trips with the two boys, a two bedroom/two bathroom is just so great for this type of trip!

    You're right about the downside of transportation at this age, but we do split up now that they're older and that works. Sometimes we stay in the same park, or sometimes we'll go to a different park or go back to the resort and meet up with the boys later. If you're just picking up from a park they have you go to a pickup area, we've done that several times. You wouldn't be charged for parking if you're just picking up.
     
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  12. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    Hmmm...didn't know that. I've never used Uber or Lyft, so I didn't know what their rules are. Still wouldn't change my opinion, but again I admit to being strongly biased against onsite. Worst case scenario, I'd drop the kids off at the parks if I really didn't want to go.
     
  13. ClapYourHands

    ClapYourHands Mouseketeer

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    1) Look into getting to connecting (not adjoining rooms) at a Value resort. That would give you privacy and access to Disney transport, but at a reasonable price. It would likely be less expensive than renting DVC, though you'd be at a budget resort with more basic amenities.

    2) Consider Disney Springs. There is a good dedicated shuttle from the DS hotels, and you can likely find a suite (or, again, two connecting rooms) for less than you'd pay for DVC and with better availability.

    3) Shorten the trip. I know you're coming from the UK, but that's not actually very far. We frequently do trips to the UK that are just one week in length. Flight times from Heathrow to the east coast of the USA are not much longer than flights from the west cost of the US. Heathrow/Orlando non-stop flights average about 8 hours eastward and 9 hours westward, compared to Seattle/Orlando which are about 5 hours eastward and 6 hours westward. Could you deal with a friend for 10 days at Disney, and then maybe go back and do something else as a family of 3 for the remainder of your vacation? Last year my family did 1 week in Ireland, flew back, and were on a plane from NYC to North Carolina the next morning for our second holiday week. It was a little insane on our travel days, but we had a great time doing two very different trips.
     
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  14. Mikey15

    Mikey15 Earning My Ears

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    There's also Disney Springs hotels that would be good for giving teenagers the option of some transportation independence. The Hiltons and Wyndham Lake Buena Vista are a short walk to Disney Springs, which has full access to Disney resort transportation. The others are a little farther.
     
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  15. purplejam

    purplejam Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for your comments

    We are still deciding what the best way to do is !

    There are definitely plenty of things to consider.

    I wouldn’t let the girls travel alone in an Uber or Lyft (but I wouldn’t at home either - as somebody said, while they are rare there are too many scary stories!)

    I think I’m veering towards offsite purely from a space point of view and we will have a car so we can drop off and pick up etc.

    I wouldn’t want to cut our trip short as trips to USA are what I love. We often come for 5 weeks, so 3 is a short trip for us. (We do travel around - we don’t spend more than 2 weeks at Disney).

    Disney is the easy part of the holiday as even if she’s on her own there’s plenty to do. It’s when we go other places it’s harder. For example we had a week at cocoa beach this summer. I loved it apart from the fact the DD was bored. There weren’t many activities and no other teens.

    Thanks for your responses- it’s given me plenty of food for thought
     
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  16. lauracitawita

    lauracitawita Mouseketeer

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    We used to only stay onsite. If someone told me they stayed offsite there was always a part of my heart that felt a little sorry for them. lol

    A couple of years ago, we were in the same situation as you...we brought my daughter and her friend so we stayed offsite for the extra room. We have done 4 or 5 trips since then and it isn't even a question now...we are converts and only do offsite.

    My daughter was the most worried about missing the Disney hotels, but she loves offsite too.

    We all would go to the parks together and come home together, but we let the girls go off on their own for several hours at a time most days. There were a couple of times they were ready to go home before me and my husband, but they would just find a bench and talk until we were ready and those are some of their favorite memories.

    We LOVE the extra space offsite. Everyone has their own space and there are always at least two bathrooms.

    We only have been with the friend for one week, but I don't think 3 weeks would have been a problem at all! I love my daughter's friend and we had a blast together. Obviously that depends on the individual.
     
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  17. kathy884

    kathy884 DIS Veteran

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    I only did the math once and that was for a popular spring break week, but renting points from a DVC member and getting a two bedroom at the timeshares by the Contemporary (a prime location for sure) was about triple the cost of renting a two bedroom condo at the Sheraton Vistana Resort from a timeshare owner on a sit like TUG2.net or Redweek.com. I had decided that I wanted a two bedroom. For us whenever we go the two bedroom route, offsite always wins as the resorts are quite nice and onsite is just too expensive.

    For our teens an offsite condo means what they could do on our own together without our driving them somewhere were just things at the resort -- tennis, pool, hot tub. They really love chilling and out and doing a lot of these things, though, FYI. For other things if they were doing things on their own we'd drop them off and pick them up keeping in touch by cell phone. For us, though, we had an extended family group and several rental cars and had a situation where most of the activities the teens were doing off the condo resort property some of the adults were doing too.

    For your daughter and her friend's age the Disney transportation is really ideal. Onsite and Disney Springs are the only places that offer these super convenient frequent shuttle services that I know of. Growing up we had a motorhome and used to camp at Fort Wilderness. I remember when I was 15 doing things on my own with my brother 13 and another child of family friend's also camping age 13 and enjoying the independence and meeting up with mom and dad and her parents.

    (Would you maybe want to split the difference with a full three week stay? Maybe do onsite for a week where the girls can use that Disney transportation. Maybe do adjoining rooms rather than the one bedroom condo for a little more privacy and lower cost. Then maybe do two weeks at an offsite lovely two bedroom condo (very good value if you do an owner rental). With having done so much of the parks already, they may really enjoy so chilling at the resort on their own and you can have your own rental car and drop them off and pick them up on some days when they want to do parks and you don't or them want to do parks longer than you do.)

    My husband is one that outside our immediate family he wants his own bedroom and bathroom and would prefer to stay home vs. not having that. A friend of our son, for example, counts to him as outside of the immediate family. A friend along for us then means a two bedroom/two bath condo or two hotel rooms. I don't know about the one bedroom DVC setups you are talking about, but if they have two bathrooms, he'd be cool with he and I in the bedroom and the kids on a pull out bed if and only if they had their own bathroom too.
     
  18. dreajoy

    dreajoy Earning My Ears

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    Can I ask which offsite hotels you prefer??
     
  19. lauracitawita

    lauracitawita Mouseketeer

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    We have never stayed at a hotel. We always book a house through airbnb.
     
  20. Happyinwonerland

    Happyinwonerland DIS Veteran

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    We are currently at the Wyndham Bonnet Creek and I cannot express how much we love it here. The resort is amazing. I think that I would feel safe letting teenagers roam this resort. There are multiple pools, putt putt, a gym, lazy river, jogging trails, restsraunts, water slides, etc.

    As for traveling to and from the parks, I would think sending them on the shuttle at the resort would be no different than putting them on a disney bus alone.

    For us, the huge savings in a 2BR is worth staying off site. We are in a 2BR now and paid under $100/night (including taxes and resorf fees) for a week.
     
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