Is a villa the best way to go? or Pop?

Discussion in 'Orlando Hotels and Attractions' started by kitten818, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. kitten818

    kitten818 Earning My Ears

    Sep 11, 2007
    OK, I don't usually post - I just lurk around... but I've just discovered the idea of staying in a rented home, like a 5-6 bedroom home at Windsor Hills.

    I (along with 3 other adults) am taking a girl scout troop of eight 14-year-old girls to WDW for a total of 13 days and I booked 4 rooms at Pop for the 12 nights. I did the whole package deal with AAA, including the dining plan.

    Now, I learned about these villas and am thinking that might be a better way to go. It looks like there are places where I could save about $100 (or more) per person just in hotel accommodations (and that includes getting two rental cars and paying for parking).

    What do you all think? Which do you think the young teenage girls would like better? Will we lose the magic by staying off site? I, personally, have only stayed on-site so I don't have anything to compare to.

    Please help! Thanks in advance!! :goodvibes
  2. gqchicago

    gqchicago Formerly someone else..

    Oct 20, 2007
    I can't imagine being in a small little room like POP for that long with a ton of kids...but that's not the main reason. The main reason is you can have a far better experience and vacation for less or comparable $$. Much nicer accomodations, your own kitchen, pool, bathrooms, nice resort, etc. Why pay more when you can get better, far better, for less?
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  4. dougsmom98

    dougsmom98 DIS Veteran

    Feb 23, 2002
    I always stay offsite and love staying in vacation rentals. Now that I have stayed in a rental home, I will never stay in a hotel room when I go to Disney. That being said, I've thought of a few pros and cons of staying in a rental home for your group.
    -You will save money.
    -It might be more relaxing for you, especially at night, because you will know exactly where everyone is.
    -Because everyone is together, there might be more of a chance to bond.
    -If I were bringing a group of kids/teenagers that were not all my own children, I would probably stay onsite. It is one thing for me to plan meals and feed my own family, but I wouldn't want to do that for a group of kids I might not know very well. What you save in money, you and the other adults will likely add to yourselves in stress.
    -I wouldn't want to tidy up after kids that weren't my own. You won't have daily housekeeping in a rental home. If you want fresh towels, you will have to launder the ones that are there. It is super easy to do that in a rental home because you have a washer and dryer, but it is another burden for the adults.

    Hope this helps.
  5. Lucky'sMom

    Lucky'sMom DIS Veteran

    Dec 7, 1999
    I agree with the previous poster. While I think the idea of vacation home rental is a great one for families, I think you are better off at POP with your group of girls. I think the Disney transportation system alone is a great reason. What if one girl gets sick, and needs to go back to the room/house? When you stay on-site, that is easy to handle, have one adult take her back to the room via the buses. If you only have a couple of rental cars, and one adult needs to leave with the ill child, how does everyone else who rode in that car get back? Would you need to make multiple trips back and forth, and what if it is at night? I also agree about the housekeeping, and think if your group can afford the meal plan, you will be better off. I personally think it will be more "magical" for a group this age to stay on-site. (And we are staying off-site this trip, but I have done both many times). Good luck, I think you're doing an amazing job planning all of this out!:thumbsup2
  6. ruadisneyfan2

    ruadisneyfan2 DIS Veteran

    May 20, 2006
    I agree with the last 2 posts. We enjoy a rental home for ourselves, and yes, you'd have that "together" feeling in a home, but I can't imagine keeping a home even semi-clean with that many teen girls. :headache:

    I also agree that the dining plan is the way to go. You don't want to end up trying to cook 4 different meals b/c of who likes what. Even something simple like macs/cheese could be like, "This isn't how my mom makes it."

    You might just be losing your mind by the end and that's not magical either.
    Transportation would be much simpler staying onsite too for same reasons pp's mentioned.

    Good luck! :goodvibes
  7. kitten818

    kitten818 Earning My Ears

    Sep 11, 2007
    Thank you for all of your help! I'm going to discuss it further with the girls and bring up your ideas to them.

    Just to see if these points make a difference, I'll let you in on a bit more of the troop and our plans:

    If we decided to go with a villa, we'd stick to eating at restaurants for the most parts, with just snacks and simple breakfasts at the house. So, we'd pretty much stay with the restaurants we already picked out on the dining plan. Plus, if they did want to eat something at the home, they are used to cooking everything themselves and they don't complain - they have gotten used to us leading them for the last 6 years! But definitely a good point about them saying "that's not they way my mom makes it." Trust me, I have heard things like that in the past! (or if a new girl joins) :lmao:

    They are also good about picking up after themselves - they know we are not their mom and won't pick up after them (really we aren't either, we took the troop our third year in college and have been with them since). They are used to staying at places and then cleaning the place from top to bottom (including toilets) - so they will be happy that they don't have to do that.

    Last point in our planning - we are planning on staying together for everything because Girl Scouts requires a certain adult to girl ratio at all times, so we can't just let them lose at the parks and meet up with them later. So, our plan if a girl was sick would be to have 2 adults take her home and then have the other adult return to join us. Although a bus would definitely make it easier...

    The good thing is - there is still plenty of time - and either way we choose, I'm certain they will have a great time.

    I think the cost difference is the biggest reason to go with the villa for me... Staying at Pop means selling about 3,000 more boxes of cookies! :scared1:

    I just saw a place that would sleep all of us for $150/night in Windsor Hills... that would save us $2,400 in the hotel cost alone (including the cost for rental cars and parking).

    Alright, I've rambled long enough - thanks for your help and any other points would definitely help!! :thumbsup2
  8. BeentoallDParks

    BeentoallDParks Earning My Ears

    Nov 24, 2007
    Villa, villa, villa! As if there were a choice for me! The Disney Transportation System is not fast enough to really be a lifesaver, and the Value resorts are not close enough to most of the theme parks to make for a very quick trip. Your car will be faster. Be warned--DTS is not as quick as you would like, especially after a long day. And most villa developments are about 10 minutes' drive from the parks' parking lots.

    Nothing beats barbecuing your own dinner on a warm Florida evening, then jumping in your own pool. And closing your own bedroom door on the kids when it all gets too much (which it does after a day of waiting in line).

    And villas usually work out to be much cheaper. Again--no debate for me! I have such a lovely time when I'm not staying in the battery-hen situation at the big hotels.
  9. psharrock

    psharrock <a href="" targ

    Jul 23, 2002
    I too think a villa will give you more options but agree with others that you need to get the transportation issues sorted and agree a plan for every eventuality to make sure the adult/children ratios are correct at all times.

    Also arrange who is sleeping where before you arrive, as you don't want any arguments on the first day of arrival, sometimes the adults can be worse than the children :eek:

    Anyway good luck with whatever you decide.

  10. mkw111

    mkw111 Earning My Ears

    Jan 9, 2008
    Stayed on site once. loved it but even love staying offsite alot more.
    Stayed onsite once, rented condo once, stayed at wetgate villas,stayed at windsor hills and just rented a six bedroom house for this Feb(2008). I would probably not stay on site again unless just wife and myself. Its great being able to put the kids to bed, then stay up at night sit outside at private pool/jacuzzi. Never have to bring alot of luggage due to washer and dryer onsite. If you have alot of people then sataying onsite is tough. Its alot cheaper to say offsite Love it!!
  11. horseshowmom

    horseshowmom DIS Veteran

    Jul 21, 2000
    I agree with the others who say house. You'll have MUCH more room to spread out, and it will definitely save you money (just the snacks and breakfast will really add up with the number of girls you're taking). The only other thing I might mention is to check the size of the pool at the house (to make sure it's large enough for that number). OTOH, the community pool at Windsor Hills is very nice. They also have a movie theater (free) that the girls can pick a movie to watch.

    Good luck!

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