No car. Is the price difference worth it?

toonaspie

Just a poser
Joined
May 30, 2010
Last year we stayed onsite, did the DME, and stayed at All Star Movies. We're looking at a possible new trip in 2020 but I'm looking to see if it's worth it to stay offsite for less money. We would be flying in and would have no car.

Looking to see if anyone who has flown in before have experimented with staying offsite without a rental car. I struggle to crunch the numbers. What is the cheapest airport/hotel transport you used? What offsite hotel have you stayed at? Was the park transportation reliable? How far offsite have you stayed? How much money do you think you saved? And was it worth staying offsite to save that money or do you think the trouble wasn't worth it and that we should just stick with the lowest possible rate at All-Stars?

I think we would prefer somewhere that we could efficiently return to for a mid-day break. Right now I'm looking at Wyndham Garden Disney Springs unless there's another other one could recommend. (If you know of any with military rates that would be cool too. :smooth:)
 

ClapYourHands

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 2, 2018
The Disney Springs hotels have regular, reliable bus transport to/from the parks. You can read the thread on DS transportation. An Uber to/from MCO will probably run you about $35-50 each way, depending on timing, tip, etc. You can often find low rates through opaque bookings on Hotwire or Priceline; with practice and support from the Priceline thread (Disney Resort board, under the Discount Codes and Rates sticky), you can usually figure out what the resort is.

I have never stayed at the Wyndham Garden, but its ratings/reviews are consistently lower than the other DS hotels. Personally, I'd choose something else. Best Western is a solid hotel that gets a lot of love on these boards for good value at low prices. Especially on Hotwire/Priceline, you can come out well below All Stars. The B resort often has some really low rates, and even with the $30/night resort fee, you can stay there for less than the All Stars, if you hit it right on a discount site.

On my upcoming trip, I"m staying for one night at AS Sports, which gets me DME from the airport and free magic bands. Then I'm switching over to Disney Springs for the rest of my stay. I'll take an Uber back to the airport, but I would have done that anyway, mainly because I don't want to be picked up 3 hours before my flight.

If you find a good rate on an All Star, go ahead and book it. Then look to see what's out there. You can always cancel, if you find something better. We've been seeing prices go up lately...by a LOT, even for Value Resorts. By 2020, I fully expect to see All Star rack rates over $150/night.
 
Last edited:

cbyrne1174

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
My advice is to go on TUG, find a Wyndham owner and stay at Bonnet Creek. Google the point chart, you can find people to rent out at 7-8$ per point. That means a 2 bedroom deluxe is only $784 for 7 nights during the value season. They have a shuttle you can take for $7 a person. You will be at the parks within 10 mins. You can get your weeks worth of groceries delivered to you from Target I'm pretty sure. Your trip will only cost you the room, the Uber to the resort, the groceries, the tickets and the shuttle. Bonnet Creek has a spa, 2 lazy rivers, 5 pools, 9 hot tubs, mini golf, 2 arcades, a starbucks and a couple of restaurants.

I'm a Wyndham owner and it baffles me WHY people pay those rates to stay on site when Bonnet Creek gives everyone so much more bang for their buck. I became a resale owner for a few hundred bucks via Ebay just so that I could have cheap accommodations whenever I wanted. A week at Wyndham Cypress Palms in a 1 bedroom deluxe next week is only $228 for me to book a 7 night stay because it's last minute. The room is about 900 sq feet too.
 
Last edited:
  • Cynt

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2005
    I loathed renting a car. I commute every day to work and hate driving on vacation. I finally did a few trips ago when a stayed offsite. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. We stayed at WBC, rented thru vacationupgrade.com and haven't looked back. The freedom and convenience of renting a car PRICELESS.

    You didn't mention when in 2020 ur vacationing.

    1 bdrm condo 7 nights
    WBC value season $770
    WBC high season $1085

    Rental car 1 week $200 plus
    Parking WDW $25 X 7 days $175 =
    $375

    Lyft from MCO to WBC $50, return to MCO $50
    Lyft to and from parks $20/day
    Lyft total 100 + 140= $240
    I would budget 5 extra trips for dining offsite, walmart run or 2, Disney springs run and outlet run. $100
    New lyft total $340

    Hope this helps you make a decision.
     

    cbyrne1174

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 1, 2018
    A 1 bedroom in the value season is 84,000 points. It should cost most owners in the 500$ to book tops. My personal cost is $457.80 using 84,000 points. There are also VIP Platinum owners that can book at half points 2 months out and pass the discount to the renter. All those online services do is act as a middle man with an owner. Using a middle man is pointless if you're looking to save.
     

    snappy

    Survivor
    Joined
    Apr 15, 2002
    We also have booked Wyndham Bonnet Creek through Vacation Upgrades many times since 2008. I have stayed all the way from solo in a 1 bedroom presidential to with a group of 5 in a 3 bedroom. We have driven to Orlando in our car and flown in and rented a car. I like the flexibility of a car in case something comes up. We also own DVC points and if it’s just my husband and I traveling, will just book Tony Hinds to get us back and forth to the airport. Less stress at our age lol.
     

    aclov

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 31, 2006
    Currently helping my best friend with this same scenario. I stayed once at The Ritz rented a car for one day to go to Disney Springs. They had shuttles you had to pay for to select parks and reserve in advance. Always ask if they are complimentary. If I’m doing strictly Disney with no car I would stay onsite, nothing compares to their transportation. Found some cheaper week timeshare nice places but no shuttle besides Westgate that is close to Disney so leaning towards that. She doesn’t want to Uber or rent a car, however I would if I was staying that long.
     
  • kathy884

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 26, 2009
    I really value easy transportation, not waiting around, etc. during precious vacation time. If staying at a place that doesn't have convenient bus schedules, I either rent a car or do uber/lyft (both super convenient in my book). When doing the math, for me the rental car including parking fees comes our cheaper than uber/lyft. But uber/lyft is not all that much more and is a real game changer for staying offsite without a car.

    I think the biggest savings for offsite is when you want a condo. My timeshare rentals at lovely offsite places (sites like TUG2.net or redweek.com usually come out to be about 1/3 the price than for example renting DVC points to stay at Old Key West (even bigger premium for something like the condos at the Contemporary or AKL for sure with the high demand and special theming). For us, it's usually a high season time. For us too we do some non-Disney stuff -- relatives in Orlando we visit, almost always hit the SeaWorld park, meaning paying a premium to be onsite doesn't make as much sense either. For a basic room with a small party savings if there is not going to be as substantial.

    On our last trip we weren't doing a condo like we usually do, so I gave my son the choice of value onsite Disney (All Stars or Pop which gave EMH) or a hotel in the same price range offsite (he looked at three different ones close to SeaWorld and two in the Disney Springs area (but not EMH perks). Moderates onsite were way pricier and Disney Springs hotels that offered the extra magic hours while not as big a price jump were enough more expensive that I didn't give DS those as a choice (didn't fit in the ole budget)). I thought he'd go for an onsite value for EMHs, Disney transportation, and for a change of pace (we are usually offsite visitors these days and he thought it would be fun to do onsite which we haven't done in a long time). Despite finding those perks appealing, DS just really liked the looks and amenities of offsite hotels for the same price more and that trumped the other for him. The Marriott Residence Inn SeaWorld is what he picked out of the offsite properties we looked at in the same price range - cute little efficiency studio recently remodeled with little sitting area, little table and chairs, kitchen, double queen beds - FP for SeaWorld which we were doing one day and close to SeaWorld - we were doing the SeaWorld park one day taking the shuttle from there to go to Busch Gardens one day too. This included a decent hot breakfast each day also. We were doing three Disney park days and one relative visit/Disney Springs day, so onsite Disney would have been a good choice too, even more convenient). We didn't save any money compared to staying on site in a value, but DS picked the Marriot Residence Inn because it felt more luxurious, he liked having the kitchen (those 20 somethings like to heat up snacks and left overs, make pasta at all hours, etc.), and he liked the looks of the room and grounds way more than the Disney values that were the same price.

    There are just so many choices in Orlando, and it really comes down to what you value or what you want your vacation to look like sometimes in weighing the options.
     
    Last edited:

    ClapYourHands

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 2, 2018
    We would be flying in and would have no car.

    Looking to see if anyone who has flown in before have experimented with staying offsite without a rental car. I struggle to crunch the numbers.
    I'm wondering if you won't have a car because you don't want to drive or if it's a budgetary item. Those are two different issues.

    If it's the financial piece (because you're flying and would have to rent a car), you can definitely find accommodations cheap enough to offset the cost of car rental and parking (especially if you get a good deal on the car rental, which we can help you with on the Transportation board).

    If it's because you dislike driving or are afraid of driving in Orlando, I want to reassure you that it's quite easy. There are many car rental agencies right at MCO. I had never driven in Orlando before, but I took my kids for a long weekend last spring, and with some help from my phone's GPS, very easily navigated from the airport to Disney to offsite hotels to Legoland. Traffic was not at all bad. It's also WAY faster to drive vs waiting for a bus.

    Also, keep in mind the other savings that come along with having a car. Disney food prices are on the higher side, and a car will allow you to get offsite and eat at restaurants with "normal" prices. If you stay in a unit with a kitchen, you can easily make simple meals for a fraction of the cost of park food. I'm not talking about "cooking" while on vacation, but even a night or two of DiGiorno's thrown in the oven means you're paying $5 for a frozen pizza (or $10 for two of them) rather than $30 for a pizza in the All Star food court.
     

    Turksmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 2, 2018
    My daughter and a friend went over the summer. They didn't have the budget to stay onsite the entire time, but used my points and split Hilton Garden Inn and ASMusic. They also aren't old enough for rental cars, so used Uber/ hotel shuttle for offsite portion. It was convenient and affordable for them.

    We're doing a similar split in November- We can fit all 7 of us in a 2 bed suite at Homewood Suites, so it saves close to $800 over 2 value rooms on property (free breakfast, shuttle, and grocery delivery too!). Even with generous Uber usage, we won't spend that. Then a few days at ASMovies, so we can take advantage of on property offerings during that portion (emh, 60 day FP, bubble) and transportation one way to airport.
     

    Chickinvic

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 9, 2019
    We stay at a 4 bedroom/3 bath villa in Emerald Island Resort (very close to the parks) for $100/night. It has its own private pool and hot tub in the yard (as well as a big pool and hot tub for the resort). For us, it is well worth it to rent a car to get around, but also Uber is easy and pretty cheap. I'm considering just Ubering to and from the parks since parking is so pricy.
     
  • siren0119

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 26, 2018
    Last year we stayed onsite, did the DME, and stayed at All Star Movies. We're looking at a possible new trip in 2020 but I'm looking to see if it's worth it to stay offsite for less money. We would be flying in and would have no car.

    Looking to see if anyone who has flown in before have experimented with staying offsite without a rental car. I struggle to crunch the numbers. What is the cheapest airport/hotel transport you used? What offsite hotel have you stayed at? Was the park transportation reliable? How far offsite have you stayed? How much money do you think you saved? And was it worth staying offsite to save that money or do you think the trouble wasn't worth it and that we should just stick with the lowest possible rate at All-Stars?

    I think we would prefer somewhere that we could efficiently return to for a mid-day break. Right now I'm looking at Wyndham Garden Disney Springs unless there's another other one could recommend. (If you know of any with military rates that would be cool too. :smooth:)
    We just stayed at Wyndham Garden LBV (the one right next to Disney Springs) and we had no problem getting to/from the parks! They did have shuttles running to the parks but we ended up just taking an Uber/Lyft so we could go and leave when we wanted to instead of being on a schedule. The DS hotels that provide shuttles to the parks don't run as often as the internal Disney buses, so it was worth it to us not to sacrifice time.

    If you do book Wyndham, make sure you join their rewards program first - they will discount $10 per night off the resort fee for you as a member!
     

    studiojmm

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 10, 2017
    Our first trip we stayed off site and Uber-ed the whole time. I figured on $25-30 per day plus airport transport as the cost, but we didn't do mid-day breaks. That adds to the cost quite a bit. For a 6 day stay, that we assume offsite has to be about $250 cheaper (and have a hot tub) to make sense.
     

    disneysteve

    DIS meet junkie
    Joined
    Sep 29, 2002
    staying offsite without a rental car
    May I ask why you don't want to rent a car?

    I swore a while ago that I will NEVER AGAIN go to WDW without my own car even staying onsite. I wouldn't even think about it staying offsite. If my choices are offsite without a car or stay home, I would stay home.
     

    Turksmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 2, 2018
    May I ask why you don't want to rent a car?

    I swore a while ago that I will NEVER AGAIN go to WDW without my own car even staying onsite. I wouldn't even think about it staying offsite. If my choices are offsite without a car or stay home, I would stay home.
    Not sure off PP's reason, but I can think of several. Daughter and friend were too young to rent. I know several adults that grew up in urban areas and don't drive. Husband and I like to each have a drink or two with dinner without worrying about who is designated driver. MIL is terrible with directions in an unfamiliar area and is as likely to end up in Kentucky as Magic Kingdom.
    However, if you don't mind driving, it definitely offers more flexibility.
     

    disneysteve

    DIS meet junkie
    Joined
    Sep 29, 2002
    Daughter and friend were too young to rent.

    Husband and I like to each have a drink or two with dinner without worrying about who is designated driver.
    I can't speak from experience but I've been told that you do not need to be 25 to rent a car. It might vary by company though.

    As for drinking, if I have a drink, we just hang out wherever we happen to be for a while afterwards before we drive back. I almost never have more than one drink so that's not a problem. If we go somewhere like Trader Sam's, after we leave there we'll wander the resort and maybe hop on the monorail and visit the Contemporary or Grand Floridian before heading back to the car. I won't usually drink if we go to an offsite restaurant where there isn't anywhere to kill time after the drink.
     

    Disneyfan754321

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 19, 2019
    I love having a car, we always take a beach day in the middle of our trip. Some nights we would just drive around the kids love going to idrive for ice cream. None of this would be possible with out a car. We pay about 250 s week
     

    Belle5

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 10, 1999
    We always rent a car, regardless of if we're on property or off. We have relied on WDW transportation a couple of times and realized that the time waiting for buses was wasted. Having to make bus connections to go from resort to resort for dinner...was time wasted! I don't know if the transportation calculators are still around but years ago they were something many DISers used in their planning. They showed the time differences between using WDW buses/transportation (making connections like going to a different resort for dinner) vs. driving your own car. The differences were HUGE! And, we all know that time is money! We have so much more freedom (picking up grocery items, etc) when driving ourselves. Our uber costs would be astronomical if we used them for all the driving we do!
     

    _19disnA

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 8, 2018
    We have stayed offsite in the past and always rented a car. Part of the offsite savings is you aren't locked into eating every meal at a pricey Disney restaurant. If you want to go shopping or pickup breakfast items at a local grocery store, a car comes in handy for that. We have also stayed onsite, but it tends to be more economical staying offsite where you add up all of the costs. Using some online taxi for every trip gets to be expensive and makes renting more practical.
     

    Connect

    Disney News and Updates

    Get Daily Email Updates

    Top