Offsite vs. on site....please help me decide

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by Tooliebell, May 1, 2008.

  1. Tooliebell

    Tooliebell Earning My Ears

    Apr 30, 2008
    This is our first trip as a family to WDW. Dh and I went before kids in 1999 and stayed at ASM. Honestly, we did not enjoy the facilities. Maybe cuz we didn't have kids at the time. We thought the pool was overcrowed, and smelled like pee. BUT we loved the disney transportation and the food court was great albeit expensive.

    My concerns are not really money. I am very cheap and frugal so to spend and extra 500 or 600 in the difference in hotels gets to me. WE are driving as my husband won't fly. So we will be staying at a hotel somewhere btwn Michigan and Orlando along with a lengthy trip home taking our time going along the Carolina shoreline. So we will have extra expense in lodging and meals there. My bigges thing about off site is the closeness to other places to eat and not pay Disney prices for food. But we wil have our own vehicle to mutter around if we choose.

    HOw close are other parts of Orlando from say CSR? Is it easy enough to get out of the "disney complex" if you stay on site? I amalso concerned about the disney transportation, with a stroller and an 8month old. I dont want to be a bother.

    I have been looking at Buena Vista Suites with a nice complimentary breakfast buffet and a 2 room suite for $98 a night. But that hotel has very mixed reviews. Or the Radisson where kids eat free, but also very mixed reviews. Anyone have any experiences there?

    Also I wouldn't mind staying at POP but not sure I can convince dh to do the value resort when we "don't" have to...

    Anyone help out ole el cheapo?
  2. Bob P

    Bob P DIS Veteran

    Mar 16, 2005
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  4. geokeim

    geokeim Mouseketeer

    Mar 13, 2008
    You might find some help here as well, they often run good rates for hotels near, but not in WDW.
    Getting around is not that big of a deal, but I would stay as close as possible to the Maingate around 192 area. Getting further away than 3 or 4 miles is not worth the hassle IMO.
    Good luck and have fun!:cool1:
  5. TonyB

    TonyB Mouseketeer

    Aug 24, 1999
    Take into account that, if you stay off-site, you will need to budget an additional $11.00 for parking when you visit the parks.
  6. Taja

    Taja DIS Veteran

    Sep 3, 2003
    You're going to have your own vehicle, so leaving WDW grounds is very easy. There are a number of less expensive chain restaurants (table service and quick service) just outside of WDW property. They seem to be a bit higher than home (Arizona), but still significantly less than WDW prices. And you can go a bit farther on SR535 (don't ask me which direction--it's a right turn out of DTD!) and find an even wider selection in all price ranges!

    WDW isn't actually in Orlando proper, so some areas probably are a good 20 or 30 miles from WDW. Again, you'll have transportation, so no issues there. Unless your DH is tired of drivng and you don't want to! :)

    You also won't be relying on WDW transportation (except trams), unless you choose to do so. You'll still need to fold the stroller on the parking lot trams, but you usually can do that a bit in advance of the tram's arrival and be good to go.
  7. Taja

    Taja DIS Veteran

    Sep 3, 2003
    Oh! And how many family members will be at WDW? That also can affect the WDW resorts available to you.
  8. fall08CP

    fall08CP Cheesehead

    Feb 13, 2008
    Please do not stay at Buena Vista Suites.. eek.
    In 2006 we booked a week there as a present for my graduation. The first room we received was already occupied. We went back to the front desk for a new room and the second room we were given had blood stains on the ceiling and by the door. The bathroom was a complete wreck and there were cups half filled with various drinks. Dirty towels were on the floor. It was just gross. We went back to the front desk again and were upgraded to a suite. It still was icky and looked like it was falling apart.
    Needless to say, we only lasted there one night. The breakfast buffet was a joke :(
    We transferred to CSR the following day and had a blast! It's easy to see the difference that the Disney resorts put out as compared to this off-property place. I would highly recommend a moderate as you were not crazy about the values. The mods have a few ammenities that might make your trip more enjoyable.
    Obviously many people stay off-site and are fine, but I would really caution you with BVS.
  9. lorasmom

    lorasmom DIS Veteran

    Dec 9, 2003
    When are you coming down? There are some pretty good rates to be had with codes sometimes at the value's!

    Depending on how you eat, eating at the parks is not that bad. The portions are usually so large, there is some sharing going on with my family :).

    We drive over from Tampa, so we have a car, but we love staying on property!
  10. tasha99

    tasha99 DIS Veteran

    Aug 20, 2006
    This is just my opinion, but I think the offsite/onsite answer depends a great deal on who you are. Are you a family of 5 or fewer with teens who will want to be on their own a bit? Then you should absolutely stay onsite so they can use the buses and save your sanity! If you've got over 5 in your party, then it usually makes sense to look at a condo or house (I've heard lots of good things about Windsor Hills).

    If you're a family of fewer than 5 and you'll all be traveling together all the time, then it just comes do how much being onsite means to you. I prefer being onsite because I don't want to have to drive, but lots of people prefer driving over taking Disney transportation. I've stayed at CSR and OKW, and really enjoyed both hotels.
  11. dydo2424

    dydo2424 Mouseketeer

    May 8, 2007
    after staying off-site many many times and on-site a couple of times. The main deciding factor for us is the use of the WDW transportation between the hotels and the parks. DS(8) can go and go and go. DD(5) says her legs are broke after walking 400 yards so it's nice to be able to go back to the hotel with her and still let DH take the DS to the parks and come and go at their leisure or to be able to trade out with DH when he wants to come back and rest. I have stayed at POP and my DS loves it! We have also stayed at POR and liked it alot also (with the exception of the size - it's huge!) The boat to DTD is a ride all in itself - very relaxing. If the only child you're traveling with is an 8 month old, then I guess it wouldn't really matter because it would be you and your DH schedule mostly. Your little one can probably nap in the stroller. That said, it is nice to come and go so very easily especially if you don't mind doing it on your own. And don't consider yourself a bother with the stroller - there's lots of them! Good luck deciding!
  12. disnut8

    disnut8 DIS Veteran

    Jan 21, 2005
    I LOVE staying on site. BUT - we've been staying off site. And will do again over Memorial Day weekend. We just got back from staying at Pop Century (paid for my husband's company) and it was great. But there were certain things about staying off site that I missed. The freedom to just jump in my car and go whenever I wanted to.

    I'd stay on site if the stars were aligned. The money was there, we had family to hang around with on site and the transportation was available so we could each go our own way.

    But staying off site is fine right now for us. The drive in and out is painless but we've had many experiences to get the shortcuts we need. Since you are already driving in, you will have your own car. That's a BIG essential with staying off site.

    You choose with your wallet and your heart. We stay at a nice Travelodge suites (no separate rooms). Very easy to get to the parks. You can PM me if you want further info. It's not the Taj Mahal but it's functional and very inexpensive (but not dirt cheap). And there are many restaurants to choose from.

    If you really, really want to stay on site, do that. If not, there are plenty of other options.
  13. Reginak

    Reginak Mouseketeer

    Jan 27, 2004
    I know that this is silly, but to me staying onsite feels like a cruise. Every morning I walk out the door to a different place. We don't have to worry about parking, directions, locking the keys in the car, etc.; everything is right there. I stayed offsite once and, while we had a good time, it is always better when we stay onsite. Even if we have our car, we leave it in the parking lot and ride the busses. When our children are young the bus is their favorite ride.

    It is truly a worry free vacation.


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