Onsite vs off-site

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by becks59, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. becks59

    becks59 Mouseketeer

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    My husband and I are trying to decide if we should stay onsite or offsite for our 7 day June 2019 trip. It would just be the two of us, no kids.

    Right now we have two hotel reservations for the same week and can cancel either one without any issues. Onsite is POP and offsite is the Marriott Springhill in Kissimmee.

    We have points for the Marriott hotel, so it would be free. I don’t know if we would get a discount on POP yet, but if we do I’m guessing it would be 10-15% off.

    The cons to staying onsite is the cost. Even with renting a car for offsite, we would save about $900-1000!

    The cons to offsite that I can think of are: no magic bands (unless we buy separate), only 30 day advance fast passes, no extra magic hours, not in the Disney bubble.

    Are those cons enough to pay the extra at POP? Any other cons to staying offsite?

    This is our first trip for both of us to WDW since we were both in high school, so it feels like a first time trip. We are DL vets that always stay offsite, but planning for WDW is so different, I feel a little out of my element. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. dansdad

    dansdad DIS Veteran

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    That's a question only you can answer for yourselves. But for us, it is worth the extra $$ to stay onsite.


    For us:

    No Magical Express and having to drive to the parks.
     
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  4. Nancyg56

    Nancyg56 DIS Veteran

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    For my family it is onsite even though we know we are spending more money for lodging. I have no idea what your priority is when vacationing though, so you will need to determine for yourself if there is an added value for that $900.
     
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  5. yankebabie

    yankebabie DIS Veteran

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    We always stay onsite as well. We like to stay in the Disney bubble and leave the outside world for a week :)
     
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  6. Miffy

    Miffy DIS Veteran

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    The Swan and Dolphin, both onsite, are Marriott properties. Would your points work there? Because you'd still get the 60-day FP+ window and since you're driving you don't need Magical Express.

    FYI, if you do stay off-site and drive to the parks, you'll have to pay to park. Although of course you'll have to pay to park your car at any WDW resort where you'd be staying.

    If you do look into the Swan/Dolphin, make sure you factor in their resort fees, which can be pricey.

    Meanwhile, there are also 60-day FP+ bookings at Disney Springs hotels, which are much closer to WDW than Kissimmee is, although perhaps they're no cheaper than POP.

    No matter where you stay--onsite or off-site--you'll have a great time. This is your first WDW trip!!! Prepare to be amazed . . . and exhausted, in a good way.
     
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  7. a1tinkfans

    a1tinkfans Spreading Some Pixie Dust Today!

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    I vote OnSite if you are looking for a true Disney Immersion visit. To me there is no comparison, at all.
    I can kind of compare it to....seeing a Xmas movie with a nyc background versus staying in nyc absorbing the sites, sounds, aromas and action for a Xmas visit.
    Apples to oranges, make that apples to a prune, lol

    Wherever you stay have a Magical first visit.
     
  8. Hopefully

    Hopefully DIS Veteran

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    Onsite for sure. Off site at WDW is VERY Different than offsite at DL.
    To us it is well worth the extra money.
     
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  9. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    This is a very personal decision and there is no "right" or "wrong" answer. It's all about what you want. For me, your listed cons....

    No MBs...they're like $15 each. No big deal. You don't even need one if you really don't want one.

    30 day advance FP+. Who cares? You can still get plenty of FP+ at 30 days, and if you know how to "refresh", you can get just about any ride in all of WDW same day. Only possible exception is FoP and maybe SDD.

    No EMH. We like to sleep in, so morning EMH would be a waste for us. We booked one night at the Dolphin last summer (free using points) just so we can try evening EMH. We were less than impressed.

    The "Disney bubble", at least for us, is simply silly. The bubble is whatever you make it. Our "bubble" is not only WDW, but all the things that surround it. So while I really don't buy into the whole bubble thing, in those terms our bubble is much bigger than those who stay on property. There are so many gift shops, restaurants, etc...all around. We so much enjoy coming back to our rental house after a day in the parks, having a nice relaxing dinner and then going out to Menchies for frozen yogurt, or going to a gift shop.

    As I'm sure you can tell, we're dedicated off site people. We seriously wouldn't stay on site even if it were free. Staying onsite for us would not be a positive experience at all. In fact, that night that I mentioned above that we booked the Dolphin, we didn't even stay. We left the hotel and went back to our rental house. I think it's nonsense to say you need to stay on property to have the full immersion. But that does NOT mean it's the right answer for everyone. There are people who are just as hard core on site people and that's what suits them. Their answers wouldn't be wrong at all. We love having a full rental house with all the amenities of home for less than the cost of staying at the cheapest hotel on property...far less. We also love having our car and being able to go where we want, when we want and then having so many things available to us just off property.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
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  10. rwdavis2

    rwdavis2 DIS Veteran

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    Unless the extra money would prevent you from doing something at home you really needed, I would stay on site. But only you can decide it it's "worth it".
     
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  11. PrincessArlena'sDad

    PrincessArlena'sDad DIS Veteran

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    If you stay on site, would the Marriott points expire before you'd be able to use them? If not, I think it'd be misleading to consider the room at the Marriott free. The points are worth money. If you don't use them this trip, you'll have them to use another trip, which will save a lot of money then.

    Given that, when I do the math, I've gotten the same result each time:

    If we're riving our own car to FL, then it is cheaper to stay off site.

    If we fly down, and would rent a car if staying off site, but not if staying on site, then rental car+wdw parking is more than the cost difference between on and off site.

    However, food could be more expensive if you are limited to on site, which could change the calculus, but this isn't necessarily the case.

    I would recommend staying on site, given all the above.
     
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  12. rwdavis2

    rwdavis2 DIS Veteran

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    Good points. If you can, I would save the Marriott points for a place other than WDW where the hotel location is, IMHO, not quite so significant to the overall trip.
     
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  13. Jennasis

    Jennasis DIS life goes on

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    We've done both and have found the Disney bubble exists wherever you make it.
     
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  14. becks59

    becks59 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for all the info and opinions. For us, the Disney bubble isn’t a big deal, so I probably shouldn’t have put that as a con. It sounds like most people like to stay onsite. But, being able to put $900 towards our next family DL trip is really tempting too. But, not a necessity.

    Has anyone stayed at the springhill in Kissimmee? Maybe that will be the deal breaker?
     
  15. PrincessArlena'sDad

    PrincessArlena'sDad DIS Veteran

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    Other pros for staying onsite:

    When you take magical express from the airport, you can skip baggage claim, and Disney will collect your bags and deliver them right to your room.

    We prefer not to drive to and from the parks (this is our preference, some prefer to drive even if staying on site)

    180+10 for dining reservations. This is critical for some hard to get ones (such as Ohana or BOG).

    If you plan on a LOT of expensive meals, the dining plan could save you some money (most people would not save money on the plan, but some do).
     
  16. Mto3

    Mto3 Earning My Ears

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    I have not stayed at this hotel but can say that I explored doing both with our pre cruise stay. For our trip, it was break even since the money saved at a non Disney hotel was taken up by having to pay for transportation to and from the airport. Since it is just you and your husband, it’s a lot easier to deal with the inconveniences and be able to save $900 towards the next trip.
     
  17. YesterDark

    YesterDark Mouseketeer

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    Personally, having to drive to and from the parks every day would probably kill the magic for me.
     
  18. Brett Wyman

    Brett Wyman Mouseketeer

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    Yup. We will always spend the extra to stay onsite as long as we can afford it. We are a "stay in the bubble for a week" kind of family. I personally even feel Disney Springs takes me out of the bubble, but Im silly. Finances of course vary for each family though and saving 1000 bucks is nothing to sneeze at! Thats a question only the OP can answer for themself.
     
  19. a742246

    a742246 And, and, and I caught a fish this big!

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    I would go for the on-site experience, especially during the summer. Use those Marriott points for weekend get aways!
     
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  20. HunterRose13

    HunterRose13 Earning My Ears

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    I was a die hard off-site person for a very long time citing cost as the reason. We always did rope drop to fireworks and by the third day were moving pretty slow. That changed this year....
    We stayed on-site at Art of Animation and as a family we made a pact we would not stay off-site again.
    Pros-
    Park the car once
    Early Magic Hours
    FP
    Ability to return to the room mid day
    Being in the bubble was really cool for us
    It felt like a real vacation, I have not felt that for a long time

    Cons-
    Cost

    With only two people it is harder to average the cost on a room. With our group of 5 the up-charge on site vs off site was not as bad.
     
  21. Dr Gunnie

    Dr Gunnie Still a kid

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    I grew up going to Disney as a kid each year - we had a timeshare nearby. I always enjoyed it, but we never stayed on site. When I was older and had kids of my own, we went a couple times and stayed at the timeshare, still had fun, but it wasn't until we stayed on site our first time about 5 years ago when I really got roped in and became a big Disney fan. Since then, we have been back about 6 times and have stayed on site ever since. We've done Contemporary, POR, POFQ, a couple stays at BC... all great.

    For us, the magic of staying on site, the bus from the airport to the resort, all of the little benefits makes it totally worth it. It was a total game changer. We do the buses to the parks sometimes, sometimes a Minnie van... never had an issue and never waited over 30 minutes. Usually, we are on a bus within 10 minutes.

    It's a tough call, but for my family the extra money is well spent to stay on site.
     
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