Staying off site

Discussion in 'Orlando Hotels and Attractions' started by Julia Anderson, Jul 15, 2018.

  1. Julia Anderson

    Julia Anderson Earning My Ears

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    I am looking to plan a trip to Disney World but I am looking to stay off site. However, I am worried that the transportation costs (parking) will be so large that it will end up being about the same price as staying at one of the Disney resorts? Anybody have any thoughts, experiences, or advice with off site transportation?
     
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  2. a1tinkfans

    a1tinkfans Spreading Some Pixie Dust Today!

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    Downtown Disney springs area seem to be closest but I’d seriously consider onsite for a myriad of reasons: total Disney immersion, once ur checked in, use all the free disney transport( buses, boats, monorails) ,resorts at every price point, no parking fees at parks, overall ease of vacation.
    Best of luck planning!
     
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  4. mckennarose

    mckennarose Always planning the next trip.....

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    Are you worried only about parking costs? Or do you need to rent a car also? How long are you staying and how many park days?

    Don't forget that Disney now charges resort guests parking fees for on property stays while you're weighing the pros and cons and there are a lot of off-site resorts that have free parking. And once you pay for parking at one park you can park at the others on that same day without paying extra. Good for those who park hop or take a mid day break.

    I would say that start by figuring out what you value on vacation so you can put your money toward what's important to you. For us staying in a large two bedroom, two bathroom condo with full kitchen and washer/dryer and loads of amenities 5 minutes from Epcot is where we much prefer to spend our money. Parking for 5 days (or uber) is a small part of the money we save by staying off-site and worth it for us.

    Edited to add: some off-site resorts offer shuttles to the parks also. Disney good neighbour hotels are a good place to start looking for hotels with shuttles.
     
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  5. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

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    Welcome!

    You're right to consider the entire cost. Car rental & parking can take a big chunk out of your budget. You will have to compare how much the whole off site package compares to the best deal you can get on site. I am actually a proponent of staying off site but I admit that the extra $45 per day in transportation makes it sometimes hard to compete with a Value Resort with free Disney's Magical Express from the airport.

    You *can* get some awesome deals offsite that make up for the extra transportation cost. Many people get great deals at the Wyndham Bonnet Creek while others use Sky Auction. Make sure you understand all the fine print on Sky Auction though!
     
  6. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    Give us a little more info. Are you bringing your own car? How long are you staying? The only off site transportation I'd rely on is my own car, or Uber if you use that (I never have, anywhere). Don't rely on shuttles. Parking is $22/day so factor that in. It also depends on what kind of accommodations you're looking for. If you just need a place to sleep, then yes, maybe a "value" resort on property would get close to the cost of an offsite location plus parking. But at the same time, for the same cost as the cheap hotels on property, you can get a 3-4 bedroom, 2.5 bath 1200sq ft townhouse or condo, if that appeals to you. We love it and wouldn't have it any other way.

    You have to decide what's a value to you. I understand the concept of the total Disney immersion thing that a PP mentioned, but I don't buy into it whatsoever. To me, it's actually a huge negative. Same with WDW buses...huge, huge drawback for me, actually a deal breaker. We find our vacation far easier with having our car and wouldn't do without.
     
  7. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

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    This is something that many people don't know. For the same price of a week in a room in a nice hotel chain (Hilton, Hyatt, Sheraton, etc) you can get a condo or timeshare villa. Often, the condo/timeshare will be even less! It's really nice to stretch out in your living room, grab a snack or cold beverage from your fridge in your kitchen and throw in a couple loads of laundry so you come back with clean clothes.

    FWIW, I'm just fine with the value resorts on Disney property.
     
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  8. bigbabyblues

    bigbabyblues DIS Veteran

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    Yes! We stayed offsite last month for the first time, in a condo at Windsor Palms. We paid $950 for 9 nights with all taxes, etc. included. That came out to about $105 a night, give or take a few $, and even after you add in $22/day to park at the theme parks, it was less than a value resort with a lot more space. We had 3 bedrooms/2 bathrooms.
     
  9. HopperFan

    HopperFan "It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."

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    Just do the math and compare lodging you get.

    We can stay offsite for so much less for more - that even with the daily parking fee we still come ahead.

    BUT I have a car. Will you be bringing your own car?

    If you will be bringing a car don't forget Disney's new resort daily parking fee.

    There will be time frames, depending on the level Disney hotel you are looking at it might come out about even.
     
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  10. halfpintpeggy

    halfpintpeggy DIS Veteran

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    Another aspect to staying offsite which is worth consideration are meals. Honestly, we save SO much more money by eating offsite most of the time & quite frankly, we've found the food quality to be far superior with few exceptions. When staying onsite, many guests are pretty much "trapped" into paying those inflated food prices.
     
  11. ClapYourHands

    ClapYourHands Mouseketeer

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    OP, I was doing the math a few months back because offsite was so much less expensive, and I loved our offsite stay a couple of years ago. But we had a rental car then for a longer trip, and once I started adding in the cost of rental, my savings were pretty much obliterated.

    If you have your own car, staying offsite makes sense. Parking costs are usually less (often quite a bit less) than the difference in on-site vs off-site prices. Plus, you'll be easily able to access offsite restaurants (usually less expensive than comparable Disney dining) and/or prepare you own food for more substantial savings.

    If you are comfortable with uber/lyft, and don't plan to come/go frequently in the parks, you can probably come out ahead staying off site. Obviously, the more you come and go, the more the price adds up, but if you're going to the parks, staying for the day, and going back at night, you'll still probably come out ahead. Plus, you'll likely also get more for your dollar offsite. You forego some of the offsite savings because you'll be paying to come and go to offsite restaurants, but if you prepare some of your own food, you can still save a lot for the cost of a grocery run.
     
  12. dvc at last !

    dvc at last ! DVC Member 2006!

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    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
  13. dvc at last !

    dvc at last ! DVC Member 2006!

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    DVC Members do not pay for parking at resort.
     
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  14. mckennarose

    mckennarose Always planning the next trip.....

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    That's good to know, thanks. It sounds like the OP is not DVC.
     
  15. Smittolis

    Smittolis Mouseketeer

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    We had similar discussions as this was supposed to be a fallow year so we can go to Europe for a month next year, however, a little withdrawal from the kids meant we started looking. We looked at many of the off-site options. I have stayed at a couple before, but the second we started looking at additional costs of having a rental car, parking fees at the hotels, daily fees on top of those and the savings were minimal when compared to a discounted rate at an onsite hotel.... with the bonus of having the 60 day fast pass. The exception that we probably would've been really interested in was the resort fee waived deal through mousesavers. But even then, a circa $22 per day parking fee plus the $500 for the SUV for the week adds up quickly.

    We ended up getting a package deal through an airline the day that flights jumped up $1000 overall, we were lucky as the package price still had the old discounted flight rates plus discounted hotel rate so we jumped on it! So our first week will be staying offsite at the Marriot Townesuites Flamingo Crossing. We are paying just less than $90 per night inclusive of tax plus breakfast every morning for 5. There are no resort fees nor parking fees.... Can't beat that price for a family of 5! We then move over to the Poly and Contemporary for another week before coming home.

    The only other place I have been that has resort fees is Las Vegas, and going back a few years this fee used to include free valet parking!
     
  16. dvc at last !

    dvc at last ! DVC Member 2006!

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    You can visit any resort to shop, dine etc. You only pay for parking OVERNIGHT if not a DVC member.
     
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  17. spiceycat

    spiceycat dvc-blt

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    It has been a while since I have not stayed at a timeshare either on property or off - I moved to Florida a few years ago so could go to WDW whenever I wanted to. that say use to try out the local hotels - that say the shuttles then were shared with other resorts (these would be the cheapest alternatives). So you would stand in line for the shuttle to bring you to the parks sometimes for a long time.
     
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  18. BeerMe

    BeerMe DIS Veteran

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    Until 2007, we only stayed onsite, but we got some awesome discounts from being retired military. Since then we have split stays between onsite and offsite, We will make trip #63 in February, We tend to stay a lot longer when we stay offsite. Longest stay was in 2016 when we stayed 3 months. Could never do that staying onsite.
     
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  19. jameyh

    jameyh Mouseketeer

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    We are going January 2019 for 7 nights. We are a family of 4, I found a 3bed/2bath in Windsor hills for $1004, on Vrbo. We will rent a car of some sort and I am estimating no more $600 & the parking at Disney is $22 a day so $134 for the 6 days we will visit the parks.

    The condo we rented has a full kitchen and laundry so we can eat some meals in and not pack as much since we can wash. We also like more room and separate beds for our sons.
    Even the value resort prices are $900+
     
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  20. missycarl

    missycarl Earning My Ears

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    Third time Disney visitor! Going with my large family in 2019. 12 of us all together. We have decided to stay off site due to the fact that I have 2 newly-married children and 1 very broke college student that is responsible for part of her trip. We are getting a townhouse at the Storey Lake resort and will be driving down from Ohio. hoping that this will save us a little money.
     
  21. Jim Shuler

    Jim Shuler Jim S

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    We have never considered staying off site but the ridiculous parking fee for overpriced Disney resorts will change our approach in the future.
     

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