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Old 01-20-2013, 12:11 PM   #1
fam6
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Staying onsite with mealplan vs staying offsite

My family of 6 is going to Disneyworld in Nov. We are in the process of planning our trip. We are torn on what is best. We have 2 small girls ( which can share a bed) and 2 older kids boy and girl (which will need their own bed) We found a really roomy place just a few minutes from Disney. But would it be better if we stayed at a resort onsite and got the mealplan? We are also wanting a character meal. Does anyone have any input on what our best route would be? What would save us the most money?
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:31 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by fam6 View Post
My family of 6 is going to Disneyworld in Nov. We are in the process of planning our trip. We are torn on what is best. We have 2 small girls ( which can share a bed) and 2 older kids boy and girl (which will need their own bed) We found a really roomy place just a few minutes from Disney. But would it be better if we stayed at a resort onsite and got the mealplan? We are also wanting a character meal. Does anyone have any input on what our best route would be? What would save us the most money?
There's no general answer for this. You'll need to head to allears.net and take a look at the menus/costs of places you want to eat and compare it to the dining plan.

You'll also have to compare the cost of onsite versus offsite. Remember to add $15 parking/day if you're driving and staying offsite.

There are so many different costs lumped into offsite versus onsite - not just the DP. You'll have to take them all into consideration. Even people staying onsite don't always save with the DP.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:39 PM   #3
cmoran81
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We were also looking into Bonnet Creek (roomier digs) as opposed to staying in a Disney resort this year, but after adding up tickets, parking and food it didn't make sense for us, especially that we will likely be going during the current Spring Special. We will be taking the Regular dining plan, as when we went last year we did Deluxe and felt obligated to make at least one sit down meal (if not 2) a day to offset the cost of the meal plan. Like the PP said, try to crunch your numbers for both scenarios and compare. Good luck!
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:55 PM   #4
julie4423
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I have a family of 6. The cheapest way to stay is without a doubt offsite. The only thing that could possibly change this is FD. It will mean that you have to get 2 rooms, or a high priced cabin. It also depends on if the older kids are "disney adults". So many variables invloved.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:11 PM   #5
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We have a family of 6, too, and my gang prefers offsite. You can save so much money, not only on accomodations, but meals, as well. We rent a 4BR/4BA house--not the cheapest option, but we like the space and the private pool, as well as the closeness of Windsor Hills.

We're only staying onsite this next trip because it's a different style of trip--it's a gift to my younger two children from their grandmother. So, we're leaving Dad home with the teens, and staying at the Poly for a week.

You need to determine just what kind of vacation you want, and what your families priorities are. I don't mind cooking a few simple meals on vacation--some people don't want to touch a dish, and I respect that. I also have 4 kids over an 11-year span, so I work hard to include special vacation items for each child when I plan. Kids closer in age might not need quite so much diversity. I also find that, for my crew, being stuck in one or even two hotel rooms for more than a couple of nights drives us batty--everyone is on edge. So, space is important to us. A commando family that is only in the room to sleep might be fine in 2 hotel rooms or a WDW suite.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:02 AM   #6
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I have 6 kids, so we don't fit into a standard hotel room at all. Have you looked into what the cost would be to rent DVC points for a 2 bedroom villa?
While not as large as a house, you would get the advantages of staying on property, without sacrificing a lot of space. My kids really like Old Key West & Saratoga Springs, and are a little sad that we will be staying at Beach Club Villas this March (even with the cool pool). DVC members can also add the DDP with out park tickets, so renting and having the member add it and adding that to the rental price.
Good luck with your decision.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:34 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by 6disneykids View Post
I have 6 kids, so we don't fit into a standard hotel room at all. Have you looked into what the cost would be to rent DVC points for a 2 bedroom villa?
While not as large as a house, you would get the advantages of staying on property, without sacrificing a lot of space. My kids really like Old Key West & Saratoga Springs, and are a little sad that we will be staying at Beach Club Villas this March (even with the cool pool). DVC members can also add the DDP with out park tickets, so renting and having the member add it and adding that to the rental price.
Good luck with your decision.
I've looked into doing this as well. Renting points is super expensive for a 2 bedroom from what I've seen. I didn't mention it because the original question was what saves the most money. It's tough being anything over a family of 4 and staying on property. That being said, we haven't stayed offsite yet. Can I ask who you use to rent points?
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:39 AM   #8
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Trip Goal?

I have stayed both offsite and onsite many times and see there are perks to both types of vacation. Choosing between the two is a matter of bugdet and trip style.

If the goal is to be in the parks as much as possible and go all the way Disney then i would say DVC would be the way to go! But if you are looking to have some quality family time outside the parks then a vacation rental may be a better option. I have found that a vacation in a rental is more about spending quality time with my family. We would play board games, share meals, and swim and play with each other in a comfortable setting where we could spread out. We find that we can lengthen our stay by a few days with the money we save staying offsite. If you are driving strap the kids bikes on the back of the car and pack a few pool toys. We schedule days where we go mini golfing, to the movies, and shopping in DTD in between park days so we aren't spending so much for park tickets.

When onsite I find the trip to be much more about Disney World and the parks Which is great! You enjoy the attractions and shops, and have less time spent just as a family. I do also find i can't manage to spend so many days on site because I tire easily of fast food and no home cooked meals.

Honestly it comes down to preference...if you like to be in the middle of the magic and don't mind being a little cramped stay onsite. If you would prefer a little more room and privacy, offsite may be the way to go.

P.S. A little tip: AAA sometimes has discounts on park parking for their members!
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