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Old 02-28-2013, 10:37 PM   #1
alhurricane
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On site or off site?

This is our first Disney trip and we have a 4 and almost 6 year old. We are currently booked at POR, but I have found some much cheaper town homes just a mile or so away. This has left me struggling to make a decision. In your Disney experience, what would you choose for a first timer with young kids?
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:27 AM   #2
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My initial reaction would be to stay on-site. If you stay on-site the resorts are well themed and you spend your whole vacation surrounded by a cocoon of Disney. It's definitely our families preferred way to stay, but you do pay a premium for it.

There are a couple of reasons I would consider staying off-site.
1. If your family is too big to comfortably fit into a single room at disney. I have friends with 4 kids, for them it's just much easier and substantially cheaper to get a house offsite rather than get 2 rooms. With 2 kids I don't think these really applies to you.

2. If we absolutely couldn't afford to stay on-site. You're already booked at POR though so I am going to assume you can afford to stay onsite. If you're financing this vacation and staying off-site would eliminate that then I would consider it. As much as like Disney I wouldn't want to go into debt for it.

For your first trip, it's definitely worth it to stay on-site. Yes Disney is expensive. The rooms are expensive, the food is expensive and the merchandise is expensive too. That being said it is worth it. They do a wonderful job of creating magical environments for you to enjoy and experience with your family.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:56 AM   #3
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From our experience, if you are taking a "Disney" vacation, on site is the way to go. As Ryan pointed out it is expensive, but worth the money in my opinion. Our family only stays on site as we like to be immersed in the magic.

The exception is if you cannot fit or if you are taking more of a Florida vacation. We have done vacations where we went to Disney, US/IOA, Seaworld and Daytona Beach all in one vacation. If that were the case we would most likely stay offsite since only a few days would be at any one location.

Have a great time. We are staying POR in August and can't wait.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:39 AM   #4
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On-site if you can swing it, but any Disney is better than no Disney.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:52 PM   #5
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On our first trip as a family we chose to stay onsite at Pop Century mainly because we wanted to be immersed in Disney and also not have to worry about how to get around the property in a car rental. We also got a really good rate at the time with free dining (which one cannot get by staying off site). Looking back, I'm REALLY glad we did not start off by staying off property. It's just more magical that way I think.

Have to say, though, that with the economy the way it is, there really are some great deals off property. If money is a big concern then take the time to research some more. We have stayed off property the last 2 visits and our next visit is also "off property". I air quote that because we are staying at Wyndham Bonnet Creek... which is not owned by Disney but is still physically on Disney property.

My choice would be to stay on property for the first visit.

Feel free to ask more questions about staying off site... or PM me.
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:11 PM   #6
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:46 PM   #7
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:58 PM   #8
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:11 PM   #9
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Thanks everybody for the great feedback. We have enough budgeted to stay onsite, but then I noticed we could be saving a few hundred backs. Given the economy, I felt that I needed to take a closer look at all the options.

We are leaning toward maintaining our reservation at POR. I definitely want our family to experience everything Disney, even if it is a bit more expensive.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:05 AM   #10
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Thought I would throw in some details. POR has the marina where you can rent boats, bicycles and they have a boat that will take you to DTD that is a nice ride and very convenient. They have recently finished renovating all of the rooms and also have royal rooms if you are interested. The food court is OK, but you also have a sit down at the hotel and the lounge is a must if you want to just relax for a little while. The kids can go fishing at the Ole fishin hole that is fun. Usually just catch some sunfish. If you have any questions about the resort, let me know.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:24 AM   #11
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:18 AM   #12
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Will you have your own car, or will you need to rent? I wouldn't want to try offsite if flying to Orlando, but we did just fine off site with our own car.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:45 PM   #13
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Will you have your own car, or will you need to rent? I wouldn't want to try offsite if flying to Orlando, but we did just fine off site with our own car.
We will have a car. We are driving down from Alabama. However, I really don't want to drive all that much, which is a reason we are deciding to stay on site afterall.
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:04 PM   #14
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I didn't feel like we did all that much driving when we were off site. Cabin to parking lot was 8-15 minutes depending on which park, but we stayed REAL close (192 just East of I4).

But yeah, it's not like we could just park the car for the week.
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:28 PM   #15
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Thanks everybody for the great feedback. We have enough budgeted to stay onsite, but then I noticed we could be saving a few hundred backs. Given the economy, I felt that I needed to take a closer look at all the options.

We are leaning toward maintaining our reservation at POR. I definitely want our family to experience everything Disney, even if it is a bit more expensive.
If it is only a few $100, then I would stay on property. DW and I Disneymooned there before children, have tried hotels off property, several WDW resorts, and are now DVC members. Staying on property and enjoying everything Disney just makes it so much more special.
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