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Old 03-21-2013, 02:18 AM   #91
aubriee
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Originally Posted by apagano View Post
The closest I ever came to staying onside was at the Buena Vista Palace years ago when it first opened. The Disney Transport is a great perk, but ultimately I always stay offsite because of the cost. Right now I'm paying $66 per night for a 1-bedroom villa just outside Disney property. It's still a good 50 bucks less per night than I would have spent at a Disney Value Resort even after you account for parking costs. We get more space and, more importantly, our child can sleep in a different room. Someday money will be no object and we can stay on site. For now, though, budget trumps all.
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Originally Posted by lstylr View Post
w h a t - $66/night for a one bedroom villa?? Where is this magical place???????
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Originally Posted by Mama Mouse View Post
We got a 2 bedroom condo at Windsor Hills for our upcoming trip for $70/night. Even with parking it's still a HUGE discount.
I always swore I'd never stay offsite. However for our trip this past Oct/Nov a coworker had time share points she couldn't bank and was going to lose if she didn't use them. She offered me a week in a one bedroom condo at any of the Westgate properties for just $400.00, plus a $50.00 trade in fee. So we paid just $64.00/night for a fully equipped one bedroom condo that was just one mile outside the WDW gates. We loved it so much, that as soon as we got home, I immediately started looking for an offsite deal for my upcoming May trip and then canceled the onsite trip I already had booked. I was able to get a one bedroom at Wyndham Bonnet Creek for just $89.60 per night (going through Vacation Strategies). So for about the same price of a Value resort, I can have a one bedroom condo with a fully equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, jacuzzi tub, two TVs, etc, plus several nice pools with slides, hot tubs, two lazy rivers, and a mini golf course and still be physically on property and closer to the parks than alot of the Disney owned resorts. Unless I choose to go offsite to eat, shop, or over to Universal, I won't have to cross under that Welcome to WDW sign the whole week.


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Originally Posted by MyTwoPrincesses View Post
But staying on property is TOTALLY worth the $$$.

First of all, the off-site hotels I'd want to stay at aren't really that much cheaper than WDW. I'd have to rent a car (at least $300 for the week for a car big enough to fit my family) and I'd have to worry about carseats, I'd have to pay for parking at WDW ($14 x 6), I'd lose out on the Magical Express luggage service and I'd have to haul my 3 kids and all the luggage to pick up the rental car. Not to mention, after a long day at the park, I'd have to remember where I parked that rental car and sit in a HOT rental car with the kids. I'd eat on-site just as much because, lets face it, I'm usually in the parks at meal times. And really, the food at WDW isn't THAT much more expensive than regular restaurants. I don't really eat at cheap restaurants at home.

I see your point in a way, but then again in my case I prefer to rent a car anyway. I hate waiting then, dealing with the crowded buses full of screaming kids and don't have to worry about not having a seat at the end of a long day. I also love just being able to jump in the car and be at a park or resort in ten minutes or less, without having to wait for a crowded bus. I also like having a car to make a run over Walmart for a few groceries, to the outlet mall, and since I also have a Universal AP, over to Universal. I also have a WDW AP, so parking is free at both parks. I don't have a good sense of direction and always carry my GPS, but Disney makes driving so easy down there you really wouldn't need one. Signs are everywhere. I may eat lunch in the parks, but really prefer a nice quiet dinner offsite. Meals are alot cheaper offsite. Last Oct/Nov we canceled Cape May Clam Bake and instead did an all you can eat seafood buffet down there that had all you could eat lobster, as well as tons of more seafood. It was my birthday, so we each got a certain amount off and it came out alot cheaper than Cape May for more variety and better food. I'll be at Bonnet Creek in May and paying $89.60 per night for a fully equipped one bedroom condo within the Disney property and will be closer to some of the parks than if I was in a Disney owned resort. Plus will have a bedroom with a king size bed, a couch in the living room that folds out into a bed, two TVs, a jacuzzi tub, a huge shower, washer/dryer, a nice balcony, and a fully equipped kitchen with all dishes, microwave, blender, dishwasher, etc, plus will have a choice of several nice pools with pool slides, several hot tubs, two lazy rivers, a mini golf course, lots of resort activities, and if I'm not in a mood to drive, could use the BC shuttles to get to the parks. I can't see getting a third the space in a resort that's not near as nice for about the same amount of money, when both resorts are about the same distance from the parks. Actually one of the companies I requested a quote from offered me a two bedroom for the same price as the one bedroom, but he was just a tad higher (around $100.00 per night vs the $89.60 I'm currently paying) and we didn't need a second bedroom.

Last edited by aubriee; 03-21-2013 at 02:44 AM.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:07 AM   #92
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I could've rented a house for at least three weeks, with its own pool, laundry room, Internet service, game consoles, multiple televisions, etc, for roughly what it is costing me for an 8 night stay on Disney property. Ultimately, it was other complications/details that led to us changing plans, but future trips to Orlando aren't going to be centered around WDW and we're going to save a lot of money by leaving this in the past.

There was a time when I felt Disney was competing well with off-site alternatives, but that is no longer the case. However, it may have to do with the size of your family. If your family is no larger than 4, you might still be able to find it competing reasonably well for your dollars. Once your family hits 5+, Disney finds it more difficult.
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:42 AM   #93
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When did they announce they were taking away the EMH and when will it go into effect?
They haven't. They have cut out one night at the Magic Kingdom for the summer.

The one on site benefit that is keeping us on site for our next trip is the ability to split up, and have one group go one way and one group to go the other. Disney transportation makes it very easy to do so. If some family members want to go back to the resort and swim for a while, the rest of the family doesn't have to go along, or spend money on a cab to get back. Which we would have to do if we stayed off site.

I had found a good deal on the off site resort we like, and on a rental car. But the above is the main reason we are sticking with on site. That, and the fact that no one wants to have to be the driver.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:04 AM   #94
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I can say that those who stay onsite should be aware that EMH will be significantly scaled back over the course of 2013 and, expectedly, will be scratched in sometime in 2014.

As to staying onsite vs. off, staying onsite is definitely nice to experience being just a bus ride away and "in the middle of the magic" as Disney marketing would put it. That being said, I lay my decision on price. The fact is that if I'm going during a busy season (like the holidays) where Disney wants me to pay $600 for the Contemporary or $175 for Pop, I'm going to choose the Shingle Creek where, for $100, I get golf courses, some pools, quite a few delicious restaurants, and even got upgraded to club level (DURING THE BUSIEST TIME OF THE YEAR!). To me, it's an easy choice. Now, during summer or another time of year, when I can get the Polynesian for $350 or CBR for $140, I'll do that. As you can see, price overrules the "magic" for me.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:05 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by aubriee View Post
dealing with the crowded buses full of screaming kids

In all the times I've ridden the Disney buses, I've never been on one with even one screaming kid let alone a bus full of them
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:38 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by goopysolelady
THIS is reason I'm an "onsite" supporter...

Accident...1 1/2 hours from Epcot to Kississimmi...
Yup...not to mention the normal rush hour traffic on I/4 and constant traffic on International Drive!
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:07 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by siskaren View Post
I like not having to rent a car and I definitely like DME. I've rarely taken advantage of EMH.
Never ever used EMH and have only ever stayed onsite.. not having to drive is a huge perk.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:29 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by aubriee View Post
I always swore I'd never stay offsite. However for our trip this past Oct/Nov a coworker had time share points she couldn't bank and was going to lose if she didn't use them. She offered me a week in a one bedroom condo at any of the Westgate properties for just $400.00, plus a $50.00 trade in fee. So we paid just $64.00/night for a fully equipped one bedroom condo that was just one mile outside the WDW gates. We loved it so much, that as soon as we got home, I immediately started looking for an offsite deal for my upcoming May trip and then canceled the onsite trip I already had booked. I was able to get a one bedroom at Wyndham Bonnet Creek for just $89.60 per night (going through Vacation Strategies). So for about the same price of a Value resort, I can have a one bedroom condo with a fully equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, jacuzzi tub, two TVs, etc, plus several nice pools with slides, hot tubs, two lazy rivers, and a mini golf course and still be physically on property and closer to the parks than alot of the Disney owned resorts. Unless I choose to go offsite to eat, shop, or over to Universal, I won't have to cross under that Welcome to WDW sign the whole week.





I see your point in a way, but then again in my case I prefer to rent a car anyway. I hate waiting then, dealing with the crowded buses full of screaming kids and don't have to worry about not having a seat at the end of a long day. I also love just being able to jump in the car and be at a park or resort in ten minutes or less, without having to wait for a crowded bus. I also like having a car to make a run over Walmart for a few groceries, to the outlet mall, and since I also have a Universal AP, over to Universal. I also have a WDW AP, so parking is free at both parks. I don't have a good sense of direction and always carry my GPS, but Disney makes driving so easy down there you really wouldn't need one. Signs are everywhere. I may eat lunch in the parks, but really prefer a nice quiet dinner offsite. Meals are alot cheaper offsite. Last Oct/Nov we canceled Cape May Clam Bake and instead did an all you can eat seafood buffet down there that had all you could eat lobster, as well as tons of more seafood. It was my birthday, so we each got a certain amount off and it came out alot cheaper than Cape May for more variety and better food. I'll be at Bonnet Creek in May and paying $89.60 per night for a fully equipped one bedroom condo within the Disney property and will be closer to some of the parks than if I was in a Disney owned resort. Plus will have a bedroom with a king size bed, a couch in the living room that folds out into a bed, two TVs, a jacuzzi tub, a huge shower, washer/dryer, a nice balcony, and a fully equipped kitchen with all dishes, microwave, blender, dishwasher, etc, plus will have a choice of several nice pools with pool slides, several hot tubs, two lazy rivers, a mini golf course, lots of resort activities, and if I'm not in a mood to drive, could use the BC shuttles to get to the parks. I can't see getting a third the space in a resort that's not near as nice for about the same amount of money, when both resorts are about the same distance from the parks. Actually one of the companies I requested a quote from offered me a two bedroom for the same price as the one bedroom, but he was just a tad higher (around $100.00 per night vs the $89.60 I'm currently paying) and we didn't need a second bedroom.
I definitely see your point, which is why I always price offsite even though I seem to book onsite. With small kids, onsite really does win for us in convenience. The transportation, both DME and Disney internal transportation, make life a lot easier. I've also never traveled during peak periods, so I never really dealt with uncomfortably crowded buses and screaming kids.

Right now, we don't do Universal. I don't ride roller coasters, 2 of my 3 kids are too short for most and even my oldest isn't old enough for big coasters. My oldest is only on book #4 of Harry Potter and my other two aren't into it yet. I think that if you are renting a car anyway, on-site has less to offer. Also, we aren't doing DDP this time because I booked via Orbitz, but we have in the past. If your kids are under 10, DDP may well save you money.

Once my kids are bigger, we may well need even MORE space than is offered by AoA. At this point, on-site makes more sense. But when my kids are bigger and we actually are interested in exploring Universal (which will also likely mean stays that are longer), off-site may be the better choice.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:32 AM   #99
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We have always stayed onsite & loved it. In June 2012 we stayed at CBR but had a rental car so we went to the store for breakfast foods & had some meals at the restaurants at Crossroads or just outside the DTD area. So we are thinking about booking our next June 2014 trip at Staybridge Suites LBV. They just renovated, so close to DTD & the stores/restaurants which we enjoyed in 2012. Plus our DS will be 13 so the suite maybe nice for a change. So sometimes the consideration of staying off-site is comfort zone & not staying too far from the Disney parks. I wouldn't go any farther than the DTD entrance area. So now we just have another option when we are looking at resorts. Plus our DS wants to concentrate on the water parks so maybe it won't be such a bad idea to give Staybridge Suites LBV a try because we all agree that having a rental car was great on the past trip.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:34 AM   #100
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I think there are an awful lot of people wondering if there will be less reason to stay onsite in the near future. But as of today, there are still enough benefits to warrant staying onsite.

They have said they are cutting back on discounts. And EMH certainly seems to be under assault. So I'm worried about where it's heading. But they have more than 30K rooms they need to keep full. And that part makes me feel like they will have to keep doing something to make it worthwhile.
I'd have to think that Magic+ will have additional perks for resort guests. Possibly getting access to schedule things early, or getting additional access to rides, who knows.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:35 AM   #101
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Onsite vs offsite is a matter of personal preference. For some people, staying in a Disney resort is as much a part of their vacation as going to the parks. For others, a hotel is just a place for a bed and a bath. If you fall in the former camp, then the cutbacks/changes are not going to have a huge influence on your choice of resort. If you're part of the latter group, you probably have already found that Disney is way overpriced for what you get.

I happen to like staying onsite. I like waking up to a view of one of the parks from my balcony. I like having ME service to handle my bags and my transportation to/from the airport. I still rent a car onsite because I don't care for the bus system. But I also like being able to take a boat, monorail or just walk to one of the parks from my resort.

EMH is fine if I have the energy to stay out late or get up earlier in the morning. But if it goes away, I only hope that it is because Disney has decided to offer their onsite guests something new in its place. Lately, it seems that EMH has gotten to be more crowded than the normal park hours. This is especially true with evening EMH when the it goes for hours after all of the other parks have closed.

Not everyone is going to be happy with the changes Disney has planned. And the costs keep going up while most of us have had to deal with stagnant or reduced income. But I'd rather wait a little longer between trips than stay offsite. For me, it's the difference between a Disney vacation and an Orlando vacation.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:42 AM   #102
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We have always stayed onsite & loved it. In June 2012 we stayed at CBR but had a rental car so we went to the store for breakfast foods & had some meals at the restaurants at Crossroads or just outside the DTD area. So we are thinking about booking our next June 2014 trip at Staybridge Suites LBV. They just renovated, so close to DTD & the stores/restaurants which we enjoyed in 2012. Plus our DS will be 13 so the suite maybe nice for a change. So sometimes the consideration of staying off-site is comfort zone & not staying too far from the Disney parks. I wouldn't go any farther than the DTD entrance area. So now we just have another option when we are looking at resorts. Plus our DS wants to concentrate on the water parks so maybe it won't be such a bad idea to give Staybridge Suites LBV a try because we all agree that having a rental car was great on the past trip.
When we stay off site, we stay at Staybridge Suites. As you have noted, it is in a great location, so close to Disney property. They also have a free continental breakfast, so you save money on food too.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:53 AM   #103
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Cutting back on EMH is no big deal for me...who really stays for 3 hours anyway.
DME and the transportation is what sells me on staying on property and just being ...at WDW...rather than being...in Orlando.
DDP is overrated and overpriced and not a big deal IMHO.
I do not see myself staying off property anytime soon....of course, being a DVC member may have a "slight" impact on that decision !!!!
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:06 AM   #104
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AGREE!!! This is our last onsite stay. Next trips will be a day or two at WDW then several at Universal, SeaWorld, and Legoland.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:07 AM   #105
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Cutting back on EMH is no big deal for me...who really stays for 3 hours anyway.
Actually this is now more correct than ever. Nobody stays for 3 hours because it's no longer 3 hours. They cut it to 2 just recently.
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