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This is a post for the people that choose to pick hotels off-site.

Posted by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 9:15 PM
  • 17 Replies

Thinking about going to Disney this summer.  I have gone twice and stayed on-site, but wondering if we should rent a car and stay off-site this year.  

We have stayed at Moderates in the past, but this year, it will be a Value.  So I know I can get a much better hotel buy for the amount of a value.  

So what are your reasons for staying at non-Disney hotels?

by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 9:15 PM
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by Silver Member on Feb. 4, 2013 at 9:30 PM

There are a lot of great deals at houses off property, especially if you are going with other people.

by Member on Feb. 4, 2013 at 9:41 PM
We stayed in a condo in kissimmee at the sweetwater club. We have a timeshare type thing but they do private rentals as well. It was nice and big. We drove so we had our car. It was right off the main highway(192?)
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by Silver Member on Feb. 4, 2013 at 10:00 PM
We own a timeshare at Wyndham Bonnet Creek. We prefer to stay off site. The vacation is more relaxing. It's more about spending fun time as a family and less about making sure we see/do everything mouse. The resort where we own are villas so we have a full kitchen and the property has BBQ grills so eating is relaxed. There are also restaurants on site so can eat in or get take out and you can sit by the pool and have lunch. There are a ton of activities for the kids, the whole family or just the adults. They have bounce houses and pool games and treasure hunts. Ice cream socials, karokee, face painting and gatorland comes. At night they have movies under the stars on an inflatable screen.

Having 3 small kids (2, 4 & 6) we don't have a lot of relaxing time so having the separate bedrooms lets hubby and I have some time at night. Sit on the balcony with a glass of wine or coffee and dessert. I also love that the little one can nap, hubby can take the little ones to the pool, sprayground, mini golf and I can sit I the balcony and read, catch some days or just do nothing.
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by Silver Member on Feb. 4, 2013 at 10:16 PM
The reason we stay off site is because of cost. Its just cheaper. We drive so we don't rent a car. So we just pay for parking.
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by Bronze Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 12:37 PM
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I priced out a fall trip, and even in value season I can't believe how much they raised rates this year. Because we are now Universal Studios believers, I think we may stay on site a Universal for our next trip, at half the cost of a Disney Deluxe, do three days at Universal, one day at Seaworld, then just drive back and forth to Disney for a couple of days. Either that, or we'll stay at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress with their AMAZING pool, for cheaper than staying on site at either park. IDK though, the front of the line access included in your Universal hotel stay is really hard to pass up, it's worth it's weight in gold. It pays to stay on site at Universal.

by Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 1:26 PM
We're renting a house next week for 1/3 of the cost of staying on property. Also my parents go with us so we prefer to have a condo or house rather than being all crammed in a large hotel room. Makes us feel better to pay for all of the lodging as it's not something parents would do if not for the grandkids. This 4 bedroom house with views of the fireworks is about $900 for the week.
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by Bronze Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 2:59 PM

We have been 3 times.  The first two times we stayed at the Hilton grand vacations club at sea world.  It's a beautiful property and is a wonderful hotel.

The room we had was a 1 bedroom suite with a living room, dining room, a big bathroom with a jacuzzi tub and a separate shower.  Oh and a washer and dryer.   Over Christmas week we paid around $175 per night, which you can not touch onsite for the amount of space that we had.  We personally don't want to smush into a small room.  Could we, sure there are only 4 of us, but we don't want to, it's not a vacation to us.

We stayed two weeks ago onsite at AKV in a 1 bedroom suite for almost 3 times the price even with a 35% off discount.  We wanted to try out onsite.  I get why people like it.  The whole bus thing and not needing a car was great, but for the price and the amount of space, you can't beat off site.

We are talking about doing a quick 5 night trip in October for Halloween and will probably go back to the Hilton.  for the nights we are going it's $125 per night and will probably drop, last year October was under $100 per night.  

Even with renting a car and paying parking, we are a lot less, unless we went value or moderate, which we don't want to do.  I"m not saying we will never stay onsite again, but for us we don't mind the hassle of being offsite. Plus the added benefit of eating off property and spendng less money on food.

by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 3:43 PM
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We have a TON of reasons for staying off-site!

First: The price. There are 7 of us, so we would need two rooms or a villa or suite at a Deluxe. the price of off-site is 1/3 of two Value rooms, and 1/7 of a Deluxe villa or suite.

Second: The space. An off-site townhouse gives us space and privacy we need for our size group. There are 4 adults and 3 children. The adults don't want to be saddled to the kids bedtime, which in a one room hotel room they would be. We would also like some privacy. The house we are renting has 3 bedrooms with "in suite" bathrooms.

Third: Private pool. Being "pooh sized", I'm less than comfortable being in bathing suit around people, so having a private pool is a HUGE draw. Plus, we can go swimming any time we want, which is awesome.

Fourth: The ability to prepare our own meals. We will only be eating breakfast at the house, but we can at least cook a good breakfast instead of eating cold junky stuff of having to buy a good breakfast.

There are negatives to staying off-site. For us though, they really don't affect us much.

There's no access to the buses, we wouldn't use them if we were staying on-site, so that doesn't affect us.

You have to rent a car if you fly. We are driving down, so again, doesn't affect us.

You have to pay for parking. It kind of sucks but considering what we are saving on our resort, is worth it. (It is mind boggling how many people think it isn't. Like paying $14 a day for parking is completely ridiculous, and it's better to pay an extra $2,000 for an on-site resort to avoid it. This logic blows my mind.)

No access to the dining plans. This can be a negative for some people. Not for us, because the dining plan would cost us more than what we are going to pay out of pocket. I did the math. The difference is minimal, and if we were staying on-site I would pay the extra to get the dining plan just for the convenience. The dining plan would give us more food than what we would order going OOP, if you are a dessert eater (we really aren't) the dining plan can be a savings over OOP. Also, if you like to eat REALLY extravagantly, it can be a savings.They don't offer free dining at the time we are going, so we wouldn't have access to that savings. If that card was in play, we would be WAY more likely to stay on-site.

You are immersed in Disney. This is a huge draw for some people. (Honestly though, I think it's sometimes an excuse they use to justify paying WAY more than they need to.) As much as I like the idea of eating, breathing and sleeping Disney for 8 days, it also sounds like TOO MUCH. I'm grumpy. I don't think I can handle being surrounded by shiny happy people 24/7. I need some down time. My husband isn't into being smothered by Disney either. He will like the experience, but will need a break from the bright colors and happy music. The kids room at the house we're renting has a Disney theme, but husband gets to sleep and shower without The Mouse present. lol

No access to Extra Magic Hours. Having small children, we wouldn't use them anyway and would avoid the park that has EMH each day. Which is what we are doing staying off-site.

That's all I can think of at the moment...

by Bronze Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 8:13 PM

 Has anyone stayed at Buena Vista Suites?  How crazy is all the parking lots at the parks if we drive?  We've always stayed on property.  But now with a bigger family, we can save alot by staying off property....

by Silver Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 9:53 PM
My sister stays there everybyear for her schools band trip. Clean, close. Only complaint was that it wasn't "resort" enough.

We own a timeshare and its a true luxury resort. 6 pools, lazy rivers, spraygrounds. Restaurants, bars, activities. Villas are fully equipped condo type units. So we are kind of spoiled that regular hotels just aren't good enough no matter how nice or clean.

Disney is super easy to get to from there. Literally make a right out of the hotel and you pretty much drive right into the gates. We stay on property but drive to the parks because I hate shuttles and never any issue.

Quoting mamaofwildboys:

 Has anyone stayed at Buena Vista Suites?  How crazy is all the parking lots at the parks if we drive?  We've always stayed on property.  But now with a bigger family, we can save alot by staying off property....

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