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hotel on property vs off property

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Saint Louis...
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hotel on property vs off property

Planning to visit Disney World end of May 2014 with 7 year old grandchild. Want to keep things easy and don't want to spend a fortune. Hotels off site seem quite a bit cheaper. I won't have a car so need transportation. Looking for advice regarding staying off-site vs on-site. Pros and Cons of each. Also any specific recommendatiions.


Horsham, United...
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1. Re: hotel on property vs off property

This is discussed on a regular basis, what is worth it for some won't be worth it for others so it is always a very subjective topic.

For us it's worth it, being onsite we enjoy the EMH's, the complimentary Disney transport, which you can also use if you are flying into MCO and the ease of being able to pop back to your resort through the day if you wish. Disney resorts have dedicated buses that run to all the parks, waterparks and DTD and run approx every 20 minutes Also all the resorts are very nice.

Off site you will have to pay for transport to & from the airport, if you don't have a car you will either have to use the Lynx bus system or hotel shuttles which may or may not be charged for, either way you are at the mercy of the buses which do not run as regularly as Disney buses, most will drop you at the TTC from where you will have to make your way to the park of your choice on Disney transport

For convenience I would always recommend staying onsite. It may be more expensive than offsite but you cannot put a price on convenience & magic!! lol

Depending on budget hotel recommendations

Value Pop Century

Moderate POR if you have a granddaughter, Caribbean Beach if you have a grandson

Deluxe Polynesian

Edited: 9:16 am, September 26, 2013
New Bedford...
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2. Re: hotel on property vs off property

We are going next year. There are three adults and my son who will be almost 3. For us after factoring cost of food transportation and wasted time we decided to stay at Disney. We are staying at pop century and have the Disney dining plan. While it's not cheap we did price it staying off property and for us expecially with a 2 yr old it made more sence to stay on property.

Raleigh, North...
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3. Re: hotel on property vs off property

I agree with the above posters in your situation. You will pay a bit more for the Disney brand, but the ease of staying on property is huge if you dont have a car, not to mention the shuttle to and from the Orlando airport. I agree with USLovers on the hotel options, but would recommend POR for boy or girl. I have never stayed at the Caribbean Beach resort, but have seen it up close, and was not super impressed by it. great food options at POR.

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4. Re: hotel on property vs off property

One vote for the offsite hotels here. I stayed at the Buena Vista Palace a few years ago and will be staying at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista this coming December. The Hilton offers Extra Magic Hours and hosts a Disney Character breakfast each Sunday which I'm sure your grandchild will love. The Hilton, BVP and other hotels in the Downtown Disney Hotels area offer free bus transportation to the parks which I personally found was much less crowded and had less lines than the buses for the on-property Disney hotels (I visited in September which is a v.quiet time of year anyway). I've messaged a few TA reviewers of the DTD area hotels asking what the rough journey time was on the hotels area buses - most people have said about 20 minutes journey time. My husband and I don't drive and did not need a car at any time to get to/from the Disney parks.

Having Downtown Disney on your doorstep is great - so many restaurants to choose from and the huuuuge World of Disney store.

I looked into staying on site for my upcoming trip this year, but the cost was too high for comparatively small rooms. I much preferred the more relaxed and grown up atmosphere at smart business-ey hotels than the style of Value Disney hotels personally.

Horsham, United...
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5. Re: hotel on property vs off property

minkoir have you stayed at a Disney resort? It's very difficult to compare if you haven't. We have stayed at the BVP and really enjoyed it, it's a lovely resort but the rooms there were even smaller than the rooms we stay in at Disney & the balconies are teeny.

For a couple travelling without kids I might agree with you but travelling with a 7 year old i don't expect the OP is looking for "smart business-ey" type accommodation. A 7 year old will love the bright over the top Disney theme at the values IMO.

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6. Re: hotel on property vs off property

One thing that is hard to put a price on is the “Disney Magic” you get at any of the WDW resorts. All of WDW’s resorts, regardless of price, are decorated and themed with Disney’s magic. Any child age 3 – 13 will be amazed by any of the resorts. When my kids were 3 & 5, we stayed at the Coronado Springs Resort and they still remember it and they are now 14 & 16. IMO, it’s worth the little extra to stay on property just for the memories.

If money is an issue, try booking through Expedia, Orbitz or AAA. We are staying at Pop Century in November and saved $15 a night off WDW’s prices by going through Expedia.

Destination Expert
for Walt Disney World, Orlando, Antarctic Adventures
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7. Re: hotel on property vs off property

I have done both and would never consider staying off-site again. If you don't have a car you need to factor airport transportation (included with Disney) and if you miss a bus, taxi fare. The Disney transportation runs regularly so you don't have to live by a shuttle schedule. You "want to keep things easy" and I would say the Disney bubble does just that.

Morrisville, North...
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8. Re: hotel on property vs off property

In your situation - I would definitely stay on property.

Disney generally has a special offer that would discount the rooms in May, so that is something you can take advantage of that would save you a little money.

You asked for Pros and Cons...

The only Con to staying on property is that is costs more


It's the simplest and easiest way to do Disney- especially if you fly into MCO where you can use Magical Express. It's like starting your vacation before you even leave the airport.

For your grandchild, the Disney resorts will make a real impression (they make a real impression on adults too!). Staying on property is truly staying at Disney for your entire trip. The value resorts are so over-the-top kid themed, you really have to see it to understand - but any kid is going to be awestruck.

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9. Re: hotel on property vs off property

I have stayed off property twice and on property twice. I have four kids 4-12 years old. My guess is that with kids your age, they are going to get tired and will want to go back to the resort to sleep, swim, relax, etc. Depending on which parks you're going to spend most of your time at, Pop is pretty-well situated to get to any park in under 10 minutes. Off-property you're looking at at least 20 minutes. A lot of the hotels off property have shuttles that they use with multiple hotels and it can sometimes take 30-40 minutes to get to the gate.

Take it from somebody who's done both, multiple times, with young children, the extra expense is worth the convenience and peace of mind.

Marquette, Michigan
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10. Re: hotel on property vs off property

I think that unless you're local or frequent visitors, staying on property is the best overall experience. As others have said, the convenience of the resorts and transportation (besides buses there are boats, the monorail, etc. depending on where you stay), and the overall 'magical' experience - particularly for young children would be hard to off-set unless you're really on a budget and even then looking at Magical Express, meal plan (in some cases), other transportation costs could even things up.