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Does Staying On Property Make Or Break Your WDW Vacation?

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  • #21
    Re: Does Staying On Property Make Or Break Your WDW Vacation?

    Originally posted by maddogjoe View Post
    I've been to WDW about a dozen times and will be there this October. For all but 2 of my trips we stayed OFF property. We did it that way because the kids were young and we wanted to be sure to show them as much "stuff" as we could. Sea World, Cyprus Gardens, Universal, GatorLand. We also had the fun of hitting all kinds of buffets, which with kids is almost as fun as Disney

    One year we stayed at Fort wilderness with the kids and my In-laws. While we did still have a car and go off property that trip it did lead us to decide to stay ON property again, but with out a car. The last trip down (2 years ago) my kids were 24 and 22 and even thought I thought the trip would just be my wife and I they weaseled their way in as well as one of the girlfriends! We stayed at Port Orleans and have a great time. With the free dinning plan and the cost of a car removed we got to stay at a moderate resort and had a blast.

    This year we are going again, and though we don't have the free dinning plan for the whole trip, and the prices have certainly gone up we have decided to go with the same plan at Port Orleans again. It works well for us as again my kids will be coming with us, as well as my Mother in law and brother in law. While we may go our own ways during the day, it we all meet at the restaurants for a big family dinner and get to talk about our days. Win- Win !

    So I've done it both ways. I don't think I'll ever rent a car and stay outside the parks ever again. The convenience and the lack of stress driving around unfamiliar areas just make it a no brainer for me.
    This was about the most relevant post I've read regarding the trip I'm planning.
    THANK YOU, Maddogjoe!

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    • #22
      Re: Does Staying On Property Make Or Break Your WDW Vacation?

      The times that i stayed off property, Id stay on International Drive. If i didnt feel like driving, i took a van called "the rabbit". They still have those around?
      Last edited by redrhino54; 10-26-2012, 01:51 PM.

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      • #23
        Re: Does Staying On Property Make Or Break Your WDW Vacation?

        Howdy Pards,

        Well, I reckon I have wonderful memories of stayin' on property at the Polynesian, the Contemporary, the Caribbean Beach, and the Beach Club resorts...wonderful memories. But, the truth is, that was years and years ago...long before prices started getting way out of control.

        To my way of thinking...the reason for staying off property is saving money pure and simple. It makes no sense otherwise. If money is no object, by all means stay on property.

        But, let me say that, at this stage in my life, saving money...and I'm talking tons of money...makes sense. One night on property costs about as much if not more than ONE WEEK at some nice, clean, modern places off property along route 192 in Kissimmee. And another factor that I love is not being trapped at Disney for every meal... Compare the price of a banana in any of the hotels or parks to the cost of four bananas at Walmart. Let me just tell ya 4 bananas at Walmart costs less than a dollar... You can buy a 2 liter bottle of soda for anywheres tween .84 cents and $1.38 at Walmart...and 24 bottles of water costs less than $4. That may not seem like it's very important...but you can save
        a ton of money on food costs alone by staying off property..and still enjoy a special meal or two or three "on property". The chicken and rib combo at the Flametree Barbeque is especially reasonable I think...

        But, the daily cost of a room? As you have said, you don't spend that much time in your room to begin with. It makes considerable sense to me to save money on the cost of a room and waste it on stuff to take home from the parks...stuff you will enjoy for a long, long time.

        Now, all that having been said...I love havin' Dole Whip at the Polynesian...I love visitin'
        The Grand Floridian at Christmastime...listenin' to the piano softly playing and looking up at that huge Christmas tree...I love visiting the Wilderness Lodge at Christmastime too. But, you know what? I've found that you do NOT have to stay there to enjoy some of these magical features...you simply have to VISIT there. On my trip earlier this month I visited the new Art of Animation resort and wandered all over enjoying those huge sculptures...shopping in the store, etc. Then I got back in my car and headed to my hotel which cost me a fraction of what it would have cost me to stay at an on property resort.

        On vacation I love the freedom of my own car...especially when you consider that an Annual Pass Holder doesn't pay the $14 a day for Disney Parking. (ten days and I've saved
        $140 on parking alone.) I love not having to wait for a bus or a boat...knowing that I am saving a ton of time (to, later, waste in the parks as well.)

        There are ways to save tons of money on a truly magical Disney vacation...but if money, time, the cost of food, etc. is no object...stay on property and enjoy. You might see me wandering around...I'll be there for two and three weeks at a time for the exact same price, or a little less, than others are spending for two or three nights.

        Did you know you could buy a dozen soft and delicious soft candy filled cookies for just $2 at Walmart? In fact, Walmart prices in Kissimmee are the same as they are back home...
        but motel and hotel prices in Kissimmee are, many times, far less than they are back home
        and we are talking clean, two full size beds, color television, refrigerator, microwave, tub and shower, and, of course, wi-fi... With the money I save on some meals, I can visit Beaches and Cream at the Beach Club Resort and get me one of those huge, wonderful banana splits.... That sets me back about $10 or so...but, I don't feel particularly guilty about that...hey, I'm on vacation!

        And, uh, by the way, with some of the money I saved on my room I splurged on the Hoop-de-do Musical Revue over in Fort Wilderness. They bring ya buckets of chicken and ribs and fixens..all the tea or soda ya want.and let me tell ya, their strawberry shortcake is HUGE and downright special! Show's good too.

        Adios for now. Talk to ya on down the trail.

        Wild Ol' Dan
        Last edited by Wild Ol' Dan; 10-25-2012, 12:12 PM.


        I can hear the bronco's neighin', I can hear the cowboys sing,
        I'd like to be in Texas for the Round-up in the Spring."
        sigpic

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        • #24
          Re: Does Staying On Property Make Or Break Your WDW Vacation?

          Good to see a post from Dan. I figured that you were probably off enjoying another vacation to one of Disney's wonderful destinations.

          There's definitely more than one way to take a Disney vacation, and I sure enjoying reading everyone's tips and vacation tried, and true strategies.
          BarbaraAnn

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          • #25
            Re: Does Staying On Property Make Or Break Your WDW Vacation?

            I have stayed on property and off property. To me, it all depends on cost and what I can get out of it.

            Last time, we stayed on property because we were only there for 3 days and did not rent a car. Staying off property would have added expense and for the sort time there it was fine.

            The time before that we drove down from NY, so we had a car. And we stayed off property, about 10 minute drive at a nice vacation rental that had 2 floors and all 7 of us slept there with plenty of room. Two bathrooms, a kitchen, dining area and patio, two separate bedrooms and a sleeper sofa in the living room. And a great pool with a lazy river. All for $109 a night. Total. Where would i have gotten all that room for that cost at WDW? Breakfasts were cooked at the room and non park days we cooked dinner at the room as well. This reduced the cost of food drastically. Breakfast alone saved $. I made pancakes in the morning for everyone that we bought the mix at Walmart. What would have been at least $40 a day for everyone to eat breakfast cost me about $10 in total for the week.

            I have stayed on property lots of times and do truly enjoy the total immersion and experience of staying on property. But each visit is different and each visit we weigh the costs of staying on property (free dining? 30% off? who is going? car rental needed? ) versus staying off property and take it from htere.

            For me the I just love being at WDW and don't care where I am staying
            Fratsor Sister - Delta Mu Chi Alpha

            ΔΜΧΑ

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            • #26
              Re: Does Staying On Property Make Or Break Your WDW Vacation?

              We always prefer to stay on property. We love it-- it just adds to the magic, we love the transportation, and the resorts.

              We are DVC members so that helps but sometimes we save our points and if the cost of a Disney resort is a little more than we want to pay, we'll stay off property. For example, we're going to the AP Fantasyland Preview next weekend and staying off-property. It's just one night and it's super cheap. Considering we're saving up for our wedding, we figured off-property was the way to go.

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              • #27
                Re: Does Staying On Property Make Or Break Your WDW Vacation?

                Staying on Walt Disney World property is the best and easiest in the business. They do everything for you! I love the ease of Magical Express taking me from Orlando International directly to my hotel. I think it's a great perk that they will pick up your luggage from the carrousel for you. Talk about service! The bus service taking you to the parks cannot be beat. I've never stayed off property unless I'm in Orlando on a layover. I don't think staying off site would break my vacation, but I definitely would feel a little more stressed.
                Jeff Wayne






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