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Planning a trip for late Jan - early Feb...


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  • Planning a trip for late Jan - early Feb...

    My sister and I are taking my twins to WDW. I haven't been since 1995 and she and the kiddos have never been. I bought our 10 day park tickets this week (I was able to get them before they increased the price). We are 90% sure we will be staying at a non Disney property. Here are some questions I have:

    Is it better to stay in the Lake Buena Vista area or the Maingate West area?

    Has anyone stayed at the Galleria Palms, Orlando Vista, Hawthorn Suites, or Hampton Inn?

  • #2
    Re: Planning a trip for late Jan - early Feb...

    Yay for an upcoming trip :clap:

    I have never stayed at any of those hotels, so I cannot comment on that.

    I have stayed off Disney property all along the Maingate and found that most of the hotels I have stayed at were just fine for my needs. And the range was quite drastic. Meaning I stayed at hotels that cost approx $30 a night to $150 a night. Most of the hotels there have shuttle service so if you are not renting a car you can still get to the parks. Also, when staying at the Maingate, there are a lot of eateries withing walking distance, and 7-11 for a quick pick up of juice and stuff.

    Just curious, why not stay on property? The value resorts are approx $82 a night. I have stayed at all the values and really never had any issue with it for 2 adults and 2 kids. Plus with that you get the EMH, shuttle service to the parks, Magical Express, and themed pools (but Jan and Feb may not be pool weather) Also Disney is offering an extended Dining plan but you have to purchase a minumum of 2 day park ticket and you already have your tickets so that won't help. And if you a renting a car, parking at the parks is free for those staying on property, so its something you may want to consider in adding in to your finaly costs.

    But I have stayed off property and had a great time as well, expecially if you are planning on doing non Disney activities. The last off property place I stayed at was the Sheraton Safari Hotel (got a really great price through Priceline)

    One thing I have notice is that staying off property compared to the value resorts at Disney is the rooms off property tend to be bigger. The rooms at the value hotels are quite cramped and they don't come with a refrigerator or coffee maker which never made any sense to me since they are pretty standard in most hotels. You can rent a fridge for about $15 a day or you can get one for free is there is a medical need for it.
    Fratsor Sister - Delta Mu Chi Alpha



    • #3
      Re: Planning a trip for late Jan - early Feb...

      Thanks for the info! We are looking at non Disney properties for the reasons you mentioned -- size of the room/no microwave or refrigerator. We don't really need the EMH because of the time of year we are going and how long we will be there.

      We won't be renting a car or doing the dining plan.

      How did you like the Sheraton Safari Hotel? It was one I was looking at.

      I'm mostly looking at places that have shuttles (most all of them do), micro/fridge in the rooms, laundry, and breakfast (although that isn't a necessity).


      • #4
        Re: Planning a trip for late Jan - early Feb...

        We stayed a couple of days at the Safari and it was nice...but it didn't have a fridge in the room. We had a car, so I am not sure about the shuttle service. I do know they have it, but not sure of how good it is.

        One suggestion is to look at the Courtyard by Marriott at Vista Place. We have stayed there a couple of times and got a room for $60 per night using the Entertainment Book discount. Each time we got upgraded to a 1 br suite.

        It is a nice hotel...especially for the price. They did offer shuttle service, but it wasn't as often as Disney. They will fax/send you a schedule if you call them.
        2010 Stanley Cup Champions!


        • #5
          Re: Planning a trip for late Jan - early Feb...

          I'll look into that hotel; thanks!


          • #6
            Re: Planning a trip for late Jan - early Feb...

            If you were going to rent a car I would have said there is a Courtyard Marriott just east of Downtown Disney that not only has the microwaves and fridges you mentioned but when we stayed there, the price of a room with a separate living room was still less than we would have paid at a Disney Moderate and just about 10 dollars more per night than a value. Unfortunately they do not provide shuttle service (which actually means the hotel tends to be a little quieter).

            Remember that shuttle service on offsite hotels is also often a shared service with several other hotels, in those situations the ride to the park can be rather long if you happen to be the first pickup on the route.


            • #7
              Re: Planning a trip for late Jan - early Feb...

              Booked our trip yesterday. We're staying at the Hawthorn Suites; they offer a free breakfast buffet and a free cocktail hour. My only concern is that they have a scheduled shuttle service -- only 3 trips to and then 3 trips from the parks. I figure if worse comes to worse we can get a taxi. We were able to save a ton of money booking our hotel and flights together. Can't wait!


              • #8
                Re: Planning a trip for late Jan - early Feb...

                Originally posted by twinmom View Post
                We're staying at the Hawthorn Suites; they offer a free breakfast buffet and a free cocktail hour.
                We just booked six nights at the Hawthorn for mid-February for the same reasons. We wanted a place with fridge AND microwave so we could eat in the room when we want. Plus, with three kids, the free breakfast is a huge bonus. We called to make sure it wasn't just donuts and coffee, like some others we had called. The Hawthorn said they have things like bacon, sausage and eggs. We'll see what the quality is when we get there. (That's one thing we always like about staying at Courtyard Marriotts when we travel: great free breakfasts.) We'll be driving down, so the shuttle service wasn't a concern for us. But FWIW, their shuttle service was similar to just about every other off-property hotel we called.

                It looks like no one has written a review of the Hawthorn on these forums yet, so be sure to write a review on this thread after your trip. I'll do the same after ours, just for the benefit of others who are looking for off-property hotels in the future.

                Have a great trip! :-)
                I doubt, therefore I might be.


                • #9
                  Re: Planning a trip for late Jan - early Feb...

                  My Family and I are making our first trip about the same time as you, Late January. Have you looked at the Orlando Magic Card? I used this to get a 2 bedroom condo for $52 a night. (can't remember the name of it though) Might be worth checking out for some discounts in the area.


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