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Experience of staying off-site vs. on-site

CapeCodTenor

New Member
Original Poster
Hello, everyone!

It's been years since I was last down in the World, about 17 to be exact, and when I was last down there I was a cast member, so I had discounts added to my resort stay, so didn't have to pay full price, which was nice. I'm now starting to plan a future trip, don't know when yet, but the prices I've been seeing are, well, wow! To say I'm having full-price sticker shock is an understatement. I'm thinking of staying off-site and wanted to hear of everyone's experience with this. I've already done some research and know of the Disney Springs area hotels and the bus routes, but I wanted to hear of experiences of staying off-site. Where did you stay, and what was your experience like? Good? Bad? Did you take the bus to and from the park, or did you dive to each park? If you took the bus, what was that experience like? I've heard that the DS buses run every 20 minutes and as a result can be reliable in that way (I've waited over 30 minutes for Disney buses back in the day and have seen several empty buses leave for other resorts). However, each bus takes a trip to 2 parks, so if you're trying to get to a rope drop and your park is the 2nd stop, you might not be that early for it. You get the idea. Thanks in advance.
 

Queen of the WDW Screne

Well-Known Member
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I had been toying with the idea of DS hotels myself until I realized 1 each side of the street shares buses so you're going to multiple hotels and the bus may be full when it gets to yours and 2 each bus makes 2 stops which sucks for RD if the park you want to go to is the second park they stop at.
At this point I wouldn't consider them.

I have stayed offsite farther away where the prices are very very reasonable.
Growing up we always stayed in Davenport.
A couple of years ago we had a group of 14 and stayed in a house on the border of Davenport and Clermont.
I would NEVER use transportation provided by companies that are that far away as the drop off pick up schedule and locations are CRAP.


Basically if you stay offsite even in a DS hotel I'd definitely drive to the parks if you have a car that is.
If you don't have a car or would have to RENT a car then I'd just stay onsite.

And remember that Disney offers discounts so you may have sticker shock from full rack rate prices but its pretty rare to actually pay it unless you're going for a major holiday like Christmas/NYE.
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
Every time I stay off-site, I am reminded of why I never stay offsite.

The included transportation to WDW from other resorts, including those on Hotel Plaza Blvd is at best adequate. They will eventually get you to the parks, but they make the Disney Bus system look like a teleporter by comparison.

All the resorts on HPBV are divided up between 2 bus routes if I remember correctly making a trip to any park excruciatingly long. They are by far the best of any of the off-property resorts. The others can have busses that run every hour or only go to the TTC where you have to take Disney transportation to your final destination.

Bottom line, if you stay off property, either rent a car or use Uber or Lyft.
 

hsisthebest

Active Member
We stayed offsite at the Caribe Royale. I left a review for it somewhere on this site. It was 5 minutes to HS and Epcot, 10 to magic and 15ish to AK. We drove our van from IL (Griswold style ftw). Parking and traffic were a breeze and this was the start of the busy summer- early June. The only downside to the parking was at MK where you have to take a tram then monorail or boat- this was a little exhusting after a long day. But several times we parked so close at HS and EPCOT we could walk in without a tram.

As for the Resort- it was great and had a very large pool. We had a 2-bed villa that was about equivalent to a moderate hotel at disney for under $200. It was our first time staying offsite in 12 visits and we will probably do it again on our next trip. It saves several thousand over a Disney villa but still felt special to the kids and was super close to the parks.

My full review can be read here: https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/caribe-royale-review.944566/
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
We stayed offsite at the Caribe Royale. I left a review for it somewhere on this site. It was 5 minutes to HS and Epcot, 10 to magic and 15ish to AK. We drove our van from IL (Griswold style ftw). Parking and traffic were a breeze and this was the start of the busy summer- early June. The only downside to the parking was at MK where you have to take a tram then monorail or boat- this was a little exhusting after a long day. But several times we parked so close at HS and EPCOT we could walk in without a tram.

As for the Resort- it was great and had a very large pool. We had a 2-bed villa that was about equivalent to a moderate hotel at disney for under $200. It was our first time staying offsite in 12 visits and we will probably do it again on our next trip. It saves several thousand over a Disney villa but still felt special to the kids and was super close to the parks.

My full review can be read here: https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/caribe-royale-review.944566/
Had friends stay at Caribe. Ideal location few min from Disney and minutes away from Kissimmee hwy 192 with fast food and t shirt shop mania.
 

SAV

Well-Known Member
We have stayed off-site as well as on-site. When the budget called for it, we stayed off-site. My off-site rule is that I always need to rent a car. The off-site supplied transportation is not good. They have very limited pick-up and drop-off times that wouldn't fit in with our schedule.

Overall, Off-site you will pay less for an equivalent grade of room. Even if you include the park parking cost per day, it ends up being cheaper. Meaning a Marriott Fairfield Inn room will be less money and larger than a Value Room on property. But it is also just a room and not a resort. We stayed at this one on 12191 South Apopka Vineland Road, Orlando, FL 32836 a couple of times. It was fine for what it was. A room, not a resort, and it came with the standard Marriott "free" breakfast. It had a small pool out back, but we were there to sleep, so I didn't really care about the other amenities. We have also done an off-site Residence Inn and also a Sheraton and it had a more resort feel to it. As mentioned above there are other Resort properties off site that will still be cheaper than an on-site Moderate and have as good or better amenities.
 

kong1802

Well-Known Member
We pretty much only stay offsite now. For less than $180/night including taxes, parking, we stay at the Embassy Lake Buena Vista South. You get a full breakfast buffet included that is really good (for our family of 5, that's a great deal). You get a suite (obviously) and great service. It's a 15 minute drive to the parks, they do not have a shuttle. For us, it's the best value out there. Also, if you come back to rest between 4-6, you get a free happy hour. Kids nap, we get some free booze, its great.

We've also stayed at the B resort, Double tree, and the Embassy in DS a few times. Only because we've gotten great deals, like $90/night. Never bothered with the buses. Resorts are ok, very quick trip to the parks in the car. For the money, well worth it. Resorts are not moderate or deluxe level, but the rooms are bigger (especially Embassy and Double Tree). Also, give me the DoubleTree for $90 over any Moderate over $200 any night.

Also, if you really want a Disney resort, try priceline. We snagged POFQ last year for $99/night. People this year have gotten AK for $249/night, and All Stars for $70-80/night. Coronado has gone for $90/night as well recently.
 

Pooh.sHoneyHuntTDL

Well-Known Member
Lynx bus is $2 or $4.50 for day pass. $16 for week pass. Lynx 50 takes you from DS and parkway to Disney Transportation Center and starts running around 5:30 am
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
Lynx bus is $2 or $4.50 for day pass. $16 for week pass. Lynx 50 takes you from DS and parkway to Disney Transportation Center and starts running around 5:30 am
Good note and I have seen guests on a tight budget with all their suitcases take the public bus to and from the airport to their off property hotel.
 
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