Off-site with "moderate" amenities

Griffin11

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Hello - I am trying to give myself a positive distraction by throwing myself into research for a trip at the end of January/beginning of February 2021.

I would like to consider off-site options but I'm a bit overwhelmed by all the choices. I'm looking for something with amenities equivalent to an on-site moderate, with a few decent food options within walking distance. I know I can't really avoid renting a car while staying off-site (two kids who need car seats), but I don't want to have to get in the car for more than one trip a day.

We are a family of four, two kids aged 3 and 5. Budget would hopefully be $170 a night or less.

Does anyone have any suggestions?
 

firefly_ris

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Have you looked at Wyndham Bonnet Creek? It's located next to Caribbean Beach Resort. It has its own food amenities, a lazy river, pools, you get a full balcony, private bedrooms, etc. So it's actually a little more like a deluxe, and at that time of the year you could likely find it for around that price. I see it on Priceline and VacationStrategy for very reasonable prices often.

 


Griffin11

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Have you looked at Wyndham Bonnet Creek? It's located next to Caribbean Beach Resort. It has its own food amenities, a lazy river, pools, you get a full balcony, private bedrooms, etc. So it's actually a little more like a deluxe, and at that time of the year you could likely find it for around that price. I see it on Priceline and VacationStrategy for very reasonable prices often.

Thanks for the suggestion, I wasn't sure about pricing at Wyndham Bonnet Creek at that time of year, they haven't released those dates yet. I will keep a look out.
 
  • bankr63

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2010
    I would be surprised if you pay more than $170/nt for any of the great timeshare properties in the area at that time (shoulder season). WBC is a favorite of many here, but also check out the Sheraton Vistana, Marriott, and Hilton properties nearby. All are great properties with lots to do onsite. A 2BR at Hilton Tuscany might be a good choice for you as it has a private gate to the Premium Outlets with lots of restaurant options along that stretch and a Publix across the street. Sheraton Vistana Resort has several onsite dining options, and a few restaurants within walking as well as great pools, activities and other amenities for the kids.
     

    Griffin11

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 28, 2019
    I would be surprised if you pay more than $170/nt for any of the great timeshare properties in the area at that time (shoulder season). WBC is a favorite of many here, but also check out the Sheraton Vistana, Marriott, and Hilton properties nearby. All are great properties with lots to do onsite. A 2BR at Hilton Tuscany might be a good choice for you as it has a private gate to the Premium Outlets with lots of restaurant options along that stretch and a Publix across the street. Sheraton Vistana Resort has several onsite dining options, and a few restaurants within walking as well as great pools, activities and other amenities for the kids.
    Thanks for the suggestions. What's the best way to book these timeshare properties? Third party website? Directly?
     

    KristinU

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 25, 2000
    Third party is usually your best price
    Thanks for the suggestions. What's the best way to book these timeshare properties? Third party website? Directly?
    There are several ways to book - a service like Vacation Strategy or Vacation Upgrades (they're Wyndham only, but very nice and helpful), eBay, the TUG forums (a timeshare users forum), Redweek.
     
  • bankr63

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2010
    Thanks for the suggestions. What's the best way to book these timeshare properties? Third party website? Directly?
    If you are looking for a deal, skyauction can get you into most of these for a steal in off season; probably about $500-700 for the week. However, they don't list that far out, listings generally are no more than 6 months out, generally less. Note that skyauction lists mostly the extra inventory from the major exchange companies (RCI/II).

    As @KristinU noted, tug and redweek are excellent places to get rentals direct from timeshare owners.

    For timeshare stays, they are generally full week only, starting Fri, Sat, Sun. You can sometimes get partial weeks from owners that are in points programs, but most only allow reserving part weeks closer to the check date.

    All of the majors also rent directly as well on more of a nightly hotel stay basis but at (much) higher cost. This is a great option though if you need add a night at the beginning or end of a week to match up with flights.

    If you are looking for a package, Costco Travel carries some of these properties as well. We actually discovered timeshares (Sheraton Vistana Villages was our first), through a package from Costco travel many years ago.

    Once we realized how well a full 2BR villa fit our vacation style and needs we were hooked and bought a couple of weeks resale for pennies on the dollar (total purchase price was about $11 plus fees for both). Just be warned that staying at some of these places might 'rock your vacation world'. Almost all timeshares will ask you to come to a sales presentation during your stay, just say no. There is no obligation to attend (unless you actually book a teaser deal that requires you to attend) and it is NEVER worth the loss of precious vacation time for the offered inducements. Note that the big brands generally aren't very pushy about sales compared to some others.
     

    TamaraQT

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 23, 2009
    Hello - I am trying to give myself a positive distraction by throwing myself into research for a trip at the end of January/beginning of February 2021.

    I would like to consider off-site options but I'm a bit overwhelmed by all the choices. I'm looking for something with amenities equivalent to an on-site moderate, with a few decent food options within walking distance. I know I can't really avoid renting a car while staying off-site (two kids who need car seats), but I don't want to have to get in the car for more than one trip a day.

    We are a family of four, two kids aged 3 and 5. Budget would hopefully be $170 a night or less.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?
    As you research you are going to discover that you have LOTS of options within that budget. If you are open to staying at a timeshare instead of a hotel, you open the door to many more options. Having a rental car gives you plenty of dining options. It sounds like you have always stayed on-site and are not familiar with all of the options outside of the Disney bubble. Having a rental car may motivate you to go site-seeing to see all that is offered and available in the area. I am going to guess you are going to be surprised by the restaurants, gift-shops, and other attractions available. I recommend Wyndham Bonnet Creek since you have never stayed off-site before. This way you are still within the Disney gates but you get to experience being off-site. Redweek is a good place to start looking at rental prices. Search specifically "Greater Orlando Area". That will give you a list of timeshare resorts. There are many people here willing to guide, suggest and answer questions. Have fun planning!!! Good luck!!!!
     

    Lewisc

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 23, 2000
    BE VERY CAREFUL. The best deals with timeshare rentals are through owners or brokers. Those rental have payment policies and cancellation terms far different then conventional booking. Travel insurance coves less then people think. JMO THIS IS THE WRONG TIME to book a reservation with severe cancellation terms.
    You might be in economic difficulty and need to cancel. Your job may no be able to give you time off. You may have a fear of travelling. Your doctor may suggest traveling isn't good for your health. Disney may have modified their operations., you might want to wait until it's fully operational. Disney may have dramatically better terms for onsite guests then offsite guests.
     

    bankr63

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2010
    Disney may have modified their operations., you might want to wait until it's fully operational. Disney may have dramatically better terms for onsite guests then offsite guests.
    :oops: That is an interesting thought, and entirely possible. It would be sad to be down there next year and be barred from the parks because we are not on-site guests. Let's hope Universal doesn't have the same thought or we will be restricted to 5 days at Gatorland and FunSpot...
     
  • Griffin11

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 28, 2019
    As you research you are going to discover that you have LOTS of options within that budget. If you are open to staying at a timeshare instead of a hotel, you open the door to many more options. Having a rental car gives you plenty of dining options. It sounds like you have always stayed on-site and are not familiar with all of the options outside of the Disney bubble. Having a rental car may motivate you to go site-seeing to see all that is offered and available in the area. I am going to guess you are going to be surprised by the restaurants, gift-shops, and other attractions available. I recommend Wyndham Bonnet Creek since you have never stayed off-site before. This way you are still within the Disney gates but you get to experience being off-site. Redweek is a good place to start looking at rental prices. Search specifically "Greater Orlando Area". That will give you a list of timeshare resorts. There are many people here willing to guide, suggest and answer questions. Have fun planning!!! Good luck!!!!
    I haven't been to Disney in about 15 years, and this will be my first trip as a parent. The biggest draw of on-site for me is the transportation, because we could avoid dragging two car seats on a plane with us. But I don't want to make my decision based on that one factor alone, so thank you for your recommendations!
     

    Griffin11

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 28, 2019
    BE VERY CAREFUL. The best deals with timeshare rentals are through owners or brokers. Those rental have payment policies and cancellation terms far different then conventional booking. Travel insurance coves less then people think. JMO THIS IS THE WRONG TIME to book a reservation with severe cancellation terms.
    You might be in economic difficulty and need to cancel. Your job may no be able to give you time off. You may have a fear of travelling. Your doctor may suggest traveling isn't good for your health. Disney may have modified their operations., you might want to wait until it's fully operational. Disney may have dramatically better terms for onsite guests then offsite guests.
    Yes, I agree. I'm definitely not booking anything right now without very generous cancellation terms. And even then I know it's a risk because I expect some companies in the travel industry will be bankrupt or close to it by next year, so not necessarily honouring their obligations.
     

    LovesTimone

    Christmas Day 2017
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2009
    I would wait at least a few months, before booking anything... once the dust clears and everything is opened back up again... they you will be able to get a truer read on what the cost are going to be...


    For me personally, with kids as young as yours I would never stay off-site... just with the logistics would be enough to keep me on site... naptime, or a meltdown... you forget something... It's so much easier to jump on a bus, boat, skyliner and get back to your hotel... and the convenience of the DME at the airport is another super duper plus....


    If you are wanting to keep in budget, I would order from insta-cart for breakfast items, bottle water, snacks and even some adult beverage...

    Plus with car rental cost, gas, insurance... you have to add that into your daily rate...and time you will spend a lot of time in the car, going back and forth... and the hassle of dragging car seats through a airport... or if you pay for them in the car, more money...

    Plus parking at the hotel... that needs to be added into your daily spend... which can be anywhere from like 20 to 40 a night...

    I would suggest renting a double stroller here, our friends rent for the grandkids every visit, and she said it makes life so much easier just using the umbrella stroller in the airport... easy to fold and lightweight... she said not having to drag heavy strollers through the airport is so much easier and faster getting around...

    Some other friends just came with their grandkids (3 kiddos) before the shutdown... and they stayed in a Family suite at AOA... and she said it was worth every penny... they have stayed off site several times... she said they enjoyed this trip so much more... with not having any hassle with renting a car, or returning the car, getting gas, it was great having someone else do the driving, no dealing with traffic... and wasted time in the car... She said the best thing was that the kids could get a nap, and they could rest, and they just head back into the park for dinner, fireworks, parades... and a few rides with FP... that in the previous visit they could not do because of the traffic issue trying to get out of the parks... they order insta-cart... and had breakfast in the room, and snacks, and bottled water, juice, PB and J sandwiches at night...

    something to think about....
     

    KristinU

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 25, 2000
    For me personally, with kids as young as yours I would never stay off-site... just with the logistics would be enough to keep me on site... naptime, or a meltdown... you forget something... It's so much easier to jump on a bus, boat, skyliner and get back to your hotel... and the convenience of the DME at the airport is another super duper plus....
    We're opposite with the car thing, for us it was when DS was little that we started renting a car for our trips (and we were always on-site then, DVC owners at that point). We always traveled with him in a carseat in a seat on the plane anyway, so that wasn't anything extra to lug along, but we really liked having our own car to come and go as we pleased with naps and meltdowns, etc. without having to stand and wait for Disney busses. Oh, and to be able to fold a stroller and throw it in the trunk rather than wrangle it onto a bus, that was a plus for us too. Different strokes, though!
     

    TamaraQT

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 23, 2009
    I would wait at least a few months, before booking anything... once the dust clears and everything is opened back up again... they you will be able to get a truer read on what the cost are going to be...


    For me personally, with kids as young as yours I would never stay off-site... just with the logistics would be enough to keep me on site... naptime, or a meltdown... you forget something... It's so much easier to jump on a bus, boat, skyliner and get back to your hotel... and the convenience of the DME at the airport is another super duper plus....
    This is personal preference. I prefer walking over to the garage and picking out my rental car, throwing luggage in the trunk and driving to my resort. You have to WAIT for DME and other passengers before you can depart. Picking up a rental car as opposed to waiting for DME is probably about the same amount of time. Difference is, I am only sharing my ride with my family members. But people do what works for them and using a bus for transportation never really appealed to me.

    If you are wanting to keep in budget, I would order from insta-cart for breakfast items, bottle water, snacks and even some adult beverage...
    Guess what.... Instacart is available for timeshare resorts also but I prefer Walmart. Also, a timeshare provides the luxury of having a full-size fridge and icemaker. In many of my posts I do mention how putting the kids to bed in their own bedroom and enjoying an "adult drink" on the balcony is one of the highlights of vacation. Having a blender in the room with an automatic ice maker in the freezer makes it possible. Also, a jacuzzi tub in the master bedroom is a plus. Realistically, the theme parks is the vacation with the kids. Staying at a timeshare resort allows for adults to enjoy vacation too.

    Plus with car rental cost, gas, insurance... you have to add that into your daily rate...and time you will spend a lot of time in the car, going back and forth... and the hassle of dragging car seats through a airport... or if you pay for them in the car, more money...

    Plus parking at the hotel... that needs to be added into your daily spend... which can be anywhere from like 20 to 40 a night...
    I would suggest you run the numbers and make a comparison for the cost of staying on-site vs off-site. There is actually a forum thread where the argument continues. Sometimes you pay a little extra for what is convenient for you so that could go for on-site or off-site arguments. Timeshare resorts have FREE parking. But as far as the cost of the car, gas and insurance, IMO, the convenience of eating meals off-site, gift/souvenir shopping off-site, the attractions in the area besides the Theme parks, offsets the price of the rental car in those savings alone. If you have small kids you will need car seats. But safety is safety. And you can bring your own or rent from rental car company. Its no different than having an extra suitcase. Also the airport does have those carts to rent for $5 to put your luggage and car seats on to take to rental car or bus. Sometimes you find staff members pushing one around who is willing to do the work for you. Just tip them. Besides, staying at a timeshare gives you the convenience of a washer/dryer so you don't have to pack so much other stuff anyway.

    I would suggest renting a double stroller here, our friends rent for the grandkids every visit, and she said it makes life so much easier just using the umbrella stroller in the airport... easy to fold and lightweight... she said not having to drag heavy strollers through the airport is so much easier and faster getting around...
    If the OP is staying at Disney, they can still rent a stroller daily while they are in the park. So that isn't an issue. Staying a timeshare, they can have one delivered for use. There are plenty of stroller companies and scooter companies that rent and deliver. The prices are comparable to Disney since Disney prices are higher than anybody it seems.

    Some other friends just came with their grandkids (3 kiddos) before the shutdown... and they stayed in a Family suite at AOA... and she said it was worth every penny... they have stayed off site several times... she said they enjoyed this trip so much more... with not having any hassle with renting a car, or returning the car, getting gas, it was great having someone else do the driving, no dealing with traffic... and wasted time in the car... She said the best thing was that the kids could get a nap, and they could rest, and they just head back into the park for dinner, fireworks, parades... and a few rides with FP... that in the previous visit they could not do because of the traffic issue trying to get out of the parks... they order insta-cart... and had breakfast in the room, and snacks, and bottled water, juice, PB and J sandwiches at night...

    something to think about....
    I stayed on-site once at AOA. Not in a family suite just a standard. But regardless, there is no comparison between an AOA room and a timeshare room that has a full living room, dining room, full kitchen, master bedroom, 2nd bedroom, washer/dryer and balcony. In the end it all comes down to personal preference and what works for you. I think its great the OP is at least considering staying off-site a timeshare resort. If a family stays at a basic motel/hotel type place, I can't say they will have an enjoyable off-site experience.
     

    cutigerlady

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 9, 2012
    I would recommend Hilton Buena Vista Palace. It's right across from DS, so lots of food options close by. There is a food court, sit down restaurant, and bar onsite. They have an awesome lazy river/pool area and you can pay for a shuttle to the parks. We weren't going to the parks, so I don't know how well that worked. I booked through Dreams to get free parking/waived resort fees. For us, we had a suite with 2 queens and living area with a pull out couch for less than a moderate room onsite. We would definitely stay here again.
     

    LovesTimone

    Christmas Day 2017
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2009
    This is personal preference. I prefer walking over to the garage and picking out my rental car, throwing luggage in the trunk and driving to my resort. You have to WAIT for DME and other passengers before you can depart. Picking up a rental car as opposed to waiting for DME is probably about the same amount of time. Difference is, I am only sharing my ride with my family members. But people do what works for them and using a bus for transportation never really appealed to me.



    Guess what.... Instacart is available for timeshare resorts also but I prefer Walmart. Also, a timeshare provides the luxury of having a full-size fridge and icemaker. In many of my posts I do mention how putting the kids to bed in their own bedroom and enjoying an "adult drink" on the balcony is one of the highlights of vacation. Having a blender in the room with an automatic ice maker in the freezer makes it possible. Also, a jacuzzi tub in the master bedroom is a plus. Realistically, the theme parks is the vacation with the kids. Staying at a timeshare resort allows for adults to enjoy vacation too.



    I would suggest you run the numbers and make a comparison for the cost of staying on-site vs off-site. There is actually a forum thread where the argument continues. Sometimes you pay a little extra for what is convenient for you so that could go for on-site or off-site arguments. Timeshare resorts have FREE parking. But as far as the cost of the car, gas and insurance, IMO, the convenience of eating meals off-site, gift/souvenir shopping off-site, the attractions in the area besides the Theme parks, offsets the price of the rental car in those savings alone. If you have small kids you will need car seats. But safety is safety. And you can bring your own or rent from rental car company. Its no different than having an extra suitcase. Also the airport does have those carts to rent for $5 to put your luggage and car seats on to take to rental car or bus. Sometimes you find staff members pushing one around who is willing to do the work for you. Just tip them. Besides, staying at a timeshare gives you the convenience of a washer/dryer so you don't have to pack so much other stuff anyway.



    If the OP is staying at Disney, they can still rent a stroller daily while they are in the park. So that isn't an issue. Staying a timeshare, they can have one delivered for use. There are plenty of stroller companies and scooter companies that rent and deliver. The prices are comparable to Disney since Disney prices are higher than anybody it seems.



    I stayed on-site once at AOA. Not in a family suite just a standard. But regardless, there is no comparison between an AOA room and a timeshare room that has a full living room, dining room, full kitchen, master bedroom, 2nd bedroom, washer/dryer and balcony. In the end it all comes down to personal preference and what works for you. I think its great the OP is at least considering staying off-site a timeshare resort. If a family stays at a basic motel/hotel type place, I can't say they will have an enjoyable off-site experience.

    Like I said... I would not stay off-site with kids that age... That's just my take on it.. Plus I love the bubble...

    Everyone can make their own choice and/or decision on where they want to stay... that's whats great about this type of communication, lots of opinions, and suggestions.... to each his own...
     

    TamaraQT

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 23, 2009
    Like I said... I would not stay off-site with kids that age... That's just my take on it.. Plus I love the bubble...

    Everyone can make their own choice and/or decision on where they want to stay... that's whats great about this type of communication, lots of opinions, and suggestions.... to each his own...
    I agree that an onsite stay is more convenient with small children IF you are doing a Disney ONLY vacation. I've done both on-site AND off-site and definitely prefer off-site. But we go for an Orlando vacation, not a Disney vacation. We used to go for 7 days, then moved up to 10 days. Now we stay for a minimum of 15 days. Sometimes we go to Disney while on vacation, sometimes we don't. After all, vacation is about experiences and memories. My kids vacation experience includes: Disney, Universal Studios, Seaworld, Aquatica, Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, Wet n Wild(closed now), Wonder Works, Al Capone Show, Blue Man Group, etc. And we still haven't experienced everything yet, and 15 days still isn't enough.
     

    LovesTimone

    Christmas Day 2017
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2009
    I agree that an onsite stay is more convenient with small children IF you are doing a Disney ONLY vacation. I've done both on-site AND off-site and definitely prefer off-site. But we go for an Orlando vacation, not a Disney vacation. We used to go for 7 days, then moved up to 10 days. Now we stay for a minimum of 15 days. Sometimes we go to Disney while on vacation, sometimes we don't. After all, vacation is about experiences and memories. My kids vacation experience includes: Disney, Universal Studios, Seaworld, Aquatica, Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, Wet n Wild(closed now), Wonder Works, Al Capone Show, Blue Man Group, etc. And we still haven't experienced everything yet, and 15 days still isn't enough.

    I live in Winter Garden, out the back gate of Disney, so local... Born and raised Fl. Girl.... WDW AP holders, my BIL works for Universal so we have a hook there... There are still things we haven't done, or really haven't been to in a really long long time... If you are going for a Florida vacation... then I would totally go with a a home rental... but not in Orlando... I would head over to the beaches, and check out what they have to offer... Florida is so much more than just a theme park... There are lots of spots to check out... Take a look at Florida on a tankful... lots of little out of the way place's to see and check out...

    With coming for 15 days... you could do 7 or 8 nights in Orlando... then 7 or 8 nights off the beaten path... we have alot of friends and family that do this... so you get the best of both worlds...

    If you are looking for local spots to eat in Orlando or some of the surrounding areas, I would be happy to give you some suggestions...
     



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