Off-site with "moderate" amenities

jamescanuck2001

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 28, 2010
Just a note, a reservation at the Disney partner hotels next to Disney Springs have had promotions where you can book Fastpasses 60 days out and get extra magic hours entry. This is a significant value. A few on here have mentioned Hilton Buena Vista Palace. If this promotion is available during the time you plan to go, it's a very good option.
 

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?
Here is my suggestion for you based on the information in your post:

It seems you are planning a DISNEY ONLY vacation based on your post "I don't want to have to get in the car for more than one trip a day." So I interpret that to mean, you have no plans of touring any other part of Orlando except for Disney. Therefore, my suggestion is to skip renting a car and stay onsite. Get on Magic Express at the airport and use Disney transportation from beginning to end of your vacation. Renting a car just to use for transportation from the airport and back is basically what you are using it for. You will have to decide if its worth it to you or not.

IF your intentions are to TRY an off-site for this trip and rent a car, then I will suggest Wyndham Bonnet Creek. This way you are still within the Disney gates (next to Caribbean Beach Resort), but you will be able to have the off-site experience. This will also be easier to stick with your plan of only having to get in the car for only one trip a day. HOWEVER, if you choose the off-site option, then please consider going to an offsite restaurant at least once. Suggestion: Chick-fil-A. The reason I suggest it is because they have a nice kids menu, the food is good, AND it will give you a chance to see some of sites to see outside the bubble. There are 2 chick-fil-a restaurants. One will be near you on 535, and there is another one is on 192. If you will try either of them at least ONCE, you will discover what is outside that bubble. The worlds largest McDonalds is only 15 minutes away. Go there and take the kids to the arcades upstairs. If you look up the menu at the Worlds Largest McDonalds in Orlando, you will be shocked at what they serve. Its not just your ordinary McDonalds menu.

Now on a more personal note about "off-site". Besides the kids, this is your vacation also. So its like I always say, kids vacation by day, adult vacation by night. Off-site condo gives me the ability to put the kids to bed and enjoy a relaxing beverage with DH on the balcony. Most resorts offer a jacuzzi tub in the master bathroom which is part of the highlight of my vacation. If staying at Wyndham Bonnet Creek, Building 5 or 6 is my preference on floors 7 or higher on the poolside. Building 5 overlooks lazy river, Building 6 overlooks pirate pool. And being on the higher floors also gives you a view of the lake. Its beautiful !!!! And THAT alone makes off-site well worth it in my opinion. I don't care if you stay in a value, moderate or deluxe Disney resort. You aren't going to get those kind of accommodations and amenities for the same price.
 
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The WDW 3

The WDW 3
Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Do most of the off property hotels have transportation service from the airport and to and from the parks?
 
  • stfxkid

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2017
    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...
    Can you also send me some off the beaten track suggestions too please
     

    TamaraQT

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 23, 2009
    Do most of the off property hotels have transportation service from the airport and to and from the parks?
    Some do using MEARS transportation company for a fee of course. However, don't let the fee deter you. I am sure the transportation will take you to a hotel/resort that is half the cost of what is paid per day for a disney hotel. Dont think in a million years that DISNEY gives you FREE transportation. YOU PAY FOR IT but its just not a line item on your itinerrary. But believe me YOU ARE PAYING FOR IT.....it is FAR FROM BEING FREE. Don't believe the HYPE!!!
     

    The WDW 3

    The WDW 3
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2020
    Some do using MEARS transportation company for a fee of course. However, don't let the fee deter you. I am sure the transportation will take you to a hotel/resort that is half the cost of what is paid per day for a disney hotel. Dont think in a million years that DISNEY gives you FREE transportation. YOU PAY FOR IT but its just not a line item on your itinerrary. But believe me YOU ARE PAYING FOR IT.....it is FAR FROM BEING FREE. Don't believe the HYPE!!!
    the convenience is worth it IMO
     

    andyman8

    DIS Veteran and WDW Passholder
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2011
    Like some others have said, I'd take a close look at the Disney Springs Hotels. Most of them should be well within your price range for late January/early February. Plus, they all offer 60 days FP+ booking (just like if you were staying at a Disney-owned resort) and Extra Magic Hours (though the benefit technically runs through December 2020, they always say that and then extend it; especially given the current situation, I don't see them taking away that benefit next year). They also offer free bus transportation "every 30 minutes." With the exception of the Swan and Dolphin, I think the DS Resorts offer the best, most reliable complimentary transportation to the parks of any offsite resorts. Keep in mind, it can take a while and it's far from perfect, so I think it's not a bad idea to still rent a car but you can always fall back on the bus if needed.

    Perhaps the greatest benefit to the DS Hotels is of course their proximity to DS. I think the further resort (which is the DoubleTree) is about a 15 minute walk to DS but some hotels are as close as a 5 minute walk. While many think DS is a more adult-oriented destination, I think it can be wonderful for kids too! When you enter from the DS Hotels walkway, you're right near an awesome toy store called Once Upon a Toy. Nearby there's a wonderful Lego Store and lots of family-friendly dining like T-REX and Rainforest Cafe (be warned, go here for the atmosphere/theming, not the food; there is way better food throughout DS). There's also a great candy store (Goofy's Candy Co.) there that I must admit I still love even as a fully-grown adult. Plus, if you're planning on dining at any of the WDW Resorts during your stay, you can just take the bus from the Bus Depot at DS rather than driving or transferring busses at one of the parks.

    If you're looking for the DS Hotel with the most "Disney Moderate-equivilant" amenities, I'd probably point you toward the Hilton Buena Vista Palace. The pool area is fun and family-friendly and there's a great grab-and-go called Citrus 28 for a light and inexpensive bite on your way to the parks. The BVP is about a 5 to 10 minute walk to DS, depending on where in the hotel you are, and it's not unheard of to see nightly rates there in just the double digits during the slower times of the year (late January/early February being a slower time of year). You can also usually get a decent price if you're a AAA member or check sites like the DISBoards and MouseSavers frequently. Both sites sometimes partner with the hotel to offer reduced rates. For example, MouseSavers is offering 10% off and free parking for BVP right now. Another great option for families, but further away from DS (about 15-20 minutes) is the DoubleTree with its spacious suites but the pool here leaves something to be desired. I also ike the B Resort but it's admittedly more of an adults hotel (though I've seen families there all time).A few DS hotels I'd avoid: the Best Western, the Wyndham properties, and the Hilton Lake Buena Vista (don't be fooled by its convince to DS, the hotel itself needs renovating).

    Another option, ideal for someone with a car, would be the Hilton Bonnet Creek. While the bus service to parks from this resort leaves a lot to be decided, which doesn't really matter if you're driving, this hotel has A LOT to offer, especially for families. From an amazing pool complex (second in the Orlando area only to YC&BC in my opinion) to a plethora of well-executed onsite dining to access to some of the more upscale amenities next door at the Waldorf, I'm a big fan of HBC and the WA. They also enjoy EMH benefits (again technically through Dec. 2020 but I'd bet that'll be extended) and 60-Day FP+. Since the hotels started offering those benefits, I noticed the prices (especially for HBC) climb a bit, so it might be on the other side of your price range, but perhaps with a AAA discount, you could swing it.
     
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  • Griffin11

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 28, 2019
    Like some others have said, I'd take a close look at the Disney Springs Hotels. Most of them should be well within your price range for late January/early February. Plus, they all offer 60 days FP+ booking (just like if you were staying at a Disney-owned resort) and Extra Magic Hours (though the benefit technically runs through December 2020, they always say that and then extend it; especially given the current situation, I don't see them taking away that benefit next year). They also offer free bus transportation "every 30 minutes." With the exception of the Swan and Dolphin, I think the DS Resorts offer the best, most reliable complimentary transportation to the parks of any offsite resorts. Keep in mind, it can take a while and it's far from perfect, so I think it's not a bad idea to still rent a car but you can always fall back on the bus if needed.

    Perhaps the greatest benefit to the DS Hotels is of course their proximity to DS. I think the further resort (which is the DoubleTree) is about a 15 minute walk to DS but some hotels are as close as a 5 minute walk. While many think DS is a more adult-oriented destination, I think it can be wonderful for kids too! When you enter from the DS Hotels walkway, you're right near an awesome toy store called Once Upon a Toy. Nearby there's a wonderful Lego Store and lots of family-friendly dining like T-REX and Rainforest Cafe (be warned, go here for the atmosphere/theming, not the food; there is way better food throughout DS). There's also a great candy store (Goofy's Candy Co.) there that I must admit I still love even as a fully-grown adult. Plus, if you're planning on dining at any of the WDW Resorts during your stay, you can just take the bus from the Bus Depot at DS rather than driving or transferring busses at one of the parks.

    If you're looking for the DS Hotel with the most "Disney Moderate-equivilant" amenities, I'd probably point you toward the Hilton Buena Vista Palace. The pool area is fun and family-friendly and there's a great grab-and-go called Citrus 28 for a light and inexpensive bite on your way to the parks. The BVP is about a 5 to 10 minute walk to DS, depending on where in the hotel you are, and it's not unheard of to see nightly rates there in just the double digits during the slower times of the year (late January/early February being a slower time of year). You can also usually get a decent price if you're a AAA member or check sites like the DISBoards and MouseSavers frequently. Both sites sometimes partner with the hotel to offer reduced rates. For example, MouseSavers is offering 10% off and free parking for BVP right now. Another great option for families, but further away from DS (about 15-20 minutes) is the DoubleTree with its spacious suites but the pool here leaves something to be desired. I also ike the B Resort but it's admittedly more of an adults hotel (though I've seen families there all time).A few DS hotels I'd avoid: the Best Western, the Wyndham properties, and the Hilton Lake Buena Vista (don't be fooled by its convince to DS, the hotel itself needs renovating).

    Another option, ideal for someone with a car, would be the Hilton Bonnet Creek. While the bus service to parks from this resort leaves a lot to be decided, which doesn't really matter if you're driving, this hotel has A LOT to offer, especially for families. From an amazing pool complex (second in the Orlando area only to YC&BC in my opinion) to a plethora of well-executed onsite dining to access to some of the more upscale amenities next door at the Waldorf, I'm a big fan of HBC and the WA. They also enjoy EMH benefits (again technically through Dec. 2020 but I'd bet that'll be extended) and 60-Day FP+. Since the hotels started offering those benefits, I noticed the prices (especially for HBC) climb a bit, so it might be on the other side of your price range, but perhaps with a AAA discount, you could swing it.
    Great suggestions, thank you for the detailed reply. I'll take a closer look at the Disney Springs hotels.
     

    halfpintpeggy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2015
    Orange Lake is definitely one of my favorite resorts. You can save money by renting directly from owners using TUG or Redweek. I have stayed at West Village and River Island. I enjoyed both stays although I am not a fan of the outside patios in West Village. I am hoping to find a reasonable rental for North Village or Tennis Villas in West Village for my next vacation. Although River Island has the lazy river and enclosed slide, I still prefer the pool at North Village. Truth is, no matter what section you stay in, you are practically guaranteed a great stay at Orange Lake. My DD13 favorite memory was the glow-in-the-dark pool party, and the Dive-in-Movie on the inflatable screen at the pool. Awesome vacation!! I came in 2nd place in the hula-hoop contest. I was so proud of myself. Yes in deed, I still got the moves and hip action at 50 years old!!! But thats a story for another day!! :lmao:
    Please tell me you have video from the hula hoop contest, that is sooo awesome! :worship::cheer2:::yes::
     

    LovesTimone

    Christmas Day 2017
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2009
    Can you also send me some off the beaten track suggestions too please

    Hi,
    If you could give me some idea of what you are looking for it will make it easier for me to give you specific ideas for different areas..

    Are you looking for something close to Orlando? such as restaurants or shopping, or side day trips to other theme parks or venues or parks ?

    Thinking about the beaches are you looking for somewhere to rent a house or hotel stay, there are lots and lots of little spots away from the main big name beaches to check out... ? what area of Florida are you looking at to spend sometime? as well there are lot of spots on the rivers, to rent a house or hotel, places where you can rent a boat, kayak, canoeing, paddle-board, see the manatees( during certain times of the year) go scalloping or fishing... with lots of good seafood joints and tiki bars... there are spots to go for a airboat ride, or paddle-boats.... lots to do...

    let me know I will see what I can come up with...
     
  • TamaraQT

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 23, 2009
    Please tell me you have video from the hula hoop contest, that is sooo awesome! :worship::cheer2:::yes::
    I wish I did have a video, but DH was in the pool playing volleyball and DD was in the hula hoop contest too for a moment. She lost and went back to swimming.:lmao:Those are moments that should be remembered forever and having a video to watch would be awesome. I was so proud of myself!! I do have a video of me teaching a lady how to Cupid Shuffle. We were at a pool party at Westgate Vacation Villas a few years ago. I met a nice lady who was there on a business trip. Line dancing music was playing at the pool and the entertainment staff were giving instructions. The lady said she wished she knew the dances but she was too shy to get up and try it. HOWEVER, when the "Cupid Shuffle" music came on, I insisted she get up with me and learn it. I already knew how to do it because my young daughter was my instructor over the years. :laughing: Before she knew it, she could do the Cupid Shuffle!!! Afterwards we enjoyed one of the BEST drinks I had in my life, a "Banana Cabana Colada"!!! ....or two...or three. :rolleyes1 After the Coladas kicked in, I had to recruit my DD to help me teach her the "Cha-Cha Slide". Both dances are easy to learn because they tell you what to do in the song. To her surprise, she came there not knowing any line dances, and left knowing how to do two dances. And because she was good at it, she was no longer shy!!! My DH did catch that on video. This is what vacation is all about to me. Happy memories. I don't get how people can stay at places like this and not enjoy all the fun stuff timeshare resorts offers. I ALWAYS have a GREAT time!! I wanted to add a mini cruise to our trip in the near future. I know we will enjoy it, but we will STILL be looking forward to getting off the cruise and heading to a resort in Orlando/Kissimmee for 10 days!! :cool1:Ridiculous!!! :rotfl2:
     

    halfpintpeggy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2015
    I wish I did have a video, but DH was in the pool playing volleyball and DD was in the hula hoop contest too for a moment. She lost and went back to swimming.:lmao:Those are moments that should be remembered forever and having a video to watch would be awesome. I was so proud of myself!! I do have a video of me teaching a lady how to Cupid Shuffle. We were at a pool party at Westgate Vacation Villas a few years ago. I met a nice lady who was there on a business trip. Line dancing music was playing at the pool and the entertainment staff were giving instructions. The lady said she wished she knew the dances but she was too shy to get up and try it. HOWEVER, when the "Cupid Shuffle" music came on, I insisted she get up with me and learn it. I already knew how to do it because my young daughter was my instructor over the years. :laughing: Before she knew it, she could do the Cupid Shuffle!!! Afterwards we enjoyed one of the BEST drinks I had in my life, a "Banana Cabana Colada"!!! ....or two...or three. :rolleyes1 After the Coladas kicked in, I had to recruit my DD to help me teach her the "Cha-Cha Slide". Both dances are easy to learn because they tell you what to do in the song. To her surprise, she came there not knowing any line dances, and left knowing how to do two dances. And because she was good at it, she was no longer shy!!! My DH did catch that on video. This is what vacation is all about to me. Happy memories. I don't get how people can stay at places like this and not enjoy all the fun stuff timeshare resorts offers. I ALWAYS have a GREAT time!! I wanted to add a mini cruise to our trip in the near future. I know we will enjoy it, but we will STILL be looking forward to getting off the cruise and heading to a resort in Orlando/Kissimmee for 10 days!! :cool1:Ridiculous!!! :rotfl2:
    You’re my new hero! How cool - bet the Cupid Shuffle lady has awesome memories & stories to tell because of you. AND a new found self confidence, love it! ❤💚💙
     



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