Dare I say it ...not stay in the bubble

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kathys's picture
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Dare I say it ...not stay in the bubble

Ok as the packages for Disney 2017 I went looking for our trip next December and had sticker shock. I priced out for 9 days/8 nights with park tickets (no hopper) and meal plan (because without it I will be eating chicken every night... blah) and for POFQ it came to $3800.00. And that is with no air and MVMCP which this year is $89.00 a person. So I priced out a vulue and that came to about $2800. (With the same days/nights, park tickets and meal plan). So last night we all got together (1 other couple) to give them the numbers.

Well my hubby ( not a huge Disney can) said what am I crazy way too much money (as we did a 10 day trip to Costa Rica all inclusive with air for 3400.00 and be proceeds to say am not staying at a value with all those kids!

So he said the dreaded words let's stay off property...which brings me here to as my questions as am not sure it will be a lot cheaper but I have to proof it.
1. Has anyone stayed off property and where? How close I see to Disney? D i d you have to pay for parking? Resort fees$
2. Am assuming you have to rent a car to get to and from airport and to the parks, right?
3. How much to pay at a park?
4. How much for the magic bands?
5. Can you still book dinning reservations at 180 days out?
6. What about FP's is it 60 days out?

As always thanks for all your information.

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JanJ's picture
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I haven't stayed off site, so can't help with all your questions but I do know that you can only book FP's at 30 days out. You could still use any magic bands you have, but to buy new ones, I think the basic ones are around $13 - $15. I'm pretty sure anyone can book ADR's at 180 days, but you could only book a day at a time.

Good luck! crossfingers

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We have not stayed off property since 2002. At that time a two bedroom condo was around $750 for 6 nights. We did pay fees but I can not remember what or how much. We had our car so I do not know how well shuttles worked. If you have a car, you will have to pay to park each day at the parks. You can still buy multi day tickets ahead and will need to in order to use fast pass. Off property you will not be able to make fast pass selections till 30 days out. Dining is 180 for everyone, but you will have to make your reservations daily, one day at a time. Magic bands start around $14 and go up to around $30 depending on what you want. I do think you could save a little money but I really doubt is would be a big savings unless you just stay at a budget hotel.

Allie's picture
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Yup, like Jan said, you can book ADRs at 180 days out but, unlike if you are staying on property, you can't book ADRs for your entire trip at 180 days out from your first day. You have to book at 180 days out for each individual day. Same goes for FastPass+. You can only book at 30 days out and you have to book 30 days out from each individual day of your trip.

For transportation you have to look at each individual hotel and maybe contact them on their transportation options. Some hotels will offer transportation to and from the parks but the shuttles usually run a lot less frequently then Magical Express. Again with resort fees, parking fees, etc you have to check with the hotel. Every hotel is different and there is not one general answer for all off site hotels.

Standard parking at Disney parks is $20 per day (unless you have an annual pass) and $35 per day for preferred parking.

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Don't forget Orlando traffic. Depending on where you stay, it could add lots of travel time to and feom the parks.

While waiting on the resort bus at Epcot, I noticed the charter buses from off property sites. They stop way out in the lot and there is no cover from the elements.

When he says "with all those kids" is he thinking that is all there is at values? When we stay at values, there never seems to be more kids than at other resorts. We've even had poolside rooms and never had a problem.

Just lay out all the facts with pros and cons for him.

Good luck!

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kathys's picture
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well I have to say I think this will be the first time we aren't staying in the bubble
Lake Buena Vista Resort has 3 bedrooms suites (we are 4 adults going and we are doing the 3 bedroom so each couple has a king size bed) Fireworks view with taxes and resort fee (which covers free parking, wifi, fitness room, pool towels, theme park shuttle) for $731.98 a couple and that is for the dates I want so needless to say we are going to talk with the other couple either tonight or tomorrow afternoon. And we can rent a car for the week for $150.00 a couple so for the room with fireworks view and a car it is $880.00 a couple.
Now I know I can't make use of the EMH and working out the fp's will be tricky at 60 days out but unless the other couple say no way am think Lake Buena Vista here we come. Now do I need Magic bands seeing we are staying off property? Because I did price out the tickets for 5 day no hopper for 2 comes to 680.00 which makes the total so far 1560.00. Still a cheaper than the 'value' resort that comes in at 1874.00

And I did check the reviews they are all around 4 stars.

So what else am I not thinking about?

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Miss Mikki's picture
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Is Lake Buena Vista resort on Hotel Plaza Boulevard? If yes, then I think it is a great location as you can walk to Disney Springs and Crossroads. They have a theme park shuttle too. You will miss out on Disney theming, EMH, resort refillable mugs etc. but will still be in the mix. Many, many years ago (like 25!!!) we stayed at Doubletrees (it was guest quarter suites back then) because all the Disney hotels were fully booked! It was a good location and we had a great vacation.
Have you checked the Swan/Dolphin? Sometimes you can get really good deals for longer stays (we stayed in a deluxe standard room for a price less than a Disney moderate in 2009) but I'm not sure what the comparable prices are now.
I would avoid staying further afield as you will spend time and money travelling in to Disney every day which I personally find frustrating. We have access to a luxury villa in Kissimmee but we still choose to stay on Disney property as we love to have a glass of wine or cocktail and therefore don't want to drive. We worked out that taxis every day would cost more than staying in a value resort!!!

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kathys's picture
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Miss Mikki wrote:
Is Lake Buena Vista resort on Hotel Plaza Boulevard? If yes, then I think it is a great location as you can walk to Disney Springs and Crossroads. They have a theme park shuttle too. You will miss out on Disney theming, EMH, resort refillable mugs etc. but will still be in the mix. Many, many years ago (like 25!!!) we stayed at Doubletrees (it was guest quarter suites back then) because all the Disney hotels were fully booked! It was a good location and we had a great vacation.
Have you checked the Swan/Dolphin? Sometimes you can get really good deals for longer stays (we stayed in a deluxe standard room for a price less than a Disney moderate in 2009) but I'm not sure what the comparable prices are now.
I would avoid staying further afield as you will spend time and money travelling in to Disney every day which I personally find frustrating. We have access to a luxury villa in Kissimmee but we still choose to stay on Disney property as we love to have a glass of wine or cocktail and therefore don't want to drive. We worked out that taxis every day would cost more than staying in a value resort!!!

It is on resort village drive and it says it is 2 miles to Disney and I know I will miss the bubble but I can't do the value resort as my husband keeps saying no way. *sigh*. And seeing we won't have EMH we will have drinks at our resort or in our suite. I can't stay at the swain/dolphin because the only time we have stayed there was 11 years ago when my granddaughter turned 5 and we had so many problem including finding women's underwear under my granddaughters bed and cockroaches the size of mini airplanes. I know that was a long time ago but you just know how some things coming flying back.

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Allie's picture
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Ugh that's horrible. Sorry you had such an awful experience there. I would have a hard time returning too.

Miss Mikki's picture
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Oh no! That sounds awful! I hope you can find a hotel that you are all happy with. Let us know what you decide.

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kathys's picture
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it is done
well we had our meeting yesterday afternoon in our gazebo (me, my hubby Vic, Elayne and Paul) and after discussing everything the pros and cons and looking at the Lake Bueno Vista Resort pictures and with the fireworks view we booked it already because I was afraid that when we would really want to book it we would not get the rate that we did now. So for firework views, 3 bedroom suite it is costing each couple $732.00 for the 8 nights/9 days. So now am taking a deep breathe as this will be the very first time in a very long time that I haven't stayed ON property.
Now here comes some questions for those that have stayed off property (I know it is still far away but I have to have my head around it as am a planner.. LOL)
1. we all decided we want the Bands so we will buy them at our local Disney store or ON line so how far in advance should that be done? Can I like it to MDE? If so how?
2. Dinner reservations I have learned thanks to you all that I have to do them one at a time (on the day that is 180) no problem will give me something to do. LOL and once that is done will they be linked somehow to MDE?
3. Fast Pass I know I have to wait 30 days out (and I know I will have to be flexible but we are going the 1st week in December 12/2 - 12/10) and am assuming I can do that on MDE, right or wrong?

For now that is all that is running through my 'little' mind. LOL
Again thanks for all the responses and help.

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Allie's picture
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kathys wrote:
it is done
well we had our meeting yesterday afternoon in our gazebo (me, my hubby Vic, Elayne and Paul) and after discussing everything the pros and cons and looking at the Lake Bueno Vista Resort pictures and with the fireworks view we booked it already because I was afraid that when we would really want to book it we would not get the rate that we did now. So for firework views, 3 bedroom suite it is costing each couple $732.00 for the 8 nights/9 days. So now am taking a deep breathe as this will be the very first time in a very long time that I haven't stayed ON property.
Now here comes some questions for those that have stayed off property (I know it is still far away but I have to have my head around it as am a planner.. LOL)
1. we all decided we want the Bands so we will buy them at our local Disney store or ON line so how far in advance should that be done? Can I like it to MDE? If so how?
2. Dinner reservations I have learned thanks to you all that I have to do them one at a time (on the day that is 180) no problem will give me something to do. LOL and once that is done will they be linked somehow to MDE?
3. Fast Pass I know I have to wait 30 days out (and I know I will have to be flexible but we are going the 1st week in December 12/2 - 12/10) and am assuming I can do that on MDE, right or wrong?

For now that is all that is running through my 'little' mind. LOL
Again thanks for all the responses and help.

Wow that's a great deal! And off-site Disney is better then no Disney! I'm sure you guys will still have a great time. I have not stayed off property but can still help with some of these questions.

1. When I just went on DisneyStore.com it looks like 5-7 business standards is standard shipping on most bands. I would order AT LEAST a couple of weeks prior to your trip to allow for any delays. To link it to MDE click on "My Disney Experience" in the top right corner of the DisneyWorld.com website, then click "MagicBands and Cards". Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and click "Link" and then select the Magic Band option. You will then have to enter the ID number off the band.

2. If you make your reservations on MDE then yes they will link automatically. If you make them over the phone then you will need to take the confirmation number they give you and link it to your account by clicking "My Disney Experience" then "My Reservations & Tickets" then scroll down to "Dining Reservations" and click "Link Dining Reservations".

3. Yes, you make the FastPass+ reservations at 30 days out on MDE.

Hope that helps!

kathys's picture
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Yes it does and thank you Allie. And yes when I look at all the numbers I couldn't justify the expense of staying on property and yes going to Disney is better than not going.

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BarbaraB's picture
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I'm sorry I'm a little late to the party. It's probably too late to consider, but in your original post you said the $3800 included the dining plan. Can you get the dining plan when you stay off-site? If not, did you add paying out-of-pocket for meals into your budget?

I agree with Allie, though. Off-property Disney is better than no Disney.

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kathys's picture
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Yes I did say 3800.00 with the meal plan and no universal tickets or the Mickey Xmas party. And off property with everything but food comes to 2200. 00. I don't see us spending 1600.00 to eat plus if you add the Mickey Xmas and universal it is a lot more than 1600.00. Trust me I tried to make it work but the difference was too much to ignore. And yes better to than not go. Change is good for the soul so the say. Smile
Thanks for your input.

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Sorry I'm late too. One thing to remember with the shuttle is that they normally drop off and pick up from Epcot and have set times for transport. Think you have a fab price and having done offsite it isn't that bad it's not Disney but you have flexibility to do more

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kathys's picture
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Sally-Ann wrote:
Sorry I'm late too. One thing to remember with the shuttle is that they normally drop off and pick up from Epcot and have set times for transport. Think you have a fab price and having done offsite it isn't that bad it's not Disney but you have flexibility to do more

Thanks Sally and never too late. We are going to take the car based on what everyone has told me and I have already factored that into the price and we are still so much cheaper by doing this so a new adventure, right? Yes more flexibility but I have always spend all my days in the bubble for the last 12 trips so this will be different.

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