Going to DisneyWorld - stay in the park or outside

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by maflynn, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. maflynn, Feb 14, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014

    maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #1
    I've been to DisneyWorld before but I'd like to get some fresh opinions and insights.

    The last time we went to DW, we stayed in the park, before that it was at a resort outside of the park. Those who have traveled to DW, have you stayed in a DW resort or outside and why :)
     
  2. Curun, Feb 14, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014

    Curun macrumors 6502

    Curun

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    #2
    Right now, as of Disney Marathon Weekend last month anyway, only those staying in the park get the RFID armbands.

    RFID armbands, with roomkey, park ticket2, and option to tie with credit card is fantastically convenient.

    Go out for the day with only iPhone and armband. Which was both great for the dopey challenge races in the morning, didn't need to carry roomkeys. But also nice to go light throughout the day.

    Port Orleans has a boat to Downtown disney. So between that and buses. Drove in and parked once and never dealt with traffic again. Also nice after an evening of drinking :)

    We did NOT do a mealplan. Next time, we probably will. It could have come out a bit cheaper.

    edit; if you like ale, I was mostly disappointed, but a Belgium style fan, but looking at the menu's, it looks like the 'best' place for good ale is the Be Our guest. Get reservations days in advance. I was sad :(
     
  3. kilcher macrumors 65816

    kilcher

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    #3
    We always stay on the premises. Prefer the Pop Century Resort, which is in my opinion the nicest of the "value" resorts. I just don't see paying SO much more for a room when we're only going to sleep there. We always go when they're offering the free dining plan so there's that. Plus complimentary transportation to and from the airport (if you need that) and to and from the parks (I think some outside hotels may offer that as well) which also means you get dropped at the door and don't have to pay to park.

    Ultimately it probably depends on your budget but if the price anywhere close (especially if you can get the free meal plan) and you don't mind a plain jane hotel room I would definitely recommend staying on the premises.
     
  4. Curun macrumors 6502

    Curun

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    #4
    ALSO!

    The ArmBands let you do FastPasses from their iPhone app. You get 3 FastPasses a day. This lets you use a 'faster line'.

    Without ArmBand. You have to take your ParkTicket card to the actual ride, find the hidden fastpass machine, and get another print out card, and then come back at the designated time to the ride and present your printout card.

    With ArmBand. You can be sitting having a beer somewhere. Open iPhone app, make a ride reservation. Then show up and put your armband up to the glowy Mickey Face orb.

    There is park-wide guest wifi. Also, a Mophie battery back is handy. LOL.
     
  5. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #5
    I'd stay inside the park. Don't have to get a car or rely on hotel shuttles. Also, there are some days where they let Disney hotel guests in an hour before they open the park to everyone else.
     
  6. kilcher macrumors 65816

    kilcher

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    #6
    Yeah, the wifi worked pretty well. I remember when we first went about 4 years ago there was no cell reception and no wifi at all at our hotel.

    And yeah, I bought a Mophie for our last trip. It's good to have, especially if you think you'll take a lot of pics or videos.
     
  7. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #7
    I like this as well. The thing is we'll be also visiting Universal and Seaworld - is there any way to get there from a Disney resort - I would think the cost of a taxi would be very pricey
     
  8. colourfastt macrumors 6502a

    colourfastt

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    #8
    The bus.

    I just spent 8 horrid years in Orlando (moved back home last summer), I feel sorry for anyone who falls for the theme park trap.
     
  9. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #9
    As much as I'd like to stay there, it doesn't appear to be in the cards :(

    Running the numbers, i'm looking at an increase in cost of about 2,000 dollars - that's a tough pill to swallow because I know I'll be spending a lot there anyways.

    When we stayed in the park the last time, it was because of a Jet Blue offer to fly/stay for one price, that is book the trip and stay at the disney resort and the air far was "free" That made it more palatable as well.
     
  10. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #10
    If you can save that much money by staying off property then I don't blame you. I'd do the same thing.
     
  11. Huntn, Feb 16, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #11
    The last two times I was involved in a trip to Disney World Florida, the choice was $600 a night in the park. We would have needed two rooms. On one occasion, we stayed about 15 miles away in a regular hotel, ate breakfast at Mcdonalds and saved hugely. The next time we stayed at a Holiday Inn Resort 5 miles off campus in a suite that handled the entire party for about $260 a night, it was a nobrainer, and for all occasions it boils down to $$ vs convenience.
     
  12. Jnesbitt82 macrumors 6502

    Jnesbitt82

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    Ohio
    #12
    The last time I was there, we stayed just outside of the park. It was me, my wife, and our 3yo daughter. Here is what everything minus the flight cost us:

    1 Radisson Worldgate Resort and Convention Center
    Room Type: Double Room
    Arrival: 08/22/2010
    Departure: 08/28/2010
    # Nights: 6
    1 $294.00 $294.00
    2 3 Day Disney Hopper Ticket Get 2 Days FREE! - Adult Ticket
    Disney WorldGet 2 Hopping Days Free! You'll receive a 5 day Hopper!

    2 $266.00 $532.00
    Surcharge ($10 if staying 1 or 2 nights): $0.00
    Cleaning Fee: $0.00
    Subtotal: $826.00
    Sales Tax: $72.80
    Ticket Delivery Fee: $10.00
    Grand Total: $898.80

    As you can tell, its been a few years. :)
     
  13. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

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    #13
    DW resort is great because you don't have to deal with driving and parking.
     
  14. Tsuchiya macrumors 68020

    Tsuchiya

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    #14
    We rented a villa about 10 miles away and had a minivan so we could come and go as we pleased. Parking did add up, but home comforts and avoiding cabin fever > convenience of the resort.

    General notes:

    1) Seaworld kind of sucks. Seeing an Orca whale was awesome, but we went the one time then never bothered with it on subsequent visits to Orlando. Save your money and go see Blue Man Group at Universal or Cirque Du Soleil at downtown Disney.

    2) Epcot is vastly underrated. After days of queues and high temperatures, walking around the World Showcase was great. Try the udon in the Japan area.

    3) Buy yourself good ponchos before you go. We got caught in what seemed like torrential rain. Disney ponchos are crazy expensive.

    4) Fastpass wisely. Queues are crazy for even the children's story rides at Magic Kingdom, but Splash Mountain etc are the ones worth going on. Universal fast pass is quite expensive so check on the boards if it's worth it before splashing out. I brought everyone a fast pass on a day that was fairly quiet. I've never forgiven myself :p

    5) Islands of Adventure>Universal Studios.

    6) Generally Universal parks have crappy food.

    Also you are right maflynn, you will be spending a lot of money at the parks. Food, drinks and souvenirs add up fast.
     
  15. Jnesbitt82 macrumors 6502

    Jnesbitt82

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    #15
    I completely forgot about that. Definitely buy ponchos! We got lucky and bought them at our hotel for $1 each.
     
  16. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #16
    Although this thread is about a Disney vacation, I just got back from a Hawaiian vacation, stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki and I was not pleased. We payed $250 a night for the room, plus $30 per day "resort fee", plus $27 a night to garage the car, about $2800 for 8 days, for a room, anywhere else would run $80-120 a night. Location- understood. ;) But four high rises stuffed with tourists and incidentally every activity cost extra. The decision was out of my hands otherwise, I'd have opted for the windward side of Oahu away from all the hustle and bustle.

    Next time I go anywhere, I'm going to check out VRBO where you can rent an entire house for $2000 a week or less. If you pick the right place like Costa Rica, you can rent an entire house for less than $1000 for week. I don't know how this would wash out for the Orlando area.
     
  17. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

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    #17
    Last time I was in Disney was a few years ago-we did the quick service dining plan and stayed in the all-star movie resort. IIRC it was around 800/pp including flights for 4 days in Disney, but that included two meals per day.

    Since it was just two of us (it was my 30th birthday trip-I have an awesome wife), we only really spent money on a few souvenirs and beer in Epcot. Having the meals covered was great.
     
  18. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #18
    I figured I'd update our plans.

    I've been doing more research and trying to tighten up my estimates, particularly towards the cost of food.

    I had budgeted 200 dollars a day for food, but after coming back from February vacation with the kids, I can see that dollar amount is inadequate. I've seen estimates float around 80 dollars day per person to 60 dollars a day per person.

    This does not include the character meals we like to do for the kids. Even at 60 dollars a day per person which comes to a total food allowance of 240 per per day that's just under 2,000 for food for the week

    It seems that if you plan on staying for more then 5 days, the cost benefit ratio of onsite vs offsite shifts over to onsite. The Disney Dining plan costs 1,200 for one counter service meal and one sit down meal. Even with paying for breakfast out of pocket (using the meal allowances for the more expensive lunch/dinner time) we're much closer to a break even point. That is the timeshare is costing almost as much as a Disney resort.

    No matter how you slice it, a week long Disney vacation is going to cost between 4 to 6 grand, this includes air fare , car rental (If staying offsite), park tickets and food budget. It does not include incidentals and souvenirs that always eat into your budget as well, but you need to expect that with kids.
     
  19. EvilQueen macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Last time we went, we took a 5th wheel camper and stayed in the campground on the grounds. It was fantastic.
     
  20. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #20
    this is already outdated info.
    we went last week, and you get into the fastpasss 'plus' system with any kind of ticket. you can book your fastpass rides from any of a few kiosks around the parks or at the hotels. it might still be true that only the armbands allow you to use the phone app, but if so it is temporary, as the plan is to extend that to everyone as well.

    it's actually too bad that they switched to the new plan for everyone, as the new fastpass plus is a decided downgrade from the previous system. it is flashy but it totally and completely sucks. First of all, you only get 3 fast passes plus in the entire day (vs unlimited), second, they have to be used in a single park (this devalues the hopper option significantly), third, you can't use the fast pass twice on the same ride,. furthermore, changing the booked ride is more cumbersome than it looks, it wastes a lot of time, and it is not very flexible. besides, it makes it likely to have you 'waste a fast pass' as you have to book i advance and thus you don't know if you are using it on a ride that actually needs it (the normal ride might be just as short that time). finally, fastpasses for specific rides sell out quickly, so you might find yourself out of luck, and have to fall back on a separate ride, at a time that is unfavorable. basically, the availability of fast passes determines your day, and not the other way around which would be the logical way to do it.
    personally, i think it would be much more desirable if they got rid of fast passes altogether, as all lines would be faster.

    as far as on site-out of site, we stayed out, saved a lot on the room, and just drove in and park. we were in orlando for just four nights, 2 days spent at disney (MK+HS) one at universal (US+IOA two park ticket), one at kennedy space center.
    disney is disney, and is nice for younger kids, but the rides and food are much better at universal. KSC was surprisingly good.

    personally, i would never buy the disney food plan, especially with kids. apart from the food places being quite horrendous and with very long lines, it's just not worth financially. the best option is to go to a supermarket and get food there. make sandwiches, pack fruit and water and save tens o dollars you can invest in other items, and you will also be eating better.
    but even eating at the park, just use the food stands during the day, it will cost less than paying for the plan.
    in the evening head to town, the restaurants are waaaay better than those in there parks (really, no comparison), and cheaper.
     
  21. alent1234 macrumors 603

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    #21
    question, i haven't been to DW in decades

    how long is the wait for the rides these days?
     
  22. Curun macrumors 6502

    Curun

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    #22
    This was the entire point of my post...

    ----------

    It depends.

    What season? What day? Holiday? Spring break?

    In January. We walked right into Indiana Jones, no line. Most rides were 5-25 minutes. Couple of biggies in the afternoon like rock-in-rollercoaster got upto an hour, we used the Fastpass and walked right on in 5-10.
     
  23. alent1234 macrumors 603

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    Jun 19, 2009
    #23
    say the july and august months when school is out. or the other weeks when school is out?

    hate to take my kid out of school when i go, but paying all that money to wait 2 hours per ride is not good either
     
  24. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #24
    er, no.
    you were still referencing the old (superior) fast pass system, which had unlimited paper tickets picked up at the rides with the window of time to use it.

    from your post:
    unfortunately that has been discontinued for everyone.

    now everybody has been downgraded to the new fast pass 'plus' system (the irony...), either with the armband or with the regular ticket that you waive in front of the same micky glowing readers.
    there are NO differences in the system.
    for some time, the armbands had the limited advantage that you can book the ride also from the app instead that only from the kiosks in the park, but that is a) an overall minor difference (it is indeed more convenient, but the system is the same for all, with all the same major limitations) and b) temporary, as the app is being deployed to all parks for all tickets holders

    the new system looks nice and fancy, but it is a massive ripoff compared to before.
    hopefully they will tweak it and change it to more like it was before. i doubt they will completely scrap the concept, which would be the best thing to do, but they apparently invested hundred of millions of dollars on it so they are not going to admit that it sucks.
    but i can guarantee that everybody who had used the old system was hating the new one when we were there (although i imagine people that disliked it would be more vocal).

    the system they have at universal has basically zero technology, but is 100 times better.
     
  25. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #25
    From what I've read about fastpass+ Too many people found ways around the old system, so thy could basically use the system most of the day, where as Disney purportedly wants more people use them which is why they're limiting the number of times you can use it on any given day.

    To say it this way, instead of a few people using most of the time slots, they're trying to get more people to use a few of the slots.

    I'm not defending them or saying that the Fastpass+ is better, but rather it seems people were using the old one in ways that Disney didn't think was fair.

    I agree its more restrictive and doesn't help with the user experience.
     

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