Has anyone stayed off site recently and saved a significant amount of money?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    44

    Has anyone stayed off site recently and saved a significant amount of money?

    Basically.....my budget is tight. This is the first time we've ever been to Disney and I want to make it nice, but don't want to rob Peter to pay Paul so to speak. We planned on going to WDW last year, but had to cancel as my husband lost his job. Since then he is employed again, and we made the mistake of promising our kids that we would go in November. There are 5 of us, 2 adults and my oldest is going to be 8 the day we arrive....and I have twins that will be 4. So, it limits us on resorts.......but POR has the option for 5 people (cheaper than 2 value rooms). I've been scouring the internet to see if there is any way to do it cheaper, and still make it really nice. I've found some off site rentals, but the idea of having to pay to park and run home to make meals isn't all that appealing. It also doesn't end up saving any significant amount of money. (At least the ones I've found). The cleaning fees, taxes, etc.......they all add up quickly.

    Does anyone else out there have some good ideas for doing Disney on the CHEAP?! We are going to be there 11/3-11/9...have to be in the area anyway for a wedding that my twins on are in 11/2. So I figure we are already spending the gas money to get there.....no better time to do it! I'm really excited and want to give my family a vacation that I never got to have as a child. Any suggestions are welcome!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Elgin, Il
    Posts
    110

    Re: Has anyone stayed off site recently and saved a significant amount of money?

    We, too, are on a tight budget ourselves. We like to stay at Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort. It is a timeshare resort, on property, but not Disney owned. It is right down the road from Hollywood Studios and close to Epcot. We are staying here again on our next trip, which is coming up in 2 weeks!

    I am renting a 2 bdr condo for 4 nights from an owner for a TOTAL of $375!! No extra taxes, or hidden fees!! They ask you upon check in to attend the timeshare presentation, but I always just tell them I will not be attending, then they leave you alone. I love staying here! The condo has a full kitchen, and the resort has gas grills that you can use, so we just run to Walmart and buy some groceries and cook ourselves. WE save a FORTUNE that way!! The resort is beautiful! They have 6 different pool areas, playgrounds, mini golf, and a clubhouse for various family activities.

    I found this room and owner on ebay, just search Bonnet Creek Resort. I also sometimes look for owners renting on Craigslist.

    Hope this is an option that may work for you!! This will be our 3rd time staying at Bonnet Creek!!

  3. #3
    I can also vouch for Bonnet Creek. One of the nicest properties at Disney and there are SUCH great deals there.
    Yes it is nice to have the kitchen to cook, but even if you choose to buy your meals in the parks it is still ok because the room is such a steal.
    Nicer than the deluxe Disney hotels and often cheaper than the moderate resorts.
    One time I stayed there for a night and it was only $115. The extra bonus was that the renter only had a three bedroom suite available so three of us shared it! I felt like a queen !

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    439
    One time me and my mom were going to stay at the art of animation for three days but decided to go up one day earlier. So we had to stay at one of the non Disney hotels by down town Disney I forgot the name. It turned out a standard room at the art of animation was actually cheaper than the non Disney resort. We swore never to do that again, the all star resorts are sometimes cheaper than the non Disney resorts and look at everything thats comes with staying on property. Bus service, magic hours, etc. explore all your options and do your homework before making your final choice.
    Tori

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    44

    Re: Has anyone stayed off site recently and saved a significant amount of money?

    Thank you for all the suggestions!!! I was able to get a quote for 6 nights for $565 total!!! They do charge $5 per person per day now for the shuttle, so it ends up being cheaper for us to pay to park at each park......but still a LOT cheaper than staying on-site. I have small kids...so EMH isn't all that big of a deal. One other question though......can I still make ADR's 180 days out if we aren't staying on site? There are a few places that we really would like to go eat. Otherwise, my guess is that we will use the kitchen in the resort for at least breakfast and one other meal a day.

    Thank you again for suggesting this resort!
    Jen

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    608

    Re: Has anyone stayed off site recently and saved a significant amount of money?

    Quote Originally Posted by momoftwins+1 View Post
    Thank you for all the suggestions!!! I was able to get a quote for 6 nights for $565 total!!! They do charge $5 per person per day now for the shuttle, so it ends up being cheaper for us to pay to park at each park......but still a LOT cheaper than staying on-site. I have small kids...so EMH isn't all that big of a deal. One other question though......can I still make ADR's 180 days out if we aren't staying on site? There are a few places that we really would like to go eat. Otherwise, my guess is that we will use the kitchen in the resort for at least breakfast and one other meal a day.

    Thank you again for suggesting this resort!
    Jen
    Yes, you can still make ADR's 180 days out if you are not staying on property.

    The only disadvantage you will have over those staying on property is that you will need to reserve dining for each day of your vacation one day at a time if beginning exactly 180 days out.

    Guests staying on property can book their reservations 180 days in advance plus up to 10 days of their stay, giving them the option to book ALL their reservations at once.
    “No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.”

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Elgin, Il
    Posts
    110

    Re: Has anyone stayed off site recently and saved a significant amount of money?

    Awesome!! So glad it is going to work out for you!! It really is a great resort!!

    You sure can still make your ADR's 180 days out. That is for everyone, not just on site guests!!

    I can personally say that you are not missing out on anything spectacular by not using the shuttle. They do not run nearly as often as the disney buses, and on the way back, if you are not the first stop, it is quite a journey with all the stops.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    OH yeah- almost forgot!!

    Be sure to request a room with a lakeview or a fireworks view.

    The lakeview is very cool but you cannot see the fireworks. Or, you can request a fireworks view and see the Epcot fireworks from your balcony! You have to look at the parking lot during the day though,so that is why we prefer the lakeview.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    44

    Re: Has anyone stayed off site recently and saved a significant amount of money?

    So, I ran all the numbers and now I'm confused again! Ugh! (Why do I do this to myself?!)
    I'm thinking about booking at BOTH Bonnet Creek and POR....if they offer free dining in November (which they have historically done over the time that we will be there) then it is actually cheaper to stay at POR....but if not, the Bonnet Creek it will be. But, if I have to cancel the POR (which I would do WAY before 60 days out) will I get my $200 deposit back? I know I can cancel Bonnet Creek as far as 60 days out and get my deposit back. Has anyone played this game before?! :-)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    608

    Re: Has anyone stayed off site recently and saved a significant amount of money?

    Yes, you can cancel your room only reservation up to 5 days before your arrival without penalty.

    If it is a package you are booking, then you can cancel/change your reservation 45 days before arrival without penalty.

    I would book both and see if the free dining comes out!
    “No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.”

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    st.helens Uk
    Posts
    29
    Yes I did the last time I went on holiday 2012 and we stayed at comfort inn on I-drive and we stayed there for a night then we went to a Disney resort because at comfort inn there was one shuttle bus a day the breakfast was just cereals and toast and it wasn't a very nice place they had a play area right over near a lake with alligators.

    I recommend no one should stay here if you want your holiday

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Central New Jersey
    Posts
    83

    Re: Has anyone stayed off site recently and saved a significant amount of money?

    I have a question for momoftwins+1. Did you contact Bonnet Creek directly, or did you go through craigslist. I too am on a thread of a budget, so anything I can learn, can only be helpful. Thanks a bunch in advance.
    Yo Ho, Yo Ho, The Disney Life for Me!
    The Montagna Family

    D.V.C. members: home - Saratoga Springs

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Miami Fl
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    5,282
    Quote Originally Posted by momoftwins+1 View Post

    Does anyone else out there have some good ideas for doing Disney on the CHEAP? Thanks!

    I would suggest to take a look at hotels.Com. they have good reviews and good prices for the amount you are seeking to pay for a hotel. I've used them often and have gotten double tree by Hilton for $65. Many of the hotels there will say free daily shuttle to Disney parks and free continental breakfast etc. Most of The hotels by seaworld offer these options. It's only a twenty minute shuttle. The best western by seaworld has free shuttle to Disney, free parking, free continental breakfast and the staff is great.

    Taboo Tip...take an air mattress and search for hotels only for 4 people.

    Big tip... if you go to the td forums and click on the mission reports I wrote a mission report on 'Disney on a budget'. it may help you find some helpful suggestions.

    Good luck and with a little homework and planning you can do Disney on a budget.
    Frying pans! Who knew, right!?

    Talk Disney Moderator


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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    914
    Contact Disney or your travel agent as well because Disney World just like Disneyland has good neighbor hotels that would mean you would still get the package benefits from Disney but maybe there is something price wise that would be better.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    44

    Re: Has anyone stayed off site recently and saved a significant amount of money?

    I went through vacation strategies......they have a really great policy on cancellation too! I found them through vrbo.com Good luck!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by vinnie319 View Post
    I have a question for momoftwins+1. Did you contact Bonnet Creek directly, or did you go through craigslist. I too am on a thread of a budget, so anything I can learn, can only be helpful. Thanks a bunch in advance.
    - - - Updated - - -

    I went through vacation strategies......they have a really great policy on cancellation too! I found them through vrbo.com Good luck!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by vinnie319 View Post
    I have a question for momoftwins+1. Did you contact Bonnet Creek directly, or did you go through craigslist. I too am on a thread of a budget, so anything I can learn, can only be helpful. Thanks a bunch in advance.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    south texas
    Posts
    329
    I go on a budget, we usely spend almost 3k for two weeks and tickets. And I use some ideas on this site bout the parks to save money. The place I rent is 4 bed room home with a private pool ten miles from disney.
    Last edited by WDW Dreamer; 04-22-2013 at 11:21 AM.
    I was small when we went these years
    '90,'91,92,93,94,'95,'96,'97
    I was 8 years old when i start remebering more
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    im 21 now in 2011 me and my wife start going alone.
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