Okay everyone…I have a few questions…if we were to stay off site, how is the “scheduled transportation” that all of the hotels advertise? Has anyone used it and what did you think? I don’t want to stay off site, but I told my husband I would just figure both ways up and see which is ideal for us. Thanks so much for all of your help.
I went to Disney in 99 and stayed at Radisson Parkway Resort… we used all the transportation from the hotel instead of driving… It was easy and very helpful to just drive there and not worry about getting lost. Your hotel will have a schedule if the times for all the parks!
The schedule will be tight and slow–that is, you may end up waiting a long time for the next shuttle. If you miss the scheduled shuttle, you may be waiting for up to an hour or longer, depending on the resort. If you miss the LAST shuttle of the day, you’re on your own to get back.
I’m all for people staying off-site to save money. I’ve done it myself. But I would not rely on 3rd party transportation for getting around the parks.
BTW, with parking at $10/day at WDW, you almost want a hotel that is $30-40/night cheaper than the value resorts to make losing the on-site perks worth it.
I haven’t any first hand experience, but I’ll share a story with you and my opinion of it.
My friends cousin and her family just went to WDW and stayed offsite. They did very little research for their trip and stayed at a place near downtown Orlando not realizing how far away they were from WDW. The hotel offered transportation, but only to Universal. They were from England and had not brought their drivers licenses with them, leaving them at the mercy of taxis (they were quoted $40 each way to WDW) and a shuttle service that was $12 per person, each way, that couldn’t be reserved ahead of time (when it showed up in the am they would take whoever was there first and only if they had room). It was a huge expense (and waste of time) over the week that they could have poured into a hotel with better transportation, and the pure frustration of thier mistake put a strain on everyone.
It was a nightmare of a trip for them to say the least, so make sure the hotel you book has shuttle service to WDW and find out how much, if anything, it costs and how often it runs as I understand they can greatly vary. Any money saved may not be worth the frustration or transportation fees.
Call the properties you are interested in, or e-mail them and specifically ask the questions you need answered, and read up on the specific properties online at places like DC or tripadvisor.com A few bucks for a phone call could save you a big headache.
I generally stay off site in downtown disney and stay at one of the hotels on Hotel Plaza Blvd. There the buses that serve those hotels always run every 1/2 hour. They also have seprate buses for Epcot,Magic Kingdom, Disney Studios, and Animal Kingdom. It is wonderful. They also have buses for Sea World and Universal Studios for a small fee.
We’ve stayed off site many times, but we always rented our own car to have more freedom with when we wanted to come and go. It also allowed us to eat offsite too and therefore save us a good amount of cash.
Rental cars from Orlando airport can be quite reasonable.
I’ve always stayed offsite in my adult years (time share) and driven to the parks. Yeah, $10 a day to park is a pain but I’d rather have the freedom of my own vehicle.
Matter of fact, I’m staying at CBR in Sept. and since I’m driving down, I’ll have my car. But, if I were flying, I’d still rent a car because I like to eat offsite and I also go to Universal.
For those who stayed offsite…do you have any suggestions on places to stay with good shuttle service? (Looking for prices that beat the Value Resorts) since we will only be sleeping and showering (maybe a little swimming, but not much since my kids aren’t big swimmers). Thank you guys so much for all of your help. I would not be anywhere in my planning if it wasn’t for this site. You guys are awesome!!!
Welcome to DC!!
There is no other place for me to stay than in the WDW resorts because of all its benefits and magic feel, but if you would like to stay off site, I would suggest one of the DTD resorts.