First of all, there is nothing “awful” about staying off-property. A large percentage of WDW guests do it every day, for a myriad of reasons. Our family much prefers to rent a villa when we travel in a group.
We dislike the Value resorts and would much rather spend our money on some lush accommodations at lower prices.
Secondly, I strongly suggest a car rental also, as one of the best parts of staying off property is the ability to eat some of your meals in places with good food at reasonable prices. Saving money on food is a HUGE perc that is not to be sneezed at! Face it, staying on property means you have to buy everything from Disney.
Traveling in and out of the parks at peak times can mean lots of traffic, so plan on going early or later, or if you’re staying on 192, look for the back entrance by Animal Kingdom instead of the main entrance.
And enjoy your Disney vacation with a full heart! You will have a wonderful time and save some money to boot!