Staying on site ~vs~ off site...

LovesTimone

Christmas Day 2017
Joined
Apr 29, 2009
We are thinking and talking about a family visit.. Next year. So I have been running the numbers and trying to figure out the best options for us. The cast will be - DH and myself, DD, SIL and my sweet little grandson who will be 4 at the time.

Looking at expedia, for flights, and good neighbor hotel, is around 3,500.00 to 4,500.00 playing around with the dates. Then we have to get park tickets. ( 2 rooms)

then I looked at

Staying on site and park tickets through Disneyland then booking flights direct with Delta. or Booking Good Neighbor hotel with park tickets through Disneyland, then booking flights direct with delta. We have alot of miles, and after this next trip i think that DH and I will have enough for at least 2 RT tickets, maybe 3 so the airfare would be alot less than paying for all 5 of us for the flights.

We have stayed off site at a good neighbor hotel when we went to Disneyland 5 years ago... and I thought it was great, it was just DH and myself...the hotel offered a bus. We are use to riding the buses here at WDW and its not a problem for us.

Is there anything that makes it... just so worth it to stay on site, for the additional money?
 

Congo Queen

DLand Devotee Since 1966
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
I've stayed both onsite and offsite and historically had a big preference for onsite mainly for the perk of having EMH/MM (early morning entry/magic morning) every day. Now with Maxpass, it is a game changer for me. We only need EMH/MM one day (which you get with any 3 day park hopper tickets regardless of where you stay). We use that one EMH/MM for Dland to do PP, Dumbo etc as they have no FP. The rest of the days, it is fine to arrive at regular park opening as Maxpass is so efficient at collecting FPs and cutting our wait times. We can arrive at park opening and still get on every ride we want in both parks over the course of a 3-4 day trip. So I am absolutely going to save the big $ going forward and stay offsite at a Harbor Blvd motel that we can easily walk to. (We like to take a midday break and so proximity is impt for us.)
 

cinnaminny

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 18, 2017
The pools I think are better on property, the extra hours, the bubble factor...not sure its worth it especially for a 5+ days trip.

I've been looking at the numbers too. I'm not sure which year I am going (so I am sure it will change a bit) but we are starting to plan a family trip and we will need 2-3 rooms. I am not sure the extra magic hours is worth the thousands in extra cost. I almost always stay offsite at Disneyland. Its so quick to the maingate from the offsite hotels. And a lot of the off-site hotels offer free breakfast which is pretty nice. But the pools are usually kind of meh.
 
  • cruisehopeful

    Wishing I was taking a nap on a ship.
    Joined
    Oct 25, 2015
    To me it is worth it if I am going to use the early park entrance. If not, it isn't worth it (unless I want to pay a lot to be able to change my clothes in the room after getting soaked on Grizzly Rapids). With early entry and then the normal first hour of park opening, I can get all the "E" ticket rides done in DCA before long lines begin to form. It save hours over the course of the day.

    If you won't use early entry because family sleeps in or whatever, you can save money and often time by staying in nearby motels. You can stay even further away, about a mile and get a full hot cooked breakfast every day with your cheaper hotel room at Homewood Suites, Embassy Suites or Hampton Inn. You may want to check pricing direct vs. doing the Good Neighbor Hotel thing. They do have shuttles for a fee and there is the regular ART bus that also has a fee. An Uber ride would probably be around $5. for the whole group, but you might need to bring a car seat.
     

    GatorChris

    Not of This World
    Joined
    Feb 18, 2014
    In a word: Nope.

    I've stayed at PPH and DLH. Neither of which provided that bubble feeling I get when I stay onsite at WDW. Not sure what it is. But when I stay at a Disney property, it still feels the same as an off-site hotel. Like I'm still in the city (which I am). Plus, the two we've stayed in still has a pretty long walk, although DLH guests can take advantage of the monorail. But even with that perk, it doesn't feel right entering DL everyday in Tomorrowland. Just aint the same as walking down Main Street.

    We do try to hit rope drop, but getting up an hour early a few times a week doesn't make a big difference. For us, it's just not worth the $1K or more to stay on site.
     

    tweak89

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 4, 2010
    Another NO, not worth the extra cost. As another poster said, the availability of Maxpass coupled with the single Magic Morning with 3 day and longer tickets pretty much negates the biggest benefit of staying onsite (daily magic mornings).

    We stayed off-site (Castle Inn) this year and loved it (we stayed at Paradise Pier on our previous visit and were underwhelmed). Used Maxpass daily and rode everything we wanted. We used our one Magic Morning (we had 4 day hopper tickets) to knock out the entirety of Fantasyland.

    It's not like WDW where staying off-site means a lot of driving, parking costs at the park, etc. Often times your walk to the park is shorter than staying at DH or PPH.

    We'll be staying off-site on all our future visits.
     

    cinnaminny

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2017
    In a word: Nope.

    I've stayed at PPH and DLH. Neither of which provided that bubble feeling I get when I stay onsite at WDW. Not sure what it is. But when I stay at a Disney property, it still feels the same as an off-site hotel. Like I'm still in the city (which I am). Plus, the two we've stayed in still has a pretty long walk, although DLH guests can take advantage of the monorail. But even with that perk, it doesn't feel right entering DL everyday in Tomorrowland. Just aint the same as walking down Main Street.

    We do try to hit rope drop, but getting up an hour early a few times a week doesn't make a big difference. For us, it's just not worth the $1K or more to stay on site.
    It really is more of a bubble feeling at WDW than at DL. You get so many more perks staying on site at WDW too.
     
  • tasha99

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 20, 2006
    It really is more of a bubble feeling at WDW than at DL. You get so many more perks staying on site at WDW too.
    I think there's only a bubble at Grand Californian. I've felt as much of one there as WDW, maybe even more since we can enter the parks later in the day right from the hotel. But, I wouldn't stay there without DVC points, and never have for cash.
     

    RobertaMomof2

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 21, 2009
    No for me as well staying on property. Not worth all the extra money. Another option is Costco (if you are a member). You can pay the trip off with time and lump in park tickets and Good Neighbor hotel. You also get other perks with Costco as well. Just a thought.
     

    Bossy22

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 7, 2012
    I'd rather stay off site as well. The cost is just sooo much more. I also would not take a bus or shuttle but would stay within easy walking distance (or right across from the park :) ) We love how close you can be offsite and would never stay farther away than an easy walk!
     

    smartlabelprint

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2013
    I’ve been going every year at least once a year for 11 years. I’ve never stayed on site. We love our trips. We usually stay a minimum of 4 nights. Book direct through the hotel, airline, etc. you don’t really get anything from a package.

    If we have kids and need some separation our fave is homewood suites convention center. They have a discount for 7 nights or more. MeAls mon-thurs night and breakfast every day.

    My sis and I are going alone and staying at best western park place inn in December.

    I’ve heard great things about residence inn and country inn & suites. Also park vue inn.

    I’ve enjoyed stays at Camelot inn.

    Buy your tickets through last minute travel club online. They always have free codes for memberships.
     
  • StormyCA

    Chief Troublemaker
    Joined
    Sep 22, 2014
    Yes, it's worth the extra cost to me as far as staying at the Grand. The other two, not as much because of the walking distance. But on vs off is purely subjective and individual. For me it's the short walk to the Grand, EMH, package delivery, and the 'bubble' (in that order). And OMG the beds at the Grand! Yes yes, I know that a couple of the Harbors are supposedly/technically closer than the Grand but it doesn't seem so to me.

    With a tired or cranky little one (or big one!), the short hop from locations in DCA to the Grand entrance, or riding back from DL on the Monorail then the short walk to the Grand is worth it's weight in gold.
     

    Pamela M

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 7, 2016
    I think if you can afford to stay on site then go for it. If you're on a budget then I don't think the extras of staying on site are worth the cost especially if you are going to more than 2 days.

    I always want to stay on site but when checking the cost vs off site. I always go for offsite as the on-site hotel cost is double or triple the per night room rate so it's not worth it for me.
     

    tink89

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 13, 2017
    Is it worth it to me? Yes. We usually stay off site and it does not compare to when we stayed on site. I feel more relaxed I am more willing to go back and forth to the hotel and rest and we use EMH. DD loves the pool at DLH. When we stay offsite it is usually at the Hilton so DLH does feel more of a bubble to us that staying offsite. the cost is usually 2 times more than staying off site but i think if its something you want to do and you do not mind spending the extra $$$ then do it.
     

    ColoradoMom!!

    Disneyland 1971 with Mickey and Me
    Joined
    Jul 17, 2006
    For me, I can justify going more often (financially) by staying off site.

    Also, touring style - even when our kids were young, we stayed from opening to closing - so going back wasn't an issue.
    But we stayed at Hojo's many times, and more recently we have migrated over to the Homewood Suites Convention Center and use the Toy Story shuttle.
     

    SteveH

    Where's my Mai Tai?
    Joined
    Sep 8, 1999
    I'd love to have the discretionary money to stay at GCH, but I just cant justify that type of money. Not when I can walk across the street and get a great room at the Sheraton for more then half off the GCH rate. I'd rather stay a bit longer and stay off site. GCH is the only 1 of the 3 that feels more like a resort than just a hotel IMHO.
     

    Aladora

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2011
    We are thinking and talking about a family visit.. Next year. So I have been running the numbers and trying to figure out the best options for us. The cast will be - DH and myself, DD, SIL and my sweet little grandson who will be 4 at the time.

    Looking at expedia, for flights, and good neighbor hotel, is around 3,500.00 to 4,500.00 playing around with the dates. Then we have to get park tickets. ( 2 rooms)

    then I looked at

    Staying on site and park tickets through Disneyland then booking flights direct with Delta. or Booking Good Neighbor hotel with park tickets through Disneyland, then booking flights direct with delta. We have alot of miles, and after this next trip i think that DH and I will have enough for at least 2 RT tickets, maybe 3 so the airfare would be alot less than paying for all 5 of us for the flights.

    We have stayed off site at a good neighbor hotel when we went to Disneyland 5 years ago... and I thought it was great, it was just DH and myself...the hotel offered a bus. We are use to riding the buses here at WDW and its not a problem for us.

    Is there anything that makes it... just so worth it to stay on site, for the additional money?
    "Worth" is so subjective and everyone defines it differently. As you can see from my signature, we have done both offsite and onsite but we now prefer to stay onsite at the GCH. While PPH was at one point our favourite onsite hotel, once they stopped allowing PPH guests to cut through the GCH the "worth" decreased for us. DLH and GCH are still "worth" it to us and we have not stayed offsite since Sept 2016.

    What would the onsite + flight costs be compared to offsite?

    If it were me, I would figure out your budget and then work from there. Get your flights direct from Delta, buy your park tickets from LMT or another reseller and figure out the best price for hotels either by booking direct or via a reseller like Expedia. Packages through Disney are typically not the best deal.
     

    Becca1007

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 1, 2016
    Also for a trip next year, you might consider the timing of the trip. If you are going after Star Wars opens then you might get some perks to staying onsite that will make up for the extra price. DL has in the past had different EMH and MM structures, and so there is potential that MM could be moved to DCA and that the only way to get extra hours in SW:GE would be an on-site stay. But at this point we don't have any of that information.
    Some people book refundable rooms at both on-site and off-site properties when planning this far out and then choose to cancel one of the reservations as the information about benefits become clearer.
     

    StarlitNight05

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 6, 2016
    I agree with @tink89. The feeling of an onsite stay is just so different for me than offsite. Sure, we have a great time offsite, but there is just something more vacation-y and magical to me about staying on property. EMH is also a huge perk for us as we are early risers. It just depends on your budget and what you can stomach spending. But beware... I used to be one of those people who thought it was absurd to pay the onsite prices, then I tried it out and was hooked (DH too!).
     

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