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I have stayed off-site most of my trips over the past 10 years. There are beautiful hotels (like the Vacation Clubs from other brands) 10-15 minutes from WDW, and free parking with an AP is still in place.
It’s cheaper to stay elsewhere, rent a car, and bring food with you to the park. Just not worth the ‘perks’ of staying on-site anymore.
Bad move on Disney’s part…with only 30 mins early entry now and no ME there’s just no perks to staying on property. Guests could stay offsite for much cheaper.
We signed up for this newsletter because it does give great up to date WDW news info . Beware though this site always gives a positive to the extreme Disney spin to all the info to promote their connection to their Travel Agency !
Are we reading the same website, The Kingdom Insider? Since the pandemic started ITM has been consistently published OpEd’s and articles critcal of WDW and Disney management. They had an article a couple of weeks ago about “all the reasons you should stay off-site”. Sometimes ITM appears to be “anti-Disney” but Disney is their bread and butter so that makes no sense. The owner of this site doesn’t have a travel agency but he does take advertising revenue from a travel agency. ITM provides Disney information but he doesn’t do this out of the goodness of his heart, his goal is to make money. But back to your point, wouldn’t one think that a site devoted to Disney would want to promote the positive aspects of their benefactor whenever they could? Geez
When they cut the complimentary bus from the airport to onsite resorts that’s enough to push visitors to offsite hotel chains? That’s a real possibility.
Yes, when booking a room with Disney you pay twice what a similar room might cost off site and in return you should receive some perks, but the perks have diminished. No more complimentary parking at the resort. No more additional hours at the theme park. No more complementary Magic Bands. No more complementary transportation and luggage service from the airport. Hmmm, what’s left to take away?
It seems foolish Disney would jeopardize loosing customers at their resorts (yet that’s what they’re doing) . It’s equally foolish for them to assume that by paying their high prices for onsite accommodations and all you get is first crack at their new park reservation system will be enough to keep a loyal fan base.
Disney needs to announce what they’re introducing to balance out the loss of resort perks. Because when customers begin staying off site they’ll realize it might be in their best interest to visit different theme parks.
Off site properties are getting smart too. If you stay in close proximity properties in anything above a 2 star hotel, they charge a resort fee and a parking fee on top of the nightly rate. The “free” shuttle buses to the parks have limited operating hours and at some parks drops you off where you need binoculars to see the entrances, a rental car/van equipped to handle a family of 6 will set you back hundreds $$$, and you still have to pay to park at the Parks. Not saying staying on-site is going to save you money, just saying off-site can be expensive depending on where you stay and how you get there. If you’re use to staying on-site its unlikely you’ll choose to stay at one of the 40 year old properties on International Drive or State Road 192 for $80 a night, and more during high season.
Panic has enveloped the Disney faithful. Maybe, just maybe, WDW is has something planning to replace the ME?? Magic Bands, before bands you had a plastic card. The card is back. And for years Disney offered customized MB’s for sale. Now if you want a plain color MB it’ll cost you $5.00. You spend $12 on a popcorn bucket? Magic Hours at any given Park meant loads of people in that one Park, maybe now the crowds will be spread out when you have early entry at ALL the Paks. It’s painful to watch but Disney Parks Division lost $2.4 BILLION alone in the 4th quarter of 2020. Disney is in business to make money and understands the need to satisfy their clientele to make that happen. More changes are coming and maybe, just maybe they will be better than before the pandemic.
With the perks gone for staying onsite it will be time to look offsite to recoup the money that will be put out for renting a car and parking. It might not be easy to find one since the offsite hotels also have a resort fee and some charge for parking also. I’ve never been to Universal but is I’m staying off site I’ll probably go there a few days and maybe try Sea World for a day.
When staying onsite at Disney I never rented a car so we never went anywhere offsite. That was what Disney wanted, to keep you there and keep your money there. Now it seems they don’t care about that and feel they will have enough people to fill their parks and hotels. Time will tell.
Don’t forget the time factor of getting some firm of transportation to airport, standing in line to check baggage and waiting to get through security – everything that was handled by the resort. For the three of we gals it doesn’t look like a nice girls get away week. Next trip may be Universal!
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