Any "Onsite" Benefit with Oct 2020 Trip?


From what i can tell the benefit of staying “onsite” are:

  • Extra Magic Hours
  • Free Magic Bands
  • FPs 60 days in Advance


  • Extra Magic Hours are cancelled
  • We all have 2 year old Magic Bands
  • FPs are cancelled

We currently have 3 rooms at a Disney Value Resort for our party of 10 for early October (our Fall break)

I just looked at the cost to stay offsite and we could AirBNB or VRBO a very nice house for about 1/3 of the cost of the value resort.

Any thoughts on if staying onsite really has any benefits during and after COVID?

Thank you in advance for any replies,

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Have you already made your park reservations?

Yes. I have tickets leftover from a March 2020 trip that never happened and have made park reservations with the new system a few weeks ago. I have searched our Oct dates on the park reservation system and there is still availability.

As long as there is availability for ticket only booking I think you are fine.

I expect you have or will need a car and park parking will be an added cost.

I briefly considered switching us back from staying on property to staying off site in a house rental again. Now, more than ever, there is really no advantage not to. We could save a ton of money.

But then I hit a bit of a snafu in this plan. I have an Annual Pass. As such, the number days I can book park reservations for if I’m staying off site is only 3…but we have 6 days planned. Everyone else has 6 day tickets. Furthermore, some of the days we are going already have no more availability for AP holders.

So, there goes that idea.

Now, in theory, I could forgo using the annual pass and just buy myself tickets instead. I’d probably still end up saving money in the end…but I’m not sure it is then worth the hassle.

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I think there are lesser benefits that still exist:

  • Disney’s Magical Express access (if flying)
  • Ability to just be in the Disney bubble and not having to worry about navigating Orlando during your vacation

Not sure that either are much of a tipping point, but they are at least small benefits to staying at a WDW resort…

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Seems to me the ‘Disney Bubble’ is the major benefit - you are taking everyone out of the general Florida population and minimising your exposure to the skyrocketing Covid-19 infections that seem to be happening at the moment - mandatory mask wearing, social distancing and hand sanitizer - where else are you going to minimise you risk apart from staying in your bunker?

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Friends :woman_shrugging:

Thank you everyone for your replies. All great points.
Our county schools just announced that school will start a week later this year and the fall break will be cancelled.
I think since everything is refundable, I am going to reserve a vacation home and keep my Disney hotel reservations and just make a decision later on where to stay or even to just cancel the entire trip.


“The bubble” is mainly a pipe dream, though, as employees (who will be nearly half of the people you encounter on property with the reduced capacities) leave the bubble every day and go home and live their lives however they choose. There will obviously also be many guests coming from the greater Orlando area each day. Being on property you do have the benefit of not being out in the main Orlando population, but I don’t think that is really that big a reduction in exposure, especially since you really have no idea where any of the people around you came from.

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And, to add to this…if you are staying in a rental house, and just staying at the house, or else driving to DIsney property, you are just as much “in the bubble” in terms of protection as staying on property. In fact, you might even be MORE protected, as you don’t have to worry about constant exposure to other resort guests getting to/from the parks, etc. You can be cocooned in your vehicle.

The one concern would be about be getting groceries (assuming you AREN’T planning to eat outside of the parks or your home). I think with some great care, that could be handled…or you could have groceries delivered.

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Be careful about home rental cancellation policies. Often times you have to give 30 days (or more) notice of cancellation to get a full refund.


I guess one benefit that has definitely come to the fore over the last 4 months is peace of mind.

From what I read, many people who booked through AirB&B or VRBO ended up losing everything because they had no way to enforce the renters gave back the money. Much like the DVC rental brokers. In the end, after many weeks, the brokers came up with a voucher scheme, but not those with private rentals.

What if you book and suddenly your state introduce quarantine when you return? So you try to cancel and find they won’t refund because they are permitted to rent out?

Or the opposite. What if suddenly private rentals are banned in certain areas? I was reading how some people are renting houses near to each other and hosting huge parties in the communities. The police are pretty powerless and are considering whether they should be petitioning to get private rentals banned for a while.So suddenly you have nowhere to stay.

If you book with Disney you know you can cancel and rebook later. No worries, no hassle. OK, some hassle, but at least your money is safe.


This is a really good point. My sister’s spring break house rental was cancelled when FL restricted rentals several days before they were due to arrive. After a ton of back and forth, the best they would do was A. VRBO refunded their portion of the fees (which was like $200), and B. the unit owner just said they’d give equal credit toward another rental in 2020, and aside from the uncertainty about planning any travel in 2020, they only had availability for 3 or 4 weeks in 2020 and they were all considerably more expensive.

When I had to cancel our March 14th Disney vacation on March 13th due to COVID, I eventually got my AirBNB $s back, but of all my reservations for that vacation that I had to cancel (flights, rental cars, AirBNB, Disney tickets, shuttles and cruise), the AirBNB was the most difficult to get $s back. It took over 2 months of phone calls and emails to both the company and the owner with each of them constantly telling me to go talk to the other. I actually wont book with them again. I have researched the VRBO cancellation policy and it appears to be much better, not as insanely good as Disney, but 30 days still gives our family plenty of time to make a decision.

I’ve been wondering about this exact thing. I also think these benefits still exist:

  • using the magic band to charge park purchases back to the room.
  • are they still delivering park purchases to the onsite resorts?

Also if you are not staying onsite, there’s a super limited point of the magic band. It will get you into the park, and help with photopass photographers and ride photos. Anything else the magic band is used for at this point?

They aren’t doing the delivery back to the resort at the moment. I think you can still collect your purchases near the park exit though at the end of the day.


Are ADRs 60+ if on site and day by day of offsite?


We were going in December and staying at Baytower. WE just cancelled all of that and are now going mid-November for 3 reasons. Lower crowds, cheaper airfare, and to stay off park. We did book at the Doubletree in Disney springs. That way we are still considered on property for park reservations. The hotel rate was about a 1/3 for 3 rooms all with kings and a hide a bed for 3 per room for our part of 9.