You are dead on with the timeshare. That is what we are doing also. I have measured the cost from all different angles and almost changed my mind when thinking about the garage parking fees…until I found out you pay for parking when staying at the US resorts also! We are saving a ton of money by staying offsite. And I have stayed at the Hard Rock in October also. I just never thought the lines were too bad in Oct, but the EP was nice. I just don’t want to pay an extra $400 for it and it doesn’t even work on Gringott’s. The Hard Rock and the Royal Pacific are nice, but the cost is way more than a friend’s timeshare. And Cabana Bay doesn’t even give you an Express Pass.
So I am guessing that going with the Two-Day Offsite TP is probably the best option then. We will chance it with Gringott’s the first day and if it’s impossible, do the wait time on the second day. Again, not having DA open during HHN is really the stinger here.