I’m finally getting serious about planning for an 11 person week long multigenerational trip in June 2023 (4 x 40ish adults, 2 x active 70ish adults, 5 x kids from ages 6 to 16). We’ve always stayed on-site, but with a group this size I need to really consider a rental house.
But - not willing to spend a ton of time on the commute. What developments/neighborhoods are truly close? Or to avoid?
Certain management companies or listing sites -Great experiences? Horrible? Favorite site to find a rental (there are SO many!)?
Do you have the 2022 UG? There’s a whole section on “Condominiums and Vacation Homes.” It’s a good jumping-off point with lists of websites and of questions to ask. It also has a map that identifies which areas the rental-home developments are in.
Have you considered Wyndham Bonnet Creek? We stayed there twice, once in 2015 and once in 2016. A coworker has a ton of points and we purchased points from him and he made the reservations for us. In 2016, we had a total of 11 people in three separate condos. It’s within Disney property, but doesn’t count as a Disney resort like some of the Disney Springs properties. They have full kitchens, washer/dryers. I think we had two 2BR units and one 3BR unit. The only drawback that I remember was that they try to get you to attend a time share presentation. If you can deal with that during check-in, the rest is nice. The pools were great and the proximity is sure nice.
I’ve typically spent a lot of time on vrbo.com looking for homes that meet all our criteria at the lowest price I can find. Sometimes it is worth paying more for some things.
Often I initially filter basics, like number of bedrooms, bathrooms, if it has a private pool, hot tub, etc. I’ll also filter price.
Then I just start looking through them one at a time and save to a trip board (on vrbo.com’s website) all the potentials. I gradually whittle this down, being pickier and pickier each time until I finally come to the ideal choice.
Vrbo is my go-to if I am staying at one place for more than a few days.
Windsor Hills is about a 5 mile drive from the Disney main gate, and it is a pretty nice place to stay. This summer I have rented a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom condo that sleeps 8 for $900 a week.
I really prefer staying offsite because I can stay in a much larger than Disney’s cheapest rooms at the All-Star resort for about 60% of Disney’s price. Also, I’ll have access to a full kitchen and can cut costs further by eating some meals in the condo rather than have to eat every meal in a restaurant (or, even more expensive, somewhere on Disney property). Yes, you do miss out on some perks (like EE), but I think if more people researched this route, they would see that a Disney vacation can be more affordable.
We’ve stayed off site always and in rentals since 2003.
After this last trip, I would not go more than 1-2 miles south from 192.
I’m the six years since we last stayed in Champions Gate the traffic has multiplied exponentially.
Are you looking for 5 or six bedrooms?
See if you can find something you like in Formosa Gardens or Windsor Hills (off the top of my head).
We used to stay where 192 meets 27, but that traffic is awful as well.
DH and I are the only ones who pay when we go with our large group, so budget is our biggest constriction. If you have three parties contributing, you will find something fabulous for less than hotels.
Also - I shop around. Usually the same house is in multiple sites. FloridaRentals.com has no middle man fee. I also reach out to them and sometimes owners will send me to their private sites. That won’t work with AirBNB though.
Feel free to show potential homes to one of us in DM if you want us to assess for pitfalls….
It’s like buying mattresses. So hard to compare. How much will you use the pool, etc.
We recently stayed in Windsor Hills and we were convinced that we spent more time driving within Disney World than to Disney World.
We also spent less time driving to and from our condo in WH than when we took Disney transport within Disney.
There are a lot available in the Formosa Garden and Windsor Hill area.
There is also a back way into AK. It’s maybe 11 minutes in the morning if you are heading for RD. And there is also a large walmart on the way.
No matter which way I try to price it out, I always find that the price of an offsite hotel/rental + price of rental car + cost of parking is roughly equal to simply staying on property without a car. Am I doing something wrong? Or is staying off-site only cost effective if you’re coming with your own car? Or if you magically have vacation club points at your disposal? What am I missing?
I think large groups make it a very different equation than a smaller family. It’s never made sense for us previously to rent a house, as we can usually find a standard hotel room that will fit the 5 of us.
We’d need 3 standard rooms to fit this group of 11. Even at Shades of Green (cheap!), it’s close to $5k for 8 nights, and that is probably one of the cheapest ways to stay “on-site” (technically not Disney, but they usually get all the on-site benefits). You can easily get a house for a week that sleeps 10-12 for $2-3k (even less if you are willing to commute) and you get tons more space, full kitchen, likely laundry, etc.
It’s not a slam dunk for us to go with a rental house this time, rental car prices are still high and parking adds up (we’d likely rent a 15 passenger van instead of multiple cars/minivans to keep costs down). But spending 8 days with 5 of us crammed in a hotel room isn’t ideal either, so it’s not just the financials weighing in.
We’re paying the bulk of the lodging (the trip started with us taking SIL and the kids, now in-laws have jumped on board, so only 2 other adults contributing).
These are extreme hard to find currently.
And when you do they are $$$$.
Two minivans May cost less even with double the parking. Worth comparing.
@ChallahMonster we mostly do just drive down, but until this year I was always able to get a rental for less than $100/night for 4+ bedrooms. And for me it was always about permitting everyone to have spaces for maximum sleep.
I am jumping in to applaud you all who are footing the bill so so generously for others. How lovely.
In 2015, for a multi generational party of 7 (2 grandmas, 1 grandpa, and our then family of 4). we stayed off site for precisely all the reasons listed above. The math didn’t work for us to stay onsite- and, the low cost onsite WDW rooms weren’t conducive to a central conversation setting, like a condo or house would have been.
I think with large parties, Disney onsite math just doesn’t work. You are on right track.
Staying off site was a lovely and way more affordable trip for sure, and but not gonna lie…it wasn’t ‘ahhh…mazing’
I did vow to come back, without the entourage, so I could experience WDW on property at some point.
Finally doing do in 2018,
Do the multi party trip off site for sure, then think about the return!
I’m going to WDW in June for four nights with DD17 for her high school graduation. It will be the first time we’ve ever stayed on property. I am doing it using my Chase Disney Visa Rewards and we are staying at All Star Movies. We watched a video a few weeks ago looking around that motel room and she and I were both quiet and glanced at each other. Then we almost spoke on top of one another, “Well, we are just going to be sleeping there.” I don’t have the budget for moderate or deluxe, so we have to do value. But man, that did not look amazing to either of us. I hope the beds are comfy!
We stayed at Movies right after the refurb two summers ago - we liked the rooms and beds very much.
We were in the Mighty Ducks section, which was a pretty good hike to the main area - at the end of the trip we realized we could have just hopped across the road and been at the Music food court in half the time!
We stayed two nights at ASMo before our Disney cruise. Beds were super comfortable. We asked for a non-connecting room in our room request (and got it) and the room was very quiet. We had a preferred room and also asked for the Fantasia section. It was close to the pool and main building. While ASMo is not my favorite resort choice, one plus is that there is a direct bus to Winter Summerland mini golf which is free with a vacation package. We took advantage of that and really enjoyed it.