Why should i stay onsite?

I’ve been combing through all the changes since i last visited WDW 4 years ago and the biggest difference i see is the resort prices. Wow! They sure have gotten expensive!

So tell me why i should stay onsite or if I’d be better off offsite. Here’s what i know:

  1. Planning on 7 nights for a family of 5
  2. I won’t have a car
  3. I’m happy to uber if buses are not there when i want to go somewhere
  4. I will want a couple ADRs but they won’t be deal breakers

I’m wondering how well the Genie/ Lightning lane will work for us offsite. I can get a 2 bedroom suite at the Holiday Inn Orlando Suites with a cool little kid Waterpark for $150/nt including the resort fee. I figure I’ll save about $1500 or more. If anyone has stayed at that Holiday Inn how did you like it?


I would say the only negative about staying offsite is that you will always be behind the rope drop crowd since onsite guests get in 30 minutes early every day to every park. If you aren’t a big rope drop person I would 100% stay offsite and save $. Just make sure your transpo fares don’t eat too much into those savings or it may negate them.

The only other disadvantage with offsite is not being able to book ILL until park open. RotR is usually sold out before then so you’d have to do standby. I personally don’t care so wouldn’t be a negative to me, but could be for you.

As for that hotel I haven’t stayed there, but have heard good reviews.


Because our faces - and by extension yours - depends on it.

In all seriousness aside from the ILL$ advantage there isn’t a lot anymore. 30mins early entry for all and extended evening hrs at MK and EP once a week for deluxe guests.


Biggest factor for me too, would be not being able to rope drop.

With 7 nights, not being able to rope drop may be ok. If you have 2 days each at HS and MK, and have a good plan, you should be able to get done what you want to. Another small factor if you want to arrive early, is crowd levels. If they aren’t crazy, very doable for off-siters.

Merlock would more than make up for this one drawback. :laughing:


This is what I’m still trying to figure out how important it will be. Like will a good plan let me get away with not doing Genie or ILL? Or is the LL causing the standby lines to be crazy for everything like FP+ did. I’m not thrilled about paying for something that only let’s me ride once, but if i must then so be it.


In all honesty I don’t think your trip will be as enjoyable without Genie+. As much as I shake my fist at it I do feel like it makes the day better IF you really work to maximize it. Unless long waits don’t bother you. Some people don’t blink at 30-45 minute waits. I’m not one of them so I’ll probably always buy it on days I want to ride a lot of rides vs just experience the atmosphere.


Depends on the ride. And that’s what annoys me about paying and then only getting one ride. Then I’ll still be waiting for every other time on that ride, because once isn’t enough.


This is still the most popular ILL. Or at least the one with the longest posted waits. But here is an example of how inflated Disney’s posted waits are:

Standby actual (green dots) waits may be only around 60 minutes for a good part of the day. Which isn’t terrible.

I agree, G+ is well worth it for the amount of attractions you can use it on. Especially at HS and MK.


I was actually pretty impressed with my kids at Silver Dollar City. They waited at least an hour for our first ride on the raft water ride there and they didn’t complain (much).


I’d be fine waiting an hour for the biggest headliners.


Yeah I think that ride is so interesting in that the ILL sells out so quickly, but that it’s also the easiest ride to wait the least amount of time for too. Like FOP, 7D always have very long lines that don’t see the drop in wait times like RotR. I’d personally only pay for it if I couldn’t wait until evening to ride.


This plan probably won’t work for you but it was wonderful in 2019 when we had a big group for a birthday and stayed off site.

The birthday kid wanted to ride Disney buses. So I reserved the cheapest campsite at Fort Wilderness. Which made us Disney guests. From entering our car to exiting at FtW parking lot was barely 15 minutes. We walked to the FtW bus stop to get a park bus or internal bus to Marina for an MK boat.

This sounds convoluted but was quite easy, even with 3 vehicles. In 2017 we had about half the people and 2 cars and parked in the theme park lots.

I’d do the Fort Wilderness plan again over driving to parks.

We just spent 5 days in the parks without Genie+ or LL. DH and I barely did any rides tho the two teens with us rode lots of rides. With minimal waits except last night at MK when they wanted a long line to take up time til fireworks so got in line at Peter Pan.

The only ride they think “fast passes” would have helped with was RnRC. They missed that ride.

We did rope drop till about noon. Back to room till about 4 or 5. Then to a park, most nights leaving before close.


I’m not a big fan of mid day breaks now that my kids don’t nap, as long as the weather is nice. When it’s hot, swim breaks for sure, but if it’s 70F outside I’d go rope drop to park close with only brief stops to buy mickey bars. :sweat_smile:

Edit: forgot to mention I’ll be going in December (early December, not Christmas)


In the last 12 months I have stayed off property more times than in the last 20 years- granted I only went as far as the bonnet creek resorts and Dolphin. I think that what benefits justified the price for my family are mostly gone…That said we usually have our own transportation when off site and we do not pay to parking because we are AP holders- We found Uber and Lyft surge prices skyrocket at park opening and closing- Mears taxi, available through their app IMO a far more reasonable.

Unfortunately as @LTinNC82 mentioned genie+ is becoming a necessary evil. I would save the cash by staying off site and put the savings towards purchasing genie+ & ILLs ect- on one the money I saved by staying at payed for an incredibly amazing night at Oga’s crazy priced souvenir cocktail mugs and all.


Thanks for the reminder! I was only checking rates in the middle if the day.


A lot of Merlock fans here…I cannot justify buying an already insanely priced park ticket and then being asked to pay more to ride rhe attractions. It is a sick little money grab.

I have stayed offsite and used lyft when needed. Surge pricing can be a pain, but if you time it right, it is a non-issue. I would take lyft for rope drop, but be a little earlier than park opening. Surge pricing never happend for us.

If you use your touring plan skills and knowledge of crowd flows, you can do the parks without the need for Merlock. RD the popular rides or.close the park with them. Follow the TP reccomendations of ride now or ride later. You will be fine.


Oh, December. Yes. This whole week we’ve been talking about how much easier getting around was in December 2020. This week it’s easy to just get fed up with sweat, heat and sun.

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My last trip was September 2018. The trick for me was just to accept i was going to be sweaty all day from the moment i went outside. After that it was just a matter of feeding my kids ice cream and soda when they got too hot and cranky :rofl:


You can stay off site.

You can make do without Genie+ or ILL.

You can use third party buses / Uber.

Whether you do or not is a totally personal decision based on how you weigh those factors. Personally, I can’t bear to stay offsite because of missing EE, extra hours, ILL advantage, and on-site transportation. Those are all super important to me, as well as proximity and the “magic.”

If you value the money saved over these perks, absolutely go for it. It’s a lot of money.


I’m not happy G+ exists, but I’m glad for the Merlock help.

I could not afford G+ if my family of 8 were traveling. But for the two-person 4-night commando trip with DD I sucked it up and paid the extra. I’m not sure where my cut off would be. If I could have stayed for a longer visit, I probably wouldn’t have needed it. But adding more days (food, lodging, etc.) would probably have cost even more than adding it. It would be something I weighed out each time.