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advice on Orlando hotels

advice on Orlando hotels

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Old Jul 30, 14, 2:08 pm
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advice on Orlando hotels

Heading down to Orlando in October and considering the Marriott Grande Vista or Marriott Harbour Lake. Able to get friends and family rate so that's great; however, I'm wondering just how much of the savings will get eaten up by having to rent a car or take taxis to Epcot, Magic Kingdom, etc. I'm thinking that staying in one of these places and incurring the added transportation costs will still be cheaper than staying at a Disney property, but I want to make sure before I book anything.

FYI, I'm looking at getting a 2BR villa for about $1000 total for 5 nights (that's with the discount I can get).
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Old Jul 30, 14, 6:37 pm
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Good rate. Very good properties.

Does your visit coincide with the dates for the free dining offer? Would you be buying theme park tickets and hotel so as to qualify for free dining?

If you are looking for a Disney villa style place the absolute cheapest way to rent one is from a Disney Vacation Club owner. You can do it thru somewhere like http://www.disboards.com/forumdisplay.php?f=29
Still gonna cost lot more than $1000.

Rental cars in Orlando are cheap. I usually expect to pay $160 or less for a week, midsize or standard. You have to add in $17 a day for parking at WDW.

When you stay onsite you get to use Disney transportation. Sounds nice and its usually quick but Disney themselves says to allow for an hour to get anywhere within WDW using their transportation.

Last issue is Disney 'magic.' Is staying in the Disney bubble important? For some people it is. Others don't care.

Either way, on site or staying at one of those Marriott's, you should have a blast. Beyond that I guess you do the math and then it's a personal choice. For our next visit in January we are doing a split stay; 2 nights on site at Art of Animation, then 7 at Floridays (nice condo style place like the Marriott's). For us that's the best way to do it, best of both worlds.
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Old Jul 30, 14, 10:19 pm
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Originally Posted by psywzrd View Post
Heading down to Orlando in October and considering the Marriott Grande Vista or Marriott Harbour Lake. Able to get friends and family rate so that's great; however, I'm wondering just how much of the savings will get eaten up by having to rent a car or take taxis to Epcot, Magic Kingdom, etc. I'm thinking that staying in one of these places and incurring the added transportation costs will still be cheaper than staying at a Disney property, but I want to make sure before I book anything.

FYI, I'm looking at getting a 2BR villa for about $1000 total for 5 nights (that's with the discount I can get).
I would rent a car. In big cities, it's easy and practical to do without a car. In Orlando, I consider it a necessity. I am from there (thank goodness I escaped!), so not much into Disney. Even if I were staying on property, I'd still rent a car. I just like having easy access to Publix, TJ's, restaurants, etc. The Disney transportation, while free, is horribly crowded and inconvenient. Great idea in theory. Terrible idea in reality.
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Old Jul 31, 14, 4:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Andrea Waters View Post
I would rent a car. In big cities, it's easy and practical to do without a car. In Orlando, I consider it a necessity. I am from there (thank goodness I escaped!), so not much into Disney. Even if I were staying on property, I'd still rent a car. I just like having easy access to Publix, TJ's, restaurants, etc. The Disney transportation, while free, is horribly crowded and inconvenient. Great idea in theory. Terrible idea in reality.
heh Can't believe I'm arguing on this side of this particular debate. Usually I'm the one slamming Disney transportation but Andrea Waters, imho that is a gross exaggeration.

Any resort on the monorail will get you to Magic Kingdom or Epcot super quick. Never had a problem with that. From Polynesian we could get to MK in like 10 minutes. 5 minute walk to the direct monorail to Epcot, 15 minute ride.

At Saratoga Springs, yeah, the buses sometimes sucked. Could take just 20 minutes to circle the property and get out of the parking lot.

From Animal Kingdom Lodge, never had a problem. That was peak time and because of the extra buses on service was flying. I've found that it's almost counter intuitive that way; during peak times there will be so many extra buses on that you move quick. During off peak times it's slow as you wait 20 minutes for a bus.

A good breakdown based on convenience can be found here:
http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-y...y-convenience/

All that being said if you are staying at any property that is not on the monorail and you need to go back to the resort mid day, like for a kids nap, before heading back to the parks, I'd say yeah, rent a car.
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Old Jul 31, 14, 5:52 pm
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Originally Posted by trajanc View Post
heh Can't believe I'm arguing on this side of this particular debate. Usually I'm the one slamming Disney transportation but Andrea Waters, imho that is a gross exaggeration.

Any resort on the monorail will get you to Magic Kingdom or Epcot super quick. Never had a problem with that. From Polynesian we could get to MK in like 10 minutes. 5 minute walk to the direct monorail to Epcot, 15 minute ride.

At Saratoga Springs, yeah, the buses sometimes sucked. Could take just 20 minutes to circle the property and get out of the parking lot.

From Animal Kingdom Lodge, never had a problem. That was peak time and because of the extra buses on service was flying. I've found that it's almost counter intuitive that way; during peak times there will be so many extra buses on that you move quick. During off peak times it's slow as you wait 20 minutes for a bus.

A good breakdown based on convenience can be found here:
http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-y...y-convenience/

All that being said if you are staying at any property that is not on the monorail and you need to go back to the resort mid day, like for a kids nap, before heading back to the parks, I'd say yeah, rent a car.
I was referring to the buses in particular. The monorails are fine. The Disney boards are full of people echoing exactly what I said about the buses. There have been almost fist fights, pushing, shoving, etc. near the end of the day at Disney. I think it all depends how a person wants to spend their vacation and how much money means to a person. I live in a big city and take public transit to work every day. Spending time waiting for buses isn't really my thing when I'm on vacation. $160 isn't going to break any vacation budget of mine. I'd just spend the money on a car.
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Old Aug 4, 14, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by trajanc View Post
Good rate. Very good properties.

Does your visit coincide with the dates for the free dining offer? Would you be buying theme park tickets and hotel so as to qualify for free dining?

If you are looking for a Disney villa style place the absolute cheapest way to rent one is from a Disney Vacation Club owner. You can do it thru somewhere like http://www.disboards.com/forumdisplay.php?f=29
Still gonna cost lot more than $1000.

Rental cars in Orlando are cheap. I usually expect to pay $160 or less for a week, midsize or standard. You have to add in $17 a day for parking at WDW.

When you stay onsite you get to use Disney transportation. Sounds nice and its usually quick but Disney themselves says to allow for an hour to get anywhere within WDW using their transportation.

Last issue is Disney 'magic.' Is staying in the Disney bubble important? For some people it is. Others don't care.

Either way, on site or staying at one of those Marriott's, you should have a blast. Beyond that I guess you do the math and then it's a personal choice. For our next visit in January we are doing a split stay; 2 nights on site at Art of Animation, then 7 at Floridays (nice condo style place like the Marriott's). For us that's the best way to do it, best of both worlds.
The dates we're going are the end of October until early November. I don't know about any free dining offers but yes, we will be buying theme park tickets. I've been shopping around for those as well, but it seems obvious at this point that they don't discount those tickets very much. Are you saying that there may be a way to qualify for free dining?

Should we maybe look into a hotel that's a bit closer to the parks that also offers free shuttles to the parks (if such a hotel even exists)? Although it does sound like having a car there would be advantageous anyway, especially since we'll certainly want to go to the grocery store, off-site restaurants, etc.
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Old Aug 4, 14, 1:16 pm
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I would strongly recommend renting a car. You can often get one for a week for under $200 AI.

As well, keep in mind that free dining really isn't free. You have to pay full rack rate for the room in order to get it. Now, if you have 2 teenagers and are staying in a value resort, then it's worth it to get the free dining.

While "free" dining used to be a pretty good deal, I've found that unless you spend your time seeking out the most expensive meal in a restaurant, all you are doing is prepaying your food and in some cases, limiting your options.

That said, it may very well be less expensive to use your friends and family rate and pay for Disney as you use it.

Do you really need a 2 bedroom villa?

Regarding nearby hotels with shuttles - yes, all of the local hotels have shuttles. The issue is that they only run at certain times of the day. You would have to check the schedule for the hotel you're using.
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Old Aug 4, 14, 2:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Mary2e View Post
I would strongly recommend renting a car. You can often get one for a week for under $200 AI.

As well, keep in mind that free dining really isn't free. You have to pay full rack rate for the room in order to get it. Now, if you have 2 teenagers and are staying in a value resort, then it's worth it to get the free dining.

While "free" dining used to be a pretty good deal, I've found that unless you spend your time seeking out the most expensive meal in a restaurant, all you are doing is prepaying your food and in some cases, limiting your options.

That said, it may very well be less expensive to use your friends and family rate and pay for Disney as you use it.

Do you really need a 2 bedroom villa?

Regarding nearby hotels with shuttles - yes, all of the local hotels have shuttles. The issue is that they only run at certain times of the day. You would have to check the schedule for the hotel you're using.
Thank you - I'll look into other local hotels as well but with the friends and family discount it's going to be tough to beat the deal I can get at a Marriott. Sounds like getting a car is smart as well, so I'll look into that too.

As for the room, a 2 bedroom villa is certainly not a necessity; however, I'm more than willing to pay the extra money to have the 2nd bedroom AND a 2nd bathroom. I just think it will make for a much more pleasurable experience for us.
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Old Aug 6, 14, 10:17 pm
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Originally Posted by psywzrd View Post
The dates we're going are the end of October until early November. I don't know about any free dining offers but yes, we will be buying theme park tickets. I've been shopping around for those as well, but it seems obvious at this point that they don't discount those tickets very much. Are you saying that there may be a way to qualify for free dining?

Should we maybe look into a hotel that's a bit closer to the parks that also offers free shuttles to the parks (if such a hotel even exists)? Although it does sound like having a car there would be advantageous anyway, especially since we'll certainly want to go to the grocery store, off-site restaurants, etc.
Free dining offer:
https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/sp...t-stay-dining/

As mary2e said you pay the rack rate. It's a good deal for some groups, not so great for others. Just gotta price it out and do the math. And despite what it says in the terms min stay for free dining is 3 nights hotel/4 days theme park tickets I believe.

Re getting a car, staying offsite I would always get a car. They are so cheap in Orlando. Flyertalk has some great discount codes or try costcotravel.com.

If you want a good two br that is close to Disney and can be had crazy cheap on some days try looking up Blue Heron on lmtclub.com. 4.5/5 on Trip Advisor. Close to the parks. Some nights it's been as low as $76. If you are not a member last promo code for free membership I saw was TURKEYSENTME. But like I said before, all of those Marriott properties are great.
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Old Aug 7, 14, 10:44 pm
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You have a great rate, for Marriott friends and family, in a 2 BR. Rent a car and drive/taxi/uber to the park, which will be very easy with uber or taxi magic. We regularly über/taxi to the parks and nearby hotels. With a taxi there are no parking fees and if having dinner at a hotel can self park for free.
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Old Oct 9, 14, 11:45 am
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Would you guys recommend maybe trying to find a property that offers free transportation to and from the parks? We are getting a great deal at the Marriott Harbour Lake but it's possible that all of our savings will get eaten up by the cost of the rental car or taking taxis everywhere.
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Old Oct 9, 14, 12:14 pm
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Originally Posted by psywzrd View Post
Would you guys recommend maybe trying to find a property that offers free transportation to and from the parks? We are getting a great deal at the Marriott Harbour Lake but it's possible that all of our savings will get eaten up by the cost of the rental car or taking taxis everywhere.
For five days, I don't see why not. Just realize that you will be on their (the shuttles) schedule going and returning and that they may go only once per hour.
Parking at Disney is $17/day unless you are staying on site in a Disney hotel.
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Old Oct 9, 14, 12:40 pm
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Originally Posted by psywzrd View Post
Would you guys recommend maybe trying to find a property that offers free transportation to and from the parks? We are getting a great deal at the Marriott Harbour Lake but it's possible that all of our savings will get eaten up by the cost of the rental car or taking taxis everywhere.
Call and ask how often their shuttle runs between the parks and your hotel. As well, how often do they run? Where do they drop you off? If it's at the transportation and ticket center you're still going to have to travel to get to a park.

The savings may not be worth it.
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Old Dec 20, 14, 7:33 pm
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To me the price savings is almost always not worth it for so many reasons. The hassle, the feel and not staying in Disney is just not worth it. I am also a hardcore disney fan
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