Mom and daughter on Expedition Everest
  • On Feb 26, 2012
    Marisa Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    My husband and I (with 2 kids) are really struggling on deciding to stay on site or off. We stayed on site last time but could really save some money staying off site. Can you help with the benefits to stay on for the week of Thanksgiving?

    Hi, Marisa!  I know it's a big temptation to stay at a less expensive hotel.  There are some things you have to weigh out to see if there is a benefit to your family and the way you travel to staying on property.

    First, will you need to rent a car?  That may negate any hotel savings you see.  Does the hotel offer free transportation to the theme parks?  I know on a recent stay my brother took, not only did they lose a lot of time waiting for the hotel shuttle, but the shuttle itself wasn't free, and it only ran once a day back and forth to Walt Disney World.  They ended up spending more in taxi fare than they expected.  During a busy holiday period, you may find that rental car rates spike higher and hotel shuttles may be more crowded and less reliable.  Both things to consider.  

    Second, do you take advantage of the extra magic hours?  Walt Disney World resort guests get that added bonus of an hour in the morning at one theme park and up to three hours extra in the evening at another theme park.  When you go during a time that is likely to be more crowded, you can really benefit from having that extra theme park time.

    If the theme parks are close to capacity, resort guests will be given priority entrance over non-resort guests until the theme parks are completely full.  That may come into play the closer you are to Thanksgiving.  

    There are other things to think about - like if you plan on going back and forth between your resort and the parks, but the bottom line is what will be most important to your family.  Make your decision based on that.

    Have a great vacation!
thumbnail image for Anna

Meet the Panelist: Anna, New Jersey

My name is Anna and I am a wife, mother to three daughters and a son-in-law, and earning my Grandmom ears. I'm a law student and former teacher. I have planned vacations for all sorts celebrations, but really enjoy DVC vacations, helping military families, and assisting those with special dietary needs.    Learn More About Anna

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