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Abagpiper5

Bonnet Creek or anything else on a budget.

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We sold our trailer about a month before Super Storm Sandy hit and it was a blessing that we did as a 70ft tree drop where we park it, so staying at the Fort isn’t a option this trip and we are trying to pinch pennies.

My Uncle has a time share at Bonnet Creek, and I’ve seen a lot of people selling the time on eBay and other places for as low as $500 a week for a 2 bedroom suit. I love staying at any of the Disney’s resorts, but we are a family of 6, and I have visited my Uncle while he was at his time share and the place is beautiful. I am just trying to figure out if it is worth not staying on a Disney property or stay off site at Bonnet Creek with a lot bigger space for a lot less money. It seems that even the people renting DVC space want top dollar and I would love to take that option if it was affordable.

Please let me know what you all think and if anyone has rented time from anywhere.

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...worth not staying on a Disney property or stay off site at Bonnet Creek with a lot bigger space for a lot less money.

As much as I love being on property, that does sound like a good way to go for a family of 6, especially since Bonnet Creek is kind of "on property" location wise, even if it's not technically a WDW resort.

Personally I think I'd want to have my own car to drive, but Bonnet Creek does have their own shuttles to the parks and DTD too, although if it's like the DTD area hotels, they probably run on a limited schedule.

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It's absolutely worth it not staying on property.

The ongoing debate about not feeling the "magic" unless you stay at a Disney resort is IMO, baloney. As more people stay off property than on property. Are we to believe that the people staying off property don't have a great time?

I agree that staying at a WDW resort might enhance some peoples stay, but the difference is minor.

While the Wyndham Bonnet Creek is not a Disney owned resort and thereby technically an off property resort, realistically it feels like it is on property.

It's a great resort and if everything else works for you, I'd go for it.

If you have a vehicle, the bus frequency issue won't affect you.

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If you are unable to get into Bonnet Creak, have you looked into the cabins at Troplical Palms resort off 192?

I haven't stayed in one, but saw them in late October and wouldn't mind staying there.

You would be near Old Town and many less expensive eating places than on site.

Hope you have a wonderful trip!!!!!

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I love Bonnet Creek. Would stay there over a value and several of the mods in a heartbeat.

I agree with Lou, people tend to get caught up in the whole on property thing wondering if their vacation will be any less magical in a hotel not owned by disney but there are so many really nice resorts out there. I've especially never understood the debate about the Swalphin- it may technically be off property but it's as on property as you can get...

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We've stayed off property many times, and often stay off property our first night in.

However, we've got one issue and that's Rick's VERY heavy ECV. We just can't lift it in and out of the truck several times a day. Yes it comes apart, but that's almost as much hassle. So for the time being we'll stick with on property except for our first night. Loading and unloading that thing once per trip is enough.

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It is presumptuous to say that the differences of staying on property vs off property are minor. It may be to some people, but to others it could be huge. It depends on how you like to spend your time. If you pull marathon days in the parks then crash at a room it is not a big deal to stay off property. If you like to go to the parks early, lounge at the room during midday, and have an evening at the parks while tugging children along the difference can be substantial. It is all about how you like to relax.

Personally, the worst Disney vacation that we had was when we stayed (for free) at the Vacation Villages. With two little kids that could not handle an all day excursion, dealing with parking at the parks, and trying to do "our normal" routine it was an exercise in futility.

With that said, I would rather stay off property than not go at all.

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There's no doubt that there's a huge difference in staying off property and on but there are some very nice resorts off property too and it can still be a magical trip. IMO what makes a trip magical to me isn't disney theming, it's the family's experience.

The Swan & Dolphin aren't owned by disney so technically considered "off property" but right in the middle of the magic and with a nicer pool than BWI next door. Bonnet Creek is just past there, on property but not, with fantastic activities, room to spread out, and a budget friendly rate.

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My friend has a timeshare at bonnet creek and loves it. Me and my DW love on property resorts. We stated off property once and the big difference for us is that feeling of getting on the magical express at the airport and "feeling" like our vacation has started. And the Disney transportation is a big plus for us. I refuse to drive after Beers of the World at Epcot. We stayed at a nice DTD hotel and we had to wait for the buses for about 1/2 hour. And to us it felt like we going to Disney and then home. To us on on property resort feels like we are on vacation all the time. It's a feeling that everyone may not share. All that being said. The Bonnet is a gorgeous property and I'm sure you'll have a magical time but look into the AK Villas. They're about the least expensive DVC rental.

I just did a comparison a studio at AK villas one week in June $1131.

One week at Bonnet $1150.

Hope it helps. If you want my sources let me know. I like to keep them a secret and I don't want to advertise for a company that doesn't buy an ad on FF.net

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Both Lou and IDWD make good points.

It all comes down to how you "do Disney". For some, it really is best to be on property and use the transportation, etc. For others it makes more sense to have a bigger place and/or a much less expensive one.

Monique is absolutely right about Bonnet Creek, too…..we stayed at the Hilton BC in Oct. and I felt like we were on property. There was even a Disney store in the hotel. The only difference was there wasn't a constant stream of busses or songs from the princess movies being played in the hallways, and the TV had a regular line up, not 1,000 Disney, ABC and ESPN channels.

I have a place that would be great for a family of 6 and under 100 a night in most cases. They're condos and don't have a lot of fluff, but 2 nice pools and free shuttle to the parks. Nice kitchens and real beds, not pull outs. You save a ton making your own meals.

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It is presumptuous to say that the differences of staying on property vs off property are minor.

If we were talking about staying at the Econolodge, I would agree that it would be presumptuous to say that ALL off property stays are equal to staying at a WDW resort. But in this case, this is the Wyndham Bonnet Creek that we're talking about and it's equivalent to the WDW Deluxe resorts.

Also, the location is for all practical purposes, on property. It's closer to some parks than some of the Disney resorts.

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I was just looking at this option for a  4 person family stay... it looks like Bonnet Creek is now charging $5.00 per person per ride.... that would add up. I just put in for a rental from Dave;s distressed points tonight... if that does not work out... I might get a cabin instead.

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I recently made a reservation with Vacation Strategy for a 2 bedroom suite at Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort for a 14 night stay this Christmas.  I originally had a reservation at Port Orleans Riverside for 7 nights and then we were going to stay at Blue Heron Beach Resort for another 7.  Our kids are now 17 and 16 and after thinking about it, we all agreed that we didn't want to spend a week in a small resort room and looked for other options.

 

I have never stayed at Bonnet Creek but have read a lot of positive reviews.  The change to the bus policy came after I reserved but we will just drive to the parks rather than taking the bus.  It would cost us $20 per trip for our family to ride the bus so we'll convert our unused 7 day park hopper tickets to annual passes as we are planning on returning in March anyway.  This will save us having to pay the $14 daily parking fee.

 

The cost per night at Bonnet Creek for a 2 bedroom, 1200 sq ft condo was just over half of what it was going to cost for a standard room at Port Orleans Riverside (314 sq ft) and will give us so much more room.  It seems like a pretty simple choice but I'm still a little nervous about it as I've never stayed there.

 

Has anyone stayed at Bonnet Creek and if so, would you mind sharing your thoughts about the resort?

 

Thanks.

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We will be there next week on the 27th. I visited my Uncle while he was staying there when we were at the Fort a couple of years ago, but we sold our trailer and he gave us a week of his time.

 

The place was awesome from what I saw on my brief visit, and you are right about the cost. You can find time there during off season for as little as $500 a week on ebay for a 2 bedroom. I do love staying on Disney property, but the cost is way too much for the size of the room that you are getting, and we are a family of 6.

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I would not hesitate to stay at Bonnet Creek, especially for a larger family.  Other than the campsites, Disney resorts can be quite pricey for larger families when you have to book a suite, or the cabins.  The only two times we have been to Disney with the kids where we didn't have a camper were one trip to WLV and another where we rented an off-site house.  WLV were quite expensive as you can imagine, but were really nice.  The house was incredibly economical, plus had its own pool.  We found the drive back and forth to not be too bad, so we could still head back in the afternoon for naps and then go back to a park in the evening.  I think we paid $700 for the week, and it was a 4 bedroom home.  Not too shabby.  As you can imagine, the WL villa was at least that much for 2 nights, IIRC.  Was the stay at WL more magical?  Maybe a bit...the boat rides and all are nice.  But worth 3x the cost?  No.  The house we rented was off 192 near 429...probably closer to AK than most onsite hotels.  Bonnet Creek is much more centrally located than that house.  I will certainly consider it for our family in the future if we get back. 

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Rick is down there this week sharing an offsite house with some friends. Rick didn't think he'd like staying at the house, but he LOVES it.

 

Unfortunately for the most part, that won't work if it's just Rick and myself because of his scooter.  Just he and I cannot lift it into the truck twice a day for an entire week.  He's got very able friends with him this week that can do that.  So as nice as those houses are, we just can't do it.  So for us it will be the Fort, or a value resort.

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Just came back Saturday and had a blast. I will defiantly stay their over ANY Disney resort except the Fort if I am camping.

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Just came back Saturday and had a blast. I will defiantly stay their over ANY Disney resort except the Fort if I am camping.

Great to hear. We check in may 27 for 7 nights. How were the buses? What about getting to DTD?

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Great to hear. We check in may 27 for 7 nights. How were the buses? What about getting to DTD?

We didn't use their buses, we drove in. There is a way to park at the Magic Kingdom for free without breaking any Disney laws.

If you get there early before your room is ready, you can go food shopping and they will store it in a freezer for you for free.

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There is a way to park at the Magic Kingdom for free without breaking any Disney laws.

 

 

I realize you meant rules as Disney is a private company and can't make laws, however if it's what I think it is and while Disney doesn't seem to monitor it, I'm not sure what the policy is regarding non WDW resort guests and ineligible guests using that method. 

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