View Full Version : OK, what's w/ all the "Magic" ???
02-13-2002, 12:51 PM
Please explain the Disney Resort Magic to me!
We were contemplating a last minute trip to WDW either the last week of Feb or the first week of March (if you've got any ideas on that, please let me know! :D ) It will me me, DH and DD4
Now we ALWAYS stay off-property. I've always thought an extra-bedroom w/ a door, lots of space, a kitchen and the like were pretty magical! Well this time I was going to do an auction, but it seems the resort I wanted isn't coming up now so I've been mulling over the Florida resident specials. I can get an all-stars for $69 or a $79 preferred. I asked what the difference was and she said with the $69 rooms you have to walk a lot farther to the bus-stops and food. Well I can also get a moderate for $99, and that's only 20 bucks more than the 'preferred' all-star price. Seems to me it would be worth going for a moderate, but I don't know anything about staying on-property!
So here's some questions!!!
:) The most important one......What is so great about staying on-property? I've heard people swear up and down about the magic and you shouldn't stay anywhere else, etc. I'm worried being cramped in one room won't feel very magical to me! There's only so many things I want to do in the bathroom you know? ;) Can you convince me?
:) At the above prices, which would be better the value or moderates?
:) We'll be driving, would we have to pay parking fees at the resorts and/or the parks if we chose to drive from the resort to a park?
:) How hard is it to figure out the bus system? What's it like? I always thought it was pretty darn easy and quick to get around using a car :D We also bring a stroller for DD, I don't know how this would effect bus usage :)
Sorry this is so long, I just want to make the right decision! Thanks in advance!!! :D :D :D
02-13-2002, 12:58 PM
Lisa I don't know about "the Magic" either. I think it's something only understood by those who seem obsessed by all things Disney, but I do know that I prefer to be on-site for the convenience. I used to also find EE a big plus but now that that is gone..I like having use of the transportation system and since we are staying at the Swan, we'll be in walking distance to Epcot, MGM and bosrdwalk, which is a big plus for me. Personally I'm not at all concerned that I won't have mickey soap in my room. I have stayed in many Disney on-site hotels, and not being a "true" Disney property doesn't bother me. I like the convenience, the transportation options, not having to rent a car and being in the middle of the action.
02-13-2002, 01:01 PM
Well part of the "Magic" is the housekeeper do special things with your kids baby and teddy bears
Well you will have slightly more room in a Moderate than a Value but really how much time are you going to be in your room? we were there to sleep really that is it..
I don't know about the parking fees
The buses run all the time .. you just go to the waiting area and each bus for each park stops and you choose what park and get on that bus, then they drop you off at say number 5 and you get back on at number 5 .. We stayed a CBR and only waited about 5 mins or less each time for busses and on the trip back same .. I am a single mom w/ kids ages 8 & 5 and found riding the bus much more sane than driveing...
as for the stroller .. you need to fold it on the buses..
I hope this helps you some..
Ps we loved the CBR ( its a moderate )
02-13-2002, 01:08 PM
If being cramped is what you are worried about then the Caribbean Beach (moderate0 has the largest rooms in the category. There is website that SeaSpray (a member here) has put together about her stay there. http://people.ne.mediaone.net/capecad/index.html
Ourlaughingplace.com has a transportation wizard that will give you an idea on how to get from place to place using the disney transportation. http://www.ourlaughingplace.com/asp/twiz.asp
They also have some great pictures of resorts.
If you stay onsite you don't have to pay for parking at the parks which is normally $6 per day.
02-13-2002, 01:11 PM
I love the Magic - but I suppose its a feeling that either you are into or not so I will just answer a few of your questions.
First we stay at All Stars most of the time (however have also stayed at all the moderates, the Contemporary and the Polynesian). The rooms at the All Stars are fine for our needs most of the time. I will say though the difference in regular and preferred doesn't necessarily mean you have alot further to walk. At All Star Movies most of the buildings are relatively close to the buses and food court (Love Bug and Mighty Duck being further out. I would not find it necessary to pay more to stay in one of the preferred areas though.
If you are staying onsite there are no parking fees at any of the parks if you drive your car. There are no fees for parking at the hotels either unless you visit one of the hotels with valet parking and choose to use it - but you can certainly self park if you want.
The bus system is extremely easy to use going from resorts to parks - going from resorts to resorts can be more complicated as you will have to transfer somewhere. I generally take a bus to the nearest theme park and then switch to a resort bus there.
Hope this helps.
02-13-2002, 01:12 PM
Part of the thrill to staying on-site is the superb theming of the Disney Resorts, it's something I've never experienced in my stays off site. The second thing is the convience. You can just jump on a bus for a midday trip back to the hotel. The $99 for the moderates is really good and very worth it. If you're worried about being cramped I would suggest CBR. They have the largest rooms of the moderates. Also they have a charming themed pool, beaches, quiet pools for each "island" of rooms, hammocks on the beach, playgrounds, and the food court. The parking is free for you as an onsite guest. Also, I would suggest trying the buses one day and if you find it too much of a hassle with the stroller than drive. CBR has also installed privacy curtains in their room between the vanity area and the main room. I hope that answers your questions.
02-13-2002, 02:17 PM
Any magician will tell you they NEVER explain the magic... :-) but here goes...
For me Disney Magic is that 'it's time to play' feeling I get when I drive up to the entrance of whatever resort we'll be staying at. That's one of the reasons that I prefer the resorts that offer more 'Theming' over 'more Amenities'. For example - I prefer the Polynesian Resort over the Grand Floridian. You can make a powerful argument that the GF is a 'better' hotel than the Poly, but it doesn't matter to me - if they offered me a room at the GF for $20 less than the Poly I would still go with the Poly.
To be sure there are 'tangible' parts to The Magic. The convenience of staying close to the parks means you don't have to get up as early or stay out as late to get the same amount of time in the parks. The Mousekeeping people often do cute things with the towels/etc in your room. Bell Services or Check-in folks will go out of their way to make sure people have a good stay. The particular resort might have a view of the MK or EPCOT, etc. or the resort might have Special resort-specific activities like Flag Raising Family, Lady Bug releases, Story Telling, etc.
All in all though, it's difficult to put your finger on every aspect of the Magic. The only way you'll be able to tell whether 'The Magic' has value for your family is to try it one trip and see.
Value vs. Moderate: I personally really like Dixie Landings (Port Orleans - Riverside now). It has 'Magic' for me. So it is worth $20 more to me.
Parking Fees: If you are staying on-site you do NOT need to pay the $6 a day parking fee at the various Theme park lots (this is another one of those tanglibles). I often drive myself rather than use the Disney buses to save time, but the buses are certainly convenient.
Buses: There are many sources of info on bus routes, both on the various websites, and also at the resort. Carrying a stoller onto the bus is very common. Bus travel only really becomes problematic in the evenings (after the MK/Studios have closed) when you are trying to get from one resort to another. Our worst experience was trying to get from the Cont to CSR late one night...sheesh... Since you will have your car there you should probably just plan to drive from your resort if you are planning an evening trip to another resort (dinner, or whatever reason). If you want to use the buses in the evening to go from resort to resort - don't listen to the Disney folks who will tell you to go to Downtown Disney, or the TTC, etc - just take the bus from wherever you are to EPCOT, and then take a bus from there to your resort.
For me though that 'time to play' feeling more than makes up for whatever price difference or space difference may exist between a room at a Disney resort and an off-site one. If you like playing make-believe with your daughter I'll bet you'll end up 'captured' by the Disney Magic :-).
02-13-2002, 02:20 PM
Thanks for all your replies so far!
Don't get me wrong, I totally get the "Disney Magic" (probably more than I should! LOL) I just haven't figured out how it carried over to the resorts yet! There's got to be something to it I guess if so many are willing to pay the higher prices.
Hi Lisa! I see you are from Boynton Beach. I'm from Hollywood.
Here are my suggestions from one south Floridian to another...
It seems that you would be going during peak season. If possible, I would wait and go the first week in May (regular season). I have a reservation at Carribean Beach from May3-5 for $94. I got the code for this rate from mousesavers.com, but I will email it to you if you like. My email is Mikesuemarc@aol.com. I agree with the above posters- that you may be more comfortable with the rooms at CBR, since they are larger than the other moderates. $69 is a good rate for AS, but I wouldn't pay for preffered view. We were in the Toy Story section and the walk was 2 minutes. Just request the Toy Story or Dalmation section , if you plan to go with the AS.
I stayed atASMo just last month and had a blast. It was myself, DH, and DS (age4) in the room. Plenty of room and the pool and food court were wonderful!!!! No complaints! Housekeeping did really cute things with our towels and stuffed animals.
The values and mods have no fee for parking, nor do you pay to park at the parks when you stay onsite.We used the bus to come back from Epoct one night. My DS does not like fireworks, so my DH brought him back to the resort with the car and I stayed for Illuminations and then took the bus back (this is a big PLUS!!!!).
You can fold up your stroller and take it on the bus. I would bring an umbrella stroller with a shade, if need be.
Soooo..... my verdict after staying offsite for years and one time onsite at ASMO is...... (drumroll....)
The food courts are sooo convenient, especially very early in the morning. I would go get some food at 6:30 and bring it back to the room on a tray. With a little one we always take a mid-day break and come back for a swim , relax , and change before heading out again for dinner. Being so close (even at ASMo) was a big advantage!
02-13-2002, 02:55 PM
The last time that I stayed at Dixie Landings (POR) was
Dec. 2000. This one was a solo trip. My DH stayed home
with our two cats, and it was planned that way. One evening,
I got back from a park, so very tired. I was so tired that I
almost felt sick. I just over-did, that's all. Well, I got back to
my room, and two pillows were stacked in the middle of the
bed. There was a towel on the pillows, expertly folded into
a bunny, with a round sticker for a nose. The light was on,
and turned so that it would spotlight the bunny. The bunny
also held the TV remote. Now keep in mind, I was
forty-something, on a solo trip, and I don't even have children.
That extra special thing was so "magical" that I cried right
there on the spot ! That real Disney resort magic is in the
way it makes you FEEL ! It also makes me feel much better
just knowing that someone else is driving me to a park. I can
relax so much more if I am not fighting the traffic myself.
02-13-2002, 02:57 PM
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Don't forget you can find all the info about all the discounts right here on the DIS! Just follow the links to the DIScount codes....
The magic of staying onsite.......
It is so hard to describe, we have stayed offsite one time paying less than $30.00 a night for a 2 br suite w/ livingroom and Kitchen.
We will never stay offsite again... How to explain it? HMMMMM!
You know that feeling you get when you leave WDW to go home the very last day of vacation? We got that feeling everyday when we would get in the car and drive out those Big Beautiful Gates at the entrance to WDW....
When on property the day is not over when you head to the resort from the park, you are still surrounded by people enjoying WDW, you are still greeted and taken care of by WDW CMs, You do not have to become an adult again at the "end of the day" because the day doesn't end and really you do not have to drive anywhere unless you want to......
Etc.... Etc..... Etc......
It is all a feeling - and a very hard one to describe.....
02-13-2002, 03:41 PM
Can't explain the magic except to say once you have stayed on property you'll never want to stay off site again. We have the same type family as you...me, DH and DD who is almost 4. I totall understand the privacy thing although the bathroom could serve more purposes depending on desperation ;) ;) (I'll save that for another post ;) ) We are DVC members, at one pt the three of us stayed in studio...ended up moving half way thru trip to one bedroom. Too much closeness for me :rolleyes: So I feel your pain about needing more space. Have you checked out the FW cabins? We are not woodsie people but we LOVED the cabins and its perfect for a small child. I know Mousesavers.com is running discounts on the cabins....149 a nite i think? It may be worth checking out. Even though we own DVC we will definately be going back to FW cabins, they were fantastic and you would get seperate bedroom and full kitchen which really comes in handy with kids. And don't forget the activities on site along w/ the quick boatride to MK
02-14-2002, 11:38 PM
The "magic" to us has a lot to do with entering the property and forgetting that the real world exists while we're there. We don't read a newspaper or watch the news. It's just us and Mickey. Plus, there are always things that happen that can only be explained through Mickey Magic as my DS explains it.
In May 2000 my in-laws gave us a 3bedroom, 2 1/2 bedroom for FREE. It was only "1m ile from the entrance" how could we pass that up. Never again! We hated every minute of it and now will never go to Disney unless we're on-site, even if that means waiting another year or two. We hated feeling like "average Joes" entering the park twice at day (kids still needed naps). Plus, the one mile was 45 min. each way - almost 4 hours/day wasted in travel time.
As far as Disney transportation. We always rent a car and find that easier to get around then taking Disney transportation, especially if you have a stroller. We find it easier to drive to MGM/AK or TTC. It's also nicer late at night when the kids are exhausted and we'd have to wait 20+ min. for a bus.
02-15-2002, 10:13 AM
Once we park our car (or get out of the towncar at the resort's front door) and unload our luggage...
WE ARE TOTALLY ON VACATION (AND WE ARE AT DISNEY WORLD!!!)
No worries. No traffic. No confusion. No late nights trying to fight our way out of the parking lots.
If you are a little patient, the WDW transportation system works great! Don't be in a hurry. You're on vacation. Let someone else do all of the work.
Want to go to the MK for breakfast, then hit MGM during the day, go back to the room and nap/change clothes, and see Illuminations at Epcot that night? You can do it!!!!
Want to go to MK early in the morning and stay straight through until the fireworks over the castle? If you're willing to sit on Main Street for a 1/2 hour or so and watch all of the crazy people push their way out of the park, you can make your way out and onto your resort bus for the short trip home. No reason to fight that parking lot traffic.
To us - it's MORE than worth it! If we're not onsite, we're not really on vacation!
02-15-2002, 10:44 AM
but, if it could fit into your budget, you might consider renting one of the DVC villas. That way you would have the convenience of a separate br and a kitchen but you would still be in the middle of the "magic" and be able to to advantage of the transportation, etc. I think you can rent points from DVC owners which makes it more affordable than going through Disney. Any DVC'ers out there who can chime in?
02-15-2002, 10:48 AM
I'd have to agree with dodie , when you're there you're there. If you stay off-site you might as well take a day trip to the zoo or six flags.
02-15-2002, 11:51 AM
It's being able to look out my window and watch Cinderella's castle change colors at 2:00am when I am half asleep, and know that it's likely that at this very moment this special show is being put on exclusively for me, as everyone else is sleeping.
It's being able to "drink around the world" in Epcot and walk (or stumble as the case might be) back to our room at the BC/BW/YC.
It's being able to sit on our balcony and watch fireworks at night.
It's being able to decide to leave a park on the spur of the moment, and be lounging by the pool at our resort in under twenty minutes. Regardless of how close you are staying off property, there are logistics of trams and boats and monorails just to get to your car, which has been baking in the noonday sun.
It's being able to walk into Epcot therough the World Showacse entrance at 10:00am, and have this incredible feeling as you walk through th UK and Canada that for these fleeting moments, this corner of Epcot is your alone to enjoy.
It's the pleasure of returning to your room and finding a little suprise from your housekeeper, be it a towel animal, an arranged stuffed animal or something else unique.
It's the immersion, and the ability to forget the problems outside "the World", and let Disney take care of the details.
02-15-2002, 12:06 PM
Just beautiful, ducklite (Anne)!:)
02-15-2002, 01:04 PM
The magic let's see.
1. wake up calls by mickey.
2. Cast members are great.
3. attention to detail.
4. Bus Transportation
5. Having your packages delivered right to you room from any park.
6. Wake up calls by mickey.
7. Hair Brading by the pool.
8. Most hotels have great arcades, even for adults.
The all stars rooms are little nicer then holiday inn's IMHO. For the price and larger room, I would stay at a moderate, CBR. Stay on site and have a great time.
Scott, Peg and Tyler
02-15-2002, 01:50 PM
I won't go too much into the magic, as it's already been said so well by others although I would add just a couple of points -
1. Safety. I never feel as safe for me or my kids as I do at Walt Disney World. My kids are older (both teenagers), and it makes a huge difference that I feel safe with them being in a different park than me. I can even go back to the resort and take a nap whenever I want. I think it would also be as important to me with a younger child. From what I have seen, the resorts have more people working than others. And, in my opinion, they must take several classes on customer service, as the level of taking care of the customer that they do is extremely impressive.
2. E-Ride Nights. If you are going when they have one of those, these are definately worth it (you can even get a baby sitter to come stay with your child from the resort so you and DH can enjoy the E Night). We went to 2 E-Nights last time - and each time, the park would empty and it was as if we owned the MK. We went on Buzz Lightyears ride over and over - with no wait. Space Mountain, 5 minute wait, Splash Mountain 2 minute wait, etc. It is unbelievable.
Our preference is definately onsite, even if the choice is Downtown Disney (although there are some fantastic prices going on now). Give it a try - just once. Even if it's just at an All Star. Either you will be hooked or you won't, but at least you will know.
02-15-2002, 03:28 PM
I think your DD would LOVE the ALL STARS, especially ASMo. I think she wouldn't want to stay anywhere else, ever again but there!
I would give them a try!
We have stayed in Deluxe too, but most kids prefer All Stars.
In general it's nice to go back to your room/pool before going to a different park in the same day.
And we love charging everything back to the room. That room key has charging privilages on it, your park passes too, very convenient!
We've been to Disney (Orlando and CA) nine times, and we have never stayed onsite. Always wanted to, but the prices were just too high, and it would have been great when our kids were younger. Our kids are now 12 and 15. We always went back to the hotel during the day for rest, but just getting back to our car was a little bit of an ordeal.
This will be the first time we will be staying onsite (June, 2002). I am REALLY EXCITED. The CBR looks so wonderful, and we are definintely going to have a couple of days just to relax at the hotel. The only thing I'm worried about is once we stay onsite, we'll never want to stay anywhere else.
As for the magic of the resorts, I'm looking forward to finding out.
02-15-2002, 09:38 PM
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