View Full Version : What else is there?
When I read the comments about CR, the benefits people always mentioning the monorail and walk to MK. What else is there? If you are not in a tower room, what other benefits are there to a room at the CR? How is the pool? The only comments I have read about it is that the pool is just *okay*.
I am a person who just likes to enjoy a resort, and not feel like I have to go to the parks. I like to walk around a resort and explore it. I like to smell flowers. I like to sit and people watch. I like to relax at the pool.
Is there enough at CR to make the resort part enjoyable for me?
06-13-2002, 02:47 PM
I stayed at CR four years ago and enjoyed it very much. We got up early (those were the EE days!) and walking from our garden wing room to the tower, had a beautiful view of the early morning sun. Our room was the top (third) floor, North wing, which gave us a view of the fireworks that was really magical.
We did a bit of wandering around, not a lot. Of course, having Chef Mickey's right nearby was a plus for us. The pool was good for us, slide tame enough for me to try (!). When we went to the pool midday they had contests, etc at the pool. I was amazed to find my son in a hula-hoop contest when I looked over!
I guess CR doesn't have the "theming" you find in a lot of the other resorts. But from the first time I saw it as a child, amazed that the monorail went right through the lobby, I've wanted to stay there. I was lucky enough to be able to take my son there on his first visit, and that really made it Disney for me.
06-13-2002, 02:49 PM
The grounds are actually quite nice in my experience. The pool was really neat - plenty of room to move around, as DH and I are without child and do not wish to splash about in close proximity to any. Yeah, I know, when in Rome....
But anyway, we enjoyed the pool area, plus there's the whole marina area where you can enjoy the watercraft and sitting out by the Seven Seas Lagoon. There is a playground for the little man-cubs, and an outdoor snack bar/drinks bar in the pool area as well.
The shopping there is neat.... large shops with plenty of room to move around. The restaurants are neat - character meals and a nice, upscale restaurant. The tennis court is very close, you can parasail or ski, and the views are wonderful. There is a coffee bar in the lobby, which is nice for a quick pick-me-up.
I hope I've answered some of your questions!
06-13-2002, 02:55 PM
Plus you will be a short monorail ride away from visiting and enjoying the Polynesian and Grand Floridian. No parking involved, no driving, just the fabulous monorail!
06-13-2002, 03:03 PM
I find the CR very sterile, and the lobby area extremely harried. It's not a resort I would choose to spend a lot of time at unless I was in the tower. It's just too transient there. Reminds me of Penn Station.
I too enjoy spending time at my resort, and prefer the AKL for spending time wandering the resort :)
06-13-2002, 03:04 PM
I think when it was first built the CR was cutting edge with its atrium and the monorail. We have become so used to hotels with multi-story atriums that it does not have the same impact any more.
You can see the MK fireworks from the viewing platform.
With the monorail you have easy access to MK and the TTC for access to Epcot.
The rooms are larger than at most of the other resorts. With the daybed it will sleep 5.
There are boats to FW and WL. The electric water parade performs at all MK resorts.
I prefer the other hotels near MK to the CR.
06-13-2002, 06:10 PM
The CR presents one of the most interestingly and innovatively themed environments among all the resorts. Because the rest of the world insists on mindlessly producing variations on this mid-20th c. conception of futuristic architecture,we now find the CR banal. If you go, you've got to go with a campy, kitschy, groovy, lava lamp/ Jetsons frame of mind.
With that said-if a lovely resort is a top priority, maybe AKL or WL? You get the feeling of being transported from the frenzy of the parks without losing any of the magic. And such nice restaurants too.
06-13-2002, 07:12 PM
Originally posted by lilboo
If you go, you've got to go with a campy, kitschy, groovy, lava lamp/ Jetsons frame of mind.
We planned to go to CR for the convience, but now, I'll look at it this way and I get the theme too!!:p :p
06-14-2002, 01:26 AM
We had a breathtaking view of MK when we stayed at CR in 2000. DD, DS, and I loved to sit on the balconey at night and watch the fireworks and light parade on the lagoon! (DH was not too thrilled with the height.) However; I think we were spoiled by the theme pool at CSR. CR has kept the rooms and grounds looking fresh and beautiful, but I think the pool area has been neglected. Plus I was surprised to see the ducks were allowed to swim freely in the pool....while we were there anyway. DH and I did not feel that this was sanitary at all, but none of the workers even batted an eye at the ducks swimming right along with the CR guests! :rolleyes:
Yuck! Allshookup, when were you there - what month?
06-14-2002, 09:45 AM
Hello A1A1- I read your post very carefully and every single thing that you are looking for from your resort is there in spades at Y & B Club. You could easily have a great 5 day vacation while never leaving resort grounds. From the pool to the lobby to the fabulous location and terrific staff you would be guaranteed a great time. I would be happy to give you more details anytime.
06-14-2002, 09:52 AM
Allshookup and A1A1: We saw ducks swimming in the WL pools too. So its not just CR
Hi yachtsman! Thanks! I thought about the Y&B and the great reviews I read about it. The problem is that I am very close to having to cancel the trip altogether. I sat last night and tried to figure out how much money I would be spending daily from tips to meals to park passes to gasoline for the drive down. Some financial things have changed recently which are making the vacation more difficult to carry off. The trip is three weeks long and starts by flying to Virginia. I have already purchased the plane tickets. So, I think right now, I am trying to find the best cheap accommodations. Our military designation makes SOG an option. Actually the resort is not the biggest cost factor, it's the park passes that get me. I figured $1,000 for food for a three week trip for two - one adult, one child. And of course, we will use points for our stays at HHI and BWV.
I sure hope we can go at this point. We are all but packed!!!!!
06-14-2002, 10:13 AM
Hello again A1A1-Sorry to hear that your vacation has become problematic. I understand very well the various factors that can play havoc with your plans. I spend the last couple of months before vacation every year with my fingers crossed. So I'll keep them crossed for you as well. Good luck.
06-14-2002, 10:16 AM
It sounds as if you won't be staying at CR after all, but just to answer your question....we were there at the end of August. We always try to travel the last week in August. Kiddies are still not back in school and the rates tend to drop that last week. I am not surprised that ducks are swimming at other resorts, but we've only seen them and their waste in the CR pool. We are staying at the DD Marriot this August and I just hope that pool is clean!
Thankyou Yachtman! Very sweet of you. I'm on the verge of tears, because I look forward to this opportunity to spend time with DD without the stress of our lives getting in the way. I need this trip. I hope very much that it works out. I don't know how else to change the budget. Can we eat cheaper than $1,000 for three weeks? What do you think is the maximum number of days I can keep a 5yo from the parks? Maybe I can cut down on park days. I was going to get AP again, but I think that is all but shot to h**l.
06-14-2002, 10:52 AM
DD has a fun Lego playground that is free and Wolfgang Puck Express is a great place to sit outside and grab a pizza. How about miniature golf one day? I also noticed you are driving from VA? Bradenton Beach is appx. 2 hours from WDW and is totally free including parking. (This always amazes me coming from N.E. where a day at the beach costs $20 just to park.) Pack some sandwiches and have a picnic! Just some ideas. I wish you and DD the best, whatever you decide! ;)
06-14-2002, 11:04 AM
Allshookup, A1A1, and MinnieGi - Y&BC had ducks in the pools just last weekend, but only in the mornings and late evenings. I was worried about their "leavings", but I did see the staff vacuuming the sand (their pools have a sandy bottom) twice a day, so I guess they keep on top of it.
But still - EEEWW!
06-14-2002, 11:16 AM
Just to chime in with a couple of things that haven't been mentioned re CR:
Boat ride to Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness
Electrical Water Pageant nightly
The Shades of Green rate is hard to beat.
Ideas for stretching your park passes:
A day at the CR playground and pool, with boat ride to Fort Wilderness petting zoo and a ride in the front of the monorail.
Downtown Disney including the playground near Rainforest Cafe and the Lego store and the new toystore which will have lots of things to play with.
Boardwalk area including strolling on the boardwalk in the evening with street entertainment, boat ride from BW to MGM, Swan/Dolphin, YC/BC and Epcot and maybe miniature golf at Fantasia Gardens.
Animal Kingdom Lodge for Savannah Viewing, resort tour and storytelling.
06-14-2002, 11:23 AM
I agree eeeeeeew! It seemed like a silly thing to mention, but you could actually see their droppings on the bottom and it was rather disgusting. I have to agree that CR had somebody vaccuming the pool every morning we were there, but even while they vacuumed, the ducks still hung around. Unfortunately, I don't know if there is anything staff can do about the wildlife swimming in the pools, but I will be keeping my eyes open for droppings!
06-14-2002, 11:30 AM
I agree with Dancing Bear.... the boat ride to Wilderness Lodge was fun but my favorite thing about the CR when I stayed was getting to see the electrical water pageant parade from my window!!
A1A1- Good luck on your planning,cut your trip short if you have too- 3 days in Disney is better than 0 right!!! As said by other posters there is alot to do other than the Theme Parks, go to the Library and get a book on Florida it will tell you about tons of things to do right in the Orlando Area! Good Luck again:)
06-14-2002, 12:11 PM
I think after reading all of these posts, the original point was right on the money. The majority of people who talk about the CR do seem to always refer to the conveniences of the monorail, walking to magic kingdom, good views of the magic kingdom and the fireworks, but you dont see too many people ever speak about the atmosphere of the hotel itself. I dont stay at the hotels all day myself but I do want a good atmosphere for when im there and for me that outweighs the conveniences that CR gives you. Ill take the astonishing beauty of wilderness lodge over the conveniences of CR any day. Ive visited CR and have been tempted to stay there in the past, but no matter how much I tried to find something to convince me to stay there, I never can. It just seems too bland. It seems like an outdated resort that still charges very modern and expensive prices. Just my opinion.
I am so moved that so many people on this board are so caring. Thank you all so much. You have given me some great ideas. I want to print this thread, so I can make a list of things to do that are free or lower cost than the parks. I also don't like to stand really close to sweating people while I'm sweating in ride lines. So it might be time to find some fun free things to do.
While we many need to find a lot of free things to do at the resort, and some have mentioned the difference in ambiance between CR and some other resorts, I may not have an option. If I want to carry out this vacation, CR seems the best bet. I will call on the rates for WL, which I am sure dd and I would love. We could probably spend several days in the pool there.
Again, thanks! I was very distraught, but am now feeling a little better.
Just called to check the rate for WL, and it is $65 per night more than the rate for Contemporary Wing room for military. Since I am pinching pennies in the biggest way, this is not possible right now. I will look forward to another opportunity to stay at WL. This will be my first experience at CR, so I'll look for the good in it, and hopefully have some fun. The representative on the phone said she had a great time there, that the rooms were big, and there was a nice playground right outside where our room is located that will be good for dd.
06-14-2002, 04:25 PM
Some more park alternatives:
Wilderness Lodge--they used to offer two tours, one of which was the smokehouse tour that included some foodtasting. Also I think you can get a brochure and go on a hidden mickey hunt.
While at Downtown Disney, take the boat to Old Key West resort and back.
Torch lighting ceremony at Poly.
Piano player at PO-Riverside, and boat from PO-Riverside to Downtown Disney.
I seem to recall something about CMs singing at AKL.
Visit AllStar Movies just to see the giant disney figures.
06-14-2002, 04:31 PM
Click on "Resorts" and then "Contemporary" for some great pictures.
The "October 2001" collection has a lot of North Garden Wing exteriors, and the playground. "May 2001" has a great overhead shot of the whole North Wing from the tower. "In-Room 2001-2" is interior shots of a North Wing room.
06-14-2002, 04:36 PM
A1A1-I am married to the lovely Cindala who I am sure will be able to offer some economic Disney advice. Not only is she beautiful but she is a genius at stretching our dollars. She will post soon.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Yachtman and Dancing Bear, and the soon to post beautiful and thrifty wife of Yachtman!
Dancing Bear- with your list above, I have much less guilt about fewer days of park passes! I think I will stop calling this "the ultimate, penny-pinching, budget, hope-we-can-live-through-it, pb&j on stale bread" vacation, but will now call it the "WDW free or almost free exploration adventure"!!! That sounds like a lot more fun. We will have a blast, seeking out all things free. I'll have to let everyone know what else we found to add to your list.
06-14-2002, 09:23 PM
First of all, I really think you will like the CR! We stayed there twice in the garden wings, and loved the large airy rooms. They have redone the pool since our stay with a slide, and fountains, which I'm sure your DD will love. I am assuming you received the SOG overflow rate, and probably cannot beat the price you are getting at any other value or moderate resort. However, have you checked any of the codes over at www.mousesavers.com ? It's always worth a look see.
Also, you mentioned that your trip is for three weeks, but how long will you be on Disney property? Most of the time, the adults are more concerned with the kids being in the parks, when the kids would rather be at the pool!:) I definitely wouldn't worry about not going to the parks every day! Don't purchase a LOS pass, get a hopper with some options so that you can go to the water parks on the days you don't go to MK,AK,MGM, or Epcot. Alternate a day at a park, a day at the pool or water park.
DancingBear put together a great list of things to do that don't cost anything. Personally, we love to go visit the other resorts! We check out the pools, gift shops, and the scenery. There are also many places to grab a bite that are inexpensive. At the Poly, there is Captain Hooks, and at the GF, there is Gasparilla Grill.
Even though WL is out of your reach for this trip, go visit the resort! It is beautiful! And Roaring Forks is a great place to grab a meal; chicken fingers, burgers, fries, etc. The YC/BC is also a great resort to visit. Beaches and Cream is another great burger place, with delicious ice cream too!:D Keep in mind, that kids often aren't as hungry, and can often eat off of your plate, but most all Disney restaurants offer reasonable children's menus.
If you have any other questions, I'd be happy to try and help!
:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
06-14-2002, 11:16 PM
A band plays in the lobby of the GF in the evening
There is free entertainment at the Board Walk on the board walk in the evening. For about $5.00, you can get a foot long fat hot dog here. You can also see the aerial firework portion of Illumination on the bridge going from EPCOT to the Boardwalk.
View the animals at Animal Kingdom Lodge. There is a good food court there called Mara.
There is a Bob Evans outside of Main gate. Decent quality and good prices. We go there to get away from Disney eating.
For ten dollars you can get a Disney mug good for unlimited refills (soda, coffee and tea) at the CR for length of stay.
Bring a small cooler and get some lunch meat for sandwiches in the room one day.
A little budgeting here and there and a couple of good meals out, you will be surprised what you can do. And I bet you will remember it for a long time. ( in a good way)
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