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View Full Version : For people who have stayed at BOTH WL and CR


branv
01-25-2010, 01:30 PM
I need some opinions, pros vs. cons, from people who have actually stayed at both the WL and CR (no offense intended to those who've only stayed at one, I'm sure I'll be asking you questions later ;)).

It's just DH & I, no kids. On our last trip we stayed at WL. It was lovely. Thought the rooms were a bit ugh decor wise, but was very comfy and the resort was incredibly peaceful. Not normally pool people, but we loved going for a dip in that gorgeous pool in the evenings. Enjoyed opening the balcony door and hearing the birds, seeing the water, etc. Only ate counter food, which was fair quality, but didn't like that the only casual TS was intentionally chaotic i.e. a bit of a show, so we never went.

I've always dreamed about staying at CR. The rooms are really more my style, are much bigger, and like being so close to MK. I worry that it's more stark in terms of the pool, the grounds (no lovely trees making whispery sounds), less peaceful. I like the option of restaurants, and the ease of using the monorail to travel to the Poly & GF restaurants (or to just tour).

Now talking apples to apples, we are not staying in top-end rooms -- both rooms would be standard (garden). So it wouldn't be fair for me to compare an MK tower room to, say, a standard-view WL room. (Well, not even sure I'd want a tower room as I am such a very light sleeper, especially bothered by music I'd be concerned about coming from the concourse/Mickeys, and also b/c there's a chance grad nite could be going on while we're there). And when at WL we stayed at the last courtyard room possible, so for a contained building, it was still a looong walk..but we survived ;), so not too worried about being far out at the CR garden wing. We're only there 4-nights, and we'll have a car, so not entirely sure how useful it will be to be on a monorail. Plus, as stated, with easter falling so late next year, I suspect grad nite will be going on while we're there and that takes out 2 of our 4 nights for MK.

But enough about me :rotfl: You've stayed at both, what did you think? Which did you prefer, would you stay again, etc.

Thanks so much!

havaneselover
01-25-2010, 01:42 PM
We much preferred the CR. Our complaints about the WL were 1) food options were limited--we didn't love the quick service restaurant because it have very limited choices, 2) we found the CMs to be indifferent at best and 3) we didn't love the location/felt isolated. We stayed at the CR and I had very low expectations but loved the location, the Contempo Cafe and had great interaction with the CMs. Also, the rooms are spacious and updated. I can't compare pools because we did use the pool at the WL and enjoyed it but it was too cold to try out the pool at the CR.

oasispaul
01-25-2010, 02:26 PM
These are the 2 resorts we stayed at on our last 2 trips! We LOVED both, but for very different reasons.

CR Pros

LOCATION - we thought the 8-10 minute walk to the Magic Kingdom was awesome. And having the monorail right there is hard to beat - especially for restaurant choices (you're only a monorail ride away from everything the Poly/GF has to offer).

POOL/BEACH/BAY LAKE - we were pleasantly surprised by the CR's pool/beach area and the beautiful view of Bay Lake (we had a Bay Lake tower room). I always thought of the CR pool as a kind of "sterile" theme, but with the beach and Bay Lake, it's actually really beautiful and relaxing out by the pool.

ROOMS - the renovated rooms really are beautiful and (in my opinion) the nicest at WDW. Sure, the theming isn't as "fun" as some other resorts, but if you're looking for a nice, contemporary, stylish, relaxing hotel room, it fits the bill.

WL Pros

THEMING - The WL lobby & grounds are amazing. In my opinion, the WL is the best themed resort in WDW. The lobby/grounds music, the geyser, the hidden speakers playing sounds of crickets chirping - you are fully immersed in the hotel theme & experience.

BAY LAKE/POOL/BOAT TO MK - Again, the backdrop of Bay Lake makes for a beautiful/relaxing setting. The pool is beautiful and flows with the theme of the resort. And we love the boat ride to the MK.

PRICE - when compared to other "Deluxe" WDW resorts, the WL's prices are tough to beat.

The one major negative of the WL is the restaurant/food options. Outside of Artist Point (which is pricey), they don't have anything to write home about. I, too, was unimpressed with Whispering Canyon Cafe (although the little ones definitely seemed to enjoy the "rambunctiousness" of it).


Bottom line - they both have a lot to offer, and they are 2 of our favorite resorts at WDW. Having most recently stayed at the CR (April '09), I can honestly say we were pleasantly surprised by how much we liked it (we had only previously stayed at the WL & the Poly, and we were worried the CR's lack of "fun" theming could be a letdown - but we found that the monorail, the grand concourse, etc. definitely gave the resort the feeling of a "theme"). In my opinion, you can't go wrong with either resort! Good luck!

frtchr
01-25-2010, 03:04 PM
I think oasispaul said it all! We have stayed at both, and I like both for different reasons. We always do a December trip to the WL because it's so gorgeous in the winter. I also like taking the boat to the MK or the CR. We have little kids, so it's vital to us to be near the MK.

When my husband suggested the CR, I wasn't too happy. It never seemed "themey" enough for me. After staying there, I was a changed woman! Again, we have little ones, so walking to the MK was amazing to me. It really spoiled me! The rooms were really comfortable, large, and luxurious.. I'm a SAHM, so when I go on vacation, I want to feel like I'm REALLY on vacation, you know? :)

WL is less expensive, but I personally feel like the CR is worth every dime. That's just my opinion, though. :) We're staying in a villa at BLT in May, and I'm excited to walk to the MK from there as well.

tami82
01-25-2010, 03:54 PM
I havent been to Wl but will be in August.
We stayed in CR garden wing (paid for standard room and asked for patio, we got to room and got a Bay lake View and only steps to the pool, it was gorgeous, rooms was great nice size for 5 people. The walk was very very easy (not as long as some people said it was) and i was surprised once i got there as what i thought it would be from the posts to actually seeing it with my own eyes was two totally different things. We werent confined to a big building and had a view of the electric water parade & lake. Patio was great for the kids to sit outside to get some air. Also great for the kids to be so close to the pool. You may want to bring a little portable fan to block out noise (i always do no matter where i go).
My DH wants to go back to CR and although i would not hesitate to ever go back i feel i want to try something different this time since it will be 4 of us not 5 going this time. Sometimes its nice to try different places so its not the same old same old. I would go back to CR though some time in the future. I think you should try it.

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
01-25-2010, 03:58 PM
I have stayed at both resorts and while they are both great in their own ways, I like the Contemporary more for several reasons. The walkway to the Magic Kingdom, Monorail access, bigger guest rooms and better stores to shop at.

Laura.bora
01-25-2010, 05:00 PM
We stayed at Wilderness Lodge last time and LOVED it, but since then, our family has grown in size and won't fit in WL unless we get 2 rooms. We were thinking the CR is the cheapest deluxe we could fit in, and the location was even better than WL. But I loved WL SOOOOOO much, the thought of staying at CR just didn't thrill me. It's starting to thrill me now!

mdrob214
01-25-2010, 07:19 PM
We've stayed at both resorts. WL was back in 05 and CR was July 09. We preferred CR over WL. I enjoyed WL rooms (we have a DS and DD and the bunkbeds were nice for us) We had a courtyard view (an upgrade over the woods view we paid for) and it was beautiful. CR's pool doesn't have the same feel, but it's still a beautiful area.

We stayed in the CR GW (garden View--I personally couldn't stand a standard=parking lot view). While I want to stay in the tower someday, I loved the Garden Wing! it was very quiet, and near the pool. Our view was of the garden area and bay lake/the water canal between Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon.

The bathrooms are much better at the CR, IMO. I like the sliding doors. There was no balcony in the CR GW(we were on 2nd floor). I initially thought that would be a bummer for me, but it was honestly not a problem for us. We were very close to the pool in the GW.

You (may) have to walk further to the CS restaurant in the tower than you would in the WL, but it's a covered walk and ~5 min.

Both have beach areas.

The lobby area of the WL is much nicer than the lobby of CR, but the concourse area of CR was nice, too. you can't beat watching the monorail while you're lunching, etc.

That walk to MK is ~10-15 min and it's amazing! You will have a car, but it's just so much more convenient to not drive, IMO. DH doesn't like driving on vacation. THe only place I'd drive is DTD, but that's the same loooong ride from WL. AK and HS buses were fine. The Epcot monorail is very convenient, too. Just hop over to TTC, switch to Epcot monorail and that's it.

We didn't eat at The Wave or Cali Grill. We did like the restaurants at WL, especially Artist Point. The biggest benefit to being on the monorail is that you have so many more restaurants within an easy ride. You can always take the boat to WL and FW, too!

So, if I was staying at Christmas time, I'd choose the WL hands down, but any other time I'd take CR. We really loved the style and location.

pooh2001
01-25-2010, 08:00 PM
We love the CR location, the food options, the monorail, but the roms for us are a bit to modern. If in the Garden Wing, your view is not a good as in the tower and you have to walk outside to get your AM coffee, do your 'shopping' and get on the monorail.

We love the WL, the pool is just OK, but the boat ride with your coffee in hand early in the morning is a wonderful way to start your day.
We also liked the 'woodsy' feeling of the rooms, so relaxing after a long day in the parks. We had a wonderful view of the lake and the pool area.
We live in NY and still like the pine trees in FL. :rotfl:

fla4fun
01-26-2010, 04:51 AM
I have stayed in both, and enjoyed both. The rooms at CR are larger than the rooms at WL for sure, and that space makes a difference. However, I prefer the bathroom layout at WL, with the sink outside the bathroom, if there is more than one person trying to get ready. The main difference as far as the room goes will be that at WL you will have a balcony and at CR in the garden wing, you won't. You can request a ground floor room (they have small patios) but there aren't any guarantees you'll get one. So if a balcony is important, WL is your choice.

But really, I would go with the one who's theme appeals to you the most. You can't really make a bad choice with either one, and they are so close together that you can visit back and forth as much as you like (just no pool hopping, you know:thumbsup2).

cvjw
01-26-2010, 06:38 AM
We've stayed at both, and I really loved both of them. Each has a great pool, and a convenient location. I would have a hard time picking between the 2 resorts. I don't think you could go wrong with either.

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
01-26-2010, 03:47 PM
I have stayed in both, and enjoyed both. The rooms at CR are larger than the rooms at WL for sure, and that space makes a difference. However, I prefer the bathroom layout at WL, with the sink outside the bathroom, if there is more than one person trying to get ready. The main difference as far as the room goes will be that at WL you will have a balcony and at CR in the garden wing, you won't. You can request a ground floor room (they have small patios) but there aren't any guarantees you'll get one. So if a balcony is important, WL is your choice.

But really, I would go with the one who's theme appeals to you the most. You can't really make a bad choice with either one, and they are so close together that you can visit back and forth as much as you like (just no pool hopping, you know:thumbsup2).I haven't stayed at the Wilderness Lodge since it's renovation, but do they also have the same set up's in their bathrooms, where the totilet is in a different area and you have the sliding door for privacy the way the Contemporary bathrooms are set up?

branv
01-26-2010, 04:30 PM
So many good points about both resorts, I may just have to write their names on a wall and then throw a dart blindfolded :rotfl: Seriously though, it's good to hear that CR's grounds aren't as sterile as they come across from some of the pictures. You've all given me a lot to think about, so thank you, thank you!

I haven't stayed at the Wilderness Lodge since it's renovation, but do they also have the same set up's in their bathrooms, where the totilet is in a different area and you have the sliding door for privacy the way the Contemporary bathrooms are set up?

Sinks are open to the hallway, shower and toilet are enclosed together behind a door. This is another thing I think I prefer about the CR...not really a fan of the sinks being out there in the open. And I have a funny story about the little sink cubby. We have a night light we bring along to resorts and plug into the bathroom outlet. It gave just enough light at night that DH sleepily walked right into the closed door of the bathroom b/c the mirror on the door made him think the sink area kept going. :rolleyes1 What can I say, it was the first night or our first stay.

Kimberle
01-26-2010, 05:56 PM
I have stayed in both. Our WL had a view of the quiet/villa pool. We stayed in a CR wing room and the Tower.

They are both wonderful resorts with very different themes. If you haven't tried CR yet, I'd stay there. If you don't want to pay for the tower, the wings are fine.

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
01-26-2010, 08:40 PM
Sinks are open to the hallway, shower and toilet are enclosed together behind a door.Thanks for that information.

jpeka65844
01-26-2010, 08:50 PM
I would have to agree with most of the other pros/cons already written. Everyone's just about covered it. I prefer the theming of WL to CR (UNLESS I can have that MK view room) but DH LOVES CR.

Is a split stay possible? When DH and I can't decide on a hotel, we stay at both! In June 08 we did a CR/VWL stay. Both were very nice and relaxing!

JerseyJanice
01-27-2010, 01:36 PM
Oasispaul’s reply is very complete. I’ve stayed in both resorts, 3 nights at CR in 2000 and 8 nights in WL in 2002. I preferred CR for a number of reasons, but you need to bear in mind that you are likely to pay a lot less for WL. Some observations of mine about both resorts:

WL -- Overall, the CMs weren’t nearly as nice or friendly as the CMs at CR. The ones we dealt with at the front desk had an attitude like “you’re lucky we’re letting you stay here.” WL’s pool is prettier, but IMO it’s poorly laid out for families with smaller children since there is no seating near the shallow side where small kids would swim. The rough concrete bottom of the pool ruined my new bathing suit. The Quick Serve food was good, but the selection was limited. Didn’t care for any of the bars at WL. The one inside the building was stuffy, and we really disliked the pool bar. It had a “special drink” every day that consisted of a big plastic cup of different juice with a tiny shot of liquor in it. Our room was Woodsview as that was the only room we could get at the discount they were offering, and we wound up over a dumpster. Funny thing is that it was the only time we ever paid for a “better” view in a Disney resort, and we got the worst view. I’m saving the “best” for last—the transportation was horrible! You’ll have a car so this may be less of an issue. We stayed there post-9/11, and with attendance down, boats to the MK were shared with Fort Wilderness as a cost saving measure. It was like taking a slow boat to China to get to the MK. The buses were few between, and it seemed to take forever to get anywhere. Can you tell how much I liked the WL? It’s one WDW resort I don’t want to stay at again.

CR – The rooms here are spacious with palatial bathrooms. They’re bright and festive unlike the dark, dreary decor in the WL. We had standard view and wanted the second floor, so got no balcony or patio. I loved the view, though. Yes, it was over a parking lot, but the monorail was in full view and I just loved watching it pull in and out of the tower. The food court that was there during our stay (Food and Fun Center) is long gone, but we liked it very much. The Outer Rim Lounge was nice, and we enjoyed the pool bar too—they made a great pina colada. Most of the CMs we encountered were nice and friendly. The exception to that was the lifeguard staff. They were so over-the-top vigilant that we wondered if someone drowned there the week before. The monorail was very convenient; only busing we used was for Downtown Disney and it was a long ride, shared by the other MK resorts. Again, you have a car so that shouldn’t be an issue.

tami82
01-27-2010, 06:16 PM
I also really liked the bathroom at CR. There was plenty of space especially with the shelf under the sink. I too was thinking the parking lot view wasnt that bad. We did get upgraded from the standard room to the lake view as i had asked for a patio so it was a nice surprise. I would have my cigarette breaks in the designated section near the parking lot and found it quite nice to have a view of the monorail going through the hotel so all in all i dont think it would be bad at all.