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View Full Version : Decisions Decisions Decisions!


ChicagoMom
04-23-2012, 09:07 PM
We're planning our first trip to WDW and will be taking our 2 year old DD. Frankly it's overwhelming, there are SO many choices.

I'm leaning towards POFQ because it's not that much more expensive than Pop Century but then I just read online a blog recommending against the moderate resorts for a first time visitor. The moderates appeal to me because they have hot tubs. Plus POFQ looks so pretty.

What do you think? My thought was because we have a toddler that we will spend time in our room and the resort because spending all of the time at the parks would be overwhelming to DD.

Any other moderate resorts that we should consider instead of POFQ that would be good for a toddler? POFQ appeals to me because of the ferry rides to DTD but is that really that much of a benefit?

Also (and I'm sure this is asked here everyday by newbies like me!) is the meal plan "worth it?" Since we have a toddler, we aren't planning on going to any nice sit down restaurants at night. The quick service meal plan sounds like more food than we would get, e.g. dessert at every meal. What's the consensus about how "worth it" the meal plan is if you don't go to the sitdown restaurants and eat desserts or drink soft drinks?

TIA!

msheriffm
04-23-2012, 09:28 PM
20 years ago my husband and I stayed at the Port Orleans - Riverside, it was brand new. We have not been back to WCDW since, but are going this summer and staying at the Beach Club. I don't agree with not staying a one of the resorts to start out. I have read that at some of the value hotels groups stay and it can be noisy. I don't know if that would be an issue for your toddler. My opinion is to stay at the nicest place you can for your budget. I have read many positive threads about POFQ. I would have stayed there but wanted to try a new resort. This is our family's one big trip to WDW so I want to make it as special as possible. I have teen girls and I think they are going to love the pool area at BC. We are Disneyland people since we live in Northern Calif. I hope you can get through the decisions and can enjoy your trip.

mickeye
04-23-2012, 09:39 PM
You may enjoy the CBR with a toddler as they have a wonderful mini waterpark area for the little ones and two hot tubs for Mom and Dad! The main pool is zero entry, also nice for little ones. Also, there are beautiful white sand beaches where your little girl can dig in the sand while you two enjoy the hammocks (but you would definitely have to watch her on the beach due to the lake). There are also playgrounds and the food courts kid's meals come in plastic buckets with shovels so the kids can play on the beach with them! I agree with the PP that you should stay at whichever resort you are able to comfortably afford and then have a great time.

minnie mum
04-23-2012, 09:41 PM
I have to agree with the PP about selecting a resort. I have no idea why anyone would advise anyone else NOT to stay at a particular level of resort. You should pick the one that fits your budget and appeals to you on an esthetic level.

Lots of people go to the value resorts every time and enjoy them. I personally don't like them, and prefer to stay at the mods. We've stayed at them all at one time or another. It's where we feel most comfortable, especially when we are spending less time in the parks. We've also stayed at a couple of deluxe resorts, but only on 'special' occasions, since we find them a bit of a strain on the budget.

To me the mods are all great for little ones- they all have play areas and splash pools. Both POFQ and POR share the boat to DTD and it is a lovely trip. I also find the mods quieter than the values- a plus when you're trying to get a little one to sleep. As to which resort to pick- take a look at each of the resort threads for descriptions and photos. Pick the one that appeals to you the most. You really can't go wrong.

As for the DDP: it really doesnt sound like it is a good fit for you. If you aren't planning many (or any) TS restaurants, then the regular DDP would be a waste of money. And if even the amount of food on the QSDP sounds like it's too much food, then you'd be better off just paying out of pocket for your meals. This also gives you the freedom to have food in your resort room for breakfasts and snacks.

ChicagoMom
04-23-2012, 10:24 PM
Thanks everyone. Now I'm leaning towards CBR after seeing a picture of the kids pool. I think DD would like that better than POFQ. Is there a splash pool at POFQ like at CBR? I don't see it in the pictures.

mmeb144
04-23-2012, 10:42 PM
Thanks everyone. Now I'm leaning towards CBR after seeing a picture of the kids pool. I think DD would like that better than POFQ. Is there a splash pool at POFQ like at CBR? I don't see it in the pictures.

POFQ has a nice round shallow kids pool with an alligator blowing water out of a sax. My DD17 likes it because she played the sax in band. That's all I've seen for kids at POFQ. You also have access to the POR pool because they are sister resorts. I didn't pay attention to the kiddie area over there. POR has the best waterslide of the 2 resorts. POFQ's slide is slow, definitely a beginner water slide.

danceintherain
04-23-2012, 11:43 PM
Did they give a reason for that recommendation?
Personally, I don't think it's fair to make generalizations about what people may or may not like. My husband was really worried about our honeymoon, because he ran into a few people who didn't like Disney at all. He ended up loving it!

Each level of resort does have it's drawbacks. The moderates for instance tend to be very spread out (POFQ does not have this problem) which can be daunting after a day in the parks. If you think you'll enjoy the theming somewhere then go for it.
We chose a moderate with our three month old son, because I knew that we would be spending some time at our resort, and I wanted a relaxing atmosphere. Deluxe was out of our budget for that trip, so CBR was a nice compromise, and we loved it.

I don't recommend the dining plan with a toddler, especially since you've never been before. It's difficult to juggle a full itinerary of meals under the best of circumstances and with a child that can go from hot to cold in a matter of seconds you have to be flexible. When we took our son, I planned all our meals ahead of time, but went without the dining plan and we did end up making last minute changes. I understand that that's more difficult than it used to be because they've started charging for cancellation, but you'll learn quickly what to expect from your child.
Don't discount table service meals altogether, but you'll likely enjoy yourself just fine with a few intermingled throughout your trip.

As far as it being worth it. I've found that it tends to only be a real deal if you use most of your entitlements. If you know that you won't, then the appeal of it being "included" won't expand your stomach. In many cases, you'll spend less money by figuring out what you plan to eat and budgeting a certain amount of money. My husband for instance loves the dining plan because of the snacks. If we set aside a snack budget, then he can still get his root beer floats as we're wandering through the parks, but he doesn't have to be compelled to get dessert with every meal.

maryj11
04-24-2012, 12:14 AM
Go with a moderate, I think the values are more noisy and crowded which makes since because everyone needs to watch their budget so more people go to the values, especially if they have kids. Moderates are more peaceful, all the times I have been there anyway:confused3. If you choose CBR I would get a preferred room or ask for a building close to the bridge that crosses the lake. Because CBR is a large resort .
I have heard a lot of good things about POFQ and I know alot of people like it. POFQ is the smallest moderate which means less walking and that is a plus.
I have choosen to go to CBR our next visit because it looks so beautiful and the I know my DGD will love the pool. We will be booking a preferred room which are the buildings close to the food court and pool.

Kim1964
04-24-2012, 06:49 AM
We stayed at a moderate (Dixie Landings, now POR) the first time we went as a family when DD#1 was 4. I have no idea why anyone would advise against a moderate for a first visit. We had a great time. The boat to DTD is a lot of fun.

As far as the meal plan goes, we have found that for our family it is more food than we would buy on our own. We also always have a car with us and prefer to go offsite for some of our meals.

Gitts2008
04-24-2012, 07:06 AM
ChicagoMom: Check out the CBR thread. We stayed have stayed at CBR three times so far and LOVED IT each time. The pirate play area would be perfect for your dd. The playground island is also a must do for your dd. Also, each village has a quiet pool if the you are looking for a nice relaxing swim. I have never stayed at any of the other resorts, so I can not tell you about their amenities.

BUT...picture waking up with dd and taking walk to the main area (Port Royal) as ducks play on the shore of the lake, frogs hop on the grass, and the sun is coming up on the horizon...Be-a-u-ti-ful :) Some people feel that CBR is too big. Yeah, it's big, but not SO BIG that you can not get from point A to point B by walking. Good Luck! Have a great trip and check out the CBR thread.

tink_n_pooh
04-24-2012, 07:58 AM
What were their reasons for not recommending the moderates? What did they recommend?

I am a big fan of POR. We are DVC members but when we can't stay DVC for any reason POR is my first choice of resorts (although we have stayed at POP a few times because it's cheap and it's just been for one night on either end of our trip, not a fan of POP but $$ brings us back from time to time)

We stayed at CBR for our first on site trip when DH and I were just dating about 9 years ago. I liked the resort but it seemed HUGE and I felt like I was walking for days to get anywhere. Of course to be fair all WDW resorts are large, I bet if we stayed there again it wouldn't seem nearly as large ;)

jenniferma
04-24-2012, 08:11 AM
I would definitely do a moderate over a value resort and I would choose POFQ over CBR.

Hands down-- here are my reasons why:

POR has a sit down restaurant, POFQ better food court than CBR. (also a better gift shop, if that matters!)
I liked the fact that the check in and food were all in the same building, at CBR they are not and it's not very convenient, IMO
POR/POFQ has the boat to DTD and horse carriage rides.
POR/POFQ rooms had a more luxurious feel to them, again IMO.
I also preferred the landscaping and theming of POR/POFQ- but that's just a personal thing I guess.
the least favorite thing was how spread out CBR felt in comparison with POR/POFQ.

As for the dining plan, perhaps the quick service plan would be a great choice. I would also do one character meal OOP-- maybe a breakfast? Our little ones loved Chef Mickey's at that age.

Definitely check out the maps of the resorts before you choose-- CBR is HUGE. I walk every single day for an hour, seven days a week (I have nothing against walking, in fairly decent shape etc) but when you are trying to grab a bite for breakfast before the parks or get to the check out-- it's a hassle. POFQ is so compact, everything is at your fingertips.

good luck!

ps-- I think you can also sub-out desserts on the quick service plan for fresh fruit. Double check that, but we have a very picky eater and they let us buy apples for dessert.

PennyInPink
04-24-2012, 09:04 AM
It takes a bit of time, but if you go to www.allears.net they have the menue and prices of every single eatery in WDW, including kiosks and resorts. Take Mk. Imagine you are there for your meals. Take a look at the prices for things you'd prob eat. multiply that by the number of days you will be there. Now you can see if the dining plan is a great value for you or not.

PoohsFan1
04-24-2012, 09:22 AM
We love POFQ, it is our favorite moderate resort. It is the smallest of the moderates which is one of the reasons why we love it so much. Plus the theme, the ferry, the decor, the pool, and the food court are the other reasons. Since you are going with a 2 year old, POFQ may be a good choice only because the other moderates are so huge and spread out...there are multiple bus stops around the other resorts where at POFQ there is only one. On the flip side, we haven't tried CBR yet so you will not read any negative responses from me (that is one that we definitely would like to try). Have a great trip regardless of where you stay :goodvibes.

As for the DDP, if you don't like desserts or don't want to eat at TS restaurants, then it may not be a good option for your family. My family loves the DDP, in fact we do the DxDP mainly because we love the Signature restaurants and do a ton of character meals. I would definitely save your money that you would spend on the DDP and use it towards something else on your trip.....i.e. more Dole Whips, more souvenirs, more treats at Goofy's Candy Co.,....just to name a few :thumbsup2.

Karabee
04-24-2012, 09:58 AM
I think I know what blog you're talking about, and I never understood why he says that. I think Moderates are perfectly fine for a first timer. POFQ might be nice since it's smaller and quieter than the other moderates. Also, if you see yourselves going to DTD in the evenings you can take the boat, which would be a plus.

Fluff724
04-24-2012, 10:33 AM
POFQ is the first resort we stayed in as a family when my DS was a toddler and it was perfect! :goodvibes

He had such fun toddling around the beautiful grounds and looking at all the fountains. The pool is so cute too and we loved the boat to DTD.

I think POFQ is a great choice for your trip. It is my favorite of the 4 moderates. Have fun!

tarak
04-24-2012, 11:11 AM
It takes a bit of time, but if you go to www.allears.net they have the menue and prices of every single eatery in WDW, including kiosks and resorts. Take Mk. Imagine you are there for your meals. Take a look at the prices for things you'd prob eat. multiply that by the number of days you will be there. Now you can see if the dining plan is a great value for you or not.

This is very good advice. I still do this when considering whether to get the dining plan or not. I'm not sure how many days you plan to be there. With the regular dining plan, you make out better by going to character meals for table service because they're so expensive. At the same time, the character meals tend to be lost on the younger children, at least in my experience. Maybe one during the trip at that age, but do too many and they're no longer special. You also need to consider how well she does sitting at a restaurant for an hour or so. If she's restless and not enjoying it, you won't either.

If you and your spouse aren't big eaters, you might do better with the quick service plan and paying out of pocket for one of the character meals if you think your daughter would like it. If she likes princesses, I'd recommend the meal at Akershus in Epcot. Much better than the castle at MK, in terms of food and availability. We had the lunch meal and it was wonderful (also cheaper if you're paying out of pocket), and a photo is included in the price. I'd consider going for our next trip just for the meatballs. I'd also check out the food available at the different resorts that appeal to you.

I can't speak to POFQ because I've never stayed there. Our family does tend to spend a lot of time at the resort, so theming is pretty important to us. The beauty about Disney is you can google whatever resort you're looking at and the word "photos" and you'll probably find dozens that might help you make a decision.

Good luck and have fun!

BebopBaloo
04-24-2012, 11:56 AM
Absolutey choose the resort that most appeals to you and your budget! We stay All Stars because we have found them to be clean, comfortable, friendly, and our daughter enjoys the theme. We've thought about moving to a moderate, but haven't simply because we don't plan on being at the resort as much as the parks, and we've enjoyed the services that the values do provide.

Everyone has their different needs. I think a moderate is a great choice if you plan on spending a lot of down time at the resort. Our dd was not quite 2 when we took her for the first time. She loooved it. In the parks,she zonked out in her stroller whenever she was tired and we would find a shady spot to sit down and rest while she was sleeping. She really enjoyed breakfast with Winnie the Pooh. The characters were a big deal for her, so we were really glad to have the dining plan (had free dining). However, if she had been afraid of them..the free plan would've still been nice, but not as fantastic of a value.

I agree with the previous poster who recommended looking at the menus and pricing it out. We've gone with and without the plan and have been fine both ways. We really do enjoy the convenience of having it though.

buzznina
04-24-2012, 02:57 PM
I did not see any PP mention this and this is just an FYI in case you did not know, CBR still has full size beds where as POFQ has queens. I think you will enjoy which ever resort you stay at, we have:)

MHSweb79
04-24-2012, 03:28 PM
POFQ is ideal for toddlers, because it's small and easily navigated at the end of the day, when everyone's cranky. There's only one bus stop, and if it's shared with POR, they pick up first at POFQ so you'll likely get a seat, and later, they drop off first at POFQ so you don't have to wait through various stops.

We've stayed there many many times and we even preferred it over the Polynesian. The grounds are beautiful, there's a small playground, and the pool is cool for little kids. They also show movies on the green at night, which is really fun.

ChicagoMom
04-24-2012, 09:23 PM
It's done. Went ahead and booked POFQ. The deciding factor for us was the kiddie pool. It's certainly not as nice as CBR but it looks contained and we won't have to worry about DD wandering into a deeper area. Also the size appeals to us.

Can't wait!

maryj11
04-24-2012, 10:18 PM
Here is what I did and it really helps to decide which resort. Go to you tube, there are lots of videos showing the Disney resorts :thumbsup2

ExpatDisneyLover
04-26-2012, 02:52 PM
It's done. Went ahead and booked POFQ. The deciding factor for us was the kiddie pool. It's certainly not as nice as CBR but it looks contained and we won't have to worry about DD wandering into a deeper area. Also the size appeals to us.

Can't wait!

I think POFQ is a great choice! Enjoy!!:wizard::wizard::wizard: