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View Full Version : Single Mom...did I make the right choice?


ann marie27
08-08-2012, 09:57 PM
Taking my 12 yr old b/g twins as a suprise for their 13th b-day! Booked ASSports with free dining. I chose a value...well for the value. On our previous trips we have never spent much time at the resort. That said we have never experienced the high temps I am sure we will have this time; so I am concerned that the pool and room will have more of an impact. So could I get some opinions...
Push my budget and go to a moderate with a more exciting pool, better room and the upgrade dining?
Stay were I am and travel to the water parks everyday the temps get too high to enjoy the parks?
If I stay with the value is it ridiculous to attempt a major park in the morn then a water park then back to change and eve back to finish the major park?

Allieran3
08-08-2012, 10:21 PM
If its with in your budget Iwould upgrade to a mod I would look into POFQ its a beautiful resort and you can pool hopper to POR. Either way I hope you have a pixiedust: trip :dance3:

*Fantasia*
08-08-2012, 10:38 PM
Just my opinion.. It might be a bit too much to do park/waterpark/park on one day just because of too much commuting. I would probably do park in the morning and then waterpark in the afternoon. But if you guys can do it, I would say go for it.

Is it between a better resort pool or waterparks everyday? Hmmm... tough decision.. Either way I guess you can't go wrong. I'm sorry, I'm no help.

Moderate resort has queen beds (except CBR) and ceiling fans. POFQ and POR has a boat ride to DTD. You can use amenities at both resorts since they are sister resorts.

believinthemagic
08-08-2012, 10:45 PM
I have a DS almost 13, and I think the part of upgrading he would benefit the most from is the TS being included in the upgraded DDP. He really enjoys the variety of TS restaurants, versus all counter service. It's more than just about the food but the overall atmosphere of a lot of the restaurants. Plus we find if its hot and we need a break a TS meal is a great way to cool off & relax.

The pool IMHO wouldn't make a big difference for my almost 13 yr old. At the moderates we've stayed at the slides are small & are more fun for my 5 & 9 yr olds. My older son would enjoy swimming at value or moderate about the same.

Oh, and like the PP mentioned, POFQ is wonderful :)

goofyintoronto
08-08-2012, 10:50 PM
Taking my 12 yr old b/g twins as a suprise for their 13th b-day! Booked ASSports with free dining. I chose a value...well for the value. On our previous trips we have never spent much time at the resort. That said we have never experienced the high temps I am sure we will have this time; so I am concerned that the pool and room will have more of an impact. So could I get some opinions...
Push my budget and go to a moderate with a more exciting pool, better room and the upgrade dining?
Stay were I am and travel to the water parks everyday the temps get too high to enjoy the parks?
If I stay with the value is it ridiculous to attempt a major park in the morn then a water park then back to change and eve back to finish the major park?

Im sorry but park/waterpark/park is totally doable. we do it all the time!

As for the resort, Sports is a lot of fun. Loved it there. If its within your budget then sure why not upgrade. id suggest POR instead of POFQ. your (almost) 13 yo kids would appreciate the longer waterslide and more options at the food court. Not to mention the bike rentals. However, as a single mom trust me i get it re: the budget. Sports is fun and no matter where you stay your kids will have a great time. My DS12 & i dont always stay at a moderate. When its in my budget i will upgrade but my son still loves the look and fun vibe of the values. Thankfully!

Good luck deciding. :)


Posted from DISboards.com App for Android

goofyintoronto
08-08-2012, 10:54 PM
You can stay at the values and still upgrade to the reg DP (1 TS per say). We do it all the time.

Also re: the waterslides at moderat resorts, theyre a lot of fun and actually quite long (POFQ is the only short slide). Just sayin'. :)


Posted from DISboards.com App for Android

bitohoney
08-09-2012, 09:05 AM
You'll be fine at a value. Don't know when you're going or what the fact that you're a single parent has to do with anything :confused:, but I love the values. And I have stayed at the GF & AKL. I love all Disney reosrts. I agree with at PP, POFQ is amazing! :lovestruc But if you're pusing your budget, stay with Sports. (Or Movies :goodvibes I loved Movies and it's newly rennovated).

Missytara
08-09-2012, 09:23 AM
I think you made the perfect choice! Stay at the values; the kids are at an age where it will not matter to them where they stay. Spend the money on the WP&M ticket option and the PH option. Buying them both together has a savings. Gives you a lot more freedom to do whatever you want to do.

In a couple of years, when they are in their teenage years and want a bit more freedom, the mods are perfect for letting them branch out a bit.

Have a wonderful trip!

dancin Disney style
08-09-2012, 09:43 AM
Strictly it terms of budget, I think the best way to go would be to stay at the value resort, add the WP option to your tickets and then upgrade from QSDP to DDP. I would only upgrade the dining if the kids will really enjoy the TS meals. We did QSDP last year for the first time and with a little effort and planning you can very easily have fantastic meals. Only once in a 12 day visit did we eat burgers and fries....and that was because we actually felt like eating burgers. We had pasta, salmon, shrimp, ribs and much more.

I've stayed at both mod and value resorts. The differences are minimal and most of the time I'm not willing to pay the extra just for a slightly nicer decor in the room. Just yesterday I looked at the resort pricing chart and I'm a little shocked that the difference between value and mod is now in the $65/night range. Not worth it IMO. That's a lot of money that is better spent on other things.

chigirl
08-09-2012, 09:54 AM
I think most 13 year old kids would not want to stop having fun to go to a sit-down meal...why pay to upgrade to that dining? In addition to the cost of upgrading, there is the cost of tipping (I tip 20%, some do 15%, but either way, it is an added cost). Plus, you are barely in the room. I'd upgrade to WP&M option, that way the kids get to go to the cool waterparks...then it doesn't matter how the pools are at the resort.

I personally like the QSDP...it is too much of a hassle to me to be at a place at a certain time, plus those type of heavy meals in the heat of Disney:sick:. We did it our first 2 trips and everyone was done with it. This will be our second QSDP trip. You can get so much more than burgers if you do some creative searching.

goofyintoronto
08-09-2012, 09:56 AM
Strictly it terms of budget, I think the best way to go would be to stay at the value resort, add the WP option to your tickets and then upgrade from QSDP to DDP. I would only upgrade the dining if the kids will really enjoy the TS meals. We did QSDP last year for the first time and with a little effort and planning you can very easily have fantastic meals. Only once in a 12 day visit did we eat burgers and fries....and that was because we actually felt like eating burgers. We had pasta, salmon, shrimp, ribs and much more.

I've stayed at both mod and value resorts. The differences are minimal and most of the time I'm not willing to pay the extra just for a slightly nicer decor in the room. Just yesterday I looked at the resort pricing chart and I'm a little shocked that the difference between value and mod is now in the $65/night range. Not worth it IMO. That's a lot of money that is better spent on other things. I actually agree with you. This time we're doing a mod, but usually we're at a value because the price is right for what we need. The values are fun. Bright colorful vibe. We love it. We're at the parks most of the time, so we really only need a place to swim, shower, and sleep. :hippie:

Tropical Wilds
08-09-2012, 10:14 AM
If it were me, I'd upgrade to a mod. The better accommodations, buses, and dining plan seem like they'd be a better value for my money.

I know I'm going to be in the minority when I say this, but I stayed at ASMu and I *hated* it, as well as the other All-Stars. They looked run down, the food court was a messy disaster all the time (especially the drink station), the pool was quite foul smelling (especially the kid section), and the bus rides to everything but AK were long. Speaking of the bus, we had to share with the other values, so at the beginning or end of the night, the line was far, far, far longer then any other resort and we waited, at times 45 minutes just for the bus. And I found the guests as a whole to be the rudest, most inconsiderate, and most poorly behaved. It will live in my memory forever the woman who was in the face of a lifeguard and screaming, I mean SCREAMING, at the top of her lungs because the lifeguard had the nerve to yell at and eject from the area her son... Who had dropped his pants and peed against a tree by the pool. The constant battles over the refillable mugs was another one I saw constantly. People were just rude and the staff just seemed generally beat down. In fact, there was an issue when we checked in where they gave us a dirty room and, after returning 5 hours later to find the room still dirty, we were told that they just couldn't clean it right now and gave us a different room.

I'm not a hotel snob by any leap, and when I booked I wasn't expecting a Hilton. I figured that, since we spend very little time at the hotel, it wouldn't be a big deal. By the end of day one, I was ready to rebook elsewhere. Now when I hear people say "it doesn't matter, we aren't at the rooms that much" I can say that it matters more then you'd think. We weren't at the rooms very much either, but the whole experience at All-Stars took us right out of our feeling Disney magic.

That said, we stayed at Pop and *loved* it. I loved Pop, and while that's slightly more expensive then the other values, the location is better, the food court is better, the property as a whole is better... It's just a better hotel. Our time there was fabulous and we looked forward to going back to the hotel at the end of the day. And the food court is awesome.

If you want a better stay without the expense of a full upgrade to a mod, Pop may be perfect for you.

auntlala3
08-09-2012, 10:20 AM
To help with the budget (and also depending on when you go) have you looked into the Disney YES program to get your park tickets. Though that program we got 6 day 1 day 1 park for 175. They have all different levels and days of tickets. Check it out.

goofyintoronto
08-09-2012, 10:24 AM
If it were me, I'd upgrade to a mod. The better accommodations, buses, and dining plan seem like they'd be a better value for my money.

I know I'm going to be in the minority when I say this, but I stayed at ASMu and I *hated* it, as well as the other All-Stars. They looked run down, the food court was a messy disaster all the time (especially the drink station), the pool was quite foul smelling (especially the kid section), and the bus rides to everything but AK were long. Speaking of the bus, we had to share with the other values, so at the beginning or end of the night, the line was far, far, far longer then any other resort and we waited, at times 45 minutes just for the bus. And I found the guests as a whole to be the rudest, most inconsiderate, and most poorly behaved. It will live in my memory forever the woman who was in the face of a lifeguard and screaming, I mean SCREAMING, at the top of her lungs because the lifeguard had the nerve to yell at and eject from the area her son... Who had dropped his pants and peed against a tree by the pool. The constant battles over the refillable mugs was another one I saw constantly. People were just rude and the staff just seemed generally beat down. In fact, there was an issue when we checked in where they gave us a dirty room and, after returning 5 hours later to find the room still dirty, we were told that they just couldn't clean it right now and gave us a different room.

I'm not a hotel snob by any leap, and when I booked I wasn't expecting a Hilton. I figured that, since we spend very little time at the hotel, it wouldn't be a big deal. By the end of day one, I was ready to rebook elsewhere. Now when I hear people say "it doesn't matter, we aren't at the rooms that much" I can say that it matters more then you'd think. We weren't at the rooms very much either, but the whole experience at All-Stars took us right out of our feeling Disney magic.

That said, we stayed at Pop and *loved* it. I loved Pop, and while that's slightly more expensive then the other values, the location is better, the food court is better, the property as a whole is better... It's just a better hotel. Our time there was fabulous and we looked forward to going back to the hotel at the end of the day. And the food court is awesome.

If you want a better stay without the expense of a full upgrade to a mod, Pop may be perfect for you.

I agree about Pop....we LOVE Pop! Its our fave value! :love:

auntlala3
08-09-2012, 10:27 AM
I also have b/g twins but they just turned 1 on August 1st. It is so nice to see you survived to the teen years lol

HANDYMOM
08-09-2012, 10:34 AM
You can stay at the values and still upgrade to the reg DP (1 TS per say). We do it all the time.

Also re: the waterslides at moderat resorts, theyre a lot of fun and actually quite long (POFQ is the only short slide). Just sayin'. :)


Posted from DISboards.com App for Android

While you absolutely can stay at a value and upgrade to the regular dining plan, the cost comes out to the just about the same as a mod with free regular dining plan. Why not just stay at a moderate with fewer people and a feature slide?

As far as a park and water park same day. We did it years ago when we used to go for a full week with hoppers, but not since we go for 5 nights/4 days without hoppers. Too rushed!

CSchex
08-09-2012, 10:41 AM
We have been to Disney many times and have most recently stayed at the Pop Century (our favorite value - super bus service!) and the Port Orleans Riverside (very relaxing atmosphere). We love both resorts, but in my opinion, if you can afford to upgrade, I would. As you know, staying at the value resorts, you get the Quick Service dining plan for free this fall. Although there are some other options, most of the counter service meals are "fast food" type meals. Pizza, burgers and the like. You may get tired of this type of food. Staying at the moderates will give you the "regular" plan, with one counter service meal and one table service meal. We really love the table service restaurants that Disney has. The last trip we took, we had free dining, like you have now. You can also pay to upgrade your dining, but with 3 people, that upgrade is going to cost you $60 a night, money better spent on upgrading your room. My kids LOVED the pool and the slide at Port Orleans Riverside. They are 10 & 13. There are also quiet pools at the moderates that are open 24 hours a day. If you do decide to upgrade to a moderate and therefore get the upgraded dining plan, make your dining reservations ASAP. Many of the good restaurants book up months in advance. We love the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom, Ohana, The Coral Reef & Le Cellier at Epcot. There are many more good choices and you can view the menus online and pick which one is best for you and your family, if you decide to go that route. But, whatever you choose, you are going to have a great time! :cool1:

Missytara
08-09-2012, 10:50 AM
I also have b/g twins but they just turned 1 on August 1st. It is so nice to see you survived to the teen years lol

That is too sweet!

KELLY
08-09-2012, 01:24 PM
WE just plan lots of WP days. This year we are doing 3. But we go for 11 days and can be very flexable with our schedule since we are on the QSDP. We have one adr and would like to eat at rainforest one day also. We also prefer the QSDP.

I honestly think you will be fine with a value especially if you have the WP&F feature. But only you know your touring style.

Zim
08-09-2012, 01:45 PM
To help with the budget (and also depending on when you go) have you looked into the Disney YES program to get your park tickets. Though that program we got 6 day 1 day 1 park for 175. They have all different levels and days of tickets. Check it out.

I second this one, which is exactly what we're doing. I still got the free dining but with minimal tickets (2 base 2-day passes). We'll use them on another trip, and use the YES PH with Water tickets while we're there.

If I were you I might try to upgrade to POP or AoA (some free dining is available at the later, just not much and not in December). But I can't think of a single hotel pool that could hold a candle to one of their water parks.

Cherinva
08-09-2012, 01:54 PM
Taking my 12 yr old b/g twins as a suprise for their 13th b-day! Booked ASSports with free dining. I chose a value...well for the value. On our previous trips we have never spent much time at the resort. That said we have never experienced the high temps I am sure we will have this time; so I am concerned that the pool and room will have more of an impact. So could I get some opinions...
Push my budget and go to a moderate with a more exciting pool, better room and the upgrade dining?
Stay were I am and travel to the water parks everyday the temps get too high to enjoy the parks?
If I stay with the value is it ridiculous to attempt a major park in the morn then a water park then back to change and eve back to finish the major park?

I would stay where you are...the resort is fine....and fun. If your kids can handle park/waterpark/park then go for it. You also could consider Park/ resort pool - dinner/ Park...... which ever you decide, have a wonderful time with your kids !!!!

danceintherain
08-09-2012, 01:58 PM
Taking my 12 yr old b/g twins as a suprise for their 13th b-day! Booked ASSports with free dining. I chose a value...well for the value. On our previous trips we have never spent much time at the resort. That said we have never experienced the high temps I am sure we will have this time; so I am concerned that the pool and room will have more of an impact. So could I get some opinions...
Push my budget and go to a moderate with a more exciting pool, better room and the upgrade dining?
Stay were I am and travel to the water parks everyday the temps get too high to enjoy the parks?
If I stay with the value is it ridiculous to attempt a major park in the morn then a water park then back to change and eve back to finish the major park?

Most kids don't care much about the specifications of the pool, as long as there's a pool. Yeah, a water slide would make your trips to the pool a little more interesting, but maybe not as much as you would think. If you have no other reasons to upgrade to a moderate, then I would stick with the value. With 2 - 13 year olds, I would probably want the queen sized beds at the mods over the doubles at the values. I also prefer the themes of the moderates.
I've never been to a water park, so I can't really comment on that. You probably CAN do main park - water park - main park, but I imagine that would be even more exhausting than staying in the main parks through the heat.

If I was in your position, I would probably stick with the original plan and save the money.

goofyintoronto
08-09-2012, 02:14 PM
While you absolutely can stay at a value and upgrade to the regular dining plan, the cost comes out to the just about the same as a mod with free regular dining plan. Why not just stay at a moderate with fewer people and a feature slide?

As far as a park and water park same day. We did it years ago when we used to go for a full week with hoppers, but not since we go for 5 nights/4 days without hoppers. Too rushed!

Thats not exactly true. When i originally booked pop, i upgraded from the QS to the Regular DP (free dining promo). The upgrade cost about $200 for my DS12 & I. However, for an extra $300 on top of that, I could stay at a moderate resort and have the reg DP! Which is the route i decided to take! Its only an extra $300 (on top of the $200 I already paid) so why not? So technically, there's a $500 price difference to go from Free QSDP@Pop to Moderate (Reg DP). .........Clear as mud? :cool2:

stm61
08-09-2012, 02:17 PM
I would switch to POR just for the fact that your twins are boy/girl. I have girl twins who turned 13 in Jan, and they hate sharing a bed on vacation. If they were b/g twins I wouldn't be able to get them near the same bed, and I wouldn't want to share with my daughter the entire vacation either. If you switch to POR they have a Murphy bed. Your kids can take turns with that and you'll have your own bed. I have older boys, then the twin girls. When they were younger we stayed at POR, they had trundle beds then, and the kids, except for one son who was tall for his age, were fine with the trundle until they hit high school. If you decide to stay with the value, you can always bring an air mattress and have the kids take turns using that.

twinboysmom
08-09-2012, 02:47 PM
I think POR is a great resort but most 13 year olds probably won't fit well on the Murphy bed. It's pretty small.

Personally, I would keep what you have and you can decide if you want to upgrade dining. I would also use the price difference between a moderate and a value to get the water parks added to the tickets. My niece and nephew just stayed at all star movies (similar ages as your kids). They had a great time. Didn't want to leave the parks unless it was to go to a water park. They talked more about the water parks and seemed to have more fun there than anything else.

As for you being a single mother, I think one of the all star resorts is perfect for you. They are small and compact, easy to get around, well lit at night, and there are always plenty of people around. We stay all levels of Disney resorts and go at least 3-5 times a year. I can say that I have never experienced what a pp stated at any value resort or any Disney resort for that matter. Not saying it didn't happen but it is certainly not the norm. We have stayed at all the values multiple times and all of our rooms have been immaculate, staff courteous, and the guests no different than any other level of resort (the rudest set we encountered were at our last stay at CBR and prior to that AKL).

Hope you have a great trip!

DisneyDiana
08-09-2012, 05:01 PM
FWIW, we walked to Blizzard Beach from ASSPorts. We do a park and a waterpark quite often. Sports is actually our favorite value. My 10 year loves the surf pool and all the sports icons. For 12 year olds I think the pool at POFQ is too babyish. The waterslide is short and designed for the younger crowd.

disneyfanfamily
08-09-2012, 05:29 PM
I have gone as a single mom for a couple years. (Remarried now, so yay!) We stayed at value for a couple reasons. We love the value resorts. The huge icons are fun! We go in the middle of summer and still don't spend that much time in the room. If so, it is to lay down, watch some TV for an hour or so to rest and that is it.

I am a bit torn about the dining. We tend to be more of a counter service family because we don't like to be tied down to a certain place at a certain time for reservations. That being said, we do enjoy the few sit down meals that we have. My boys are now 17 & 15 and would prefer to have the sit down meals now...especially the buffets (endless pits!)

So, if money wasn't an issue, and you enjoy to "get away" for a sit down meal everyday, then by all means upgrade to a moderate. I think I would get a moderate rather than upgrading my dining at a value, only because moderates do have greater offerings. We did enjoy the quiet pools at POR. They were never crowded and never had to worry about losing the kids in the masses. :)

Good luck with your decision!

disneymomtotwins
08-09-2012, 08:33 PM
I am a single mom of b/g twins and they are currently 12 also but will not turn 13 until January 2013. We have stayed at mod and value(POR and POP). We had a great vacation at both but my kids really enjoyed the value better. They loved all the big and bright icons at the value, loved the pool activities and loved the bus service. We did have the quick service dining plan and they enjoyed not having to rush to a diner reservation every day. We did plan 2 table service meals which we paid for out of pocket. As my kids are big eaters, it worked out better for us as we were able to have 3 meals on two of the days we were there. It also was cheaper than upgrading to a Mod. Our next trip will probably be another value, we loved POP and would return but I might want to try different resort. We also did water park when we were there and back to resort for nap and then major park in the evening, I think we hit Magic Kingdom that night EMH until 1 or 2am.

ann marie27
08-09-2012, 10:47 PM
I also have b/g twins but they just turned 1 on August 1st. It is so nice to see you survived to the teen years lol

Ooooo congrats! LOL I did! It has been a complete joy! But oh so quick... 13 years and there are days when I feel like it was a blink of an eye. So when you have those twins moments.. you know the ones...take a moment to enjoy! :lovestruc

ann marie27
08-09-2012, 10:59 PM
Thank you all for your input! This site in gerneral has been so much help each trip.:thumbsup2
I tried to look into the pricing diff between upgrading to mod or upgrade dining and the water park and more option, however its seem since I used a 3rd party I cannot handle myself. BIG mistake on my part, won't ever do it that way again. Oh well.
I sent her an email to see if she can pass the control back over to me. Otherwise she will have to get me the info. But I think I will stay at ASSp because in the end we will not be spending much time there. Get the water park and more add on. And if what I read on here is correct and it cost only 200 to up grade dining plan for 2...three guest should be about 300 which would be worth just considering the cost of our dinner at Cape May. Just have to wait to hear back from 3rd party agent.

Amy&Dan
08-09-2012, 11:16 PM
We LOVE the waterparks. But we also LOVE the mods. Still, the values have never been anything but great for us and we have stayed at all of them. My kids are older now (16 and 17) but when they were 12, the values held a huge appeal to them.

What we do when we do waterpark thing is take our swimsuits in a backpack to the park (dd usually wears hers under her clothes). Then exit the park and either get on the first resort bus we see and then get on a waterpark bus at that resort, or in some cases walk over to a resort from the park and get on a waterpark bus. At MK, we walk over to the Contemporary (takes about ten minutes to walk) and get on a waterpark bus. At Epcot, we do Future World for a couple of hours, head into the World Showcase, have an early lunch then exit through the International Gateway over to Beach Club and get on a waterpark bus. At DHS we usually just get on resort bus and same at AK (although if we are going to Blizzard Beach, we take a cab, its about $10 from AK over to BB).

Also, don't forget you will get to do Disney Quest and on hot days, that can be a great place to hang out and my kids love DQ and always have.

My kids also do love the full serve meals at WDW and if you are planning on doing even one full serve meal, paying to upgrade is the way to go.

Your Travel agent can make the switch if you still want to do it. I must say, I love my TA but whenever I have a change (which is all the time lol), it complicates things. Still, that is what they get paid to do (handle your trip).

I do think Sports is a great resort and I think it has one of the nicest value pools. We took my son there for his 11th birthday and he was in sheer heave as was my then 8 year old daughter. Loved the food court, pool and the room was just fine. While I love the mods, sometimes budget wins over the amenities of a mod. And if you won't be spending much time at the resort, why pay for that? And while I love the mod pools, no way can a resort pool, of any level compare to a waterpark. If your kids love to get wet, waterparks are a great thing!

Have a great trip!

CSN2001
08-10-2012, 12:57 AM
You are fine with the All-Star Sports.

I have stayed there at least 40-50 nights in the past few years, if I have stayed 1.

Yes, it is a value in price, but it is not a dump by any means. Every room that I have stayed in has never been dirty, never had stains on the carpets and never had trash left in it.

If you want another bed, you can always pay extra for a roll-away bed, I believe.

I love the food court at the sports, there is plenty of room to find a place to sit and eat. I also love the pool, the main one. I have gone there at night just to swim in it because I like it so much. They also have a nice game room there as well.

As far as the Quick Service Plan goes, you get a lot of food. Aside from all of the food courts in all of the hotels, there are many QS spots all over the property that you can go to.

If you get them to put you in building 10 (Football), then you will be as close as you can be to the food court, without paying for a preferred room.

Also, the rooms now have FREE WiFi. The pool area, food court and lobby do as well. (I hated paying $9.95 a day.) They also have mini refrigerators in all of the rooms, which is a big plus.

Yes, there is a bit of a bus ride to Magic Kingdom and Epcot, but I wouldn't say it is a negative.

Remember, even though you are saving money by staying there, you still get the Disney service that you expect from Disney.

AND....your kids might love the football area in the football section. They removed the icons, so now it is possible to play football out there. I always see kids playing games all times of the day.