PDA

View Full Version : SSR report & CM GOSSIP! (long)


mndisfam
10-27-2004, 09:48 PM
Hi all - we were the family that had the sick son and went after much discussion. It all turned out fine - he is still on the mend, but it was a great break.

Now - for the SSR report. First - we loved it. Since we have only stayed at OKW and concierge at AKL, we are not as seasoned as many. I was worried after reading some of the reports, but we found it a beautiful and quiet resort we will love to make our "home."

Some thoughts however: it will be HUGE. When we were there, 85 of the 87 rooms were occupied (told that by CMS.) Eventually - at the rate they are building NOW - there will be almost 2800 units!!! According to the diff reports we had from CMs, they are up to selling the 10th building, with room for 12. Another Cm told us they are going to tear down the "Treehouses" and expand there with beautiful gold course views- but another CM told us that the Treehouses have become a designated wetland and there will be no building.

As to the pools - the theme pool is great - but size wise, a joke. Even with the few units filled, we couldn't always get a shady chaise. We were told the idea (by numerous CMs) will be to keep the small pool, and build lots of quiet pools. I will say the quiet pool by Congress Park was lovely - elegant and an incredible view of Downtown Disney and the lights. (or, as we called it "BUG CITY" music please...)

Now the restaurant - don't get me started. Wonderful help, and a very very small selection of good entrees. (One Cm tried to tell me that the best restaurants only serve a few selections.!! This is a good but glorified food court with maybe 16 selections...not a restaurant at all.)

Heard many different stories on this. 2 CMs told me they are def. adding seated dining. 2 DVC salesmen completely disagreed with each other (in front of each other) as to future dining prospects. One said - he seemed more in the know - the biggest complaint he hears is the lack of dining options and "trust me, they are hearing the complaints, and they are listening." The other salesman disagreed, saying "they will not add anything. DVCers like to cook in their rooms (OH REALLY WOMEN ARE ON VACATION TOO!!!) and can walk to Downtown Disney."

So - I don't know. They did tell me to complain...

Our view of Downtown Disney (or as I said the "evil pleasure seekers pontooning their way to sin city" (we were a tad jealous!) was STUNNING and enjoyable every night. We saw the fireworks from our bed. !! The decor was lovely - granite countertops, etc.

I know people have said the place is kind of industrial - I think the hurricane took a lot of plantings out. i don't think the size will be too much of a problem bcs its really really spread out. We enjoyed the outer hallways bcs we are from Minn and are fine with any weather.

The Turf club was great, and the check in is cavernous and shd accomadate the vast hordes in the future. The SPa was lovely. The Spa ladies told me that eventually there will be horses roaming the paddocks.

So, enough rumors for you? Anyone who worried, rest assured. We loved it, and I think, to paraphrase Frasier Crane , "They are listening." Oh yes - the Food and Wine Festival ROCKED!

I need to add a new counter!

RuthnPaul
10-27-2004, 10:05 PM
Originally posted by mndisfam
Another Cm told us they are going to tear down the "Treehouses" and expand there with beautiful gold course views- but another CM told us that the Treehouses have become a designated wetland and there will be no building.
First, glad to hear that you were able to go on your trip and that you really liked SSR. Although we never made it over for one of the daily tours, I did see the exteriors while riding on the boat from DD to OKW and liked what I saw!

The treehouses did not fare very well during the recent hurricanes -- trees had fallen over on to a number of the treehouses. Since nothing had been done to clean up the damage (as recently as last Saturday), there doesn't seem to be much interest in preserving these buildings. I was shocked to see the amount of pine trees that had been destroyed or severely damaged by the hurricanes!

We heard some gossip from a CM concerning Vero Beach. According to what the CMs were told in a meeting, the damage to the building was considerable. Not much has been coming out on VB the last few weeks although I thought they were supposed to reopen 11/9. Guess we'll see...

OneMoreTry
10-27-2004, 10:07 PM
Originally posted by mndisfam

As to the pools - the theme pool is great - but size wise, a joke. Even with the few units filled, we couldn't always get a shady chaise.


If this is the definition of "joke" size, then the pool at BWV is a joke, too. You can't even get a chaise there PERIOD unless you're a real early bird. They're all covered with towels, except the two or three that actually have someone sitting in them.


Sounds like SSR is great!!

Happy Birthday Cat
10-27-2004, 10:08 PM
Originally posted by mndisfam
2 CMs told me they are def. adding seated dining. 2 DVC salesmen completely disagreed with each other (in front of each other) as to future dining prospects. One said - he seemed more in the know - the biggest complaint he hears is the lack of dining options and "trust me, they are hearing the complaints, and they are listening." The other salesman disagreed, saying "they will not add anything. DVCers like to cook in their rooms (OH REALLY WOMEN ARE ON VACATION TOO!!!) and can walk to Downtown Disney."

Glad to hear your son is fine and that your trip went well.

You have to love it when two CM's argue with each other on something like this. It really shows how tight lipped Disney really is about plans and that no one really knows for sure.

DVCers like to cook in their rooms? I'll remind my DW of that the next time we are on VACATION!

HBC

mndisfam
10-27-2004, 10:13 PM
I too was shocked at the number of pine trees down - quite a few right on top of the treehouses!!

And I should have clarified as to the pool as to the "joke" size. First, we loved the pool. At the top of each hour, they play the horse racing "Charge" , which we enjoyed - makes you want a mint julep - whatever they are.

The pool is just not that big. While it wasn't crowded (with 85 of 87 units occupied) it was almost busy. It wasn't nearly as big as the pool at AKL.

Had to post to see if my new count down works.

MJTinNH
10-27-2004, 10:17 PM
It was interesting to read your report. Love hearing the different perspectives on the DVC resorts. Glad you had a great time and had some discussions with the CM's. We will have to see how this plays out with the Food Court and theme pool. Thank you for posting!:)

tjkraz
10-27-2004, 11:42 PM
Originally posted by mndisfam
Some thoughts however: it will be HUGE. When we were there, 85 of the 87 rooms were occupied (told that by CMS.)

Not true. Direct from the POS, each building has 46 rooms--24 of which are Two Bedroom Lockoffs which could be booked separately as a 1B + a Studio. With four buildings currently open, you have between 184 and 280 individual parties staying at the resort now at maximum occupancy.

Eventually - at the rate they are building NOW - there will be almost 2800 units!!!

Again, not true. The current plan is for 18 buildings (up from 12 in the original design.) Using the POS numbers cited above, at completion the resort will host between 828 and 1260 families. This makes it about 60% larger than OKW.

According to the diff reports we had from CMs, they are up to selling the 10th building, with room for 12.

I don't really see how that could be accurate. They've only been selling SSR points for 14 months. If they've completely sold 9+ buildings, that's more than 400 rooms. 400 rooms is larger than all of BWV, and larger than BCV and VWL combined. I love SSR, too, but there's no way they've sold that many points in just 14 mos. At best, they are probably on #6 right now, with a few points left over from #4 that they are holding for add-ons by current members.

Phase 3 (buildings 13-18) won't even open until 2007. There's no way they will go 2 years without having any points to sell.

If things were selling this fast, they would have raised the price ages ago to increase profits and slow sales to a point where they were more in line with the construction schedule.

Another Cm told us they are going to tear down the "Treehouses" and expand there with beautiful gold course views- but another CM told us that the Treehouses have become a designated wetland and there will be no building.

I'm not certain of the exact disposition, but it's been stated many times that the treehouses cannot be torn down. Sounds like CM #2 may be right in this case.

As to the pools - the theme pool is great - but size wise, a joke.

I'd love to see another themed pool, but have my doubts. Also, I don't know that the size is really out of whack. The one time we visited SSR, we were staying at BWV. The SSR pool seemed comparable in size to Luna Park. And, at BWV, you've got about the same number of guests being serviced including both the Villa and Inn rooms.

I think two factors may be skewing the appearances at SSR now:

1. The main pool at OKW is closed for rehab. It's very easy for those guests to hop over the SSR.

2. Pool hopping from other DVC members who may just want to give SSR a look.

Hope I didn't come across too negative. I know you were just repeating what a lot of CMs told you, but there seem to be more than a few holes in those stories.

Glad you had such a good trip.

msdis
10-27-2004, 11:54 PM
Glad to hear your son is well and your trip turned out good.

msdis
10-28-2004, 12:00 AM
Originally posted by tjkraz


At best, they are probably on #6 right now, with a few points left over from #4 that they are holding for add-ons by current members.



That reminds me-he said they were selling #7 last he knew and that was a couple weeks ago.

Sammie
10-28-2004, 12:08 AM
Originally posted by OneMoreTry
If this is the definition of "joke" size, then the pool at BWV is a joke, too. You can't even get a chaise there PERIOD unless you're a real early bird. They're all covered with towels, except the two or three that actually have someone sitting in them.


Sounds like SSR is great!!

This will probably not be a popular comment, but personally I think until all pool hopping is stopped and "enforced" the pool situations are only going to get worse.

I mean when SSR sells out and you take even a small percentage of that number and send them over to OKW or BW to use the cool slides, it is going to be crowded.

dianeschlicht
10-28-2004, 08:04 AM
So glad you enjoyed your trip! Obviously, you were there (as we were) over the MEA break.

What unit were you in at SSR? We were in 1747 and had a great view of DTD. Yes it was VERY quiet, but we decided we didn't particularily like this resort. You can go back and read my trip report to see why.

As to the tree damage, yes we saw LOTS of tees down, and lots of damage to some of the old Disney Institute villas, but we were surprised that the elevated treehouses seemed to have no damage at all. Are you sure you weren't looking at the old DI villas? Those are the buildings very near SSR. The Tree houses are actually elevated up on stilts like trees and are a bit farther down the road and nearer OKW. We even commented to each other on how much damage there was at the villas and how litte to the tree houses.

We thought it was difficult to get around SSR right now. Maybe that will improve when the whole complex is done.

Yes, the "food court" is a joke! That was our biggest disappointment at SSR. We loved the "town" feel of the streets and buildings.

DisneyMim
10-28-2004, 08:08 AM
First I am happy to hear that your son is ok and everything worked out well for you.

I am still laughing over the statement that DVCers like to cook in their rooms!!!! I truly hope (although I am the biggest non-believer that anyone really cares what we think) that someone from management is reading this I HAVE BEEN A MEMBER SINCE 1991 AND HAVE NEVER COOKED ANYTHING BEYOND BREAKFAST IN MY ROOM. Just had to say this. ;) We were there in August and went over to SSR one evening to look around and to grap a quick meal. The resort is beautiful, but I too have to agree with you that the food court (or whatever it is supposed to be) is a joke. I know that some people like it, but my kids took one look at the menu and didn't have to say a word to us, we knew instantly that we would not be having dinner there that night. Maybe some adults would like the menu, but it is not desinged for kids. Also I was hoping that I could maybe pick up some muffins or something for breakfast the next morning. I was basing this on what I had read in one of the Vacations Magic issues, that the food court would feature some kind of "grab and go" type of area. This was during dinner time and they did not have much at all. Maybe it's just too early to really get an idea of what the area will be. I hope so. Also just to add I thought that the pool was lovely and didn't think it was small. This could have been because it was empty. Time will tell.

Luckymommyx2
10-28-2004, 08:25 AM
Welcome back! I'm also glad to hear that your son is doing better. I haven't been "home" yet so I'm reading everything anyone has to write! I love the comment about having horses at SSR!! I hope that happens by the time we get there! I'm interested to see what happens, if anything, in regards to the pool situation and the dining situation. Those seem to be the most consistent complaints/concerns. Thanks for sharing!!

Poohs Pal
10-28-2004, 11:32 AM
I just returned from SSR on 10/18 and received a post card in the mail to take a survey of my recent visit at SSR. The questions covered all the concerns I've read here on the board. I was very happy with my visit home and really only had concerns about the food court and slightly concerned about the pool. I also saw many tree's that had fallen on the treehouse villa's. Glad you had a great time. Susan

Scratch42
10-28-2004, 11:38 AM
But then again.........

I'll be able to FINALLY find out for myself!

:cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2:

Less than two days!

Scratch
pirate:

jbwolffiv
10-28-2004, 11:39 AM
Thanks for the great report! I hope they do put in seated dining, would be nice to have another choice!

ErinC
10-28-2004, 11:58 AM
When I was down a couple of weekends ago, you could see many trees down on the treehouse villas while traveling down the road in between SSR and OKW (Vacation Club Drive, I think). In fact there were several trees still lying very close to the road. It looked like they had just chopped the parts from the golf cart paths, and road, and most were just cleared to the side to make way for the golfers. It looked like Disney still had a lot of cleanup to be done it that area of the property. Very sad to see.

Mickmse2002
10-28-2004, 12:30 PM
Why can't they tear down the damaged treehouse villas? Is this a known fact or just a CM "fact"?

DebbieB
10-28-2004, 12:36 PM
Originally posted by Mickmse2002
Why can't they tear down the damaged treehouse villas? Is this a known fact or just a CM "fact"?

I've heard that it's a wetland area, which is protected by law. I believe they can tear them down but they cannot construct new buildings in their place. The existing structures are "grandfathered" but that exemption would be lost if they were torn down.

Mickmse2002
10-28-2004, 12:41 PM
OK, so they can tear them down, just not re-build. That makes more sense to me know.

Terry S
10-28-2004, 01:00 PM
dianeschlicht... When I was there at the beginning of October, I too saw many trees that had fallen right on top of the Treehouse Villas and at that time were still there!

Granny
10-28-2004, 01:16 PM
Originally posted by mndisfam
One said - he seemed more in the know - the biggest complaint he hears is the lack of dining options and "trust me, they are hearing the complaints, and they are listening." The other salesman disagreed, saying "they will not add anything. DVCers like to cook in their rooms (OH REALLY WOMEN ARE ON VACATION TOO!!!) and can walk to Downtown Disney."

LOL, that is too funny! :p Sounds like he might have been a DVC Guide at some point and was believing his own sales pitch! :p

Thanks for the report, and for passing along the comments. I agree that like any large company, the rumor mill is constantly running and CM's are like anyone else and like to impress with their "inside info". :rolleyes:

d-r
10-28-2004, 01:51 PM
they will not add anything. DVCers like to cook in their rooms (OH REALLY WOMEN ARE ON VACATION TOO!!!)

Our family isn't into cooking in the rooms, but I can't resist saying:

"sometimes men cook."

RuthnPaul
10-28-2004, 01:56 PM
Originally posted by Terry S
dianeschlicht... When I was there at the beginning of October, I too saw many trees that had fallen right on top of the Treehouse Villas and at that time were still there! As of October 23, the trees were still on top of the treehouse villas!

DrTomorrow
10-28-2004, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by Mickmse2002
OK, so they can tear them down, just not re-build. That makes more sense to me know. It might be even trickier than that: perhaps, as long as they are they, they can be rebuilt and/or "enhanced". I can see 6 more SSR buildings, each with a 'treehouse' hidden somewhere deep inside.... :jester:

TOMAR@SSR
10-28-2004, 02:13 PM
Hi, thanks for the great report!:wave:
We think that " Artist`s Palette " has very healthy choices of food, however, we agree about the size, and seating capacity, and hope that mabe another restaurant choice will develope someday, to accomadate the size of the resort!
We also hear that DTD is a walk away (that`s true), but another choice ( @ home base ), would be really lovely!!;)

Tigfanjeff
10-28-2004, 03:06 PM
Treehouse villas vs. Fairway Villas.

I think when the OP mentioned treehouse villa's for teardown they meant the fairway villas.

The fairway villas can be torn down and rebuilt though they couldn't be build to the size of the standard buildings there.

The Treehouse villa's can be torn down but not rebuilt as they are in a protected wetland.

Since the treehouse villa's consist of only a very small portion of the former DI rooms, I don't think DVC will be worrying too much.

LisaR
10-28-2004, 03:31 PM
We are obviously in the minority, but we LOVED the food that was offered at SSR. My kids loved the choices as well. I found it refreshing to find a counter service restaurant that didn't have burgers and fries. I do not know if they offer the same foods every day or mix it up. If the same things were always offered then I wouldn't mind seeing a few more choices so it doesn't get boring if your there for a longer stay. We were only there for a day pool hopping from OKW.

Lisa

kweaver
10-28-2004, 03:55 PM
Originally posted by LisaR
We are obviously in the minority, but we LOVED the food that was offered at SSR. My kids loved the choices as well. I found it refreshing to find a counter service restaurant that didn't have burgers and fries. I do not know if they offer the same foods every day or mix it up. If the same things were always offered then I wouldn't mind seeing a few more choices so it doesn't get boring if your there for a longer stay. We were only there for a day pool hopping from OKW.

Lisa

We *really* liked the food at AP too. I do think they need more choices...especially at lunch and dinner (breakfast was great!) but I expect this will happen as the resort gets closer to completion. I wouldn't mind if they added burgers to the mix...just don't take away the more unique items. I'd like to see some traditional pizza topings (chose your own) as well as their current offerings. And please...allow orders from the pool area!

sgtdisney
10-28-2004, 05:34 PM
I have to smile when I hear the 'stories' that CMs like to tell to explain why things are one way or another. When we were at a member meeting once 2 years ago, someone asked why none of the newer DVC resorts at WDW has the larger kitchen set up like OKW does. The response was they they surveyed members (not me) and that no one liked to cook while on vacation other than small breakfasts and that the large kitchens were a waste of space. Now you hear that members love to cook so they make the restaurant small. Pretty funny stuff.

Donald's#1Fan
10-28-2004, 07:35 PM
I just had to add my 2cents worth as my family and I returned from a 2 week stay at OKW and SSR from 10/8-10/23. As a member since 1994 at OKW we usu. stay there and love it, but due to the pool being closed we decided to spend a week at SSR. We loved both places, but must say that what the OP said about the pool is absolutely true. We used the main pool on most days and most of the time we found it to be crowded, not uncomfortably so, but to the point that there were often no avail. pool tables and sets of chairs together were hard to come by. Now, this is not a problem currently, but with only 4 blgs. opened, this is going to be a HUGE problem in the near future, esp. considering this was an off season week that we were there. The slide is great, 3 turns, very fast and very well themed, but the draw to the slide is going to be the main pool's downfall as my children wanted to go to that pool, not the "quiet" pool as there was no slide there, which btw provides an incredible view of the Downtown Dis. lights and fireworks. The food was very good, although in limited variety, but good and pricey, you are only allowed to take it to the pool if you have a table to sit at, so plan accordingly if wanting to eat at the pool. This place is huge and it really helps to have a car if quick trips are needed to go anywhere on property, otherwise plan on long walks to where ever you plan on ending up within the resort. We were in room #2321 and had an incredible view of Downtown Disney and the lights and fireworks, they really did maximize the view there! As far as the trees down, the institute bldgs. next door have a few trees, still leaning on them as do the treehouse villas as seen from the roadway and the boatride from OKW to SSR, pretty incredible how much damage was done this far inland! Again, this is a beautiful resort, very big, but beautiful. As an OKW owner, I do hope they stop the pool hopping once the slide is built, w/ the sheer numbers of people at SSR, the OKW pool as well as the SSR pool will be mobbed w/ people just from SSR as there will be no other options than the "boring" (my kids words, not mine) quiet pools. And yes, we cooked at both resorts, not just breakfast.

granmanh603
10-28-2004, 08:12 PM
Just returned Oct 26 from 2 weeks at SSR. Dissapointed with AP(did eat dinner??? there once). the saladCearar with chicken and another with 4 small shrimp was a joke. Dissapointed in the size of the main pool, was expecting something on the size of Stormalong Bay for the size of this finished place. We mostly walked to Downtown to eat after that first experience. Heard alot talking of being told to go or bussed from OKW, and in the afternoon others on bus from parks got off and headed for the pool. The quiet pool was mostly quiet and the buses were empty except on the weekends when people seemed to come from nowhere. Never saw too many people, seemed pretty quiet surprised to hear it was mostly booked. My husband liked it and I am not too sure yet. :earsgirl:

kellydizfan
10-28-2004, 09:57 PM
I was there from 10/15-22. I loved the hotel, atmosphere, pool, food wasn't bad - had the chicken bbq pizza - loved it. When I ordered the pizza, she stated I could have a regular cheese pizza if I wanted it. I think they would be accomodating to a point if asked. I agree there wasn't much for the kids to eat if you have picky eaters but mine love pizza and would eat it every day if you gave it to them. Easy walk to Downtown and I would rather eat in Earl of Sandwich anyday but have to say the pizza was good. I would love to stay again but next trip we will try Animal Kingdom Lodge (hopefully). We were in room 1635 with a great view of pleasure island and could see the fireworks from our bedroom. Only complaint was the bus system. Way too too too slow. Granted only one night did we have a full bus and it was after the halloween party. For being booked to compacity, never saw alot of people at any one time. Maybe because it is so spread out. Not a real hard walk to the pool from where we were. I can't wait to see the Horses if that rumor is true - what a great idea!

disneycrazed139
10-28-2004, 11:44 PM
I wonder if, given the projected size of the resort, they might not add another themed pool. I know the pool is crowded right now because of OKW being closed, etc., but I still suspect it will be very crowded in a couple of years. I can't see why another themed pool couldn't be a possibility.

LisaR
10-28-2004, 11:56 PM
Originally posted by Donald's#1Fan
[B The food was very good, although in limited variety, but good and pricey, you are only allowed to take it to the pool if you have a table to sit at, so plan accordingly if wanting to eat at the pool. [/B]

Who told you that? We ordered and took it out to a table that we had been sitting at. However, they never asked us if we had a table. There were people sitting in lounge chairs eating their food as well.


Lisa

Donald's#1Fan
10-29-2004, 01:47 AM
I was told this by a lifeguard whom I specifically asked if we could bring food down to the pool deck and he stated "only if you are sitting at one of the tables" So we made sure we had a table if we wanted to eat at the pool.

Beca
10-29-2004, 02:14 AM
Okay, I have seen two posters reference "horses" on this thread, but I cannot seem to find what reference they are talking about. I have read this whole thread twice...but, I must be missing it. Could someone please fill me in?

Thanks,

:wave:

Beca

kweaver
10-29-2004, 07:13 AM
"The Spa ladies told me that eventually there will be horses roaming the paddocks."

I think I remember someone posting before about needing a table to take food to the pool. How ridiculous! We took our own snacks/drinks down there in June and had no problem (it was not crowded...but the tables were taken). I even got a cup of ice from the pool bar.

I'll be bringing/buying food to take to the pool every trip....I'd like to see someone ask us to leave! ;) :eek:

CarolA
10-29-2004, 10:06 AM
Is it just me or is a food court all we need? Personally one of things I dislike about BCV and BWV is no food court. I don't want to have a sit down meal and the pool side places are swamped (and closed late!) I know BCV has a hamburger place, but.... it is WAY to small.

I would much rather have a food court then a sit down. Especially when you are that close to Downtown Disney. (I love OKW, but have never managed to eat at the resturant there!)

And they can just get over that table thing on the food. I will eat in my lounge chair if I want. I do that at BCV and OKW and see no need for SSR to be different. If they say something I will certainly be in the office complaining that if that is the rule they are going to have to make people eat and LEAVE the tables. No camping all day.

Also, were the lounges really FULL or just covered with a towel. If all that is on the chair is a towel and no one shows up in a reasonable time I just assume that the pool staff put out towels for my use, isn't that nice of them! (I told a woman that one time she went ballastic, but what could she do. Apparently she had come out at 8 am marked her seat and gone back to bed for three hours. I also read on the resort board about some people who went around and collected all the left items at a pool one time and piled them up with a sign that said "lost and found!")

tjkraz
10-29-2004, 10:35 AM
Originally posted by CarolA
Is it just me or is a food court all we need?

I totally agree. That was one of the things that attracted us to SSR. In fact, while the lack of sit-down dining is an easy target for critics, I'm not convinced that SSR could even support its own restaurant. I've read that Seasons at the old DI did not perform well. You also can't argue with the fact that DD would siphon off some portion of the dining market whether or not SSR has its own. And, every single room has a kitchen (Yes, some of us DO actually choose to cook!)

Anyone know how Olivia's performs at OKW? Is there ever a crowd, or is it always just a handful of diners?

IMO, one of the biggest mistakes DVC made with regard to Artist's Palette was managing expectations. In your spare time, go back and read the Member Clubhouse articles from the summer and fall of '03 with details on SSR. I think those articles give the impression that AP would be much grander than it actually is. You can't help but be disappointed at first sight of AP after reading some of the info published by DVC.

mndisfam
10-29-2004, 10:53 AM
For me (I am the OP), it wasn't so much the issue the Artist's Palette was just a food court and not a restaurant, it was the fact that the choices were so very limited.

We were there a week, and didn't see too much of a change on the menu. There were 2 options for kids all week that I saw - mac & cheese & hot dogs. For adults, there were 4? diff kinds of very good pizza flatbreads, a few "fancy" sandwiches and maybe 2 salads. Maybe a couple of soups also? I alsi think sometimes we saw family size entrees.

You def. got the impression, however, that the place was brand new and still empty and working itself out. Compared to the other foodcourts, I felt it had kind of strange and limited options - I couldn't put my finger on what kind of cuisine they were offering. The food was all very good, however.

After a week, the limited choices got boring. Compared to Mora, at AKL for example, they had far less.

We stayed at OKW last year during the same time, and it was always hopping. We would either get food to go and take it to our room, or get stuff from the poolside grill at the gurgling suitcase.

Even tho the resort isn't built up yet, and it was a down week, I can't imagine what AP will be like when they get going in a few years. 20% of the tables were always taken, and there was 2 cash registers for both the gift shop, pretty decent grocery store and the restaurant. 2 check outs will not be enough when they get all 10 or 12 buildings going!

Finally, a silly question - does anyone know why they don't have pizza pans and pizza cutters in the units, but they sell frozen pizza in the DVC stores?

kweaver
10-29-2004, 11:11 AM
Originally posted by CarolA
I would much rather have a food court then a sit down. Especially when you are that close to Downtown Disney. (I love OKW, but have never managed to eat at the resturant there!)

I agree with this for the most part...our own kitchen and the food court will definitely be our daily dining choice when we happen to be at the resort. I would still like to see a sit down or buffet style restaurant on the property...to be able to get a nice dinner without having to go anywhere. We just ended up doing this at other resort restaurants in June...but sometimes the kids are too tired to make another trip. There's got to be a few great restaurants in SS, NY that Disney can emulate.

We did eat at Olivia's one night. We had no PS...called to try to get one at the last minute...after going through the whole nightmare with Disney Dining saying nothing was available at Olivia's...we made a PS at DTD. I made DH drive over to OKW ...and there must have been 15 free tables! I was miffed. We cancelled our DTD PS and had a wonderful meal at Olivias. I don't think SSR would need a sit down restaurant that is much bigger than O's.

I just assume that the pool staff put out towels for my use, isn't that nice of them! (I told a woman that one time she went ballastic, but what could she do. Apparently she had come out at 8 am marked her seat and gone back to bed for three hours. [/B]
ROFL!! I'll have to remember this one! I can understand wanting a chair to go back to after a swim...but saving them for the day is just ridiculous!


[I also read on the resort board about some people who went around and collected all the left items at a pool one time and piled them up with a sign that said "lost and found!") [/B]
I don't blame them. I think the problem with folks taking up tables at SSR is two-fold. 1) there aren't enough tables...even for the two buildings that were open in June. They have space to add 10 more with no problem. 2) The only place you can find some shade, is under the table umbrella! If they added freestanding umbrellas over some of the lounges, this might help. In the summer, the concrete is too hot to walk on!

tjkraz...Yes! DVC really mismanaged the expectations in regard to AP. I remember reading the descriptions of the big pizza oven...and visualizing big deep dish pizzas piled with toppings, calzones, etc. I visualized cases full of a great selection of prepared (cold and head&eat) foods instead of one selection per day. I remember one DVC CM being quoted about what a special, new and different kind of restaurant AP was going to be. I'm not dissappointed with the property itself...just the variety of offerings. I can go into my local Publix for a better selection of prepared and made to order foods!

LisaR
10-29-2004, 12:27 PM
Originally posted by mndisfam
For me (I am the OP), it wasn't so much the issue the Artist's Palette was just a food court and not a restaurant, it was the fact that the choices were so very limited.

We were there a week, and didn't see too much of a change on the menu. There were 2 options for kids all week that I saw - mac & cheese & hot dogs. For adults, there were 4? diff kinds of very good pizza flatbreads, a few "fancy" sandwiches and maybe 2 salads. Maybe a couple of soups also? I alsi think sometimes we saw family size entrees.


After a week, the limited choices got boring. Compared to Mora, at AKL for example, they had far less.

We stayed at OKW last year during the same time, and it was always hopping. We would either get food to go and take it to our room, or get stuff from the poolside grill at the gurgling suitcase.


I have to respectfully disagree with you here. Obviously, this is just my opinion and you feel differently. By your statement about OKW, you make it sound like there was so much more offered poolside compared to AP. You also mention how the menu never changed at AP. It never changes at OKW either or at any food court, that I am aware of .

OKW offers:
4 sandwiches, a hot dog, Conch Fritter, 1 salad and fruit (plus drinks and snacks).

SSR offers:
3 flatbreads, 4 sandwiches, 3 salads, 2 soups, 1 chef special that changes daily, Ribs, Mac n Cheese, hot dog plus drinks and snacks.

It seems to me like AP offers much more then OKW.

I didn't compare either to Mara's since that isn't a DVC resort. DVC members do have access to full kitchens vs. those staying at AKL. So, it would make sense to have a bigger selection at AKL, imo.

I just don't see why you think the choices were so limited at SSR compared with OKW. Is it that OKW offered food that was more to your liking, possibly?

I never read the initial reports on what AP was suppose to be like. I am glad I didn't. Then it may have been more disappointing to me. But, as far as poolside food goes (which is what I view AP), it is really good, I think.

I do think they will need another option when SSR construction is finished. That place will be a zoo at times and that won't be good.

Lisa

kweaver
10-29-2004, 01:11 PM
Here are the details from the August 2003 Member Clubhouse in which AP was spotlighted:

The main food service area of The Artist's Palette is split into four areas, Lori explains. To the far left is a bank of refrigerated cases, stocked with items you'd expect to find in a typical Disney Vacation Club Resort convenience location, such as milk, sodas, cheeses, and frozen pizzas. Directly in front and to the near left is the bakery area, with muffins and pastries. Some items will be self-service, while bakers from behind the counter will serve other fresh baked dessert items. Lori describes the centerpiece of the room as a "beautiful oven...where we'll be making pizzas, calzones, and focaccia [sandwiches]." Here, she says, "you'll be able to talk to the chef and have pizzas or sandwiches made to your liking."

To the right, near the retail area, Guests will find cases featuring the heartier entrees of the day, like meatloaf with gravy and mashed potatoes or lasagna. Guests can enjoy their meal at a table, or take the selections and dine back at their Vacation Home. A retail area will feature grocery items, bottled wines, and Walt Disney World merchandise.

The Artist's Palette will feature "an all-day dining program," says Lori, serving "a traditional American-style breakfast, with omelets, sandwiches, and breakfast pizzas, for example. Lunch and dinner will offer made-to-order sandwiches, fresh-tossed salads, and custom pizzas. We'll also feature nightly dinner entrees as additional options."

I do believe that we will see the variety of foods increase as SSR expands. I'd like to see a kids combo type meal...family sized pizzas (using the brick oven...more cold "grab and go" items like the kind that would typically come from a deli (pasta salad, chicken salad, etc.) and more than one dinner option at night.

I will say, as I have before, that the breakfast offerings are awesome (even if they don't have grits...much to the chagrin of DH). :D

mndisfam
10-29-2004, 01:50 PM
Katie - they did have grits when we were there last week!

Lisa - I think what i liked about OKW & Olivias is that we could go to the poolside grill (OK not really by the pool - close tho!) and order a full meal from Olivia's.

We missed the full meal to-go service. But maybe it was there. I was always a tad confused when we were in there. They sometimes had the special under heat lamps, and sometimes on a chalk board.

Then - they had really nice flat screen tvs with the menu, but it would change as you were standing there. Twice, we asked about items that looked like entrees on the tv screen, we were told they weren't available at that time.

I think its all growing pains. We thought artists palette was beautuful, and really enjoyed the turf club. I am really glad we bought at SSR. No where is exactly perfect for everyone, but I really like it. Of course, we like everywhere we stay on Disney!.

Disney is a smart company - despite all the rumors I heard (often contradictory) every CM told me that it will get figured out. I don't think I am naive to believe that - tell me I am not!

Donald's#1Fan
10-29-2004, 03:05 PM
As already stated above, which I agree with, is that they really did have expectations set very high for AP, while disappointed upon finding the limited choices, I was able to quickly get over it and just readjust to what they did have and we made the best of it, though limited now I do believe it will expand and they really do seem to be working the kinks out of the system. A small example is when the kids had had enough hot dogs and wanted something different, grilled cheese sandwiches was suggested, we already had the cheese and bread, but there was no butter in the refrigerated case, so I asked and they brought out a bag w/ probably a hundred small containers of butter from the kitchen and said it was compliments of the chef! They really are trying hard to please. As regards OKW and having more choices, although the menu at poolside is limited and never changes, you can order from the full Olivias menu there at anytime of day for takeout thus giving many more choices esp. if you don't want to do the full sitdown meal type of thing!

kweaver
10-29-2004, 03:36 PM
Originally posted by mndisfam
Katie - they did have grits when we were there last week!

He'll be thrilled! LOL! Thanks for letting me know.

DrTomorrow
10-29-2004, 04:24 PM
Considering that there's barely enough business to support one dining establishment (of course, no one ever brings up the Turf Club's menu) with only 4 buildings open, I'm glad that they have the food court as opposed to a sit-down restaurant. I do wish that they would expand their menu options a little - sometimes a man just wants a burger!

All that being said, once they open up all 73 buildings at SSR, I'll be quite surprised if a full-service restaurant isn't added....


PS I second tjkraz's comments on expectations: when I first read the descriptions, I envisioned something 2 to 3 times bigger than what's really there, with a lot more of everything (pre-packaged foods, take.to.the.rooms items, etc.).

Sammie
10-29-2004, 11:17 PM
I have to agree with LisaR, I think AP offers as many choices as the other Fast Food venues. There were many options in the refrigerator section.

I think the only complaint I see is that some do not care for what is offered.

I for one like the lighter, healthier choices over the standard fried chicken tenders, fried french fries, burgers and hot dogs and deep dish pizza. We much preferred the flatbread pizzas offered to traditional pizza.

It was finally a place for those of us who watch our weight and
cholestral to have some choices.

I hope they expand the options but with similar foods. Everything that was mentioned in the Member Newsletter was offered while we where so we had no disappointment in our expectations.

Here is Mara's choices and except for the fried foods and burgers you can get similar at AP.

Caesar Salad
Homemade Soups
Tossed Salad
African House Salad
Chicken Caesar Salad
Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Double Bacon Cheeseburger
Fish and Chips Platter
Chicken Strips
Fried Shrimp Platter
Pizza
Hot Dogs and Mac and Cheese for kids
And Assorted Desserts

DrTomorrow
10-30-2004, 12:16 AM
Sammie,

We were there during the MH in May, and don't get me wrong - we enjoyed the food at AP. However, it is just as possible to get sick of salads and flatbreads as it is burgers and chicken wings. If they offered the same items as you listed, I'd be a happy camper.

tjkraz
10-30-2004, 12:21 AM
Originally posted by DrTomorrow
If they offered the same items as you listed, I'd be a happy camper.

Ditto. That's a great list when added to the types of things I've already heard mentioned for AP.

I realize that you can only offer so much variety when trying to service a fairly small audience, but it seems like the grilled / fried foods mentioned are the types of things that could be prepared-to-order in +/- 5 minutes.

Sammie
10-30-2004, 02:20 PM
Originally posted by DrTomorrow
Sammie,

We were there during the MH in May, and don't get me wrong - we enjoyed the food at AP. However, it is just as possible to get sick of salads and flatbreads as it is burgers and chicken wings. If they offered the same items as you listed, I'd be a happy camper.

I understand completely. I just don't think any of the Fast Food areas offer any more variety than AP, it's just a different variety. I looked at all the menus for the Snack areas at the other resorts and all are pretty similar in the number of choices.

My point is I don't think that AP is offering any fewer choices than other fast food venues, only different choices of a healthier Spa like variety vs. the usual fast food venue.

We love Olivia's as much as everyone else. I agree a nice sit down full service restaurant would be a nice addition.

I just don't agree with comments that AP is so lacking in comparsion to other Fast Food venues. I just think those complaining prefer eating burgers and chicken fingers over what AP offers and we don't. I don't eat anything fried and I don't eat burgers, so we really like AP.

If they expand the menu to include additional choices I am fine with that as long as the exisiting choices remain.

tcmata
10-30-2004, 11:56 PM
We just returned from our first trip to SSR on 10/22-10/24. We had a great time! We had originally booked a studio for 10/23 for the day prior to our cruise. We later decided to add 10/22, however a studio was not available. The only thing we could do was to have a 1 bedroom for the 22nd and a studio for the 23rd. Boy... that's not the way to do it!! The studio was very nice, but such a letdown after staying in a 1 bedroom!!!

We travelled with our 5 month old for the first time and although the studio is sufficient room for us, the addition of the washer and dryer was very nice! We have a 1 bedroom booked for a trip in December and we can't wait!!

We do agree that AP would be better with a few selections like chicken strips or hamburgers in addition to what they are offerering. Breakfast was very good. Not sure if anyone else noticed this or not... it seemed that at breakfast, it was taking a long time for people to get their food. If you order multiple selections, the CM's put each plate under the "warmer" until the order is completely done. Well, some people came in thinking that those items were just already prepared and took them. So, the kitchen had to prepare the food again to complete the original order. This was very frustrating to the kitchen staff, but they handled it well.

We are new to DVC and this was our first visit home and we loved it!!!

pkitty
10-31-2004, 11:57 AM
I think that the addition of "real " horses to the resort would definately add to the theme and feel of Upstate Saratoga. We just recently bought our dd a beautiful black and white tobiano piant mare by the name of Destiny. Well on her paper work lo and behold her markings are listed as Tobiano with Mikey Mouse head pattern on left side. We had just come back from WDW and just purchased at SSR. We joked that "all we need now is a horse". Well we got the horse and a Mickey animal all at the same time. It really was "Destiny" that we would have her come into our life I guess!

All things aside though, anyone who has stayed during March Break at any of the All Stars is familiar with what a crowded pool means so I can't really imagine that the pool at SSR at it's worst could be as busy as that.

I also prefer a food court for the same reason as one of the earlier posters...when your travelling with kids they sometimes don't have the stamina to make it through one more sit down dinner. I find also that the kids menus are very limited everywhere. Alot of Mac and Cheese, hotdogs, burgers...stuff that my daughter doesn't really eat. Shes a big fan of the fruit cups, cheese plates, salads and pastries...alot of that you can get in a food court type setting. We stayed a POP last year and they have an excellent variety of foods there so hopefully once SSR gets going they will expand there menu to reflect something similar.

As far as cooking in the room goes....I barely cook at home what makes them think that I'am gonna cook while I'am on vacation...LOL!

:cat:

Donald's#1Fan
10-31-2004, 05:47 PM
I agree that other pools are much more crowded at certain times of the year, but for the money I'm putting out I'm not paying for that type of experience either!

jmminarik
10-31-2004, 07:49 PM
Originally posted by d-r
Our family isn't into cooking in the rooms, but I can't resist saying:

"sometimes men cook."

Sometimes? I and my two best friends (after my wife) do most of the cooking in our households and I do the cooking when we're at Home. One thing I learned from my sister-in-law, no woman ever shot a man while he was cooking dinner or doing the dishes. :D

As for limited menu's and "better restaurants", it's potentially true. Most of the small, hole in the wall but extremely good restaurants in Philly have limited menus. The difference is you have dozens of restaurant choices within walking distance in the areas that feature the restaurants and they're not catering to a "trapped" clientele. The problem may be the lack of restaurant choices, not menu choices.

As for not having pizza pans but selling pizza, if I recall correctly they sell the Tombstone pizza, and the cooking recommendations are to heat it directly on the oven racks. :confused3

Of course, these are my opinions. I could be wrong.
-Joe

Sammie
10-31-2004, 08:34 PM
pkitty, everything you listed that your daughter likes is offered at SSR.

I think some of the confusion comes from the use of the word Food Court. In my opinion no DVC resort or deluxe resort at Disney has a Food Court. The moderate and value resorts have Food Courts.

The only thing they don't offer is Fried Food and burgers. They are billed as a healthier option.