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Old 11-20-2012, 09:50 AM   #1
LockMomma
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Help with Resort Choice

I thought I had it all figured out (Caribbean) until I got on TripAdvisor...and saw that three of the other moderate resorts are rated better. Then onto another site which recommends the value resorts for first-timers unless you are able to afford the Polynesian. So where to stay?? I wanted the Caribbean because of the zero-depth entry and gated pool (My littlest is 2 and likes shallow water)...but I don't want double-beds. So we are between Art of Animation (like the kitchenette), any of the other value resorts and PO (Riverside or New Orleans) and the Caribbean? My priorities...queen beds, easy access to all the fun (no long bus waits), and a pool my 2 year old can enjoy independently (i.e., not me holding him in deep water)...Thanks!! I'm all so new to this and very overwhelmed!
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:55 AM   #2
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I vote Coronado Springs, even though not on your list It's the nicest of all the mod resorts and will give you the queen beds. There are several different pools and also several bus stops. The waits aren't long to the parks (I waited 10 min at the longest for a bus when I was there). There is a lot to do and the grounds are beautiful. I've also been told that it is the nicest of mods due to it having a convention center.

I would stay away from all value resorts because they all have double beds and they are super noisy (I think they forgot to add materials between walls- you can hear EVERYTHING). Plus if you stay in a regular room at AoA, they are in the very back of resort away from everything.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:26 AM   #3
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Hi op. I have two just turned 3 year olds that we have taken to WDW 6 times since they turned 18 months so I will offer some advice. We loved, loved, loved CBR. To me, it's pool is one of the best for toddlers due to the zero entry pool and the gated pirate ship area with water features and small slides. In my experiences, they do enforce the under 48" height limit in the play area which I think is wonderful. We stayed in April here and had such a good time at the pool that we returned in September just to use the pool (we were legal pool hopping, DVC members staying on points). But CBR is the only moderate with full size beds which you said you do not want. I didn't love that part of the other parts of the resort more than made up for it.

I will disagree with a PP who recommended CSR. Mthat is probably the last resort I would recommend for someone looking for a good pool with a toddler. We stayed here in June and overall, we really liked this resort as well. The rooms are beautiful but not very Disney, more like a nicer holiday inn or Hampton inn. We loved the food options here but, the big turn off for us was the pool. It's deep, no zero entry, and the toddler play area IMO is downright pitiful. Basically a plain wading pool. The slide is one of the best on property but most likely, too much for your two year old. We would gladly stay here again on an adult only trip or if we had older children.

I would recommend for a moderate resort (if you rule out CBR) you pick either POR or POFQ. POR has a very nice pool for the younger crowd, POFQ isn't too bad either. POFQ is a much more compact resort if that is important. Both of these resorts have queen beds. We haven't stayed at POR with toddlers and only walked the grounds of FQ.

As for value resorts, they all have double beds unless you book a family suite. We have stayed at all of the values except AoA multiple times. We stayed at movies for our boys second birthday and two months later in music. For the toddler crowd, we loved movies. It's the most compact of the all stars, the most recently renovated of the values (except the brand new AoA), and what kid doesn't love the big movie icons. We have never had a noise problem at a value, at least no worse than any other level. We have heard our neighbors in the deluxe resorts and moderate resorts. For a kitchenette, you would need to upgrade to a suite at AoA or all star music, so usually a bit priced than a moderate room. We stayed in a suite at music and loved it.

Here's my two cents on bus transportation. You never know what you are going to get. We have been going 4-6 times a year since 2000. Sometimes it's good, sometimes not. We have stayed at the same resorts and had differing experiences. You will see people reviewing the same resort on these boards for the same time period. One had problems with the buses, others had a perfect experience. During our stay at CSR this past June, I would say that was the best service we had. Short waits, always had a seat, no problems. But had I been staying in a different area of the resort I likely would have had a different opinion. We were the first stop. By the time we got to the third bus stop, we were standing room only, and the fourth, several times we drove by and picked nobody up and the driver called for another bus.

Hope this helps some. Ask any questions you need and happy planning!
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:41 AM   #4
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Only AOA has a zero pool from the values side and the only Mod to have a zero entry main pool is CBR, but like you said they only have full size beds. The other Mods do have a small kids pool area right by the main pool, I believe it is only a foot deep. So if a zero entry pool is a must, then I would suggest AOA or CBR. I totally believe buses are hit or miss at any resort. We like PO resorts a bit better than CSR, because it has more family stuff to do there.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:48 AM   #5
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Port Orleans is one of our favorites . Our girls also loved, when they were younger, the studios at Old Key West.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LockMomma View Post
I thought I had it all figured out (Caribbean) until I got on TripAdvisor...and saw that three of the other moderate resorts are rated better. Then onto another site which recommends the value resorts for first-timers unless you are able to afford the Polynesian. So where to stay?? I wanted the Caribbean because of the zero-depth entry and gated pool (My littlest is 2 and likes shallow water)...but I don't want double-beds. So we are between Art of Animation (like the kitchenette), any of the other value resorts and PO (Riverside or New Orleans) and the Caribbean? My priorities...queen beds, easy access to all the fun (no long bus waits), and a pool my 2 year old can enjoy independently (i.e., not me holding him in deep water)...Thanks!! I'm all so new to this and very overwhelmed!

Better late than never, but: Welcome to the Dis!

I really like TripAdvisor when checking out vacation resorts- except when it comes to Disney World. A lot of the reviewers on TA just aren't very savvy when it comes to Disney resorts. As for the comment about first timers only choosing values unless they can afford the Poly- I've never heard anything so absurd.

While CBR is our favorite mod, the double beds are definitely a turn off for a lot of folks looking at the mods. Hopefully they'll get queens during the next refurb, but that's no help to you now.

I agree that the values are out if you want queen beds, unless you can afford a family suite. And even then, I'm not sure if the amenities at the values would give you what you're looking for.

POR has most of what you want, but waiting for a bus in the mornings can be a challenge during busy times. POFQ (IMO) may suit you better- and you can still use the POR pool if you want to.

Have you taken a look at AKL? It is less expensive than a lot of the deluxe resorts (especially if you can get a good room discount) and has a very nice pool area as well as a playground area close by.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:34 PM   #7
jandm
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The OP is referring to the Your First Visit website (www.yourfirstvisit.net) - I too read that he doesn't recommend Moderates for first time visitors??? I thought that was odd. If you don't want to stay in a Value, yet can't afford the Deluxe, I'm not sure where he suggests you stay. lol! I obviously ignored that and went ahead and booked Port Orleans - French Quarter for our trip next year.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jandm
The OP is referring to the Your First Visit website (www.yourfirstvisit.net) - I too read that he doesn't recommend Moderates for first time visitors??? I thought that was odd. If you don't want to stay in a Value, yet can't afford the Deluxe, I'm not sure where he suggests you stay. lol! I obviously ignored that and went ahead and booked Port Orleans - French Quarter for our trip next year.
POFQ is a lovely resort. We stayed there for our first on site visit. Great resort!
FWIW, I think the resort choice advice on that site is not helpful. Disney has great moderates, and I think first timers, as well as repeat visitors will really enjoy them.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:34 PM   #9
LockMomma
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Thanks everyone so far. Well now I'm leaning towards either PO. So three questions. If PO which kiddie pool is better? Which PO? And is pool hopping allowed between CSR and CBR? (I like food options best at CSR and they have queens)... If so, thinking could stay at CSR but use pools at CBR? Thanks!!
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LockMomma View Post
And is pool hopping allowed between CSR and CBR?
No it's not. In general a resort pool is only for that resorts registered guests. There are some exceptions between "sister" resorts. All info on pool hopping can be found here.

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2450438
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LockMomma
Thanks everyone so far. Well now I'm leaning towards either PO. So three questions. If PO which kiddie pool is better? Which PO? And is pool hopping allowed between CSR and CBR? (I like food options best at CSR and they have queens)... If so, thinking could stay at CSR but use pools at CBR? Thanks!!
Pool hopping is not allowed.

POFQ has one pool and POR has 6 pools.

I suggest you go on their threads and take a look at the pics to decide what works for you. There are not really "kiddie" pools, they are kid-friendly.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:53 PM   #12
LockMomma
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Ah thanks. Like I said I'm a newbie at this. somewhere I had read that you could. So PO it is...now to decide which one...
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:01 PM   #13
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Ah thanks. Like I said I'm a newbie at this. somewhere I had read that you could. So PO it is...now to decide which one...
These 3 links are very helpful and informative.

http://wwwportorleans.org

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2999316

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2924189
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Last edited by dansdad; 11-21-2012 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:23 AM   #14
aubriee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LockMomma View Post
Ah thanks. Like I said I'm a newbie at this. somewhere I had read that you could. So PO it is...now to decide which one...

As others have said pool hopping is not allowed, except among sister resorts. The three All Stars allow pool hopping among their pools and POFQ/PORS allow pool hopping among their pools, but that is it. Even POP and AoA don't allow pool hopping, even though they are connected by a bridge.

I'd recommend POFQ. My husband and I took our 3 y/o GS there last Feb and he absolutely loved the sea serpent/gator pool. You can get an infant or toddler life vest for free at the gift shop to use for the entire week. My GS is very tiny for his age (easily looks two). They didn't have that many of the smallest vests that he needed, so the CM in the gift shop told us to keep it for the week, just to be sure to check it back in on our last day and not leave it in the room, or we'd be charged for it. My GS loved going down the sea serpent slide. They have to go down by themselves and won't let you go with them, but my husband would go up with him and come down just behind him while I waited off to the side at the bottom to catch him. He loved it and would have spent the entire trip in the pool, if we'd let him. Plus we love how small POFQ is and how nothing is very far from anything else. It's the smallest resort on property. It's also the first bus pick up. We loved knowing that we'd get a seat every morning and not have to stand.

Funny story: Our first night back at the resort, we called my son and D-I-L, so they could talk to my GS. They asked if he was having fun and he yelled, 'yes, I had supper with Mickey Mouse, got stuck on a monorail way up in the air, rode a boat to DTD and didn't have to wear a life vest, got to ride a bus without having to sit in a car seat, and got to slide down a dragon's tongue into a pool and almost drowned, but Nana caught me before I went under. It's great down here'. When I got back on the phone, my son asked what the heck we were doing with their son. lol The night they picked us up at the airport, it was cold here in Texas, so my D-I-L had called to make sure we had him in jeans and a hoodie for the flight home. After picking us up at baggage claim and as we were walking to go outside to the car, my GS was talking ninety miles an hour about all the fun we had. Just as we got to the automatically opening doors to go outside, he suddenly came to a sudden screeching halt, his eyes got big, he shuddered, turned, and without saying a word ran back inside. We had to chase him down and when we caught him, asked what the heck he was doing. He said "I wanna go back to Disney World where it's warm and I can swim everyday. It's too cold here". I said, 'don't you want to see your mom and dad? You've been gone a week." He looked at his parents, said "I've seen them, now I wanna go back and stay with Mickey Mouse where it's warm. Get me back on that airplane before it leaves." lol

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