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Old 01-05-2013, 08:48 AM   #1
FlyersStink
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Yearly Disney Family Needs Advice--Switch from Deluxe to AoA???

Hi,

My wife and I have been going to Disney pretty much yearly for the past nine years. My daughter is four, and this year will mark her fourth trip.

Most years, we go with my folks; they prefer the Grand Floridian. Obviously, it's always nice when someone is treating you. On our own, we have stayed at AKL before our little one. When we have bought the trip ourselves, we have gone to Caribbean Beach.

For a moderate, we liked CB, though the bus ride was a bit of a drag, and we missed the "inside hotel" feel.

This year, we are looking at AKL, Port Orleans French Quarter, and AoA. I've been inside French Quarter, and it looks nice.

My big question is about AoA. Is it overrun by kids? Will we wait long for busses? Basically, what is the experience like? Also, is it worth the cash burn for a suite?

Thanks for any opinions!
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:48 AM   #2
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We have a family of five and have stayed at all levels in the resorts (see my ticker). We did try AoA for 1 night before our cruise and really enjoyed it, but I will say, it seemed very busy with families and just lots of people around in general as compared to other resorts. It was beautifully themed, that being said, it was REALLY colorful and not as say, serene, as the other resorts you are considering.

We really enjoy Port Orleans Riverside, and French Quarter would be the same feel (we always take some time there at the pool and for lunch). It's very resort feeling, quiet, but plenty of fun. The pools are great and the resort has that Disney feel to me. I have tried Coronado and did not get that same feeling.

As far as the extra room in the suites, nice, but even with a family of 5, we would still choose Port Orleans and a smaller room.

None of these will be bad choices, but I would vote for Port Orleans, either section, for you. Good luck and let us know what you decide.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:06 AM   #3
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My opinion is that the resort is set up for families that need 2 rooms because they can no longer fit in one room. And instead of taking the chance of not getting a connecting room they made a resort full of suites. The resort is geared towards kids but has a large price tag. We are a family of 4 (DD6 & DS 1 1/2) I priced out a stay there for us I could not get past the price for a value resort. I know it is a suite. But. For the price I rather stay in a deluxe. If its just the 3 of you, you really have to decide what is important to u? A resort geared just for kids, extra room and a kitchen. Or more amenities, interior corridors, pools with a slide and quieter theming.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:18 PM   #4
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Here is my suggestion:

Since there will only be three of you (I assume this is the party size from reading the OP?) Try AoA once. Since you are yearly visitors and if AoA doesn't suit you, you know for next year to cross it off the list of potential resorts.

Your 4 year old will LOVE the Little Mermaid section. It fits perfectly for her age and the rooms are beautifully designed. I think you will all enjoy it.

And if there are only three of you (once again, my assumption from the OP) you don't need to pay the big bucks for a suite - LM rooms are priced just as cheap as other values.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:09 PM   #5
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What about a split stay? You could stay at AoA in LM room first and then switch to a resort that offers a more relaxed atmosphere. We liked FQ when we stayed there. It is small, quiet, close to POR (I love POR CS), and you have the boat to DTD.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:32 PM   #6
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These are all great suggestions!

Quick question: POFQ--are there interior corridors? I know that it sounds silly, but it's something that we really like and missed at Caribbean Beach.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyersStink
These are all great suggestions!

Quick question: POFQ--are there interior corridors? I know that it sounds silly, but it's something that we really like and missed at Caribbean Beach.
Nope - none of the moderates have interior halls. I think a split stay would be nice. I enjoy them to get a taste of different resorts.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:57 AM   #8
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Yes Disney will move your luggage and there is no fee besides any tip you give the bellman at each resort. They do it all the time and make it easy EASY!

You can book and apply a discount at a later date ---- if one comes out. If your dates and resort are set, book it now.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:50 AM   #9
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Just be aware that the customer service at AoA is still working out kinks. We stayed there in December and are used to staying at moderates and deluxes. The level of service we received was bad - and I have a lot of patience for that kind of thing. Doesn't usually get to me. The check-in lines were the longest I have ever stood in. We had problems with keys, getting our bill, etc.

If you are used to the level of service you receive at other hotels, you may be disappointed. It is a beautiful hotel and I highly recommend looking it over, but I won't stay there again.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:55 AM   #10
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What about the differences in the pool areas? We have AOA booked for November and just upgraded to the suite ( LK). I haven't seen alot on the board about the differences between the pools.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:22 AM   #11
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The pools don't have slides, but the Big Blue Pool is still pretty amazing. It's got a zero entry for little ones, and it's got an underwater sound system. The pool is enormous.

I stayed in the Cars section, and the Cozy Cone pool was really nice. I used on of the cabanas in the afternoon and enjoyed a nice breeze coming through the windows.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneytwinsmom View Post
What about the differences in the pool areas? We have AOA booked for November and just upgraded to the suite ( LK). I haven't seen alot on the board about the differences between the pools.
I kind of feel like a pool is a pool but honestly, as a parent of little ones, I didn't like the Big Blue Pool. My kids aren't swimming on their own yet and wear arm floaties. My husband was always in the pool with them - they were never alone. They only felt comfortable in and around the zero entry part because it is shallow. There were a few problems with that: all the other little kids felt the same way so that area of the pool was crowded even though the pool is enormous and no chairs are allowed in that area so I had to sit on the concrete to watch my kids swim. I ran into another triplet mom doing the same thing one afternoon.

And even if they were good swimmers, the pool is so big, I wouldn't feel comfortable trying to keep an eye on them unless they stayed in one area.

We stayed at BC in August and I loved the smaller pool areas there.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyersStink View Post
Hi,

My wife and I have been going to Disney pretty much yearly for the past nine years. My daughter is four, and this year will mark her fourth trip.

Most years, we go with my folks; they prefer the Grand Floridian. Obviously, it's always nice when someone is treating you. On our own, we have stayed at AKL before our little one. When we have bought the trip ourselves, we have gone to Caribbean Beach.

For a moderate, we liked CB, though the bus ride was a bit of a drag, and we missed the "inside hotel" feel.

This year, we are looking at AKL, Port Orleans French Quarter, and AoA. I've been inside French Quarter, and it looks nice.

My big question is about AoA. Is it overrun by kids? Will we wait long for busses? Basically, what is the experience like? Also, is it worth the cash burn for a suite?

Thanks for any opinions!
Personally, if I had only 1 little one, I would stay at a moderate instead of paying for a suite. Staying in an AoA suite saved us $ b/c there are 6 of us and we got a good discount thru AAA.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:01 PM   #14
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My husband and I and our dd's 13 & 15 stayed at AoA for 8 nights in October. We were in one of the Lion King Suites. It was nice for us because of the 2 bathrooms. That being said, there were lots of kids...everywhere. It's Disney World so I expected that. Last year in January, my sister and I and our kids stayed at the POFQ. My second stay and the first for everyone else. We loved it! It was beautiful, peaceful and the boats, buses, and restaurants are easily accessible. We were in one of the buildings close to the pool at the AOA and everything seemed like it was a pretty long walk. We usually rent a car, but one night we took a bus to the Magic Kingdom from AOA. When we left, the lines to get back to the resort were MUCH longer than for any of the other resorts. I was impressed by the way Disney handled it though, and they brought in extra buses which made the lines move fairly quickly. I have stayed at POFQ, POR, Boardwalk, AKL, AKL-Kidani, POP, and AOA, and I have to say that my favorite is POFQ. The Queen sized beds were comfortable, my 5 year old niece LOVED the pool, and the grounds were SO pretty. This resort has nice theming, but the AOA definitely was better themed. My advice: If you are looking for pretty but quiet, stay at the POFQ. If you are looking for theming and don't mind the crowds, stay at AOA. Hope you have a great trip!
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:53 PM   #15
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I would just like to add that the Flyers do not stink!!
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