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Old 09-12-2009, 01:14 PM   #1
Wrexie
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Smile New to forums--Jan '10 Trip--Moderate resort advice

Hi all--I'm new to the forums and just finding my way around, but this looked like the right place to post a "hello" and ask a couple of questions.

I've been to Disney World 3 times--once with my Dad when I was about 12, once with my husband and stepdaughter about 10 years ago, and once with my husband maybe 5 years ago.

On the last two trips, we stayed in inexpensive but adequate hotels--once at a Howard Johnson's near the main gate and once at a La Quinta Inn. We find we hardly spend any time in the room and never use things like the pool, because we're always at the parks, so it doesn't seem worth it to spend a lot.

However, we're thinking this year it might be fun to stay in one of the Disney Resorts and not rent a car, just take the bus from the airport and use the bus/monorail to get around. Is this more or less convenient than driving? I'm thinking it may be more because the buses may have their own routes that get you there quicker. I'm guessing the bus from/to the airport takes a while because it stops at lots of resorts. Any advice on how long to expect the trip to take, in a general range?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of the moderate resorts? We don't have the money for deluxe ones, and the value ones seem like they're best for families with kids, and we'll be 2 empty-nester adults. On the map, it looks like the Caribbean Beach and Port Orleans are close to Epcot, which would be cool because we want to spend 2 days in Epcot, 2 in Magic Kingdom, and 1 in Animal Kingdom. We get park hopper passes because most evenings, regardless of what park we're at, we like to go back to Epcot for one of the great international restaurants.

I haven't booked a trip yet but we're looking at the beginning of January. I ordered the DVD and signed up for email alerts so I'm hoping maybe a discount code will pop up between now and then. I'm thinking of waiting till early November to reserve something, though the airline prices look good right now so I'm tempted to book a flight sooner. Any thoughts?

I'm grateful for any advice!
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:54 PM   #2
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Since you primarily asking for advice about the resorts I am going to move this to the resorts board.
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Old 09-12-2009, 02:15 PM   #3
Momof2Disneyboys
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Welcome to the DIS!

We have stayed at CBR, POFQ, and CSR. Our favorite is CBR! It is very close to Epcot and DHS! We love the beautiful spacious grounds and the relaxing tropical feel. We love to lay in a hammock on the white sand beaches by the lake and watch IllumiNations. We always get hot & fresh food at the food court as well as great service. The rooms are slightly larger than the other moderates and they have double sinks in the bathroom area with lots of storage space underneath. The bus service is excellent (and it doesn't share with any other resorts) and we find CBR to be the most centrally located of the moderates making for very short bus rides to all parks plus DTD. Once the bus leaves CBR is it 3 minutes to DHS, 5 to Epcot, 9 to DTD, and 11 to MK & AK. The main pool is fantastic and there are 2 hot tubs and several quiet pools.

In our experience is has been anywhere from 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours using Magical Express from the time you land to the time you are checking in at your resort. There are usually 2-3 resorts using the same bus.

Good luck and have a great trip!
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Old 09-12-2009, 04:32 PM   #4
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WE've done both rental car and just ME onsite, plus offsite a number of times. The biggest advantage of a car onsite, IMO, is that you get some peace of mind in case of an emergency or semi-emergency. Say you need a pharmacutical product. A few otc things are cold onsite, some basic ones are not. Disney can get pharmacy stuff delivered, but sometimes you just want to keep these things personal.
Generally speaking, the other time a car is really nice is if you dine at certain resorts for dinner. Getting back via buses is a two step - you have to go to a park or DTD, then find a bus to your resort. You can also use a taxi (readily available, about $25-$35 a pop, plus tip.) A good thing is the mods are mostly fairly centrally located.

Many threads hotly debate car usage at WDW. There are pros an cons. Someone - usually one person for the ENTIRE stay - has to be the designated driver. That canbe a pain, uless one of you loves driving and ahving control. Carseats. Your own space for stuff. Strollers onthe bus. Buses are more or less PUBLIC and all that entails.

At Mk, the bus drops you off at gate. Driving means parking in the lot, then tram to TTC and monorail - that takes time. Bus is generally faster. For AK however, often buses also stop at the water park (sometimes HS, I think). That adds some time over driving, but we didn't find it a deal breaker.

Someimes if you leave a park directly at closing, or just after fireworks/parade, teh lines ofr buses can be long - up to an hour long. Sometimes the mods can be aomng the worst waits. It can help greatly to stay a little later or leave a little early. But it depends when you go. If overall corwds are low, the waits aren't as bad. Mid afternoon buses can be 30 minutes apart, but generally, if you come and go during peak times waits aren't that bad.

The big thign of mods is that they all have multiple stops. If busing is your issue, consider CSR ot POFQ. CSR has multiple stops - but the buses are often not full cause CSR is a convention resort. POFQ buses often go around POR, but it's always the first stop.

MCO has both onsite and offsite (shuttle bus) cae rental places. ME is usually slightly slower than getting a rental car from an onsite place. On par with an offsite car rental. Your resort may be the first stop or the third, but that's about teh limit. It may also take a little while for your ME bus to leave the airport - but the difference is maybe an hour tops, and usually less. On the return, you have to allow three hours for ME bus. How close you cut it in a rental car is up to you, but if you have to fill the car with gas...well, that takes time, and traffic can be an issue. Either way, the drive to the airport is about half an hour - and one should allow for traffic, plus drop off if offsite. So maybe you gain an extra half hour - except that you can drive from a park - ME is from your resort.

I think as far as drive, you have to look at not just distance. AS I recall, POR was actually closest to MK driving wise. CSR was quite close to Epcot. CBR is also close, BUT internally CBR has the most stops. When we've stayed at mods, we have ended up usng the car sometimes. If you are planning on going to Epcot for dinner each night, then having a car will probably be to your liking.

We also love Epcot's back side. In terms of food court, we found CSR's to be the best by far. It's also a GREAT deal if you plan on DDP. If not, the food is slightly more expensive at CSR than other food courts - but a slight cut above. they actually have international food in the food court. Check out the menu! I loved being able to get salsa for my eggs! I also loved the fresh fruit bar they have. Otherwise strawberries can be hard to find at WDW. POR has been called romantic, but I liked the transport least. One other tip, if transport is important, consider requesting a ground level room. It might be slightly noisier, but you won't have to deal with stairs/elevator. Much faster! Since it's a convention resort it will be slightly more adult.

Disney will probably offer a deal.

One more option to consider inthat same price range - our host. Often the Swan and Dolphin offer deals in line with mod prices. It would be an ideal option if you plan on January's cool weather and love the WS dining. You can't do ME (Towncar, rental). You may well get a rate of $149. These two resorts also have some EXCELLENT dining! The Swan has some of the best sushi anywhere! There is also excellent dining in the area. Try out the new place in the BWK: Kouzzina! They are right inthe heart of the World, and are slightly more adult than some of the other resorts. You also can't get the dining plan, but you'll make up for it if you dine at your home resort without needing as many ADR's. (You will still want to make them for some options, but I think the sushi place doesn't take them).
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Old 09-12-2009, 04:54 PM   #5
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We've stay onsite 3 times at 3 MOD resorts.
We've always used Disney Transportation and love it.
ME gets your luggage for you which is nice and they
deliver it to your Resort room.

My DH refuses to drive on Vacation because he says
"then it wouldn't be a Vacation"
We have never had any problem with the WDW Buses.
I find it easy to get around and after a long hot day
at the parks, it's nice that you have someone else to
drive. I've seen the trafic jams getting out of the parks
and don't want to deal with them, plus the busses are
already airconditioned when you get on.

We have really enjoyed our stays at the MODs on our
3 trips and POR has been our favorite out of
CSR, POFQ and POR. POR has one of the best CS Restaurants
with nice food choices. The landscaping is just beautiful.
It's a very relaxing resort to come back to after a day
at the parks.
I'm sure where ever you choose to stay you will have a
wonderful time.
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:25 AM   #6
Wrexie
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Smile

Thanks for the info! My husband likes the photos of the Carribean Beach Resort, so that is probably where we're going to end up staying. It looks like they have some boats available for the lake. Does anyone know how much this costs or where I could find this in another thread or web page? I love kayaking and being able to do this while at WDW would be a big plus!
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrexie View Post
Thanks for the info! My husband likes the photos of the Carribean Beach Resort, so that is probably where we're going to end up staying. It looks like they have some boats available for the lake. Does anyone know how much this costs or where I could find this in another thread or web page? I love kayaking and being able to do this while at WDW would be a big plus!
It's probably in the first few pages of the CBR FAQ ~ http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2087027

Have a great vacation!
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrexie View Post
Thanks for the info! My husband likes the photos of the Carribean Beach Resort, so that is probably where we're going to end up staying. It looks like they have some boats available for the lake. Does anyone know how much this costs or where I could find this in another thread or web page? I love kayaking and being able to do this while at WDW would be a big plus!

I took a picture of the CBR marina price board and it's posted in my second trip report. Just click on the bottom link. I'll also try to find the picture and post it for you.

I don't think you could go wrong with a stay at the CBR. It's so nice and relaxing.
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:47 PM   #9
Wrexie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momof2Disneyboys View Post
It's probably in the first few pages of the CBR FAQ ~
Thanks! I found in the FAQ thread that they have canoes. Yay!
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