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Old 06-16-2012, 01:22 PM   #2896
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Originally Posted by WDWKOOK View Post
Drive safely - are you stopping at South of the Border?
Some 40 years ago (dating myself here), we used to drive down to Myrtle Beach every year for vacation and the best part of the trip was reading those South of the Border billboards. I tried to convince my parents to stop and they never did.

A few years ago now as a parent we took our kids to Myrtle Beach for the first time and did the same thing - reading the signs (which didn't seem as numerous or clever as the ones from ages ago). I was excited because I WAS going to stop and show the kids. So we stopped. It was one of the biggest disappointments - the place was a total dump and given this is a Disney board I won't relate the actual language I was using to myself to express what it was really like. My DW was like, this is what you were excited about? Even the kids (who get excited about everything) were like - this place is terrible. Everything was rusted out, broken, not working, it just doesn't stand up to the image and up close it looks even worse than it did from the highway. Fortunately we left without any money spent there (although perhaps stopping at the firework store might have been a worthwhile endeavor).

Oh well, at least I stopped to make the kids happy, but I guess sometimes dreams are better than reality. Not in the case of Disney of course and WL in particular.
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:27 PM   #2897
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saintstickets just returned from a stay at the Villas of Wilderness Lodge and was kind enough to let me post his photos. Unfortunately, I don't have any room left in the Villas section of the first page for images, so I've posted them here and I've linked to them on the first page. You can read Bill's review HERE. He also stayed at Bay Lake Tower.






VWL STUDIO #3509:








VWL TWO-BEDROOM #3519:



















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Old 06-16-2012, 07:31 PM   #2898
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Hi all,

I am hoping a WL guru can give me some advice, or at least direct me to which of the almost 200 pages of this topic I might be able to find some direction! :

I have a trip planned for me, DH, DS (5) and DS (2) 10/8 - 10/13 at AKL. I am seriously considering changing to WL solely based on location. I stayed at AKL in May of last year and LOVED it. Part of our decision to stay there was based on the fact that we knew we weren't going to visit Animal Kingdom park, and that was a way the kids could see the animals, but we probably will go to Animal Kingdom this time, so it's not an issue. This will be our last trip to Disney for a while, so I'm weighing staying at some place I know I love vs. trying some place new.

Have any of you stayed at both? I would love to hear the pros and cons of both (if there are any) beyond just location and preference for theming. Is there any advice as to which would be better for a family with a 5 and 2-year old? . I loved the theming of AKL so much I'm afraid I'd be let down by WL. I am more than willing to be proven wrong though

Any help is greatly appreciated!
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:05 PM   #2899
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GatorEye View Post
Some 40 years ago (dating myself here), we used to drive down to Myrtle Beach every year for vacation and the best part of the trip was reading those South of the Border billboards. I tried to convince my parents to stop and they never did.

A few years ago now as a parent we took our kids to Myrtle Beach for the first time and did the same thing - reading the signs (which didn't seem as numerous or clever as the ones from ages ago). I was excited because I WAS going to stop and show the kids. So we stopped. It was one of the biggest disappointments - the place was a total dump and given this is a Disney board I won't relate the actual language I was using to myself to express what it was really like. My DW was like, this is what you were excited about? Even the kids (who get excited about everything) were like - this place is terrible. Everything was rusted out, broken, not working, it just doesn't stand up to the image and up close it looks even worse than it did from the highway. Fortunately we left without any money spent there (although perhaps stopping at the firework store might have been a worthwhile endeavor).

Oh well, at least I stopped to make the kids happy, but I guess sometimes dreams are better than reality. Not in the case of Disney of course and WL in particular.
Oh wow! South of th e Border!! I grew up in NY, and the folks would load up the family car and we'd drive down to Miami. I loved reading those signs. We even stopped once. I don't remember it being terribly run down but sad to hear its a bit worse for wear now..
We used to stop at Stuckeys too, loved their pecan pie
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:20 PM   #2900
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[QUOTE=lamblisa;45202913]Hi all,

I am hoping a WL guru can give me some advice, or at least direct me to which of the almost 200 pages of this topic I might be able to find some direction! :

I have a trip planned for me, DH, DS (5) and DS (2) 10/8 - 10/13 at AKL. I am seriously considering changing to WL solely based on location. I stayed at AKL in May of last year and LOVED it. Part of our decision to stay there was based on the fact that we knew we weren't going to visit Animal Kingdom park, and that was a way the kids could see the animals, but we probably will go to Animal Kingdom this time, so it's not an issue. This will be our last trip to Disney for a while, so I'm weighing staying at some place I know I love vs. trying some place new.


We've stayed at both. Aside from the obv theming, they are similar, being built by the same man. The location is better with WL, being in the MK resort area. Transp to MK by boat. Def more fun then the bus. They also have a resort boat that loops around WL, FW, & CR. so easy to get to dining. They have movies on th e beach, and the Electric Water Parade goes by,.The CMs at WL are wonderful. I love many things about this resort.

You already know all about AKL. I would suggest you look at the photos people posted, and the photos on all ears.net. Good luck deciding.
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Aug 2003 WDW Marriott Courtyard, [B]Aug 2005 [/BSeaWorld, Universal, Busch Gardens Hilton Garden Inn, ]Aug 2007 WDW CBR, Jan 2008WDW WL, Aug 2008St. Pete Beach, Universal-HRH, Sea Workd & Aquatica- Hyatt Place & Doubletree, Jan 2009WDW AKL, Aug 2009Key West Sheraton Suites, Cocoa Beach Hampton Inn, & WDW POR/WL, Jan 2010WDW Poly, Jan 2011WDW POR, Aug 2011WDW POR/BC CL, Jan 2012WDW WL, Aug 2012AKL CL, Jan. 2013POFQ Aug. 2013 WDW Pop, GF, YC Jan 2014POR

Next trip August 20-Sept 3 2014 Poly
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:12 AM   #2901
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GatorEye View Post
Some 40 years ago (dating myself here), we used to drive down to Myrtle Beach every year for vacation and the best part of the trip was reading those South of the Border billboards. I tried to convince my parents to stop and they never did.

A few years ago now as a parent we took our kids to Myrtle Beach for the first time and did the same thing - reading the signs (which didn't seem as numerous or clever as the ones from ages ago). I was excited because I WAS going to stop and show the kids. So we stopped. It was one of the biggest disappointments - the place was a total dump and given this is a Disney board I won't relate the actual language I was using to myself to express what it was really like. My DW was like, this is what you were excited about? Even the kids (who get excited about everything) were like - this place is terrible. Everything was rusted out, broken, not working, it just doesn't stand up to the image and up close it looks even worse than it did from the highway. Fortunately we left without any money spent there (although perhaps stopping at the firework store might have been a worthwhile endeavor).

Oh well, at least I stopped to make the kids happy, but I guess sometimes dreams are better than reality. Not in the case of Disney of course and WL in particular.
That's too funny. I threaten DD with stopping. We always jokingly ask her if she wants to stop and before I finish my question she says, "NO!" She thinks it's an old motel graveyard - which it is.

I actually was curious what the place was like back in its heyday (did it ever have a heyday?) I found some YouTube videos and there is one very interesting one that's a documentary that I believe was made in the early 80's. The owner, some workers and customers (some none too happy about paying to use the bathroom) are interviewed. It's both funny and sad, all at the same time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamblisa View Post
Hi all,

I am hoping a WL guru can give me some advice, or at least direct me to which of the almost 200 pages of this topic I might be able to find some direction! :

I have a trip planned for me, DH, DS (5) and DS (2) 10/8 - 10/13 at AKL. I am seriously considering changing to WL solely based on location. I stayed at AKL in May of last year and LOVED it. Part of our decision to stay there was based on the fact that we knew we weren't going to visit Animal Kingdom park, and that was a way the kids could see the animals, but we probably will go to Animal Kingdom this time, so it's not an issue. This will be our last trip to Disney for a while, so I'm weighing staying at some place I know I love vs. trying some place new.

Have any of you stayed at both? I would love to hear the pros and cons of both (if there are any) beyond just location and preference for theming. Is there any advice as to which would be better for a family with a 5 and 2-year old? . I loved the theming of AKL so much I'm afraid I'd be let down by WL. I am more than willing to be proven wrong though

Any help is greatly appreciated!
I have stayed at both and they are actually quite different experiences. My biggest issue with AKL is that the bus is the only mode of Disney transportation. While we always have our car available, I prefer a resort that offers more than one mode of escape.

As Sue mentioned, WL has a direct boat to the MK and a direct bus. There is also a boat to FW and the CR and a walking path to FW. Being right next door to FW is like having another vacation within walking/boating distance. It's so much fun to eat over there or go ride horses or ponies and tour the stables. They also offer water recreation there, too and it's fun to just walk around and look at all the RVs, many of which are decorated year 'round. Unfortunately, you can't do any of that at AKL. There is no water recreation, no bikes to rent, no marina, no beautiful lake or walking paths to other resorts. You can't get to any other resorts except by bus. Of course, there are the animals, which you can't find at any other resort.

I was fine with staying at AKL for just 3 nights and then we moved to another resort (split stay). That seemed perfect to me so I would suggest the same to you. Do you have enough time to do a split stay? I wouldn't stay less than 3 nights for a split (unless it's a late night arrival night). Otherwise, I would suggest booking WL. Your kids are at the age where MK is probably their favorite park, so why not stay where you can get back more easily for nap time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue M View Post
Oh wow! South of th e Border!! I grew up in NY, and the folks would load up the family car and we'd drive down to Miami. I loved reading those signs. We even stopped once. I don't remember it being terribly run down but sad to hear its a bit worse for wear now..
We used to stop at Stuckeys too, loved their pecan pie
Ah, Stuckeys - I remember those in Indiana. Did they sell anything other than pecan rolls?
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:30 AM   #2902
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:34 AM   #2903
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Thank you Sue M and WDWKOOK

If we were staying longer, we would definitely consider a split stay (with our last days at the Poly...a lady can dream), but with only 5 days I don't want to have to unpack twice.

I talked to DH and his thinking was a.) It's Disney, no matter where we stay it will be good; b.) I know what AKL is like, we might as well try something new; c.) the rooms are going to be new which is a plus; d.) how much time are we really going to spend at the room; e.) That extra 20 minutes in the bus could be better used having a cocktail at the pool bar or as you said WDWKOOK, for a nap.

So, between that and the 50 pages or so of the thread that I read last night, I decided to switch resorts. Now to read the remaining 150!

Thanks again :
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:46 PM   #2904
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamblisa View Post
Hi all,

I am hoping a WL guru can give me some advice, or at least direct me to which of the almost 200 pages of this topic I might be able to find some direction! :

I have a trip planned for me, DH, DS (5) and DS (2) 10/8 - 10/13 at AKL. I am seriously considering changing to WL solely based on location. I stayed at AKL in May of last year and LOVED it. Part of our decision to stay there was based on the fact that we knew we weren't going to visit Animal Kingdom park, and that was a way the kids could see the animals, but we probably will go to Animal Kingdom this time, so it's not an issue. This will be our last trip to Disney for a while, so I'm weighing staying at some place I know I love vs. trying some place new.

Have any of you stayed at both? I would love to hear the pros and cons of both (if there are any) beyond just location and preference for theming. Is there any advice as to which would be better for a family with a 5 and 2-year old? . I loved the theming of AKL so much I'm afraid I'd be let down by WL. I am more than willing to be proven wrong though

Any help is greatly appreciated!
I have stayed at both and both of them are wonderful. In your circumstances I think that WL would be the best choice. The reason for this, in addition to proximity to MK, is the fact that WL is a smaller hotel. AKL is really big and that can mean a LOT of walking within the resort. With your little ones, that might be an issue.

Bus service is good at both. AKL shares with the DVC property and it is the SECOND pickup. That bothers me. WL is the FIRST pickup although the buses do share with other resorts. That means that at WL, at least at pickup, you get a seat.
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:43 PM   #2905
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Today was my ADR day!!!!!
I made reservations at Chefs de France, Boma, Rainforest Cafe in DTD and Narcoosees, plus Kona Cafe at my much loved Polynesian for a Tonga Toast breakfast!!! This makes it seem a lot more real (along with getting my flight booked almost 2 weeks ago. I know, I know. I'm staying at WL & no Whispering Canyon or Artist Point, but my DD is a vegiterian. What are you gonna do?
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:59 PM   #2906
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We are here! In a new room! I will have to figure out how to upload from photobucket but until then if you have Facebook I have an album going. Just private MSG me and I will tell you my name.
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:08 PM   #2907
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We are here! In a new room! I will have to figure out how to upload from photobucket but until then if you have Facebook I have an album going. Just private MSG me and I will tell you my name.
That's great news! You and DS will not want to leave. Enjoy your new room, Rebecca!
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:49 PM   #2908
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Originally Posted by lamblisa View Post
Hi all,

I am hoping a WL guru can give me some advice, or at least direct me to which of the almost 200 pages of this topic I might be able to find some direction! :

I have a trip planned for me, DH, DS (5) and DS (2) 10/8 - 10/13 at AKL. I am seriously considering changing to WL solely based on location. I stayed at AKL in May of last year and LOVED it. Part of our decision to stay there was based on the fact that we knew we weren't going to visit Animal Kingdom park, and that was a way the kids could see the animals, but we probably will go to Animal Kingdom this time, so it's not an issue. This will be our last trip to Disney for a while, so I'm weighing staying at some place I know I love vs. trying some place new.

Have any of you stayed at both? I would love to hear the pros and cons of both (if there are any) beyond just location and preference for theming. Is there any advice as to which would be better for a family with a 5 and 2-year old? . I loved the theming of AKL so much I'm afraid I'd be let down by WL. I am more than willing to be proven wrong though

Any help is greatly appreciated!
We just came from a split stay. We stayed a week at WL and 1 night at AKL just to check it out. We love WL! Easy to get around resort. Love Roaring Fork food and always had room to sit. Love taking the boat to MK. Ate at Whispering Canyon which was fun our first night. Wish we would of ate at Artist Point, it smelled so good! Will plan that for next trip.

Did not love AKL. It was beautiful and seeing the animals was fun. We had a savanna room which we enjoyed. Walked long hallways and had to go across resort and outside to get to their food court which was very busy. Did not care for food options there. Enjoyed the stay, but will not go back.
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:21 PM   #2909
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The South of the Border comments make me laugh, because as a college student we stopped there twice on our way back from spring break. It was delightfully tacky at that age (20+ years ago) but I can only imagine that it could not possibly live up to they hype, and the years probably have not been kind.

I do have a question too about the bathrooms in the Villas - do they all have walk in showers? From the room layout it looks like there's both a walk-in shower and a bathtub in the one BR villa. What about the studios?
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:23 AM   #2910
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamblisa View Post
Thank you Sue M and WDWKOOK

If we were staying longer, we would definitely consider a split stay (with our last days at the Poly...a lady can dream), but with only 5 days I don't want to have to unpack twice.

I talked to DH and his thinking was a.) It's Disney, no matter where we stay it will be good; b.) I know what AKL is like, we might as well try something new; c.) the rooms are going to be new which is a plus; d.) how much time are we really going to spend at the room; e.) That extra 20 minutes in the bus could be better used having a cocktail at the pool bar or as you said WDWKOOK, for a nap.

So, between that and the 50 pages or so of the thread that I read last night, I decided to switch resorts. Now to read the remaining 150!

Thanks again :
For a 5-night stay, I think you made a great decision. Bus Vs. cocktail - cocktail wins every time.

Happy planning and let us know if you have any questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcsilverspring View Post
Today was my ADR day!!!!!
I made reservations at Chefs de France, Boma, Rainforest Cafe in DTD and Narcoosees, plus Kona Cafe at my much loved Polynesian for a Tonga Toast breakfast!!! This makes it seem a lot more real (along with getting my flight booked almost 2 weeks ago. I know, I know. I'm staying at WL & no Whispering Canyon or Artist Point, but my DD is a vegiterian. What are you gonna do?
WDW dining is great - they seem to happily cater to food allergies and restrictions, from what I've heard. All the restaurants and even QSs, have vegetarian options. You can even speak to a chef or your server before dinner to discuss your DD's specific restrictions and the chefs will work with her to make her happy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heather13 View Post
The South of the Border comments make me laugh, because as a college student we stopped there twice on our way back from spring break. It was delightfully tacky at that age (20+ years ago) but I can only imagine that it could not possibly live up to they hype, and the years probably have not been kind.

I do have a question too about the bathrooms in the Villas - do they all have walk in showers? From the room layout it looks like there's both a walk-in shower and a bathtub in the one BR villa. What about the studios?
Hi, Heather13. The VWL Studio bathrooms do not have the separate shower like the larger villas. They are combined with a tub like at WL. Here is a link to two Studio bathroom photos that appear under "Studio Villa:" http://dvcnews.com/index.php/resorts.../maps-a-photos
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