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Old 01-05-2013, 08:40 AM   #1
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Bonnet Creek or Port Orleans

Hi all,
We are currently booked at Port Orleans - Riverside...love it there. I came upon Bonnet Creek after our last vacation and vowed the next time we go we'll stay there. Well....I have a quote and its a good one from VS. I just don't know what to do.

Is Bonnet Creek as magical feeling as staying on site? I know its a matter of opinion but this is a big concern for me. Our kids are 13, 10, & 7 and I want them to have the disney experience. We did stay at Poly in 2007 so they have been there before...but our 7 yr old doesn't really remember much.

I'm concerned with the buses but considering we're booked at POR...I'm not sure we should be too concerned. But are considering a rental car as well. Which to me is definitely not disney. I'm thinking I'm making a big deal out of this and probably shouldn't. We're a family of 5 and I feel we ought to jump at the condo at BCreek.

Any advice or thoughts are welcomed!

thank you,
DS14 DD11 DD8

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Old 01-05-2013, 02:56 PM   #2
Earning My Ears
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We had to make this very same decision. We're going with Bonnet Creek. My youngest is a baby (will be 5 months) and that was a deciding factor for us. We wanted to be able to segregate the kids so they couldn't keep each other up. Now, that won't be a factor with kids your kids' ages. But I am not entirely sold on the "magic" being contained at Disney resorts. Maybe it is because I grew up in Florida and just don't have that association? We have always driven and thus always had a car. In any case, Bonnet Creek looks amazing and I can't wait! I'll report back on how magical it was for my kids--6, almost 3, and 5 months.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:28 PM   #3
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I was just sitting here making my pros and cons list for the exact same thing. I wanted to stay at Riverside just to try it after staying twice at POFQ but we stayed at Bonnet Creek last April and we loved having all the extra room. I will give my opinions on Bonnet Creek.

Love the space...we had a 2 bedroom with a balcony overlooking Epcot and could see Illuminations every night. Full kitchen, living room. Awesome view.
Hated the buses. Very, very un-Disney like IMHO. They wanted tips, not as clean, just not Disney BUT they do run on a schedule. They are further out than Disney bus stops too.
I personally would not stay there without a rental car but then again, the only time we flew we had a rental car on property bc I don't like the Disney buses that much either. I think it is much quicker to hop in my car and be where I want, when I want. Personal choice here all the way.
Also, at Bonnet Creek you have to remember you have to pay for parking and can't take advantage of Extra Magic Hours.
We saved a ton of money on food by staying at BC. We were easily able to pack lunches and we made a large breakfast casserole and coffee cake to eat on all week.

It was such a toss up for me. We have a quote for 7 days 2 bedroom being over $500 less than room only at Riverside and decided to go with Bonnet Creek for the space. We love to spend a lot of time at the Disney Resorts but we can drive to any resort to eat, shop and enjoy some of their activities such as Yee Ha Bob or animal viewing at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Sept. 2009 All Star Sports, Sept. 2010 CSR, Sept. 2011 POFQ, Nov. 2011 AKL, April 2012 Bonnet Creek, Sept. 2012 POFQ, Nov. 2012 AOA, June 2013 Buena Vista Suites, Sept/Oct 2013 POR

June 2014-POFQ Quick 4 night trip for SWW then off to the beach!

September 2014-Split Stay. 4 nights FD AKL, 10 nights BCV for F&W

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Old 01-05-2013, 09:12 PM   #4
Brian Noble
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There are three things you might want in your lodging for a Disney vacation:

1: To be onsite.
2: To have a reasonable amount of space.
3: To spend a reasonable amount of money.

Most people can't have all three, so you have to decide which one you are more willing to live without. For our part, we thought a 2BR at Bonnet was comparable to, say, a 2BR at Old Key West. But, the 2BR at Villas at Wilderness Lodge was a notch above. It is also much more expensive. So...again, you just have to decide what you really want.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:45 PM   #5
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Not sure when you are planning to go but if you wait a few weeks, I can give you our feedback!! We are at POR end of Jan for 5 nights & then to WBC for a week after.

We have never stayed at either so should be fun

Based on what I have read here, I think they will be very different experiences.
DS 13 * DD 11 * DS8 * DS4 * DD2
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:31 PM   #6
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We've stayed at both POR and WBC. I personally would go with WBC every single time, but that's just me. To tell you the truth, I would even pay more to be at WBC than POR. Again, that's just me. Nothing wrong at all with POR. It all comes down to personal preference.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:39 PM   #7
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For our family, there's nothing magical about having us all stuffed into a small hotel room. While we loved POR on our 2009 trip, I cannot imagine a family of 5 sharing that small space. Our family of 3 was cramped enough in there.

I would take the space at Bonnet Creek over POR any day. After experiencing the space (which comes with a huge cost savings, another bonus in my books) at offsite resorts, I doubt we will ever stay on Disney property again. At least not until DH & I are doing a grown-up trip without the kiddo.
Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899

Currently planning for 2015 -- May, October & Christmas Week

PTR: A Spring Fling on the Dark Side - 2 Muggles Celebrate in Diagon Alley http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=52945601
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:50 AM   #8
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Just back from our first off-site stay at WBC

Hi! I can give you a run down of our first experience staying off-site a WBC.

We usually fly and stay on-site with the dining plan. This time we drove, did not have the dining plan, and stayed at WBC in a 2br deluxe for two weeks 12/22-1/5. We are also a family of 5...my kids are actually very close in age to your three.

WBC was great in many ways.
The highlights for us:
Price, Price, Price!!!
room-washer and dryer in room (I could pack less.)
-kitchen (made breakfast everyday, some lunches and dinners)
-2 bathrooms
-enough room for everyone to spread out
property- many pools and hot tubs (clean and rarely crowded)
-mini golf
-the property felt safe and fairly well maintained

WBC weaknesses:
Customer service was very poor. By the end of the two weeks we could write a small list of instances (nothing major..all small issues) that were never resolved. We just avoided contact with the staff, and did out own thing at the resort. It wasn't worth getting bent out of shape over, vacation time is valuable and we wanted to enjoy ourselves.

We have stayed at POR for two different vacations. It is one of our favorite resorts. It is full of Disney magic. If you think that you will miss that "Disney Feeling" by staying at WBC... you probably will. We did. It is not the same type of Disney vacation. Not necessarily less than...just different. We went and visited the Disney resorts to see the decorations, to grab a bite to eat, and to pin trade. It made the differences between Disney resorts and WBC even more apparent. It made us wish we were staying on property.

I would tell anyone that goes to Disney regularly to give WBC a try. If you know that you will be back, it is worth giving a try to see how you like it. If you are doing a once in a lifetime trip or you only go every 5 or 10 years, spend the extra money, stay on property, get the dining plan and enjoy yourself without the reality check of going off property. Stay in the Disney bubble. Maybe rent DVC and get a villa to get the best of both worlds. (We did this before and it was great. but, it was pricey.)

Some other things that I noticed... I physically felt great this trip. I usually feel bloated and have gained a few lbs.. But, because I wasn't eating all of the large meals, desserts, snacks meal after meal while trying to "get my money's worth" on the dining plan, I felt great! We could make breakfast in the morning before heading out to the parks. Some days we packed sandwiches, fruit, yogurt, snacks for lunch. I also made a few meals at WBC. It was very easy to grill at the resort, and cook some simple meals in the kitchen. (Well stocked with cooking pans and utensils BTW.) We ate at a few Disney restaurants for dinner and enjoyed some off-site restaurants, as well. So, although I love the dining plan.... It is NOT my friend!!!

Either way, you will enjoy your vacation.. it is Disney after all! I don't think that you will regret giving WBC a try. It is a very nice resort and the price is great.

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Old 01-06-2013, 03:52 PM   #9
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Thank you to all the replies

Hi there,
I want to thank everyone for replying. The family sat down & looked at pics of both places. Then looked at all the pros & cons. Then we considered the ages of our kids...they're still in the age of "magic" of Disney....heck I"m still in the age of the magic of Disney..lol. Not sure if its out grown!

We went with POR...we just love that resort. Its laid out, love all the paths, bridges & the grounds are so beautiful. Although, the WBC looked nice as well...it was just different then POR. Also, love the boat to DTD. So in the room we may be a little cramped but we'll deal with it. And if I have to take a day to stay behind and do laundry while sunning myself by the pool...so be it! I don't want to cook on this vacation...I want to relax. So no kitchen.

heheheheh....thank you again. Perhaps we'll try WBC next time.

Have a great day!
DS14 DD11 DD8

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