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Old 01-19-2013, 10:04 AM   #1
blackacex2
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Are values under-rated?

When I was 12 years old, I stayed at all star music. I remember being completely blown away, and absolutely loved it. Now I'm 27, my wife and I have been to Disney each of the last three years, and we've always stayed at bonnet creek, with the exception of 3 nights we stayed at wilderness lodge. We don't have kids yet.

We are planning a trip this year to stay 1 night at the swan and 6 nights at the boardwalk or grand floridian. We never even looked at the values. I know the rooms are smaller but I was thinking- for tons less money you still get: A beautiful themed pools, access to extra magic hours, a unique and fun Disney theme, counter-service that is reasonably priced, on-site location, your room cleaned every day (doesn't happen at DVC rentals), and you can request a king size bed which isn't possible at places like old key west.

Right now I have access to a deal to stay at pop century for $424 for 6 nights. That's $1005 less than a boardwalk inn studio and $1,392 less than the grand floridian for the same time period.

Is $1,000+ worth it for- 130 more square feet in your room, walking to a restaurant vs driving to one 5-10 minutes away, having access to a hot-tub and pool slide vs easily being able to add the water park option with money saved, avoiding lots of loud families and children vs using saved money to get a spa massage twice and eat at victoria and albert's- twice!

I am re-thinking our whole trip. We could put $1,000 toward V&A, Spa treatments, behind the scenes tours, a fireworks cruise, or we could both get the deluxe dining plan and eat like kings (even though it's not a great deal).

All I'm saying is, how bad are the values to where you would give up couples massages, the best restaurant in Disney (or maybe in all florida), and special experiences you would normally never do?

I'm almost thinking hey- screw the boardwalk, let's squeeze into POP so we can put $1,000 bucks toward doing all the things we would normally say are too expensive.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:08 AM   #2
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I am personally very fortunate to be able to afford luxury resorts, I grew up in the 80's going to the Poly every spring and now I mostly choose the values. It serves the purpose, clean themed rooms and on disney property. I look at it that I can come back more than once a year and stay longer with the values. I did Poly with my DD (now19) a few years back. I couldn't wait to let her experience it. she likes the values better! I like the food court options and usually do my other main dining at other locations. I can use the extra money for other stuff I'd rather do on the trip. Everyone is different but for just two people I'd say it's enough room for you guys. Disney is not known for large rooms at any location. good luck with your decision!
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:20 AM   #3
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Depends.

I've done one at each level now, and while I thought I'd end up being a Deluxe girl...ehh not so much. (stayed Beach Club, POFQ, ASMuX2, AoA)

I actually prefer the moderate level.

Now if I could get some super deal on a deluxe, I'd totally do it again. I actually have more value stays than anything. But for the best combo of nicer surroundings but a reasonable price it's the moderate level.

For a price saver I have no problem staying Value. But I'm not a hang around the resort/pool kind of vacation girl so I didn't need a hot tub (though I do occasionally use a hot tub/pool I very rarely have at WDW), a table service resturant, bar/lounge, or seating area.

So if you plan to do any resort time then you may want a mod/deluxe, but if the resort is just someplace to sleep, grab a burger, or maybe sunbathe/splash to get cooled off, then I think you could do POP with no problem.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:21 AM   #4
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My Mom was very anti-value but we stayed at the POP last October. She loved it! It was perfect for just two adults. You will never know until you try it. You do lose some of the convenience (especially monorail resorts or boardwalk resorts), but like you said you gain a LOT financially by saving your money and spending it elsewhere.

Since you two are young and able-bodied I think you would find the values just fine. And since you don't have young kids you don't need to worry about the ease of getting back mid-day for naps or of having enough space for all the baby paraphenalia. I would absolutely try a value.

And you know what? The bus transportation from POP was the best we've had anywhere. Better than any deluxe or moderate. That was our experience anyway.

If the values had Queen beds instead of fulls (they would have to be just a smidge larger to make that work), I would be sold. I have no desire to sleep with either my husband or one of my kids in a full-size bed, though.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:25 AM   #5
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Oh I forgot the little beds.

I was travling alone on most of the value trips. That is the advantage of the mods/deluxe as well. Queen beds.

You can request a King room but you may not get it and end up with a double room that has two full sized beds.

Can you sleep together in a smaller bed or will you be fine splitting up and each having your own?

Also there are bars at the values it's just that it's usually at the pool and not inside like an actual sit down lounge type bar.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:25 AM   #6
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We could save about $400 stayed at art of animation in a suite- that has a queen bed, TWO bathrooms, and a lot more square feet to spread out. It also has a kitchenette.

Ahhhh boardwalk opulence vs less money for a suite at art of animation. Ahhhh, tough call!
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted2dizney View Post
I am personally very fortunate to be able to afford luxury resorts, I grew up in the 80's going to the Poly every spring and now I mostly choose the values. It serves the purpose, clean themed rooms and on disney property. I look at it that I can come back more than once a year and stay longer with the values. I did Poly with my DD (now19) a few years back. I couldn't wait to let her experience it. she likes the values better! I like the food court options and usually do my other main dining at other locations. I can use the extra money for other stuff I'd rather do on the trip. Everyone is different but for just two people I'd say it's enough room for you guys. Disney is not known for large rooms at any location. good luck with your decision!
ITA with this. We can stay luxury, but there are few places in NA that you are GUARANTEED a clean room for such a low price. The values also have all the amenities that we would actually use -- I know we could get more if we paid more, but we probably wouldn't use them. We only use our room as our bedroom (I don't live in my bedroom at home either) and the rest of the resort is the rest of our home while we're there. We like having no interior corridors since we're happy to escape winter. We spend a lot of time at the water parks so it's nice to have "just a pool". We go every year and take longer trips than most people here I think -- minimum of 10 days.

WDW also isn't our only trip each year -- it's an addiction but I'm happy we can afford to travel so much. I have to add that not all of our regular stops in other places are 5 star hotels -- we enjoy some quirky little places and most of our other favourite hotels would be called boutique hotels. Great and friendly service, impeccably clean, kid-friendly - that's really our bottom line.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:27 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by blackacex2 View Post
When I was 12 years old, I stayed at all star music. I remember being completely blown away, and absolutely loved it. Now I'm 27, my wife and I have been to Disney each of the last three years, and we've always stayed at bonnet creek, with the exception of 3 nights we stayed at wilderness lodge. We don't have kids yet.

We are planning a trip this year to stay 1 night at the swan and 6 nights at the boardwalk or grand floridian. We never even looked at the values. I know the rooms are smaller but I was thinking- for tons less money you still get: A beautiful themed pools, access to extra magic hours, a unique and fun Disney theme, counter-service that is reasonably priced, on-site location, your room cleaned every day (doesn't happen at DVC rentals), and you can request a king size bed which isn't possible at places like old key west.

Right now I have access to a deal to stay at pop century for $424 for 6 nights. That's $1005 less than a boardwalk inn studio and $1,392 less than the grand floridian for the same time period.

Is $1,000+ worth it for- 130 more square feet in your room, walking to a restaurant vs driving to one 5-10 minutes away, having access to a hot-tub and pool slide vs easily being able to add the water park option with money saved, avoiding lots of loud families and children vs using saved money to get a spa massage twice and eat at victoria and albert's- twice!

I am re-thinking our whole trip. We could put $1,000 toward V&A, Spa treatments, behind the scenes tours, a fireworks cruise, or we could both get the deluxe dining plan and eat like kings (even though it's not a great deal).

All I'm saying is, how bad are the values to where you would give up couples massages, the best restaurant in Disney (or maybe in all florida), and special experiences you would normally never do?

I'm almost thinking hey- screw the boardwalk, let's squeeze into POP so we can put $1,000 bucks toward doing all the things we would normally say are too expensive.
You could stay at the value, and add more days to your vacation. You could then have money to spend to hang out at the Spa at one of the deluxe resort and get couples massage. You can enjoy the restaurants, hang out on the beach to watch fireworks, etc. You can do all of the paid activities there, including boat rentals, etc., you just can't use the pool.

I'm fortunate in that I can afford any level of hotel, but my family has chosen a value (AoA family suites), over a deluxe depending on the type of trip we had planned. Last year it was value because it was my kids' first visit, and I knew we'd go park commando. This year we are doing Beach Club CL because it's a slightly longer trip, and we can have a more leisurely pace.

IMO -- ALL of the resorts are wonderful. Each one is perfect for somebody on here. Feel free to love them all
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:33 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by blackacex2 View Post
We could save about $400 stayed at art of animation in a suite- that has a queen bed, TWO bathrooms, and a lot more square feet to spread out. It also has a kitchenette.

Ahhhh boardwalk opulence vs less money for a suite at art of animation. Ahhhh, tough call!
did you look into the swan or dolphin? they can have some great rates too. slightly bigger rooms, and near the boardwalk. I've had friends get rates that are close to the value/mod level.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:52 AM   #10
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You could do a split stay 3/3 but I would do the value FIRST and do the bus-only park days then.
Most trips we stay our first night at a value since we drive down and arrive late and save a little $$ to go towards our food budget.
Neither DH and I want to stay the whole trip in one though. We really like the Epcot resorts convenience and not having to ride the bus (we really aren't fans of the bus transportation) or drive everywhere.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:54 AM   #11
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did you look into the swan or dolphin? they can have some great rates too. slightly bigger rooms, and near the boardwalk. I've had friends get rates that are close to the value/mod level.
The swan/dolphin is outrageously priced. Even the AAA rate at the cheapest room in the swan comes to $229 per night when you include tax and the resort fee. Add another $15 a night to park, plus needing to pay to park at the parks $14, it comes to $258 with their very best discount. We are staying at the swan our first night because it's free with a credit card promotion. Otherwise, it's just too close in price to staying at the boardwalk with our travel agent discount.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:06 AM   #12
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Not sure what your dates are but our last 2 trips I have cancelled our BWI ressie because I got a Swan/Dolphin rate $100 less a night (that included the fees). I would keep checking their rates too, sometimes they go down day to day and they will adjust it.
We loved BWI but just couldn't justify that much difference when the location/transportation is almost the same.
Also, you don't have to pay extra to park at the parks when staying there.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:09 AM   #13
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We have stayed at all the values (except AA), CBR/POFQ, WL/AKL. I love the deluxe resorts for the extra amenities but when we want to save a few dollars we will stay at a Value and have enjoyed our trips just as much. We stayed at Pop last year for the first time and found that it is one of our favorite resorts now. Have you priced the family suites? That would give you more room but maybe a little less money than the Grand Floridian or Boardwalk, plus if you stay at AA you'd be at a new resort and that could be a fun change. We also feel like POFQ is a really lovely resort. Rooms are bigger than a value and the resort is small and quiet with beautiful grounds. They have the boat to Downtown and POR is right next door if you want to visit another resort. POR has boat rentals and a sit down restaurant as well. One thing about WDW is you have so many options that it can be tough to decide what to do.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:14 AM   #14
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It's all relative. I felt crowded at AKL with just my husband, so I have a feeling the value resorts wouldn't suit us as we grow our family.
I'm a bit nervous about staying at POFQ with DH, DS, and my sister in April, because it's the smallest room we will have ever stayed in at Disney and with the most people.

We tend to spend a little extra time in our room though, since DH requires a break every day at Disney. I enjoy having beautiful grounds to wander during those times.

It probably would be worth trying once.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:44 AM   #15
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We can afford Deluxe as well, but have never stayed at a deluxe, or a Moderate for that matter. The secret to having enough money to do deluxe is to spend it wisely.

We are either in our RV at FW or at the Pop. For us its about value for the money. In our minds, the hotel is just a place to shower, sleep, and maybe take a dip once in a while. The values offer clean, well decorated rooms and include all the amenities we are looking for:

King sized bed (the kids are now in college, so won't be coming with us next Fall! )
WiFi
Nice Pool
Transportation (buses and cabs)
Great Service

I calculated that the money we will save by staying at POP over staying just at POR will cover the cost of the Dolphins In Depth at Epcot AND a Culinary Adventure in Signature Dining AND attend Party For The Senses at the Food and Wine Festival, and still have savings left over.

Everyone has to decide what has the most value for them. It's an individual decision. For us, as long as it says Disney when we pull up to the hotel we are confident it will be a good experience, enough so that we can spend money otherwise reserved for the room on more exciting experiences.
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