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Old 02-26-2013, 05:20 PM   #1
catra121
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Opinions Please

Okay...so I feel pretty confident in my knowledge about the various Disney resorts. I am planning a trip in September 2013 which went from being a solo trip to now being me, my brother, and my cousin (who will be going to Disney for the first time EVER). I'm VERY excited about this cousins trip. We are all in our 20s.

A little background:

I will be paying for the resort room as I have an annual pass and won't need to pay for tickets and the boys will be paying for their tickets. We will all pay for our own airfare and divide up the costs of meals (I have a TIW card...so that will help with the cost). I don't want to pay too much or waste money...but I DO want it to be an amazing experience.

My only real requirement with regards to resort is that it be on property. I don't do off site when I am paying the bill...lol!

My cousin doesn't care and will leave everything up to me.

My brother tells me today he has three requests.

1. There is a kitchenette.
2. There is a place to work out.
3. There is a hot tub.

UGH...my brother has to ruin all my plans...lol!

What I was thinking was that I would get us a suite at AoA in the Lion King area (which is my cousin's favorite Disney movie). Here are my reasons:

1. THREE beds. We are cousins and not the sharing a bed type. So each of us having our own bed would be a big plus in my opinion. Otherwise the boys will have to alternate who sleeps on the floor...it won't be me.

2. TWO bathrooms. Ummm...one girl and two boys. Enough said.

3. A kitchenette. My brother is a health nut and I knew this would be important to him. I also like that we could bring leftovers back to the room because I LOVE to have leftovers for breakfast and it would keep costs down.

4. I think it would be a very DISNEY experience for my cousin and since Lion King is his favorite movie...awesome.

5. It's new and I would like to stay there.

6. It's still a value so costs are reasonable and I like the transportation at the values.

Alright. My other idea was to stay at a deluxe. I would LOVE to stay at AKL and had actually intended to stay there when I was planning this trip solo. I think my cousin would really love this resort. But...only two beds, one bathroom, and no kitchenette. We could stay in a studio which would give us the kitchenette but then it's a pull out couch...which we could deal with I am sure. It's going to be pricey though. Don't think I would want to spend the money for a one bedroom. Plus side there would be hot tubs and a fitness center.

Now...we could do a slightly bigger deluxe and then we would get two beds plus a daybed. This would work...but no kitchenette. BUT...there would be a fitness center and hot tubs.

Now...I believe that I read somewhere that you can USE the fitness centers at other resorts for $12 a day...so if it's that important to my brother then he could go ahead and do that a couple of times during the trip and just pay for it himself.

And my feeling about the hot tubs...he can take a hot bath in his own bathroom...lol!

But seriously...I don't want to just ignore what he wants. He said the kitchenette is the number one important thing to him. AoA suite would have that. He could use the fitness center at another resort if he wants for $12 a day (if I have that right).

So what do you guys think? What would be some good options for us keeping in mind a reasonable budget. Most of our time will be spent in the parks...I don't use the pool or other amenities. My brother will likely work out 3 times during an 8 day stay...though he did say he could work around the fitness center if it wasn't an option. I'm going to wait until fall discounts come out to book the resort but am beginning the planning/budgeting now.

I am also hesitant to rent DVC points since my cousin and brother are two guys in their 20s...not the most reliable people I have ever met. I would hate to rent points for a one bedroom DVC and then have them flake out on me. A studio wouldn't be a big deal because I wouldn't care about spending that on myself. But the options would probably be limited on this short of notice.

Thanks in advance for any opinions as I try and sort through this...
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Stayed at: AOA Lion King Suite, Bonnet Creek , POP Century, Coronado Springs Resort, Port Orleans Riverside, and The Dolphin (when I was really young)

Next Stay: Caribbean Beach Resort September 2014
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:27 PM   #2
grimley1968
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Aside from AoA, which could be an option for you, I'd recommend looking into the DVC resorts. They have everything from studios to 2 or 3 BR villas, all with kitchenettes or even full kitchens. I think all of these places have small gyms, if your brother really wants to work out. I don't know if they cost money.

Another option is getting a cabin at the Fort Wilderness Campground. I believe they only have 1 bathroom, but they have 3 separate beds, though you may possibly have to share a room with your brother. Cabins have a kitchen as well.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:38 PM   #3
amyh1028
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I think you are right on the money doing AoA. Yes you can use the fitness center at other resorts (like CS) for $12.00 a day. I think being cousins and not wanting to share a bed (like most cousins don't ) 3 beds & 2 bathrooms would be the most important thing to me. I get the heebee geebee's thinking about public hot tubs. At least in a pool they dump chlorine in by the gallon to keep the germs out. Plus if the boys flake out on you AoA would still be fantastic you could keep the suite or try to downgrade to a LM room.
Oh I would book now, then just convert the rate when (if) a fall promo comes out.
Happy Planning!
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:50 PM   #4
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The AKL has bunk beds and a refridgerator. It also has a gym. I love this resort. You would lose the two bathrooms and the kitchenette. Although I never stayed there, I think you could let the boys sleep in the main area and shut them out, while you take the main bedroom at AoA. I think AoA meets most of your criteria, but I did want to point out you dont necessarily have to share beds at the AKL.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:02 PM   #5
catra121
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Thanks for the tips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grimley1968 View Post
Aside from AoA, which could be an option for you, I'd recommend looking into the DVC resorts. They have everything from studios to 2 or 3 BR villas, all with kitchenettes or even full kitchens. I think all of these places have small gyms, if your brother really wants to work out. I don't know if they cost money.

Another option is getting a cabin at the Fort Wilderness Campground. I believe they only have 1 bathroom, but they have 3 separate beds, though you may possibly have to share a room with your brother. Cabins have a kitchen as well.
I use a walker so I think Fort Wilderness would not be my ideal. Don't get me wrong...I love the outdoors...but using the walker outside on rough ground can be dirty and difficult...not what I want on my Disney vacation. Does that make sense? It's a good idea though...and my brother would like the full kitchen.

I really like the idea of bigger rooms but I don't think I want to pay for a 1BR or bigger. I make decent money but am trying to keep the cost down (this will be my third Disney trip of the year and have some expensive dental work coming up...YUCK).

Quote:
Originally Posted by amyh1028 View Post
I think you are right on the money doing AoA. Yes you can use the fitness center at other resorts (like CS) for $12.00 a day. I think being cousins and not wanting to share a bed (like most cousins don't ) 3 beds & 2 bathrooms would be the most important thing to me. I get the heebee geebee's thinking about public hot tubs. At least in a pool they dump chlorine in by the gallon to keep the germs out. Plus if the boys flake out on you AoA would still be fantastic you could keep the suite or try to downgrade to a LM room.
Oh I would book now, then just convert the rate when (if) a fall promo comes out.
Happy Planning!
Thanks. Yes...the plan would be for me to take the bedroom and for the boys to fight over the pull out couch and the spiffy murphy bed thing. They can share a bathroom and I would get mine to myself. Such luxury...lol!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RookieLady View Post
The AKL has bunk beds and a refridgerator. It also has a gym. I love this resort. You would lose the two bathrooms and the kitchenette. Although I never stayed there, I think you could let the boys sleep in the main area and shut them out, while you take the main bedroom at AoA. I think AoA meets most of your criteria, but I did want to point out you dont necessarily have to share beds at the AKL.
I didn't think about the bunk beds...that would be an option too. Not sure the boys would like it...but it would be doable. Thanks.

This is just the sort of stuff I am looking for...keep it coming!
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Stayed at: AOA Lion King Suite, Bonnet Creek , POP Century, Coronado Springs Resort, Port Orleans Riverside, and The Dolphin (when I was really young)

Next Stay: Caribbean Beach Resort September 2014
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:04 PM   #6
minnie mum
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In our family, whoever pays picks the resort. Yes, we may ask for input, but we have the final say. Stick within your budget. An AoA family suite is by no means cheap, and will tick all the squares except for the gym- and he can go to one of the other resorts for that. (I have to admit that after a day in the parks I couldn't imagine spending time at a gym, but that's just me).

Even less expensive would be one of the family suites at ASMu.

I assume that since your DB is so insistent on a kitchenette, he already has plans in place for groceries so he can do his own cooking? Let him know about Garden Grocer and wegoshop.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:20 PM   #7
catra121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minnie mum View Post
In our family, whoever pays picks the resort. Yes, we may ask for input, but we have the final say. Stick within your budget. An AoA family suite is by no means cheap, and will tick all the squares except for the gym- and he can go to one of the other resorts for that. (I have to admit that after a day in the parks I couldn't imagine spending time at a gym, but that's just me).

Even less expensive would be one of the family suites at ASMu.

I assume that since your DB is so insistent on a kitchenette, he already has plans in place for groceries so he can do his own cooking? Let him know about Garden Grocer and wegoshop.
I have mentioned Garden Grocer to him...that will definitely be something we plan on especially with an 8 day trip.

I agree about not wanting to work out after or before a day in the parks...but he's a fitness junkie. There's no stopping him...lol! Whatever makes him happy I guess. I may end up spending some time solo in the parks if he goes to use the fitness center.

I know the suite won't be cheap by any stretch...but that's about the max I want to spend and I think it would give us good value for our money. I know two rooms at a value would be cheaper...and two at a moderate close depending on the discounts available for the rooms. But I also think staying together is part of the experience of vacationing together, you know?

But I've always wanted to stay Deluxe too. Oh...what to do what to do?
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Stayed at: AOA Lion King Suite, Bonnet Creek , POP Century, Coronado Springs Resort, Port Orleans Riverside, and The Dolphin (when I was really young)

Next Stay: Caribbean Beach Resort September 2014
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:25 PM   #8
elaine amj
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Looking over his must haves...looks like the kitchen is the most "necessary". so looks like AoA is your only bet for staying onsite. He should be able to live without a hot tub and the gym he can get by paying.

I know u have your heart set on onsite...have u thought of Bonnet Creek?

Like PPs said, whoeve pays should get to decide. I totally get that u want to be as accommodating as possible though.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elaine amj View Post
Looking over his must haves...looks like the kitchen is the most "necessary". so looks like AoA is your only bet for staying onsite. He should be able to live without a hot tub and the gym he can get by paying.

I know u have your heart set on onsite...have u thought of Bonnet Creek?

Like PPs said, whoeve pays should get to decide. I totally get that u want to be as accommodating as possible though.
I stayed at Bonnet Creek in October with my family...didn't like it. Nice hotel and everything but the transportation was a pain for me with the walker so we ended up driving and I was frustrated by it every day. I will take Disney transportation any day over that nonsense (I HATE driving...even being a passenger in the car annoyed me). I also didn't have the Disney feel and I love the convenience of magical express. Off site is just not for me. Not knocking it for others...just not for me.

Plus...I really can't wait to show my cousin the awesomeness of Disney by being fully immersed in the Disney bubble.

Oh...I'm so excited for this trip! I wish I was rich so I could go over the top on the resort and stay in a 2BR DVC resort...but I just got out of debt last year and am being good and keeping those credit cards paid off every month. It would be so easy to go overboard for this Disney trip but I am sticking to what I actually have in the bank to spend.
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Stayed at: AOA Lion King Suite, Bonnet Creek , POP Century, Coronado Springs Resort, Port Orleans Riverside, and The Dolphin (when I was really young)

Next Stay: Caribbean Beach Resort September 2014
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:56 PM   #10
elaine amj
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I love my Disney bubble too.. So get what u mean. My March trip is my first trip offsite and I'm trying to justify the swalphin LOL!
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