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Old 12-30-2013, 09:42 PM   #1
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Smile AOA Suite vs Cabins at FW

Hi. My family and I are trying to decide between a suite at Art of Animation or a cabin at Fort Wilderness. I am wary of the value rating for AOA ( but cant resist the theming) but also wary of the confusing layout of the campground ( have read that the buses are a nightmare). Does anyone have any recommendations? Thanks!
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Old 12-31-2013, 03:27 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Nursekatiebelle View Post
Hi. My family and I are trying to decide between a suite at Art of Animation or a cabin at Fort Wilderness. I am wary of the value rating for AOA ( but cant resist the theming) but also wary of the confusing layout of the campground ( have read that the buses are a nightmare). Does anyone have any recommendations? Thanks!
It depends on the experience you want. While AOA will give you a full immersion Disney hotel experience, the cabins will not. The cabins' setting is a true campground and the cabins are on a very secluded site, surrounded by tent and RV campers. There is no "hotel" experience there. Each unit is self-sustained and regardless of which loop you select, you will always be a considerable distance from the pool, stores, and other hotel-like features. Often a golf cart rental or taking your bicycles is essential to get around. Walking from your cabin to any destination is not recommended because it can be a very long walk. There is bus transportation available, but because of the large site you often need to transfer to get to the parks.

Also, if a "Disney" pool is important to you, please know that the pools at the cabins are far from that. The pools are not themed, and this is often a disappointment for kids.

We spent a week at the cabins a few years back and we loved it, but we knew what we were getting into. The solitude and peace at night provides for a great night's rest. There is fishing and canoeing available, and the theme parks are a short bus ride or two away.

Good luck!
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:33 PM   #3
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I will say upfront that I have not stayed at either yet. However, we are planning a trip in August, 2014. Our son and DIL have 4 kids, so we had decided either the cabins (2) or Nemo suites (2) at AOA were our only possible choices within any reasonable budget (we will have several other adult children with us which is why we need two of either).

My H and I were at WDW in November, so we decided to tour the cabins while we were there. We stopped at the reservation desk and asked if we could see a cabin. They were so nice, got a van, and had a CM tour us around the campgrounds and she took us into an empty cabin. That is when we decided to book Nemo suites instead. The campground is huge. The van drive to the cabins was necessary. The van drive to the main pool, store, restaurants, and boat to MK was necessary. The CM told us it's a mile drive from the front of the campgrounds, where the buses to the parks are, to the back of the campground where all the amenities are. There was just no way we wanted to drag 4 little kids on an internal bus every evening after the parks, just to get to the pool. And renting a golf cart is $79 per day and we'd need two or three of them for our size group! And it is a campground! Lovely in its own way, very quiet it seemed, but NOT Disney vacation at all is the feel we got.

So we have booked two Nemo suites for 9 days in August. We feel the easy access to QS restaurant, pool and the more Disney feel of the AOA resort is more for us. YMMV.
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:28 PM   #4
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We did the cabins last Jan for 4 adults and 1 infant. Worked out fine for us and we did not rent a golf cart. Only ever waited 2min for an internal or external bus. It was pretty easy getting around. We chose it because we were mainly a group of adults and likes the boat option to MK. we did enjoy it but probably wouldn't stay again until kids got older. DH wasn't a fan of the internal bus but it really didn't bother me. It was nice to have some quiet at night and your own little space
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:33 AM   #5
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First, the campground is one of our favorites, stayed many times, internal buses not that bad, as for pools, the main pool is nicely themed, and just remodeled with a kids area, the other hotels quiet pools are the same as the cabins quiet pool,
It just a personal choice, we like the friendly people at the fort, I have had campers driving a $ 500,000 + bus come up up to and start a conversation and thats the atmosphere there. We have stayed WL, Akl, and others and it just an experience thats different at each one..
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Old 01-01-2014, 03:19 PM   #6
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I agree that it depends on the experience you are looking for. Campground or Hotel. We have stayed at the cabins and have toured the AoA suites and since we are regulars at POP we eat there often.

Loved the interior of the cabins, especially since it was a last minute trip and we planned to cook many meals. We went with family and had side by side cabins. While we appreciate the level of campground is over the top, we did not like the walk to the bus, wait for the bus, catch the bus to drop us off somewhere to either get another bus or walk to a boat, then wait for boat, the take the boat. Transportation time was too much for our liking. After one trip to MK we decided to drive everywhere. We didn't participate in any of the campground activity because we couldn't just walk there. We made one quick stop in grocery, DH drove, I ran in. When we go on vacation we want to randomly walk to food court, shop, easy trip to parks and some Disney theme injected into our surroundings. I would def stay there if I had an RV (and family who does and loves it) or there was a great bargain rate but it was too much work for my vacation.

I would consider (1) are you going to cook, needing the full kitchen? (2) how are you with taking additional transportation to get anywhere in the campground, and double transportation to parks? (3) do you want to quickly walk to the food court, pools, etc or would you prefer quiet and privacy?
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:37 PM   #7
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I think I would love staying in a cabin, riding our bikes and taking the boat to MK. I would also love the extra bathroom in the AoA suite, though.
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:08 PM   #8
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I'd definitely prefer a cabin over an AoA suite. But I love the campground and all it has to offer.
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:40 PM   #9
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Another "cabin" fan here, as a matter a fact after many years of staying at several resorts (mostly deluxes too) in WDW this has become our favorite.

Love, Love the fact that they are not connected to other rooms (no common walls), no one above you and no one below which makes the best sleeping atmosphere that we have experienced in any resort on property.

But as many of the posters mentioned, just depends on what you're looking for...

IMHO the transportation is not so bad. When we stayed here last visit we were on a budget and didn't go with the golf cart nor did we have bikes so we did rely on the bus transportation which was really not so bad. There were a few times that seemed long but really not longer than 10 minutes for internal buses. As much as we love riding the golf cart around and having the convenience it was worth the $65+ savings a day. well, ok, we do cheat a bit as we do have a car since we drive to WDW from home, but 'most' of the time we leave it parked in front of the cabin. We mainly use it for traveling to another resort for dining purposes since it is the quickest option. (we never drive to the parks)

We prefer staying at the cabins during the cooler months as it can get quite buggy during the hot & humid times of the year. It has a very "cozy" feel to it.

We were never big fans of the values although we have enjoyed some of the moderates so even with a suite at a value I'm sure it is good for some but it's not our thing. Many people like the values, especially those that have suites.
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:13 PM   #10
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We stayed at AOA last year and loved it..2 bathrooms, 3 sleeping areas, quick walk to food court, bus stop, pool. I've never stayed at cabins though.
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Old 01-03-2014, 02:41 AM   #11
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We stayed at the cabins once. The transportation was inconvenient and there were no real dining options except the buffet and take out pizza. We felt that our stays off site were more convenient! We even rented a golf cart (which cost far more per day than our rental car). We still found the whole transportation set up to be inconvenient. So I would pick AofA.
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:42 PM   #12
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I was having the same thoughts myself. DH likes the fort so we are going to stay in the cabins. He likes renting the golf carts, being able to cook our own food and just the relaxing atmosphere. He thought that a week with only a microwave wouldn't be so great.
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:32 PM   #13
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I never stayed at fort wilderness but did stay at AoA. AoA was so much fun! Having 2 bathrooms was wonderful. The food court was nice and the pools are just wonderful there!
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:31 AM   #14
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I'm facing this same dilemma...my only hurdle being the bed sizes. I have tall children...my 11 year old daughter is already 5'8" and my 12 year old son is 6'2", not to mention the other two girls who are tall as well. We thought that staying in a cabin would be fun, but the bed sizes scare me lol. The beds are a double, and don't the bunks only fit someone 5'9"?
We don't need a kitchen in the cabins, but we'll probably pack our electric kettle to make oatmeal in the mornings just to maximize our dining credits.

I like the proximity of FW to the MK compared to AOA, but with AOA you get a suite. I'm torn too, so I am not too sure what to pick.
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