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Old 11-07-2013, 06:00 PM   #1
catflorida
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Grand Floridian Fourth of July and New Years Eve

Has anyone stayed club level at these two busy times. Is is hard to find seating for breakfast and happy hour 5-7 in RPC and Sugarloaf? Fourth of July is booked in the main building but club level is available in the outer building. Trying to decide on Sugarloaf or just a Theme Park View for July 4th and then the main building for New Year Eve. I would rather book a room with a view and use room service and the restaurants if the club level lounges are too crowded. Any advice?
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:05 AM   #2
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Has anyone stayed club level at these two busy times. Is is hard to find seating for breakfast and happy hour 5-7 in RPC and Sugarloaf? Fourth of July is booked in the main building but club level is available in the outer building. Trying to decide on Sugarloaf or just a Theme Park View for July 4th and then the main building for New Year Eve. I would rather book a room with a view and use room service and the restaurants if the club level lounges are too crowded. Any advice?
We've never been over either one of those holidays (although both times will be very busy, with New Years being totally crazy), but having stayed both RPC and SL, I didn't care for SL. The food offerings are the same in both, but the lounges are so very different. The RPC lounge is very spacious with a lot of seating, while the SL lounge is small (IMO). The lounge is located right inside the lobby of the SL building and has limited seating. There are also no views from the lounge as it's in the center of the lobby, so there are no windows. If it were me, I'd go with RPC without hesitation as it's amazing, but I'd book a room with a view over SL if RPC wasn't available. Good luck.
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:28 AM   #3
catflorida
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Thank you Mickeynut1. I have never been over these two holidays, either. I am a Florida resident and always use my seasonal pass and go about six weekends a year in the cooler weather. I have never been in the summer (too hot) and always early December for the Christmas decorations. I am considering a resort stay only. I want to sit by the pool during the day and enjoy the restaurants on property and fireworks in the evening, with no park visits at all. Do you feel that the Grand Floridian will be too crowded or is it just the parks?
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:12 AM   #4
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Thank you Mickeynut1. I have never been over these two holidays, either. I am a Florida resident and always use my seasonal pass and go about six weekends a year in the cooler weather. I have never been in the summer (too hot) and always early December for the Christmas decorations. I am considering a resort stay only. I want to sit by the pool during the day and enjoy the restaurants on property and fireworks in the evening, with no park visits at all. Do you feel that the Grand Floridian will be too crowded or is it just the parks?
You're welcome . The GF gets very busy during Christmas time due to everyone wanting to see the decorations and the gingerbread house in the lobby and for Fourth of July, I think the pools might be a little busy with everyone wanting to swim, but I don't think they would be too overly crowded that you wouldn't enjoy just hanging by the pool and relaxing. Also, a lot of people like to be in the MK for fireworks (or go to the Poly beach), so I think the GF would be ok as far as that goes (just my opinion since I've never experienced either holiday). Both times will be busy as the 4th of July is summer and kids are out of school and New Years ends the holiday season, but I think both times would be great to go just to experience it (especially since the parks will most likely be busier than the resort ). With all of that said, I would definitely go with GF RPC for New Years because the lounge is a great place to relax while watching the hustle and bustle of the lobby. Plus the CMs are amazing and the food offerings are plentiful. For the 4th of July, SL might not be bad if you will be spending a lot of time pool side as the courtyard pool is located right outside the SL building, so it's convenient for grabbing snacks and drinks for relaxing by the pool .
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Old 11-09-2013, 03:33 PM   #5
catflorida
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Thankyou Mickeynut1. You have answered every single question, even the ones I hadn't asked yet. No one could have done it better. I am booking both dates exactly like you said, RPC for next December and SL for July since RPC is not available. Can't wait! I stayed in the main building, in January, in a deluxe king on the second floor and loved it. I am a fool for Disney since the first time I stayed there in 1974 at Fort Wilderness. I was only 15 years old. I still love the campground and will visit when staying this December 14th and 15th at Wilderness Lodge.
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Old 11-09-2013, 03:53 PM   #6
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Thankyou Mickeynut1. You have answered every single question, even the ones I hadn't asked yet. No one could have done it better. I am booking both dates exactly like you said, RPC for next December and SL for July since RPC is not available. Can't wait! I stayed in the main building, in January, in a deluxe king on the second floor and loved it. I am a fool for Disney since the first time I stayed there in 1974 at Fort Wilderness. I was only 15 years old. I still love the campground and will visit when staying this December 14th and 15th at Wilderness Lodge.
You're welcome....glad I could help . I think RPC is a great choice for December. We are booked RPC (deluxe queen room) for March and while I am considering changing resorts due to cost, it's very hard to let go of that deluxe room (and I haven't even stayed in a deluxe room before.....LOL). But being it's peak season and even with a 35% discount, the rate is still high and I'm having a hard time justifying it. With that said, have you ever stayed AKL CL or CR CL? I'm thinking about changing to one of those, but RPC is so nice that I can't make that change just yet because once I let go of that room, I won't be able to get it back. Any advice you can offer?
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Old 11-09-2013, 03:58 PM   #7
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Stayed SL 7/4/12 week and had problems finding seating in lounge (2 of us). Transferred to RPC and although fully booked, had no issues finding a place. Was really glad to get out of SL.

Pools were fine. Spent 3 days at pools and never found it crowded.
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Old 11-09-2013, 04:39 PM   #8
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Mickeynut1, I am staying at the Grand Floridian in March also, for one night, Saturday, March 1st! I have only started staying club level in the past two years. I stayed Yacht Club, club level last December for the first time and am staying there for one night after my stay at Wilderness Lodge club level, this December. I love the Yacht club second after the Grand Floridian, it is very intimate and I like the decor. I also had the best club level cast members of all the resorts. My stay club level at Boardwalk inn in May was okay but I am sticking with Yacht Club from now on. The problem with Animal Kingdom Lodge is that the club level is on another floor and very far away from the rooms. The lounge is wonderful and I love the pool. We stayed one night in January and did the Wanyama Safari with dinner in Jiko, the sunrise safari the next morning and then the Wild Africa Trek at 12 noon. It was a lot of fun and worth it because we really felt like we were on an African safari because we immersed ourselves for twenty four hours in every tour they had. I wouldn't pick that resort just to hang around though, like I would the Grand Flordian. I haven't stayed at the Contemporary since the Mid 1980's.

I know what you mean about the prices, they are getting outrageous but nothing beats the convenience of being on property because when it comes to Disney on-site is the only way to go. I do question the value of club level because to be honest I would prefer better food and nicer wine. I am seriously looking at staying in a regular room soon and ordering room service for breakfast, scheduling lunch and dinner at the resorts ahead of time and using the lounges at the hotels when they open at 4pm for drinks and appetizers. I hear the lounges at the Deluxe resorts serve some pretty interesting appetizers especially Crew Cup at Yachtsmen's Steakhouse and they are open until midnight. There is a really nice lounge right outside of Artist Point at Wilderness Lodge that is very cozy and is also open late. And of course Mizner's lounge at the Grand Floridian has music from the lobby band. The only downside is if they get too crowded. I am going to investigate them all in the next six months to see how busy they get. Keep in mind that we are two adults with no children and might prefer room service for breakfast and the ability to chose any lounge anywhere for drinks in the evening. We also have a habit of staying at the resort closest to the park we are visiting. I hope this helps as much as you have helped me.
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Old 11-09-2013, 04:56 PM   #9
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Thanks Pakey. I have to decide SL or Theme Park View for July because RPC is not available. Many say that SL is close to the courtyard pool and we are staying poolside all day and not going to the parks but I still wonder if I should go for a Theme park view in one of the outer buildings and have a view of the lagoon. Any advice?
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Old 11-09-2013, 05:03 PM   #10
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catflorida ~ Thanks for your input....and yes, it does help . Your point about AKL CL is the very thing that makes me hesitant to book it. We've stayed at AKL (savanna view and pool view) and love the resort and although I have read a lot of great things about CL, I don't really like that the rooms are on a separate floor from the lounge and that they are (or can be) a hike. We haven't decided yet, but we may or may not be doing parks in March. We tend to spend more time at the resort than the parks anyway, but since we will only be going for 4-5 nights, we may just make it a resort trip. With that said, I do want a resort that is good for just hanging out poolside and enjoying the club lounge. I love that Disney has so many choices, but they have so many great choices that it makes it hard to choose.....LOL.

Thanks again for your input, I really appreciate it and it does give me a lot to think about. As much as I love the GF and love RPC, I'm just not sure I can pay those rates, even with a decent discount.
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Old 11-09-2013, 07:03 PM   #11
catflorida
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Mickeynut1, if you are going to do a resort stay, only, then club level is a great idea because you will get full use out of it. We tend do a lot of resort stays without doing the parks because our child is grown, we are on our own and have done the attractions a million times. I am rethinking AKL club level. It could be a good resort stay if the weather is good and you can have full use of the pool. The CL lounge is one of the best, beautiful with a view of the lobby below, good food and very cozy. The atmosphere is great! The only downside is the rooms are nowhere close because DVC is on that floor. The resort has a beautiful pool, very lush, three great restaurants and good nighttime activities like tours, storytelling, movies, and night vision goggles. I like a pool view over a Savannah view and that would get you closer to the lounge, I think. The rates are so attractive at this resort. That said, my favorite for a resort only stay is the Wilderness lodge even though I don't like their restaurants. The club level is great ( everyone loves it), beautiful pool or the sandy beach on the lake, hikes or bike rides to Ft Wilderness, segway tours at FT Wilderness, short boat and or monorail ride to monorail resorts for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. That is what is so good about Wilderness lodge. You are secluded but still have access to all the other resorts. Trails end at FT Wilderness has a good buffet breakfast that a lot of people like and you can walk or go by boat. Movies on the beach at night, electrical parade on the lake, and fireworks from the Magic Kingdom. I just think that the Wilderness Lodge has so much to offer.
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:42 PM   #12
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Mickeynut1, if you are going to do a resort stay, only, then club level is a great idea because you will get full use out of it. We tend do a lot of resort stays without doing the parks because our child is grown, we are on our own and have done the attractions a million times. I am rethinking AKL club level. It could be a good resort stay if the weather is good and you can have full use of the pool. The CL lounge is one of the best, beautiful with a view of the lobby below, good food and very cozy. The atmosphere is great! The only downside is the rooms are nowhere close because DVC is on that floor. The resort has a beautiful pool, very lush, three great restaurants and good nighttime activities like tours, storytelling, movies, and night vision goggles. I like a pool view over a Savannah view and that would get you closer to the lounge, I think. The rates are so attractive at this resort. That said, my favorite for a resort only stay is the Wilderness lodge even though I don't like their restaurants. The club level is great ( everyone loves it), beautiful pool or the sandy beach on the lake, hikes or bike rides to Ft Wilderness, segway tours at FT Wilderness, short boat and or monorail ride to monorail resorts for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. That is what is so good about Wilderness lodge. You are secluded but still have access to all the other resorts. Trails end at FT Wilderness has a good buffet breakfast that a lot of people like and you can walk or go by boat. Movies on the beach at night, electrical parade on the lake, and fireworks from the Magic Kingdom. I just think that the Wilderness Lodge has so much to offer.
I think the AKL lounge overlooking the lobby makes AKL CL appeal to me because we have stayed WL CL and that is one of the (many) things I loved about that CL. WL CL is one of our favorites and I do agree that WL has a lot to offer and the location can't be beat as far as having a variety of dining options and other things to do. I did consider booking WL CL, but we have stayed there twice (CL once) and if I switch from GF RPC, I'd like to try a different CL. We will be spending a lot of time at the pool and the CR pool doesn't really appeal to me, so that's where the hesitation is for booking there (although I do want to try the resort). Our boys are older (18 & 20), so the parks aren't the big draw like when they were younger, so everyone kind of agrees to a lot of resort time. My oldest DS wants to go back to AKL, so I'm seriously considering it (even though the rooms aren't very convenient to CL). I'm going to give it some more thought and hopefully make a decision soon as I hate having things up in the air. Thanks again for your opinions .
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