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Old 04-06-2013, 10:17 PM   #1
kldnyc
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Wilderness Lodge vs. Swalphin

We are traveling to WDW in October for the first time with our kids (ages 3 & 5). I've been doing the research, and decided to book a bunk bed room at the Wilderness Lodge. We like the idea of being a boat ride away from MK, having separate beds for the kids (less fighting) and the balcony/patio for DH and I to sneak outside for a glass of wine after kids are in bed. I was so excited! But.... I just found out that we have enough Starwood Points for four free nights at the Swan/Dolphin. This would be a savings of over $3000!!! I'm very tempted to switch our reservations. For some reason, though, I keep feeling a little let down that we will not be at WL. Opinions on this?
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:26 PM   #2
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Will you have a car? If not, you'll have to get yourself to and from the Swalphin area on your own--no Disney's Magical Express.

Were you planning on getting a dining plan? If so, you can't if you're at the Swalphin.

How long were you going to stay?
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:06 PM   #3
kldnyc
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We're staying 7 nights with no dining plan. Wasn't planning on renting a car, but I would if we did Swan/Dolphin. The cost of a rental is far less than 4 nights @ WL.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kldnyc View Post
We're staying 7 nights with no dining plan. Wasn't planning on renting a car, but I would if we did Swan/Dolphin. The cost of a rental is far less than 4 nights @ WL.
True. How much are the other three nights at the Swalphin?

IMHO, I had a friend who stayed there Christmas 2011 and they had a miserable time. From the toilet not working, to the thermostat not working, to double charging for the room and it taking almost the entire length of their trip to get the charges reversed and the rooms being shabby, I don't think I'll be staying there based on her experiences any time soon. All of her family said that the place was due for an upgrade.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kldnyc View Post
We're staying 7 nights with no dining plan. Wasn't planning on renting a car, but I would if we did Swan/Dolphin. The cost of a rental is far less than 4 nights @ WL.
You might want to do a cost comparison (if you want to rent a car or not) because keep in mind you have to pay for daily parking at the S/D. Not sure how much an airport shuttle costs back/forth to the airport. As far as everything else goes with a savings of $3000 I would absolutely choose the S/D. (even @ $15 a day to park plus the cost of the rental you are most certainly out way ahead no matter what).

Check on the resorts board (where this thread might get moved to ) for details on both resorts. These resorts are VERY different (WL vs S/D-we've stayed at all of them SEVERAL times...you were mentioning balconies, keep in mind there are many S/D rooms that do have balconies and some of the views are spectacular.

The other thing you may want to take into consideration is which park(s) you think you may spend the most time at. We love the Epcot resort area because of the access to Epcot and HS as well as the BW/BC/YC areas. Lots of restaurants within walking distance (not to mention the ones at the S/D too)! The whole area is just really lively whereas the WL can sometimes feel secluded. Nothing wrong with that, don't get me wrong...just depends on what you're looking for (we absolutely love FW because of the secluded feeling but we also love the Epcot resort area too and being in the middle of lots of activities)...That's what makes WDW so versatile because you can change to a different option whenever you stay there (oh and another idea, split stay?? ) Decisions, decisions...
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:32 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice so far, and yes, please move this to the resorts forum if possible!
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:15 AM   #7
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I would do a split stay.
4 Free nights at Swan/dolphin and then 3 nights at WL

WL is my favorite but I couldnt turn down free nights
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:44 AM   #8
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I would do a split stay.
4 Free nights at Swan/dolphin and then 3 nights at WL

WL is my favorite but I couldnt turn down free nights
This is such a good suggestion, best of both worlds, WL, the calm, relaxing atmosphere of the wilderness...yet, right by MK and the MK resorts...the S/D, the beach area, lively and exciting and very accessible to HS & Epcot...
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:50 AM   #9
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I totally agree a split stay would give you the best of both worlds and would be easy on the old wallet.
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:16 PM   #10
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Very intrigued by the idea of a split stay- Thanks for the suggestion! Do you know if WDW would transfer our luggage for us?
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