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Old 10-05-2006, 08:41 AM   #1
GEM
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ASMo: Thumbs Down, CSR: Thumbs Up

I'm finally getting around to a brief report on our September trip. It was just me and my 3 year old this time. We stayed 10 nights - 3 at All Star Movies and 7 at Coronado Springs.

First, let me say that I'd stayed at All Star Movies once before, about 5 years ago and I remember not being nuts about the bus service, but I did think it was a cute place. We had added 3 nights to the beginning of this trip, and we couldn't get CSR for those nights, so I chose All Star Movies because I figured my little guy would like it. He LOVES the Fantasia movies!

Well, I have to say that I definately wasn't impressed at all and we won't be doing any more All Star stays. Let me make it clear that I'm not a value hater, as I had a pretty enjoyable trip to Pop in June. However, the bus situation at the All Star Movies this trip was enough to make me say NEVER AGAIN! The parks were absolutely dead. I'm talking walking on to Dumbo at 11:00am with NO WAIT! However, you would have guessed from the All Star bus situation that it was peak season. Every single bus that came to get us was already packed from the other two All Star resorts and it was always standing room only. For three days, we never once got a seat on a bus. We were always jammed in the aisle like sardines. Twice it was so crowded that we just stepped aside, opting to wait for the next bus, only to find that it also arrived already filled up! Seriously, it was a nightmare! Going to and coming from the parks each day was an exercise in torture. Now, I know people are going to post that they had wonderful transportation, and I'm not doubting that. But, I can tell you that this experience was consistently horrible - at all different times of day to all different places - that this alone has made me cross the All Stars off my list forever. I will say in their defense that the busses came pretty frequently, but they were always stuffed so full that it didn't matter!

I also didn't like the Food Court. The food offerings were really un-interesting and bland - pizza, burgers, chicken sandwhiches, some pasta. Nothing interesting or different. I was really missing those yummy flatbread sandwhiches we had at Pop!

And, overall, the whole placed just seemed loud and cramped - no nice, quiet little places to get away and relax. I missed the lush landscaping and beautiful architecture of the moderates and deluxes, all those wonderful hidden little areas. At All Star Movies it was mostly just concrete and plastic - no shade, no landscaping to speak of. Even at Pop there seemed to be more in the way of landscaping and more quiet little places to get away.

There were some nice things about our stay there. My little guy loved the "ice cave" wading pool, since he loves that part of Fantasia 2000. Our room and the grounds were very clean, so no complaints there.

Moving to Coronado Springs was like a breath of fresh air! The bus transportation was amazing! Not only did we ALWAYS get a seat on every single trip, but the busses were never crowded at all and there were never any long waits. It was heaven.

The landscaping and architecture were so beautiful and peaceful. It was like a true haven after a long day in the parks. I loved taking walks around the lake in the evening and seeing the buildings all lit up. Absolutely breathtaking! We were in the Ranchos section, very close to the Dig Site and a bus stop, but a bit of a walk to the El Centro area. It didn't bother me, though. It was a lovely walk over the bridge and it didn't take more than 10 minutes or so. And, I definatley thought our section had the neatest theme.

The Pepper Market was incredible, definately the best food and atmosphere of any resort counter service we have encountered. We loved it and enjoyed many meals there.

The Dig Site area was so much fun!! My little guy loved the pool, of course, but also the huge sand box and playground, which is SO much cooler than any of the other resort playgrounds we have seen, with Saratoga Springs being the only one that even comes close - and it's a pretty distant second.

We encountered lots of friendly CMS everywhere. Housekeeping was great. We had the cutest towel animals! And, the convention people in their matching polo shirts or whatever didn't bother me a bit. They were always friendly and everyone seemed to be having a great time!

Anyway, that's the condensed version. If anyone has any questions, I would be happy to try and answer them.

Last edited by GEM; 10-05-2006 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 10-05-2006, 09:02 AM   #2
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I guess thats why they have a huge selection of resorts to choose from, each person has a different experience.
We went to Coronado 2004 and didn't like the resort, and thought the food was cold and terrible, and could't believe they would charge extra 10% to eat it there.
ASMo is our favorite, we stayed there over August when the parks were full and waited a few minutes most of the time for our bus, only once we had to wait 20min. because of a EVC being loaded, boy that takes a long time.
We have always had hot and fresh food there also.
We also loved they have a extra pool in the back for the Might Ducks wing.
We all can't love the same place or it would always be booked, glad you like Coronada.

Last edited by rstamm; 10-05-2006 at 09:03 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-05-2006, 09:08 AM   #3
Buzz2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GEM
Moving to Coronado Springs was like a breath of fresh air! The bus transportation was amazing! Not only did we ALWAYS get a seat on every single trip, but the busses were never crowded at all and there were never any long waits. It was heaven.

The landscaping and architecture were so beautiful and peaceful. It was like a true haven after a long day in the parks. I loved taking walks around the lake in the evening and seeing the buildings all lit up. Absolutely breathtaking! We were in the Ranchos section, very close to the dig site and a bus stop, but a bit of a walk to the El Centro area. It didn't bother me a bit, though. It was a lovely walk over the bridge and it didn't take more than 10 minutes or so. And, I definatley thought our section had the neatest theme.

The Pepper Market was incredible, definately the best food and atmosphere of any resort counter service we have encountered. We loved it and enjoyed many meals there.

The Dig Site area was so much fun!! My little guy loved the pool, of course, but also the huge sand box and playground, which is SO much cooler than any of the other resort playgrounds we have seen.

We encountered lots of friendly CMS everywhere. Housekeeping was great. We had the cutest towel animals! And, the convention people in their matching polo shirts or whatever didn't bother me a bit.

Anyway, that's the condensed version. If anyone has any questions, I would be happy to try and answer them.
Thanks for sharing another great review of CSR!!
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Old 10-05-2006, 09:10 AM   #4
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Thanks for sharing! CSR does sound nice
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Old 10-05-2006, 09:35 AM   #5
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I love CSR. I just did a mother/daughter trip staying at ASMo end of Sept and missed CSR.
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Old 10-05-2006, 10:21 AM   #6
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ASMo
Sorry about the bus situation at All Star Movies.
What a bummer. When DH and I stayed at Music in September the bus usually just picked up at our stop and headed to the parks but one morning when about 3/4 of the seats were taken we headed over to Movies. That driver kept trying to load people on the bus until the aslies filled double wide with standing people.
I really felt sorry for those people.

CSR-

I did not get a chance to look around CSR much.
When we went there to eat at the Pepper Market I did not have my electric mobility scooter. DH drove us to the CSR and I used my walker to walk to the Pepper Market from the lobby.
We loved eating at the PM. Everything was wonderful!

After we enjoyed eating at the Pepper Market we wandered outside by the Marina. We had talked during dinner about going to find the pool and I could see where the Dig Site Pool was located across the Lake and there was a nice bridge but DH's RA was acting up and I did not have my electric mobily scooter so the distance was just far for both of us.

It is too bad the main pool is about 1/3 mile from the El Centro area.

I was hoping the pool would be closer and that someday CSR would have
paid preferred locations like the values.

Glad you enjoyed your stay at CSR!
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Old 10-05-2006, 10:59 AM   #7
GEM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minnie61650

It is too bad the main pool is about 1/3 mile from the El Centro area.
Like I said, that didn't bother us a bit. We're healthy, so a short walk is no problem. It really only took 10 minutes or so from our building to the Pepper Market, and we were about as far away as you could be - and that was with a three year old!

Of course, I work on a university campus, so I'm used to hiking all the way across campus for meetings, etc. and that's a much bigger distance than anything I encountered at CSR! And, there were shuttles running the loop that were available to stop and give people rides. We saw lots of people taking advantage of them. We never did, though, since we had a stroller with us and we didn't find the walk bad at all.
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Old 10-05-2006, 01:28 PM   #8
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I never get tired of reading all these great CSR reviews!! Thanks for sharing!!
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Old 10-05-2006, 07:23 PM   #9
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Great review, thanks for sharing!!
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Old 10-05-2006, 07:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GEM
However, the bus situation at the All Star Movies this trip was enough to make me say NEVER AGAIN! The parks were absolutely dead. I'm talking walking on to Dumbo at 11:00am with NO WAIT! However, you would have guessed from the All Star bus situation that it was peak season. Every single bus that came to get us was already packed from the other two All Star resorts and it was always standing room only. For three days, we never once got a seat on a bus. We were always jammed in the aisle like sardines. Twice it was so crowded that we just stepped aside, opting to wait for the next bus, only to find that it also arrived already filled up! Seriously, it was a nightmare!
The bus order for the ASes go Sports-Music-Movies. That's the reason for the crowding every day.

I stayed at Coronado Springs last year. It was very nice; the only problem I had was the size. We got off on the wrong bus stop in the hotel last year, and spent about 30 minutes wandering around, attempting to find our rooms.

Glad to hear you had a fun time!
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Old 10-05-2006, 08:53 PM   #11
GEM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JzeroT1437
The bus order for the ASes go Sports-Music-Movies. That's the reason for the crowding every day.
Yeah. I knew that. It probably wouldn't have been so awful if we had been at Sports, which is the first stop. That theme has absolutely NO appeal to us, though. Oh well.
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Old 10-06-2006, 07:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GEM
I'm finally getting around to a brief report on our September trip. It was just me and my 3 year old this time. We stayed 10 nights - 3 at All Star Movies and 7 at Coronado Springs.

First, let me say that I'd stayed at All Star Movies once before, about 5 years ago and I remember not being nuts about the bus service, but I did think it was a cute place. We had added 3 nights to the beginning of this trip, and we couldn't get CSR for those nights, so I chose All Star Movies because I figured my little guy would like it. He LOVES the Fantasia movies!

Well, I have to say that I definately wasn't impressed at all and we won't be doing any more All Star stays. Let me make it clear that I'm not a value hater, as I had a pretty enjoyable trip to Pop in June. However, the bus situation at the All Star Movies this trip was enough to make me say NEVER AGAIN! The parks were absolutely dead. I'm talking walking on to Dumbo at 11:00am with NO WAIT! However, you would have guessed from the All Star bus situation that it was peak season. Every single bus that came to get us was already packed from the other two All Star resorts and it was always standing room only. For three days, we never once got a seat on a bus. We were always jammed in the aisle like sardines. Twice it was so crowded that we just stepped aside, opting to wait for the next bus, only to find that it also arrived already filled up! Seriously, it was a nightmare! Going to and coming from the parks each day was an exercise in torture. Now, I know people are going to post that they had wonderful transportation, and I'm not doubting that. But, I can tell you that this experience was consistently horrible - at all different times of day to all different places - that this alone has made me cross the All Stars off my list forever. I will say in their defense that the busses came pretty frequently, but they were always stuffed so full that it didn't matter!

I also didn't like the Food Court. The food offerings were really un-interesting and bland - pizza, burgers, chicken sandwhiches, some pasta. Nothing interesting or different. I was really missing those yummy flatbread sandwhiches we had at Pop!

And, overall, the whole placed just seemed loud and cramped - no nice, quiet little places to get away and relax. I missed the lush landscaping and beautiful architecture of the moderates and deluxes, all those wonderful hidden little areas. At All Star Movies it was mostly just concrete and plastic - no shade, no landscaping to speak of. Even at Pop there seemed to be more in the way of landscaping and more quiet little places to get away.

There were some nice things about our stay there. My little guy loved the "ice cave" wading pool, since he loves that part of Fantasia 2000. Our room and the grounds were very clean, so no complaints there.

Moving to Coronado Springs was like a breath of fresh air! The bus transportation was amazing! Not only did we ALWAYS get a seat on every single trip, but the busses were never crowded at all and there were never any long waits. It was heaven.

The landscaping and architecture were so beautiful and peaceful. It was like a true haven after a long day in the parks. I loved taking walks around the lake in the evening and seeing the buildings all lit up. Absolutely breathtaking! We were in the Ranchos section, very close to the Dig Site and a bus stop, but a bit of a walk to the El Centro area. It didn't bother me, though. It was a lovely walk over the bridge and it didn't take more than 10 minutes or so. And, I definatley thought our section had the neatest theme.

The Pepper Market was incredible, definately the best food and atmosphere of any resort counter service we have encountered. We loved it and enjoyed many meals there.

The Dig Site area was so much fun!! My little guy loved the pool, of course, but also the huge sand box and playground, which is SO much cooler than any of the other resort playgrounds we have seen, with Saratoga Springs being the only one that even comes close - and it's a pretty distant second.

We encountered lots of friendly CMS everywhere. Housekeeping was great. We had the cutest towel animals! And, the convention people in their matching polo shirts or whatever didn't bother me a bit. They were always friendly and everyone seemed to be having a great time!

Anyway, that's the condensed version. If anyone has any questions, I would be happy to try and answer them.
Thanks for sharing! I do have a question. My son & I have pretty much decided on CSR for our spring trip. He would like to stay in the Ranchos section & I think it would be a good choice because we like quiet. Personally, I like the look of the Casitas, but I'm afraid that they might be the busiest/loudest section. The walk from the Ranchos wouldn't bother us either. Which building were you in? Any recommendations? I see by your sig, that you've stayed all over the World so you have a lot to compare it to.

Sorry to hear about your bad experience at ASMO. We had a TERRIBLE experience at ASMU last Nov/Dec. Worst customer service I've EVER encountered anywhere - and I mean anywhere. Long story...and I don't want to highjack your thread, especially since people on the boards have read my venting on this subject before. I don't mind the idea of a value either, in fact, I was hoping we would love it there. My son plays jazz trombone (which is why we chose it in the first place) so it seemed like it would be right up his alley. Oh well...

After our last experience being so bad, I'm hoping our next one to make up for it. We were hoping for WL but it's just not in the budget (I'm a widow) hopefully someday... We were leaning toward POR (we go there for Bob Jackson's show) when my son saw the CSR photos. He studied Central & South American history last year & was absolutely intrigued by the place. My sister, who is a Floridian, has been there for seminars & raves about how beautiful it is. So we're about 99% decided.

Thank you again for sharing your experience!!!

Jessica
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Old 10-06-2006, 08:08 AM   #13
GEM
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We were in Rachos 7B. It's my favorite location there. We had stayed at CSR before in that building and loved it, so I requested it again. It's very close to the Dig Site and a bus stop with a quiet pool right outside our door, and it's a 10 minute or so walk over the bridge to the Pepper Market, shops, etc. We definately think the Ranchos has the coolest theme. It's a really neat looking area - and it is very quiet. We walked the whole loop around the lake several evenings, and I didn't see any area that I liked better.

I think Coronado Springs is a GREAT resort for kids. The pool area is nothing short of amazing with the incredible pyramid ruins, the most awesome slide on property (aside from the Beach Club), a HUGE sandbox area, and what is definately the best themed and most interesting playground on Disney property. Be sure to go for a night swim, as that area is beautiful all lit up! Plus, as I said, the bus transportation is incredible! Hands down, the best we've experienced at any Disney resort - and, as you said, we've stayed at most of them!

If you're looking for a beautiful, peaceful oasis after a long day in the parks, but still need enough action and fun to make the kids happy, I can't imagine a better choice than CSR. It's really the only moderate we love enough to keep coming back to. It honestly feels a lot more "deluxe" to us than the other moderates.

Sorry about your bad experience at Music. Like I said, I'm not a value hater. Pop was fun and I would stay there again for a budget trip. The bus situation at the All Stars, though, seems beyond awful and we've definatley marked all three off our list for future visits!
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Old 10-06-2006, 08:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey's Sister
Thanks for sharing! I do have a question. My son & I have pretty much decided on CSR for our spring trip. He would like to stay in the Ranchos section & I think it would be a good choice because we like quiet. Personally, I like the look of the Casitas, but I'm afraid that they might be the busiest/loudest section. The walk from the Ranchos wouldn't bother us either. Which building were you in? Any recommendations? I see by your sig, that you've stayed all over the World so you have a lot to compare it to.

Sorry to hear about your bad experience at ASMO. We had a TERRIBLE experience at ASMU last Nov/Dec. Worst customer service I've EVER encountered anywhere - and I mean anywhere. Long story...and I don't want to highjack your thread, especially since people on the boards have read my venting on this subject before. I don't mind the idea of a value either, in fact, I was hoping we would love it there. My son plays jazz trombone (which is why we chose it in the first place) so it seemed like it would be right up his alley. Oh well...

After our last experience being so bad, I'm hoping our next one to make up for it. We were hoping for WL but it's just not in the budget (I'm a widow) hopefully someday... We were leaning toward POR (we go there for Bob Jackson's show) when my son saw the CSR photos. He studied Central & South American history last year & was absolutely intrigued by the place. My sister, who is a Floridian, has been there for seminars & raves about how beautiful it is. So we're about 99% decided.

Thank you again for sharing your experience!!!

Jessica
Here are some good room choices...

Cabana 9b is close to bus stop 1 and the main building with a short walk to the Dig Site (main pool) over the wooden bridge. Most convenient location and most preferred.

Cabana 8a is close to the Dig Site (and playground) and bus stop 4 with a short walk to the main building. (Closest to the Pool)

Cabana 8b and 9a are in between the 2 above. 9a has a quiet pool and is also a smoking optional building.

Ranchos 7b has a quiet pool, is close to the Dig Site and bus stop 4 with a bit longer walk to the main building. 7b is behind cabana 8a.

Casita 3 has great courtyard and fountain views but you will have to walk or ride the internal shuttle to get to the pool.

Casita 5 has some nice fountain and lake views and is close to the Dig Site but farther from the main building.
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Old 10-06-2006, 09:21 AM   #15
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Thanks GEM - I think you've nudged me to 100% certain that CSR is where we will stay. It sounds perfect for us. Plus, we're planning to do the dining plan & my son is already excited over PM's pasta choices!

Buzz, thanks to you as well for your incredible supply of CSR info. It was actually some of your photos on the resort picture thread that caught my son's attention. We've bookmarked your Unofficial CSR site & read all the info there. So, thanks for all of your hard work. It is much appreciated!

Now if only Disney would post the dates for Star Wars Weekends so I could make my reservations. It's up in the air this year whether SWW will be held in May or June because of the Star Wars Celebration (convention) to be held Labor Day Weekend in L.A. The trip for SWW will be my son's 13th birthday gift.

Anyway, now I am even more excited! I think we will love CSR!!! Thanks again!

Jessica
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11/2000 - Chez Mickey; 4 - 5/2002 FW Cabins; 11/2003 Off-site; 11-12/2005 ASMU; 6/2009 Doubletree Suites DTD for SWW! ...but ALWAYS there in spirit!
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