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Old 05-04-2014, 06:37 AM   #1936
jcondrad
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Hello everyone! We will be returning to SOG Aug 19-26 and this will be our first long stay there. Last trip we used SOG for one night prior to our AFVCLUB condo rental and had a room palm side, second room as soon as you go down the ramp from the lobby. We liked that location but since we will be using the pools much more this time I'm concerned that we need to move to magnolia side. Any recommendations? It'll be 2 adults, 1 5yo and 1 2yo.

Also, any word on mill pond pool updates? We were hoping it'll open by our trip but I'm hearing it hasn't even started yet!

Thanks!
Jenn
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Old 05-08-2014, 04:05 PM   #1937
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Hello everyone! We will be returning to SOG Aug 19-26 and this will be our first long stay there. Last trip we used SOG for one night prior to our AFVCLUB condo rental and had a room palm side, second room as soon as you go down the ramp from the lobby. We liked that location but since we will be using the pools much more this time I'm concerned that we need to move to magnolia side. Any recommendations? It'll be 2 adults, 1 5yo and 1 2yo.

Also, any word on mill pond pool updates? We were hoping it'll open by our trip but I'm hearing it hasn't even started yet!

Thanks!
Jenn
We've had that room too! Love the location. I've never stayed in the Magnolia wing so I can't help. But thought this question needed a bump
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Old 05-09-2014, 11:08 AM   #1938
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Originally Posted by jcondrad View Post
Hello everyone! We will be returning to SOG Aug 19-26 and this will be our first long stay there. Last trip we used SOG for one night prior to our AFVCLUB condo rental and had a room palm side, second room as soon as you go down the ramp from the lobby. We liked that location but since we will be using the pools much more this time I'm concerned that we need to move to magnolia side. Any recommendations? It'll be 2 adults, 1 5yo and 1 2yo. Also, any word on mill pond pool updates? We were hoping it'll open by our trip but I'm hearing it hasn't even started yet! Thanks! Jenn
So funny, that room is the same one we had last year, and we are asking for the same area next weekend! We are doing 2 nights before our AFV condo. I will let you know if we end up there and how it is!
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Old 05-17-2014, 02:50 PM   #1939
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Does anyone else hate it when free dining is offered when you plan to go?
No, because those getting "Free dining" are paying rack rates and not getting the deals we do at SOG. I can't imagine any free dining time being cheaper than SOG and paying for meals, especially for a comparable sized room and resort.

Nothing is "free".
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Old 05-17-2014, 07:01 PM   #1940
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Originally Posted by jcondrad View Post
Hello everyone! We will be returning to SOG Aug 19-26 and this will be our first long stay there. Last trip we used SOG for one night prior to our AFVCLUB condo rental and had a room palm side, second room as soon as you go down the ramp from the lobby. We liked that location but since we will be using the pools much more this time I'm concerned that we need to move to magnolia side. Any recommendations? It'll be 2 adults, 1 5yo and 1 2yo. Also, any word on mill pond pool updates? We were hoping it'll open by our trip but I'm hearing it hasn't even started yet! Thanks! Jenn
Ok, we are here now on the Palm side. Our last stay was in 1102, which is the second room after the entrance from the outdoor walkway to Magnolias. It's right by the door to the garage. I would assume 2102 is directly above it, and would be right off the lobby ramp. We went to the pool today, and as long as you can do stairs, it's right near the ticket booth to go down (took me longer to figure out the elevators with the stroller). Since we had the stroller we walked outside coming back, via the gazebo, and it was very quick.
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:53 PM   #1941
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I'll be at Shades for the first time in a week from today! Due to changing ship schedules and different issues, this trip has been rescheduled four times over the past two years. I'm finally on leave, and it looks like it's gonna happen this time!!!

I'm 25, in the Navy, and in desperate need of some Disney time. Coming with me are my brother Michael and cousin Sean, both of them 18 and just graduated high school this month.

The last time I was at Disney was 3.5-4 years ago, and this is my first Shades stay. Does anyone have any advice or tips? We're super excited!
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:00 PM   #1942
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I'll be at Shades for the first time in a week from today! Due to changing ship schedules and different issues, this trip has been rescheduled four times over the past two years. I'm finally on leave, and it looks like it's gonna happen this time!!!

I'm 25, in the Navy, and in desperate need of some Disney time. Coming with me are my brother Michael and cousin Sean, both of them 18 and just graduated high school this month.

The last time I was at Disney was 3.5-4 years ago, and this is my first Shades stay. Does anyone have any advice or tips? We're super excited!
My main advice is don't use the shades of green buses...walk to the Polynesian its less than a 10 minute walk. Ask to be in the Palm Wing as they have newer and slightly larger rooms than the Magnolia and less of a walk to your room after a long day of going to the park. If you plan to use the Shades of Green shuttle to Universal, make sure you schedule it your first day there.
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:59 PM   #1943
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I'll be at Shades for the first time in a week from today! Due to changing ship schedules and different issues, this trip has been rescheduled four times over the past two years. I'm finally on leave, and it looks like it's gonna happen this time!!!

I'm 25, in the Navy, and in desperate need of some Disney time. Coming with me are my brother Michael and cousin Sean, both of them 18 and just graduated high school this month.

The last time I was at Disney was 3.5-4 years ago, and this is my first Shades stay. Does anyone have any advice or tips? We're super excited!
Shades of Green buses are very adequate. They run on a schedule and are less crowded than Disney buses. That being said they are less frequent. There is a AAFES inside the resort with reasonable souvenirs, toiletries and limited food much cheaper than what you will find in Disney. Also there is a small Starbucks stand near the AAFES . Dining, while not as good as Disney restaurants is also adequate and very inexpensive. As the other person posted the Poly is a short walk away and you can hop on the ferry or monorail from there. Have fun!!! Any questions I'm happy to answer.
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Old 05-18-2014, 08:56 PM   #1944
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Just back from a quickie trip to WDW and for the first time in a long time we didn't stay at SOG. I thought I'd make a quickly little run down of comparisons and what worked and didn't work for us. The primary reason for staying at All Star Movies for this short trip was price (CM discount rate), and since it was just a quick trip to get my daughter from the DCP, it wasn't a trip where I wanted to spend a lot of money.

Room size:
SOG Wins this one hands down. But this trip was just myself and my teenage son, so ASMo was perfectly adequate. However, there were times that the bathroom sink area was problematic; I'm at the sink brushing and he comes out of the bathroom to wash his hands. Prefer the two sinks at SOG any day. Also, ASMo only has a curtain to separate the changing area. I found it a tad less private than I would have liked.

Food situation:
ASMo wins. No question. They had a small but decent food court. Food was perfectly acceptable, good choices, and since we were really trying to watch money we ate all our meals here instead of sit down restaurants. Now, if I was there for more than a few days I probably would have tired of it at dinner, but just having the selection for lunch and breakfast was fabulous for us. Also, loved having the pool bar right there. (serving something other than draft beer swill - even though I probably paid more for one beer at ASMo than I would have for a whole 6pack at AAFES. )

Magic Band use:
ASMo wins. Really easy to have the magic bands be your key, your ticket, your fastpass, your charge card. I loved not having to worry about my son having a key when he went out to the pool or food court to grab a snack. I loved not having to bring a wallet to go to the pool and still was able to grab a drink. I'd run out to grab a coffee in the morning with nothing - just me and my magic band. At the parks it was easy to just not be pulling out tickets and fastpasses and money. I think the charging ability was my favorite part. Also, I'm not sure yet how far in advance you'll be able to make your FP reservations with SOG tickets, but given that we were not able to make any until the day we were in the parks and that really was bad, I think you'll be at a huge disadvantage if you don't make them early.

Buses:
Draw. SOG wins for promptness of buses, no question there. I love knowing exactly when my bus is coming. With ASMo, we had no clue. However, it was nice to be able to get a bus at any time to HS or AK, vs the hourly ones at SOG. It was also nice to be directly deposited at MK or Epcot vs TTC. That extra step in transportation is always a PITA to me. And at the end of a long day, I have no desire to walk from Poly to SOG. I also appreciated the queue lines that all the disney bus queues have. I hate that the SOG buses do not. While it's not often a problem, I have been at closing times where no queue really was an issue. But as for distance of bus stops, I think the AK and HS buses for ASMo are positioned just as far out of the way as the SOG buses. The values seem to have the worst bus queues. And the buses at ASMo did get crowded, quickly. Sometimes we shared a bus with the other All Star resorts and ASMo was the last pickup/dropoff. That was a real pain to me.

Other things;
No winners, just observations: While I don't have younger kids anymore ASMo had tons of activities for kids and families every day. I can see that being a huge draw.

I also liked the theme at ASMo much better than SOG. However, SOG is restful in a way ASMo wasn't. We also had a pool room and even though we were on the 3rd floor it was LOUD. I've never had a SOG pool room so I don't know. But the entire ASMo just seemed loud. The walls were super thin and the noise from the hallway pretty loud.

We had a great location room but if we were in one of the outlying buildings at ASMo the walk to the food court and buses would have been pretty far. Now, we've had some really horrid room locations at SOG that felt like they were 20 miles away, but at least in the rain they're all covered.

Loads of larger groups of teens at ASMo. I think I counted about 5 or 6 when we were there, I can only imagine how many ar there in the summer. Since these groups seem to all move as one, they can really tie up the areas - food court - pool. And some of the kids were pretty out of hand (midnight yelling from outside). That's not something you ever have to worry about at SOG.

So that's my rundown. I think if I had more than 2 of us I would have hated the smallness of the ASMo rooms, but given that we only paid $79 with tax I couldn't really justify paying more at SOG. And where I had to rent a car as well, I couldn't justify paying more for the room, paying to park at SOG, and then paying to park if we wanted to drive to the parks.

I think on our next visit I might like to try a moderate Disney hotel. While I love SOG, I really can't justify the lower cost of the room when I end up having to spend money on lots of other things that I wouldn't at a disney hotel. I could easily do without a car next trip if we took Magical express, and with only 3 of us travelling from now on, we don't really need the larger room. And the food situation is just my biggest complaint at SOG and that was eliminated for us.

On the other hand, the large room and quietness of SOG is a real winner and that might tip the scales for me next time.
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:42 PM   #1945
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We just finished our 4th stay at SoG and everything was great (again) with the exception of the change in pool hours. On our previous visits we could use the pool and spa early in the morning and late at night but had to observe quiet hours. Now they limit hours from 10 am-10 pm and have the gates locked so you can't get in. DW and I have always enjoyed early-morning hot tub time before the day starts, and the family enjoyed taking a late-night swim after coming back from the parks. Now that's over. Very disappointing.
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Old 05-26-2014, 01:03 AM   #1946
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We just finished our 4th stay at SoG and everything was great (again) with the exception of the change in pool hours. On our previous visits we could use the pool and spa early in the morning and late at night but had to observe quiet hours. Now they limit hours from 10 am-10 pm and have the gates locked so you can't get in. DW and I have always enjoyed early-morning hot tub time before the day starts, and the family enjoyed taking a late-night swim after coming back from the parks. Now that's over. Very disappointing.
10 pm is way to early to close a hot tub!! Did you voice these concerns? I wonder if it's Florida law, to just their way to monitor it . I think it should be swim at your own risk after 10
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:35 AM   #1947
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^Unfortunately we were only there for 1 night and were rushed on check-out, so I couldn't talk to management before we left. But I'll be making my thoughts on this known to the GM. If enough people speak up, hopefully they'll reconsider their overly-restrictive hours.
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Old 05-28-2014, 05:24 PM   #1948
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Hot tub hours

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Originally Posted by Praying Colonel View Post
We just finished our 4th stay at SoG and everything was great (again) with the exception of the change in pool hours. On our previous visits we could use the pool and spa early in the morning and late at night but had to observe quiet hours. Now they limit hours from 10 am-10 pm and have the gates locked so you can't get in. DW and I have always enjoyed early-morning hot tub time before the day starts, and the family enjoyed taking a late-night swim after coming back from the parks. Now that's over. Very disappointing.
Colonel; we were also very disappointed with the change in pool/hut tub hours. Most of the change in times stems from the fact that they now employ lifeguards. When we were there in December we had several conversations with the guards late at night (well, before 10PM). He said that there had been several drownings at some of the other Armed Forces Resorts (at least that's what they told him). I never did verify. That's why there are not only guards, but the fence and the locking of the fence. 10Pm was bad enough in December, but that is waaaay too early for closing in the summer. 10 AM for opening? That is ridiculous. Maybe they can get some summer intern help or something.
One night in December we were coming back from the parks about 9:15 and we were so looking for some hot tub time. IT WAS CLOSED. Manager thought it was too cold or something. He got an earful from several people. He probably will never forget my husband's name.
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:51 AM   #1949
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Colonel; we were also very disappointed with the change in pool/hut tub hours. Most of the change in times stems from the fact that they now employ lifeguards. When we were there in December we had several conversations with the guards late at night (well, before 10PM). He said that there had been several drownings at some of the other Armed Forces Resorts (at least that's what they told him). I never did verify. That's why there are not only guards, but the fence and the locking of the fence. 10Pm was bad enough in December, but that is waaaay too early for closing in the summer. 10 AM for opening? That is ridiculous. Maybe they can get some summer intern help or something. One night in December we were coming back from the parks about 9:15 and we were so looking for some hot tub time. IT WAS CLOSED. Manager thought it was too cold or something. He got an earful from several people. He probably will never forget my husband's name.
Hmm.... We are stationed in Germany ( coming home in 5 days ,yay!) we have been to Edeweiss lodge and resort MWR 6 times, last weekend being our last. They have never had lifeguards, and still do not, but do have the rule any child 5 and under must wear a swim vest provided by them ( they have a rack full) It's definitely not MWR wide. Do Disney hotels have these hours? 10am?!? That's even more shocking than 10pm! This isn't the case for the Mickey pool is it?
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Old 05-29-2014, 04:49 AM   #1950
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10 pm is way to early to close a hot tub!! Did you voice these concerns? I wonder if it's Florida law, to just their way to monitor it . I think it should be swim at your own risk after 10
The life guards are a new requirement by Disney due to drowning at a Disney pool after the life guards were off duty. Disney revised their policies and the pools on Disney property all have similar hours and are closed once the life guards are gone for the day. Once the Millpond (Mickey Pool) is renovated it will also operate in the same way.
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