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Old 01-21-2013, 01:36 PM   #1
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Resort for First Trip

Hi Everyone - what a great forum! We are taking our first family trip to Disney in May. Our kids are 7 and 2 years old. Would you recommend staying at a value or a moderate resort? With the spring discount, there are some decent rates at the moderates, but wondering if the theming is appealing to the kids. Any suggestions would be appreciated!
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:02 PM   #2
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How exciting!! I'm happy you'll be making your first trip-soon you'll be Disney lovers like the rest of us!! We've been going since 1998 and have stayed at all 3 levels of resorts, so choosing depends on your budget. You also have to figure out what interests your kids. My daughter is into music, so we stayed at All Star Music for one of our trips and we loved it! Pop Century is lots of fun as they have giant 'toys' around the resort! For our trip next month, we are staying at Port Orleans Riverside (our 2nd time). The pool here is fantastic and the kids would love the waterslide! IMO, I would choose based on what your kids would like. The resort pools are themed to the resort (Music's pool is a giant guitar!!) Room sizes are very close in size between value and moderate and they all have Disney's quality of service! Talk to your kids and show them pictures using the web-sites. Planning a trip is all part of the experience and even though I'm 50 y/o, I still get as excited as a 7 y/o!! Have a magical time!!!
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:28 PM   #3
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Hi - Welcome to the DIS!

It is always very exciting picking out your resort for a trip to the world!

Well some advantages for mods compared to values are:
-nicer pools
-slides at pools
-most have table service restaurant
-bigger rooms
-queen beds instead of full (w/exception of CBR)

Thats just to name a few! Also POR and POFQ also have a boat that goes to DTD which is very helpful.

In my opinion if you can get a great discount on a mod for when you plan to go I think you should go for it. Also, if you think your kids would enjoy a nicer pool area/slide at the resort a mod is the way to go!

Have a great time planning!!

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Old 01-21-2013, 02:59 PM   #4
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If the free dining promotion is in effect during your stay you might want to consider the moderate category gives you the regular dining plan where the values get the quick service plan.

There is a great analysis on easywdw of the resorts.

My family loved the pool at Port Orleans Riverside but the resort was a little too sprawling for us. I have not loved the values but my only experience was moving for one night when we booked really late. Double beds are not a friend to my DH and myself. Too many years of room to sprawl I guess. Our favorite mod is Port Orleans French Quarter because it is small and easy to get around. With a little one that can be key. What is the use of a resort having a ton of activities if you can't access them because its so far away? And I can't tell you how many times my guys would fall asleep on the bus and we'd have to carry them to the room so small was a great boon. They have a fun pool with a sea serpent slide though not as elaborate as Old Man Island and I LOVE being less than a 5 minute walk from the food court no matter where the room is located. That is worth not having a full service restaurant.

If you have the budget for it most of those problems go away with the deluxe. We loved AKL but it is a long way from the parks but interior doors were lovely and being able to hop right down to Mara was nice and it really is beautiful. Maybe one day I'll get over to the WL. I want to try it next but I have trouble justifying the extra $ for the way we tour. And Saratoga Springs can be really convenient to DTD. We liked it there because it had room to spread out but we also got a great deal and I'm not sure I'd go back.

Hope some of that helps and welcome to the World!

Hope that helps.
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Nov 1991 Offsite - June 1997 Disneyland Paris - May 1999 Dixie Landings - Alligator Bayou - May 2000 Dixie Landings - Alligator Bayou - December 2008 - Animal Kingdom Lodge November 2010 POFQ - 25th Wedding Anniversary SSR with my Prince Charming - April 2011 - March 2013 Graduation Trip for my Boy at POFQ
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:32 PM   #5
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For your children, I would suggest one of the All Stars...they do share a bus but, that is sometimes a problem at the end of the day...Pop Century has it's own bus, so that is a great place as well.. If possible select preferred room and that way you will be close to bus stop and food court. Good luck and have a magical time.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by noahdove View Post
For your children, I would suggest one of the All Stars...they do share a bus but, that is sometimes a problem at the end of the day...Pop Century has it's own bus, so that is a great place as well.. If possible select preferred room and that way you will be close to bus stop and food court. Good luck and have a magical time.
All Stars and Art of Animation all have Disney characters in their theme, pools, etc. so if that's what you're looking for, then it's definitely values. The other resorts only have the characters here and there, whereas values are all characters all the time (except Pop Century).

The All-Stars only share buses at "off" times of day, like 2 in the afternoon. At parks open and close and at least for an hour or two before and after, they all have dedicated buses. The criticism of sharing buses usually comes from third-hand information, or from folks who usually only ride buses at the off times of day so you should be more than fine.

We have stayed at All-Star Music 3 different times and never had a problem. Depending on the time of year, your only issue might be large groups of cheerleaders, sports teams or tour groups. Teens running wild!!!
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:22 PM   #7
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I don't think any kid, especially on their first trip (since they have nothing to compare it to) would be disappointed with the theming or amenities at any of the moderate resorts. And IMO they offer so much more than the value resorts can. Most kids are just excited to be at WDW. And the mod pools and play areas are SO well done. If you can afford the mods, then go for it. Save the values for a trip that might have a tight budget.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:03 PM   #8
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No matter what resort we've stayed at, our kids have loved it. There are at WDW after all! Each resort has its own unique theming and something fun to be enjoyed by the kids. If you can get a deal with the spring discount, I wouldn't think twice about staying at a mod. In fact, we enjoy the mods so much better than the values that we would stay at a mod without the discount. They offer so much more (in our opinion) than the values:
more space, better proximity to parks (typically), larger beds, much quieter (easier to get little ones to sleep at night), calmer and more relaxing after a busy day at the parks (nice to get away from sensory overload at the parks), slides on the pools that my kids love, etc.

Either way you go, your kids will be thrilled. Make the decision that you think best fits your family financially and that you think you'd rather stay at.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:07 PM   #9
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We have stayed at two moderates. Caribbean Beach pirate rooms and Corondo Springs, my kids out of the two loved CS much better. The pool, they loved, the fact we had bigger bed was great by me, buses were great and the grounds are very pretty especially at night.
If I were to pick a value I would choose POP or new Art of Animation. They both have great theming and their food courts are great. We have visited both for lunch.
Other two don't thrill me at all. Kinda dreary in my OP.

Have a great trip and Disney is really fun no matter where u stay!!
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:10 PM   #10
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There are a lot of factors in choosing a resort.

Some things to think about:

-Finances - is it within your vacation budget to stay in a moderate?
-Will you be renting a car or depending on Disney transportation? Some of these resorts are awfully big and it could be a long walk to the bus station.
-Will your kids like the theme?

I've stayed in 1 mod (POFQ) and 1 value (Pop). My ONLY beef with Pop is that I just did not find the bedding to be very comfortable. The first night, I was tired from having traveled and was also fighting a cold and I think I got about 3 hours of sleep. The second night, I was completely zonked and I did sleep through the whole night. If the bedding were more comfortable, I'd stay there every time, hands down. I loved the theme at the resort and it had a very nice food court. It's a big resort, but I didn't find it to be overly huge. We had a car but did take the bus to Downtown Disney and that worked out fine.

I also really liked POFQ. The bedding was comfy and the resort was small, so it was a short walk to the bus stop. They have a pretty good food court too.

The decor of Pop is more appealing to me, but the bedding is more comfortable at POFQ. For that reason, if I ever decide to do another "quick trip," I'll see if I can swing a mod instead of a value.
'95 Offsite, '07 POFQ (Disneymoon!), '09 YC, '12 CR, '13 Pop, '14 BWI
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:48 PM   #11
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This is our first trip so I can't speak from experience but we went with an Art of Animation suite. My almost 4 and 6 year old girls went nuts when I was viewing the rooms on-line. None of the others caught them in that way, but they really love the Lion King and the Little Mermaid. I also really like having separate rooms so DH and I can relax together. It isn't a vacation to me if we have to go to bed on our exhausted kids' schedule. You also might want to think about the napping situation for the 2 year old. Since it is our first trip, I don't expect we will spend much time at the pools. But if we were, I might rethink a moderate.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:00 PM   #12
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the great thing about disney is all the resort choices,
the worst thing about disney is all the resort choices,

I really do think that you should go with what STYLE your family likes, and by that I mean not the decorations etc, but what type vacationer are you all?
Do you enjoy lots of kiddo's around and what comes with that lol, sparser amenities, one pool, one food court, one bus depot, less upscale (for lack of a better word? Are you okay with any room...Then, a Value IMHO (and many LOVE values, Just NOT for us, we RUN from them ...literally) would be fine for you/yours.
If however you are the type that likes more ....a bit more upscale and much more in the way of amenities...like more pools, more or upgraded kiddo areas, a restaurant on premise in addition to the food court, less likely large group/s (again just our experience), many more bus stops, usually another form of transportation as well (boat for instance) I would seriously consider a Moderate for your family, and POR or even POFQ are wonderful choices IMHO..
Again, to me its all about the fit for your family.
We have done deluxes we'd never go back too and we have done deluxes club level (but I must say I cringe when I pay for it, tho it is Wonderful) but we still love the mod POR the best...it just works for the way we mostly like to "do" disney.
Regardless of where you stay have an Amazing Wonderful time making Magical Memories that will likely last a lifetime
and ...Be prepared to be planning your next trip too
I will also say that my close friends that can easily stay deluxe/club stay Value instead, so once again...they say they love all the Kitschy/LargeLouder vibe...
again, its what makes Disney Disney...make it your OWN..Enjoy!
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:40 PM   #13
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We are a family of five and have stayed at both value and mods. We stay a PORS most now due to the fact they can hold all 5 of us in one room. Our first two visits we stayed at All Star resorts and the kids really enjoyed them, very kid friendly, large animated characters everywhere. I would stay at the values again if we could all fit in one room. On the other hand we LOVE PORS, the food court is great, the main pool is lots of fun, but best of all there are multiple smaller pools throughout the resort for a quick dip before bed. As many have said, it depends on your family and finances, but I sure you will have a magical vacation wherever you pick. Good luck and enjoy the planning, it is almost as much fun as the trip.
Me DH DS11 DD9 DD8
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:41 PM   #14
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We did our first on-site stay at CSR and loved it.

I think it's the best bang for the buck on property in terms of deluxe feel for the price. In addition, we thought the bus service was very good.

The pool, slide, and hot tub are as good as any of the deluxes (I like it as much or better as even SAB, because it's a more compact area).

The most oft-cited downsides are the size of the resort (huge) and the fact that it takes in a lot of business convention guests (but the latter can also be viewed as a positive as a lower % of the resort guests are visiting the parks and using the buses).
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by tlmac324 View Post
Hi Everyone - what a great forum! We are taking our first family trip to Disney in May. Our kids are 7 and 2 years old. Would you recommend staying at a value or a moderate resort? With the spring discount, there are some decent rates at the moderates, but wondering if the theming is appealing to the kids. Any suggestions would be appreciated!
If your older child likes slides at the pool, then skip the values because they don't have them. I have only stayed in one value, but didn't like it at all. My kids got bored quickly at the pool because there wasn't a slide. Coronado and CBR both have great pool areas. I know people say that CBR is "huge and spread out" but we didn't find it to be that way. It was very relaxing and peaceful. We have stayed there several times and POR several times and didn't find the walk to the main building to be noticeably longer than at POR. There are bus stops spread all around the resort so you are usually not too far from a stop. Although we haven't ever stayed at POFQ, it is quite charming and compact, but their pool slide is definitely like a kiddie pool slide. It would be great for your little one, but depending upon your 7 y.o adventure level, it may be too tame. We also walked around AoA, and while it lacks a pool slide, it was a pretty cool looking resort.

Have fun picking your resort!
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