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Old 03-01-2013, 10:46 AM   #1
scooffer
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Wilderness Lodge VS POR Riverside - Royal Room

Hi all! With the search feature disabled, I am having to post a new thread that I am sure has been answered, many apologies.

I need the trusted, valued and wise advised from all the DISers! I think this will be a long post, thanks for reading!!

This is our 3rd visit in 3 years, DH caught the "bug" this first year ! He has been thrilled to go back each year and very much looking forward to this year in April! In our first visit we visited the WL for dinner, and DH fell in love with the lodge and atmosphere and said it would be awesome to stay there some year. Kids were only 2 and 4 and claim to have no memory of the Lodge.

Last year we stayed on-site at PORFQ since we had free dining, and fell in love, swore we would never go off-site again, if we could swing it. We loved the small resort, we were ground floor pool side in building 2 so location was a dream! We wore a dent in the sidewalk walking back and forth for drink fillups, pool visits and snacks. So we took advantage of being SO close to the main building, and I think that made our stay more enjoyable.

So this year the discount is better at Riverside, but preferred was sold out of the discount when I booked so we upgraded to a Royal Room to be closer to the Main Building. I have been reading and looking at pics and such and getting really excited about staying there.

NOW, our bonuses have come in... and DH wants to upgrade to WL...

The difference is cost is just over $1,000

Is it worth it?? I know there will be many opinions out there on this, its not going to hurt us to spend this money, so its not a budget thing, just a practical feeling of WOW $1,000 for nicer rooms? I could do so much more with $1,000???

Here is what I have come up with:

WL:
- closer to MK and Fort Wilderness which we want to do this year (Hoop Dee Doo) and pony rides, etc.
- more restaurant options
- larger room

but, is it more of an adult setting, will the kids still feel like they are in Disney like they did at FQ?

Riverside:
- boat to DTD
- surrey bikes
- pirate kids only treasure hunt cruise
- quite pools and Old Man Island

Thats all I got, HELP!!!
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:58 AM   #2
kanderson89
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Hey there - I can't comment on POR but have stayed at WL several times, so a few comments:
- Yes, the boat to FW is super easy for HDDR, and we did that this year. In fact, while waiting for the boat back, we saw some of the Wishes fireworks over the water. Fun.
- The electric water parade is great fun every evening.
- They do rent surrey bikes - either for 2 or 4 - and there's a nice trail over to FW. They also rent watercraft.
- I'm not sure I'd say it's "adult." There are lots of activities for kids, but it does feel less "random," I'd say.
- You can't beat the boat to the MK. There's also a boat to the Contemporary if you're going to Chef Mickey.

Now, is it "worth it?" That's an individual analysis, but whenever we consider staying anywhere else, we always keep coming back to WL because of the various amenities that fit us.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:36 AM   #3
mickeynut1
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We've never stayed at POR, but we love the WL. We are a deluxe resort family so for us, the WL is worth the extra cost. We love having the boat for going to MK, Roaring Forks is one of our favorite resort CS places, the pool is great, and the atmosphere is beautiful and relaxing. The WL is also convenient to a variety of dining options at the monorail resorts.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:06 PM   #4
Doryln
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I can only speak for the WL...you can see MK, but if you 'just miss' the boat or bus when you walk outside, we had trips to MK that took 45 minutes from the time we walked out of the hotel to MK...not really that convenient unless you are lucky enough to get the bus/boat super quick. Also...I was SO surprised at how tired the rooms -- especially the bathrooms. the Lobby is super beautiful and amazing, but the rooms, not. my kids liked it, lots of cool things about it.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:11 PM   #5
marymac123
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This was our problem this year. We LOVE WL & have never stayed anywhere else, but we wanted to try the Royal Rooms. I save $ all year so we can go to WDW every year. This year $ is a bit tight with my DD's communion. We kept going back & forth. I didn't book till the last possible day for ADRs at 180 days out. Well, WL won. I don't think you'll regret it and for us it is worth every penny.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:13 PM   #6
RedfromNL
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We are staying at the Lodge this year so I might be a tad biased

But we also stayed in POFQ 2 years ago and loved that too.

Reasons we prefer the Lodge:

- more "fun" yes it's loud at times but it has a fun feel to it.
- good food and more different places to get it
- easy walk or bike-ride or boatride to the Fort with tons of things to do (esp. for kids! )
- Relaxing boattrip to MK


I actually also feel that the Lodge is more atractive for kids than PO. For US it's worth every penny
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:16 PM   #7
kanderson89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doryln View Post
I can only speak for the WL...you can see MK, but if you 'just miss' the boat or bus when you walk outside, we had trips to MK that took 45 minutes from the time we walked out of the hotel to MK...not really that convenient unless you are lucky enough to get the bus/boat super quick. Also...I was SO surprised at how tired the rooms -- especially the bathrooms. the Lobby is super beautiful and amazing, but the rooms, not. my kids liked it, lots of cool things about it.
Wow - we have never waited that long for the boat. We never take the bus to MK, so can't speak to that, however. Yes, the rooms were tired last time we were there (2 years ago), but the renovation is quite nice. We noticed immediately how fresh things looked...new, lighter carpet and bed linens, bathroom spruced up, etc.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:25 PM   #8
scooffer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanderson89 View Post
Hey there - I can't comment on POR but have stayed at WL several times, so a few comments:
- Yes, the boat to FW is super easy for HDDR, and we did that this year. In fact, while waiting for the boat back, we saw some of the Wishes fireworks over the water. Fun.
- The electric water parade is great fun every evening.
- They do rent surrey bikes - either for 2 or 4 - and there's a nice trail over to FW. They also rent watercraft.
- I'm not sure I'd say it's "adult." There are lots of activities for kids, but it does feel less "random," I'd say.
- You can't beat the boat to the MK. There's also a boat to the Contemporary if you're going to Chef Mickey.

Now, is it "worth it?" That's an individual analysis, but whenever we consider staying anywhere else, we always keep coming back to WL because of the various amenities that fit us.
We also stayed at Ft Wilderness as kids in the early 80's...!!!! OMG was that a ton of fun! However, we were kids, so of course it was fun, we were tent camping, which again was super fun, it was our only trip to Disney until I was in college so its the only childhood memory I have of Disney... but our favorite memories were hunting toads, playing on the playground, and Chip and Dale movies! LOL!

I would love my kids to experience that as well... but are they too "electronically spoiled" to enjoy Ft Wilderness? I don't know... I hate to not know... DH would never camp or cabin... but the Lodge could be a great compromise!

But you may have just cinched it for me for reminding me of those memories

Anyone else who has stayed at both with small kids?
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April 2014 - Family Gathering Lake Buena Vista Village and Spa 7 adults 5 kids
April 2013 - Wilderness Lodge
April 2012 - Port Of Orleans French Quarter (perfect in every way!)
May 2011 - Cypress Pointe Grande Villas (loved it!)
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:27 PM   #9
Doryln
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanderson89 View Post
Wow - we have never waited that long for the boat. We never take the bus to MK, so can't speak to that, however. Yes, the rooms were tired last time we were there (2 years ago), but the renovation is quite nice. We noticed immediately how fresh things looked...new, lighter carpet and bed linens, bathroom spruced up, etc.
oh, just to clarify...didn't mean that we waited for the boat for 45 minutes -- meaning, you walk out of your room, head down to the bus/boat and all of a sudden it's nearly an hour later door to door to MK if you had 'just missed' the bus/boat.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:36 PM   #10
kanderson89
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[QUOTE=scooffer;47667070]We also stayed at Ft Wilderness as kids in the early 80's...!!!! OMG was that a ton of fun! But you may have just cinched it for me for reminding me of those memories

LOL. Maybe we crossed paths I remember Chip and Dale, too, and the movies. I thought the little trading post was the only place on earth to get Mountain Dew (we weren't really allowed to drink soda unless we were sick!). AND we did tent camping, too!!! My dad was in the military, so we had this Army-green surplus tent that leaked. Totally my first memories of Disney!!

You're right - WL may be a good compromise. Creature comforts for you - a little wilderness for them.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:37 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Doryln View Post
oh, just to clarify...didn't mean that we waited for the boat for 45 minutes -- meaning, you walk out of your room, head down to the bus/boat and all of a sudden it's nearly an hour later door to door to MK if you had 'just missed' the bus/boat.
Ah. True
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:38 PM   #12
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Have stayed at POFQ, POR and WL. If you don't mind the extra money, WL wins hands down, up, sideways and everything else. Incredible resort with great access to the Magic Kingdom.

Were going back again this August on a free dining bounce back and are staying at POFQ as I can't justify the extra cost this year. If money was not object, we would be at the WL again in a heart beat. Heck, if every resort was the same cost, I'd pick it even over the Poly or any other deluxe. We really, really enjoy it there. Not be be repetitive, but here are our primary reasons for loving the Lodge:

- The "feel" of the lobby, rooms and grounds. LOVE the pool area!
- Easy access to MK, Ft. Wilderness and other places via boat.
- The rooms and balconies. We really enjoy the views from this resort
- The on site eateries - we love Whispering Canyon, and they have a very good food court for a deluxe
- Service. Each time we have stayed there, we were treated very, very well from all cast members. Great experience from check in to check out across all aspects of our stays.

See what you have done now? I need to come up with another 1K to change from POFQ to WL again!
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doryln View Post
oh, just to clarify...didn't mean that we waited for the boat for 45 minutes -- meaning, you walk out of your room, head down to the bus/boat and all of a sudden it's nearly an hour later door to door to MK if you had 'just missed' the bus/boat.
But that would be true of almost all of the resorts. The bus trip from WL to MK is five minutes long, so it would be unusual to experience a long wait. But I suppose it could happen.

Our experience with the boats was that we never had to wait more than ten minutes for one. And the one time the boat was full, a second boat was waiting right behind it. I don't think it ever took us more than a half hour to get to MK.

We stayed at the WL last month with our grandchildren, age 5 and 3, and I thought is was very kid friendly. They loved the pool with its slide. Roaring Forks was a great place for meals. There was a sandy beach to play in. And what kid doesn't like a boat ride. Our grandkids had never ridden in a boat or been on a lake before. It was fun.

The rooms have recently been refurbished and they looked great. We are used to the slightly bigger BC resort room but we found that these rooms were very nice. We had a view of the castle and fireworks from our balcony, which was an added bonus.

One negative about POR is that there are separate buildings and multiple bus stops. One positive about WL is the quick boat ride to Ft Wilderness. They have a very nice playground for kids there. And they still have the Chip and Dale campfire.

But saving $1,000 is a significant factor to your decision on which one to stay at. I'm very tight with money, I hate to spend it. But the one thing I'll splurge on is a nice resort, not CL, but one grade above standard at a deluxe.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:44 PM   #14
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I've stayed at both resorts and still in love with WL. It's kinda hard to compare because its apples & oranges. My husband loves the transportation options and being so close to MK. We like the smallness of the resort of WL.

I liked POR too, it was quite bigger than WL. They have a nice food court and I liked the boat DD. I'm not sure it's worth $1000 more for the week. We had the same problem. Going in June and had picked out WL. But our friends decided to come and couldn't justify spending the extra money upgrading to a deluxe. We decided on CSR. Saved us almost $500. Cross our fingers!!
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:48 PM   #15
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I've stayed in both POR - Royal Room and WL Woods view once and Courtyard view once.

POR is my favorite moderate. WL is my favorite deluxe so far.

I thought both rooms - WL and POR were close to the same size. At WL you get a balcony which can be nice if you are going to use it.
I used the Courtyard view balcony but the Wood view balcony kept getting full of spiders and their webs so I didn't use that much. I got tired of clearing them away every evening and morning.

A couple of things not on your list:
WL is indoor corridors and everything is in one building mostly. The lobby is amazing at WL. There are cute places indoors to sit on the different levels at WL. Beach where you can watch the water pageant go by.

POR is outside corridors and spread out more. The lobby is just a lobby - nothing exciting there. There are lots of lovely areas to sit outside - fountains, gazebo. River where you can watch the boats go by.

If your husband wants to switch to WL, I say go for it. Because the next time you go, you might not have that extra money and will stay at a moderate.

Good luck deciding!
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