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Old 07-07-2014, 12:12 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 30

Opinions on Arrival Day...Where Would You Stay? :)

Hi guys.

I'm looking for some opinions, as I know you are a knowledgeable Disney bunch and some of you have experience staying at multiple resorts.

So, here's the situation.

Last year we stayed at the Beach Club, Garden view. Loved everything about it, knew we would definitely like to stay there again, but also knew (at that point in time) when we booked the bounceback that the budget wouldn't allow for another Beach Club stay (we were originally 6). We booked an AofA, Finding Nemo family suite. Over the next year, circumstances (and traveling companions) changed and our WDW stay morphed into something like this...AofA-->WL-->BC, Garden View again.

That pool situation at WL was a blessing in disguise, because as beautiful as I find the WL to be, I know I would have been longing for the BC the entire trip.

Anyway, we were thankful there was still availability under our bounceback for the BC, but there was only availability for 5 of the 6 nights.

No big deal. We booked POP under a room only reservation for our first night. Our flights usually arrive midday, and we normally don't waste a day's park tickets that first day anyway.

But...being 3 adults, I'm having second thoughts the closer our trip gets.

POP's fun. It's where I stayed my inaugural trip, and I have good memories of the place. It's no Beach Club or Poly, but it doesn't need to be.

I'm just worried we'll be a little cramped, though, and I've been exploring other options on the site because apparently, I love planning a Disney trip just as much as the trip itself.

Ideally, I'd love for there to be availability for our first day at the BC. It'd be the most convenient, and we would have free dining our arrival day, too, and wouldn't have to worry about the extra money OOP for food. I'll probably keep checking every day for that.

But, as there's no availability for that right now, I've been looking into some RO discounts, and I've come up with a few that appeal to us.

Here they are...

Port Orleans, Royal Guest Room, Pool View. This would not be too terribly much more than the Preferred room we have booked at POP right now. My party had a one night stay in a Royal Guest Room, River View last year, and even though we seemed to be in the absolute most remote Royal Guest Room available, we still really enjoyed it. For 2 adults, we enjoyed the light up headboards way too much, lol. The resort was beautiful, and it was conveniently located proximity wise to DTD, which we took advantage of by browsing the shops and taking in Cirque.

Then we have Boardwalk, Water View. This is a considerable price jump from POP, but it is located much closer to our eventual main resort, so it won't be such an inconvenience for us to check out and head over early in the morning to check in to the BC and activate our free dining package. Let me just say, I love the looks of this place, and the idea of water view is just amazing. But what does water view actually entail here? Also, I'm not sure how the others in our party feel about the clown slide, lol, since our arrival day will most likely be a resort day no matter where we end up and we'll probably enjoy some pool time.

Finally, we have our priciest option, Yacht Club, Club Level, Standard View (or Garden View for about $5+). It would be right there for when we have to do the inevitable changeover from resorts. There wouldn't be any cabs involved, and I don't feel like we'd have to get up super early just to do the change before we even officially start our first park day. We'd have SAB to relax in and feel no need to seek other entertainment, and Club Level would be a totally new experience for all involved. I don't think we'd miss the dining plan too much this night if this was our choice, but I don't know. Is the price worth it?

So there you have it.

Opinions welcome and sought after.

Our plans for our arrival day most likely include downtime at our chosen resort. There's a slight possibility that we might do MNSSHP this day, but I'm not so sure how we'll be able to handle a late night after a day of traveling, even if a Tuesday party seems more appealing than our planned Friday party.

Your thoughts?

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Old 07-07-2014, 12:28 PM   #2
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For one night, with no park on arrival day I'd stick with Pop Century. If you decide not to rest on that day you can easily send the rest of the day touring both Pop Century and the Art of Animation which is a simple walk across the bridge. And both are full of photo opportunities. The food courts have a great array of options, surely something to please everyone. Plus you'll save a few bucks for an extra souvenir or two.

Also you'll get two views of the world, one larger than life, completely immersed in Disney themes resort, then a more relaxing, deluxe feel.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:10 PM   #3
Earning My Ears
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JIM, but no way would I "waste" a resort only day at a value resort. I'd stay somewhere totally different. IE AKL. enjoy animals pool and SANAA or jiko.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:13 PM   #4
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Can you do a non free dining night at BC and hopefully not have to move (and even if you do it won't be far)
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:23 PM   #5
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Out of your choices I would do POR and enjoy downtown disney for the night.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:55 PM   #6
Earning My Ears
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Thanks so much for the replies.

An update...

A call to WDW, and my preferred option, simply adding a day to the beginning of our free dining stay at BC is still, unfortunately, out. It seems no one has canceled the right category room there (yet). I did have a nice convo with the CM, and she suggested what many on these boards would have/already do...keep checking back. There was availability in a different category, but as nice as I think a stay in a one bedroom suite would be, I don't want to have a $2000+ increase in my overall bill.

To my way of thinking, if I'm going to increase the cost of our stay by over $300, I would much prefer just adding on to our existing package or do what you suggested, ArwenMarie, and book a room only reservation in the same or comparable category at the BC.

Yacht Club would have also satisfied us, I think, if it'd not been Club Level. We're all interested in trying CL, but we're not so sure about the offerings at YC.

We didn't want the risk of not getting Boardwalk view at BI either.

So, we went with POR, RR, Pool View for the time being. Danadanes, the boat to DTD and all the options that opens up for us was the deciding factor (AKL is on my resort wish list for another trip...I just don't think it's a good fit for this trip).

Bochnikm, the doubts about POP did me in. I know my party would have loved taking pics with Lady, Tramp, and Baloo, but then what? Plus, we won't have our own car, and Disney bus transportation to DTD is our absolute least favorite.

Of our choices, there was the least difference between POP and POR price-wise. Anything more, and we didn't want to settle for anything less than BC.

We'll keep checking back, though.

What are the most common periods for cancellations?

60 days out? 45?

Thanks for your input. I really do appreciate the helpfulness of everyone here.

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Old 07-08-2014, 09:00 AM   #7
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Check at 60 and 30 days... or at 59 and 29.

I would pick POR for a lower price first night and for the bigger rooms with queen beds.

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Old 07-08-2014, 09:18 AM   #8
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Can you book the extra night at rack rate at BC?

I would rather pay rack rate (gasp) than have to move.

If I had to move, then I would try out a resort I was intrigued by, but didn't want to commit to for a whole vacation, like AKL as a pp suggested.
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:59 PM   #9
Earning My Ears
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Thanks, ParrotBill, for your suggestions on when we'd potentially be more likely to score some pixie dust/cancellation. For the time being, we followed your line of thinking and reserved a POR room for the added space, bigger beds, and entertainment options it offers us on our non-park ticket arrival day.

Happyjen27, rack rate in the time of discounts (limited though they may be) is harder to swallow than it normally is, lol. And while I'm intrigued by a stay at AKL, my traveling companions this time aren't as keen. I'm with you, though. If it's at all possible, we'd definitely prefer to stay put in the same resort.

Guess I'll keep checking, today, tomorrow, next week, and with special emphasis on 60 days and 30 days out.

Thanks for your suggestions and ideas.

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Old 07-08-2014, 07:32 PM   #10
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Okay, yes, I do have some thoughts (and pardon me if this has been mentioned as I do not want to read through all the replies).

My sister and I did the same thing, sort of, on our last trip.

We needed a place for one night, and we didn't want to spend so much money, so we stayed at the Dolphin. That would be perfect, right next door to the Beach Club, no problem, right? Well, there were a few things wrong with that.

1) Pure torture. Sitting on the balcony of the Dolphin...our first beautiful night (70s, dry)...staring at the Beach and Yacht Club. I mean, really?? What was I thinking. My vacation was starting out all wrong, just flat out all wrong!! Pure torture, I tell 'ya ("...oh, it will only be for one night, blah, blah, blah.."). I'll never ever do that again.

2) The Dolphin. I was disappointed. Not a great room, it felt "old".

3) We were right next door to our intended destination, but we might have been on another planet. We were at "disney world", but not really. We felt totally in limbo, like the twilight zone. And quite honestly, I felt as if the first day was truly wasted because we could not really settle in, knowing that we would just have to move again. A wasted day mentally and emotionally, too, not just in the "physical" location way.

So...keep calling and hope you can get a room at the Beach Club for the first night, too. Trust me...it won't be wasted and will be worth the money.

I've stayed at: Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, Boardwalk Inn, Beach Club, Yacht Club and Port Orleans Riverside, Dolphin.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:13 PM   #11
Earning My Ears
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Lisann, I'm afraid we'll feel the same way.

We won't have the carrot of the Beach Club dangling in front of our noses at POR though, so if we truly end up staying there our first night, I don't think it will be the worst outcome.

Last trip, although our stay was super brief (arrival night again), we really did enjoy POR. The grounds were beautiful, we really found a great variety at the food court, and we loved being so close to DTD. We did Cirque that night and grabbed some late night ice cream at Ghiradelli and had lots of fun.

But, and here's why I'm thinking we won't be truly satisfied until we luck up (through perseverance) and find a BC room for that first night, it was in no way fun getting up super early to check out, catch a cab, and hurry over to the BC to check in again. Don't get me wrong. It wasn't a terrible experience. Things went as smoothly as they probably could have in the situation. But it cost us valuable time.

If only we were staying longer this trip. I think a minimum of 2 nights when doing a split might just be more stress free. Or maybe it was just knowing we had to check in at the BC to activate our free dining portion of the trip? I'm not sure. We would have gladly spent the crossover time at a park if we'd already had our tickets.

Anyway, thanks for your input.

Swan/Dolphin seems nice, but I feel like we'd find it very un-Disney, too. Especially if we had to stare at it across the way.

We'll keep trying.

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Old 07-08-2014, 09:22 PM   #12
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My vote is also for POR. There is just so much to do in that area with DTD a boat ride away. It's just like having a park day at no cost.
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Old Yesterday, 07:10 AM   #13
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Don't get me wrong, I love POR, actually one of my favorite resorts, and we always stay deluxe, so that's saying something.

You can also look at it on the flip side from my original post reply...any time and any where in the World, is going to be great, right?

(I've always found, though, that if I kept calling and persevered, that I would get the room(s) that we wanted, and sometimes it seemed as if we never would but we always got the room in the end).

I've stayed at: Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, Boardwalk Inn, Beach Club, Yacht Club and Port Orleans Riverside, Dolphin.
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