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Old 12-06-2013, 11:12 AM   #1
firsttimer2
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Deluxe Resort choices-- please help!

I'm looking for advice from the experts!

We are heading to Disney in mid-January with our 5 year old and a 18 month old. We are currently booked at the Contemporary, Tower Club Level. It was on sale (35%) so worked out to be just a few dollars more than a regular Tower room. We had originally booked Garden Wing, but the potential loss of a patio if we didn't get the first floor scared me! So now we are taking a more expensive vacation than I had originally planned (of course!). The CL appealed to me because usually do continental breakfasts anyway, and a glass of wine before bed, so we will 'earn' back the extra $100 or so pretty easily. Plus the lounge space seemed like a nice option with the kids, who go to bed pretty early still-- one of us can relax over there at night or if one child wakes early, we can use that space so the other can sleep in. We are staying on the Bay Lake side--for the quiet and darkness so the kids sleep-- but also liked the lounge option for the times that our 5 year old stays up late to watch the fireworks.

But I see now we could get a Standard View at the Poly for $800 less for the 5 nights! We stayed there last year for 4 nights and loved it (Tokelau, first floor with patio). Everyone was super nice and the tropical feel was really nice coming from the Northeastern winter.

Considerations: We probably won't go back to Disney for a few years (my sister is meeting us there this year, so we are doing a repeat trip now). I don't like the idea of a lot of construction, especially if the pool is closed (I can't quite figure this out for mid-Jan!). Our 5 year old just figured out how to swim and LOVES it, so the pool will be key, and the waterslide might be especially appealing. I really like a hot tub, given the January weather. We need a balcony or patio so we don't have to go to bed at 7:30!

Food & entertainment-wise, we liked the SOA but didn't care for Ohanas; Captain Cook's was fine but felt a bit cramped. We ate oatmeal packets in the room for breakfast and usually got our other meals in the parks. This year, we currently have Chef Mickey and California Grill reservations at the CR (one night my sister will babysit), as well as a few others in the parks. Because of the expensive room at CR and ever-growing Christmas expenses, we just cut out Hollywood & Vine and might cut CG to save money (especially given the all-over-the-place recent reviews), keeping Biergarten, CRT breakfast with early entry, and Chef Mickey's dinner as the only ADRs for the week (the 18 month old is also proving challenging at meals lately!). If we did the less expensive room, I might add more ADRs. Last year, the baby would sleep on the go in a stroller; this year, the crib in the room might be more important. We are going to MK on Day 1, Epcot on Day 2, MK for next 2 days, then HS (star wars + Disney Jr. for 5 year old), then MK the day we leave.

Also, we arrive super early on Day 1-- like 10am. And we leave at 5pm the last day. I had assumed Club Level would help with that.

I think those are all the relevant issues. Is CL at the Contemporary worth it? What would you do? Other ideas to shave expenses?

Thank you for any advice or experiences you can share!
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:20 AM   #2
ArwenMarie
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I can't say what you should do but I can give some plusses of the CR...

The pool area is really pretty. So is the Bay Lake View. In fact, I prefer LV to TPV.

It sounds like you will get good use out of the CL.

As far as meals, Contempo Cafe is one of the best QS at Disney IMO. So maybe you can do some meals there and save some money there as well, which is always a plus.

Finally, being able to walk back and forth to MK is awesome. I have a hard time staying anywhere else because I always miss that aspect of the CR.

And very last, I think it's fun to try new things and places

Good luck deciding!

ETA: Just a note about the kids sleeping...Remember that at night the Electrical Water Pageant goes by in Bay Lake, I forget the time, I think it's pretty late like 10:00. Sometimes it will wake my kids up, depends on how heavy sleepers they are and what time they go to bed usually anyway. I usually put a noise machine app on my iPad and put it on until it is over and they are well asleep.
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firsttimer2 View Post
I'm looking for advice from the experts!

We are heading to Disney in mid-January with our 5 year old and a 18 month old. We are currently booked at the Contemporary, Tower Club Level. It was on sale (35%) so worked out to be just a few dollars more than a regular Tower room. We had originally booked Garden Wing, but the potential loss of a patio if we didn't get the first floor scared me! So now we are taking a more expensive vacation than I had originally planned (of course!). The CL appealed to me because usually do continental breakfasts anyway, and a glass of wine before bed, so we will 'earn' back the extra $100 or so pretty easily. Plus the lounge space seemed like a nice option with the kids, who go to bed pretty early still-- one of us can relax over there at night or if one child wakes early, we can use that space so the other can sleep in. We are staying on the Bay Lake side--for the quiet and darkness so the kids sleep-- but also liked the lounge option for the times that our 5 year old stays up late to watch the fireworks.

But I see now we could get a Standard View at the Poly for $800 less for the 5 nights! We stayed there last year for 4 nights and loved it (Tokelau, first floor with patio). Everyone was super nice and the tropical feel was really nice coming from the Northeastern winter.

Considerations: We probably won't go back to Disney for a few years (my sister is meeting us there this year, so we are doing a repeat trip now). I don't like the idea of a lot of construction, especially if the pool is closed (I can't quite figure this out for mid-Jan!). Our 5 year old just figured out how to swim and LOVES it, so the pool will be key, and the waterslide might be especially appealing. I really like a hot tub, given the January weather. We need a balcony or patio so we don't have to go to bed at 7:30!

Food & entertainment-wise, we liked the SOA but didn't care for Ohanas; Captain Cook's was fine but felt a bit cramped. We ate oatmeal packets in the room for breakfast and usually got our other meals in the parks. This year, we currently have Chef Mickey and California Grill reservations at the CR (one night my sister will babysit), as well as a few others in the parks. Because of the expensive room at CR and ever-growing Christmas expenses, we just cut out Hollywood & Vine and might cut CG to save money (especially given the all-over-the-place recent reviews), keeping Biergarten, CRT breakfast with early entry, and Chef Mickey's dinner as the only ADRs for the week (the 18 month old is also proving challenging at meals lately!). If we did the less expensive room, I might add more ADRs. Last year, the baby would sleep on the go in a stroller; this year, the crib in the room might be more important. We are going to MK on Day 1, Epcot on Day 2, MK for next 2 days, then HS (star wars + Disney Jr. for 5 year old), then MK the day we leave.

Also, we arrive super early on Day 1-- like 10am. And we leave at 5pm the last day. I had assumed Club Level would help with that.

I think those are all the relevant issues. Is CL at the Contemporary worth it? What would you do? Other ideas to shave expenses?

Thank you for any advice or experiences you can share!
I can't comment on CR CL specifically as we've never stayed there, but we love CL in general (and I have read a lot of good things about CR CL). The food offerings are nice, but when we stay CL, we do it mainly for the lounge and having someplace to sit and relax other than in the room or around the resort. If CL is doable financially, I would keep what you have as I think the lounge will come in very handy with the kids. We love the Poly as that's our favorite resort, but if the construction/pool closure would be an issue for you, I think the CR would be worth a try. Good luck.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:01 PM   #4
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I personally would take the cheaper Poly room. You've been to the Poly and know that you like it there. Do you know for sure you'll like CR? The difference in cost would allow you to buy breakfast and the drinks you'd get for free in the CL lounge.

As to the construction, you can always request a room away from the construction. And for the pool, assuming you have warm weather to swim, if it's closed due to construction I'm sure they will make a concession and allow you to use another one. My kids loved the play area at GF and both pools have zero entry.

I say save the money on the rooms, and use the money to buy them more Disney stuff.
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:07 PM   #5
Rose23
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Stick with the Contemporary

Trust me on this one...with two little ones, stick with the Contemporary. You will be glad you did.

With two little ones, I'm guessing your main park will be the Magic Kingdom. The biggest bonus for you and your family by staying at the Contemporary will be that you have the option of walking back from the Magic Kingdom instead of taking a boat, bus or monorail. Since I'm sure you will stay for the fireworks, please know that it's a ZOO to get to the monorail station after they are over. Your children will be tired, you will be tired and there will be incredible lines--even just to take you to the Polynesian. Everyone is stressed, you'll encounter rudeness and other tired vacationers (and their manners may be gone).

If you stay at the Contemporary, the walkway from Magic Kingdom will take you 10 minutes at the most. There's no line, no bus, no boat--just a nice leisurely stroll at the end of the evening. You'll also be able to see the Electric Water Parade on the lagoon water.

Best wishes for a wonderful trip!
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:41 PM   #6
GoofyDisneyDaddy
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Why are you comparing a CL Tower Room to standard poly room? How much would you save if you got a garden wing room at contemporary? Seems apples and oranges to me.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:41 PM   #7
firsttimer2
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Thank you for all the advice and help! It sounds like we are probably at the right place, given the kids ages and the food options especially.

I know the two rooms aren't quite comparable-- it has to do with the hotel r.o. discounts in January. We were originally booked in a Garden View at the CR-- and we were concerned about not getting a first floor room (so no balcony). We mulled it over again and again. Finally, we figured we'd switch to the main building when the r.o. discounts came out. I called the morning they did for Visa cardholders-- like 7:15-- and they were already gone! The only discounts at the Contemporary were for Club Level or the Garden King (not good for us with two children). So we added $400 to the original budget and went for the CL, ensuring a balcony for naptimes and early kiddo bedtime. With the 35% off, it wasn't much more than a regular main building room.

But you CAN get standard view rooms with the 35% off discount at the Poly, so that's why we would consider it there. The balcony issue arises there too, of course. The CR Garden Wings standard rate (no r.o. discount) are all sold out in any case.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:55 PM   #8
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Someone will correct me if I am wrong but I'm pretty sure the CR 1st floor garden wing rooms have patios.

We've stayed at the CR tower TPV & loved the location. Same thing when we stayed at BLT. I do have to agree that when we were at BLT on the Bay Lake side, that water pageant was so loud! We easily heard it through the windows with the balcony door closed. We were up & our kids are older, but when I heard it I thought if our kids were little, it would've woke them up.

As for the Poly or CR, stick with the CR. A construction zone is not my ideal place for a vacation. Also you will be so grateful for the easy walk to/from the MK from the CR. It really is the best location.
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:31 PM   #9
Babsy
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WE just had a visit to the CR with a almost 4 year old and 10 month old. We originally wanted to stay at Poly but moved due to construction. We were so glad that we did! We LOVED staying in the CR!!! The view was amazing. The convenience of being able to walk to the MK cannot be over stated. It was almost as quick for us to go from the CR to the MK as it is for someone taking the bus from ALL Star to get there from their bus stop!!! With small children and strollers, this is the place to stay. Also, you are right, having the CL lounge gives extra space along with the balcony for times when baby is napping or is one parent wants to sleep in , the other 'on duty' parent can go to the lounge and hang out!! Watching wishes from your balcony is incredible. Even being able to just stop by for breakfast in the lounge ion the mornings is so much simpler than having to go to even a counter service and stand in lines, etc. Hors d'oeuvres in the evening and a glass of wine on the balcony can be very nice as well.

We dropped by the Poly and thought that it was a good thing that they are doing some work there. Compared to the CR it looked old and shabby, IMO. Also, I have read reports of monorail issues lately. We only used the monorail twice, but one of those times it was going VERY SLOWLY. They announced an apology and said that it was having a problem and they could only do 1/4 speed. NOT reassuring! I was happy that we only needed to use the monorail to go to ADR's at the GF and Poly 2X. After the slow moving incident we took the boat from the Poly to the MK and walked back to the CR from there.

I was worried that we wouldn't like the CR because of the concrete and airport atmosphere, but when you are staying there, it didn't feel like that at all. The rooms were so comfortable and the place so convenient we were sold. We actually like the pool area very much as well. It was quiet and serene looking out over Bay Lake. It wasn't crowded and we thoroughly enjoyed our time at the pool, much to our surprise.

We liked it so much, DH declared it his new favourite hotel in WDW and we are staying there again in Jan. This time we opted for the Bay Lake View, to save a few $$$$.

I expect that you will love staying at the CR. We think that it is worth every penny!!
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firsttimer2 View Post
Thank you for all the advice and help! It sounds like we are probably at the right place, given the kids ages and the food options especially.

I know the two rooms aren't quite comparable-- it has to do with the hotel r.o. discounts in January. We were originally booked in a Garden View at the CR-- and we were concerned about not getting a first floor room (so no balcony). We mulled it over again and again. Finally, we figured we'd switch to the main building when the r.o. discounts came out. I called the morning they did for Visa cardholders-- like 7:15-- and they were already gone! The only discounts at the Contemporary were for Club Level or the Garden King (not good for us with two children). So we added $400 to the original budget and went for the CL, ensuring a balcony for naptimes and early kiddo bedtime. With the 35% off, it wasn't much more than a regular main building room.

But you CAN get standard view rooms with the 35% off discount at the Poly, so that's why we would consider it there. The balcony issue arises there too, of course. The CR Garden Wings standard rate (no r.o. discount) are all sold out in any case.
I see. Well, I say CR, as its what I've chosen for my own family in March. I would not risk construction, and the location with small kids can't be beat, especially if you plan to take naps. You could see if a regular tower room is available at the discount, if you want to save some money.
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:47 PM   #11
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I would stay put. You will love the CL.
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:46 PM   #12
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Even though I'm a creature of habit, I'd stay at the Contemporary. Who knows, you may end up liking it better than the Poly. My only concern for you is you said that you're eating at the California Grill. I honestly haven't heard too many good things about it, including my own experience. My personal opinion is that restaurant is over rated but simply be careful when going there.

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Old 12-06-2013, 08:52 PM   #13
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The first time we stayed at the Contemporary it was because DH had a seminar there. I thought I'd be sooo disappointed, as it didn't have the theming some of the other hotels do. But OMG, I'm a convert. The views from the tower and the high up balcony are to die for. After busy days it was so nice sitting out on our balcony together, watching the water parade, etc. I just loved it. It's a short monorail ride to go to the POLY and GF too. And with a stroller just being able to walk to the MK and back is nice.
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:11 AM   #14
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I would put the $800 somewhere else. Usually I am always one to pick location location location. But your still on the monorail, your still in a Deluxe, your still on the Seven Sea's Lagoon, and you still have a view of MK. That $800 is a lot of yummy food or toys for the tots. Maybe even a romantic dinner out to V&A's
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Old 12-07-2013, 06:38 AM   #15
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We stayed CL at the CR a few weeks ago. We also had trouble deciding between the CR and the Poly. I was so happy with the CR. CL is really worth it for us. Like you, we prefer smaller breakfasts, but at the same time we don't want to eat cereal in our room so we really enjoyed the lounge. Also, for snacks, glass of wine, sodas, milk for baby. And I have a toddler who doesn't like to sit, so that is one meal every day that i am not fighting to keep him in his seat. We were upgraded to TPV, but even if we hadn't the lounge was great for watching fireworks. And our kids loved the pool- there is a water slide and a sprinkler area. Plus the walkway to MK is so convenient. I also loved that you can leave your room, look over the railing in the hallway onto the hustle and bustle below, and then stroll into the peace and quiet of the lounge. Then hop in the elevator, and there you are at the monorail. I've stayed at the poly and enjoyed it, but we really loved the CR.
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