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Old 06-28-2014, 10:10 AM   #1
joecavalier
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Wilderness Lodge Mess

Me(44) DW(32) DS(8) DD(2.5) are traveling to WDW for our families first trip from 9/20-9/29. We were so excited about the WL and had a great price with dining plan (just over $4,000). As most know, the pool is scheduled to be refurbed 9/3-11/27. We received the ever-so-timely letter just days ago that catapulted us from simply securing a few more ADRs to complete logistical chaos, so I have come to the great and powerful DISboards for guidance.

My priorities:

1) Although we are there for the parks, we will be taking those much needed afternoon breaks for nap/pool time, so close proximity to a nice pool is important.

2) We chose the WL for it's great price and to be located near the MK, CR and POLY for our secured ADRs. Easy travel to these locations are also a priority.

3) Having two children ages 8 and 2.5, extra resort activities would be a plus.

So, after spending 3 hours on the phone time with some very helpful CMs, here is the info I have and the decisions I have to make:

1) The resort is doubling the amount of ferry boats (will have 6 total) and will have dedicated service to the CR and FW pools. They tell me that the ferry ride is 5mins to the CR, which would be some inconvenience, but doesn't seem all that terrible.

2) We received a PIN to POR Royal Guest for free dining, this would bring our total resort/dining package down to $2900 (significant savings).

I am about to jump ship from the WL to POR because of the ridiculous savings and resort pool. NOT looking forward to bus transportation to MK (3 days) and resort dining. I also wanted to experience FW and the campfire activities, Hoop-Dee-Do, etc. for te kids. I was so excited about all those convenient ferry rides!

So, this DD (Distraught Dad) is seeking advice for those that may have been in this situation or would like to chime in. TYSMIA!
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:19 AM   #2
AThrillingChase
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It sounds like WL is still a good option for you. The lobby is awe inspiring and rooms fun and comfortable. It may be fun to be able to use the 2 other pools since you have an interest in those resorts.

Or there is the WL quiet pool and beach. Actually, you could also just take swimsuits with you to the park and go straight to CR pool for the break which would be much quicker than even going straight to WL due to the monorail. Then it is only one extra boat ride to get back.

It is a bummer about the pool, but between WL and POR, the boat ride will still probably end up shorter than going via bus to POR and walking to the pool because it is such a large resort.
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:25 AM   #3
joecavalier
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Originally Posted by AThrillingChase View Post
Actually, you could also just take swimsuits with you to the park and go straight to CR pool for the break which would be much quicker than even going straight to WL due to the monorail. Then it is only one extra boat ride to get back.
Wow, never thought of that. Excellent point!
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:31 AM   #4
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I understand how you feel. We just got back from WL and saw a foregleam of the work to come! We got such a good deal on WL, and I knew about the work ahead of time so by the time we were there, I felt ok. If I had paid a premium for WL, or club level I'd have been very upset though. The resort is very different with all the work going on. We had a standard room, cheap deal..I felt i got what I paid for.

A few thoughts based on your comments:
About boat transports, while its true its a 5 minute ride to CR, remember there may be a 15 minute wait for that boat. That may not bother you, but just wanted to point out what reality will be.
We booked alot of bay lake dining. It took a while to get around sometimes. For example, getting to Grand Floridian for dinner took 50 mins. Waited for the CR boat for a while, got off, waited for and then went up the elevators to the monorail, waited for the monorail, each stop...etc. Its still very convenient but I think people sometimes go thinking everything on bay lake will magically take 5 mins to get to, and thats not true. Just fyi. The MK boat in all takes anywhere from 15 mins to 30, depending on how long you wait. To me still beats a bus! I can't stand buses with the double stroller

WL will have the obvious pool situation so you need to think about how that will impact you. Everyone travels differently. We would get to the WL pool around 11, then at 1 we'd go back up to our room to eat, change a diaper, grab this or that, go back to the pool..you can't do that if youre at another resort's pool. That may not be important to you though, depending on how your family is. Or you may just have to alter your expectations, pack a bigger pool bag and grin and bear!

If you are liking the access to MK and MK resorts, and you like FW why not consider a FW cabin? They are adorable, clean, private. You can rent a golf cart for a few days if you want a quicky easy ride to the pool and they're alot of fun.
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:35 AM   #5
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We will be at WL during the pool construction, too. I'm happy to hear that they are adding extra ferry boats.

We love WL and a big part of it is because of the boats to MK and CR-FW, and the proximity of FW. We love walking over there. We have three meals planned at Trail's End. They have a great playground for kids right next to Trail's End.

The ferry boat to MK is great. The ride is relaxing and enjoyable and feels like an attraction. It is very easy to hop in and out of MK using the boats. One of the biggest pluses is that when everyone is pouring out of MK after Wishes, you'll get to use the less crowded ferry rather than the chaotic bus depot. And the ferry is right there, the closest form of transportation to the MK gate - closer than the monorail or bus depot.

The pools at both CR and FW look like a lot more fun then the WL pool is. The CR pool is right next to the boat dock, so the boat to the CR would be closer to the pool then the bus would be. For FW's pool I'd probably take the bus since you would need to do a boat then an internal bus if you wanted to take the boat over there.

But saving a lot of money is also nice, too.
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:43 AM   #6
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I'll give the opposite advice. I'd jump ship. That is a big savings. Port Orleans still has the "woodsy" feel, for lack of a better word. The busses are not that bad. We've done it many, many times with multiple strollers and kids. You can still head to Fort Wilderness and go to HDDR. Just ferry over from MK, for the boat experience. If it was a much smaller price difference, I would stick with WL, but that is enough savings that I wouldn't even think twice.
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:59 AM   #7
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You seem to have a lot of ADRs in the MK/Bay Lake area, 3 or more? I think for that reason you should consider sticking with WL. While it isn't a 5 minute trip from WL to the other MK restaurants (50 seems a good number for planning), you'd probably need to plan for 1 1/2 hours (waiting for multiple busses, transportation time, etc.) for certainty if staying at POR. The pool inconvenience is a shame, but I think the ADR inconvenience staying at POR might be even worse.

If money isn't your primary concern, I'd stay with WL; if money is a factor, then POR sounds like a nice alternative.
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Old 06-28-2014, 11:03 AM   #8
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For that price difference, I would do POR. You can always do WL another trip when the pool is completed and you can really enjoy it. We're big WL fans, but we've also done POFQ and my kids actually liked it better. We had no problem with the busses. With all the money you'd save, you could easily afford to take a taxi if you're in a rush some days. It's usually about $20. We've done that at times for those early morning ADRs just to save time.
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Old 06-28-2014, 11:08 AM   #9
MaggiesMomNJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarlett81 View Post
I understand how you feel. We just got back from WL and saw a foregleam of the work to come! We got such a good deal on WL, and I knew about the work ahead of time so by the time we were there, I felt ok. If I had paid a premium for WL, or club level I'd have been very upset though. The resort is very different with all the work going on. We had a standard room, cheap deal..I felt i got what I paid for.

A few thoughts based on your comments:
About boat transports, while its true its a 5 minute ride to CR, remember there may be a 15 minute wait for that boat. That may not bother you, but just wanted to point out what reality will be.
We booked alot of bay lake dining. It took a while to get around sometimes. For example, getting to Grand Floridian for dinner took 50 mins. Waited for the CR boat for a while, got off, waited for and then went up the elevators to the monorail, waited for the monorail, each stop...etc. Its still very convenient but I think people sometimes go thinking everything on bay lake will magically take 5 mins to get to, and thats not true. Just fyi. The MK boat in all takes anywhere from 15 mins to 30, depending on how long you wait. To me still beats a bus! I can't stand buses with the double stroller

WL will have the obvious pool situation so you need to think about how that will impact you. Everyone travels differently. We would get to the WL pool around 11, then at 1 we'd go back up to our room to eat, change a diaper, grab this or that, go back to the pool..you can't do that if youre at another resort's pool. That may not be important to you though, depending on how your family is. Or you may just have to alter your expectations, pack a bigger pool bag and grin and bear!

If you are liking the access to MK and MK resorts, and you like FW why not consider a FW cabin? They are adorable, clean, private. You can rent a golf cart for a few days if you want a quicky easy ride to the pool and they're alot of fun.
How is the resort "very different"? Tarps, equipment?

We had to book a GF room, outer building, garden view and wait for the RO discount to come out.

Is it an option for you to change to the RO discount?

With kids, I would pick POR which people love, and move my dining reservations around. It's just hubby and I but that's what I would do if we had kids.
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Old 06-28-2014, 11:28 AM   #10
Scarlett81
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Originally Posted by MaggiesMomNJ View Post
How is the resort "very different"? Tarps, equipment?

We had to book a GF room, outer building, garden view and wait for the RO discount to come out.

Is it an option for you to change to the RO discount?

With kids, I would pick POR which people love, and move my dining reservations around. It's just hubby and I but that's what I would do if we had kids.
The whole outdoor courtyard is filled with tarped scaffolding right now. There is a bit of noise outside and it was early (large equoment backing up, machines banging that kind of thing, but it didn't go on all day). The river and waterfall is dry, and tarped off so you cant see anything. There are large wooden walls blocking the area around the rock/cave tunnel, down by roaring forks. There is no river in the lobby, and the bridge in the lobby is shut down.
The interior to me is fine, no big deal. But the work outside takes away from the WL feel for sure. Like I said, it didn't impact my stay bc I expected it and got a good deal. If I paid premium $ and wasn't aware I'd have been a little ticked. Overall we had a very nice stay though. Just an fyi!
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:05 PM   #11
Missyrose
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecavalier View Post
Me(44) DW(32) DS(8) DD(2.5) are traveling to WDW for our families first trip from 9/20-9/29. We were so excited about the WL and had a great price with dining plan (just over $4,000). As most know, the pool is scheduled to be refurbed 9/3-11/27. We received the ever-so-timely letter just days ago that catapulted us from simply securing a few more ADRs to complete logistical chaos, so I have come to the great and powerful DISboards for guidance. My priorities: 1) Although we are there for the parks, we will be taking those much needed afternoon breaks for nap/pool time, so close proximity to a nice pool is important. 2) We chose the WL for it's great price and to be located near the MK, CR and POLY for our secured ADRs. Easy travel to these locations are also a priority. 3) Having two children ages 8 and 2.5, extra resort activities would be a plus. So, after spending 3 hours on the phone time with some very helpful CMs, here is the info I have and the decisions I have to make: 1) The resort is doubling the amount of ferry boats (will have 6 total) and will have dedicated service to the CR and FW pools. They tell me that the ferry ride is 5mins to the CR, which would be some inconvenience, but doesn't seem all that terrible. 2) We received a PIN to POR Royal Guest for free dining, this would bring our total resort/dining package down to $2900 (significant savings). I am about to jump ship from the WL to POR because of the ridiculous savings and resort pool. NOT looking forward to bus transportation to MK (3 days) and resort dining. I also wanted to experience FW and the campfire activities, Hoop-Dee-Do, etc. for te kids. I was so excited about all those convenient ferry rides! So, this DD (Distraught Dad) is seeking advice for those that may have been in this situation or would like to chime in. TYSMIA!
I would do POR and use some of the savings to rent a car to take to your resort ADRs.
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:11 PM   #12
joecavalier
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I would do POR and use some of the savings to rent a car to take to your resort ADRs.
We will actually have a car on property during our entire stay (we are either driving down or renting from airport). Would you recommend using the car for ADRs only and bus transportation for the parks?
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:11 PM   #13
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We stayed at WL for our first trip and loved it. that said, when we visited this spring, the lobby stream and outdoor waterfall were dried up and not yet behind tarps and the geyser was broken. I would have been disappointed had I paid top dollar to stay there and that was minimal compared to current construction and pool closure.. I love POR and would switch in a heartbeat. POR has a better Foodcourt with many more options, bigger and nicer playground, many pools and we loved the feature pool. We also thought the arcade and gift shop were larger and better at POR. We took midday breaks for swimming and naps and didn't mind the buses. I would seriously consider switching or looking further into what POR has to offer. POR has nighttime family entertainment, fishing, horse and carriage rides, bike rentals, boat to Downtown Disney and you can use the cool sea serpent water slide at French Quarter as well. Good luck deciding.
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:20 PM   #14
MaggiesMomNJ
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The whole outdoor courtyard is filled with tarped scaffolding right now. There is a bit of noise outside and it was early (large equoment backing up, machines banging that kind of thing, but it didn't go on all day). The river and waterfall is dry, and tarped off so you cant see anything. There are large wooden walls blocking the area around the rock/cave tunnel, down by roaring forks. There is no river in the lobby, and the bridge in the lobby is shut down.
The interior to me is fine, no big deal. But the work outside takes away from the WL feel for sure. Like I said, it didn't impact my stay bc I expected it and got a good deal. If I paid premium $ and wasn't aware I'd have been a little ticked. Overall we had a very nice stay though. Just an fyi!
Eeck! This is what I have been waiting for...news on specifics. That sounds awful. Were there still tables outside by the fork? Could you walk at all in back or was it a mess? I ask bec hubby is blind and that is my biggest fear is him trying to walk around with stuff everywhere.

Also, was there dust blowing around?

Thanks! Sorry for all the questions
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Old 06-28-2014, 01:01 PM   #15
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We will actually have a car on property during our entire stay (we are either driving down or renting from airport). Would you recommend using the car for ADRs only and bus transportation for the parks?
The only park I would absolutely take the bus for is MK since there's no parking at the park. I would say to see what your plans are for the other parks, it can be nice to have your own car to come and go as you please. I've found that taking the tram to your own car is typically faster than waiting for a bus. But sometimes it's not. If you aren't fond of Disney buses to begin with, driving will be the better option for you.
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