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Old 07-15-2014, 01:05 PM   #16
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I advise people with young children not to go deluxe. Kids will love the values such as pop for the fun theming , pool parties and games. They don't need deluxe and you can save a lot of money. Also you don't stress when they want to buy toys and such.

My family did values when the kids were young and we had a blast. We are all older now and sit more at the resorts so moved to either the Hilton or deluxe.
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:07 PM   #17
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Thanks so much for your reply! Especially the info about the cabins - that made me cross it off my list. I really am leaning toward Coronado Springs now - the price, the beds, the location - it all seems great. I just worry about it bc there is a conference there at the time. I guess they are all busy though so what does it matter if there are people with nametags all over the place. I think my problem is I want it to be perfect and sometimes it's more about the attitude than the place. So hard to decide!
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:15 PM   #18
momjo
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Coronado Springs

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Originally Posted by HopperFan View Post
For us it would be hands down Coronado Springs. Have done free dining there many trips and heading back in August for a few days. AoA would be a second choice but because you have to pay full price for those suites with free dining plus upgrade .... I wouldn't want to spend that much .... but if in your budget, then it's a cool place. 24/7 Disney there. Either way Queen Bed for DH - the deal breaker for my DH. He won't stay where there is double beds.
Thanks HopperFan for your reply - I think I'm leaning toward Coronado Springs. I think it looks so nice and the location and price is good. We really never spend much time in our rooms when we're on vacay so I think that is the deciding factor.

Do you think buying the extra water park tickets is worth it? I have never been to Disney remember....in the 7 days will I want to spend time at a water park? We have those at home.

Thank you everyone!!! I can't believe how helpful this forum is for me - so nice to see.
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:27 PM   #19
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Chiming in on food sensitivities- I haven't had to deal with Celiac issues, but I do have to avoid other things. Disney is by far the most accommodating place for food allergens/etc. When you make your dining reservations - note on each reservation that your husband is celiac. A chef will help you at each restaurant and they are absolutely super about it. As for counter service restaurants, a manager will be able to help you. Every counter service place is equipped with an ingredients notebook. Animal Kingdom even has it's own kiosk now for helping those with dietary restrictions. It provides information on the various places to eat within that park, as well as providing snacks that are free of the common ingredients that folks have sensitivities to.

The third week of August will be busy, but probably not as intense as July. Just make a plan with your FP+ and go with the flow. I think a good idea is to figure out what each member of your family really wants to do in each park - maybe their top 2 or 3 attractions. Make sure you have those covered and then just let the rest of trip happen as it may. There is soooo much to do that it's impossible to do it all in one trip. Don't even try. You'll be miserable trying. Everyone will probably have a better time if they can check off their 'must do' and then just enjoy whatever else happens.

Have a great trip! I hope it all works out just the way you want it to!

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Old 07-15-2014, 01:49 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momjo View Post
Hi everyone and thanks for clicking on my post - extra thanks if you reply!

My family of 4 is planning a trip the third week of August (no wiggle room on this week due to our teaching schedules). Kids 7 & 10 and a husband who is breaking his vow to never visit Disney. I talked him into it - score one for me! Since this is our first and likely last trip, I want to make sure it a) is awesome for my kids, b) potentially converts my spouse into a Disney-lover or at least makes him say "that was worth it" and c) is not a budget breaker.

We're going for the free dining plan (to top it off my husband is celiac) and have narrowed it down (I use the term 'narrowed' very loosely) to the following options, from least expensive to most:

Caribbean Beach
Coronado Springs (by a few bucks)
Art of Animation themed family suite)
Fort Wilderness Cabin
Boardwalk Villas (about $1,200 more than CBR - is this worth it?)
Saratoga Springs - yep now we're getting up there
Beach Club Villas

As you can see, I am very indecisive. I was all set for CBR, but if it's our only trip, should I go big? Or will we barely be in our rooms since we want to squeeze it all in? A bit of background - we usually camp so are used to 'roughing it', as well as quiet vacations (which I know isn't realistic at DW!), and we like hanging by a pool (who doesn't? haha).

Thanks again for reading this whole post and for any help you can provide!

Jo
Hi Jo-

I have a husband who is NOT a huge Disney fan, although he's been several times with us. Going to Disney with DH often makes me nervous; I am walking on thin ice as it is, and don't want to do anything to make him more anti-Disney, so I understand your concerns around this with your husband. I, personally, would NOT go BIG on this trip at all. If you guys are comfortable sharing a queen bed and having your kids share a queen bed, by all means stick to either CBR or CS. Both resorts are lovely, and honestly, that $1200 difference between these and BWV is a BIG difference, and could be a touchy subject with your husband. You want to make him see that Disney can be fun and affordable, and spending $1200 on a little bit bigger room would NOT sit well with my DH! Think about what $1200 can buy- park tickets for all, or airfare for all, meals for most of a week; I would not "waste" it on hotel space that you probably won't even spend very much time in!! Although we haven't stayed at CBR, we HAVE stayed twice at Coronado Springs and loved it. The rooms there are slightly larger than the other mod rooms, and the pools are fun- great slide, pyramid waterfall, etc. I'm not sure I'd even consider spending the $$$ on an AoA suite, if you think a single room will meet your needs (it's significantly removed from camping- trust me!). I would seriously NOT spend the extra money on the hotel… especially if free dining isn't available for your dates.

Food- Are you SURE the meal plan is available for your dates? Also, are you sure you can get it for CS or AoA? If so, staying at a moderate will be better than a value, as you'll get the DDP instead of the QSDP. Although DDP only gives you two meals a day (one counter/quick service, one table service), DIsney portions are often generous. DD and I always share a bounty platter or whatever at breakfast, and often a lunch, too, so we aren't paying OOP for that 3rd meal of the day. It's more than doable, and will help keep your costs down, too.

If you are flying, you won't need a rental car. You can take DME from the airport and use the Disney bus system to get around. While I don't LOVE the buses, it's nice to be able to point out to DH the money we are saving because we don't have to rent a car to visit WDW!
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:59 PM   #21
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Have you confirmed availability under free dining at all these places? If not, try doing that and it may help you narrow your list down. We booked about 5 days after free dining was announced, and weren't able to add our first day due to no availability

If all resorts mentioned DO have availability, as for CSR, we thought they had great transportation, housekeeping, and the main pool was awesome. I'd suggest booking a preferred room to be near the first bus stop and main buildings. We did NOT care for the food court and the convention vibe was off-putting to us. I travel for work and know what it's like to work remotely, so to see buisness people on laptops and blackberries around the lake when I'm trying to enjoy breakfast was not relaxing to me.
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:06 PM   #22
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I never thought of that perspective - we really won't be spending a whole day at the resort so it does make sense to just go with what works as far as sleeping, eating and the occasional swim.

My only worry about Coronado Springs is there is a dental conference on at the same time - which might be good if I forget my toothbrush but wonder about the 'busy-ness' of it?
Have stayed six times and only twice were we ever remotely aware there was a convention. One was many years ago and it was farm implements so they were some "tools" sitting in parking lot to far side of convention rooms, and one was a night we came back early and there were adults in the restaurants, lounge etc.

Here is the plus of conventions - they rarely use the buses (more room for us) and rarely use the pool (even at busy times we never have issue getting lounge or table even). They are working during the day, not in the parks, and we found we have very little interaction with any.
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:07 PM   #23
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I'll only chime in to say that my DH isn't a Disney lover either. He will only come if we rent a car. He refuses to take Disney busses. He hates the waiting, the crowded busses, the multiple stops. Besides you can rent a car from the Orlando airport for a week for about $100 if you research your deals. To us, because if DH, that's money well spent. Keeps him happy.

Oh and I also vote for Coronado Springs for your family, for all the reasons already mentioned. The conference shouldn't affect you at all. In fact, mornings will be less busy because of it. Those dentists will be "working".
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:21 PM   #24
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Thanks HopperFan for your reply - I think I'm leaning toward Coronado Springs. I think it looks so nice and the location and price is good. We really never spend much time in our rooms when we're on vacay so I think that is the deciding factor.

Do you think buying the extra water park tickets is worth it? I have never been to Disney remember....in the 7 days will I want to spend time at a water park? We have those at home.

Thank you everyone!!! I can't believe how helpful this forum is for me - so nice to see.
Waterparks are fun, your kids will love the Ski Patrol Area at Blizzard Beach and the family raft ride plus more. Disney Waterparks are so themed and cool that they are like no other. I don't do any waterparks except for Disney. That said, is it necessary? no. My AP includes them, so we go without thinking about the extra cost.

Coronado has a huge water slide, your kids could probably wear themselves out just doing that, it's one slide we adults go on multiple times. It's really just a matter of if you want to spend a day in a water park. They are very tiring so we rarely do a park after, just a nice dinner somewhere. Question? do you have a day planned with nothing and no park ticket? Then yes - do it. Do you have park tickets for every day? Then I say no, just take breaks at the hotel - enjoy the pool - change and head back for more park fun when it's evening and cooler.
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"There is no right way or wrong way to do Disney, just what is right for you!"
Pirate Party 2008 Mickey's Xmas Party 2009 MNSSHP 2006 twice 2007, 2008, 2009 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 14!
Unleash the Villains! 2013 & 2014 Repeaters - Food & Wine Flower & Garden Star Wars Weekend
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013 for "COMPLIMENTARY" Dining

Making Magical Visits since 1971 ~ now visiting 5-6 weeks per year ON PROPERTY STAYS & Our Star Rating:
Animal Kingdom Lodge 2x ~ Wilderness Lodge
Coronado Springs 8x (1xBusClass) ~ PO Riverside 5x (1xRoyal) ~ Bonnett Creek ~ PO French Quarter
POP Century 15x ~ Hilton DTD 2x ~ Doubletree Suites DTD 3x ~ B Resort
All Star Movie ~ Wilderness Cabins ~ All Star Sports 3x
Caribbean Beach 2x (1xPirate) ~ All Star Music 2x
Lots of offsite, but somehow it never seems right, 'though Rosen Shingle Creek was luxury I could get used to !
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:38 PM   #25
momjo
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thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopperFan View Post
Have stayed six times and only twice were we ever remotely aware there was a convention. One was many years ago and it was farm implements so they were some "tools" sitting in parking lot to far side of convention rooms, and one was a night we came back early and there were adults in the restaurants, lounge etc.

Here is the plus of conventions - they rarely use the buses (more room for us) and rarely use the pool (even at busy times we never have issue getting lounge or table even). They are working during the day, not in the parks, and we found we have very little interaction with any.
I so appreciate your feedback on conventions. I can see now that it could be a plus being with people who are busy in conference sessions. LOL on the tools in the parking lot. This has helped so much with my decision. THANK YOU!!!
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:41 PM   #26
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Thanks jpessa!

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I'll only chime in to say that my DH isn't a Disney lover either. He will only come if we rent a car. He refuses to take Disney busses. He hates the waiting, the crowded busses, the multiple stops. Besides you can rent a car from the Orlando airport for a week for about $100 if you research your deals. To us, because if DH, that's money well spent. Keeps him happy.

Oh and I also vote for Coronado Springs for your family, for all the reasons already mentioned. The conference shouldn't affect you at all. In fact, mornings will be less busy because of it. Those dentists will be "working".
I feel a kinship with you due to our dh's haha. Mine is more into going on a 7-day hike into the forest than Disney, so the rental car might be a good way for him to escape. I heard Cocoa beach is nice to go to for a day - which we do have one day after Disney before our flight home. I appreciate the feedback so much.
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Old 07-15-2014, 03:07 PM   #27
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I vote Caribbean Beach, pirate room. We got one by pixie dust upgrade in '11 and it was great. We never even noticed the beds were doubles and not queens...we rented a car, so the distance from the room to everything else wasn't a big deal. We drove from our room to the food court and themed pool. But there was a quiet pool a short walk from our room, which my dds (who were 8 and 10 at the time) loved to swim in at night after the parks. I wouldn't break the bank with a deluxe, b/c that may make the husband hate it more.
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Old 07-15-2014, 03:12 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momjo View Post
Hi everyone and thanks for clicking on my post - extra thanks if you reply!

My family of 4 is planning a trip the third week of August (no wiggle room on this week due to our teaching schedules). Kids 7 & 10 and a husband who is breaking his vow to never visit Disney. ...

We're going for the free dining plan (to top it off my husband is celiac) and have narrowed it down (I use the term 'narrowed' very loosely) to the following options, from least expensive to most:

Caribbean Beach
Coronado Springs (by a few bucks)
Art of Animation themed family suite)
Fort Wilderness Cabin
Boardwalk Villas (about $1,200 more than CBR - is this worth it?)
Saratoga Springs - yep now we're getting up there
Beach Club Villas


Jo
Are you going this August? If so, you are not going for the free dinning since your stay cannot start before 8/31/14.
here is the link to the current special offers from Disney
https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/special-offers/
There is a room discount offer ranging from 30% for deluxe resorts and villas (Boardwalk villas, Saratoga Springs, Beach club villas - on your list,) 25% for moderates (CBR, CSR, Fort Wilderness on your list,) and 20% on values (AOA on your list - but the family suites are very pricey and not really value priced IMO.)
Your choice of CSR sounds reasonable and it is a large resort , thus you may not even know there is a convention going on there.
WDW is huge - you will take buses to each of the parks from CSR, and since it is a first stay, it probably makes sense to not bother w/ park hoppers - that cuts down on time going to and from different parks on buses. Many people go to a park early, leave mid day to hang out at their resort pool then return in the evening for more park time and dinner in the park or at a nearby deluxe resort.
The prices you may have been quoted may have been w/ the room discount and a paid for dinning plan - which you don't have to get, if you don't want to (for example pre tax @ CSR for 8/16-8/23 w/ 8 day non hoppers $2545 pre tax v. $3953 pre tax w/ dinning plan.)
In your case your 10 year old counts as an adult on the dinning plan - you would be paying around $200/night for a regular dinning plan for your family of 4 - only you can decide if you are likely to spend that much w/out the dinning plan. On the regular dinning plan you get 1 quick service meal w/ soda & desert, 1 snack, 1 table service meal (entrée and desert and soda, no soup, salad, appetizer) per day. Generally if you plan on a lot of character buffets, then w/ older children the dinning plan can make sense, otherwise you may find it costs less and allows more flexibility to just make a few reservations at the table service restaurants you want, eat quick service and pay as you go, particularly if the 10 year old is likely to order from the children's menu. Also, in your case because you are so close to your arrival date some more popular restaurants may already be booked - many people booked their dinning reservations when they were 180 days away from their arrival date.
Play around w/ the web site to compare various options so you know what you are paying for and how much the options cost.
And good luck w/ converting DH into a Disney lover
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Old 07-15-2014, 03:21 PM   #29
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I think all the answers made it clear which resort would be best for you!
Are you sure that you can get free dining? Are you going this year or next?

Here's my concern based on something I have to watch out for with my DH- he will sit there and freak at the prices on the menu (have you looked at them?! Insane!! 35+$/pp at a buffet, 25$ entrees, etc. etc.). He will not enjoy himself as much in that situation which is why the free dining was the best deal for us. We're eating at such great places and the price won't be concern (tip isn't included in the DP, keep that in mind).

Disney is a huge sticker shock. You don't want to be sitting there and nitpicking what people order and freaking out because it was all too much (I most definitely vote no on the deluxe resort!!) and gosh, you would love a snack but OMG we spent too much already.
Don't get me wrong, we can very comfortably afford this trip especially with the conversion but it is NOT cheap compared to travel around Europe and sitting there with costs accumulating would for sure be a damper.
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Old 07-15-2014, 03:26 PM   #30
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My husband is a non-Disney guy too. Before we bought into DVC, I we took several trips to CSR. It is, by far, my favorite moderate. Being that it is spread out, there are many places to escape the hustle and bustle. We've even stayed during conventions and I've only found it busy once. I often found I was the only person on the beach in the hammocks no matter what time of day. I'd stay at CSR in heart beat even now I am used to the deluxes.
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