After hearing so much about AoA, I'm suddenly worried - help!

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by PixieNette, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. PixieNette

    PixieNette Earning My Ears

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    For a little history, this is my 9-year-old son's first trip to DW. My DH and I met at DW. We honeymooned at DW and went several times before our son was born, but because of the economy and life in general, we haven't been able to go since 2000.

    We originally wanted Villas at WL, but did not figure out if we could actually go until it was way too late to get anything there for our dates (1/3 - 1/8).

    Then, when it wasn't available, we decided to do the cabins at Ft. Wilderness. Not new, but seemed like something our son would love.

    Then, my brother decided to join us! Well, not a good idea to have us all in such close quarters. My brother snores REALLY unbelievably loudly, so...

    We went through Small World Travel and our agent recommended AoA. I was dubious. I have visited (but not stayed) two of the value resorts and was not impressed. I love Disney, the Wilderness Lodge, Polynesian or Grand Floridian is more my cup of tea.

    I wanted something fun for my son, though...not too "adult"...

    She told us that it was more than the other value resorts...much nicer. The family suites were a perfect fit for us.

    Now, I'm reading posts about AoA and getting worried! It seems that the experience (for some) has been what I've been worried about.

    From customer service to the size of the rooms, quality of housekeeping, etc., there have been a lot of RECENT (in the past two weeks) reviews that have me worried.

    Am I worrying unnecessarily?? Should I switch us back to cabins? Will they even do that?

    We're staying in a Cars Family Suite -- many (but not all) of the negative have been about Little Mermaid rooms (which appear to be a lot smaller).

    Can someone give me feedback? What should we do?
     
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  3. I Love Pluto

    I Love Pluto DIS Veteran<br><font color=green>I guess that make

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    I cannot comment on AoA because I have not stayed there. I have stayed at Pop, and walked over to AoA several times. We ate in AoA's food court, shopped at their store, and walked around to generally "feel" the resort.
    We liked what we saw. :thumbsup2

    I have NOT been inside the rooms, but the buildings are really cute on the outside. You need a room card to get in the buildings, so safety seems to be no issue.

    It's a new resort, so everthing works. The pools are beautiful. The grounds are fun to walk around, plus you can walk to Pop to use their food court. On the bridge, you can see large turtles in the water. They are fun to watch.

    I would go to AoA. The resort seems to be getting some very nice reviews, so I would go with them. Why stress about it? Enjoy it! :goodvibes
     
  4. ~Tonga Wingo~

    ~Tonga Wingo~ A.K.A Mrs. Dale

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    My sister and I and her three kids (5, 8 and 13) went in June. I originally booked AOA for us to stay. Then I switched to the Cabins because it was much cheaper. However, I worried about how long it would take us to do things. We had the dining plan and wanted to use our mugs as much as possible. Ft. Wilderness just looked to big and didn't have a Disney feel for me. The kids also like to swim and we didn't know how long of a walk it would be to the pool. So after a lot of thinking, we changed to a suite in All-Star Music. I loved it. Beds were fine. We had two bathrooms and a little kitchenette area. The 5 and 8 year old shared the Queen bed in the bedroom and we moved one of the fold-out beds (ottoman into twin size) into the bedroom for 13 year old. So all the kids were in the bedroom at night and my sister and I slept in the living room area. The couch and chair folded out into nice sized beds for us. Worked well as we stayed up later than the kids. I also liked that Music had four beds versus three at AOA. We didn't have to double up as much. We were close to the pool and the food court so we could refill our mugs. The kids had ample room and the theming, while not my favorite, was better than I thought. I'd definitely go back, but I don't mind the values as we aren't in the room much. AOA probably has better kid theming, but my niece and nephews were happy at Music.

    So short answer is yes, you can switch at any time. I think my last change was two weeks before we left. They didn't even charge me a change fee (guess I got lucky). I read a lot of wonderful things about AOA. However, for us I think Music was better. I liked the extra bed it gave us and the extra spending money once we got the refund. I don't think you can go wrong with any choice. I think you just need to determine how much space, beds etc that you need and pick which one works best within your budget.
     
  5. JessM

    JessM We all have a dream

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    We just stayed there 10 days ago, the only thing I had to complain about where the A/C units but maintenance took care of it as soon as we called and we were all set (you can't set them below 68, they came and re-programed so we could set to 65). The food court was good, the staff there was not the best but maybe it was just an off day, we only at there twice. The rooms and the resort were super clean and the front desk staff, conceirge, gift shop, and cleaning staff were great! People are negative go and have a great time! The Cars section is so well themed in my opinion!
     
  6. aaarcher86

    aaarcher86 DIS Veteran

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    Most of the recent reports I've seen have to do with the Little Mermaid standards. Most of the reviews I've seen of the suites are people that are very happy with them. The overall feel of the AoA seems super positive as the suites have been open since early in the year (in waves).

    In general people are quicker to post negatives than positives! You also never know about the poster - some people don't sweat the small stuff, and others let every little thing bother them! You just never know! Something that bothered someone else may not even be a blip on your radar! I think you'll be fine, and your 9 year old will love the theme of the entire resort.

    I'd definitely do what you feel more comfortable with. You'll only make yourself miserable if you're worried about things leading up to and during your trip - but I'd say give them a chance! Especially if you think that is what your 9 year old will enjoy more.

    Whether you can change again will depend on availability. You won't get a fee outside of 45 days. If you are within 45 days you won't get a fee if your price goes up. Inside 15 days you'll get a document reprint fee regardless of price change of $15.
     
  7. Mick&Minn

    Mick&Minn Mouseketeer

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    You will be fine in the suites Mermaid Section is a long walk from the food court and bus pickup area
     
  8. aaarcher86

    aaarcher86 DIS Veteran

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    Kind of what I was talking about ^^^. That is entirely a matter of opinion (and about LM which isn't even where this OP would be staying).

    The actual distances were posted in the other thread and it only ended up being .19 miles from the farthest building to the food court but was described as a 3/4 mile distance!!

    Everyone sees things differently.
     
  9. Mom2six

    Mom2six DIS Veteran

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    In September we stayed in Finding Nemo suites and had a really fantastic time. That was right before the Little Mermaid rooms opened, so the food court is more crowded now. When we stayed at POFQ at the beginning of December, we went one time to AoA to eat at the food court and though it was more crowded than before, it wasn't outrageous. We really enjoyed the food court there. We want to try a variety of resorts, which is why we stayed POFQ this past time. But we had a great time there and loved the overall disney feel. I think it is perfect with kids! Have a great time. The cars section is really cool too!
     
  10. TXGRMAMA

    TXGRMAMA Earning My Ears

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    I have not stayed in the AoA family suites, but I have friends that did and we visited them several times. They are nice for a family. But with your quote above about your brother and his snoring, I am not sure that they are such a good fit for your family. The living area and other beds are not that far from the master bedroom. You will definitely hear your brother.

    I do know that the cabins are much more spread out. The extra beds in the living room are much farther from the master bedroom (seperated by full bathroom and kitchen).

    Of course, the family suites have two bathrooms and the cabin only one. So you must decide what is most important to your family. You might want to consider two value rooms. It would be similar to the cost of the family suite.
     
  11. Marthasor

    Marthasor DIS Veteran

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    Honestly, if you like deluxe resorts, I really don't think you will like AoA. It is a value resort, period. The theme is beautifully done and it's nice to look at, but it has all value amenities - food court, busses, thinner walls, etc. When we stayed there, it was unbelievably loud - could hear people running down the hallways at all hours and our room faced the pool so we could hear people swimming up until 11 pm at night. I finally got some ear plugs. If you decide to stay there, I would recommend getting some ear plugs and letting your brother sleep in the master bedroom and shut the door - even then, if he snores really loudly, you may still hear him.

    If I were you, I would pay a little extra and get two rooms at a moderate. You get better amenities, every one gets a bed and your brother gets his own room. It looks like CBR is your most economical bet for your dates using the room-only discount.

    I prefer deluxe resorts because I like to be closer to the parks and have TS dining options. I thought I would try an AoA suite because it sounded like it would be a little "more" than your standard value resort. I traveled alone with my DS4 on that trip and while he enjoyed the pool and the arcade, I nearly went crazy with no sleep and no where to go at night other than a food court and arcade if I didn't want to get on another bus. Sorry to be a downer on AoA, but I would never stay there again.
     
  12. JennyDrake

    JennyDrake Darkwing Duck's Biggest Fan

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    OK, the .19 is WAY WRONG. I measured it last week. From food court to farthest LM standard rooms .38 mile.
    The theming at AoA is INCREDIBLE--you should probably go just for that!
    The long, long hike (and I am a runner), in room noise, and the bedlam and very disappointing food at the food court tarnished the entire experience for me.
     
  13. Megsie1000

    Megsie1000 Mouseketeer

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    I agree with the snoring comment - you will not be far away from your snoring brother in either a cabin or a family suite.

    I would compare getting two rooms somewhere like POP or one of the moderates. I think you would all be happier with a little more wall between you. LOL

    I am sure AoA is nice - it is more the room layout that would be concerning to me.
     
  14. PixieNette

    PixieNette Earning My Ears

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    Thank you all so much!! This has given me a lot of great information and things to think about. I'm going to talk to my brother tonight and call the travel agent and see what we can do.

    Are their standard rooms in Cars AoA or only family suites? I got the feeling it was an all-suite resort?
     
  15. aaarcher86

    aaarcher86 DIS Veteran

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    Only standard rooms are Little Mermaid - the rest are family suites.
     
  16. jenrose66

    jenrose66 DIS Veteran

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    My family of 5 stayed in a Cars suite in August and loved it! The grounds were fun, the pool in the Cars section was nice, and VERY quiet...my main gripe with the resort, is that I did not care for the food court. When I am on vacation I like my junk food, and AoA lacks that, in my opinion. But as a family, we also enjoyed the walk to PoP's food court, so no biggie :)

    As far as a snoring brother....You'd probably have to put him in the "master" bedroom with the door closed, but I don't know how much of a sound buffer that would be.
     
  17. gabyta

    gabyta Mouseketeer

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    I'd love to try AoA cars section.. The family suites look big enough for your family (bigger than LM standard of course).
    Hope you get the best choice for you!!
     
  18. buzznina

    buzznina DIS Veteran

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    When we stay at the values, it is mainly because one or both DD's wants to stay at, as they say, "the hotel that is for kids" as oppose to the "animal hotel" or "Tiana's hotel"... We have had great times at each level, so I have no problem not shelling out $$$ for the deluxes. I would give it a shot but if you are really unsure, look at a possible split stay.

    Is it just me, but when did just over a third of a mile become such a looooong hike for everyone? I am not a young chicken and not in great shape and that is not a long walk at all.
     
  19. lustergirl

    lustergirl DIS Veteran

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    because we all know that loudness and rowdiness doesn't occur at the deluxe level;)
     
  20. chemnerd09

    chemnerd09 Mouseketeer

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    I agree about the split stay if you're unsure. This way you can try different places. We stayed in a Little Mermaid room which isn't what you're asking about, but I just wanted to share my experience. I thought the main building and pool was great for theming. The actual room was a bit much for me, but I knew that going in. We didn't get a chance at the food court since we only stayed there one night. I know they have it geared to more healthy options which is a bonus for me. The walk to the LM room wasn't bad at all. It just seemed longer when we were going through the rain. There were a few things that bothered my mom and I which is why we wouldn't be staying there again, but everyone has different opinions on things.

    I can understand about the snoring because my mother is the same way. If you can swing two standard rooms for not much more money, I'd say go with that. The trip goes so much better when everyone can get some sleep.
     
  21. JennyDrake

    JennyDrake Darkwing Duck's Biggest Fan

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    As I said in PP I am a runner, but the walk "got to" me. If you wanted to refill your mug, it was a hike *just* to do that. We had a mobility impaired senior (with an ECV) so that magnified our issues (the ECV is still VERY new to her and she stresses over driving it). In the heat, it was a long hike in the sun to and from the bus stop/food court (we were in LM standard rooms). And contrary to other posts, I am NOT a deluxe snob--I have stayed in each of the values (except new AoA) multiple times and all the moderates mulitple times. YES, the hike from the remote places of CBR is much worse, but when you are used to the relatively compact other value resorts, this was a chore.

    I went as a traveling companion to the senior lady; in hindsight the person booking the trip should have looked at the resort and considered the distance--it never even occurred to me to do so. If they offered preferred regular rooms, we would have gone that route.

    While I don't expect WDW to ever do it, drink stations in each section would be most welcome especially during hot weather. (Yes, we brought cases of drinks, but dang it! I wanted my WDW cherry coke!):love:

    I am a Hard Core Foodie and I was very enthusiastic about the food court choices, but the food sounded much better than it really was and the NOISE level was horrible. The bus-your-own-table experience with real silverware and sorting garbage and recycles into way, way too tiny slots just left me with a bad taste.

    In short, if you are considering the resort, I think you should try it! But if long walks and loud food courts are decision makers/breakers for you and your party, you MAY want to consider other options.
     

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