Comparing a FW Cabin to ASMu Family Suite for a 2 week stay!

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by sharadoc, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. sharadoc

    sharadoc Visiting Disney World since 1986, happily driving

    May 6, 2008
    Hi Everyone.

    We just got back on Saturday from a 2 week stay at a Fort Wilderness cabin. Our trip before this was 2 weeks in January in a Family Suite at All Star Music. I thought some of you might be interested in my comparison of the two.

    Our family has 4 members, but my DS has ASD and kind of "freaks out" in a regular hotel room. He needs to feel like he's in some sort of home-type environment, so a sofa/sitting area and a separate bedroom are a necessity for us.

    Cabin - 1 full size bed, 2 bunk beds, full size Murphy Bed
    Suite - 1 queen size bed, 1 full size pull out sofa, 2 pull out singles
    Advantage - Cabin. Kids can sleep in the bedroom with the door closed while parents hang out in the LR and/or sleep there too. With the suite, the kids get the LR with the pullouts and the parents get the BR. Plus the cabin has 4 real beds. Murphy bed was not any more comfortable than the pull-out sofa. BUT, the pullouts in the LR of the Suite gives more sitting area. In the cabin, 2 can sit on the sofa, and 2 of us had to sit at the kitchen table to watch TV. Got pretty uncomfortable.

    Cabin - 1 bathroom with BIG vanity, storage shelves and under sink cabinets with extra towels and storage space.
    Suite - 2 bathrooms, small storage bins, separate toilet and shower area.
    Advantage: Suite. Plenty of space for getting ready in the morning, both kids could be taking showers/baths at same time at night, everything took half the time.

    Cabin - full size stove, fridge and dishwasher, plus cabinets and countertop
    Suite - microwave, small fridge, sink
    Advantage - Cabin. IF you want to cook in the room. Plus the full table and chairs are more comfortable to sit and eat a meal rather than the small table and 2 chairs in the suite. Cabin has a freezer for ice which comes in VERY handy in the summertime.

    Cabin - 4 small drawers in BR, small closet, 2 small drawers in nightstand, 2 shelf cabinets on either side of Murphy Bed
    Suite - 2 full closets, 1 large TV armoire, 1 smaller TV armoire
    Advantage - Suite. All we could fit in the Cabin drawers were socks and underwear for 4. I brought a cube type thing that hangs in the closet that we could stack clothes in, but then that eliminated most of the hanging space.

    In the suite, we had space for everything PLUS extra space. We were SO much more organized in the suite. By the 2nd week in the cabin, I was going crazy dealing with stuff piled everywhere!

    Cabin - too big to walk everywhere, so must take a bus to go to main pool, trading post, boats or buses, etc. Park at your door.
    Suite - walk to Celebrity Hall and pools. Park in parking lot.
    Advantage - neither. If you don't mind waiting for internal buses at FW, they are very convenient and take you basically anywhere you need to go. But they can get in the way. One night we tried to see the campfire sing-along and the buses were delayed and we missed Chip and Dale. BUT, parking at our door and driving everywhere was great.

    FW - quiet, rustic, peaceful and very friendly, lots of trees and shade. The spring rains washed away a LOT of the dirt around the cabins, so the landscape almost looked extraterrestrial. All the tree roots are showing and it's kind of creepy feeling. The areas that have been fixed or didn't wash away looked much nicer. I was surprised that they haven't fixed that up yet.
    ASMu - hectic, rowdy music at the pool area, more concrete and modern with giant icons
    Advantage - personal preference. FW was lovely in the summertime, there was no sun beating on us at our cabin but it was really hot so we didn't spend much time outside. MUCH more quiet with no footsteps or toilets from other rooms. But, the housekeeping golf cart trains started at 5AM and were SO INCREDIBLY LOUD that they woke us up. They would hook up all the housekeeping carts together and pull them with a golf cart to each cabin loop to get ready for the day.

    FW - pool with nice slide, snack bar, hot tub, kids play area plus quiet pool. Snack bar at pool and take-out at Settlement only non-TS food options.
    ASMu - pool with water jets and quiet pool. Large food court.
    Advantage - personal preference. FW pool is nicer, you have to take a bus to get there. Makes jumping in the pool for 15 minutes a little difficult. ASMu pool gives you that quick swim when you want it. If you cook in the cabin you don't need a food court. If you're on the dining plan, you have to eat CS somewhere else if you stay in a cabin.

    FW - Daily arts and crafts, game or dance party, nightly campfire sing-along and movie. Check-in did not acknowledge my celebration, no birthday button at check-in. Got one towel flower vase on first day, none thereafter. Cabins around us had at least 5-10 towel animals and flower vases in their windows. Don't know what we did different - we tipped every day and didn't leave major messes. Trail's End waitress also ignored Birthday Button at dinner.
    ASMu - check-in balloons and birthday button for DD and all of us. Birthday card in the room, one towel animal. Mousekeeping washed our dishes, too. Daily pool activities, Wii games and movie.
    Advantage: ASMu. Activities are constant at the main pool, easy to do, rather than busing to them at FW. The staff there seemed more festive and friendly and "aware" of the celebration theme and went out of their way to acknowledge it. No biggie for me on this trip - it was MY birthday and I'm no kid so I didn't feel disappointment, just surprised at dinner, especially when the waitress the next section over made a big deal about somebody's anniversary and had the whole section "yee ha".

    So, did we like one over the other? No, not really. Although I don't think we will stay in a cabin again. The storage and one bathroom issue got to be annoying. Price in value season at the cabin is almost $100 more than the suite and to REALLY enjoy your stay at FW, you should rent a golf cart which is another $57 a day. We got the room discount this time that brought the cabin price to $169, so the price was a wash which is why were were willing to try the cabin. We do think we'll stay in a Suite again - it felt comfortable and we spend time in the room so space and storage is an issue for us.

    My dream is that Disney would make rooms at every resort level that are family suites. If I could take that suite and put it at POFQ, I'd be in heaven :cloud9:

    If you're still with me, I'll be happy to answer any questions.
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  3. princesskenziesmom

    princesskenziesmom Mouseketeer

    Jun 25, 2007
    thanks for the comparison. We are a family of 5 that now has Nana tagging along so that makes 3 adults and 3 kids. My son has Sensory issues so we are either looking at the ASMU suites or the FW cabins. I am just concerned that we won't have a car so if we stay at the cabins it looks like we are going to have to rent a car and that's even more money. Plus, renting a golf cart. It looks like we might go with the Suites.
  4. sharadoc

    sharadoc Visiting Disney World since 1986, happily driving

    May 6, 2008
    Depends on what you think your sensory issues DS will need. If quiet time is important, then the cabins will definitely be better. But if he gets anxious waiting for too long, or gets cranky then the suite might be better.

    Regarding the golf cart - you all might not fit in one. They are for 4 adults, so even if Nana and the two younger ones fit in a seat, you'd have to hold the baby on your lap. That could be trouble.

    Let me know if I can help!!
  5. AKraft

    AKraft Earning My Ears

    Jan 4, 2009
    Our next trip will be to the cabins in Aug/Sept. We had stayed at the All Star Sports one year and found it to be way to busy with far too many unsupervised kids running around. Our room overlooked one of the pools and it was loud way into the night and the food court was always crazy. We're really looking forward to the cabins and the relaxed environment. I've heard many good things about them and they're something totally different than your usual Disney resort. Not to mention the fact that Trails End Buffet is supposed to be one of the best bangs for your buck. I also like the fact that we'll be able to take a boat to the Magic Kingdom which then also gives us access to the Monorail, other resorts for dining, and EPCOT. Hated having to rely only on the buses at the All Star - they were always packed. Also, I think the fireworks and water light parade are visible from the beach.
  6. sunsetbeachgal

    sunsetbeachgal DIS Veteran

    Apr 22, 2010
    Wow...great comparison! We are going in Nov with my husbands son and family and daughter and family and one family (the one with napping children) has opted for a family suite as ASMu. We have never stayed at a Value Resort!
  7. basketlacey

    basketlacey DIS Veteran

    Mar 31, 2003
    I have just started pricing our next trip. We are a family of 5 (me, dh, dd11, ds8, dd5). I am very seriously considering the cabins. It was $1000 more than a room at Port Orleans but when I mentioned it to dh and said I thought the kids would love it; his reply was that he WOULD love it.
  8. heidijanesmith

    heidijanesmith DIS Veteran

    Mar 1, 2010
    Great comparison!

    Question about the pull out beds in the ASMu suites. How uncomfortable are they? My kids really, really do not like hotel pull out beds to sleep in. I have tried a few and they always seem like I can feel the bed support under the mattress, like a rod in my back. I think it's the thin mattresses that we don't care for.

  9. Pembo

    Pembo OH-IO

    Aug 19, 1999
    We stayed at the cabins last summer. We found it quicker to walk to the pool then to ride the bus. I enjoyed the Fort for a few days but I'm not sure about any longer. I missed the food court and quick access to things at a resort. We stayed at the cabins after an 8 day stay at POR.
  10. 7165red

    7165red DIS Veteran

    Jul 17, 2006
    I was wondering about the TV's Do you get one or two?
  11. sharadoc

    sharadoc Visiting Disney World since 1986, happily driving

    May 6, 2008
    Hi. I slept on the sofa and it was fine. The only thing to be aware of was the hinge on the sides. It's a big hinge and you could get pinched if you swing your legs over the side right where the hinge is. I didn't feel a bar in the middle and the mattress wasn't one of those 3 inch foam things. It was definitely thicker than that.

    I think it was totally fine and didn't have a complaint.
  12. sharadoc

    sharadoc Visiting Disney World since 1986, happily driving

    May 6, 2008
    Right and right! We learned to love Trails End and go there every trip. The food is the same as they serve at the Hoop de Doo for a LOT less! (Plus no Strawberry Shortcake or free beer and wine).

    Watching the Water parade and fireworks from the beach is a tradition for us. The Wishes music is piped in nice and loud, including the narration. It's a sentimental family favorite. We have an evening planned at the Fort for dinner at Trails End, and the festivities at the beach in June. Plus in December we'll do the same. If we have time, we'll squeeze in the campfire sing-along with Chip and Dale before it gets dark!
  13. sharadoc

    sharadoc Visiting Disney World since 1986, happily driving

    May 6, 2008
    Two TVs in both the cabin and the suite.
  14. jldixon62

    jldixon62 Mouseketeer

    May 5, 2009
    Thanks for posting such a nice review. I'm booked at the Suites for August and had been thinking about switching to the cabins. I won't have a car so I think I'll stay where I am and try the cabins another time.
  15. maxiesmom

    maxiesmom The Mean Squinty Eye Works

    Jul 6, 2004
    The pull outs in the Family Suites were specially designed for Disney, and they do not have any bars running underneath your back. I shared one with my teenaged niece, and it was quite comfortable.:thumbsup2

    To me the biggest plus of the Family Suite over a cabin is the 2 bathrooms. The cabins can sleep 6, but that seems to be a lot of people for only 1 bathroom.
  16. MommyJack

    MommyJack Crazy for Disney

    May 11, 2007
    Great info, thanks. We stayed in the cabins in 2007, Dh, dm, dmil, dd, and ds. We enjoyed the cabins. We rented a golf cart to get around. I think Fw is too big without a cart.

    This year we are going with the same crew minus dm. Staying in the family suite. I'm really looking forward to the second bathroom and the extra storage space. At the cabins half of us lived out of our suitcases.
  17. Gianna'sPapa

    Gianna'sPapa DIS Veteran

    Aug 16, 2008
    I have stayed in both and your review is right on. If you haven't heard Disney is re-inventing POP Legendary Years to the Art of Animation Resort. It will be primarily value family suites. It is scheduled for opening late 2012. They will be converting the existing but not finished buildings.
  18. mumto2

    mumto2 Mouseketeer

    Apr 30, 2006
    We stayed at the Cabins in 08 and are going back for a grand gathering in a few weeks :cool1:

    Sounds like you had a mousekeeping dud. We had a terrific lady who was very friendly (I am an early riser and would take my tea onto the deck to watch the resort come to life, so I'd usually see her as she started her rounds), and kept a spotless cabin for us. We got lots of towel animals, and one day, both kids got signed cards from Mickey, just because.

    I thought I remembered chairs in the living area as well as the couch? Not the dining chairs, but cushioned ones?

    The storage was tight in the cabin. I went out to Supertarget for groceries and bought some additional coathangers and an over the door closet organizer, which really helped, but it was still not ideal, especially after a couple of days of souveniers.

    While DS and I were at ASMo, there were LOTS of tour groups (from Brazil mainly). They would arrive in a huge group in the food court, at the bus stop, etc. making it very crowded and noisy. While this wasn't a major problem, it did make for some last minute changes of plans, and contribute to an already very stimulating environment for DS.

    My favorite part about the cabins, though is that my kids could be kids without DH and I worrying about people in the next room. Don't get me wrong, they don't hang from the ceiling fans or anything, but it was nice to let them play outside while DH and I unloaded the car and got the family settled in.

    I just hope the others in our grand gathering can overlook the storage issue and have a great stay at the Fort!
  19. fla4fun

    fla4fun DIS Veteran

    Nov 12, 2006
    I think both options are great - but they are totally different experiences. FW is a lot more laid back and relaxing. It invites you to stay and enjoy the resort - the parks almost feel like an afterthought! The suites still feel like part of a hotel, and although there's room for relaxing, they don't really give you the feeling that you'd rather be in the room than the parks.

    As far as a golf cart at FW goes, I've never rented one because it seems like a lot of money when it's a solo trip - hard to justify it. I've never had a problem using the internal buses, and I've walked from the Meadow pool back to the 2400 cabin loop in about 15 minutes (granted, not in the middle of summer!). A lot of people have issues with the internal/external bus system at FW, but I prefer it to having multiple theme park stops within the resort. I've stayed near the last bus stop at POR, and had full buses not even stop in the morning because they were too full. I've never had that problem at FW. There is a cabin loop that is about a 10 minute walk to the Outpost, so you could walk to the bus stop without using the internal bus. Then you would only need the internal bus for MK.
  20. Nayan

    Nayan DIS Veteran

    Jan 19, 2010
    We just got back from the cabins yesterday. I am getting ready to write my trip report but I will say here that the internal buses were running very often, however the buses to the parks/DTD were slow with very long waits. That really was the only downside to staying at the Fort and we liked it so much we booked the bounceback for November! :woohoo:
  21. minnie61650

    minnie61650 <a href="" targ DIS Lifetime Sponsor

    Jun 7, 2005
    I just wanted to add a little bit about the pull outs in the the Family Suites.

    The pull outs are not your ordinary pull outs and are quite comfortable.

    They were the most confortable pull out/convertable sofas/chairs that I have ever tried.

    The chair and ottoman pull out and convert to twin sized beds.

    The sofa opens into a double bed.

    Here is a photo I took of the pullout chair when we stayed at All Star Music September 21.

    Notice the seat and back of chair support the foldout bed.
    There are no metal bars running under your back area.

    I laid down on it and it was very comfortable.


    In fact I was so happy with the fold outs that Iwanted to buy a pull out sofa and chair for my spare room but they are made exculsively for Disney.:sad2:

    Here is a link to a thread about my quest for the pull outs.

    Have fun at Disney wherver you choose to stay!

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