Flying 2 days for 3 days at WDW is a SNAP! Final Thoughts 01/02

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by PrincessInOz, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Hi Michelle! Thanks for stopping by.

    It was a long travel day; but so worth it! I'll try and keep my TR moving along.....;)
     
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  3. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    The plan:

    DH still has to confirm accommodation but at this stage I am assuming that we will be checking into Coronado Springs Resort before crashing!

    ….And DH has confirmed that we are booked into the Coronado Springs Resort for 4 nights. He's just sent me the confirmation number, and it shows that I'm also booked in as a guest.


    The reality:

    Coronado Springs Resort was going to be our WDW home for the next 4 nights. I have to admit that given the choice of all possible Disney resorts, this would have been a resort that I would have chosen to stay at……eventually.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am more than aware that I was in the very fortunate position of not just being able to stay at this resort; but also that the stay was courtesy of DH’s company.

    It’s just that on paper, the Four Corners/South West theming of this resort is the one that appeals the most to me but also the least. DH and I love the Four Corners area. By choice, we travel to that part of the US as often as possible simply because of the wealth of national parks, hiking and gorgeous scenery that is in overabundance in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado (and I will include Utah in this mix). We just love the combination of beautiful red rock and green pine trees. Because we love it so, I was concerned that the Disney version may not match up to the actual memories I have of this area.

    I am happy to say that I was very pleased to have stayed at CSR. It is a beautiful, large resort. Yes, being on the 3rd floor in Ranchos 7A meant that we had a little bit of walk to the main complex; but, DH and I love walking and the morning walk was very pleasant. The pictures of the resort posted below were taken over 3 separate mornings and a couple of afternoons. I just thought it more prudent to talk about our ‘home’ in the one thread; rather than in chronological order of when the photos were taken.

    Our room

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    Mickey detail on the bed accent. Not hidden; but not obvious either.

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    Bathroom area You'll notice that DH has more toiletries on the LHS than me on the RHS.

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    Ranchos section. Our bedroom is the one of the 3rd floor, RH side.

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    View from the outdoor balcony on the 3rd floor. Very pretty at early morning.

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    Dig site – pool and playground area I haven't yet shown these pictures to DS; who will probably be most indignant when he sees the slide and playground area.

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    Main complex and Convention centre Love the theming details and colour in this section.

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    Pepper Market The quietest food court on Disney I've ever been in. Most mornings, the tables were full of conventioneers and I reckon I only saw about 20 families with kids.

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    The Conclusion:

    I would be happy to stay at CSR again.

    But, for my money, I preferred POR to CSR. Whilst the rooms are much better appointed in CSR because they have recently been renovated, I found POR to be a greener, cooler resort and felt that the food options in the food court was better at POR. CSR, as a convention hotel, just seemed to lack that little bit of Pixie Dust to me. I found myself having breakfast at Pepper Market with business people; and that just didn’t quite seem Disney to me.

    It is, of course, unfair to compare the different Disney resorts but it is impossible for me not to make the comparison of this resort with POR and BCV, where we split-stay in May. I only ask that you keep in mind that comparisons are all about individual tastes and opinion, so I am only presenting my PERSONAL opinion; and I’m not intending to offend anyone who loves CSR out there.

    princess::upsidedow
     
  4. DisneyFirefly

    DisneyFirefly DIS Veteran

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    CSR looks lovely! I'm not sure if I'd ever stay there, though. I spent a week deployed there when I was a housekeeping CM and I hated how far everything was from everything. It's beautiful, though! :)
     
  5. hjd0411

    hjd0411 DIS Veteran

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    Hi there!! :wave2: Glad you made it there and back safely!
    I do like the look of CSR - as someone who has yet to stay onsite I will say CSR would probably be one resort I wouldn't necessarily consider, but your photos and description certainly make it sound quite good!
    I had heard some not so good stories of United, but I didn't realise that they didn't have in seat entertainment - that is the only thing that keeps me (let alone a child!!) going on the long haul flights!
    I look forward to hearing and seeing more from your short trip - but you seemed to pack a lot in! ;)
     
  6. shushh

    shushh DIS Veteran

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    CSR looks beautiful. I especially liked the outdoor areas. My son liked the pool and playground! He asked if that was where we are staying. Thanks for the photos, nothing beats a real "view" of the resorts rather than beautified promo shots.
     
  7. SoonerGirl

    SoonerGirl DIS Veteran

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    Lovely resort photos! I think if we ever stay moderate as a family again I will chose to stay at CSR - as big as my boys are getting those queen size beds in lieu of doubles is a big deal! That being said, I will agree with you that it doesn't feel quite as 'Disney' as the other resorts I've stayed in, and I don't care for the Pepper Market at all.
     
  8. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    CSR looks like a very nice place to stay. I've heard good things about Pepper Market, however we would never stay there because it costs money, the only places we are now willing to stay at WDW have to accept POINTS! :rotfl:
     
  9. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    I think all Disney resorts are beautiful. It's just a matter of preference. CSR is very nice and if POR was booked out, I'd be back here like a shot.

    Hi Heather! Nice to see you here! I got some nice photos on this trip and a lot of the time I was thinking about photography....sad, isn't it?

    I thought I had beautiful promo shots; not the real "view"....:lmao:

    Great playground! The only time I felt really really sad at CSR was when I was taking the shots of the outdoor pool and playground. I left this to the last morning because I knew I would miss DS terribly when I saw the playground. It didn't seem so bad on the last day when I knew I was heading back home.

    The queen size beds are wonderful to have and a major plus for this resort; but I'm such a food pig that the quality of food overrides everything else! :rotfl:

    If I had POINTS, I'd feel the same way :thumbsup2
     
  10. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    The plan:

    Sun 24th: Shh...don't tell Mickey, but I'm hoping to Mickey cheat with Harry day...

    Assuming we wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed, I am hoping to get down to Harry Potter World. Yes, I know that I'll be cheating on Mickey but this is Harry we are talking about. DH and I are big fans of the books and I think it would be fun to go see the "Hog"-world.

    At some point in the day, DH is going to have to head back to the resort and register for the conference.

    DH has not said that we shouldn't go; but then again, he hasn't said that we should not not go either...

    The good news is that we were having dinner with some of my family tonight and coincidentally they were talking about Harry Potter World at Universal.
    DH casually mentioned that he had been thinking about taking some leave to see if he could go and visit HPW in October.

    I think I can safely leave well alone on this point...I suspect that DH will be wondering whether it is worth taking an extra day to head out to Universal.


    The reality:

    DH and I had a discussion about visiting WwoHP during our flight and we decided that we should make it a priority to go; even if it meant we would be there for about 4 hours.

    Afterall, we did not get the opportunity in May to go as the park opening had been delayed. And whilst it was going to end up being a very expensive side trip out of the World, it just did not make sense not to spend more money; particularly if it meant that two very huge Harry Potter fans would get to experience HogsWorld in full Orlando glory.

    On the flight, we had no idea how we were going to get ourselves from CSR over to IoA especially given that we did not have a car nor did we know 24 hours in advance if we were going to go or not and therefore could not book a seat with Mears. But we figured that these would be petty little details that could be overcome ‘on the fly’.

    So, before we crashed into bed last night, we set the alarm for a 6.40 am wake-up. And a wake-up call it sure turned out to be! The plan had been to wake up bright-eyed and bushy tailed. The reality was far from this. But Harry beckoned and we got up and ready.

    We walked across to the main complex at CSR to get breakfast to go. I had checked on the DisBoard and knew that if we sat down for a breakfast at Pepper Market, we would be charged 10% for the service fee (tip). In any case, this was not a morning for a leisurely breakfast, as we wanted to get to IoA as quickly as possible. So, we picked up two bagels and cream cheese to go; and some coffee. Sorry, no pictures of the bagels....

    We had decided that the best place to work out how to get to the Universal area was to ask at Concierge. Plus, DH was at CSR under a conference booking and his park ticketing arrangements were not standard. I had arranged to pick up DH’s WDW after 2 pm park entry and MNSSHP tickets under Will Call. So, whilst I was picking up his tix, DH enquired about taxis out to Universal.

    It turned out that there was a private car right outside CSR waiting to go. I never worked out whether this private car was part of CSR or whether the driver had a special arrangement with the resort; but I suspect it was the former. In any event, this was the PERFECT arrangement for us.
    The driver was really nice – he was Moroccan and very chatty. I also knew that the price of a taxi for getting from a Disney resort to Universal one-way was around the $40 mark (including tip). So, I was surprised to find out that he charged $33. He also gave us his personal mobile number and told us to call him when we were ready to head back to the resort. He figured he would need about 30 minutes to get to Universal. Like I said, PERFECT!

    We got dropped off at Universal at around 8 am. Yes, I know that the stated opening hours is 9 am; but I had done my research and knew that people would be let in about 15 - 20 minutes earlier.

    We got dropped off very close to here; at the Universal VIP drop off point.

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    This gave us time to take a leisurely stroll along Universal’s City Walk to IoA. DH particularly appreciated this opportunity at this time of the morning…the shops were closed and that meant that I was window shopping and not doing any damage with the plastic fantastic.

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    And this was taken for the Aussie Dis-ers who like the look of the Coliseum style building.

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    We were about the 3rd people in-line and I looked enviously across at the Universal resort guests being allowed early entry in. Maybe next time…;)

    Up next: Beeline for HogWorld

    princess::upsidedow
     
  11. shushh

    shushh DIS Veteran

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    Awww...PrincessInOz you know I love your photos! And they are beautiful but not doctored if you know what I mean...or do you doctor them...

    Anywhoo! On with your TR, I need to know if they did indeed let you in early so I can change my pick up time for when we go to IOP :rolleyes1
     
  12. ehsmum

    ehsmum Mouseketeer

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    CSR looks gorgeous!

    Can't wait to hear about your time with Harry :).
     
  13. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    This is so cool I had no idea that you were going to HP world, I can't wait to see/hear about it since that's the theme of my PTR! popcorn::
     
  14. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    I'm only :stir:. What do you mean....doctored? :rolleyes1 Strictly point, aim and shoot. Some day soon I'll get into photoshop.

    Coming right up!

    I had no idea I was definitely going to Mickey cheat either. :goodvibes
     
  15. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    The gates opened at 8.45 am and we headed off in the direction that everyone seemed to run in. We were allowed to head towards HogWorld through Seuss Landing. Pretty soon we got to our destination.

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    And made a bee-line for the Forbidden Journey in Hogwart’s castle.

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    I couldn’t resist taking a few snaps; even though I knew we should keep moving.

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    I did think of stopping in the castle to take pictures but DH was keen to keep going. In any event, it was pretty dark in the castle and I just soaked up the atmosphere, happy to be there.


    The early morning start paid off for us. We pretty much walked in and were through the castle in 15 minutes. We completed this ride by 9.10 am!


    The FJ ride is absolutely fantastic and for this ride and the walk through the castle, I thought the $$$ was money well worth spending. No regrets from either DH or myself and we both agree – we need to come back!


    We then headed towards the basket weave across the castle way. There was no wait and it was strictly walk-on only.


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    We came across Scarecrow...
    Funny, I don’t remember a scarecrow character in the books and whilst there were wizards a plenty, we were a long way from Oz. Anyway, I could have sworn Scarecrow had a straw head; but then I had not had a caffeine hit yet, so I figured I wasn’t seeing straight yet.


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    Nope….still looks like a Pumpkin head to me.


    I had to content myself with a picture of Hagrid’s house from the outside. He was not in; and we did not feel like Breaking and Entering.


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    And the verdict? We both agreed - a very very good, but not great, ride.

    Up next: Ollivanders


    princess::upsidedow
     
  16. queenie82

    queenie82 Queen of the 5 Castles

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    Honest and Frank TR as always.
    I found Pepper Market to be a big disappointment and indeed was very quiet. CBR by contrast is wonderful. Great range and good value and quality of food.

    If you choose not to go with Economy Plus then you can't expect great legroom. About $450 would have covered Economy Plus for both of you for all 4 (well 6 if you include Mel-Syd and Syd-Mel) of your flights.
    Now I haven't experienced standard legroom on a United aircraft for many years so maybe they took an inch or 2 to give it to Economy Plus. But I've found other airlines pretty bad...so...I doubt they are the worst.
    As for movies etc. I didn't watch a SINGLE movie this past trip. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones + ipod with careful song selection + Economy Plus = relaxation and even some sleep!! (and I don't sleep on flights usually)

    Glad you had a nice time at Harry. I don't think I'd waste the money cheating on Stitch because the one day ticket price is a serious ripoff. But it is pretty.

    Look forward to hearing more :-)
     
  17. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Hi Queenie! Lovely to see you back on the Boards. :goodvibes I seriously did contemplate the Economy Plus...and I don't know what I was thinking now. Obviously I was NOT thinking at all! :rotfl2:

    We sat in the very rear of the plane on the way there; so legroom was not good. We sat in the middle section on the way back and there was a little bit more space. But the lack of in-seat entertainment just gets to me. Happy to fly 747 with in-seat entertainment....what can I say? I need colour and motion in front of me :lmao:.

    If I get the opportunity to get back to the World, I might try CBR...and another deluxe. I'd better start printing money now.
     
  18. Mum from oz

    Mum from oz DIS Veteran

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    Ohh I can't wait to go to WWHP! It looks amazing. Hagrids house looks really realistic.
     
  19. Jade+3

    Jade+3 DIS Veteran

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    Oh no, WWHP was not on the to do list - will have to look into that.

    I nearly booked CSR, but the kids wanted CBR for the pirate waterpark.
     
  20. queenie82

    queenie82 Queen of the 5 Castles

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    I think the US is printing enough money at the moment to mean the exchange rate is very helpful :lmao::lmao:

    As for seating....I think I was around row 21 :cloud9: A few rows behind those in business class :woohoo:

    I totally understand the in seat stuff. If it is important to you then go for it. :rotfl2:
    Just mainly commenting on the whole legroom thing. Economy Plus gives you better legroom than pretty much any standard Economy seat no matter what airline.
     
  21. shushh

    shushh DIS Veteran

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    Looks great so far! I'm taking notes. I must admit I have not done ANY research on IOA or US. I had assumed that most of the rides would be too scary or not suitable for our young children. So I shall be following in your footsteps...

    Queenie...is that really you? What happened!?!??! You've mellowed.:rotfl:
    Glad to see you back in earnest. The boards are just not the same without your input! Nice to start hearing more about your trip as well on the other thread. Going now to sticky beak at your photos.
     

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