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'Touring' the resorts?

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by plumsiren, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. plumsiren

    plumsiren DIS Veteran

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    I feel like a real weirdo asking this, but does anyone else have the desire to visit (basically 'tour') all of the resorts? This is actually a major ambition of mine - it's worked into my plans and everything! I don't want to pool-hop or try to peek into a guest room, just walk around the grounds, take in the themes, and take some pictures. Has anyone done this?

    For those staying on-site who have visited other resorts, did you have any problem getting in without, say, an ADR? :worried:
     
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  3. dansdad

    dansdad DIS Veteran

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    Touring other resorts is a must do every trip. Never had an issue. Just tell the guard you want to check out the resort.
     
  4. plumsiren

    plumsiren DIS Veteran

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    Yay! That's very reassuring! Thanks!
     
  5. WildReekies

    WildReekies Mouseketeer

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    Well if this is weird than I must be weird. Ian going march 2014 and have planned resort touring too!!!
     
  6. Lynne M

    Lynne M Moderator Moderator

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    Touring resorts is very popular, and actually encouraged by Disney - after all, you might find a resort you'd like to try on your next trip. :)

    You're welcome to dine, shop, and use the recreational facilities other than the pools. Or just wander.

    Enjoy!
     
  7. Micca

    Micca Where there's a will, there's an heir

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    Not weird at all, lotsa folks do this. Just a couple of points: It can take a lot of time if you don't have a car. Disney transport is pretty efficient from parks to resorts. From one resort to another is another matter. Also, we found that after having visited several resorts...we were done. The monorail loop is great, WL and AKL also very good. The rest you might want to reserve for future trips. :earsboy:
     
  8. vacation_junkie

    vacation_junkie Have Suitcase...will Travel :)

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    Last trip they wouldn't let us through the gates of the Contemporary resort until they checked our card against his reservation list to prove we had a dinner reservation.
    Thats the only resistance we've ever from any guard at the gates.
     
  9. plumsiren

    plumsiren DIS Veteran

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    Darn evil Disney! I'm going to fall in love with one of the deluxes and refuse to stay anywhere else!

    When I said this was part of my plan? I'm so committed to this that I'm actually renting a car for one day! The bonus being that, in addition to getting from resort to resort quickly and efficiently, I can go off-property and get some groceries and other needs for less!

    That makes me so nervous! I'd want to shout, "I promise not to steal anything!" Maybe I'll just take the monorail to those three...
     
  10. SDSorority

    SDSorority Traumatized by Magic Journeys and Haunted Mansion

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    We do it every trip, no problem getting in at all.
     
  11. dansdad

    dansdad DIS Veteran

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    No worries. They don't think you're gonna steal anything, they're worried you're going to park for free and walk over to MK for the day. And tying up a parking space for a paying guest of the resort. It's usually only an issue at CR at busy times.
     
  12. rjvose17

    rjvose17 Mouseketeer

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    We "tour" all the resorts each time we go. It's a favorite past time for us. Especially if it's raining or if we need a break from the parks. Never once have we had a problem getting in just be honest and up front about it with the guard and always have your license on you. Take lots of pics. Some of the best picture spots are around the resorts. Don't be afraid to hit the deluxe resorts like Animal Kingdom or the Grand Floridian. On a "tour" one time we saw a guy holding a bud light can with a cut off sleeveless shirt sitting in the lobby of the GF. I was wondering if his family was touring but he looked SOOO out of place and irritated to be there. Gave us a chuckle. :rotfl: So much fun!!!
     
  13. Eaglefan9727

    Eaglefan9727 Mouseketeer

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    My wife and I will be staying at the Floridays in Orlando. It will be our first trip to Orlando. My question is this. If you aren't staying at even one of the Disney resorts. Can you visit them to check them out to see if we like one. This way, Maybe on our next trip. We can go with a Disney resort.
     
  14. dansdad

    dansdad DIS Veteran

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    You sure can.
     
  15. Epcot82Guy

    Epcot82Guy Mouseketeer

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    It's something I often do on trips. To do ALL the resorts does take a long time, as others have mentioned. With a car, it makes it easier - although I will say there is something to be said for exploring with a bit of Disney transport (non-bus).

    For parking, one way around it is to simply say you are meeting folks at a restaurant that doesn't take ADRs (like Beaches & Cream).

    An "itinerary" I might suggest...
    1. Start with the Value resorts, since their themeing is more fun, but admittedly less. Just tell them you are getting breakfast at the food court ("Intermission Food Court" for the All Stars, "Everything Pop" for Pop or "Landscape of Flavors" for AoA). You can park at one of the All Stars and walk to the others. And, you can park at either Pop or AoA and walk across the pond.

    2. Next, head over to Coronado Springs and then Caribbean Beach. Again, more "breakfast" to be had at the food courts ("Pepper Market" for Coronado and the food court at Old Port Royale for Caribbean Beach).

    3. Next, drive over to Old Key West and explore around (Olivia's is your restaurant here, although you "don't have a reservation"). The other option is to just drive to DTD (see below) and catch the boat over and back. It takes a little longer, but it's a nice boat ride.

    4. Then, drive down the road and park at DTD near the marketplace. Take the walkway over to Saratoga Springs and wander around. Then, return to DTD and pick up the boat launch to Port Orleans Riverside. I really think the DTD boat ride is a really great way to get a intro to POR. After you explore Riverside, walk along the river down to French Quarter. Then, pick up the boat back to DTD from French Quarter to grab your car.

    5. Next, head over to Beach Club, telling them you are meeting folks at Beaches & Cream for ice cream. You can wander Beach Club, Yacht Club, Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin all together. It's my favorite "cluster" of resorts.

    6. Take the long leg of going out to Animal Kingdom Lodge. Mara is a good restaurant without reservations here. It will likely be evening or starting night at this point, and AKL looks beautiful at twilight and night.

    7. Make a quick pit stop at the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds, if you want (although there isn't much to the actual "resort" itself). Crockett's Tavern is your place here.

    7. Finally, drive up to the Poly, saying you are meeting folks for a drink at Tambu. Explore Poly for a bit, then grab the monorail to Grand Floridian. Explore there next and then head around to Contemporary. (Be careful with Contemporary. The Bay Lake Tower has very controlled access, so you can get stuck places. I would suggest exploring the main tower, then take the ground floor path (not the sky walk) to the main Bay Lake Tower lobby. The pool area is also restricted, and you can get stuck outside. Last but not least, take the monorail back around to Magic Kingdom and catch the boat launch to Wilderness Lodge. At night, this boat ride is extremely peaceful, and the pier is a really nice area. Wilderness, while nice during the day, really stuns at night. The boat launch pier brings you right up into the courtyard. On the other hand, if you'd rather come in the main lobby, just take the monorail back to the Poly to grab the car - and tell them you are meeting folks at The Territory Lounge.
     
  16. RebelSoul

    RebelSoul Mouseketeer

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    If we're at WDW for at least a week, it's a must that we go visit a few resorts for one day. It's a nice day off from the parks and a great way to eat at a resort other than the one(s) we are staying that trip. We've never had a problem getting through security, although I know getting into CR can be tough during busier periods of the year.
     
  17. moonshadow

    moonshadow Mouseketeer

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    We love doing this and always recommend it to people. I drive up to the gate and tell them we want to check out the resort. They see our resort parking permit (from where we are staying) on my dashboard and let us in.

    Not sure if letting them see my valid parking permit helps, but it certainly doesn't hurt. At least they know we are a paying guest at one of the other resorts.

    Either way have a great time.
     
  18. juliebug1997

    juliebug1997 DIS Veteran

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    We schedule ADRs all the time at other resorts and take a few minutes to check out the lobby, their big gift shop, etc. I think DH wants to take away my wallet and KTTW when we go in the Poly--I just LOVE their shop!!!!!!
     
  19. grumpytx

    grumpytx Mouseketeer

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    As a matter of fact thats how my family started staying on property. It just took one quick trip to one of the All Star properties for a tour and we've been hooked ever since. We've stayed at several and toured several more. Probably the most productive time we spent was touring a property planning for the next Disney trip. Never had a problem getting access, just as previous posters noted, just let the guard know you want to tour the property.
     
  20. LilyWDW

    LilyWDW Going to My Happy Place

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    When are you going? During some times of the year you may be turned away at specific resorts if you are not staying there or do not have a dining reservation. For example, I witnessed this personally at Boardwalk during Food and Wine (we had a dining reservation and had taken a taxi, but saw many many people turned away). There have also been reports of the Contemporary doing this during busy times of the year (like Christmas).

    Otherwise, it should be no issue. I have not done all the resorts, but we have done a monorail resort crawl to check them out. Makes a great mid-day break for a MK day. Need to see if I have a time to do this next year. Also want to do a DVC tour.
     
  21. nolanboys

    nolanboys DIS Veteran

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    We love doing this. Often, we take a break from the parks and just pick a resort bus at the bus stops. Head over for an afternoon break. Walk around and grab a snack. Then head out to another park. Our kids enjoy it as much as we do.
     

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