Wilderness Lodge Mess

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by joecavalier, Jun 28, 2014.

  1. joecavalier

    joecavalier Mouseketeer

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    Me(44) DW(32) DS(8) DD(2.5) are traveling to WDW for our families first trip from 9/20-9/29. We were so excited about the WL and had a great price with dining plan (just over $4,000). As most know, the pool is scheduled to be refurbed 9/3-11/27. We received the ever-so-timely letter just days ago that catapulted us from simply securing a few more ADRs to complete logistical chaos, so I have come to the great and powerful DISboards for guidance.

    My priorities:

    1) Although we are there for the parks, we will be taking those much needed afternoon breaks for nap/pool time, so close proximity to a nice pool is important.

    2) We chose the WL for it's great price and to be located near the MK, CR and POLY for our secured ADRs. Easy travel to these locations are also a priority.

    3) Having two children ages 8 and 2.5, extra resort activities would be a plus.

    So, after spending 3 hours on the phone time with some very helpful CMs, here is the info I have and the decisions I have to make:

    1) The resort is doubling the amount of ferry boats (will have 6 total) and will have dedicated service to the CR and FW pools. They tell me that the ferry ride is 5mins to the CR, which would be some inconvenience, but doesn't seem all that terrible.

    2) We received a PIN to POR Royal Guest for free dining, this would bring our total resort/dining package down to $2900 (significant savings).

    I am about to jump ship from the WL to POR because of the ridiculous savings and resort pool. NOT looking forward to bus transportation to MK (3 days) and resort dining. I also wanted to experience FW and the campfire activities, Hoop-Dee-Do, etc. for te kids. I was so excited about all those convenient ferry rides!

    So, this DD (Distraught Dad) is seeking advice for those that may have been in this situation or would like to chime in. TYSMIA!
     
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  3. AThrillingChase

    AThrillingChase DIS Veteran

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    It sounds like WL is still a good option for you. The lobby is awe inspiring and rooms fun and comfortable. It may be fun to be able to use the 2 other pools since you have an interest in those resorts.

    Or there is the WL quiet pool and beach. Actually, you could also just take swimsuits with you to the park and go straight to CR pool for the break which would be much quicker than even going straight to WL due to the monorail. Then it is only one extra boat ride to get back.

    It is a bummer about the pool, but between WL and POR, the boat ride will still probably end up shorter than going via bus to POR and walking to the pool because it is such a large resort.
     
  4. joecavalier

    joecavalier Mouseketeer

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    Wow, never thought of that. Excellent point!
     
  5. Scarlett81

    Scarlett81 Mommy to my princess and lil pirate

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    I understand how you feel. We just got back from WL and saw a foregleam of the work to come! We got such a good deal on WL, and I knew about the work ahead of time so by the time we were there, I felt ok. If I had paid a premium for WL, or club level I'd have been very upset though. The resort is very different with all the work going on. We had a standard room, cheap deal..I felt i got what I paid for.

    A few thoughts based on your comments:
    About boat transports, while its true its a 5 minute ride to CR, remember there may be a 15 minute wait for that boat. That may not bother you, but just wanted to point out what reality will be.
    We booked alot of bay lake dining. It took a while to get around sometimes. For example, getting to Grand Floridian for dinner took 50 mins. Waited for the CR boat for a while, got off, waited for and then went up the elevators to the monorail, waited for the monorail, each stop...etc. Its still very convenient but I think people sometimes go thinking everything on bay lake will magically take 5 mins to get to, and thats not true. Just fyi. The MK boat in all takes anywhere from 15 mins to 30, depending on how long you wait. To me still beats a bus! I can't stand buses with the double stroller :furious:

    WL will have the obvious pool situation so you need to think about how that will impact you. Everyone travels differently. We would get to the WL pool around 11, then at 1 we'd go back up to our room to eat, change a diaper, grab this or that, go back to the pool..you can't do that if youre at another resort's pool. That may not be important to you though, depending on how your family is. Or you may just have to alter your expectations, pack a bigger pool bag and grin and bear!

    If you are liking the access to MK and MK resorts, and you like FW why not consider a FW cabin? They are adorable, clean, private. You can rent a golf cart for a few days if you want a quicky easy ride to the pool and they're alot of fun.
     
  6. Wood Nymph

    Wood Nymph DIS Veteran

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    We will be at WL during the pool construction, too. I'm happy to hear that they are adding extra ferry boats. :thumbsup2

    We love WL and a big part of it is because of the boats to MK and CR-FW, and the proximity of FW. We love walking over there. We have three meals planned at Trail's End. :) They have a great playground for kids right next to Trail's End.

    The ferry boat to MK is great. The ride is relaxing and enjoyable and feels like an attraction. It is very easy to hop in and out of MK using the boats. One of the biggest pluses is that when everyone is pouring out of MK after Wishes, you'll get to use the less crowded ferry rather than the chaotic bus depot. And the ferry is right there, the closest form of transportation to the MK gate - closer than the monorail or bus depot.

    The pools at both CR and FW look like a lot more fun then the WL pool is. The CR pool is right next to the boat dock, so the boat to the CR would be closer to the pool then the bus would be. For FW's pool I'd probably take the bus since you would need to do a boat then an internal bus if you wanted to take the boat over there.

    But saving a lot of money is also nice, too. :)
     
  7. amomma23

    amomma23 DIS Veteran

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    I'll give the opposite advice. I'd jump ship. That is a big savings. Port Orleans still has the "woodsy" feel, for lack of a better word. The busses are not that bad. We've done it many, many times with multiple strollers and kids. You can still head to Fort Wilderness and go to HDDR. Just ferry over from MK, for the boat experience. If it was a much smaller price difference, I would stick with WL, but that is enough savings that I wouldn't even think twice.
     
  8. HiHoWeGo

    HiHoWeGo It's off to work I go, until my next Disney visit.

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    You seem to have a lot of ADRs in the MK/Bay Lake area, 3 or more? I think for that reason you should consider sticking with WL. While it isn't a 5 minute trip from WL to the other MK restaurants (50 seems a good number for planning), you'd probably need to plan for 1 1/2 hours (waiting for multiple busses, transportation time, etc.) for certainty if staying at POR. The pool inconvenience is a shame, but I think the ADR inconvenience staying at POR might be even worse.

    If money isn't your primary concern, I'd stay with WL; if money is a factor, then POR sounds like a nice alternative.
     
  9. mom2alix

    mom2alix <font color=teal>I know he is always on my side<br

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    For that price difference, I would do POR. You can always do WL another trip when the pool is completed and you can really enjoy it. We're big WL fans, but we've also done POFQ and my kids actually liked it better. We had no problem with the busses. With all the money you'd save, you could easily afford to take a taxi if you're in a rush some days. It's usually about $20. We've done that at times for those early morning ADRs just to save time.
     
  10. MaggiesMomNJ

    MaggiesMomNJ Mouseketeer

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    How is the resort "very different"? Tarps, equipment?

    We had to book a GF room, outer building, garden view and wait for the RO discount to come out.

    Is it an option for you to change to the RO discount?

    With kids, I would pick POR which people love, and move my dining reservations around. It's just hubby and I but that's what I would do if we had kids.
     
  11. Scarlett81

    Scarlett81 Mommy to my princess and lil pirate

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    The whole outdoor courtyard is filled with tarped scaffolding right now. There is a bit of noise outside and it was early (large equoment backing up, machines banging that kind of thing, but it didn't go on all day). The river and waterfall is dry, and tarped off so you cant see anything. There are large wooden walls blocking the area around the rock/cave tunnel, down by roaring forks. There is no river in the lobby, and the bridge in the lobby is shut down.
    The interior to me is fine, no big deal. But the work outside takes away from the WL feel for sure. Like I said, it didn't impact my stay bc I expected it and got a good deal. If I paid premium $ and wasn't aware I'd have been a little ticked. Overall we had a very nice stay though. Just an fyi!
     
  12. Missyrose

    Missyrose DIS Veteran

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    I would do POR and use some of the savings to rent a car to take to your resort ADRs.
     
  13. joecavalier

    joecavalier Mouseketeer

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    We will actually have a car on property during our entire stay (we are either driving down or renting from airport). Would you recommend using the car for ADRs only and bus transportation for the parks?
     
  14. firstwdw

    firstwdw DIS Veteran

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    We stayed at WL for our first trip and loved it. that said, when we visited this spring, the lobby stream and outdoor waterfall were dried up and not yet behind tarps and the geyser was broken. I would have been disappointed had I paid top dollar to stay there and that was minimal compared to current construction and pool closure.. I love POR and would switch in a heartbeat. POR has a better Foodcourt with many more options, bigger and nicer playground, many pools and we loved the feature pool. We also thought the arcade and gift shop were larger and better at POR. We took midday breaks for swimming and naps and didn't mind the buses. I would seriously consider switching or looking further into what POR has to offer. POR has nighttime family entertainment, fishing, horse and carriage rides, bike rentals, boat to Downtown Disney and you can use the cool sea serpent water slide at French Quarter as well. Good luck deciding.
     
  15. MaggiesMomNJ

    MaggiesMomNJ Mouseketeer

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    Eeck! This is what I have been waiting for...news on specifics. That sounds awful. Were there still tables outside by the fork? Could you walk at all in back or was it a mess? I ask bec hubby is blind and that is my biggest fear is him trying to walk around with stuff everywhere.

    Also, was there dust blowing around?

    Thanks! Sorry for all the questions
     
  16. Missyrose

    Missyrose DIS Veteran

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    The only park I would absolutely take the bus for is MK since there's no parking at the park. I would say to see what your plans are for the other parks, it can be nice to have your own car to come and go as you please. I've found that taking the tram to your own car is typically faster than waiting for a bus. But sometimes it's not. If you aren't fond of Disney buses to begin with, driving will be the better option for you.
     
  17. HopperFan

    HopperFan "It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."

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    Based on the description above of the construction, probably to get worse, that will immensely take away from the feel of the resort. Yes the lobby is stunning but the courtyard and pool area is what makes the package complete. We would even sit on some of the open areas above the lobby to watch out to the courtyard.

    Price difference - HUGE - and would go a long way towards the next trip when the WL is not a construction zone. I would put that money in a Mickey Money account and start getting ready for next trip.

    POR Royal Guest Room - we LOVED it! Spent 10 days in one. The decor is new, fresh, fun and full of tiny details. Loved the fireworks above the bed, the kids will too. Location is great to main hub and we walked over the bridge to catch the bus at the South Depot each time. It is the first stop, we always got seats and the ride is not that far to the MK. AND the rides to the other parks is faster than from the WL. We vary from driving to riding to parks, depends on time of day and if we think we will be parking way out or close in to entrance.

    Don't be fooled by the boat situation. You have to wait for boats, hope there is room on the boat for you if the smaller boat comes or has stopped at FW first, wait for them to tie up the boat (you don't tie buses), load, cruise, tie up boat .....honestly the boat is a lovely enjoyable ride but not necessarily faster depending on other factors. POR has a boat to DTD so if you want a nice boat ride, it's a great option.

    ADRs - I don't care where you are staying, unless it is walking distance, if you have a car you drive. No way I want to build 1-1.5 hours each way of travel time to a restaurant that is 10 minutes away. POR is minutes to any of the Bay Lake restaurants, we have done it often. If GF asks you to park across the street, ask to drop your family then you park the car. Or make the reservations to coincide with MK days.

    All resorts have activities and you can as you know join. FW, drive the 3 minutes to the FW entrance, hop on a bus and head on in to enjoy. Easy. At POR you can rent surreys to pedal around, kids will love that. Lots of activies everywhere.

    LOVE both resorts but no way I am paying that much money to deal with a construction zone and taking away one of the big pluses of the resort. I would wait to stay another time. I'd be heading on down the road to Port Orleans as a Royal Guest on a peaceful river.
     
  18. GigiDisneyfreak

    GigiDisneyfreak DIS Veteran

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    I think either resort will work. You will be inconvenienced at either resort because it is not going to match your original plans. WL is a resort I very much want to stay at but I would be disappointed if it was under refurbishment. I have stayed at POR a few times and I do love it but transportation wise it can be inconvenient if you don't have your own car. I am assuming you have the free dining plan for WL and not the room discount. If you decide to switch to another hotel make sure they still have rooms available for free dining before you cancel your original reservation. I know you have a pin for free dining at POR but that doesn't necessarily mean they still have rooms available. Good luck!
     
  19. Speedemon21

    Speedemon21 Mouseketeer

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    We are booked at WL with free dining as well, but mid-November. I was going to change to POR, but when I was on the phone with reservations, I was told that POR was not a free dining resort (which I knew, but I was hoping). Does having the PIN code override that?
     
  20. stlrod

    stlrod DIS Veteran

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    I'd jump ship but I'm extremely biased. I too am upset by the situation and am moving offsite. I'd personally like to see Disney learn a lesson from their late notice on this issue. I know that there isn't much chance of that happening though. And before I get fanned, remember Disney Villains are people too. pirate:
     
  21. joecavalier

    joecavalier Mouseketeer

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    It will override the if the PIN is for free dining at a moderate.
     

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