Best moderate resort for a Disney first-timer?

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by HakunaMoscato, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. HakunaMoscato

    HakunaMoscato Earning My Ears

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    My boyfriend and I are starting to plan a Disney vacation together- his first time ever! He didn't grow up on Disney like I did and he said he'd prefer to stay at a resort that "doesn't shove Disney down your throat" (which I'm taking to mean no giant character statues everywhere a la Pop Century.) I'm thinking that Port Orleans Riverside or French Quarter might be a good option, considering we've been to NOLA for a vacation and loved it, but we are open to suggestions. Overall, we're looking for a moderate-level resort on the quieter side, decent dining/drinking options, and a little more mature decor/architecture. Somewhere that's more than just a place to sleep, where we can really enjoy the time we spend there.

    I usually just stay at a Value resort but I have a feeling my guy won't quite appreciate a guitar-shaped pool as much as I do... :confused3
     
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  2. kimieko

    kimieko Mouseketeer

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    My favorite moderate is POFQ. I think it is very romantic and quiet. It’s small and has a beautiful walk along the river to POR. DH and I had a king corner room on the 3rd floor in building 6 with an amazing view of the river. It was away from the pool and was so quiet. The only thing we ever heard was a slight hum of a boat driving by or the click clack of a horse walking along the river with a carriage ride. Very limited Disney theming, though I haven’t been in a remodeled room. I really love it!
     
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  4. sugar and spice1

    sugar and spice1 Earning My Ears

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    We absolutely love the Port Orleans French Quarter. It is not too big so you have less walking, it is pretty, the hot tub and pool are good, great food court for my Mickey Waffles, there is a nice boat ride ( free ) to Disney Springs and the rooms are great. It does fill up fast so you have to book it ASAP.
     
  5. MarBee

    MarBee DIS Veteran

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    We love POFQ; however, I would suggest looking into Swan/Dolphin. Though they are considered more deluxe, they are typically moderate pricing. Although they aren’t Disney owned, you still get the benefits of Disney property (buses and boats to the parks, extra magic hours, fastpasses 60 days out). The only Disney perks you don’t get is the Magical Express to and from the airport and no charging to magic bands.
    Because it’s not Disney owned, there’s not much Disney in the theming. The hotels are beautiful though, and they have so many amazing restaurants and places to drink on property. The pools are amazing and you can walk to the Boardwalk and Epcot. I highly recommend for couples. Check out costcotravel for some package deals with this hotel. You can even find great deals last minute on Hotwire and Priceline. Have a great trip!
     
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  6. Luvs Mickey

    Luvs Mickey Earning My Ears

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    Love POR! The grounds are so pretty and the river just adds to this beauty. Very understated but nice.

    On some evenings, you can go see Yehaa Bob Jackson in the River Roost Lounge. He plays the piano and is very entertaining. I think his schedule varies by season and maybe how busy it is but you can look it up in MDE.
     
  7. hodgieha

    hodgieha Mouseketeer

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    My boyfriend and I love POFQ. My boyfriend isn’t really a fan of Disney but he does like staying there. I also like the fact that you can take the boat to Disney Springs.
     
  8. gatour

    gatour DIS Veteran

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    Without reading any of the existing replies my first thought was the POFQ. I love the theming, easy to walk around, no real "far" rooms. The boat to Disney Springs is a nice plus In addition there is no construction going on like at Coronada Springs and The Carribean
     
  9. TJA

    TJA DIS Veteran

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    I agree with POR or POFQ - both nice moderates that are not too Disney-ish. And love the fact that you guys can boat to Disney Springs where you would probably enjoy walking around/eating/shopping, etc.

    Another option is to stay in the boardwalk area/Epcot resort area, which also is not too Disney-ish. As suggested above, Swan/Dolphin might be worth checking into. Sometimes depending on the time of year you are going, you can find a decent price for BWI, YC, or BC. You guys could just walk right through the International Gateway to enjoy the Countries in Epcot -- that used to be one of our favorite things to do each night when our kids were babies and sleeping in the jogger :). Especially during Food & Wine. It was fun to look forward to sampling the various drinks/snacks each night, then capping it off with Illuminations.
     
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  10. leebee

    leebee DIS Veteran

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    French Quarter, although Coronado Springs is also nice (but big... internal bus system for getting around). There are also the Fort Wilderness cabins to consider, too, if he's a "woodsy/outdoors" kind of guy. However... there are also sometimes excellent deals through travel agencies. On my most recent trip I stayed at AKL for under $200 a night, tax included. Not sure how that compares to prices at moderates for that time, but I thought it was an excellent deal! Just keep your eyes open, look widely. I am SURE that you'll find something he'll enjoy... especially when he sees how happy it all makes you!
     
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  11. KSR0330

    KSR0330 DIS Veteran

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    Out of the mods I would definitely pick POFQ. It's romantic, not over the top themed, and small, which might be good for his first trip. The boat to DS is great, and we found the bus service good.
     
  12. Momoftwins+1

    Momoftwins+1 Mouseketeer

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    POFQ , definitely for a couples trip. It is quieter, smaller, and has the boat to Disney Springs. Not loudly themed.
     
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  13. GeorgiaHoo

    GeorgiaHoo DIS Veteran

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    Riverside, though we've never stayed at French Quarter. Laid back atmosphere, good pool, decent food options, and the boat to Disney Springs is nice (if the wait isn't too long, which it was last time we stayed).
     
  14. HakunaMoscato

    HakunaMoscato Earning My Ears

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    Are the Swan and Dolphin themed at all? He doesn't mind theming (actually likes it to a point, thinks it adds to the experience) but just doesn't enjoy the more "aggressive" theming. Is there a particular feel/aesthetic to the Swan and Dolphin?
     
  15. spicey

    spicey Earning My Ears

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    We've stayed at all the moderates throughout the years. Our favorite is POFQ because it's was our first Disney Resort stay and it holds good memories for us. I feel the boat to Disney Springs is a big plus in addition to it's size and atmosphere. Yes, I know POR also has the boat ride too.

    My second favorite is Coronado because of the theming. The pool is neat. We had fun going on the pool slide and the kids there (not mine) would tell me when to go because I'm as blind as a bat and was afraid I would lose or break my glasses. It was fun trying not to drown. .

    Now we do the Swan/Dolphin because of the proximity to Epcot. It's a nice feel walking back to the hotel.

    Enjoy your trip. :)
     
  16. Dsny4fun

    Dsny4fun Mouseketeer

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    POFQ....small, quiet and I love the boat ride to Disney Springs which has lots of dining and drinking spots. It also has a nice walk along the river to visit Riverside which also has a sit down restaurant and bar (POFQ has counter service meals and a bar which also serves small plates) I also love the theming of POFQ
     
  17. MarBee

    MarBee DIS Veteran

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    I think the theming is supposed to be like a modern fancy Florida-almost but not quite tropical if that makes any sense. Idk how to describe it. It’s very nice. The Dolphin has a big grand lobby. The Swan lobby is pretty too but much smaller. Check out one of the YouTube tours of the hotel. They’re gorgeous!
     
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  18. Kippa-Dee-Do-Dah

    Kippa-Dee-Do-Dah Mouseketeer

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    We just left POR last week and LOVED it. It's gorgeous. We visited FQ too and liked it as well. My kids said they actually preferred the pool at POR. But FQ has the beignets. So really, either would work!
     
  19. SwanVT2

    SwanVT2 DIS Veteran

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    How old are your kids? Trying to decide if my DD age 7 would like POFQ with solash pad or POR pool better.
     
  20. gillep

    gillep DIS Veteran

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    POR or POFQ. I personally love CSR, but I think that POR or POFQ would likely be better for a first timer, especially with the boat service to DS and the unknowns with how the construction/new building will pan out at CSR. I personally prefer POR, as I like the larger resorts, but if you want something more compact POFQ is nice.
     
  21. Kippa-Dee-Do-Dah

    Kippa-Dee-Do-Dah Mouseketeer

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    They are 5.5 and 8 years. My son said the slide at POR was better than the one at FQ. I actually liked the layout of the main pool at POR better too. It was much easier to see the kids from most chairs around the pool.
     
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