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Thread: What's your favorite Disney Resort hotel in FL?

  1. #16
    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    Yeah, I wouldn't know about changes.

    I think reservations for a lot of the nicer places are a must with or without a meal plan.

    Reservations are also easy. Call the 1-800 number. The rep will search each park for all available restaurants during your stay and then book the ones you want.

  2. #17
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoDayButToday View Post
    I don't know how they actually treat the cards and if it's different than a general, non-dining-plan guest, but I know they do generally recommend reservations months in advance for any of the pricier restaurants. My parents wanted to take me to the French bistro in Epcot, which is probably one of the nicest restaurants in Disney (especially since the nice Italian restaurant is closed for remodel right now). We made a reservation 2 weeks in advance, no problem, even with adding in a special order Disney birthday cake, which I believe the French restaurant makes themselves instead of the main Disney kitchens.

    Also, it isn't heavily advertised, but you don't REALLY need reservations at any of the on property restaurants, including Boardwalk/Downtown Disney. Sure, it helps and your wait is less, but they are required to have tables available just for walk ins, even at the fanciest restaurants. It is part of the whole "making every guest happy" thing.

    This passage from a dining plan discussion was where I think I saw the thing about reservations. I think one of them is in the Grand Floridian, but am not sure.
    If you’re going to use the Disney Dining Plan, you definitely want to eat at the restaurants that offer the best value on the plan. Restaurants like Coral Reef, Whispering Canyon Cafe, Le Cellier (Lunch only), The Wave, and Kona Cafe become must-dos. You’ll want to plan in advance if you want to hit these restaurants

  3. #18
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    *giggles*

    Going to disney for a week in march, staying at the Coronado, meal plan bought and paid for
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  4. #19
    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    Cool Grimm! Make a few reservations at some nicer places. You get the biggest bang for the buck that way (meal plan wise) and, more importantly, the quick food sucks.

  5. #20
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Oh we have. The BF has been there before so we used up all our meal points for dinners.

    I've never been to Disney.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  6. #21
    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    hmmm, Grimm, in the hot sun, thousands of screaming snowflakes, long lines, Walmartian types throwing elbows to get to Mickey, stroller traffic jams ... oh please video.

    But seriously, I hope you enjoy yourself. Four Words: The Tower of Terror. Do.It.

  7. #22
    Elite Member Bellatheball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southernbelle View Post
    I've stayed at the Wilderness Lodge, the Polynesian, and the Carribbean Beach Resort. I haven't had any problems at any of them. I'm also a germophobe, so I totally understand your concerns. I feel the same way.

    Honestly, I don't know if it was just the dark colors or the decor, but the Polynesian doesn't "look" as clean as the others, if that makes sense. I prefer a more sterile-looking hotel, with lots of light and bright colors, and the Polynesian is definitely not like that. The color scheme is darker than most Disney hotels, and a lot of the furniture and decor looks somewhat dated, even though I know it's probably intentional. So, while it is very conveniently located and has great amenities, aesthetically, I wasn't a fan.

    SB, this is what I need to know! Wilderness Lodge and the Caribbean Beach Resort are the two I've just been looking at. Which is better? (You can read that "cleaner" if you want to! LOL)


    Quote Originally Posted by KrisNine View Post
    Bella, I think someone here planned a trip recently...maybe Lynnie. It might be somewhere here in this thread.

    We're planning on going next summer and there are some good deals to stay at the properties closest to the Magic Kingdom or one of the other parks. My mom is going with us and she was looking at the deals for the safari park hotel (not sure of the parks actual name). The deals were good and the room over looked their "Serengeti"

    Lynnie did! That's right. THanks. We stayed at Kidani. Loved it. Awesome place to wake up. There are tons of animals outside of your balcony and the atmosphere is mostly fantastic (minues the stupid fences that remind you that you are in a field in Flordia and not in Africa).

    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    We just came back from Disney about 9 days ago. We always stay at the cheapest on-site hotel possible because we are hardly in the hotel anyway, except to sleep. Disney All-Star is the low-budget on-site hotels, but they are perfectly clean. I think the Grand Floridian is the top of the line hotel on the property - my wife said Princess Di stayed there when she visited.

    The advantages to staying at an on-Disney-property hotel - 1) you can get in certain parks at least an hour early during the "magic hours" period. This will give you at least a full hour before the other teaming hordes show up. So, you can get on rides with a lot shorter lines. And 2) parking on site will be free, which means you will save $14 a day in parking.

    My wife was at a week-long seminar at the Swan & Dolphin hotel there, and I came down and stayed with her part of the week. The hotel is right next to Disney's boardwalk. And I think it's within walking distance of Epcot, and has a free ferry to Hollywod Studios. It was a pretty nice hotel with a great gym, and very nice restaurants (from inexpensive to very expensive). But it mainly does convention business.
    I've heard a lot of knocks on the Swan and Dolphin so it's good to hear you liked it there. A lot of reviewers actually knock the service and the noise level. Did you have any problems?


    Quote Originally Posted by NoDayButToday View Post
    Before I lived down here I remember coming down with my family and staying at both the Caribbean Beach and the All-star resorts. Both were great. If it's a Disney property, they are going to be clean, and they are going to treat you well, and I think they all provide you with the same extra hours and shuttle options (except for the one that has the monorail stop in the hotel, that's super convenient, but you pay dearly for it). The only big differences will be in the way it looks/the comfort of the bedding and the restaurants. We always stayed at the cheaper property resorts so that we could have more money to spend in the parks.
    NoDay (Happy Birthday I think, right?) Tell me more about these two please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    *giggles*

    Going to disney for a week in march, staying at the Coronado, meal plan bought and paid for
    Have a great time. I've heard March is insane because of Spring Break. It's bound to be fun no matter what.

    Thanks to all for the replies. I haven't gotten as far as meals yet.

  8. #23
    Super Moderator NoDayButToday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CornFlakegrl View Post
    hmmm, Grimm, in the hot sun, thousands of screaming snowflakes, long lines, Walmartian types throwing elbows to get to Mickey, stroller traffic jams ... oh please video.

    But seriously, I hope you enjoy yourself. Four Words: The Tower of Terror. Do.It.
    March won't be too hot yet. Maybe 80s, still very comfortable, but he will have the fun of spring break families, lol.

    Also, Tower of Terror and Rock n Roller Coaster. They are next to each other at Hollywood Studios, and basically the only "thrill" rides Disney has to offer. There is also an awesome Disney Villains store in Hollywood Studios that I always used to drop a bunch of money in. Every time I went back they had moved it to an even bigger location.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bellatheball View Post
    NoDay (Happy Birthday I think, right?) Tell me more about these two please.
    Thanks, it was this weekend (and I spent it at Epcot )!

    I don't remember much about All-Star, which also means that nothing terrible stands out about it. I remember the beds were good, and the property felt big. Caribbean Beach and All Star are both divided into multiple areas, but the separate buildings at CB made them feel more like smaller hotels and you didn't see as many crowds at once. All Star you felt how big it was. Also very clean and one of the newer properties so it still felt new and shiny.

    For me/my family, the hotel has always been the place you never spend any time in, just a place to lay your head at night. We were a "go to the parks open to close, go back to hotel, sleep, do it all over again" kind of Disney vacationer. Caribbean Beach I remember more about, probably because it was my first Disney trip. I remember a basic room with 2 double beds was just about big enough for our family of 4 (2 adults, an 8 yr old, and a 5 yr old), but had we spent more time in the room it wouldn't have worked quite so well. Beds were a lot like Super 8 level bedding, no cushy duvets and memory foam mattresses there, but not in bad shape either.

    The grounds were nice, lots of paths and sandy beachy areas with things like volleyball courts and pools, and there was a sort of food court separate from the buildings with rooms, but just up a path. I remember we would get grab and go type stuff for breakfast in the morning while we waited for the park shuttle. We never waited too long for a shuttle to the parks, and the pickup areas were close to the entrances and the rooms, which was very nice at the end of the day-but I don't remember being woken up by bus noise after we had gone to bed. This is also one of the older resorts at this point though (I stayed there nearly 20(!) years ago), so I can't speak to how well they have kept the property up. Knowing Disney though, I'm sure it is in fine repair.

  9. #24
    Elite Member lurkur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bellatheball View Post
    We're starting to plan our trip for the fall. We'll be traveling with three young kids. Last time we went, we stayed at Kidani Village which was great but a bit off of the beaten path. The one thing I have to have is a clean room/resort. I'm such a germophobe that if I see one bug or one pube somewhere, the whole week will suck a bit.

    I'll take any input! Thanks.
    Who needs a trip to Disney when you can just come to GR? It might not be kid-friendly, but at least there aren't pubes all over the place!

  10. #25
    Elite Member southernbelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bellatheball View Post
    SB, this is what I need to know! Wilderness Lodge and the Caribbean Beach Resort are the two I've just been looking at. Which is better? (You can read that "cleaner" if you want to! LOL)
    I preferred the Wilderness Lodge. The furnishings were nicer, newer, and less "motel" like. There was something very clean about the decor - all rustic, polished wood. It's comfortable, but it still has an elegant feel, and nothing about it looked cheap or dirty to me. The pool area was also impeccably cleaned and managed, which is important to me. I dislike public pools, but I was able to actually enjoy swimming in this one. There were no kids in diapers in the pool, no splashing or shrieking. While children are welcome to swim, the lifeguards on duty always made sure that the pool experience was enjoyable for everyone - including adults.

    The staff was also very accommodating. I stayed there in high school and started my period unexpectedly. In the middle of the night, I went to the gift shop in a panic trying to buy tampons. They were closed and the registers weren't turned on (apparently they lock them at night). The manager ended up just giving me the box of tampons. I went back the following morning and paid for them because I felt it was the right thing to do, but they hadn't taken my room number or anything. They just knew I needed them, and had no way to pay for them at that time, so they gave them to me, no questions asked. So, for that, they got major points.

  11. #26
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    We're going later in march, i thought that would avoid the spring breakers.. or is spring break the entire month down in decadent america?
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  12. #27
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    We're going later in march, i thought that would avoid the spring breakers.. or is spring break the entire month down in decadent america?
    I think you could run into spring breakers even in late March.

    What parks are you planning to hit?

    By the way, the thunder mountain coaster at magic kingdom is down for some pretty extensive repairs. And there will be a huge new addition to magic kingdom (fantasy land area) completed in Fall of 2012.

  13. #28
    Super Moderator NoDayButToday's Avatar
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    You'll probably hit some spring breakers still. Spring break tends to just be sometime in March, no real set week.

    You will be there during Epcot's flower & garden festival though, which is apparently pretty cool. My friend that works there was talking this weekend about how they are getting the park ready for it.

  14. #29
    Elite Member louiswinthorpe111's Avatar
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    Bella, we're going to Disney this fall too. Actually, Labor Day week, 9/1-9/7. We're staying at Legacy time share resorts, because I want to do Universal too. I've been to Disney several times, but never Universal.

    We took the boys a few years ago and did the park hopper and exhausted us. I'm going to take it more relaxing this time, couple days at Disney, couple days at Universal, a day at the beach. I had an awesome deal on the time share, so I got a 10 person condo, and inviting friends down with us, since it has a full kitchen, etc...

    I never went to the park that opened an hour early, because that meant all the other parks were dead because everyone went to the one that opened early.

    Grimm, be sure to look up the fast pass when you get there, so you don't have to wait in line. I'm sure they still have the fast pass.

    When hubby and I stayed at Disney 20 years ago (it was just us then, no kiddos), we went to the Wilderness Lodge for dinner, and we had the best, most affordable meal at the Wilderness Lodge than we did anywhere else during our time there.
    RELIGION: Treat it like it's your genitalia. Don't show it off in public, and don't shove it down your children's throats.

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    Elite Member nancydrew's Avatar
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    Last time I went, it was Easter week. I will never. I MEAN NEVER. ever. EVER. go in April again. And I mean EVER. It was wall to wall people and it was miserable. Just saying, in case anyone is considering going during that time.
    (276): Michelle Duggar likes to fuuuuck
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