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  1. #1

    • Nutty guy from Canada
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    Resort Questions

    Hi there.

    My family is beginning some very long term preliminary planning for our first trip to WDW. (Talking 2 to 3 years from now so obviously things can change but we're looking for rough ideas at this point.)

    1) Of all the DVC hotels which one seems to be the most popular?
    2) Is there a strong animal smell in the Savanna View rooms at the African Lodge? (I personally don't care but it seems to worry my wife.)
    3) If we were to stay one week in one hotel and then move to another hotel for the second week does Disney offer a service to move our belongings between the hotels? (Truth be told this is probably going to be our one and only trip to WDW so we though experiencing two hotels might be worthwhile.)
    4) Which hotel is best suited if we only stick to the resort (centrally positioned, well connected to the resorts transportation system etc.)
    5) Which hotel would be the best hotel to allow easy access to areas outside the resort? (Grocery Shopping, Universal, Sea World, Kennedy Space Centre etc.)
    6) How many days would you all recommending spending at each of the four main parks at the resort?
    7) We'll be flying in from Seattle as Alaska appears to be the only airline that does non-stop flights to Orlando from SeaTac (and no one does non-stop between Vancouver and Orlando at the present time) so how long is the drive from the airport to the resort? (As we plan on visiting many areas outside the resort a rental vehicle is a must for us.)

    This trip is most likely going to use up three years worth of points (banked, current and borrowed) so we want to try and make the most of it.

    Thank you.
    The Chadwick's Online Photo & Video Galleries
    DLR: 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012
    DCL: Alaska Cruise Aboard Disney Wonder 2013
    Planned Trips: DLR November 2014, WDW March 2017

    Very Happy Disney Vacation Club Member Since 2010
    270 Points at The Villas at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

  2. #2

    • Under that tree again!
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    Re: Resort Questions

    1. Basically they all will probably be sold out by then, athough maybe not at the Grand Floridian which is currently under construction. Of course how busy depends on when you go, as it will for Universal.

    If you aren't a big family that needs the room or kitchen I wouldn't stay in a DVC resort. Sometimes at WDW they are like the farther wing or a regular resort, not as integrated as at the GCH.

    The dining can be a major feature or a WDW visit so don't get caught up in cooking your own food.

    2. Not that I've noticed or heard of. It's not like driving by a stockyard or anything like that.

    3. Yes talk to the bell service CMs, about getting your luggage to the next resort. Honestly it may be nicer to stay in one place, and visit other resorts for a meal or look around the lobby. A tour of the monorail resorts can be fun.

    4. For values, Pop or the Art of Animations resorts. For Moderates the Port Orleans French Quater. For Delux, the Beach or Yatch Clubs, or Boardwalk and Contemporary. For DVC the Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas, Beach Club Villas, Boardwalk Villas. The Grand Floridian may be nice but only time will tell.

    The reason I mention these is because of speed of transportation, flexibility in transit, and their pools.

    Main things to remember is the rooms barely get bigger but the beds do as you move up in category. Also the bathrooms get upgraded. The pools do too. Also the lobbies get bigger not that that makes a huge difference when you can visit the lobby of any resort you want. Delux and DVC are about equal but DVC resorts sometimes have small standard pools, but share the fun pool of thier main resort.

    As to why I list the resorts here are some comments.
    The value are all just giant motels. But POP and AoA have better tranportation, only buses.
    The Moderates are less motel like but still have outdoor coridors to access the rooms. POFQ is small and when it is busy it doesn't share buses so it has the best transportation. It also has boat access but only to DTD.
    The Delux are all large hotels. The Yatch and Beach Clubs share an awesome giant pool, and also have quiet pools. They and Boarwalk all have short walking access to Epcot, long walking access to Disney Hollywood Studios and boats to both. The Contemporary has great views from almost every room, and relatively unknown but walking access to the Magic Kingdom. All the resort on the Seven Sea Lagoon have boat access to the MK and Monorail Access to the MK and Epcot, but these aren't nessecarily fast or uncrowded.
    For DVC, the only area mssing is the Animal Kingdom Villas which is built next to the Animal Kingdom Lodge but not exactly attached so they are like two different resorts, it has an ok pool of its own no need to use the regular lodge's.

    5. It really doesn't matter. Here's the thing. If you are close to MK you are far from AK. If you are close to Epcot, you are halfway to MK and AK. You are either here or there and it doesn't matter if you go everwhere.

    When you are coming to and from WDW it can make a small difference. Mainly the roads inside WDW are well built and move briskly. So going to Canaveral or grocery shopping it may cost few more minutes but it's the traffic outside of the World that is going to be the issue.

    6. Epcot 2 days. DHS, probably one and AK probably one unless a major expansion is done then they could become 2 day parks. MK I only need 1, but maybe 1.5. So for WDW 6-7 days.

    USO 1-2 days, probably by then 2 full days. Currenly Island of Adventure requires only the time to see the Wizarding World of Harry Party and the rest of the park is empty or barely worth visiting, a .5-.75 day park and the studios are about the same which is why you can visit both in a day.

    Seaworld and Canaveral are both full days.

    So in total you are looking at 10 to 12 days.

    7. I would avoid renting a car the whole time, unless it works out to cheaper.
    Magic Express is awesome, and makes the vacation that much nicer you should use it on arrival and departure days. If you rent a car the whole time, let one person get the rental and the rest take Magical Express.

    Onsite you can rent from Alamo and National with resort to rental shuttles, and near DTD you can walk to Thrifty, Avis and Dollar in Hotel Plaza hotels. So think about doing offsite trips in a 4-6 day block.

    The drive depends on trafffic and which resort usually falling in the 30 to 45 minute range and when bad upto 60 minutes.
    Last edited by swampymarsh; 12-25-2012 at 11:31 PM.

  3. #3

    • Nutty guy from Canada
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    Re: Resort Questions

    Sorry swampymarsh.

    I forgot all about this.

    Thank you very much for taking the time to reply in detail. I should find that useful when the time comes.

    One question, when you mention sold out for the villas, did you mean for purchase or for trying to book them? We're not looking to buy, just use our home resort points to book a couple of weeks.
    The Chadwick's Online Photo & Video Galleries
    DLR: 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012
    DCL: Alaska Cruise Aboard Disney Wonder 2013
    Planned Trips: DLR November 2014, WDW March 2017

    Very Happy Disney Vacation Club Member Since 2010
    270 Points at The Villas at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

  4. #4

    • Under that tree again!
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    Re: Resort Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Asylim View Post
    One question, when you mention sold out for the villas, did you mean for purchase or for trying to book them? We're not looking to buy, just use our home resort points to book a couple of weeks.
    Well both. They will likely sell out the resort ownership program, other than the GF which is under construction. And to book them with your points they may be sold at peak times. As you probably know home resort owners get preference at booking thier own resort before the rooms are opened up to others. However even at peak times, there is so much DVC in WDW, that something is open, it may just not be the resort you want.

  5. #5

    • Nutty guy from Canada
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    Re: Resort Questions

    ::nods:: A good point and something we will need to remember I suppose.

    Course by the time we go the DVC wing at the Grand Floridian will be open so that will be another option possibly.

    As I mentioned, we have no intention of buying out there. And we suspect that unless we totally fall in love with the place like we did DLR this will be a one time trip. For me the chance to head out to Cape Canaveral will be worth the trip alone.

    Anyways, thank you again for the information. I'm sure as the time comes closer I'll be back with more questions.
    The Chadwick's Online Photo & Video Galleries
    DLR: 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012
    DCL: Alaska Cruise Aboard Disney Wonder 2013
    Planned Trips: DLR November 2014, WDW March 2017

    Very Happy Disney Vacation Club Member Since 2010
    270 Points at The Villas at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

  6. #6

    • Nutty guy from Canada
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    Re: Resort Questions

    And as I said I am back with more questions.

    After looking at the average temps across a year we're thinking January or February would be the best time for us to go. We're from Vancouver so heat and humidity (we can handle dry heat if it comes down to it but add in the humidity and we're done) is not something we enjoy all that much and while we realize that anything can happen we figured these two months would probably be the best time to try and avoid that if possible. Any thoughts on that idea? (Being from Vancouver the rain doesn't bother us.)

    Our kids will be 2, 5 and 6 I think when we go. Is there anything at either of the two Universal parks that will keep them entertained or is Universal geared towards families with older kids? I know the one in Hollywood is for the most part. How much time is recommended to spend there?

    Seaworld is something that I think we will all enjoy. How many days would you recommend we consider spending there?

    Aside from Disney, Universal, Seaworld and of course Cape Canaveral is there anything else that is a must do and is an easy travel to and from WDW?

    My mother-in-law made the mistake of suggesting this trip and of course being the travel planner that I am (as a hobby) I've been running with it and driving them all nuts.
    The Chadwick's Online Photo & Video Galleries
    DLR: 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012
    DCL: Alaska Cruise Aboard Disney Wonder 2013
    Planned Trips: DLR November 2014, WDW March 2017

    Very Happy Disney Vacation Club Member Since 2010
    270 Points at The Villas at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

  7. #7

    • Under that tree again!
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    Re: Resort Questions

    I like going that time of year because crowds are low if you avoid Preseident Day's week. It's cool to warm and being from BC you will likely enjoy the weather and call it swimming weather. It is humid, but without the heat not aweful ike it can be in summer.

    For USO, it is geared to bigger kids, honestly you might skip and hope you return in another 5 or so year to enjoy it. It does have kids stuff but not nearly close to the ratio of for the whole family rides that Disney parks do. A day there, hopping or just going to one park will probably be enough.

    At SW, one day will do it. If you haven't been to a Sea World before, I would suggest this over USO by a long shot.

    Legoland. For you kids age it will be great. For older kids it's not great, but yours are in the perfect age group.

    A beach day may be a good idea. The water is warmer than on the Pacific Coast, though a cool time of year you might like it. At least for playing in the sand or looking at shells. Cocoa beach near Canveral could be done on the same side trip. You may also want to go to the Gulf side, it's a longer drive, but the water is warmer and calmer. Sanibel Island south of Tampa has tons of little shells.

    If you want to add a true piece de resistance, a 3 or 4 day Disney Cruise is an expensive but fun add on. Great for kids and adults alike and a big experience on its own.

    There are lots of tourist diversions in the area, but I think you could be set with the above.
    Be Cool Stay in School!
    Next year I'm trying for a summer internship at Stark Industries.

  8. #8

    • Nutty guy from Canada
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    Re: Resort Questions

    And once again thank you very much swampymarsh. Your responses are great.
    The Chadwick's Online Photo & Video Galleries
    DLR: 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012
    DCL: Alaska Cruise Aboard Disney Wonder 2013
    Planned Trips: DLR November 2014, WDW March 2017

    Very Happy Disney Vacation Club Member Since 2010
    270 Points at The Villas at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

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