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  1. #1

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    Trying to choose best 'affordable' Deluxe resort

    We are close to pulling the trigger on a trip in May with the Platinum package which requires you to stay in a deluxe resort. We have stayed in value and moderates but this would be our first deluxe.

    I know it sounds strange to mix Platinum package with cheapest room but we trying to keep it reasonable. Here are the three that are in the running from least expensive to most expensive (There is only a $150 difference between them):

    Animal Kingdom Lodge standard room
    Wilderness Lodge standard room
    Contemporary Garden standard view

    With all of the activities and dining we would be doing (I really wonder how much of the parks we will make it to) I am thinking that the Contemporary might be the best choice. I am concerned that at the Animal Kingdom lodge we would be spending a lot of time on the bus. All of the water activities leave from the Contemporary and we would be eating dinner at the monorail hotels at least 2-3 times.

    Just seems like the atmosphere at the Animal Kingdom or Wilderness lodge might be nicer.

    Any tips?
    Maybe you folks can tell me though. Does gettin' two womenfolk mean you're the winner or the loser?
    ~Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland

  2. #2

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    Re: Trying to choose best 'affordable' Deluxe resort

    Quote Originally Posted by Skawt View Post
    We are close to pulling the trigger on a trip in May with the Platinum package which requires you to stay in a deluxe resort. We have stayed in value and moderates but this would be our first deluxe.

    I know it sounds strange to mix Platinum package with cheapest room but we trying to keep it reasonable. Here are the three that are in the running from least expensive to most expensive (There is only a $150 difference between them):

    Animal Kingdom Lodge standard room
    Wilderness Lodge standard room
    Contemporary Garden standard view

    With all of the activities and dining we would be doing (I really wonder how much of the parks we will make it to) I am thinking that the Contemporary might be the best choice. I am concerned that at the Animal Kingdom lodge we would be spending a lot of time on the bus. All of the water activities leave from the Contemporary and we would be eating dinner at the monorail hotels at least 2-3 times.

    Just seems like the atmosphere at the Animal Kingdom or Wilderness lodge might be nicer.

    Any tips?
    We've only stayed at the Poly and the Contemporary. We liked the Contemporary, but definitely preferred the Poly.

    We've not tried WL or AKL. We hope one day to try the AKL (once we are done paying college tuitions) with a savannah view. We have no interest in the WL--it is beautiful, but it just does not appeal to us over all.

    I'd go with the AKL.
    Kathy & Mark
    Going back to CSR 9/09 for our 8th stay

  3. #3

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    Re: Trying to choose best 'affordable' Deluxe resort

    Contemporary just because I'm dying to stay there

    The Wilderness Lodge is great. It's so pretty and relaxing and taking the boat to the MK is great.

    I haven't stayed at the animal kingdom lodge and have no desire to.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Trying to choose best 'affordable' Deluxe resort

    The AK Lodge is really only worth staying at if you get the rooms that overlook the Savannah. Aside from that, the std rooms there are no less different from the other choices you gave us.

    Wilderness lodge is a very nice hotel. The atmosphere is really, really well done, and the Whispering Canyon Cafe is a great place to eat. It is also a short water taxi ride away from the MK and or TTC.

    Contemporary is a nice hotel, right on the Monorail loop, so you have quick access to the parks and other hotels as well as the TTC. The only drawback to the hotel right now is all the construction going on. I am not sure how bad it will be when you go in the spring, but that should be a factor that you take into consideration.

    Good Luck!!

  5. #5

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    Re: Trying to choose best 'affordable' Deluxe resort

    The Wilderness Lodge is really nice. Every time I'm at WDW, I spend some time there (I stay at The Polynesian now). It is a good sized resort that you won't get bored with quickly. It is on Bay Lake, so you can take a boat to MK instead of the bus. You can also take a boat to The Contemporary and spend time there or hit the Monorail to anywhere else you want to go.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Contemporary Garden rooms the ones in the side building, not the main? I would wait to stay at the Contemporary when you can stay in the main building. There is nothing neater than watching the MK fireworks from your own balcony and feeling the compression echo off the building.

    Being able to watch the water parade is a bonus for both resorts. It is something that is cheesy and awesome at the same time. (for those who have watched the parade while the fireworks go off from the Poly, you know there is nothing better)

  6. #6

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    Re: Trying to choose best 'affordable' Deluxe resort

    Thanks for the replies, one step forward, one step back.

    Turns out the garden rooms with standard view are not available for the deal I was looking at and the whole thing is getting a touch too expensive for us. The new plan (once we finalize the air and know exactly when we will be there) is to do 3 nights at the Contemporary on the Platinum package and then checkout and stay one night, room only, somewhere else. That will give us 4 full days of the platinum benefits and 9 meals but at least one of our tours will include lunch so we should not starve or anything. Just taking off that last day and replacing it with a value or moderate trims like $700 off the price.

    I hope we can pull it off, worse case is we end up at a moderate on the deluxe dining plan, I'm not complaining
    Maybe you folks can tell me though. Does gettin' two womenfolk mean you're the winner or the loser?
    ~Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland

  7. #7

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    Out of all the choices the Wilderness lodge is probably the best value for your money, close to the MK, but the rooms are a little smaller and it's less expensive than the others. In fact it was originally pegged between the deluxe and moderates. The contemporary is beautiful and the new rooms are just spectacular, it's very nicely done, I recommend the concierge level on the 14th floor for a great view of the Magic Kingdom. probably the best views of any resort on the property.

    Animal kingdom Lodge seems to offer more resort activities than the others, enough to keep you busy for a day or two and never step foot in the park, I would recommend a visit even if you don't stay there. Occasionally you can get a glimpse of the savanna from the std rooms, or if it's not busy they sometimes will upgrade you at check in if it's available you just have to ask.

    If you go with your new plan I would recommend either doing the moderate first and then do the contemporary or at least go for the Coronado Springs as it's more of a moderate plus, you'll get many of the deluxe features for the moderate price there. The only reason I mention this is quite often I've seen folks do a moderate or deluxe and then go to a value or moderate and be very disappointed right before you leave. I think it's better to go up in service and you can appreciate the subtle touches the deluxe offer much better after you've stayed in the moderate first and you'll wind up having a better travel experience.

  8. #8

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    Re: Trying to choose best 'affordable' Deluxe resort

    Is the dining option what makes it platinum?

  9. #9

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    Re: Trying to choose best 'affordable' Deluxe resort

    Quote Originally Posted by mikelieman View Post
    Is the dining option what makes it platinum?

    Platinum is a Disney Travel Company Package, it's about as good as it gets...

    This package includes:
    • Accommodations at a select Walt Disney World® Resort hotel
    Magic Your Way Premium Ticket, which includes admission to all four Walt Disney World® Theme Parks as well as the Park Hopper® Option and the Magic Plus Pack Option (see your travel agent for details)
    • Disney Platinum Plan:
    • Personalized pre-arrival itinerary planning – you will be contacted 30-45 days prior to your arrival by a Platinum Plan Itinerary Planner to help you get the most from your stay
    • Breakfast, lunch and dinner plan per person, per night and one snack per person, per night (includes applicable taxes and gratuities/service charges; excludes alcoholic beverages; certain other limitations apply; reservations strongly suggested) available at select Table Service, Counter Service, Disney Dinner Shows, Signature Dining and Character Dining restaurants located throughout the Walt Disney World ® Resort. Includes in-room private dining and the world class Victoria & Albert’s restaurant.
    • Unlimited admission to selected Theme Park Tours: Magic Kingdom® Tours – Disney’s “The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains,” Disney’s Family Magic, Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom, Mickey’s Magical Milestones; Epcot ® Tours – Disney’s Behind the Seeds (A Special Guided Greenhouse Tour), Gardens of the World, Hidden Treasures of World Showcase, The “UnDISCOVERED” Future World, Around the World at Epcot® Segway Tour, Epcot® Seas Aqua Tour, Dolphins In Depth, Dive Quest; Disney’s Animal Kingdom ® Tours – Backstage Safari, Wild by Design (restrictions apply to tours, subject to availability and schedule)
    • Unlimited enjoyment of select recreation activities including golf, guided fishing excursions, boat rental and more (restrictions apply; advance reservations may be required)
    • Admission to the amazing Cirque du Soleil® show, La Nouba™ (one per person, reservations required)
    • One selected Spa Treatment (age restrictions apply)
    • Special keepsake (one per room)
    • Dazzling Fireworks Cruise (one cruise per party; subject to availability)
    • Admission to Disney Children’s Activity Centers (ages 4-12) at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels
    • Private in-room babysitting
    • Reserved seating at the incredible Fantasmic! show at the Disney-MGM Studios (one per person; restrictions apply)
    • Nightly turndown service
    • Admission to select Grand Gathering experiences. Must have 8 or more in your party. Advance reservations required. Subject to availability. Each experience is operated on select days of the week. Valid Theme Park admission is required for most experiences.
    Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...

  10. #10

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    Re: Trying to choose best 'affordable' Deluxe resort

    Wilderness Lodge . My pick for your hotel out of the three. The close distance to MK and the other gorgeous hotels, Polynesian, Grand Floridian and The Contemporary Hotel. You've got loads of Disney boats to enjoy, Fort Wilderness Camp Grounds to explore {if that's your thing}, monorails that dock into the Grand Floridian & Polynesian.

    Not staying at the Wilderness Lodge when it becomes an affordable option is something I can't imagine someone doing. You just have to stay there. It's the overall experience of what the Magic Kingdom and its deluxe hotels offer.

    Animal Kingdom is a great hotel to stay at and/or visit. I have yet to stay at the AK resort but have visited there often. I get my fix but never leave thinking "man I should have stayed here".

    I like to think of the Wilderness Lodge as more "fun" while the AK lodge is more "adult".

    As for the Contemporary... kinda of dull but still a great hotel to visit since it was built ages ago and has history at the resort. The Contemporary, for me, just seems like a business hotel with no big themeing, something I go to Disney hotels to take in.

    I mean I guess the Contemporary has a theme in a way but one that I guess doesn't grab my attention. I guess I'm more of a fun type of person and the Contemporary for me seems too serious.
    Micoofy Duck
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    http://www.micoofy.com



  11. #11

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    Re: Trying to choose best 'affordable' Deluxe resort

    Quote Originally Posted by mikelieman View Post
    Is the dining option what makes it platinum?

    For us I am justifying the Platinum package by planning to do the following activities (All of which are included in the package):

    1. Dinner at Victoria and Albert's ($95)
    2. Royal Dinner at Cinderellas Castle (Usually costs two table service, just one on Platinum)
    3. Massage at spa (around $100)
    4. LaNouba ($115)
    5. Parasailing, jet skis (at least $100)
    6. Backstage Magic Tour ($200)
    7. AquaSea Tour, snorkeling in The Seas ($150)
    8. Illuminations Cruise
    9. plus a few other tours and treat (preferred firework viewing and all that)

    So that is something like a $700-800 value per person which we would never spend if we were on our own so it is nice to have it part of a package where you are not having to think about the cost all of the time.
    Maybe you folks can tell me though. Does gettin' two womenfolk mean you're the winner or the loser?
    ~Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland

  12. #12

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    Re: Trying to choose best 'affordable' Deluxe resort

    Half that stuff that is listed in the Plat. package, I dont even think I would ever use, or get around to using......Some of it seems a little excessive, but thats just me.

  13. #13

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    Re: Trying to choose best 'affordable' Deluxe resort

    You might be surprised how many folks like the platinum plan since it allows you to basically pay for everything up front, it's basically the Disney version of an "all inclusive" vacation. It also lets you put the entire cost on your Disney Visa and you get the Disney reward dollars and the 6 months of 0% financing on the trip.
    Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...

  14. #14

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    Re: Trying to choose best 'affordable' Deluxe resort

    We have only stayed at the Contemporary and the Wilderness Lodge deluxe resorts. We really enjoyed the Wilderness lodge. The grounds are so beautiful. If you stay there, try and get a room overlooking the pool area. It is a very relaxing resort. The Wispering Canyon is a fun place to eat. I do think the Wilderness Lodge is cheaper in cost than the other deluxe resorts also. We also found that the Castmembers there are very friendly and helpful.

    The only negative I see with the Contemporary is now it is a convention center resort. Sometimes you loose the Disney feeling in those specific resorts.

    Wherever you stay...Enjoy!!!!

    John

  15. #15

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    Re: Trying to choose best 'affordable' Deluxe resort

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerren View Post
    Platinum is a Disney Travel Company Package, it's about as good as it gets...

    This package includes:
    ( Laundry List edited for brevity )
    ...
    Ok, it's a Concierge 'type' attentiveness ( pre-planning ) + prepaid additional tours + spa package.

    Looks OK if you're going to take advantage of EVERYTHING on the list. All I'd care for is the steam train tour. I don't do "Fine Dining" on a family vacation... ( The 2 year old isn't into it, and the 4 year old can deal, sorta, but it's not worth the effort so Hoop-de-doo, Polynesian Luau and Royale Table are more the theme... )

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