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Ask The Disney Experts Discuss Can it really be true? Resort pricing in the Ask The Experts forums; Hi, Wasn't 100% sure where to post this so I'm posting in this category because I need some expertise. Considering going back to WDW in late Nov/early Dec 2012 (this ...
  1. #1
    julielizabet is offline A-Ticket holder
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    Can it really be true? Resort pricing

    Hi,

    Wasn't 100% sure where to post this so I'm posting in this category because I need some expertise.

    Considering going back to WDW in late Nov/early Dec 2012 (this is the time of year we typically go). The last time we went was in 2008. At that time, we had only our 2 boys. By the time we go next, we'll have 4 (so 6 of us). This changes/cramps things a little since in the past, we've stayed at the Polynesian, which we LOVE.

    We could stay there again, but ideally I'd like a villa for the extra space plus the kitchen. There are other options, too, I know. Currently, it's too early to get any actual #s from Disney with regard to the DVC properties. So for now, I've tried some other options. BTW, they would not allow me (online) to get a price on two adjoining rooms.

    I input the exact same dates for each of the locations (7 nts), including the Poly, FW cabins, Art of Animation suite, and All Star Music suite. All other variables, such as ticket type and dining plan type, were also exactly the same.

    To my surprise, the diff. in price btwn the highest level resort (Poly) and the lowest (ASM suite) was only $1500. It was much less dramatic with the others. I expected a much larger diff., for ex, btwn the FW cabins and Poly, but the diff was only $900.

    I know that the space itself is larger, but the convenience, location, amenities, transportation, and ambience is like comparing apples and oranges. We're talking a whole different vacation here.

    In the meantime, I'm really hoping that I will realize a similarly unspectacular difference with a villa. I know I could also rent someone's points. Staying at a villa will also seriously cut down on food expenses.

    Please help me out here with your opinions and expertise.

    Thanks!
    Julie

  2. #2
    Flrancho's Avatar
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    Re: Can it really be true? Resort pricing

    I haven't stayed DVC or in Villas, but can give you my opinions of the cabins at Ft. Wilderness.

    Personally, I love this location and the cabins were excellent, in my opinion. You'll have your own little cabin, which is really a trailer home made to look like a small wood cabin. You will have a family/living room, a kitchen, hallway, bathroom, bedroom and a porch. There is a driveway in the front of the cabin allowing you to park your car and/or a rented golf cart. The porch is a very nice size and has a small grill and picnic table if you want to eat outside. The family room area has a couch and a flat screen tv that also had a DVD player. There is a large "murphy" bed that can be pulled down out of the wall. The kitchen is nearby and has your standard things; microwave, refrigerator, stove, oven, etc. From the family room/kitchen area there is a hallway. Off of the hallway is the bathroom (in which the sinks are not separate from my memory like many Disney resorts) and then the hallway continues to the main bedroom, which consists of another bed as well as a bunkbed. This room also has a smaller tv (which is nifty if someone wants to watch something else).

    Bus transportation wasn't bad, and the cabins were nice and quiet. They are pretty expensive, but if you've never been to Ft. Wilderness, there's plenty of activities to do there and it has a nice charm about it, that I think makes the cabins worth it.

  3. #3
    julielizabet is offline A-Ticket holder
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    Re: Can it really be true? Resort pricing

    Thank you. My main concern is the transportation, and less so the cabins themselves. Golf carts seemed ridiculously expensive to rent. How long did it take you to walk from your cabin to to the internal loop bus stop, and then how long to get to, say, Epcot on the external bus? That, combined with wait time, could be too much.

    I've also wondered if

    A. it was possible to walk to the external loop bus stop from the cabins, or it is pedestrian unfriendly or just too far

    and

    B. if it would be just as easy (and perhaps more fun) to take the MK launch and then the monorail to the TTC, and go to Epcot (or wherever) from there.

    No matter how I look at it, it seems time-intensive.

    Lastly, you can't walk from FW to WL, can you???

    Thanks again,
    Julie

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    Flrancho's Avatar
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    Re: Can it really be true? Resort pricing

    As far as how long it takes you to walk from your cabin to the bus loop, depends a lot on where your cabin is. I don't remember our cabin being too far from the loop at all. All the loops have a convenient bus location, and you can always request a specific loop when you make your reservation. Take a look at the resort maps online, it should give you a good idea of where you might like to be.

    As far as getting to the external loop from your cabin, I would say on foot it would probably be too far. From my memory all the cabins are at the southern end of the campground, which makes it more convieniant to the check-in area than the settlement (which is where the MK boat launch and the restaurants are). I don't think its pedestrian unfriendly, but you probably wouldn't want to walk that far. That being said, the bus system seemed fairly efficient. Last week we went from the Settlement down to the Meadowlands area and this took maybe 5-10 minutes. The cabins are farther than this, so I might double that time to get from cabins to settlement and vice versa, but it seemed really quick to me. I'm sure it would be fun to take the boat to MK and then to the TTC, but I actually think for all other parks except for MK, you'd probably get quicker transportation using direct buses from the campground.

    Also, you CAN walk from the campground to Wilderness Lodge. I did this several times last December, and walked from the Lodge to the campground with my Dad last week for our ADR at trails end. Just look for the bike/jogging trail or ask a Cast Member. The trail starts up at the Settlement near the horse stables and goes to the front of the Lodge. It is about a 15-20 minute walk. If you go keep your eyes peeled, I saw plenty of deer while I was out there, and even some bald eagles when I was out on the Wilderness Lodge nature trail; which actually connects with the Ft. Wilderness/Wilderness Lodge walkway, so I wouldn't put it past being able to see them out there either.

  5. #5
    julielizabet is offline A-Ticket holder
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    Re: Can it really be true? Resort pricing

    Good info. Again, thank you.

    So then I wonder if it would be enjoyable to simply walk to the WL and use their bus transport. My kids like to walk. Guess I'm just wondering if it's worth avoiding the internal loop bus system. To be frank, I've heard a lot of negatives about it. But you give me hope!

    Would you stay at FW again? Are you one of those people who adore the place and stay there all the time, or a one-time FW guest?

    Thanks!
    Julie

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    Flrancho's Avatar
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    Re: Can it really be true? Resort pricing

    I think it would be quite enjoyable to walk to the Lodge from the campground. In fact, when my Dad and I walked from the Lodge to the campground last week, we weren't staying at the Lodge. We were actually at Pop Century and thought it would be fun to walk to the campground. You would still have to take a bus (or rent a golf cart) to get up to the Settlement where the trail starts though.

    I don't think the internal bus system is so long or bad as it is confusing. It may take a few days to really figure it out, but there's maps at the bus stations showing where each bus color will take you (which is something that I don't know if they always had), so that should help. Once you figure the system out though, I think its pretty efficient.

    I don't stay at FW all the time, but I am a repeat guest there. We used to stay there all the time when I was a kid when we had a travel trailer. Don't have the trailer anymore, hence the stay at the cabins. We've only stayed in the cabin that one time, and had it booked another time but ended up canceling it when we decided to take my sister as well, who wouldn't have an AP. Our main purpose in booking the cabin the second time was to save money in the food department and prepare all our meals there. With her having only a 1 day ticket, it didn't make much sense for her to have to come back to the cabin for lunch and dinner as she really wouldn't be getting the bang for her buck. With us having AP's it didn't really matter. We ended up changing it to POFQ because of the deal with my sister. That being said, this would probably be our go-to place in the future if we ever wanted to do something similar and needed to watch how much we spent on food. There's generally only two of us, so we don't need it for the sleeping space, but its also nice in avoiding the Disney food costs if you don't mind fixing your own meals.

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    Re: Can it really be true? Resort pricing

    I have four kids so it takes two rooms for us. We went with a moderate(POFQ) with adjoining rooms for our 2008 trip. In 2007 we did the same with WL. Our "issue" was the need for two bathrooms. It worked out well and wasn't too pricy for us. We went with the dining plan because my children like to experience different foods and if I am on vacation, I don't really want to cook.

    Just my experience- enjoy yours! I hope you have a great time no matter what you choose!


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    Re: Can it really be true? Resort pricing

    An option could be a vacation home, but then you are offsite. With three kids, including two teen girls, I love them.

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    Re: Can it really be true? Resort pricing

    We have stayed twice at the cabins and loved it! Bus system is not bad if you understand which busses to get on. Would stay there more often if we could afford it.

    I'm always planing that next trip 2002 - 1st family trip WDW off sight, 2005- Kids B-days WDW FTW cabins, 2006- My B-day MVMCP FTW cabins,2007- MNSSHP POR, 2008- MNSSHP CBR (free dinning), 2011- CBR (free dinning)

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    Re: Can it really be true? Resort pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by julielizabet View Post
    Hi,
    To my surprise, the diff. in price btwn the highest level resort (Poly) and the lowest (ASM suite) was only $1500. It was much less dramatic with the others. I expected a much larger diff., for ex, btwn the FW cabins and Poly, but the diff was only $900.
    I like your only(s). Before my DD was born, it was just DH, DS and me. On my sons first visit to WDW he was 14 months old. Hotel, air, tickets and free breakfast. We went on a Walt Disney Travel Co package. Just shy of $1200.00 for 7 nights. Now that was some years ago but shows you what you could get for $1500.00
    Some people are like Slinkies.

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    supernova's Avatar
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    Re: Can it really be true? Resort pricing

    I always stay at WL, and many (most) times will walk to and from the TTC if the weather is nice and a bus to EPCOT or MK isn't right at the stop when I arrive. As for FW, I have zero interest in staying there. A friend recommended the buffet there (a huge mistake) and the trip over (with a car, no less) was bad, then we had to park and wait on a bus. Nightmare. And the food was awful to boot. To quote Miss Piggy, "never before and never again."

    Cheesy 80s reference. Nice.
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    julielizabet is offline A-Ticket holder
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    Re: Can it really be true? Resort pricing

    Thank you all for your opinions and input! I appreciate it. It seems to me that the reviews are mixed enough with regard to transportation at FW that I will probably beg off that location for now.

    And yes, it is so sad to say "only" $900. That's more than our monthly mortgage... But this is Disney we're talking about. $900 doesn't go very far.

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    Re: Can it really be true? Resort pricing

    If your mortgage is less than $900 monthly, I want YOUR mortgage.
    Please visit my new DISNEY AUTOGRAPH website to check out my autograph collection!
    www.autographshowcase.com/disney

    Really Walt? Disneyland is MY land? Why would I want a silly little land when I can have the WORLD.


  14. #14
    julielizabet is offline A-Ticket holder
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    Re: Can it really be true? Resort pricing

    Keeps adjusting down. This Sept. it dipped below $800.

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    Re: Can it really be true? Resort pricing

    Just thinking in terms of DVC villas and cash vs. renting points - I think the cash price is steep, although I haven't looked in a while. But points can generally be rented anywhere from $10-$14. I think one of the rental brokers does it at $14 (and is probably a lot less hassle than trying a private transaction). If you went within the first 14 days of December as well, its the cheapest time points-wise. A two bedroom at Saratoga Springs for example runs 246 points for 1 week. The last week of November or the third week of December it's 253.

    So the theoretical renting points cost would be $3,444 for 7 days between Dec. 1-14. And it sleeps 8. Most studios will sleep 4, with some sleeping 5.
    Doc

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