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Resorts & Accomodations Discuss Favorite WDW Resort in the Vacation Planning forums; Finally, an easy question! Hands down, bar none, our favorite resort is Wilderness Lodge. We really like WDW for the details, and the escapist nature of the vacations there. So ...
  1. #16
    Granny's Avatar
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    Favorite resort?

    Finally, an easy question! Hands down, bar none, our favorite resort is Wilderness Lodge.

    We really like WDW for the details, and the escapist nature of the vacations there. So for us, on-site is the only way to go and once we tried Wilderness Lodge it was an instant favorite!

    From the time you drive through the themed archway, make your way past the guard shack and approach the massive lodge on top of the hill...you are transported thousands of miles to the Pacific Northwest. Once you are on the property, you will not see a palm tree. The landscaping is lush and woodsy...perfect theming.

    Then you enter the large doors of the resort and are struck by a breathtaking seven story lobby! It still gives me a rush every time I step foot in it. From the impeccable theming, to the teepee chandiliers, to the huge fireplace with rocks running all the way up to the ceiling in exact replication of the Grand Canyon strata....it is just a wonderful place.

    Then you notice in the back of the lobby a small spring bubbling up from the ground. It feeds a brook which goes outside, becomes a stream and eventually makes its way down to feed the themed pool wonderfully framed against the backdrop of beautiful Bay Lake. Again, perfectly designed!

    Obviously, I could go on and on. It captivated my family immediately, and when Disney built Vacation Club villas there, we joined DVC. We do stay other places, but our hearts will always be at Wilderness Lodge.
    Granny (Yep, I really am a guy)

  2. #17
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    Then you notice in the back of the lobby a small spring bubbling up from the ground. It feeds a brook which goes outside, becomes a stream and eventually makes its way down to feed the themed pool wonderfully framed against the backdrop of beautiful Bay Lake. Again, perfectly designed!
    Goofy,

    If you ever take the guided tour of the Lodge they tell you that the bubbling brook and the stream are seperated from each other as well as from the pool. I guess the reason why they "spoil" the magic is because it is due to health regulations they need to seperate the flow.

    I also agree that this is my favorite resort. When I first saw them building it in April 1993, I made a promise to myself that I would stay at least one time. I have stayed there 5 times since!
    Brian
    WDWRadio Moderator

  3. #18
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    Lou Mongello is offline Lou Mongello (AKQJ10) - Disney Expert, Host, Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur
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    I have to agree... As much as I have a nostalgic love for the Contemporary and the Poly, I just love WL. It is like an attraction unto itself. I love how you can be in 200 degree central Florida, yet walk through the doors to the majestic lobby and feel that you are in the cool Pacific Northwest.

    OK... I gotta go call and make my reservations right now
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  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiggerguy
    Goofy,

    If you ever take the guided tour of the Lodge they tell you that the bubbling brook and the stream are seperated from each other as well as from the pool. I guess the reason why they "spoil" the magic is because it is due to health regulations they need to seperate the flow.
    I figured that they don't really feed the pool with the stream. But you have to look pretty closely to notice it, and the illusion is that the spring in the lobby "feeds" the pool.

    Like I said, we like the escapist nature of WDW resorts, and WL does the best job, in our opinion, of really making you feel like you are somewhere else. The theming is awesome in every detail, down to the animal tracks that they've planted in the sidewalks around the resort.

    If I had a second choice, it would probably be the Boardwalk area resorts. The built-in nightlife, restaurants and ability to easily walk to two parks is a great bonus for us.
    Granny (Yep, I really am a guy)

  5. #20
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    our favorite resort hands down is the French Quarter!! the themeing is so well done that when you first walk out onto the walkway in the morning and look out on the "courtyard" you get the feeling that you truely have been transported to New Orleans!! the sounds of the music drifting from the food court just starts the magic all over every time you step out the door. we have stayed at the Carribean and Riverside and even camped a couple times (never again!) but by far this is the best place ever. the swimming pool got the highest marks from our "little princess" of all the pools. besides you just cannot beat those fresh benets in the morning!!

  6. #21
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    Lou Mongello is offline Lou Mongello (AKQJ10) - Disney Expert, Host, Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur
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    That's what's so amazing about the WDW Resorts (and why I recomend to any new or even repeat visitor that they stay on property).

    It's not just the incredible attention to detail (which is often overlooked by the casual guest), but how they are able to seamlessly and convincingly transport you to another part of the country. For example, you really feel as if you are on the New England seaside when walking along the Beach Club shores. The Wilderness Lodge recreates the Pacific Northwest in central Florida so accurately, that even if it's 100 degrees outside, you feel the need to cozy up by a roaring fire in the lobby.

    With Disney's value resorts being so close to the cost of staying off-property, and so many being almost like attractions in themselves, I think staying at WDW is an essential part of the experience.
    Lou Mongello
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  7. #22
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    Well, I read the beginning of this thread and started thinking of how to word my post. Then I got to Granny's post. Okay, so take that post, and insert it here so you can read it again!!! Wilderness Lodge is my fave too!!! We stayed there in the summer of 1998, when there were wildfires nearby. The strangest thing about the whole trip was waking up on our next-to-last day, seeing and smelling the smoke in the air. Talk about feeling like you're in the Pacific Northwest!! We later found out that the fire was near, but not on, Disney property and they fought it back. We had a ground floor room, facing out towards where the villas are now located. Our first morning, we woke up and saw a couple rabbits hopping and grazing around outside, less than 20 feet from our patio!! Now, *THAT* was cool!! Well, we're guessing they weren't audio-animatronic rabbits. Hee hee hee..... Every trip since then, we've always at least visited the WL and/or eaten there. The whole place is an attraction within itself. Just too cool!! And I love the spring!! Yep, it's several sections which are made to look like one continuous flow of water. Yet at the same time, I wonder how many guests *see* it, but don't *realize* that the whole thing is made to look like one long waterflow..... And we can't forget about the geyser out beyond the pool!!!

    Another fave is the OKW Resort. Back in 1994 we won a trip there and stayed in a brand new portion that just opened up. The carpet was so new you could smell it. A CM that took us there via golf cart said we were the first people to stay in that room. The place was just so relaxing and spread out. It felt more like a condo or apartment complex (on purpose, I'm sure). I still call it the DVC Resort by accident from time to time (since that was the original name when they were just starting the DVC).

    We've stayed at the All Star resorts on our last trips there and enjoy the on-property feel of things. Yeah, you do pay more to stay on property, but then again, it's part of the overall experience. Besides, I like to record the in-room WDW TV stuff to listen to after the vacation is over. I didn't get to record it on my most recent trip a few weeks ago tho.... Oh well... that means I need to plan another trip!!

  8. #23
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    My son wants to stay at the All Star Music resort because of the piano pool. What are the advantages / disadvantages of staying there? Can anyone give me information on this resort? I'm hovering between staying here or off site... I'd like as much info as you can give me.

    Thanks.

  9. #24
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    Lou Mongello is offline Lou Mongello (AKQJ10) - Disney Expert, Host, Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur
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    Stay on site!!! Your son is correct! The All Star Resorts (like ALL WDW on-site resorts) are part of the fun of your WDW vacation!

    Plus, you get full use of all resort transportation, early entry, etc. It's also much easier to go back to your hotel in the middle of the day to take a rest, swim, etc.
    Lou Mongello
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  10. #25
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    Lou's right...I used to stay off property, and one year we desided to splurge and we stay at All Star sports.

    I will NEVER stay off property again. The on property resorts are part of the fun!

  11. #26
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    OK- Now we have two favorites. Our original favorite was Dixie Landings (oops, that should be now called Port Orleans Riverside). We stayed there several times and loved every minute of it. Then on our last trip, we decided to try another resort and stayed at the AKL. What a wonderful resort!

    Now, I've read all the complaints about how far away this resort is and, to be honest, we never noticed that. We used Disney transportation and got around quite nicely. And yes, we did spend more time in the resort that we have in the past. In fact there were several days when it was rather hard for us to tear ourselves away from the resort to go over to one of the parks. Normally we are also the type which wants to be at the gate when the parks open, but we found ourselves hanging around the resort watching animals or just enjoying the resort.

    This trip we will be staying at the Dolphin. However I intend on visiting as many resorts as I can to check them out (and to go back to the AKL for a brief visit)
    Keep your hands and arms inside the post at all times and remember no smoking or flash photography please!

  12. #27
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    Talking Fav

    I stayed @ Poly years ago when it was just MK and Epcot "center" and Poly, Contemp and some golf resort and Fort Wilderness were the only resorts.

    Going back in Dec, and hopefully staying on property while looking at discount codes. Hoping to stay @ Wilderness Lodge or comprable resort.

    In the other trips 4 or so, we stayed out of town ( Longboat Key twice and Embassy Suites on Intl Drv).

    See ya'll there!!!!!!!!
    Thanks Bob!!!!!!! LV Tour 2005

  13. #28
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    That's too hard, but I love the Boardwalk.
    Yo ho Yo ho a pirate's life for me....

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaBretonne2002
    My son wants to stay at the All Star Music resort because of the piano pool. What are the advantages / disadvantages of staying there? Can anyone give me information on this resort? I'm hovering between staying here or off site... I'd like as much info as you can give me.

    Thanks.
    You don't need to stay at the ASMu to use the Piano pool. I believe you can use any of AS pools when staying at any AS Resort. (someone correct me if i'm wrong!)

    I've only stayed at BWV and ASMu myself on property, but have visited other resorts.

    One tip for ASMu is try to get a room in Calypso (1st set bldgs) or Jazz(2nd set of bldgs), they are closest to the Main building where everything is, and after a loooog day it's nice to not have to walk so far! Honeymoon we were in Jazz and it was nice and not too far from either pool, main building, and bus stop. Last fall we did one night prior to our cruise in the Country building, that was a much longer walk...especially when already hot/sweaty/tired and ready to collapse. Just something to consider...

    Another tip....buses. ASMu is the middle of the AS resorts and shares buses with the other two. Sometimes the buses would be near capacity if not full when they'd pull into ASMu after visiting ASSp.

    You really can't go wrong staying on propery. You just need to find a resort that suits your needs and tastes. All resorts have their pros and cons and ardent fans!
    Amanda
    always plotting, planning, and looking forward to our next adventure...


  15. #30
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    The Grand!!!

    Now I've really got a problem! A few weeks ago DH needed to go to Ocala for business and with all the hurricane problems we finally left on Aug 15. Much to my surprise and amazement, the client asked him to go to Orlando afterward to check out some property for him, and put us up in the GF for 5 glorious days! What will the new pillowtop mattresses, free refrigerators, all the wonderful amenities, an absolutely gorgeous dormer room, and being able to watch the sun rise over the lagoon with the castle as a backdrop, how could I not become a GF *junkie*? Oh, yes...we could also hear the *toot toot* of Mickey's railroad! Guess I'll have to rethink our budget! lol

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