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Apr 18th, 2008, 10:26 AM
  #1
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Disney

What is the best or your favorite Moderate Level Resort to stay in at Disney?

What is the best Character Dining Experience?

Is the meal plan worth the cost?

My children will be 10, 8 and 7 when we travel - what are must do rides or attractions?
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Apr 18th, 2008, 10:47 AM
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Disneyland or Disney World? You might also try www.mousesavers.com for a disney specific site.
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Apr 18th, 2008, 11:08 AM
  #3
 
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My wife and I have grown to love Port Orleans Riverside. The atmosphere is just wonderful (as is with all of them, but there's just something special about POR).

The food court is large and tasty, and the River Roost at night is an awesome experience. Be sure to catch Yahoo Bob in action!

I like Port Orleans French Quarter because of its small size, and Caribbean Beach is nice, too. Lots of little courtyards to spend some quiet time in.

Never been to Coronado Springs, but it just doesn't seem like it would hold much interest.

As I said, my wife and I love Riverside -- we honeymooned there!
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Apr 18th, 2008, 12:00 PM
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We have stayed at both Port Orleans Riverside and Coronado Springs and both are very nice. I think the pool and playground are a little nicer at Coronado Springs, but the availability of the boat to Downtown Disney is a big plus for Port Orleans Riverside.

I strongly recommend that you check out www.disboards.com. There is an enormous amount of Disney planning info there down to a ridiculous level of detail and the folks are very friendly and helpful.
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Apr 18th, 2008, 01:53 PM
  #5
 
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If you have daughters, I like the Princess dinner at Norway in Epcot. I did not like the food at Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom. Food was better at the Contemporary resort character meal, and there is alot of character interaction. The breakfast at Grand Floridian, with Alice in Wonderland and Mary Poppins was also very good. It's a beautiful hotel, too.

As for rides, with your kids ages, pretty much everything is open to them. If they like roller coasters, I think they are all must do, at all the parks. It's a Small World is a classic, as is Pirates. I love Epcot - Test Track and Soaring especially.

It's helpful to have a good guidebook. Also www.disboards.com has answers in detail to every question you may have. They have very comprehensive reviews of restaurants including menus, character information, prices, etc.
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Apr 18th, 2008, 02:06 PM
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In terms of Moderate Resorts, I enjoyed walking around both Caribbean Beach and Ft. Wilderness during our visit to Disneyworld earlier this month although we stayed at Animal Kingdom which we loved.

In terms of character dining, our favorite was the dinner with Winnie the Pooh and friends at the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom. Lots of character interaction and the food was surprisingly good and the staff very, very helpful. We also enjoyed Donald's Safari Breakfast at Tusker House in the Animal Kingdom

The meal plan is a lot of food and saves you money with the kids as you only pay about $10/day for them. Irrespective of what you do, make your reservations (ADRs) asap as lots of places book up very, very far in advance.

I strongly suggest subscribing to Tour Guide Mike for advice www.tourguidemike.com. Loved his site and all the info there. Disboards is also helpful but the amount of information and the excruciating level of detail could very well make your head explode.

In terms of rides and attractions, only you know your kids. What parks will you visit? What about the waterparks?

taitai
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Apr 18th, 2008, 02:17 PM
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We've stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter, the Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs, and the latter is our favorite. Lovely grounds, great pool, a variety of food at the food court. Check out this fansite:

http://coronado_springs.tripod.com/

Unlike amcc, our family really likes the Liberty Tree Tavern--its our favorite restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, and we're not crazy about Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary.

The meal plan's value was reduced with changes this year (for one thing gratuities used to be included), so you really have to look and see if you would eat enough food to make it worthwhile.

A short list of must-dos to us would include:

MK-Splash Mountain, Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Buzz, Spectromagic (night parade), Wishes (fireworks)

Epcot--Soarin', Test Track, American Adventure, Illuminations (night show)

Studios--the new stunt driving show, MuppetVision, Tower of Terror, Fantasmic (night show)

AK--Safari, Lion King show, Everest, Nemo show.
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Apr 18th, 2008, 02:45 PM
  #8
 
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We really love POrt Orleans riverside. The food court is so convenient. We have done the char brkfst at the Contemporary. There are tonz of characters - the food is very mediocre. My son who is now 8 (but we go every year) loves Space Mtn, Thunder Mtn, and Splash Mtn. in MK. His fav park is Epcot - loves test track and soarin, but is really into the countries. Have fun!!!
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Apr 28th, 2008, 08:15 AM
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I personally enjoy the Port Orleans resorts. I believe French Quarter is exceptionally themed, is small and intimate, has a wonderful pool and quaint surroundings. It is, however, lacking a sit down restaurant. PO: Riverside, which is a short walk away, also has beautiful landscaping and grounds, a nice restaurant (Boatwright's), evening entertainment, wonderful pools, etc. Of course, they are both wonderfully located on property as well.

As far as character meals go Chef Mickey's at Disney's Contemporary Resort has the "Fab 5", a wonderful breakfast, and is conveniently located near the Magic Kingdom so you can dine with Mickey, hop on the monorail and be in the MK in a matter of minutes. A wonderful alternative that is often overlooked is the character breakfast at the Cape May Cafe in the Beach Club. The buffet is wonderful, and because few people know about it, you get more time at the tables with characters like Goofy, Minnie and Chip and Dale Crystal Palace in the MK is another great choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner (Pooh and friends)

The meal plan is very much worth it, if it is used correctly. How to do so is beyond what i can write here, although I have covered it on my show on a number of occasions.

For your kids, the Magic Kingdom is where they will get the most to do, although I think they will really enjoy Disney's Animal Kongdom. In addition to wonderful attractions like the Safari, the shows (Nemo, Lion King, etc.) are exceptional and both parents and kids will enjoy them. I'd suggest visiting Disney.com and look at the attractions in each of the parks, and start to get an idea of what might appeal to your kids.
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Apr 30th, 2008, 06:04 PM
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When are you going? The main pool at the Caribbean Beach resort is closed for refurbishment until Mid-September 2008. There are other smaller pools at the resort.

Coronado Springs has the best water slide and one of the best food courts. The sit-down restaurant does not participate in the Disney Dining Plan (the food court does though).

Port Orleans Riverside is lovely and is my personal favorite. Boat transportation to Downtown Disney is a nice benefit.

Port Orleans French Quarter is sometimes more popular with families because of the brighter color scheme and compact lay-out. However, this resort doesn't have a sit-down restaurant - it only has a food court. You do have easy boat access to all the Downtown Disney restaurants although many of them do not participate in the Disney Dining Plan.

You should have a good touring plan - it will help you save hours of time wasted in long lines. You can buy plans by getting the Unofficial Guide to WDW or by subscribing to tourguidemike.com. We booked our trip through www.buildabettermousetrip.com and they provided plans at no additional cost. Booking through them was the same price as booking through the disney site.
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Apr 30th, 2008, 06:12 PM
  #11
 
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Boys or Girls?

My girls really love seeing Miyuki- the Candy Artist - in the Japan pavilion at Epcot. See: http://pages.prodigy.net/stevesoares/ She's amazing. She has a cart outside the department store type gift shop. Try to arrive at least 10 minutes prior to her performance time and position your children near the cart. She might let one of them select an animal or a color for her to create.

Other "must sees" for our family:

Epcot: See: http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com...-children.html

Soarin'
The Seas Pavilion
Mission Space
Dragon Legend Acrobats - China
Serveur Amusant - France

Magic Kingdom:

Big Thunder Mountain
Splash Mountain
Space Mountain
Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
Pirates of the Caribbean
Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Peter Pan's Flight
Teacups (we like them after dark)

Animal Kingdom

Everything - we love this park. Well, we always skip Pocohontas.

Especially good:
Finding Nemo the Musical
Its Tough to Be A Bug 3-D
Festival of the Lion King

Disney's Hollywood Studios:

Lights, Motors, Action!
Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Muppets 3-D

This park is getting a new Toy Story ride - it looks neat.
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May 16th, 2008, 03:02 PM
  #12
JBX
 
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Any more input? Gathering info for my boss who may be taking his 9-yr old for a father/son trip to Disney World.
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May 19th, 2008, 04:25 PM
  #13
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Has anybody stayed at Disney's Fort Wilderness Cabins?
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May 19th, 2008, 04:28 PM
  #14
 
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I stayed there as a kid (20 years ago) and really enjoyed it. It is very isolated from all the parks, but with the kitchen, you do not need to eat out every night.
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May 21st, 2008, 08:41 AM
  #15
 
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I'll recommmend one more website for your review - allears.net. It has everything you could possibly want to know, including photos of the resorts and menus for all of the restaurants. All of the moderate resorts are nice, so it's really just a matter of taste as far as the theming you'd like (my fav is Coronado Springs). You can get a good feel for each resort at the above-mentioned site.
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Jul 6th, 2008, 05:02 AM
  #16
 
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I think the best resorts, moderate, high, and low; are close to my favorite place - in this case I prefer the Magic Kingdom or Epcot.

My favorte character dining experience was definetly the one at the Magic Kingdom - Cinderella's Castle. I loved the whole theme.

What do you mean a meal plan???

Magic Kingdom: I think the 10 year old would LOVE Big Thunder Mountain. Your 8 year old would like the Teacup ride and the Buzz Lightyear Spaceranger Spin! That is still my favorite ride and I'm 28. The 7 year old would like the Buzz one, but he also would like the Toon Town area, like the Barnstormer.
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Jul 14th, 2008, 07:31 AM
  #17
 
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The character dining experience at the Contemporary Resort is the best one I've been to thus far, and trust me, I am a seasoned Disney traveler! The food is served buffet style, but I think it's the easiest way to meet the Big Cheese himself!

You should definitely go to Magic Kingdom. This is the quintessential Disney theme park and there is a wide assortment of things to do. I recommend Philaharmagic...it's a 3D film featuring classic scenes from Disney movies. You must must must! ride the teacups, and your children will enjoy Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain too. Epcot is one of my favorite parks, and it is both educational and fun. Mission: Space may be a little too intense for your children, but I recommend Soarin' and Fast Track. The World Showcase has some amazing food from the different countries.

Hope this helps!
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Jul 14th, 2008, 10:26 AM
  #18
 
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We just got back from WDW a few weeks ago, and a new "must do" ride that opened within the last couple month is Toy Story Midway Mania ride in the Hollywood Studios.

It's similar to the Buzz Lightyear ride in that it's an interactive game during which you shoot at targets to get points - but you wear 3D glasses and (in my opinion) it's much more fun.

Standby lines for this ride are ridiculous from opening until closing, so you need to plan some kind of strategy using Fast Passes.

My other favorite ride is the Aerosmith rollercoaster in the Hollywood Studios.
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Dec 25th, 2008, 10:47 PM
  #19
 
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Port Orleans and the Caribbean Beach Resort are the best!! We've been to Disney World 18 times and cannot wait to go back.
The meal plan is great if you are used to eating alot of food. It's worth it to try once, but if you don't need to eat 3 FULL meals a day, save your money for purchases at Epcot!
We've only done the Character Dining at Disneyland and the best one was the breakfast at the Magic Kingdom.
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Dec 25th, 2008, 10:54 PM
  #20
 
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"the Peters" are definitely correct with the info on Port Orleans and Caribbean Beach!
The pot roast at The Liberty Tree Tavern is the best!!!
Don't miss out on the hot dogs and brownies at Casey's also in the Magic Kingdom.
Pizzafari in the Animal Kingdom is very good.
The Lobster Bisque at the French restaurant at Epcot is delicious!
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