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Old Nov 11th, 2005, 10:02 AM
  #21  
 
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Please check out allearsnet.com. The person who maintains this site is a Disney nut and she has the latest update on all the parks and hotels.

A very nice hotel that we love is the Wilderness Lodge. It is like you are in the Rockies or Banff, even though you are just around the corner - literally- from the Contemporary and the Magic Kingdom. Even if you don't stay I hope you take the boat over and see the pools and lobby. Also, I wouldn't take the bus to the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds....kids want to ride the boat! Catch a boat from your hotel or the Magic Kingdom and go over to Ft. Wilderness, check it out and bring the boat back. WE stayed there a couple of years ago and even though we are not campers, we rented one of the log cabins (adare I say trailer with logs on the outside?) and rented a golf cart to get around the grounds to the campfire, etc. The kids loved the golf cart rides more than anything the entire trip! I took some red garland to distinguish ours from the 60 others that were parked outside the petting zoo, boat dock etc. and they could find their cart quickly. You just plug them in at the boat dock as you leave for the Magic Kingdom or Epcot and when you get back they are all charged up!

I would hesitate to recommend you stay at the Poly because since you were in Hawaii you will be comparing, and while it is very nice, it isn't the same as what you experienced in Hawaii.

You can ride a boat from the Wilderness Lodge, Ft. Wilderness Campgrounds,the Contemporary, and the Magic Kingdom or at the Contemporary get on the Monorail and ride around to the Polynesian, Grand Floridian and Magic Kingdom. You can also walk a path around to all of them. It would be too much of a walk for the kids though.

Be sure to ask when boarding the monorail if the kids can ride in the front car with the driver..fun.

We just returned from staying at the newest "Value Resort" Pop Century for $77 per night. We got connecting rooms and left the door open between. They are small, but clean. The grounds are what are fun. The hippy dippy pool and then a very gentle kiddie pool are excellent. There are also 2 other pools.

I will confess, however, if I had the funds, I would stay at the Grand Floridian. We always go visit, sit in the lobby and listen to the pianist in the lobby or the Jazz Combo. They have 2 pools and a Character Breakfast with Cinderella, the Mice and the Prince. They even have a $200+ Princess Tea that little girls can go to in the afternoon with the Princesses. The girls usually dress up. Check with Disneyworld.com to see if it is on when you are there if you are interested.

Many say the best Character breakfast is at the Contemporary. Mickey, Goofy, Pluto, etc. are all there. We took the kids to the Poly because we couldn't get reservations at the contemporary every 2 months out and we had Chi & Dale, Mickey and Goofy. It was great fun. The kids ate very little, but who cares. Contemporary is buffet, Poly is family style all you want to eat. I recommend you make reservations 90 days out if you decide you want a Character breakfast.

You know that now your children can see a character within Magic Kingdom for sure by taking them to Toon Town, which is at the back of the park. Mickey and Minnie both have houses that you can walk through and they are there greeting their guests. Also, at Pooh Corner (or something like that - I have forgotten the name)you can wait in line to see Pooh, Tigger and Eyor, another line for the Princesses and the third line was ...help me out folks we had overload and I forget!

On the second day to the Magic Kingdom I recommend you hop on the train first thing, get off at the first stop and you will be right there for SPLASH Mountain! Your little ones will probably like it - ours did. But I would not recoomend Thunder Mountain roller coaster for them....they probably won't make the height requirement anyway.

Have a great time!

Referencing your keep them busy all day comment, if you are in Magic Kingdom on a night it stays open later than 6 pm I suggest you stay for the afternoon parade, then go back to your room, nap, change your shoes, snack, etc. and then head back over around 6 for the last harrah of seeing the magic in the dark and enjoying the final fireworks extravaganza!
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Old Nov 11th, 2005, 12:03 PM
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I grew up in FL and have been to Disney numerous times. Definitely stay along the monorail. I remember it being very valuable to be able to take a break in the afternoon. The kids will get a kick out the monorail. Plus given they're young age - you'll be able to see the fireworks from the resort and not have to deal with the mass exodus. (Epcot has an incredible firewroks show).

I agree with other posts, I think the allure of the Grand Floridian will be lost on them; but do definitely check it out for yourselves.

They're a little young for Epcot. I would consider either Animal Kingdom or Sea World. If you were going to be there longer, then maybe it would be worth checking out.

My last advice is that even though it's a family trip, definitely take some time to yourselves. Disney has great programs for kids along with babysitting services in the hotels.
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Old Nov 11th, 2005, 02:50 PM
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Here's another vote for the Contemporary! Our order of preference is: Contemporary...Grand Floridian...Polynesian. The Polynesian is so spread out we felt we had walked a mile by the time we got to the monorail! And Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary is NOT TO BE MISSED, in my opinion. So much fun and even the food is good!
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Old Apr 13th, 2006, 10:02 AM
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Wilderness lodge offers a reasonably close proximity to MK (although you can't walk there) at relatively bargain prices compared with contemporary, polynesian and grand floridian. good dining options, nice pool, lovely lobby. definitely check it out.
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Old Apr 13th, 2006, 10:18 AM
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I'd stay at one of the monorail resorts. If you stay at the Comtemporary, you can actually walk to and from the MK.

The rooms at the Poly have been recently remodeled - flat screen TVs, etc. They are working on the Contemp, but I don't know if they are done.

The Yacht Club and the Beach Club are fabulous, but I'd save them for a few years from now. The big draw there is the pool and yours are so young that it would be a lot of work for YOU to have them in that pool.
missypie is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2006, 03:14 PM
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A co-worker went last year with her 3 yo child. I had advised her of the Polynesian and my reasonings. She went with the Grand Floridian per her travel agents advice.Upon her return however, she did emphatically state that, the next time she went, she'd do the Poly (due to the monorail and the child).

The thing is, with children, you never know when they will have a meltdown from fatique/excitement...I like the reassurance of a quick exit and return once we have had a little respite.
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Old Apr 16th, 2006, 05:50 PM
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Yawn boring: Did you know that travelocity has a policy that if you are dissatisfied with the trip, they will 'make it right'?

Have you notified them of this?
Also, did you ask to speak with a manager of the hotel when this was occurring?

I thought last year that is was strange that we booked our flights to HI directly with the airline (in Jan. for a July trip), only to have them split us up on the plane, while several friends who booked later and through Travelocity got to actually choose their seats (all together).

So, on a trip last week to Grand Rapids, Michigan, we went through Travelocity. Who changed our original itinerary ( I know the airline actually does this) and we ended up with separated seats once again (again, we made the arrangements early). So I can't figure out what is the 'best' thing to do in the future!

One note though, when travelcity changed our itinerary, they informed us there would be a 'additional charge'...it amounted to nearly twice the original price! We insisted on speaking to a supervisor (which never actually happened) but the agent came back and informed us there would be no price increase.

Later, I received satisfaction questionnaire via email which states they always 'make it right'(I believe that was the terminology used).
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Old Apr 17th, 2006, 05:54 AM
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One thing I will mention, just in case it is important to you. Last time I checked, the Poly didn't have a hot tub. Don't know why...there is plenty of room, but they don't. (The Contemp. has two.)
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