Old Mar 7th, 2004, 10:12 AM
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does anyone have experience staying at disneyworld vs. outside hotel. I am thinking of staying at Pop culture or Swan for the "disney" experience, and also hopefully easier access to transportation, not parking, etc. any advice, pros cons suggestions....HELP. we are traveling 3000 mile for this trip and are taking 2 elders and 3 kids, ages 8-14.
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 10:16 AM
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We were there last year and stayed on site (Grand Floridian) and loved it. Since it was on the monorail line, transportation was a snap. I have seen some people here comment that they thought disney properties were overpriced and some other complaints, but think they do a great job, and staying at a Disney property makes things very easy.
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 11:33 AM
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The Swan and Dolphin are wonderfully located - right next to Disney's Boardwalk and an easy walk or boatride to Epcot and MGM. Magic Kingdom is a bus ride. If you can get a good rate there, it's really a fine place to stay. They offer teacher and government worker discounts, I know.

Staying on Disney property is my preference. They just make everything so easy!

Hope you have checked for lots of good information along with
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 11:36 AM
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We stayed at the Contemporary ( the one the monorail runs thru ) last year. The positives were: proximity to the park transportation: No need for a car to go back and forth; we could stay late for fireworks and ride the monorail back to the hotel easily: hotel restruant overlooked Magic Kingdom and we could watch the fireworks from the table or bar.

Negatives: Pricey . . although we were upgraded to a suite for no charge it still was more ecpensive than off campus hotels; ( however cost is significantly offset by no need for car rental ) The Contemporary is showing it's age ( it was the original on site hotel ) not dirty but is in bad need of a renovation.

Staff was excellent with assistance.

We looked in on the Grand Floridian and Polynesian and both seemed in better condition than Contemporary (although we did not see any rooms )

Enjoy . . Rich
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 11:57 AM
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I've stayed both in and out of park and if you really want the "Disney" experience it makes a big difference staying inside the park. It is more expensive, but you don't need to rent a car. The Swan and Dolphin are within the resorts inside the park, but are not quote "a Disney Resort". They don't have character meals, but are included in the transportation routes. I'd opt for the Pop Century if I were you.
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 12:07 PM
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thanks for the input. I figure that staying there will make naps (for the old folks) and rest periods easier. Also, any advice about what parks to visit when, (the 4 major) and any other tips to facilitate as pleasant an experience during a "busy" travel season would be appreciated
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 12:10 PM
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I would always recommend staying inside the park. My favorites are Port Orleans. Stayed there twice and the bus ride to the parks does not usually exceed 10 minutes from any of the resorts. The Pop resort and AllStar resorts are less expensive and the rooms are small. So you might need two adjoining rooms. But they are nice as well. So you might compare the rates. Outside is a hassle and driving and parking are for the birds, literally!~
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 12:54 PM
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Go to and read about which parks to visit on what days and reasons why. Also filled with wealth of current reviews of WDW restaurants complete with menus. Since you will be on-property, you can get a length of stay park-hopper and can go to different parks on the same days. Be sure to check about which attractions will be open and which ones down for rehabbing during your visit. All this and more will be found on, it has been a big help to me visit after visit.
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 01:49 PM
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I agree that the Swan/Dolphin location can't be beat. As stated before, you can walk to Epcot or MGM or take the wonderful "Friendship Boats". VERY easy access to all the parks. The Swan/Dolphin offer some discounts for teachers, government workers, nurses, and also offer the entertainment rate.
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 01:55 PM
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Glad you've decided to stay on-site. Here are a few general tips!
Each park has an "early opening" one or two days of the week. If you can get the teens out of bed, take advantage of that, as it will work better for the seniors and will help avoid crowds. Plan on doing lunch before everyone else, at around 11:30. Then do indoor A/C'd shows after noon, or go back to the hotel for napping or swimming. Head back to the park late afternoon.
When you get to the park in the morning, do the most popular rides first thing! Also, juggle your Fast Passes. Such as, when you go to MGM, if you plan on doing the thrill rides, pick up your Fast Pass to Tower of Terror on the way to Rockin Roller Coaster.
When you enter the Magic Kingdom, book it right through the castle and head to Splash Mountain. Ride it once or twice, then do Thunder Mountain RR and the Haunted Mansion. Then head over to Future World and Pick up a fast pass to either Buzz Lightyear or Space Mountain, and hold onto that while waiting for the other.
As for Epcot, do Fast Track first thing in the AM while everyone else is lining up at Spaceship Earth, followed by the Human Body section. Cranium Command, Body Wars, and the cute movie on reproduction are all excellent. Then you can take your time around the World section. Don't miss Spaceship Earth at the end of the day when it's all but abandoned!
The Seniors should beware of the shake, rattle, and roll rides like Body Wars, Star Wars, etc., along with the roller coaster type thrill rides. And, do you know that wheelchairs can be rented at the entrances? The long-distance walking can get to everyone! Be sure everyone wears comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and brings filtered water bottles that you can fill with ice at the hotel.
You can also make dinner reservations before you go, to anyplace you really want to be sure to go to. By the way, the restaurants on the Boardwalk are great: Flying Fish and Spoodles tapas.
Have a blast! Sounds like a great time.
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