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Continuation from last post...

:O

I just did some triple checking, and I think I will be able to swing one of the deluxe resorts after all!  It would basically push me back up closer to my original budget... but  !!!

Animal Kingdom Lodge and Old Key West are totally affordable.  Saratoga Springs, Boardwalk Villas, and Beach club are borderline.  Grand Floridian is out.  Sadly, the one I want the most, the Polynesian is out of my range.  Fort Wilderness Cabins are affordable, but not really on my list of wants.  I think I am going to lean towards Animal Kingdom, but I'll see what Miguel says.  I think we will probably agree on it. :)  Can't really afford the Savannah view, but just staying at a nicer place I think would be worth it?

For those who have stayed, what is the main difference between Coronado Springs and Animal Kingdom lodge?  The price difference between the two is $500.  Would it be worth it?

I have already stayed at Coronado Springs earlier this year with friends, so I have a frame of reference for that...

I love this special.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
sarakazi
Oct. 31st, 2012 07:19 pm (UTC)
I've never stayed at Coronado Springs, but I LOVE the Animal Kingdom Lodge. You can see the Savannah view from a pathway outside the lobby. Only thing is it's kinda far out from the other parks, but if you don't mind the bus rides, go for it. :)
marymouse
Oct. 31st, 2012 07:45 pm (UTC)
I don't mind the bus rides at all! Yeah... I am totally thinking Animal Kingdom. :D
kfops
Oct. 31st, 2012 10:36 pm (UTC)
We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge (Jambo House) and it was pretty cool. Though we had a bit of a turf-up with our room where we got a Queen and bunk-beds instead of a king. We got that fixed, but our new room had a view of the smokers.

My wife's parents, on the other hand, got a free upgrade to a savannah room and got to watch giraffe and zebra from their balcony.

Despite the little room issue (which we weren't in that much anyway), I would definitely stay there again.
mistahbojangles
Oct. 31st, 2012 09:19 pm (UTC)
Very cool! So you've stayed at Coronado Springs before so you already know a lot about what to expect from that experience. Well, here's what I'd recommend:

Go ahead and stay at the Coronado and consider using the savings to enjoy a really indulgent meal or other special experience at the parks. Personally I've never stayed at any of the resorts since I couldn't afford it and instead spent my nights off sight, but the vast majority of what makes the upper tier resorts special can be experienced by non-guests. What you'll be missing out on as a visitor are things like the interior room decor, the size and quality of the bed and linens, make use of the swimming pool and any random perks like a boat ride to Epcot or the proximity to certain events like the nighttime viewing of the animals from the Animal Kingdom Lodge. But for non guests you can still walk through the buildings, look at the exhibits, marvel at the design of the building and architecture, appreciate the gardens, eat at the restaurants, visit the gift shops, climb to the upper reaches of the building, etc. I actually climbed to the top of the Contemporary resort on the exterior stairway for a view of the Magic Kingdom, I just couldn't go inside at that upper level because I didn't have a guest key. I could walk to the "waterpark" in the back of the Contemporary Resort, but I couldn't use the paddle boats. I could eat at the Ohana restaurant at the Polynesian and catch a ride on the monorail from the station, but I couldn't ride the waterslide through the volcano.

I guess the real choice would be how much enjoyment you'd get from the actual *room* experience. Since you're staying on Disney property you'll get the benefits of free transportation to the parks and early / late hour access to the parks, so you may find that you won't be spending much time in your room except to collapse after a full day's adventure. Many times I've come away from Disney needing a vacation FROM the vacation I've been so exhausted.

My personal choice at Disney was always to get the biggest bang for the buck, and if you've got a couple hundred extra to consider using then my vote would be to do a really nice meal at one of the specialty restaurants that needs a reservation. You might even do two or three or use the money to try some of the special extras available outside the normal park experience (gift shops, souveniers, boat rides, etc.)

I took a lot of photos of the Animal Kingdom Lodge earlier this year and I can say it's a magnificent place to visit and probably to stay at too. The only photos I currently have online are here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/brian_reynolds/2159592892/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/brian_reynolds/2158788959/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/brian_reynolds/2159591392/

I'll try to get my other photos from my visit processed out and uploaded for you to view.

From my point of view you can't go wrong anyway you look at it, -you're in for a terrific time!
mistahbojangles
Nov. 1st, 2012 04:35 am (UTC)
Well shoot. I guess I lost my Disneyworld photos from March in the hard drive crash I had in April. :(
tinbender
Oct. 31st, 2012 11:05 pm (UTC)
Just a suggestion, and not having a clue of costs, budgets, whether it means that much to you, or anything else, would it be feasible to spend one night at the Polynesian and the rest at a less expensive option? It is a well earned vacation after all.
marymouse
Nov. 2nd, 2012 03:51 pm (UTC)
Yeah, We could, but I don't know if I feel like going through the hassle for just one night. :) I'll just keep the Polynesian as a goal to aspire to someday! :D
raspberryroo
Nov. 3rd, 2012 01:17 am (UTC)
AK lodge and Coronado Springs are my two favorite resorts! :O

We've stayed at both and I must admit AK lodge is pretty damn amazing. There is a TON to explore. You can expect the room standards to be about the same however. It isn't like the rooms are bigger or the pillows more fancy. You pay more for the surroundings that is for sure.

I say if you have the money, do the upgrade. the only real pro to not doing the upgrade is that you will have a bit more spending money for parks/food/etc.

Also, if you want, you do have mugs still here... ;)
marymouse
Nov. 3rd, 2012 04:00 am (UTC)
Yay! I was hoping for your input, since you have so much Disney experience!

I had a feeling the rooms themselves wouldn't be much different, but my main concern is the overall experience. Miguel and I have always kind of done vacations within a tight budget, and I really want to splurge and get something nice. I did really love Coronado Springs, and would be happy with staying there again, but I also would like to try something new.

Also, hoping the 4 of us can meet for a day or at least for dinner at the parks while we are there. I am shooting for Jan 28-Feb 5th.
raspberryroo
Nov. 3rd, 2012 10:06 pm (UTC)
I say do Animal Kingdom then! I don't think you'd regret it. It is pretty amazing.

And yes, we'd love to meet up with you guys at some point if you don't mind the company :) We'll be around! We can chat more at MFF :)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )