We wanted the freedom to be able to come and go as we please, as well as to have our own space, so we booked into a 4 bed house with a pool in a gated community in Kissimmee. It wasn't overly expensive, in fact, it was really great value we thought.
The kids could play in the pool, while we chilled out on sun loungers. When we weren't going out for the day, it was the perfect place to go back to or relax in. It gave us the chance to go shopping and fill the fridge with stuff from the supermarkets that we couldn't get in the UK, like cheese filled hot dog sausages that my daughter just loved, and doughnuts in a thousand and more varieties :)
The Contemporary Hotel was one of two lodgings available at the 1971 opening of the resort, complete with a dedication by Bob Hope. The centerpiece is a 15 story A frame tower with huge indoor atrium extending from the fourth floor Grand Canyon Concourse up to the roof, lined by almost 400 rooms. The absolute highlight, presumably revolutionary at the time, was the fourth floor access to the monorail which passes right through the building (image 1), allowing speedy access to the Magic Kingdom and with transfer EPCOT.
A second highlight is the massive mural (image 2) by Disney idea maven Mary Blair - a 1700 sq meter mural dominating the concourse and entitled Pueblo Village. Hand painted tiles feature stylized wildlife and Native American children. We missed it but on a facing wall is a mural of a 5 legged goat. Ms. Blair apparently housed doubts about anything manmade being without flaw.
Construction was also advanced for the time - a steel building into which prefabricated rooms were placed by cranes. The secondary building, where we stayed, is a three story annex, the Garden Wing. The main building offers views of the Magic Kingdom and the adjacent Bay Lake and manmade Seven Seas Lagoon but may also include views of the parking lot. The Garden Wing faces either a Mickey Mouse shaped pool or a garden, our view, peaceful and quiet. The two buildings do not have an indoor connection and it is a bit of a hike particularly if one's garden room is on the far side of the building.
The Contemporary tower building offers a multitude of services including a shopping arcade, a game room ( expensive ), and multiple restaurants of varying cost and formality.
The recently redecorated rooms in the Garden Wing maintain the contemporary decor. Large, with two queen beds, desk and chairs, and flat screen TV. The bathrooms are reasonable size with dual sinks. Closet space is more than adequate. That said, these rooms are certainly nothing special in decor or conveniences, just adequate. Housekeeping was superb, still surprised how well chaos became order while we were out of the room.
Depending on room location, tower rooms offer great views of the Magic Kingdom especially when lit up at night and a perfect place to watch the fireworks. BTW, for other guests, the fireworks are visible from a terrace on the fourth floor.
Pictures to come.
There's so much to decide on when picking where to stay at WDW. The places that access the parks the best are the most expensive. The cheapest are still decent quality - but the bus rides can take forever. We ended up choosing a middle ground with the POFQ. We were closer to the parks (still had to take a bus), but didn't have to pay the top $ onsite.
(When figuring the cost of staying onsite, recall that with the bus system, you likely won't need to rent a car, take a cab, etc. if you plan on staying onsite the whole time.)
The complex is fairly sprawling - there are seven buildings that house rooms. The theme, of course, is the Big Easy and Mardis Gras.
In the center of the complex are all the amenities - the bus stop, a food court style restaurant, arcade, fairly good sized gift shop, and pool. The bus stop is a little of a free for all. Buses pull up with a sign as to where they are going and everyone tries to cram on. We never did stop anywhere else however, as most of the buses filled up here. The food court is a solid choice for breakfast - you'll usually be out and about for other meals. The arcade is small and extremely expensive. The pool area is cool - nothing too deep, but lots of chairs, a waterfall, and a waterslide. Kids had a great time.
The hotel is also on the Sassagoula River. There's a walking path along this where you can walk to the Port Orleans Riverside, and also you can catch a boat here to Downtown Disney if you get tired of the buses. Note the boats can get full later in the day, so you may have a wait.
The rooms are in great condition, and the cleaning staff does a wonderful job, including leaving little "towel animals" for the kids. Rooms have refrigerators, safes, and I really like the curtain between the sink and sleeping areas - made it nice to get going in the morning without waking everyone. My understanding is they recently remodeled quite a bit - the beds seemed newer and led to very good night's sleep.
The staff is friendly, check-in and -out were very easy. All in all, this was a really good choice, especially for our first time there. Not the cheapest place, but a good balance of all you can get.
My family stayed at the Mystic Dunes Resort. It was only minutes from WDW and we had over 2200 sq ft! Our bill for 5 days was only $900, which includes 11% tax. We got the 3 bedroom suite, which is enough room for 12 people. You could easily get the 2 bedroom suite and cut costs. They had a 52" flat screen in the main living area. It is situated on hundreds of acres of golfing. The linens were white and super comfortable! We had two full kitchens, two full living areas, three full baths, and so much more. They have a free shuttle running every day. They have 4 heated pools with a 2 story slide at one. We loved it!
Prof Wendy Davis
Outstanding Qualities include:
1. Huge space
2. Beautiful accomodations
4. 4 pools
5. 2 story pool
I used to stay at this hotel with my family when it was a Travelodge. Wow have they made improvements! My new husband and I stayed here on our honeymoon and couldn't have been more pleased. The hotel was clean and had a very pleasant atmosphere with bright colors and fun decorations.
Upon check-in, we were upgraded to a suite when the staff member found out we were honeymooning with them. We didn't even know it until we got to the room and opened our door. The rest of our stay was filled with hello's and smiles from all the employees.
We really enjoyed the pool area and the hot tub. It was great to have a place to relax after a long day in the theme parks! They have showers available in a building by the pool for anyone that would like to use them.
We also loved the drink bottles they had for $3.99. They were good for free refills on pop for your entire stay! What a money-saver!
The breakfast buffet is probably the only thing I would advise against. Not very many options and a steepish price made us regret getting it one morning.
The view of Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy. and Old Town across the street were very pretty at night. The pool was nice and was only slightly chilly for it being October. Also, they are a Disney's Good Neighbors hotel so you can purchase tickets there at a discounted rate and it's sanctioned by the parks.
If you can stay for 2 weeks, I would. It should be nice, and there are plenty of things to do. I wouldn't stay in a hotel, for that long stay in a rental house, is perfect for long term. I read about one on another fourm for $120 a night. The website is www.cumbrianlakes-villa.com
Everything a Vacation House should include, with 6 bedrooms, pool, and game room.
We had a great stay in the Dolphin side of the Swan and Dolphin hotel. The room easily accomodated our family of 5 and through obtaining a 40 per cent discount (check their website for offers), this accomodation was more affordable than staying in a Disney property. This is a truly luxurious hotel and I never thought that I would be able to afford to stay here. It is in a fantastic location on the boardwalk. You can walk to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios and enjoy leisurely evenings on the Boardwalk watching the street entertainers. This gives you a little more freedom as you are not tied to waiting for Disney transportation even though this is available to guests of this hotel. Taxis are available on demand at the hotel lobby. Hotel residents also qualify for Disney's Extra Magic Hours which is a big benefit. The hotel has a good pool area and beach. You can lay on the beach and see the Epcot ball! This also means that you can watch the Epcot Fireworks from this area. The buffet breakfast was excellent as were the milkshakes at the ice cream bar. They were a little expensive but good for a holiday treat!
We had the most amazing view from our room which looked out in the direction of Hollywood Studios. We could see the Tower of Terror and the cliff that Mickey Mouse stands on in the Fantasmic show. So if we were in our room at 10pm we would draw back the curtains and watch the Fantasmic fireworks and look out for Mickey at the end of the show.
made reservations with expedia.we got to the resort and were told it would cost 20.00 dollars more then we were told when we booked it.as we were deciding what to do the clerk said if you don't want it you wont be charged anything so we decided not to take it as it was the principle of charging more.we found a cheaper place to stay down the road.when I got my bank statement the next month i saw the resort took 75.00 out.i called to get it cleared up assuming they made a mistake.they said it was a no show fee.i told her we did show up.was told it would cost more and told there would be no charge if we didn't take it.she said they charge a no show fee like what I said meant nothing to bad that's the way it is.I emailed the reort and expedia with no result or anything back.what a surprise
never saw more then the lobby
The Grand Villas at Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa are luxury personified! These apartments offer sleeping for up to 12 guests with a master bedroom with en suite jacuzzi bathroom, two bedrooms (with two double beds in each) each with their own bathroom, whilst the lounge has a sofa bed and the fourth bathroom is located off the kitchen.
We stayed for 5 nights during Ann (TheTravelSlut's) Orlando Meet. This made a great base as the apartment is bigger than my own house! We had a meet and greet session as well as brunch on Sunday within the Grand Villa. There's a full kitchen with all the amenities including fridge/freezer, dishwasher, microwave, kettle, toaster, crockery, kitchenware, glassware and cutlery.
It is located a short (free) boat ride from Downtown Disney and has inter-resort buses available to some of the other Disney resorts within Walt Disney World.
Within the resort there is a pool (with lifeguards), spa facilities, restaurants (including fast food) and walks can be enjoyed through the landscaped resort and lake facilities.
Our Villa overlooked one of the small lakes.
The staff at the Disney resorts really take customer care to the maximum; when we arrived, we had a large amount of luggage and boxes and one of the bus-boys took their time to ensure he helped with a trolley and assisted with bringing it all up to our villa - it was very hot and we were all warm and sticky by the end of it but he always had a smille.
It was amazing, it is a really beatiful and huge hotel, with spectacular lakes all around you, all of the rooms from disney hotels, look exactly the same though, but they are big enough. it is very useful to stay at a disney hotel, if you want transport to all of the disney parks, they are offered in the hotel, the buses are really clean and safe, and on schedule since the moment the park is open to public, so if you wake up early, you can be the first person to enter the park. you can find restaurants there, with food aproppiate for kids, as well as a supermarket, everything you need. souvenir shops, is a very complete service. It is so beautiful, so far, one of the best hotels I have stayed in, and I was eleven back then, and I still remember how beautiful it was.
the huge lakes, you can't find that photo environment at any other disney resort. it also has amazing pools.
We were VERY Pleased with our Room here at Coronado Springs! The Room was quiet and the beds were SO comfortable! We also enjoyed a nice Mother's Day Dinner at the resorts restaurant, The Mayan Grill. The pool was the best part!Especially for the Kids. They have a HUGE Jaguar Water Slide and a Hot Tub! The play area was great too filled with lots of sand, swings and a slide. I really appreciated how thoughtful this resort is of smokers! usually i have to hunt for a place to smoke, but there were smoking sections EVERYWHERE! and the staff cleans the ashtrays every time you turn around! We will definitely be returning!
Water Slide at Pool and Numerous Smoking Sections for Smokers.
I found this hotel to be affordable, convenient to disney and shopping and all of the hotel staff that I encountered was extremely friendly. Rooms where typical of a Holiday Inn; clean, somewhat spacious, good ammenaties, etc... If you stay, ask for a room in the rear tower. We stayed in the front tower, because we were offered an inexpensive upgrade, and the noise from the street was a little bothersome at night. Other than that every thing else about the hotel was very nice.
One thing I should probably mention is that we reserved this room on Priceline and received a pretty good discount compared to the average cost per night.
The one thing that really stood out to me was the willingness of the staff to go the extra mile. Upon arrival we were offered a very affordable upgrade from two double beds to a double and a bunk bed with a wall seperating the sleeping areas. When the alarm in an empty room next to us went off at 4 a.m. the staff took care of it within minutes after I called and we never heard again the entire time of our stay. At check out there was a minor discrepancy on the paymant meathod- they charged my credit card automaticlly and I had wanted to pay cash -the accountant was brought up to the front desk right away and the problem was taken care of immediately.
This hotel makes true of its name because visitor came here for celebrating his holidays with cool and funny days. This hotel provide all the facilities of expansive hotel and enjoy all visitors with its amenities.
Restaurant on site
separate smoking property
closer to disney world and airport
disney's sarasota springs resort and spa is a first class property located in the lake buena vista area of disney world. they offer very nice two story suites with a full kitchen. for golfers the resort is located just across the street from the lake buena vista golf club. saratoga springs resort is a very nice place to stay on disney property. expensive.
The Picture of this house was really nice. When we arrived I noticed that the tree was 10 times bigger in person that in the picture. (it has grown over the YEARS!!) Well there was a mold smell in the house. The back yard screened in pool was torn. The pool was not heated. We paid the extra $$ for the pool to be heated. While we tired to call the managers about the HEATED POOL we paid for. THey told us to refer to the Rental Guide. In the Guide said if the pool head does not work the $$ for Heat was non refundable. It didnt work from the get go. It was an OK rental. I would of rather stayed at a Hilton. I would never rent a house from VIlla Direct again.
Renting a house is pretty good if you are a large group and want to save money. It was a nice Idea we went along with some friends that invited us but the other 2 couples bailed out on us and we had to split the bill. we were there for 4 days and paid over 700 for a place to sleep. Like I said I would have rather stayed at a Hilton.
Next time when going with friend Collect the money first. I was not the one that planned the trip. If it was me I would of collected before I booked the accomodations.
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