Sunday, April 27, 2014

Choosing Your Moderate Resort

Well, everyone, it's been a while since I posted a strictly planning blog post here.  That's probably because I'm not planning my vacation anymore, and I apologize for that.  Unless you prefer "Disney at Home" posts, because then I'm sorry for this!  Anyway...

You don't have an unlimited budget, but you do have a substantial amount of money you can spend.  You find that you fall right in the moderate resort category, but aren't sure which resort is going to be best for you.  Are you looking for something romantic, or do you want to be able to get Disney transportation and go?  I'll help you figure that out!

Spender vs. Saver
What can you get for the least amount of money in this category?  For the most?  Find out here!

Okay, just kidding.  If you want to spend some money, but you're more in the "moderate category," I would probably just bump up to Deluxe, specifically Wilderness Lodge (the "saver" of that category), or just a Deluxe resort in general.  For more information, click here.

The least expensive moderate "resort"are the Campsites at Fort Wilderness.  The outdoorsy atmosphere makes it not the best fit for all, but there are so many perks that come with staying here that are not nearly as accessible for those staying elsewhere.  Here's some examples:
  • Average cost of campsite (depending on amenities): $54-$84 per night
    • Keep in mind, a tent or RV are not included and must be brought by those staying there.  It might be worth it to look into renting an RV for the week.
    • Some campsites at Fort Wilderness allow pets
  • Two dinner shows, Hoop-de-Doo Musical Revue and Mickey's Backyard BBQ, as well as the delicious Trail's End Restaurant are located here
  • Bus and boat transportation are available here
  • There are a long list of outdoor activities that are available here, including:
    • Chip 'N Dale's Campfire Sing-a-long
    • Tri-Circle-D Ranch (with pony rides, wagon rides, holiday sleigh rides, and horseback riding trails)
    • Pools
    • Fort Wilderness Archery Experience
    • Motorized Boat Rentals, Canoe Rentals, Kayak Rentals
    • Fishing
    • Bike Rentals
    • 2 Different Arcades
    • Volleyball and Basketball Courts
    • Waterskiing
    • Hiking and Jogging Trails
    • and More!

Planner vs. Impulsive
The moderate category isn't the most generous to the impulsive, because many of these resorts have internal shuttles that slow down travel time.  This lends better to the planner, who can account for that time used traveling around the resort, but can also lead the planner to steer away from this category.  Here are what I believe to be the best picks for both!

For the Planner, I recommend the Caribbean Beach Resort.  Though the internal shuttle can be a bit of a pain, but the amenities on this beautiful pseudo-island make it worth it.
  • Average cost per night: $194
  • In the Epcot resort area, and located near Fantasia Gardens mini golf course
  • Casual dining at Shutters at Old Port Royale table-service, as well as the Old Port Royale food court
  • White sand beaches with hammocks to relax in, in addition to pools per "island"
  • Bike rentals, fishing, and a jogging trail
  • Bus transportation internally and outside the resort
Unless you want to be in the Pirates of the Caribbean rooms (which are the furthest from the Customs House where you check in and out), I suggest either requesting a preferred room to put you closer to the main areas, or asking to be placed in Barbados - closest to the Customs House, or Martinique or Trinidad North - closest to the food court and main pool area.

Port Orleans French Quarter is the best resort for the Impulsive Disney-goer because it is the only moderate resort without an internal shuttle.  Here are some other aspects that make this resort a great choice:
  • Average per night: $194
  • Buses available for transportation, as well as a boat to Downtown Disney
  • Sassagoula Floatworks food court and two lounges for your evening (or afternoon) beverage
    • Sassagoula Floatworks is also home to the much desired beignets, one of the only places in Walt Disney World that serves them regularly

Romantic vs. Fun
I think that this category has some of the best options of moderate resorts.  If your goal is to spend money in the moderate range, I would evaluate your choice baed on these two criteria and go from there!

Coronado Springs is a great option for romance in the moderate category.  Though some people consider this a "conference hotel," this fact about it makes it have a more adult-friendly atmosphere, and amenities perfect for a couple. 
  • Average per night: $194
  • Maya Grill is available for table-service, with 3 other quick service options as well as 3 lounges in this resort
  • The La Vida Health club is great for those who work out, but also has a mini spa with massages, facials, and a salon next door for those who want to be pampered

Port Orleans Riverside is a really great option for those looking to get the most fun out of their Disney vacation.  It is in great proximity to some of the more adult venues, such as those in Downtown Disney, and boasts a few in-resort specialties that should not be missed, even by those not staying here.
  • Average per night: $194
  • Bus and boat transportation - with boats to Downtown Disney, which is a great location with many shopping, dining, and drinking options
  • Boatwright's Dining Hall, a very under appreciated and delicious table-service option, regular dining hall, and 2 lounges
    • River Roost lounge is a favorite, mostly because of a Yehaa Bob, a popular cabaret performer with a Disney cult following

What aspect of vacation planning do you want to see next?  Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time <3

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