Need advice on resort and meal plan


#1

Hello all. I am new here but have been reading everyones previous posts and have found them very helpful and insightful. Dont want to get too specific in only asking a question for myself but I am just undecided on some choices. So here goes my situation and please feel free to send your thoughts.
Going with my family, first time for the kids 5 and 2 1/2, and am trying to figure where is best place to stay on Disney and if food plan is worth it. We were thinking either budget or moderate so if anyone has a strong opinion please post. Plan is really just to max am in parks, take a little down time by pool and hopefully naps in mid day and try to go back to parks at night for kids. Looking for thought on best choices based on rooms, activities for kids and from what I am reading proximity to bus etc.
As far as food, the kids are very picky and I would think will be just as happy getting some chicken fingers and fried then sitting down for a meal. Also I was thinking at least 2 character meals, is it better breakfast or different time? So is the meal plan worth it?
We are only going to be there for about 4 days so I am trying to max the kids pleasure and if possible save a few bucks (I know that is not really possible going to Disney) so any thoughts from previous experience is appreciated. Also if any paticular sections of one of the resorts makes life easier please do pass along. Thanks everyone.


#2

I would be inclined not to opt for the dining plan in your situation unless it were free at the time you go. It seems that you just wouldn’t get the value for the money. As to the resort, I would go with the Pop Century if you decide on the value, Port Orleans if moderate. With the Port Orleans, especially since you can use both sides, you have multiple pools, playgrounds, cane fishing, marina, surrey bikes, etc. Bus service is pretty good as well.


#3

Welcome To Mousebuzz. When Are You Planning On Going?


#4

I will answer this assuming that you are not from Florida nor are you passholders.

The kids will like Pop Century resort the best of the value resorts. Seeing that they are young, this will be more than good enough for the entire family. The decor is a lot of big toys for the most part. And the pool will be great for them.

Character breakfasts for young kids are definitely the best. At their age, Chef Mickey at the Contemporary resort will serve your purpose extremely well. It is a buffet with many cereal offerings. I recommend a buffet because even the picky eaters will find something. Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Chip and Dale with an occasional viewing of Donald.

The other buffet I would suggest for breakfast is the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom. Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger here.

One other is Donald’s Breakfast at Animal Kingdom. Donald, Goofy, Mickey and Pluto.

If you are only going to do two, I would suggest you do one at the Animal Kingdom one day and one of the other two for your Magic Kingdom day. You can walk to the Magic Kingdom from the Contemporary. I recommend Chef Mickey’s over the Crystal Palace for younger kids because the entertainment with the music of dancing is a little bit closer with more characters than the Crystal Palace.


#5

We are planning on going in mid July. As for the character meals, we need to do one with Cinderella because my daughter my soon to be 5 year old daughter is very into the whole princess thing right now. The 2 1/2 year old will just be excited to be there.
So someone said the meal plan may not be worth it? Not sure if I heard that you would get some kind of discount if we used the daily food tickets towards the character meals. Plus our 2 year old does not have to pay and I was thinking during buffet type food he can just eat off of ours.
My real question is sort of, is it worth spending an extra $50-$75 more a night to go from value to moderate based on my situation. Thanks.


#6

Welcome to Mousebuzz!:happy:

I would have to agree with others here - I don’t think the Dining Plan is for you - especially when your children are small and picky. The DP is great when you have growing boys and a lot of healthy appetites - but the DP is a LOT of food - to say nothing of spending a lot of time in restaurants. Not too much fun if the kids are tired. Personally, I would choose one or two special, entertaining meals for the kids (maybe a character breakfast and a character dinner) and just wing the rest. There’s lots of great counterservice food in WDW.

As for resorts - I’d say either the All Star Movies or the Pop Century would be best for small kids. As for upgrading to a moderate - I’d say if you can do it, go for it. With small kids I’d try for Port Orleans French Quarter - beautiful SMALL resort.


#7

Hi! Welcome to Mouse Buzz!!! Is this your first trip to WDW or just the kids?

Anyway…

Plan is really just to max am in parks, take a little down time by pool and hopefully naps in mid day and try to go back to parks at night for kids. Looking for thought on best choices based on rooms, activities for kids and from what I am reading proximity to bus etc.

Great Plan. Commando does not work for kids and this is the best way to attack the parks young kids.
As far as food, the kids are very picky and I would think will be just as happy getting some chicken fingers and fried then sitting down for a meal. Also I was thinking at least 2 character meals, is it better breakfast or different time? So is the meal plan worth it?

I don’t think the plan is worth it in your situation. Another way to incorporate food savings is have breakfast type foods delivered to your hotel.

For a Cinderella meal you will probably have to go to 1900 Park Fare (at GF) as Cinderellas Royal Table will probably be sold out. They do have Princess Story book Dining at Norway in EPCOT (no Cinderella).

We are only going to be there for about 4 days so I am trying to max the kids pleasure and if possible save a few bucks (I know that is not really possible going to Disney) so any thoughts from previous experience is appreciated. Also if any paticular sections of one of the resorts makes life easier please do pass along. Thanks everyone.

All WDW resorts are awesome. The All Star Resorts are cool. ( I have not stayed at or seen POP) If you do upgrade to a moderate the Port Orleans French Quarter is really nice b/c it is small so it is a short walk to everything.

Have fun planning and Welcome to Mouse Buzz

Lisa


#8

Welcome, welcome, welcome…you will feel right at home here. Ok, I personally would say stay at a Value. We are staying at Pop for the first time in 9 days. So I will let you know. From everything I have read it sounds like the best Value. DF stayed at Pop last year with her 2 kids DD6 and DS3. They loved it. If you can save money on the room I say do it…Especially since you want to maximize time at the parks. Also, Pop has their own Bus so you don’t have to go to other hotels to drop off. That will save some time.
DDP plan doesn’t sound like it would work for you. My ds3 is also very picky so it wouldn’t work for us either. Plus, it can be hard for little ones to sit through a long meal. You want to get in and get out. You may have a hard time getting an adr for the princess meals. If you can’t get an adr, I would try going at an odd time. Or call every day. They may have one available. We love the CP for Character dining. The food is really good and your kids will love seeing Pooh, Tigger, and Piglet. Plus, the CP brings back so many good memories from when you were a child. Assuming that you have been there before. Good luck with your planning. It is so much fun to plan.


#9

If you are considering doing a moderate for the extra money, and to be quite frank, your kids won’t care and the beds are the same sizes, use that money to do the Cinderella lunch or dinner instead. Yes, it is an expensive package, but, you get a nice photo with it. The photo will be with your kids and Cinderella.


#10

I have just been advised by a very smart person that the food plan is a good option if you usually eat a full sit-down meal each day anyway. However, for your situation, if you adults can eat counter-service food (or at least light meals) pretty often with the kids, then add a couple of character meals, you may be better off without. I would definitely do Crystal Palace and/or Chef Mickey’s for that age.

Also, as for moderates, I love Port Orleans Riverside the most, followed closely by Caribbean Beach Resort and Port Orleans French Quarter… I have never stayed at the latter, but I have used the pools, the food court, the arcade, etc. and we love the grounds.

The Port Orleans properties have boat service to Downtown Disney, which is fun for the kids. And you can enjoy both foodcourts, pools, etc. when you stay at one. POR has an amazing playground hidden behind the pool area, and POFQ has a very excellent pool area and slide!


#11

Thanks everyone for all the great advice. To be fair to my wife and kids, the kids eating habits follow those of mine. Personally you can give me a cup of coffee in the am, some light snacking during the day (will do this at Disney regsrdless such as ice cream or whatever kids want) and then a bigger dinner. The kids dont eat like me but would probally be happy with a bagel for breakfast, chicken fingers and fries for lunch and some combination of things for dinner. Because of that it seems everyone think dining plan is not for us correct?
Also as far as accomodations, I just want to make sure if we did the value it would not be a bad situation. We are not used to 5 star hotels but we are used to clean, light rooms on vacation. Like most people I keep on leaning towards the moderate just because it is the middle cost and seesm like the safest bet. So those who stayed at value and moderate feel their is only a slight difference? Thanks again and yes my wife and I have been there but kids have not. Would have waited a bit longer till kids got older but daughter loves the whole princess thing now, so did not want her to miss the experience.


#12

ALL WDW HOTELS ARE COOL and CLEAN! There is nothing wrong with staying at a value. The only difference between a value and moderate (in general) are:

Moderates have a restaurant and Food Court, Values only have Food Court
Moderates have a hot tub at the pool and a water slide, values do not
Some moderates have boat service to DtD, Values do not.

So, if you are looking for a “clean, light room” a value can do that for you.

Lisa


#13

I’m sure you would be happy at either a value or mod. I am trying Pop on my next visit. I have been to the other values and I thought that they were great. So I thought I would try Pop on this trip. I love OKW, and BC. If you plan on spending a lot of time at the resort I would say choose a mod. If your not and your planning on spending lots of time in the parks then go for Value.


#14

Hi, welcome to Mousebuzz! In your case I would suggest the 1900 Park Fare dinner with Cinderella at the Grand Floridian. We love it there!! I would also suggest Hollywood and Vine Play N Dine at Disney Hollywood Studios. The character are June and Leo from Little Einsteins and Jo JO and Goliath from Jo Jo’s Circus your 2 1/2 year old would probably LOVE that!! We have not eaten there but will be in November. I would say YES the moderates are worth the extra $$$$. Your kids would love the slide at Port Orleans French Quarter plus it is small and not a long walk to anything. Have a great time!!!


#15

Hi and welcome to the buzz,

I’m sure you will love your time at Disney, as for saving bucks it is possible,. so I would go for POP, Saving $$ but i do agree that PO is a great place for down time and the boat trip across to downtown Disney. but all in all the rooms are about the same size the bed’s the same. i have stayed at value and moderate. the kids preferred value (loads of photo shots around the grounds) you could look at allears.com at info and photos to help you decide.

Then check out prices for character meals to decide if dinning plan is best for you based on the price of the meals. either way i would go for character meals (Buffet) if you have picky eaters, chef mickey is fantastic our 2 1/2 year old loved it. also Crystal palace is a good place for kids. depending on when your kids eat the best is how to decide between evening meal or breakfast. personally we went for evening meals but got the early sittings (6ish). some counter service can get a bit mad…

also don’t forget your photo pass card, and some of the $$ you save you could conceder getting your princess made up at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, or princess loved it and the photo shooot. info at…

Walt Disney World Resort - Detecting Browser Properties . . .

go and have a fantasmic time


#16

One thing you don’t have to worry about at WDW is the condition of the resorts - whether value, moderate or deluxe they’re all super clean, well-maintained with gorgeous grounds and themed to the max.

The downside of the Values in my opinion is that they are so huge you have can have quite a hike to the food court or pool - plus they are often filled with cheerleaders or school groups - which can get pretty noisy.

Of course, the more you pay, the more perks you get - but as for cleanliness and maintenance - you don’t have to worry about that at any WDW property.


#17

There is a lot of truth in this, but i would still say its down to how much time you spend at the hotel and how tolerant of others you are, also the Disney bus situation could be more of a problem at value especially with getting strollers on and off.
i have lifted a link from DisneyDopey showing some video of PO. have a look
Check out videos uploaded by disney1dopey at UnCut Video


#18

I think that in your situation Pop Century is your best choice for resorts. The kids will love it! In my family the kids are about the same as yours, and they loved the theme there. Which is all Disney characters and family fun! Also the food court is delicious, quick and convinent, which are essentials for familys with little ones. Also, it saves you a bundle, and still gives you the same experience. With moderate and luxury resorts you are basically paying hundreds extra for resort atmosphere and with little kids in disney, honestly, you don’t have time to appreciate that! haha.

Also, I think since your family is small that the dining plan probably won’t be worth it, unless it is free when you go, then I say, take it!

Hope this helped! :]


#19

The only real question I have then is that is the pool and location at moderate worth the extra money? Not that we plan on being in hotel area much but if we are at the pool for an hour or 2 a day, would the nicer pool be worth the extra money?
It seems everyone has said food plan would not be worth it in my situation so I think we will rule that out. But just trying to get a feel for everything. I am way over analyzing this and just need to make a choice but want make sure I maximize the kids enjoyment. Thaks again everyone.


#20

Your kids are still young enough that the pools at the value will be fine for them. Also POP has 3 Featured Pools, Bowling Pin Pool, Hippy Dippy Pool, Computer Pool, a kiddie pool and Goofy stands watch over Pop Jet Playground. A Playland of Popping Water jets. Your kids will love this. I know my ds3 will be all over this. Hope this helps you.