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Moderate Resort Comparison


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  • Moderate Resort Comparison

    Hey everybody. Some quick questions for the frequent WDW visitors. I have never stayed in one of the moderate resorts, and am planning to very soon. Of Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, POFQ, and PORS, what would be your ranking of the resorts and why. And...are the benefits of staying in one of those moderates worth staying there over the All Star(such as less-crowded buses, better food options, more amenities)? Any and all help would be appreciated.
    Animal Kingdom Lodge
    Wilderness Lodge
    Caribbean Beach Resort
    Coronado Springs Resort
    Port Orleans Resort French Quarter
    Port Orleans Resort Riverside

  • #2
    Re: Moderate Resort Comparison

    I have personally stayed at all the value resorts as well as several deluxe resorts (Contemporary, Yacht Club, OKW, Polynesian, and Wilderness Lodge). I have also stayed at POFQ and Caribbean Beach. My favorite hotel of all of them, factoring price and quality, is POFQ.

    First of all, I love the decor. The rooms (I stayed in Aug. 2005) were recently renovated and are a big upgrade from value. I love taking the boat to DTD for a change, and it is centrally located to all the parks (from my estimate, it was about 10 min. or less to each park). The grounds are just beautiful, and it is, IMO, one of the more "immersive" resorts.

    For the difference in price, I cannot tell you enough how much of an upgrade it is to a moderate resort over a value. The room size is significantly larger, and the transportation is, again IMO, much more efficient. It is great at the moderates that you do not have to stand in the direct sun and suffer while waiting for a bus, such as at the value resorts. It can be so brutal standing out there waiting for a bus for 20-30 minutes with the sun beating down on you. The moderate resorts have small "shelters" with pop machines and benches, yes benches, and ceiling fans that don't do much. The shade sure does, though.

    I have not stayed at Coronado or POR; however, I have heard good things about CS. In regards to POR, the only thing I can tell you is that there are several bus stops (POFQ only has one, which is the first stop for the buses since they go to all the PO stops, FQ and Riverside). At POR, often times in the mornings the bus is already pretty full from POFQ guests. I always felt confident at POFQ that I was going to get a seat.

    Carribean Beach has multiple bus stops (I have been there twice and never encountered a horribly busy bus). The rooms are the largest of all the moderate resorts (didn't seem larger than POFQ, but apparently they are). Also great rooms, all of which now have refrigerators (actually, I think that applies to all the moderates - great if you want to save time in the morning and bring back breakfast at night to keep in the fridge). Also centrally located. It is literally 5 minutes to MGM and less than 10 to Epcot, about 10 to MK and AK. I enjoyed it very much and would stay there again (I did this past Aug. because I couldn't get AP rate for POFQ). It's definitely great, but not my personal favorite. The grounds weren't as nice as POFQ, IMO. Also, I found that I had to stand fairly often, and on my last trip in Aug., was waiting a pretty significant amount of time for buses (compared to same time previous year at POFQ).

    This is a little wordy, but I hope it was helpful. If budget was not a factor, I would say Yacht Club is my favorite; however, budget is and will most likely always be a factor for me, so for the best hotel for price and quality, I would 100% pick POFQ, and I have recommended it similarly to friends and family.

    Have fun!
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    • #3
      Re: Moderate Resort Comparison

      Originally posted by JLindley2003 View Post
      Hey everybody. Some quick questions for the frequent WDW visitors. I have never stayed in one of the moderate resorts, and am planning to very soon. Of Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, POFQ, and PORS, what would be your ranking of the resorts and why. And...are the benefits of staying in one of those moderates worth staying there over the All Star(such as less-crowded buses, better food options, more amenities)? Any and all help would be appreciated.
      I've only stayed at CBR (twice) and POFQ -- everything else for me is just book knowledge.

      Each has a distinct theme. If you like a resort's theme, that's an advantage, and if you don't it's a disadvantage. So I'll ignore themes.

      CBR's rooms are the largest of the moderates. They are 340 square feet, and all the other moderates' rooms are 314 square feet. CBR is the most spread out of the moderates. This is an advantage if you like the wide open feeling (which, to me, makes things more tranquil and pleasant), but it's a disadvantage of you don't like walking long distances and don't want to pay an extra $15-$20 per night for "preferred location" (closest buildings to the food court/pool area, called Old Port Royale). CBR has 7 bus stops, one at each of the 6 villages and one at OPR. This is an advantage in that NO ROOM is all that far from a bus stop, but it's a disadvantage in that the bus makes 7 quick stops before leaving the complex.

      CSR has a health club facility, the only one in the moderates. CSR's food court, the Pepper Market, has, at least according to the menus, the widest selection and variety, and by reputation it has the best food court food. A disadvantage is that it's also the only food court where servers bring your food to you, and for that you pay an automatic 10% service charge for any and all food you buy there.

      POFQ and POR
      POFQ and POR are sister resorts, and guests at one are permitted to use any and all of the amenities at the other. In addition, they are the only moderates with boat transportation. You can take a boat from them to Downtown Disney, which is a treat, in my opinion.

      POFQ and POR share buses (except for the way home from MK). POFQ has one bus stop, at the front of the resort. POR has 4 bus stops sprinkled through the resort. Buses always stop at POFQ first. Some buses, seemingly randomly, go from POFQ directly to their destinations, some go on to POR's main stop only, and some go on to all of POR's stops. The only bus that stops at POR before POFQ is the Downtown Disney bus.

      POFQ is the most compact of the moderate resorts, and also the smallest in terms of number of rooms (about 1,000). I timed a walk from the food court door to the farthest point in the resort (far end of Building 1, on the walkway by the river), and it took me 3 minutes 20 seconds. POFQ The quality of the food at POFQ's food court was just fine, but it was less variety/selection than at CBR, for example. POFQ does not have its own table-service restaurant.

      POR offers fishing as an activity.


      • #4
        Re: Moderate Resort Comparison

        I've added a poll for the members to list their favorite moderate/semi-moderate resorts. And have placed personal comments regarding each of the resorts listed below:

        Dusty's Moderate/semi-Moderate Resort Comparison

        Moderate (as low as $139/night)
        • Caribbean Beach Resort - Good location, dated facilities, spread-out, best if you are located in the units nearest "Port Royal" (the pool, food, and services area)
        • Coronado Springs Resort - Great business hotel. Nice, new accommodations. Good WiFi for those using lap tops.
        • Port Orleans Resort French Quarter - French Quarter and Riverside are comparable resorts and are run as one. Both French Quarter and Riverside offer a boat to Downtown Disney. If you have trouble walking long distances, please ask to be placed near the check-in/buses.
        • Port Orleans Resort Riverside - (See "French Quarter above)
        Low end of the Deluxe (as low as $205)
        • Animal Kingdom Lodge - Perhaps the most spectacular of the Disney resorts. This hotel offers the best value for your money (if you can afford it), as it is a true Deluxe hotel but often available at huge discounts (ask for special pass-holder discounts, AAA, etc.) Kids will love the live big game animals roaming the fields outside the hotel, parents will love the romantic setting, extraordinary themeing, and great food!
        • Wilderness Lodge - Similar to the Animal Kingdom Lodge in scope and amenities. Has direct boat transportation to Magic Kingdom (a big plus). Beautiful remote wilderness setting. Consider the vacation club side of this hotel if the rooms are offered at a discount as all the DVC units include kitchens/kitchenettes.
        Dusty's Pick: If you can get Animal Kingdom Lodge/Wilderness Lodge at a good rate, pick one of those. Animal Kingdom Lodge gets the nod in a tie. If they are not to be had in your price range, go with Port Orleans French Quarter or Riverside.
        Last edited by Dustysage; 12-23-2006, 09:32 AM.
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        • #5
          Re: Moderate Resort Comparison

          The Lodges don't have enough more going for them to justify the cost imo, except a large online fanbase, I guess. They're one of the few completely-integrated hotels at WDW, so if you were going in a period threatened by storms I would go to one then.


          • #6
            Re: Moderate Resort Comparison

            I would agree with everything that DustySage said and add one thing. If you have kids, I think that Port Orleans Riverside is slightly a better choice over Port Orleans French Quarter. It just seems like there is more to do for kids there. But if it is all adults going, French Quarter is better, being more romantic a theme.

            As to Wilderness Lodge... I loved my stay there and thought it was absolutely wonderful. I have not stayed at the Animal Kingdom, so I cannot speak to that. The Animal Kingdom Lodge is a little out of the way from other parks. If you have little kids, then Wilderness lodge might be better since it is so close to MK and so many other deluxe resorts and activities offered there.
            Jiminy Cricket Fan

            Love Disneyland and Walt Disney World!


            • #7
              Re: Moderate Resort Comparison

              I'm having trouble deciding between POFQ and CBR.

              I love the looks of the POFQ, but the location seems farther from the parks than the other moderates.
              The CBR looks like it has a great location, but the atmosphere doesn't catch me as much as POFQ.

              Anyone else ever have this delimma? Any suggestions?


              • #8
                Re: Moderate Resort Comparison

                POFQ because CBR is HUGE and that means long walks and lots of people getting in line when a park closes. By day POFQ shares most routes with Riverside (except for Magic Kingdom which is direct) but it's always the first stop. For the nighttime crush, POFQ has it's own buses, although there's not many of them so I have stood in some long and crowded lines/buses after MK closed just the same, but I wasn't always guaranteed a traumatic experience getting "home" like I imagine I would at CBR.

                If you're driving or renting a car and plan to transport yourself to the parks, feel free to go CBR.


                • #9
                  Re: Moderate Resort Comparison

                  Originally posted by The Mad Hatter View Post
                  I love the looks of the POFQ, but the location seems farther from the parks than the other moderates.
                  The CBR looks like it has a great location, but the atmosphere doesn't catch me as much as POFQ.
                  Location is a vastly overrated concern on WDW property. The bus system is very efficient. The difference between the closest resort to a park and the farthest is maybe 10 minutes. POFQ is very close to both Epcot and MK, and only a few minutes by bus to the other 2 parks. If you like that theme best, go for it.


                  • #10
                    Re: Moderate Resort Comparison

                    I always like this discussion about which moderate is best, because there is absolutely no consensus - everyone has their own totally valid opinions!

                    My personal fav of the moderates is the Coronado Springs. I really enjoy the southwestern theme, with the room buildings surrounding the 15-acre Lago Dorado Lagoon. That waterway gives the resort a terrific atmosphere, especially in the mornings when walking around a misty lake on your way to your morning coffee. The food court is also unique, with scatter service (get it yourself) and limited table service for drinks. They have a great sausage, bacon, egg, potatoes & cheese scramble for breakfast! This is a convention hotel, but the convention facilities are all on the far side of the resort and away from the rooms and the lagoon, so for the most part you're not really inconvenienced by thousands of suits milling about.

                    Also, I was really big on doing a moderate over the values until the Pop Century came along. Disney did a good job with this one, with fun theming and lush landscaping - it feels more like a moderate than the All Stars. Staying at an All Stars always felt very Motel 6-ish to me, but the Pop just didn't have that cheap feeling.



                    • #11
                      Re: Moderate Resort Comparison

                      i voted for POFQ because that is the first and only place i have stayed. it boat ride to DTD was cool , LONG , but cool , and the pool and atmosphere of the resort reminded me of NOS here at Disneyland , good times... man i miss florida

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