Feature Article: Roughing It - Confessions of a Deluxe Resort Fan Staying at a Moderate Resort - A Walt Disney World Resort Review - PassPorter - A Community of Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel Forums
As of January 1, 2019, we have closed our forums. This is a decision we did not come to lightly, but it is necessary. The software our forums run on is just too out-of-date and it poses a significant security risk. The server software itself must be updated, and it cannot be without removing the forums.
So it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our long-running forums. They came online in 2000 and brought together so many wonderful Disney fans. We had friendships form, careers launch, couples marry, children born ... all because of this amazing community.
Thank you to each of you who were a part of this community. You made it possible.
And a very special thank you to our Guides (moderators), past and present, who kept our forums a happy place to be. You are the glue that held everything together, and we are forever grateful to you. Thank you aliceinwdw, Caldercup, MrsM, WillCAD, Fortissimo, GingerJ, HiddenMickey, CRCrazy, Eeyoresmom, disneyknut, disneydani, Cam22, chezp, WDWfan, Luvsun, KMB733, rescuesk, OhToodles!, Colexis Mom, lfredsbo, HiddenMickey, DrDolphin, DopeyGirl, duck addict, Disneybine, PixieMichele, Sandra Bostwick, Eeyore Tattoo, DyanKJ130, Suzy Q'Disney, LilMarcieMouse, AllisonG, Belle*, Chrissi, Brant, DawnDenise, Crystalloubear, Disneymom9092, FanOfMickey, Goofy4Goofy, GoofyMom, Home4us123, iamgrumpy, ilovedisney247, Jennifer2003, Jenny Pooh, KrisLuvsDisney, Ladyt, Laughaholic88, LauraBelle Hime, Lilianna, LizardCop, Loobyoxlip, lukeandbrooksmom, marisag, michnash, MickeyMAC, OffKilter_Lynn, PamelaK, Poor_Eeyore, ripkensnana, RobDVC, SHEANA1226, Shell of the South, snoozin, Statelady01, Tara O'Hara, tigger22, Tink and Co., Tinkerbelz, WDWJAMBA, wdwlovers, Wendyismyname, whoSEZ, WildforWD, and WvuGrrrl. You made the magic.
We want to personally thank Sara Varney, who coordinated our community for many years (among so many other things she did for us), and Cheryl Pendry, our Message Board Manager who helped train our Guides, and Ginger Jabour, who helped us with the PassPorter-specific forums and Live! Guides. Thank you for your time, energy, and enthusiasm. You made it all happen.
There are other changes as well.
Why? Well, the world has changed. And change with it, we must. The lyrics to "We Go On" for IllumiNations say it best:
We go on to the joy and through the tears
We go on to discover new frontiers
Moving on with the current of the years.
We go on
Moving forward now as one
Moving on with a spirit born to run
Ever on with each rising sun.
To a new day, we go on.
It's time to move on and move forward.
PassPorter is a small business, and for many years it supported our family. But the world changed, print books took a backseat to the Internet, and for a long time now it has been unable to make ends meet. We've had to find new ways to support our family, which means new careers and less and less time available to devote to our first baby, PassPorter.
But eventually, we must move on and move forward. It is the right thing to do.
So we are retiring this newsletter, as we simply cannot keep up with it. Many thanks to Mouse Fan Travel who supported it all these years, to All Ears and MousePlanet who helped us with news, to our many article contributors, and -- most importantly -- to Sara Varney who edited our newsletter so wonderfully for years and years.
And we are no longer charging for the Live Guides. If you have a subscription, it's yours to keep for the lifetime of the Live Guides at no additional cost. The Live Guides will stay online, barring server issues and technical problems, for all of 2019.
That said, PassPorter is not going away. Most of the resources will remain online for as long as we can support them, and after that we will find ways to make whatever we can available. PassPorter means a great deal to us, and to many of you, and we will do our best to keep it alive in whatever way we can. Our server costs are high, and they'll need to come out of our pockets, so in the future you can expect some changes so we can bring those costs down.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your amazing support over the years. Without you, there's no way us little guys could have made something like this happen and given the "big guys" a run for their money. PassPorter was consistently the #3 guidebook after the Unofficial and Official guides, which was really unheard of for such a small company to do. We ROCKED it thanks to you and your support and love!
If you miss us, you can still find some of us online. Sara started a new blog at DisneyParkPrincess.com -- I strongly urge you to visit and get on her mailing list. She IS the Disney park princess and knows Disney backward and forward. And I am blogging as well at JenniferMaker.com, which is a little craft blog I started a couple of years ago to make ends meet. You can see and hear me in my craft show at https://www.youtube.com/c/jennifermaker . Many PassPorter readers and fans are on Facebook, in groups they formed like the PassPorter Trip Reports and PassPorter Crafting Challenge (if you join, just let them know you read about it in the newsletter). And some of our most devoted community members started a forum of their own at Pixie Dust Lane and all are invited over.
So we encourage you to stay in touch with us and your fellow community members wherever works best for you!
Welcome! We're happy you've found the PassPorter Community -- the friendliest place to plan your vacation to Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland, and the world in general! You are now viewing the PassPorter Message Board Community as a guest, which gives you limited access. As our guest, feel free to browse our messages by selecting the forum you want to visit from the list below.
To post messages and ask questions, join our FREE community today and you'll get access to tools and resources not available to guests, such as our vacation countown timers, "living" avatars, private messaging system, database searches, downloads, and a special PassPorter discount code. Registration is fast, simple, and completely free. Just click the Join Our Community link.
Feature Article: Roughing It - Confessions of a Deluxe Resort Fan Staying at a Moderate Resort - A Walt Disney World Resort Review
Roughing It - Confessions of a Deluxe Resort Fan Staying at a Moderate Resort - A Walt Disney World Resort Review by Leslie Wiseman
Our first two trips to Walt Disney World consisted of staying offsite visiting my aunt and uncle who were former Cast Members. They were by our side, showing us the ropes when we visited the parks, Downtown Disney, and all the resorts. The minute we stepped into Wilderness Lodge in 1996 my husband and I were smitten. We knew someday, somehow we were staying here.
Fast forward 11 years to better jobs, and the addition of an 8- and 6-year old; we decided to plan a visit. This would be our first time staying on Disney property before our daughter started school. I began looking at resorts trying to be "thrifty," but my husband said, "Quit looking at Value Resorts, we are doing it right and we are staying at Wilderness Lodge." I still remember the first time we drove into Wilderness Lodge, after 18 hours in the minivan. It was pouring rain, but I remember opening my van door and the bell services person saying "Welcome Home, Wiseman Family." We were hooked. It was the best vacation ever, and my husband and I still recall moments from that trip seven years later. We made many return trips to the Lodge and it seems like my kids grew up in that resort. As my kids aged, ticket prices increased, dining plan prices increased, and transportation prices increased. We had to face the fact that if we planned to visit Disney every year, then we were going to be priced out of Wilderness Lodge.
The search began for a more conservatively-priced resort. Our last trip staying at Wilderness Lodge, we took a morning to visit all of the Moderate resorts, but as we toured, I began to reject those resorts; I didn't want to think about downgrading and figured I would always find a way to stay Deluxe. Then I planned our surprise holiday Disney trip. Since we were traveling at a more expensive time of year than our usual summer trip, our search for a more affordable resort began again.
I was a "Deluxe Brat," as were my children. I believe one of them even said "Do we have to go if we can't stay at Wilderness Lodge?" We booked at Coronado Springs because my husband liked the way the rooms looked and they had queen beds. Honestly, my expectations were low. I was excited for the trip, but not the resort.
A great flight, and a Magical Express ride later, we were dropped off. Check-in went smoothly and I loved the lobby's Christmas tree and fountain. We then began the trek to our room. It was quite a trek. We were placed in the Ranchos section, which is the more secluded part of the resort. We started our walk around Lago Dorado. Three hours earlier we were in spitting snow and our plane was being de-iced in Ohio. Now, it was a sunny 79-degree day. Trust me, we didn't mind the walk to our room. Though we entering the room from outdoors, and it was bit smaller than we were used to, we found our room to be well decorated. We loved the bedding and the wooden sliding door that adds privacy to the bath area. Yes, the room felt slightly smaller than Wilderness Lodge and I didn't have my balcony, or my closet with closet doors, but I was at Disney. We immediately headed to Magic Kingdom after a quick walk to the bus stop. Our bus pulled right up and we were on our way! That evening we returned to our room and found our luggage delivered just as expected, and then headed to the Dig Site. I will have to say, this pool is awesome! My kids are older, but even for families with younger children this place is very kid friendly. A campfire and Disney movie playing over in the distance, my children had plenty of room in the "big pool" and enjoyed the slide, while my husband and I enjoyed the hot tub, one of the largest on property. The sky above the Dig Site's 46-foot tall Mayan pyramid was the prettiest color of midnight blue, and we could see every star. My husband said "Tonight's sky looks just like the Gran Fiesta Tour in Epcot. This theming is awesome!"
Our week at Disney included beautiful weather, and we loved the walks to El Centro (lobby, dining, and shops) and The Dig Site. This resort is gorgeous. I truly felt I was walking in a resort in Mexico. We found the food court to be good, and transportation to be quick. Our room was very well kept and we received lots of towel animals. I did miss my Wilderness Lodge H2O bath products, but I slowly adapted to the H2O Grapefruit ones. Though at first I felt like I was placed on a deserted island in the Ranchos section, by the end of the week I enjoyed how quiet, tranquil, and peaceful that area of the resort was.
One of our last nights of our trip, we returned "home" to Wilderness Lodge for a meal at Whispering Canyon Café. I admit it did make us homesick the minute we walked in the door, and I was tempted to steal H2O products from a Mousekeeping cart, but we were content to walk back into our Mexican paradise at the end of the day. Did I miss the boat ride to Magic Kingdom? Yes. Did I miss walking through the breathtaking lobby every day? Yes. Did staying at Coronado Springs ruin my trip? No. We had done it. We had survived a downgrade!
I felt our wait for the buses at Coronado Springs was even less than some of our waits at Wilderness Lodge. I also realized that the outside door didn't make things noisy; it may have even been less noisy than the hallways inside Wilderness Lodge. Yes, it was quite a walk at times to El Centro or the Dig Site, but to be honest, depending on where our rooms were located in the Lodge, we could have quite a walk to the pool and food court there, too. I learned on this trip that Disney is magical anywhere you stay, and to try to approach each new resort with an open mind.
I treasure the years I had gotten to stay at our favorite Deluxe resort, but found Coronado Springs to be just as memorable. In fact, my next trip is booked there again. Yes, I should probably try something new, possibly the new Art of Animation Resort? I would like to, but unfortunately I'm a Moderate Resort Brat now.
I've traveled many times to Disney always staying on property. In the early years drove motor homes and stayed in the campsites, also rented trailers from Disney and loved the experience. One of my trips stayed at the Coronado and was so disappointed. The walk to the busses and the wait time was horrible. I swore I'd never go back there again. My last visit stayed at Saratoga Springs and was much happier there. They have quite a few bus stops however so it takes a little time getting to the parks. I'm going back in October and trying to decide where to stay. Thinking of trying Wilderness Lodge! Thanks for your input!
We stayed at CS twice in the cabana section after staying seven times at the Poly! We enjoyed our stays there and loved the pool! We then went on to two stays at POFQ due to it's smaller footprint, loved it even more! Queen size beds are a must for us! We are going to stay at WL this coming July for the first time, looking so forward to it!
March 2003/Poly,March 2004/Poly,June 2005/Poly,June 2006/Poly,April 2007/Poly,April 2008/Poly,April 2009/Poly,April 2010/CSR
Thanks for sharing this story! It's reassuring to hear that there is life after "deluxe"
I started as a Fort Wilderness kid; if we hadn't driven from New England, and stayed in the trailer with kids in the pup tents; we wouldn't have gone to Disney. We loved our time at FW! Fast forward to my honeymoon- my dream was to stay at a "deluxe", having never stayed in a hotel, ever, and certainly not at WDW. My DH and I were delighted with our "deluxe" experience at Polyneisan, and never looked back. We stayed with our babies and their grandparents in BWV or BCV. When they were teenagers we splurged for a 3 day trip in high season at the Contemporary Bay Lake Tower. Having the superb access was well worth it for our family, when the kids were little and we came back for naps, and when they were teens and we had to cram a lot into a few short days during their pricey winter breaks.
But times have changed and now it's just DH and I, and we will have more time to stay. We can take a slower pace, not worry so much about arriving at the park at dawn or needing to fit so much in during a single day. I've been thinking like you- maybe it's time to give another resort level a try. Disney does so much right at all their resorts, I'm sure we won't be sorry! And I'm glad you shared your experience!
We are leaving tomorrow for a stay at the Art of Animation. We have stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge the last few trips and absolutely love it. But, we are taking my Mother for her 80th birthday (her request - honest!) and the idea of a "Family Suite" is very appealing. Plus, my 5 year old thinks it looks "neat" and wants to watch movies in the pool while underwater to hear the speakers (I know - but she's 5 )
We always enjoy visiting other resorts while we are there and even the "Value" resorts at WDW are better than most other hotels you will find. The biggest thing I think I will miss is the night-vision tour for guests at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, we did that last time and it was great.
A Value Resort at WDW is better than a cold rainy day in Kentucky anytime!
Polynesian (Annually 1972 - 1990)
DVC Member (1991 - 2010)
(Stayed at Old Key West, Wilderness Lodge, Polynesian and Disneyland Hotel while member visiting at least once a year mostly at Old Key West)
Animal Kingdom Lodge (2011, 2012, 2013)
Art of Animation 2014
Great article. We too are Deluxe fans, usually staying at the Grand or the Poly. But in June we are trying something new and have a room booked at Port Orleans Riverside. I am actually looking forward to it and DD is excited that we have one of the updated Royal rooms.
Margaret and I got to see the Cubs play in October. They won!
Last edited by MickeyWatch; 03-28-2014 at 11:35 AM..
Reason: date change
I'm curious after reading your article to know why you are not DVC members if you visited the resorts so often?
That is a good question and ask myself that often. My husband and I felt that when our kids were "younger" we couldn't afford it, we hadn't planned on going as much as we did, we just fell in love with it...and we thought as the kids aged they would grow out of wanting to go there. (They sort of did there for awhile, but a 2 year break is all they can take!) Now, that we are staring college in the face, we should have done it when they were younger. Now, we just think we will eventually quit going??? We just haven't yet?
If I had to do it over, I would have gotten in DVC our first trip!
We love that place but you forgot to mention the Library seating, it is the best place of all, never crowded very peaceful a wonderful respite from the overstimulation of Fantasyland and has a beautiful music box of Belle and the Beast in the center. Maybe it is a good thing not to mention it so we can have it all to ourselves when we go!
We've done both deluxe and moderate. We had a great room in POFQ (corner room on ground floor), however walking through the smoke cloud to get to the main building is a huge turnoff. We prefer the controlled environment of WL. We are returning in 76 days.