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Trip Report - Journey, arrival & SSR

Cheshire
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Trip Report - Journey, arrival & SSR

Just got home this morning and I thought I'd do some trip reports, but will keep them more 'thematic' than detailed day-day as my memory is still jet-lagged!

VA - We flew Virgin from Manchester, 27th March, 2 adults, daughter 13 & son 8 - it's a few years since we flew long haul, but I was impressed with VA, everything worked well apart from the appalling food (we were warned!).

Orlando International - what a horrid airport, it may have won awards for it's 'aesthetics' but the layout and customer journey are ridiculous.

Magical Express - the bus service works well, but be prepared for a very long journey from disembarking your flight to where you pick the bus up. They also didn't seem to understand that UK visitors don't receive their magic bands in the post and expected everyone to have one!

SSR - Check in was smooth, we got the exact location we had requested and our customised magic bands were waiting for us. We stayed in a studio in the Paddocks building near the bridge and in general we loved the resort.

Pros - Beautiful resort, great pools, studio was big enough for 4 and the little kitchenette was a god-send at times. The bus service really worked for us, we never waited more than 15 minutes and that was when the bus we wanted was the last to arrive! The walk to DTD is handy and the boat service nice (but took a long time).

Cons - the only decent bar (by the Springs pool) closes at dusk and the food offerings in the resort were very limited (good quality but not a great deal of choice). We also felt that the room needed a deep clean, no issues with day-day housekeeping, but around the fridge/microwave it was quite grubby, and having stood on the bed to kill some midges (!) there were loads of cobwebs and a thick layer of dust on the dado-rail.

Other observations about SSR - the lifeguards are incredibly professional which helps us parents to 'relax' a bit more by the pool. The laundry facilities came in handy and were never busy. Gym looked fantastic (not my thing on holiday) and the spa was beautiful but very very expensive. Staff were mostly fantastic, apart from one manager at the Turf club who charged us a 'no show' of $40 on our first night when we had showed up but had to leave without ordering because my son was unwell! Guest services credited it back but it shouldn't have been charged in the first place!

Will post more TR when I've had a kip!

yorkshire
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1. Re: Trip Report - Journey, arrival & SSR

Looking forward to more.... Enjoy your kip !

Connecticut
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2. Re: Trip Report - Journey, arrival & SSR

Thanks for posting. Looking forward to part 2.

London
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3. Re: Trip Report - Journey, arrival & SSR

Great TR - Thanks so much for taking the time to write- this is one of the resorts we are considering for next year.

Stubbington, United...
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4. Re: Trip Report - Journey, arrival & SSR

May I ask how do you customise the magic bands if you're from the UK?

Cheshire
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5. Re: Trip Report - Journey, arrival & SSR

Hi AandA, if you have any questions about the resort, just let me know. We also looked around at the Polynesian which was very nice but seemed a bit 'false' in its theming and was really busy, and the Riverside which we thought was fabulous, but also much busier than SSR.

Alex - you need to login to MyDisneyExperience and at a certain time before you go it will let you customise the bands - they come in different colours and have your name inside!

Stubbington, United...
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6. Re: Trip Report - Journey, arrival & SSR

Thank you very much, in 11 days time our FP+ selections will be ready to be made, so I'll check then! :)

London
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7. Re: Trip Report - Journey, arrival & SSR

Thanks so much, it would be great if you could tell me a bit more about the resort. Have posted on your other thread. We are also considering Port Orleans and Key West.

I think our main considerations are space (we have 2 young children), cleanliness (I note you said needed a deep clean!), ease to get to parks. Also handy if we can have snacks/food in the evening n the room if the children have fallen asleep and we can't eat out.

Cheshire
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8. Re: Trip Report - Journey, arrival & SSR

Hi, there are other people on here (like USLovers) who have a lot more knowledge than us, but it's really about your priorities. If you went for a studio at SSR, you get a bit more space than a room at Port Orleans, but a bit less than at Key West (you can google floor plans to see). However, at SSR, you get a bed plus a sofa bed which you can fold up during the day, whereas I think at Key West you get 2 beds. At the riverside you can get royal rooms which will appeal to young children or a room with an extra little bed.

At SSR/Key West you will get a kitchenette but I think at Port Orleans you only get a fridge. However, if you are looking for a dining plan deal, the one with table service meals which you will get at SSR/Key West may be a bit of a waste. We usually love to sit down to a meal together, but found that we were often too tired and just wanted a burger in the room with a beer from the fridge! Port Orleans Riverside has a much better quick service offer than SSR if this is a priority.

Having said all that, if you went for a studio in the paddocks area of SSR, you get a pool with a great water play area for smaller children, and a bar which does quick service meals (burgers/nuggets/salad) and ice cream on your doorstep which I think would work well with young kids. I suspect that cleanliness is similar across the resorts, if they are busy it will be difficult to take rooms out of action and do a deep clean.

Horsham, United...
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9. Re: Trip Report - Journey, arrival & SSR

The advantage SSR & OKW have over POFQ is that they have balconies, so when the kids fall asleep you can sit out on the balcony with a glass of wine without disturbing them. If your main concern is space then OKW have the biggest rooms, Estelle is correct when she says OKW have 2 queen beds and SSR has one queen bed and a sofa bed. We've been to both resorts and much prefer SSR, the layout of the resort is much easier to navigate than OKW and we like the close proximity to DTD. Neither of the resorts has great counter service food options.The pools at SSR are much better than OKW.

We have never had a problem with cleanliness in any of the Disney resorts but maybe haven't looked that closely. I wouldn't stay in a dirty room, if you do find problems with the room (and in over 20 stays at SSR we haven't) contact the front desk, they're very helpful.

London
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10. Re: Trip Report - Journey, arrival & SSR

Thanks for all the advice, think SSR is probably the best choice for us. We would probably use a lot of the table service credits at character meals so this would probably work out ok. The Paddocks area sounds ideal. Just have to wait for the UK offer now.

Thanks again both of you - really good advice.