by Kerry Welcome
(Worcester, MA USA)
My mom has never been to the Epcot Food & Wine Festival and it’s been a good 7 years since I was last at the Festival. In the last 7 years that my mom and I have been doing Disney together, she has only been in May. I want her to experience Fall at WDW! No insane crowds, no daily rains, no insane humidity, etc.
In a move to create a “light at the end of the tunnel” of a crazy life, we (just us, no kids) have tentatively booked the Poly (a CRAZY amount of money but at the moment its giving us something to dream about. if we stay here we’d probably change reservation to a standard room haha) for the first week of November, 2014. But JUST in case the Poly turns out to be a crazy construction zone with ruined views I am choosing alternative hotels.
I would not mind the Contemporary – possibly a garden wing – to stay on the monorail line but Mom is not crazy about the themeing of this hotel (the colors, the cement vs lush gardens, etc.). but she does like the fact that it’s on the monorail line.
I am also considering the Beach Club. We have been thru the lobby a number of times to call a cab after Illuminations and think it is a BEAUTIFUL resort with wonderful proximity to Epcot. We do plan on hitting the F&W Fest more than once on that trip. I am just unsure about this hotel for a few reasons. 1) Bus service is shared with many other hotels it seems and we would be taking the bus to the MK. 2) Renting points would be more affordable but a studio room would necessitate me sleeping on a pull out sofa so Im risking a week of painful sleeping depending on the pull out.
So my questions are…
What week in the Fall would you recommend that would have low crowds, good weather (less rain and humidity), AND the Food & Wine Festival (i know – estimated dates for 2014 at this point). And what alternative hotels would you recommend for our trip? We will spend most if not all of our time at either MK or EPCOT this trip. We are leaning towards a deluxe this time. We’ve stayed at POR the last couple trips and treated ourselves to the Poly for one night and now we’re hooked haha.
Thanks so much in advance!! I look forward to hearing your suggestions!! 🙂
This part will be under construction – Photo by Jeff_B.
Dad’s a great idea Answer
A fall trip to Walt Disney World is a great idea. I can tell from our trip last year, we had lots of fun. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and the Food and Wine Festival are great. You won’t be sorry.
First let’s talk about dates. I’d recommend you go the first day the Festival opens. The crowds pick up a lot the first week of October. (An alternative might be the first week of November where you’ll get to see the transition from Halloween to Christmas. It’s pretty amazing.)
Now, as to where to stay. You have a good handle on the options, but I’d suggest you stay with your original plan. Yes, there will be some construction, but I don’t think it’s going to be very intrusive. Yes, you might not be able to walk to the Transportation and Ticket Center, but unless you have your heart set on the Tahiti or (Dad’s favorite) Rapa Nui Longhouse you should be fine.
Let’s talk about the alternatives just for grins. After staying at Bay Lake Tower last year, like your mom, I’m not a big fan of the Contemporary. It just feels sterile. It doesn’t seem special. It’s just another hotel not a special vacation destination. Scratch that one.
The Grand Floridian is too stuffy for me. I feel like I need some knickers and a tie when I go in there. It is beautiful (now that some of the construction barriers are coming down), but … Scratch that one too.
So on to the Beach Club. The Beach is probably the only real competition for your trip. The only drawback is it’s not on the monorail, and, as you said, the bus situation is not optimal, but it’s a beautiful hotel and it’s not a very long walk to Epcot. (But it is a walk and if your going up to the Future World section it is a long walk.)
If you’re planning to spend a bunch of time at the Food and Wine Festival you might want to choose the Beach Club. We’ll keep that one in the running.
One you didn’t mention that I might consider is the Wilderness Lodge. It’s beautiful. It’s a short boat ride (a nice boat ride) to the Magic Kingdom. It’s has pretty good bus service. Did I mention it’s beautiful? Plus, it’s quite a bit cheaper than the others. You might want to put that one on your list.
The big thing I’d recommend is let my friends at Dreams Come True Vacations give you a hand with your reservation. They’ll be able to help you choose the best option. They might even have a nice parting gift just for you.
Dad’s Bottom Line
Kerry, let’s look at the scorecard. Here’s how I’d rank them. Polynesian first, but watch the construction, you can always change later. Second, the Beach Club if you’re going to spend most of your trip at Epcot. Third, the Wilderness Lodge (a good choice).