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Cinderelley
04-03-2007, 08:57 PM
I'll try to make this long story short. When DH's two older kids were young, DH's ex-wife took off with them and wouldn't let him know where they were. When DH's oldest turned 18, he contacted DH. Then when DH's daughter graduated high school, she contacted him also. DH went to both of their graduations (they live in Alabama), but their relationship has been rocky because of stuff that DH's ex told them while they were growing up. Both of DH's kids are now grown and have kids of their own, and one of the grandkids recently passed away due to a house fire. DH was thinking about spending a week out in Alabama with them, but I suggested taking all of them to WDW this summer. The grandkids would enjoy it, and it would be away from the ex. Also, DH could spend time with his kids sometimes and slowly get to know them, and other times everyone could do their own thing when things seem too tense. If we do this, where do you think we should stay?

Pop - We've stayed here with our other 4 kids twice and really enjoyed it. The grandkids are still young and might enjoy the atmosphere. The downside is that our other 4 kids are all teenagers and might enjoy something different.

Ft. Wilderness Cabins- Each family could have their own cabin. The couples would have their own room instead of having to sleep in the same room with the kids. It's peaceful, and we could sit at the tables outside and talk with the rest of the family.

Port Orleans French Quarter - I've wanted to stay here for a long time. It seems like it would be a nice compromise between things for teens to do and things that might entertain the younger grandkids.

AKL - The animals would be a big draw for the kids and it seems like the resort itself has a lot of activities to do. Also, the resort was very peaceful when I visited it.

What do you think - the good, the bad and the ugly?

ILoveDisney818
04-03-2007, 09:12 PM
Well, this is just my opinion but....
I think Pop Century would be an okay choice, but I strongly recommend POFQ. This way, if things get tense, you can have your time apart. I have a feeling that if you got the cabins it might be a little too seperated. Animal Kingdom Lodge would also be a good choice. I wish you the best of luck on a pleasant vacation!:mickey:

poeticeclipse
04-03-2007, 09:36 PM
I really think that everyone would enjoy AKL. I really don't think I have to say much about comparing a deluxe to a value or moderate resort. More activities, better pools, better atmosphere, bigger rooms. I just think everyone would have a great time at AKL.

tinksmom02
04-03-2007, 09:43 PM
I really think that everyone would enjoy AKL. I really don't think I have to say much about comparing a deluxe to a value or moderate resort. More activities, better pools, better atmosphere, bigger rooms. I just think everyone would have a great time at AKL.

I agree, although I haven't stayed at any of the resorts you're wondering about LOL But from what I've heard and read, the deluxe resorts offer more activities, pools, bigger rooms, so there's more to do there, both as a family and seperately.

And can I just say that I think it's a great idea? No one is on their own "home turf," you're on neutral ground, and Disney, at that, an automatic happy place! :o) Best wishes for your trip!

Bruegge
04-03-2007, 10:49 PM
I'd go AKL just so the kids will go back to the Ex and tell her how wonderful it was and ask her why she never took them there..

Don't get mad get even...


Scott

Marker
04-04-2007, 10:00 AM
I voted for POFQ, but it would also depend on who I was going with, how long I was staying, etc.

With the whole family, I'd likely go with POP, and get 2 rooms. If it's just the wife and I, probably POFQ (actually probably POR).

I might be going later this year with DD, and we'll probably go with POP.

Just depends on what we're in the mood for, how many are going, how the $$$$$ looks at the time.

magicman
04-04-2007, 10:29 AM
I voted POFQ.

I love the POP, but it's too spread out.

I love the AKL, but I wonder if a Deluxe might send the wrong message.

POFQ has a great pool, it isn't pretentious, there is boat service to Downtown Disney, and there is the right amount of space to feel close but not too close.

My thoughts...

c&d
04-04-2007, 10:41 AM
I would go with AKL. I found it to be very relaxing when we were there. Also there are so many quiet spots around the resort where he could sit and talk with his kids and grandkids.

I think going to WDW takes some of the pressure off of having to be with each other 24/7. There are so many things to do that I think just being there will help alot in getting to know each other.

Good luck.

BrerSchultzy
04-04-2007, 11:30 AM
Wow. First things first...prayers and pixie dust your DH's way for everything he's been through, and to your whole family for your tragic loss.

That said, WDW is a GREAT idea!

I voted for POFQ, simply because of all the STUFF there is to do. The little kids can go fishing or hit the pool or arcade. And the teens can jump on over to DTD for DisneyQuest or shopping. There are plenty of places for DH to take the grownups out for a drink or a walk around the lake. It just seems to offer everything you're looking for.

AKL would be great, but I just think the teens could feel trapped there.

AND, going with POFQ means you guys can spend more money on souvenirs for the kids and grandkids that they can show off to everyone back home. :thedolls:

January-2007
04-04-2007, 12:33 PM
I voted for the Fort Wilderness Cabins. I think it would be great, like you said, for all of you to be able to hang out on the deck together, you will have the best group space there, I think. Plus, since everybody isn't so used to being around each other, it would be great for each family to have their own special space. I think it's a great thing you all are trying to do, and I think staying here will help it go smoothly. There are so many laid back, easy things to do while staying at Fort Wilderness, not to mention the fact that it's a quick boat ride/ bus ride to some of the greatest family theme parks you could ask for. Good luck with your decision, your family will be in my prayers with all you have gone through.

Jerry2
04-04-2007, 02:16 PM
Although Iíve never stayed there, I voted for the cabins. It seems that they would give each family some privacy from each other and it would also give your extended family the opportunity to get together as an entire group away from everything (and everybody).

Cinderelley
04-04-2007, 02:39 PM
Thanks for all the thoughts everyone. I was really beginning to second guess myself, so it was very nice to have it confirmed that it was a good idea. Now I'll spend my time praying that God will heal the emotional wounds on all sides.



I love the AKL, but I wonder if a Deluxe might send the wrong message.QUOTE]

What wrong message do you think it might send? I don't want that to sound rude, but it is an angle that I can't think of and would like a little more input to avoid that.

[QUOTE=Bruegge;1245007]
Don't get mad get even...
Scott


AND, going with POFQ means you guys can spend more money on souvenirs for the kids and grandkids that they can show off to everyone back home. :thedolls:

I do have that :thedolls: side of me, but DH really isn't like that. He doesn't understand "women" games - like a female can stand there smiling and complimenting you while she's stabbing you in the back. That's part of the reason why I think it would be good to get them away from their hometown. He also doesn't understand their emotions, but that's a whole different problem. ;)

Disney Doll
04-04-2007, 03:07 PM
It's hard to choose between POFQ and AKL. Pop is okay, but it sounds like this may be a once in a lifetime trip to have all this family together at WDW. Therefore, I'd splurge a little and stay at a moderate or a deluxe. I think the cabins are too rustic for my taste and you never know how others in your party may feel about that type of thing. I don't think you can go wrong with AKL or POFQ.

A Mouse Fan
04-04-2007, 03:24 PM
I think your idea is a fantastic one! I haven't spoken to my dad for 20+ years for various reasons but if their ever came a time where I wanted to and he took me to Disney to spend time with me, that would be a huge step in the right direction! I think the AKL would suit your needs the best and it's a nice comfortable hotel where everyone can enjoy the scenery...good for adults, teens and kids :thumbsup: Good Luck and I and your DH all the best.
IMHO....Tell your DH to listen more than talk to his kids...they probably have a lot of pent of anger (justified or not) and need to get it out. They will see what a great guy he is by the way he interacts with your other children and you and know that maybe some of things they were told were not true...OK my Dr. Phil moment is over :blush:

princessjojo
04-04-2007, 04:26 PM
I love the AKL, but I wonder if a Deluxe might send the wrong message.

POFQ has a great pool, it isn't pretentious, there is boat service to Downtown Disney, and there is the right amount of space to feel close but not too close.

I was thinking along the same lines. Though I would love the AKL, imo, the message I feel magicman is trying to get across is that anything their mom can do, you could do better. Though this could very well be true, and what their mom did was very wrong on all levels, I think the real thinking behind the trip is having a wonderful trip, not going overboard (yet), showing the kids that all of these years she was wrong about the things she's said, and you are a good person. I'm like you in that I have that I have :thedolls: that side of me, but I think I would handle this one a little more covertly. Let the grandkids have fun and go back and tell your DH's ex. all about it. It may not be exactly the right thing to do, but they will tell her anyway so hey, let the chips fall. And it won't seem like you're trying too hard to force things. I could be wrong though....

Though I agree with many that AKL would be great for the family, I think that POFQ would be better at this time, allowing you the extra $$ to spend on special things to toke back and wave in her face, special pictures to show her, and great T-shirts to wear around her. You will still have plenty of space to sit quietly & talk and all of the kids will have plenty to do.

POP is out of the question...

magicman
04-04-2007, 04:41 PM
I love the AKL, but I wonder if a Deluxe might send the wrong message.QUOTE]

What wrong message do you think it might send? I don't want that to sound rude, but it is an angle that I can't think of and would like a little more input to avoid that.



Naturally, you know the situation much better than any of us. My only concern would be if the kids (or ex) felt like their father was trying to "buy his way back into their life". I can't imagine anyone being anything but grateful for such a wonderful gift/trip; however, if the ex-wife is vindictive:angry: , she might use any extravagance (including staying in a Deluxe Resort) as ammunition. (My apologies if I am/was sounding negative. Y'all are planning to do a very generous & kind act.:thumbsup: )

mook3y
04-04-2007, 04:53 PM
I agree that it is a good idea to hold the get together on neutral ground given the circumstances.

Because of this, IMHO Animal Kingdom would be a good idea. For one, if you get a savannah view room, you have a balcony that would be conducive to sitting and talking, while still having the view and animals to focus on, maybe helping to eliminate some of the stress of the situation.


Plus as stated above, there are a lot of activities at this resort and a great pool.

But regardless of resort, you will be at WDW!

disneyfan1124
04-04-2007, 05:25 PM
You are a gracious, thoughtful, and caring person. Your motives are honest and well thought out. Your family (all of them) are lucky to have you in their lives.

I voted for AKL b/c my heart belongs there. It's a peaceful and relaxing resort with great food, wonderful pool, lots of entertainment-the fire side story telling is especially wonderful! I think the atmosphere would be just what you're looking for.

On the other hand--PO will provide you with more outdoor walking space if your DH wanted to walk and talk with some of the kids in a semi-private manner, with no stress as it's walking paths, not face-to-face sit down conversation.

As stated, no matter what, you'll be at WDW and it will work it's own magic for you situation.

I think it's important that you ensure that all family members have an "escape" no matter where you stay. Everyone should feel comfortable leaving a situation to go back to their room, or off to a park. No one should feel as though they have to spend every moment of the trip with the whole group-although wouldn't it be nice if you get there and find that they all want to?!

I wish you the best and will be thinking good thoughts for you as you plan and then embark on this journey.

MsMin
04-04-2007, 06:52 PM
I know this sounds crazy but sometimes ppl just don't think.
I say to make the trip very much like you did with your other kids so they feel equal. ALL of them. You would be surprised what some ppl think and say. I'm sure the ex would say you were just trying to impress them. Your kids might feel slighted and beleive it or not. In 03 we took a friend's son and we stayed at the POP. He loved it. He's Canadian and wants his parents to come to WDW and asked if we could do a joint trip one day. He said that he doubted his parents could afford the POP that they might choose a cheaper one. When I told him the rates and that it was the value (remember he's young) he was shocked b/c he thought we stayed in one of the better resorts.
That's why I say with equal resorts no one can say anything. I know it sounds crazy but if someone is looking to criticize you don't want to give them ammunition. Spend the extra money for other activities, something special.
Whatever you choose do make sure they have their own space as mentioned. When you haven't spent a lot of time with someone it's difficult to be too close for a long time and WDW is such a workout everyone gets tired.
My favorite would be AKL;)

garymacd
04-04-2007, 08:31 PM
Good luck with the trip!!!
I hope everything goes well and your DH can re-connect with his children. I can't imagine living without mine for even a few weeks, let alone most of a lifetime.

POFQ would offer a nice quiet, homey atmosphere - and beignets. I have never been to AKL, so I can't recommend either way on it.

You are one in a million! Your DH has found a true gem. This is going to take lots of patience and love.

garymacd
04-04-2007, 08:41 PM
Naturally, you know the situation much better than any of us. My only concern would be if the kids (or ex) felt like their father was trying to "buy his way back into their life". I can't imagine anyone being anything but grateful for such a wonderful gift/trip; however, if the ex-wife is vindictive:angry: , she might use any extravagance (including staying in a Deluxe Resort) as ammunition. (My apologies if I am/was sounding negative. Y'all are planning to do a very generous & kind act.:thumbsup: )

On the other hand, the ex could turn around and say, "See what a piker your father is? Wouldn't even splurge for a Deluxe hotel for his kids and grandkids!"

I think you will lose whichever way you go on that point. but you will really lose if you stay at POP.

Just my two cents worth. Again. Well, Canadian two cents worth. Probably just one and a half cents on your side.

thejens
04-04-2007, 09:00 PM
Oh my goodness I cant understand the "message your trying to send" angle at all! I just can't think that way. I think you should just choose what you can afford and would like to enjoy with your family and forget about everyone reading hidden meanings into everything! I LOVED AKL and think everyone would enjoy it and have enough distracting things to look at and talk about as the other poster mentioned. I also loved the way the cabins sound, though I've never done that. What a great idea. Since family members are learning about each other's habits I recommend setting up expectations in advance such as "we don't expect everyone to do everything together all the time, but we'd like to meet for meals and pool time" or whatever you want. As a commando park planner, I've learned to be clear that I am not waiting for an hour when a family member tries to choose a souvenir, nor do I expect everyone to race with me to the next hot ride. Have fun. It sounds wonderful. Glad neither of you are the get even type, it's just not Disney!

KODABEAR
04-05-2007, 04:53 AM
Wilderness Cabins. It will give both your families together and alone time. Lots to do for all ages, esp bikes and canoes for teen's. Plan one activity to do together per day then leave the rest to come naturally.:mickey: :grouphug:

squijee
04-05-2007, 09:17 AM
i understand how you feel about showing up dh's ex....i am the wicked stepmother....according to her anyway...dh has two sons...one we raised and one the ex raised...crazy situation...anyway i voting for pofq....you must think of your teens...this resort gives them a quick boat ride to dtd and a chance for some r&r of their own...there is lots for the grandkids and the adults to enjoy at this resort...the atmosphere is great and very laid back whick helps with stressful situations....enjoy your time and kudos to you and your dh:thumbsup:

mudpuppysmom
04-05-2007, 10:17 AM
I voted for POFQ for a couple of reasons......it's an in between resort, not value, not deluxe. It is nice and quiet there, small enough that IF you all got rooms at different areas, you are still close enough to say "lets meet at the square"......or "at the pool". The older kids can hop on the boats to DTD and off they go if they want (anyone for that matter can do that). The pool is nicely themed for the kiddos (sea serpent slide, alligators playing instruments that spray water if I remember correctly). The rooms are decent and the grounds are lovely for a stroll.....there are benches and courtyards throughout the resort, plus you can walk over to POR if you want to and check that out too, so a walk to talk might be nice!!

I wanted to vote for AKL, but I'm just thinking that is just too over the top, which I know this is a once in a lifetime thing, but use AKL as an afternoon visit and do dinner there -- make it another destination on the trip and if all goes well, maybe next time (hoping there is one) all can stay there!!!

Finally, sending you some pixie power your way to help get through the awful time right now with losing one of the kids.

Cinderelley
04-05-2007, 02:03 PM
Wow! With my head spinning from all these angles that I never considered, I came up with the idea of narrowing down the choices (we can't exactly afford Grand Floridian concierge for 7 nights for everyone) and letting DH's older two kids pick where to stay. Our other 4 kids will be happy wherever we stay. TI thought POR would be good so that they can hop on the boat to DTD, but they are 17, 16, 15 & 13, and are WDW savvy enough to be able to hop on the WDW transportation and get where they want to go. I wouldn't let the 13-year-old go alone, but she can go with the other 3. The ex can't say anything bad if we let her two kids pick, right? Any angles I'm not considering here?

MsMin- thanks for the thoughts about being equal. I was thinking about staying a few extra days at AKL Concierge with the 4 kids who live with us, if we didn't stay there with the whole family, after the others left, because we have been wanting to do the Sunrise Safari for a long time. After reading your post, I realized that might not make a good impression, so the Sunrise Safari may have to wait again.

Cinderelley
04-05-2007, 02:14 PM
IMHO....Tell your DH to listen more than talk to his kids...they probably have a lot of pent of anger (justified or not) and need to get it out. They will see what a great guy he is by the way he interacts with your other children and you and know that maybe some of things they were told were not true...OK my Dr. Phil moment is over :blush:

This is the phase I'm trying to move out of. There has been a lot of pent up anger thrown his way for the past few years. First on the phone, then by e-mails. Now it's just kind've neutral territory interaction, ie here's pics of the kids. I'm hoping that face-to-face they can work it out. Or it could come down to a horrible "it's-all-your-fault" trip that accomplishes nothing (one of my worst fears). Or I guess they could say "no, we won't come."

I really think the daughter at least wants a relationship with her father. Why would she maintain contact with him if she didn't? Being half the country away would make it quite conducive to severing all contact if that's what she wished.

I thought about leaving our other 4 kids at home, because DH will be so nervous. He won't admit it, but I know he will be and will be on edge, but I don't want their feelings hurt by not being able to come. I'll be stressed out because DH will leave all the planning to me and I'll want everything to be perfect. Maybe I should just bring tranquilizers for all of us. Hee-hee

magicman
04-05-2007, 03:09 PM
Wow! With my head spinning from all these angles that I never considered, I came up with the idea of narrowing down the choices (we can't exactly afford Grand Floridian concierge for 7 nights for everyone) and letting DH's older two kids pick where to stay. Our other 4 kids will be happy wherever we stay. TI thought POR would be good so that they can hop on the boat to DTD, but they are 17, 16, 15 & 13, and are WDW savvy enough to be able to hop on the WDW transportation and get where they want to go. I wouldn't let the 13-year-old go alone, but she can go with the other 3. The ex can't say anything bad if we let her two kids pick, right? Any angles I'm not considering here?


Of course there are so many more angles to consider:dizzy: ...just kidding;) ...letting the two kids pick is one more nice gesture from you (among the many nice gestures you are giving). :thumbsup:

CleveSJM
04-05-2007, 03:26 PM
I voted POP. Its fine for a nice low-key "first" vacation with no room for anyone to complain about grand-standing or going over the top. The money saved can be used for nice group dinner events, grand gathering type events, or turn it into disney dollars for each of the grandkids/kids...

January-2007
04-05-2007, 05:22 PM
One thing that came to my mind when you suggested just letting them decide is that maybe it would put them in an uncomfortable situation because
a. They haven't gone as much as you I'm assuming, and wouldn't really know which is better for what reasons in the first place
b. They might just pick the cheapest so they don't feel like they're taking advantage of your hospitality
c. I don't know if there is a c, I guess I just have those two reasons.

Whatever you decide will be fine. If it's for them to decide I'm sure it will be fine too, those are just a couple of those "angles" you were asking for.