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Old 01-28-2013, 08:27 PM   #736
bankr63
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Originally Posted by Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina View Post
Speaking of pools...........

Hoping you can all chime on on the "qualities" (for lack of a better word) of the various pools at the resort.

For each of the pools (there are 7, right?) what makes them unique/better/different from the others? Which are your favourites and why?

We will be travelling with a 17 year old boy (and maybe a friend) and during the sweltering heat of August, so you know the resort (in their minds, anyway!) will be all about the swimming .

If anyone wants to share their photos of the various pools on property, I love pictures (hint, hint!).

Are there cabanas for rent at any of the pools? If so, has anyone done so? (price? inclusions?)

Thanks everyone!!!
Well I can give a bit of a rundown, but you'll need a North Sider to speak up for the pools over there:

Courts Pool: A standard rectangle pool - no redeeming features, except that it is not popular with the kids. Therefor it is usually a quieter pool. Does have a fairly large whirlpool.

Falls Pool: smaller free form pool with a water slide. Seems to mostly attract the "tweens" crowd.

Springs Pool: fairly straight pool, again quieter, popular with the older set.

Spas Super Pool: one of our two favorites. This is a uniformly deep pool with a volleyball net across. Seems to attract more teens, pretty good shade, poolside bar. Should be popular with for the 17 yo boys. Will probably be more 17yo GIRLS here than the other pools. (I'm sorry to burst the bubble, but it's not ALL about the swimming with a pair of teenage boys!)

Cascades pool: a bit of everything for everyone, and our second favorite. A near zero entry at one end to an area with water fountains - great for the little ones. Middle section has an amazing waterfall that is Soooooo refreshing. Pretty sure I posted this elsewhere here but once again - here are the falls:

Also has a poolside bar, but this pool tends to be fairly busy.

On the North side you have two large free form pools, Lakes and Fountains on either side of the Lakes pavillion. Have only been over here a couple of times - it usually appears to be pretty busy around these two pools.

There are no rental cabanas, but most pools have some amount of available shade. The shadiest spots can go early so if you are planning a full day, stake out a spot fairly early. There are also some shaded tables and portable umbrellas as well as chair shades available, but they are all first come first served. Actually, they may rent the chair shades (attach to the pool chairs) - not sure about that, but ask at the activity desk between Courts and Spas pools. I tend to be a sun seeker, not a sun hider, so I've never thought ask.

Unlike you, (as I can see from your fine trip reports), I almost never remember to turn the camera on, so no good photos to offer.
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Next trip planned for March 13-22 2015 - driving 1,500 miles on Friday the 13th


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Old 01-29-2013, 05:15 AM   #737
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Spas Super Pool: one of our two favorites. This is a uniformly deep pool with a volleyball net across. Seems to attract more teens, pretty good shade, poolside bar. Should be popular with for the 17 yo boys. Will probably be more 17yo GIRLS here than the other pools. (I'm sorry to burst the bubble, but it's not ALL about the swimming with a pair of teenage boys!)


Geez, bankr63! Moms don't like to think about their little boys thinking like that!!

Thank you so much for the great pool info The reason I was asking is because I know definitively where we would like to stay.....in the Spas section.....but I am unsure what kind of chance we will have of getting our request honoured, so thought it might be prudent to have Plan B. Yes, we have a Friday check-in and yes, it has the two double beds in the 2nd bedroom and yes, its close to a great pool, basketball, and mini golf (all perfect!) but I read somewhere in this thread that Spas is one of the deeded ownership sections, which I think might make our 8-night stay problematic (we don't check out until the following Saturday). So far, I am leaning toward the Fountains I if we can't be in Spas, but I would have preferred to be on the South Side as opposed to the North.

Your picture of the waterfall is fabulous! You should get that camera out more often!
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 01-29-2013, 05:01 PM   #738
keeperof4
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aquatica sea world

Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina, thanks for the info. The cabana idea sounds like a must for us. Just wondering , do they restrict food items and drinks being brought to the cabana area if we are able to get one?. We have what I do believe is a one day unlimited meal and drink plan from Banana Beach Restaurant. I presume that means we are limited to this one restaurant, with no take out.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:10 PM   #739
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Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina, thanks for the info. The cabana idea sounds like a must for us. Just wondering , do they restrict food items and drinks being brought to the cabana area if we are able to get one?. We have what I do believe is a one day unlimited meal and drink plan from Banana Beach Restaurant. I presume that means we are limited to this one restaurant, with no take out.
All food from the Banana Beach Cook Out needs to be consumed at the restaurant (I would guess the rule is in place to stop someone from buying one meal plan, loading up on a tray full of food, and taking it back to feed their entire family). If you have the unlimited plan, though, you can go as often as you want throughout the day, as long as you eat there at one of their many tables.

If you were purchasing your meal at the Waterstone Grill (not included in the all day dining) then yes, you could take your food back to the cabana and eat with no problem. You can also purchase any snacks you might like (popcorn, cookies, ice cream, etc) and eat them in your cabana. The souvenir popcorn bucket is a rather nice little deal. It is $4.99 with 99 cent refills (good for the life of the bucket, too). And the bucket is actually shaped like a sand pail, complete with the little square bumps on the bottom, so you can make a nifty castle or two on the beach when its empty .
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 01-29-2013, 05:51 PM   #740
keeperof4
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pools

I will just add a little input to the pools. Lakes pool is zero entry up to about 5 feet medium size, this is my sister's favorite pool.She is there right now. Although there are usually some younger children it is quieter than the fountains pool that is about a 2 minute walk away. We use the fountains pool often especially on Friday nights when they have outdoor movie night. It is a very large pool and yes you must get there by 11am and claim your chairs. Ages range from infant to senior. Heads up there is almost always two morons throwing a foot ball.There is a food court with pizza hut, A&W etc. This will keep the kids happy. There are also hidden away at the top of the waterfall, two hot tubs. Now the only problem with these is that sometimes large groups, families, teenagers will move in and want to have them exclusively for themselves. The fountains pool later in the evening is taken over by teens and although they don't bother you , it can get a little wild. This also can be expected at the cascades pool which is open until 1am. Again, plan on getting to cascades by 10 or 10:30 am if you expect to get a lounger or a chair. Make use of the whole resort, like banker stated the super pool is our favorite by far. Although it gets busy you can almost always find a place to sit and relax. After 6pm courts (seniors) pool is a great place to relax ,I would say that it has the best hot tub and is almost always empty. Until I posted this anyway! Ps sister says that the resort is top notch again this week and the pools are like bath water, Counting the days until we get there.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:38 AM   #741
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keeperof4 View Post
I will just add a little input to the pools. Lakes pool is zero entry up to about 5 feet medium size, this is my sister's favorite pool.She is there right now. Although there are usually some younger children it is quieter than the fountains pool that is about a 2 minute walk away. We use the fountains pool often especially on Friday nights when they have outdoor movie night. It is a very large pool and yes you must get there by 11am and claim your chairs. Ages range from infant to senior. Heads up there is almost always two morons throwing a foot ball.There is a food court with pizza hut, A&W etc. This will keep the kids happy. There are also hidden away at the top of the waterfall, two hot tubs. Now the only problem with these is that sometimes large groups, families, teenagers will move in and want to have them exclusively for themselves. The fountains pool later in the evening is taken over by teens and although they don't bother you , it can get a little wild. This also can be expected at the cascades pool which is open until 1am. Again, plan on getting to cascades by 10 or 10:30 am if you expect to get a lounger or a chair. Make use of the whole resort, like banker stated the super pool is our favorite by far. Although it gets busy you can almost always find a place to sit and relax. After 6pm courts (seniors) pool is a great place to relax ,I would say that it has the best hot tub and is almost always empty. Until I posted this anyway! Ps sister says that the resort is top notch again this week and the pools are like bath water, Counting the days until we get there.
Thank you.....fabulous info!

We are also counting the days until our next getaway, but August still seems soooooooo far away . Keeperof4, when is your trip?

bankr63 had better dust off that camera of his, and take a whole bunch of resort pictures when he's on his March break trip. Us poor folks who still have more than six months to wait need a little photo therapy to help get us through .
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 01-30-2013, 11:11 AM   #742
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hello, just discovered this Board and would love some help for trip to Disney this summer. We will be staying at Sheraton Vistana Resort for one week and just found out that we have to pay shuttle service to Disney and Universal for the 4 of us. Is there a cheaper way of going around the area? Im thinking of using a taxi to bring us to Disney and back but not sure how much it cost compared to paying for the shuttle.

About units, where is a nice place to stay in the summer? We would love a pool area and close to the market or places to eat as well but don't want it to be too crowded. We have a 7 yr old and 2 yr old kid with us. Is it better to get a ground floor unit or a top floor one? Any help will be very much appreciated.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:49 AM   #743
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hello, just discovered this Board and would love some help for trip to Disney this summer. We will be staying at Sheraton Vistana Resort for one week and just found out that we have to pay shuttle service to Disney and Universal for the 4 of us. Is there a cheaper way of going around the area? Im thinking of using a taxi to bring us to Disney and back but not sure how much it cost compared to paying for the shuttle.

About units, where is a nice place to stay in the summer? We would love a pool area and close to the market or places to eat as well but don't want it to be too crowded. We have a 7 yr old and 2 yr old kid with us. Is it better to get a ground floor unit or a top floor one? Any help will be very much appreciated.
Hi tots and to DIS!

If you haven't done Orlando before, you may not know how much of a car-oriented city it is. It is tough relying on shuttles, especially with a young one in tow. I strongly recommend a rental car to everyone. Parking at Vistana is free, but you will pay $14 to park at Disney each day (only once a day - you get in and out privilege at all lots). Check out the transportation board here on DIS and you will get an education on how to get great deals on rental cars. Taxis are do-able, but the costs will add up.

There is really no section at Vistana that is better than another. Read through this thread (it will take a long time!) to understand the layout and where you might like to be. Almost all sections are very close to at least one pool - with a 2yo, the Cascades and Lakes pools are probably your best bets - zero entry. All units are well air-conditioned. Lower level units have easier access, but you always run the risk of having an elephant herd in the unit above (I've had mid/lowers before and never heard the neighbors, but I do occasionally hear that complaint). Top level units in most sections will have you climbing a few stairs, but no noises from upstairs to worry about. Also, some sections have uppers with nice vaulted ceilings and skylights.
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It's kind of fun to do the impossible. - Walt Disney

Last trip to WDW and US, March 8-17, 2013
Next trip planned for March 13-22 2015 - driving 1,500 miles on Friday the 13th


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Old 01-30-2013, 12:30 PM   #744
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Hi tots and to DIS!

If you haven't done Orlando before, you may not know how much of a car-oriented city it is. It is tough relying on shuttles, especially with a young one in tow. I strongly recommend a rental car to everyone. Parking at Vistana is free, but you will pay $14 to park at Disney each day (only once a day - you get in and out privilege at all lots). Check out the transportation board here on DIS and you will get an education on how to get great deals on rental cars. Taxis are do-able, but the costs will add up.

There is really no section at Vistana that is better than another. Read through this thread (it will take a long time!) to understand the layout and where you might like to be. Almost all sections are very close to at least one pool - with a 2yo, the Cascades and Lakes pools are probably your best bets - zero entry. All units are well air-conditioned. Lower level units have easier access, but you always run the risk of having an elephant herd in the unit above (I've had mid/lowers before and never heard the neighbors, but I do occasionally hear that complaint). Top level units in most sections will have you climbing a few stairs, but no noises from upstairs to worry about. Also, some sections have uppers with nice vaulted ceilings and skylights.
Thank you so much Cascades and Lakes are what Im leaning to as well (based on what I have read so far) what Im also intrigued about Spas. It won't be until June so I have a lot of time to read this board before then Thank you for the advice on checking the transportation boards... will do that. We have been to Orlando 7 yrs ago but we drove that time. This time we are flying so not sure on how to go around. Was thinking of renting a car but since we will be mostly at disney and one day at universal and not really thinking of going around, I thought of just using the resort shuttle but adding up everything, might as well just rent if that is the case. I was just wondering if using a taxi will be cheaper than both and how much it will be one way from Vistana to Disney.

Last edited by tots05; 01-30-2013 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:44 PM   #745
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rental car

tots05 rent a car !. Although the resort is a great place to spend your off time , shuttle buses and taxi cabs can add up to a substantial amount of money in no time. Depending on the size of your family and where you are flying into , simple research can get you an amazing price on midsize/full car with unlimited mileage. There is one particular rental car that is a fraction of "T"he others. We use them every year and it works out to about 25 dollars a day. There are so many things to see and do in Orlando that you don't want to be limited to where you can travel. As others have stated it's easy getting in to the parks in the morning, it's not so easy getting back to the resort after dark. So it's best to purchase an inexpensive gps and program SVR as your home base. There is amazing shopping , restaurants and entertainment in the Buena Vista, Kissimee area but it is almost a necessity to have a rental car. Have a great trip.
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:03 PM   #746
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trip

Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina This year Feb 19-Mar.5 tue tampa ,wed lego land, thur recover from lego land LOL sun, daytona 500,wed, thur? Aquatica, sat Sanford ,sun home, Its currently 89F at SVR
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:22 PM   #747
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tots05 rent a car !. Although the resort is a great place to spend your off time , shuttle buses and taxi cabs can add up to a substantial amount of money in no time. Depending on the size of your family and where you are flying into , simple research can get you an amazing price on midsize/full car with unlimited mileage. There is one particular rental car that is a fraction of "T"he others. We use them every year and it works out to about 25 dollars a day. There are so many things to see and do in Orlando that you don't want to be limited to where you can travel. As others have stated it's easy getting in to the parks in the morning, it's not so easy getting back to the resort after dark. So it's best to purchase an inexpensive gps and program SVR as your home base. There is amazing shopping , restaurants and entertainment in the Buena Vista, Kissimee area but it is almost a necessity to have a rental car. Have a great trip.


Thank you so much... been researching on car rentals and the cheapest I can find right now is $476 for the whole week. I don't know if that is a good deal. I would love any info you can spare my way about rentals and where to rent.

About Vistana, are there any grocery stores close by the resort where we can get groceries or supplies when we get there? Any help is really appreciated.

Thank you so much to all the wonderful and helpful people on this board. We are excited to bring the kids to WDW this year.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:46 PM   #748
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rental car

tots05 It all depends on when you will be there ,if your there March, its pretty hard to get good rates this late.This is there peak time. Stay away from those third party sites.I don't think that I can name the one we use, but it rhymes with nifty. Again it all depends on where you pick up. The very most you should pay is $35 day( on this site,but this give you freedom to come and go.)When you see what is available in the vast Orlando area you will understand way you should have a car.There is a Walmart super store about ten min. away and Publix the same distance.The market on site is understandably over priced ,but dose provide many items as a last resort.I would figure that rent a car would be far cheaper in the long run. I would also stay clear of the cabs that the resort recommends,use the phone book on line before arriving (Buena Vista) call and you might work out a deal direct with them and they will take car of you ,remember my motto, a little tip money go's along way here. good luck to you
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:04 PM   #749
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rental car

tots05 Just seen when you will be there .Don't book car now! wait and start viewing that site about the end of March first of April go on in the late evening , they will drop the rates to book the cars out. sat ,sun nights are a good time.If you don't get in under $200 wk. by end of April take there going rate. It always works for us, hope this helps
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:24 PM   #750
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tots05 Just seen when you will be there .Don't book car now! wait and start viewing that site about the end of March first of April go on in the late evening , they will drop the rates to book the cars out. sat ,sun nights are a good time.If you don't get in under $200 wk. by end of April take there going rate. It always works for us, hope this helps
thank you so much keeper You just don't know how much you guys here have helped me. Im now leaning on renting. I really don't know what a good price for renting a week is but now because of you, I have a better idea. I will keep an eye on the car rental sites around March and April and hopefully will be able to get a good price I hope its ok if I can PM you when I get PM priviliges if I have more questions... Again, thank you so much...
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