I’ve stayed in the Tower and at BLT in the past, but never been to the Garden Wing. I’m considering a Garden Wing room for a 2021 trip with DW, DD5 and DS3. If you have stayed there, how did you find the Garden Wing?
I am going to watch along for responses. Something I have been considering to avoid bus travel at least to MK.
Honestly, to me the magic of staying a CR is staying in the tower. The rooms in the garden wing are exactly the same, but staying there (IMO) isn’t as great as staying in the tower. You might be a wee bit disappointed staying in the GW once you’ve stayed in the tower. But, of course, the convenience to walking to MK is the same from both.
We stayed in the GW our last trip - it’s true it doesn’t have the same magic as in the tower, especially with a theme park view. However, it was significantly less expensive than the tower and it offers the same benefit of being able to walk to MK. We also enjoyed that it was quiet and near the pool.
The garden wing rooms on the first floor have patios. The end rooms on 2nd and 3rd, facing Bay Lake, have real balconies. All others have balconies that are only a foot deep. The garden wing is a fair walk from all the amenities (food, shops, monorail, front desk) that are in the tower. I think I’ve also read where there can be a lot of bugs around some of the exterior lights at night? Definitely read up on which rooms are quieter and which are noisier. I haven’t stayed there, but my BIL’s family did a long time ago.
We stayed in GW and really enjoyed it. However, we’ve never stayed in the tower. What we missed was the theming, but if you stayed in CR and BLT before, you know that. We didn’t find we were too far from the amenities. We had a ground floor room. I could see a bit of the fireworks from our patio. We would definitely stay there again if we wanted to stay at CR.
I’ve not stayed here, but I would probably use a map
We stayed there in November. It was good enough that DW has declared the Contemporary her home resort. I can’t afford the tower, but the proximity to the MK and having the monorail were just way too convenient. If you’ve stayed at the tower then you know those perks, but at least in the Garden Wing you get them at a significant cost reduction.
The only downside was that our standard room was pretty far away from the main building.
Yes, I’m not concerned about the lack of the theming. I’m thinking more about convenience to the Tower restaurants and any major difference in the walk the Magic Kingdom.
If you like the electric water pageant, the garden wing is fantastic. One of the first “showings” On its nightly trip happen right outside.
It’s also nice to be able to sit outside and not get vertigo!
Aside from that, it’s only real benefit over anywhere else is the walk to MK. Which is extremely nice (obviously). The walk to the bus (and walk way to MK) seems a bit extra long, and can take a few extra minutes depending on your speed, but it’s no worse than any other resort. And it’s likely comparable to waiting for an empty elevator and taking it down.
I can’t compare to other resorts as this was from our first family trip. My kids never complained but they were older. As long as you have a stroller you should be okay. Plus the water pageant parade. That was a nice surprise one night!
Our room was about as far away from the tower as you could get and it wasn’t really a bad walk. Once you walked about a millions miles at Disney the few extra steps aren’t a big deal.
My family of 5 (DS9, DD7, and DD4) stayed in the Garden Wing last September. It was our first Disney trip, so we didn’t have anything else to compare to it. We stayed on the first floor. I think it was room 5141.
Here are a few notes from our stay:
- It was really quiet
- There wasn’t much theming compared to the main tower, but we walked through the main tower every day, so we felt like we still had the theming. The room itself seemed like a normal hotel room, but with some subtle “disney-ness”
- The walk to the main tower wasn’t bad. It only seemed “inconvenient” when we wanted refills on our mugs
- We loved being able to walk back and forth to MK. CR may be worth it for that fact alone. The added steps to the garden wing seemed minimal
- The first floor patio was really nice. Our kids would sit out there in morning as we were all getting ready, which helped give us the space we needed. It was kind of like an extra room. It also avoided an extra elevator stop.
- We enjoyed seeing the electric water parade
I think there is a thread somewhere on this but I can’t find it right now
Any way, my thoughts:
- we were in the very last corner of the GW and it was a long walk from the main building, not a fan of this on top of all other walking
- we faced the lake and I’m not a fan of the water pageant, it was LOUD
- the surroundings and lake view otherwise was very pleasant
- I would pick the main building over GW if possible
- if I were to stay at the GW, I would try to get a room close to the main building to avoid walking