We’ve been looking at some facts about which apartment Elly and I should live in. We really want to have the smallest number of people living with us since we both have had awful experiences with college roommates.
Here is what we are thinking:
Chatham Square is right across from Mickey’s Retreat and is next to Patterson Court. There are two mail kiosks where students can pick up and drop off their mail. There are laundry machines in buildings 2, 7, 15, and 19 and the machines take debit or credit cards. You can also sign up for text message alerts for when your machine has finished the wash or dry cycle by going to laundryview.com/chathamsquare. There is a fitness center, pool, sand volleyball court, outdoor pool table, and a tennis court available to the students living in Chatham Square. There is a bus stop at Chatham Square, which every bus will stop at.
Patterson Court is located in the same area at Chatham Square. There is one mail kiosk located in Patterson Court where students can pick up and drop off their mail. There are four laundry facilities, which take debit or credit cards. Similar to Chatham’s laundry, you can sign up for text alerts by going to laundryview.com/pattersoncourt in order to know when your wash or dry cycle is done. Patterson Court has a fitness center, pool, and an outdoor pool table. Patterson Court does not have its own bus stop, so the students living here walk to the bus stop at Chatham Square.
Vista Way is about a five-minute drive from the other college program housing. Vista Way is walking distance from a Walgreens, Chick-Fil-A, Wendy’s, Starbucks, and much more. There is one mail room where students can pick up their mail and they can send out mail in a mail kiosk outside of the fitness center. There are laundry machines in every building and they are card operated machines, which means you must purchase a laundry card for $5 with a $1 non-refundable fee. These cards are only used at Vista Way. Vista Way also has two pools, a fitness center, sand volleyball court, outdoor pool table, tennis court, basketball court, and two hot tubs. The transportation headquarters is also located at Vista Way. Vista Way is the oldest complex, however it is also known as the “party” housing (ironic since it has the most Wellness [dry] apartments!). There are always people around but if you don’t like the party scene it’s very easy to avoid as well.
Completed in 2008, Patterson Court is the newest and most luxurious of Disney College Program housing. Located in Little Lake Bryan near the Chatham Square dorm, this is the only complex without a bus stop. So unless you bring your own car, you will need to walk the 15 minutes to the bus stop at Chatham Square. Patterson Court is the most expensive of all the College Program facilities, so if you are looking for more upscale accommodations than a regular college dorm room, this maybe the place for you
Chatham Square is the mid-range of the College Program accommodations. If you do not have a car, this is apparently the best place to live, because the bus stops directly outside the security gates.
Don’t feel like going to the parks on your day off? Chatham Square is right across the street from Mickey’s Retreat, a recreation complex used only by Disney Cast Members. On your day off, you can enjoy activities like tennis courts, tether ball, sand volleyball courts, soccer nets, pools, boat rentals, BBQ grills, hammocks, and table tennis. Or you could just relax in a hammock or do some fishing. All those activities vs. Space Mountain – it would be a toss-up as to which one to choose.
The Disney College Program Guide, points out that Vista Way housing was built during the early 1980′s, about the same time as Epcot. So while it is the oldest of the housing, it is also the least expensive.
The apartments are too small to have bunk beds.
Internet rumor has it that some wild parties have taken place at this particular housing unit, but that probably varies with participants, and everything I read indicated that security is quick to break up loud parties and maintain order on all the properties.
Pros of Vista Way: Parties! There’s a Walgreen’s literally across the road, along with Starbucks, Wendy’s and Chick-a-fil. The bus hub is right there!
Cons of Vista Way: Parties (there’s parties in every complex)! Oldest. None of the apartments have balconies or porches. 3 bedroom apartments only have 2 bathrooms.
Pros of Chatham Square: New-ish. Right across from Mickey’s Retreat. A 5 minute walk from the Commons. Good bathrooms.
Cons of Chatham Square: The closest grocery store is a 15-minute walk away, where there is also a Walgreens. Crappy gym. The walk-in closets are attached to the bathrooms, mostly.
Pros of Patterson Court: Newest. Lovely pool. Good gym. Pretty kitchen.
Cons of Patterson Court: The closest grocery store is a 20-minute walk away, where there is also a Walgreens. You have to walk to Chatham’s bus stop, which is about a 5 minute walk.
If there is a single bedroom option, that would be Elly and my first choice for sure.
I am thinking I would like to live in Chatham. It looks really nice and has a lot of the things I am looking for. Plus Elly and I don’t mind paying $10 more to get a nicer place. Even though it would be cool to make friends easy with roommates, I think we should stick with the plan on trying to get a single room just so that we can have alone time when we need it.
August 2013: Us in front of our apartment at Chatham! We got assigned to a 3 bedroom unit (6 roommates).
We’ve written a book about our year working at Disney: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale.
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