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Pondering a resort upgrade

#1 User is offline   Ryan 

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 07:38 PM

Okay, a newbie here. I've been to WDW many times, at least twice a year for the last five years. We're planning a trip near the holidays this year (Dec. 30 - Jan. 6), with my wife and 2 kids. We're booked in Pop Century (2 different reservations) and we've got the dining plan.

Here's my quandary: I just got a new job that doubled my salary. Soon, my wife will quit working to take care of the kids, ages 6 and 2. Right now is probably the best opportunity I have to stay in a deluxe resort or one of the high end resorts. So, my question is whether or not it's worth it?

With the kids, I just don't know if it will be, but we're trying to take this one easy and relax a bit, so I am unsure. So, I throw myself on the mercy of the forums.

FYI, I've lurked for a while and really enjoy the site and conversation, so I look forward to finally contributing.
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#2 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 07:40 PM

Welcome to Studios Central Ryan!

Having stayed at all levels of resorts at WDW, I'll say a deluxe resort is best if you plan on spending time at the resort. If your trip is going to consist of you being in the parks every waking hour and only using the resort for sleep, a deluxe is nice but kind of a waste. If you're paying a lot for the amenities of the resort, I would think you should stay there a bit to take advantage of it.

Which deluxe resort are you considering? That can also impact the decision.
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#3 User is offline   Ryan 

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 07:46 AM

Right now, I'm considering the Yacht or Beach Club and possibly the Polynesian. They're very expensive, but I am planning on using the pool a great deal, and would like a good sit down breakfast option at my resort as well.
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#4 User is offline   Figaro 

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 08:01 AM

Welcome Ryan! You are considering my 2 favorite resorts! Let me add a disclaimer that we are DVC members so I may seem a tad biased :lol:

How old are your kids? I have an 8 yr old and 3 yr old. We go a few times a year and have stayed at every level of resort....each has its plusses and minuses.

If your kids are young and you go back for breaks or naps, the deluxe resorts are great since they are close to the parks, have nicer pools with slides, character meals, more sit down options. They also have kid programs like Pirate cruises etc. But they are alot more money.

We love the Beach Club & Epcot area resorts! They are close to both parks....Epcot is walking distance and MGM is a boat ride away (or walkable if you are ambitious LOL), Stormalong Bay is great for kids, we can walk over to the Boardwalk at night which the kids love since there are performers and games etc. The Polynesian is my favorite resort. It's so close to MK and you can see the fireworks and the Electrical Water pagent from the beach....and we all love taking the monorail!

The values are great because they are less expensive so you can spend money in other areas. The kids love the huge decor and food courts, the pools are bigger and there are alot of other kids around to play with. But you have to rely on the buses all the time (or rental cars) which takes alot of time away from the parks and/or rest time. We usually stay at the values or mods when we go for a long weekend.
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#5 User is offline   ADP 

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 12:17 PM

Hi Ryan -

The Polynesian is my favorite deluxe resort, hands down! Kona Cafe is one of, if not the best sit down breakfast options on property. The Polynesian itself provides a very relxing environment with direct monorail access to the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT (via Transportation & Ticket Center). The rooms at the Polynesian are very large as well.

A second option we really enjoy is the Animal Kingdom Lodge. If you choose this resort make sure to book a savanna view room. Viewing the animals from your room is what really makes this resort special. Boma offers a breakfast buffet which is delicious. The resort only provides bus transportation to the parks, but it is dedicated bus service meaning the resort does not share buses with other resorts and does not make multiple stops before reaching your destination. Although you are very close to the Animal Kingdom theme park you will be somewhat remote from the other parks; however, the remoteness adds to the theming of the resort.

Good luck with your decision. Choosing your resort is one of the best parts of planning your Disney world trip.
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#6 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 12:39 PM

The Polynesian is great and I would recommend you stay there (I'm staying there for one night during Mousefest) as it's nothing but rave reviews. Yacht & Beach I'm a little more luke warm on. It's a nice resort and it's pool is the best and has a great location, I'm just not as eager to stay there. I wouldn't go as far as to say it's a mistake to staty at Y&B, just I can think of other deluxe resorts I'd rather stay at.
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#7 User is offline   Matt Hart 

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 02:00 PM

Matt (QuickGold) had a great point about how much time you plan to spend at the resort. If you are going to relax, spend some time at the pool, lounging, etc, then yes, I think a deluxe is worth it if it's in the budget. Besides having more restaurants, better pools, usually more shopping options, they are typically in better locations with respect to the parks. The exception being the AKL, which is not in a good spot. The Wilderness Lodge is a bit out of the way as well.

Another question to ask is what parks do you think you will be spending the most time at?

The Poly is probably the best all-around resort and has Monorail/boat access to the MK and Monorail access to Epcot.

The Y&B is either a boat ride or a walk from both Epcot and MGM.

The other thing the Y&B has is easy access to the Boardwalk and the activities and restaurants there. Of course the Poly is on the Monorail loop with the GF and Contemp, so that might be a wash.


I notice you also said you are on the dining plan, and that you go at least twice a year. The other thing I would suggest looking into if you haven't already is an annual pass and the Disney Dining Experience. With the changes to the DP next year, it's not going to be the same value it was. Besides most table service restaurants, the DDE also currently gets you a discount at the Pop food court, which you mentioned you stay at.

Just a suggestion.
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#8 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 03:08 PM

Good point about what resort you're going to spend the most time at. Obviously with my affinity for the Studios, Y&B would work best for me (I enjoy Epcot as well).

I will say the AKL is worth it's remote location if you get a Savanah view room because the views from those rooms are fantastic.
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#9 User is offline   Matt Hart 

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 04:26 PM

Sure, it all depends on what you are looking for. For me, I'd probably go nuts if I stayed at AKL for more than a day or two because of the long bus rides everywhere (except AK).

I'd be tempted to hijack a zebra from the savanah.

My favorite location is pretty much a tossup between the Monorail loop and the BW. The MK and Epcot are the parks we visit most, so it was great when we stayed at the Contemporary for a few days.

But we own DVC at the BW, and being so close to Epcot and MGM is nice too, plus we like the BW atmosphere.
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#10 User is offline   PixieDust 

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 06:48 AM

boys or girls for your two kids? or one of each?

Each higher-end resort has some activities just for them that they would enjoy... so I might have a better opinion after that!
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#11 User is offline   TiggerRay 

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 10:34 AM

I'd say go for it...if this is possibly your only time to stay at a deluxe...go for it. I'd go for the Poly if it was me.
Disneyland - a people trap run by a mouse.
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