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View Full Version : Polynesian, Animal Kingdom Lodge, or elsewhere for young couple w/ no kids?


jinthaalor
05-01-2008, 07:06 PM
Hi everyone! I’m a lurker and this is my first post. I’m hoping to get some advice on where to stay.

My fiance’ and I are going to spend a few days at Disney this summer (late June/early July). We went last summer and stayed at the Grand Floridian-Concierge. It was an amazing trip (especially since he proposed at MGM! :bride: ) but we decided to try a new resort this time.

Considerations:

1) The main parks we’ll be visiting are the Animal Kingdom and Epcot. Any additional time will be spent at our tried-and-true Magic Kingdom and MGM (Hollywood Studios now, I guess… can’t quit get used to that).

2) Being close is kind of important. I hate the buses, so being a monorail ride or a boat ride away from a park would be nice.

3) The place has to be kind of nice. I’m worried about being “disappointed” as the two other times I’ve stayed have both been at the Grand Floridian. I have definitely ruled out the Contemporary (I ate at their rooftop place once and wasn’t feeling the building). I’d consider a resort in the “Moderate” category, maybe.

I’ve thought of the Polynesian and the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I love that the Polynesian is on the monorail line, but I’m from Hawaii and the tropical theme doesn’t excite me as much as some of the other properties. I love the theme of the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but am worried about being so far away from everything except the Animal Kingdom. I’m open to other properties as well! We’re a young couple in our 20’s. Pools aren’t important.

I was also wondering if I should consider concierge again. We never really used any of the concierge's offerings on our last trip (didn't eat the free food or make reservations through them). Nightly turndown service was nice, but I don't really think that's worth the price. I did see that concierge guests at the Animal Kingdom Lodge could book a special safari, though.

Looking forward to any suggestions you all might have.

mmmears
05-01-2008, 07:35 PM
Since you like Epcot, you might also want to consider the Yacht Club, Beach Club or Boardwalk resorts. It is really nice to spend an evening walking around "the world" at Epcot, and then just quietly exiting out the back door and walking to your hotel.

We like the Yacht Club and the GF, but really want to try the AKL next time, but are also worried about the inconvenience of the busses. At the YC/BC/BW you can also take a boat to Epcot or the Studios.

About concierge, only you can decide if it is worth it for you, but for us, if we wont be eating the food, there isn't much point to it for the money we would spend.

Good luck hotel hunting!

Joan S.
05-01-2008, 07:37 PM
Hi, You may also want to consider the Yacht Club or the Boardwalk Inn. Both are considered Epcot resorts and are in walking distance or a short boat ride. You can also walk or boat ride over to DHS from these resorts. The Boardwalk itself is lots of fun at night especially in the summer months.(IMHO) You would have to take a bus(or car) to the AK,but you could take the monorail from the FRONT of Epcot over to the MK. If you did not use concierge I would not book it again.(just a waste of $$) Both resorts are BEAUTIFUL ,although for a young couple I would think the Boardwalk Inn would be ideal. They even have rooms called GARDEN SUITES if you want to spend EXTRA $$. Also check out everything that is available on the Boardwalk!! :) Joan

jinthaalor
05-01-2008, 07:51 PM
Thanks guys!

I've seen the Boardwalk area (from a boat) but never actually even walked around there.

To tell you the truth - I don't like Epcot atm! I tried to go once, but after Magic Kingdom it seemed really... dull. I've heard a lot of great things about it though, so I'm going to make us devote some time to it this year and see if we can find the Epcot magic.

MissAlaineous
05-01-2008, 07:57 PM
I would vote for Animal Kingdom. I have read the times to parks are not bad. The bus isn't shared.

I would LOVE to stay at Animal Kingdom lodge. I am seriously wanting to stay there. Unfortunately for our upcoming trip is about 120/night more than staying at Pop. So, not happening.

hallgal2
05-01-2008, 08:23 PM
I second the Beach Club/Yacht Club suggestion. We have not stayed at either, but had a character breakfast at the BC this past April. We walked out of the resort, turned left, and you are practically in Epcot at the World Showcase.

I want to stay here on my next trip (with 3 kids), but I would love, love, love to stay with just my DH.

And I've not done the boat service at the BC either, but we have done the boat service from Port Orleans Riverside to Downtown Disney. It takes longer than a bus or monorail, but it is a cool way to travel while at Disney. (And it's kind of romantic at night too. We honeymooned at Disney.)

Have a great trip!~

ChelleinNC
05-01-2008, 08:26 PM
BC has always been my favorite resort :love: As mentioned you can walk around the Boardwalk at night, Jelly Rolls is a fun dueling piano bar, the restaurants in World Showcase are steps away. You said pool doesn't matter, but BC has the best pool on property.

Concierge at AKL would be a good choice though if you want to do the Sunrise Safari. I've heard that AKL has the best bus service because it doesn't share with anyone :goodvibes

ashlansmom
05-01-2008, 08:56 PM
I too have been a longtime lurker and this is MY first post- a reply to your question! My husband, daughter and I just returned today from our trip to the Wilderness Lodge. In response to your question I wanted to share my opinion of the Animal Kingdom Lodge: we went there for dinner, and after enjoying the quick boat service and access to the monorail through the Contemporary while staying at the Wilderness Lodge, i would not ever stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I truly believe you will spend a lot of your stay on buses. If you were to rent a car maybe it would be fine. However I have to say, I was not impressed with the resort from all the areas we saw. If you would not pay for a Savannah view then definitely stay somewhere else. That being said, we weren't inside a Savannah room, but the other lookouts we were at throughout the resort, we saw nothing too impressive. One giraffe in the distance.... the zoo is cheaper and has more to see. The resort was VERY dark inside, so much so that we were having trouble reading the hallway signage....

We did eat at the Polynesian twice during our trip and we both thought it was very nice, well themed and would be great to stay there, especially with the monorail. I was surprised even my husband brought it up to me as he is not a planner type. He said it would be a good place to stay. The theming would also be romantic for a couple. You have access to the monorail, the beach for WISHES and the electric boat parade, easy access to MK and Epcot, and you can just grab a bus the day(s) you need to go to AK.

If you are not hot on Epcot, then I would recommend staying closer to MK where the transportation is easier to get around from park to park as well. Although, I'm sure the Beach/Yacht Club are gorgeous, they are really Epcot resorts and I'm not sure you'll find the ease of transport there.

Might want to add the Wilderness Lodge to the list as well, we enjoyed it very much and the boat service was fabulous. You can just go by boat to the Contemporary to get the monorail. THe boat from the Lodge to the Contemporary is literally maybe 5 minutes. AND, they have direct boat service to MK.

Hope this is helpful to you and your hubby!:flower3:

jinthaalor
05-01-2008, 09:30 PM
I too have been a longtime lurker and this is MY first post- a reply to your question! My husband, daughter and I just returned today from our trip to the Wilderness Lodge. In response to your question I wanted to share my opinion of the Animal Kingdom Lodge: we went there for dinner, and after enjoying the quick boat service and access to the monorail through the Contemporary while staying at the Wilderness Lodge, i would not ever stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. I truly believe you will spend a lot of your stay on buses. If you were to rent a car maybe it would be fine. However I have to say, I was not impressed with the resort from all the areas we saw. If you would not pay for a Savannah view then definitely stay somewhere else. That being said, we weren't inside a Savannah room, but the other lookouts we were at throughout the resort, we saw nothing too impressive. One giraffe in the distance.... the zoo is cheaper and has more to see. The resort was VERY dark inside, so much so that we were having trouble reading the hallway signage....

We did eat at the Polynesian twice during our trip and we both thought it was very nice, well themed and would be great to stay there, especially with the monorail. I was surprised even my husband brought it up to me as he is not a planner type. He said it would be a good place to stay. The theming would also be romantic for a couple. You have access to the monorail, the beach for WISHES and the electric boat parade, easy access to MK and Epcot, and you can just grab a bus the day(s) you need to go to AK.

If you are not hot on Epcot, then I would recommend staying closer to MK where the transportation is easier to get around from park to park as well. Although, I'm sure the Beach/Yacht Club are gorgeous, they are really Epcot resorts and I'm not sure you'll find the ease of transport there.

Might want to add the Wilderness Lodge to the list as well, we enjoyed it very much and the boat service was fabulous. You can just go by boat to the Contemporary to get the monorail. THe boat from the Lodge to the Contemporary is literally maybe 5 minutes. AND, they have direct boat service to MK.

Hope this is helpful to you and your hubby!:flower3:


Thanks for making an account to write to me - I appreciate that!

AK is sounding like a no-go. I get very motion sick, and long bus rides would be torture.

I'll have to look into the Wilderness Lodge, too.

prncssmel
05-01-2008, 10:34 PM
I absolutely vote for AKL. As far as the resort experience, it is fabulous. It is gorgeous, plus waking up to animals outside your window - there are no words to describe how amazing that is. We stayed there for our honeymoon, and AKL just felt so romantic - dim lighting, gorgeous grounds, a beautiful lobby.

We had no problems with the busses. They ran often and quickly.

MissionMouse
05-01-2008, 11:45 PM
I think you should go with your feelings and thoughts on this one. AKL is isolated and is the only deluxe to offer one form of transportation-buses. Nice resort with animal views but after that it is possible to miss what many of the other deluxe resorts offer, unless you totally fall in love with theme of the AKL. We tried it but only a short stay coupled with a long stay at the PR.

If you don't use concierge services or food/drink offerings there is no reason to select this room option. If you love views take the money saved from not doing concierge and apply it toward a view or upgraded room...again if you value these little things. Often this can translate to being able to view fireworks, partial view of a park or other water activites from your room.

You might consider a deluxe resort providing multiple transportation options to include walking, water launch, bus, etc (this is most of them except AKL). Being located in walking distance or a monorail ride away from another deluxe resort or resorts allows for easy dining and shopping options with a wider selection nearby. The Dolphin and GF offer spas while the Epcot resorts offer easy access to Epcot and MGM by boat or walking. The Epcot entrance from the Boardwalk area is very relaxing with much lighter crowds too. So its really a matter of putting your thoughts on paper and comparing them to what the resorts offer and it sounds like you should consider one of the Epcot Resorts, since PR, GF, CR, and AKL have pretty much been almost ruled out by you already from reading your postings.

las3888
05-02-2008, 12:48 AM
Here's another vote for the boardwalk area! Before we had DS, DH and I went to Disney ALL THE TIME (well, okay, we still do with DS). Boardwalk was probably our favorite area (including Swan and Dolphin). To us, it offered such nice access to EPCOT and MGM (our 2 favorite non-kid parks) plus the dining options are just so numerous...all within walking distance. Think of all the dining within all the boardwalk resorts, plus the EPCOT dining choices...that's just us...plus we used to end our day with fireworks most nights at 9pm...:cloud9:

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
05-02-2008, 01:08 AM
Based on what the OP has said in her posts I would say one the Epcot Resort area would be the best situation. Personally I would go with the Boardwalk because they seem to have the most fun and the best atmosphere. However they should not rule out the Wilderness Lodge as another choice because it's also a great Resort with a lot to offer.

PlainJane
05-02-2008, 06:27 AM
My vote is for BWI. The Inn side is very romantic imho. The dining options are very varied between the five hotels on the BW. You can walk or boat to two parks.

I would also vote that you don't book CL again, use the money on a better view or save it.

My second hotel choice would be AKL. I loved the savannah view, but the transportation took longer than I would have liked. You don't get as many dinning option, but the restaurants they do have get rave reviews.

mtemm
05-02-2008, 07:08 AM
BWI or YC get my vote. Its the area H and I always stayed in pre-kids. nothing beats walking back to the room after a night at epcot. and you can walk/take the boat to DS.

YC has the better pool, so if that is something you might enjoy, keep it in mind. great slide!

have fun deciding.

Deborah_Mary
05-02-2008, 08:42 AM
My first thought (as I didn't read the other posts) was BWI or BWV. This would be my #1 choice if my dh & I were to A. get away from our kids for a Disney trip and B. if we had the $ to spend the room. It seems like a very "happening" location and I've always wanted to go to Jellyrolls (haven't yet!)

From the sounds of it you want to stick with the deluxes. But if not we stayed at CSR last summer and dh, the kids and I loved it there. If dh and I were able to go alone and were trying to save some money we'd pick here.

Good luck to you!

Deb*

kinggoofy
05-02-2008, 11:13 AM
We will be celebrating our 15th Anniversary in September but the actual trip is in August. We have no children.

We will be at the POLY. It will be our 3rd trip there. I can honestly say, it has become our favorite resort.

We enjoy the atmosphere, the view, the monorail, the TTC and just the over all "relaxing" feeling we get when we are there.

We enjoy the beach, the grounds, the pool, the pool bar, the interior lounge, watching the fireworks and light parade at night, just chillin at night in the lounge listening to the Hawaiian singer, being able to rent the water mice and ride all over the lake up to WL.

Dont get all tied up into trying to be at deluxe resorts that have less kids than the mods or values....my opinion is that it doesn't matter anymore.

KG