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View Full Version : Which Deluxe Resort do you prefer?


tippytail1
12-21-2010, 08:51 PM
So for the last 4 trips I have visited WDW with my husband, 2 kids, my parents and brother. Because of the size of our group we have been doing different villas each year. For our 2011 trip it will just be myself, my husband and the 2 kids. I was wondering which deluxe resorts are everyone's favorites and why. Not sure where I want to stay next year and am looking for everyone's input. Thanks as always for everyone's help!

aceswild
12-21-2010, 08:59 PM
I like the Wilderness Lodge for the look and feel, the Boardwalk for couples, and the Polynesian for the theme, the quietness, and the proximity to the MK transportation. LOL Does that help? I haven't stayed at the Grand Floridian or SSR so I haven't checked those out. The contemporary seems like a big plus on the convenience factor (soooo close to MK!) but I don't really like the feel of the resort.

ETA: We decided after our stay at a moderate that next time we would book at the Polynesian. The kids love it there and it won't be twisting my arm to get me to go back.

sydneysmom
12-21-2010, 09:03 PM
We LOVED the GF. :love: I can't say enough good things about it. We went in Sept w/ our DD who was 4 at the time. We did not find it stuffy or pretentious or anything like that. It was just a lovely place. It was wonderful being on the monorail and having a character meal right in the hotel. We could hop the monorail and be in the MK within minutes... when the monorail was too crowded, we took the boat. (there was never a wait for that). We were lucky enough to be upgraded to a castle view which was just priceless.
It truly was a memorable first trip for our family...... our next trip I'm not sure that we'll spend that much. (if we don't get the 40% off code again) But it was well worth it for all the ammenities that the hotel had. And the people we encountered at the GF all went above and beyond to help make our trip special. They're just WONDERFUL there !! (and it's just a gorgeous place!!):love:

KatMark
12-21-2010, 09:04 PM
We have stayed at two -- the Poly and the Contemporary -- both a number of times. We love the Poly and would be happy to go back; the CR no longer does it for us after our last stay there. We only have two others we want to try -- the AKL and the Beach Club (none of the other deluxes hold any appeal for us at all in any fashion).

So of the two we've stayed at, I would definitely pick the Poly...beautiful, relaxing, great CM's, nice rooms, watching the fireworks from the beach, etc.

A_Princess'_Daddy
12-21-2010, 09:10 PM
We're very firmly a Boardwalk family. We love everything about it; the location, the ambiance, the service, the amenities, the hustle and bustle of the Boardwalk, the ability to walk to Epcot and DHS.

jlk806
12-21-2010, 09:21 PM
Akl!

marmar
12-21-2010, 09:21 PM
We've stayed at all the deluxe except the contemporary.

If you have small children, I'd recommend the Poly because of its convenience to the MK and the Epcot monorail.

If you have older kids, I'd recommend the Beach club (or the Yacht club) for access to the awesome pool.

If you want to feel like you are away from the thousands of your new friends for a few hours, I'd recommend the Wilderness Lodge. It's nice to feel some peace and quiet after being in a crowded park all day.

Now that we are old middle aged folks without children, we favor the Boardwalk.

I've stayed at the GF once, and decided it was not really worth the extra cost, especially with the transportation hassles. (Busses were always full when they finally got to the GF)

AK is just far away from everything. A long bus ride to anywhere except the AK.

glassslipper2004
12-21-2010, 09:50 PM
The Yacht and Beach Club has the most awesome pool -- my kids loved it so much, we are going back next summer. When they were a little younger we stayed at the WL, primarily because of the bunk beds which we thought would amuse the kids and help them sleep better (I think it did). We loved the entire feel of WL, including the giant lodge/lobby and both the family restaurant and Artist Pointe. Wish the pool was a little more compelling - then we'd go back there!

StitchandPooh'sMom
12-21-2010, 10:50 PM
Beach Club if it is good swimming weather - Poly otherwise, but both are good choices for us.

If it were a non-parks trip, I'd pick AKL CL because there are so many things to do at the resort and it is a destination by itself. For a parks trip, I'd prefer the convenience of the Poly or BC.

WUVmyDISNEY
12-21-2010, 10:55 PM
At MK resort area--GF hands down. I just loved the feeling and the location.

I never thought I would say this but I no longer feel compelled to stay at a MK resort. I really love the Epcot area so much better. I love the BC there. The rooms I feel are the nicest of the Disney deluxe and the whole area is just so pretty. The transporation to Epcot and HS just can't be beat.

I did just return from the Dolphin and I most likely would always stay there in the future when staying in the Epcot area. I thought the Dolphin was a great choice and well worth the cost. 7 minute boat ride to HS too! It is on Disney property, but not Disney owned so you do not have all the disney hidden mickeys everywhere and all of the Disney art work but that's not really such an issue for us. Now, if I could get a rate comparable at BC, it would be a toss up!

Mamu
12-22-2010, 07:03 AM
I've done a few of the deluxes and the GF Sugarloaf Lodge was our favorite. Everyone was so friendly and outgoing. Always willing to help. I know I read the resort can be stuffy, we found it to be just the opposite.

My DH had reservations about staying here, he loved the Poly, now Sugarloaf is his favorite too.

We will be trying BWI for the first time this spring. I'm excited about staying at the Boardwalk, love it there. I sure I'll miss the monorail though.

We also did AKL a few years back and loved it but felt very isolated from Disney.

DisneyMomx7
12-22-2010, 08:17 AM
We've stayed at the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Yacht Club and Beach Club.

Hands down our favorite is the Beach Club!

2nd favorite - Yacht Club
3rd favorite - Polynesian
4th favorite - Grand Floridian

For several years we just loved the Grand Floridian. The last two visits we had such poor customer service that DH swears we'll never stay there again.

BC - walking to EPCOT and water taxi to DHS, SAB, Beaches and Cream, fantastic cms, and just the overall atmosphere make it our favorite resort!

Zife
12-22-2010, 10:51 AM
I've only ever stayed at AKL, but having toured most of the other deluxes, I have no real need to try any of them. I just love the way AKL looks, and I'm a big fan of wandering onto my balcony in the morning and seeing a zebra, kudu, giraffe, etc. Yes, it's a bit further from everything, but we always rent a car when we go, and the drive in the morning isn't a big deal for us.

That said, we are staying 1 night at GF next trip, just because we had to do a split stay to do Platinum for a night, and we decided to try out GF.

wish*i*was*in*the*vi
12-22-2010, 10:55 AM
The only 2 WDW resorts I've stayed at are the Poly and AKL. Love them both, but the Poly is my favorite, hands down. I love the theme, the monorail access, and Kona cafe is one of our favorite restaurants. We always eat there several times even when we stay at AKL. The only reason we don't stay there every trip is price. AKL is a good bit cheaper and is also very nice.

tippytail1
12-22-2010, 12:32 PM
I am always so grateful for all the help I get on the Dis. Even though we just got back from the World I am excitedly planning our next trip. And though the weather is hit or miss (we were at Beach Club last week and could not use the pool!) we love going in December and will probably be there again next December. Since our kids will still only be 5 and 2 1/2, I am excluding AKL as it is a bus only resort and folding the stroller every time we need to use the transportation is a lot of work! I think I am leaning towards Poly or GF (I do however LOVE the location of BC and BW but might try them again when I change times of the year and can use the pools). Still unsure of the the major differences b/w Poly and GF and why to lean more towards one or the other. Guess I will just continue the research and make my educated decision. Thanks again and happy travels to all!

soontobehoyt
12-22-2010, 01:14 PM
I've been lucky enough to stay at them all excepting SSR. My personal favorites are Boardwalk and Beach Club. The location simply can't be beat and I love the resort area. The pool at the BC is every bit as great as they say, like a small, free water park almost. The variety of food and entertainment options is great, and you can see Illuminations from the beach every night.

For younger ones, MK area is usually the best as most kids love that park more than the others. If money wasn't a problem I would stay GF every time there, but Poly and Contemporary are both great as well (although I'd avoid the garden wings at Contemporary if you can).

AKL is unquestionably gorgeous and the Savannah is amazing, but the location kills it for me after I got spoiled walking to the parks or at the worst boat/monorail. Just so much nicer than a bus!

cadek
12-22-2010, 01:34 PM
I personally love the Polynesian, and can't imagine staying anywhere else. Since I haven't stayed anywhere else besides All Star Sport many years ago, I don't have much to compare it to. I think Epcot area would interest me as it's our 2nd favorite park.

What I love about the Polynesian is the convenience of the monorail. Hate buses with kids and a stroller. Love the food at Captain Cooks. Love the zero entry pool and being able to watch fireworks over the castle from the beach or pool. Love the theme. Love the short, beautiful walk to the Transportation and Ticket Center to get on the Epcot monorail, rather than riding the resort monorail all the way around and then switching monorails.

My sister has stayed at AKL/Kidani Village in a 2br safari view, and it all looked georgeous! But again, I personally don't like buses, would miss the monorail, and being so close to MK.

But we are all different, and love things for different reasons!

PinkPrincess1908
12-22-2010, 01:44 PM
I've stayed at the Contemporary and the Poly. Between the two the Poly wins out for me. I love the large rooms, the convenience of the monorail to MK, the TTC., and other hotels for dining. The tropical theme is great and soooo relaxing providing a nice break from the busy parks so you kind of get the best of both worlds; an exciting Disney vacation and a soothing tropical resort with a beach. You can also watch the MK fireworks from the beach. In my experience CM's there are great as well. The food in Kona Cafe is tasty. The quiet pool is relaxing and the volcano pool is awesome if you want a more active vibe. Oh, and I'm not sure if this is a factor but I also loooove the tropical drinks at the Poly:cutie: I hope this helps and I wish you a magical vacation:goodvibes

pepe of ohio
12-22-2010, 02:11 PM
all except one were deluxes and we've chosen the WL overall, based on location, price and cost.

We just returned from WDW and had the opportunity to stay at OKW, 2 bedroom villa and I must say, we were not impressed....room was fantastic but location of building and resort..not to our liking. No more trying (except maybe BLT) other resorts....we're down to Poly overly priced, GF not to our liking at all, AKL one stay and no thank you, CR many stays bbut renovations has ruined the old appeal from the 80's, Y&B are fine resorts, alittle pricey but we're MK area lovers, so bottom line and over 10 stays are for the WL.

floridascgirl
12-22-2010, 02:31 PM
Best resort theming: Animal Kingdom Lodge
Best resort location: Boardwalk Inn

Pooh&OurHunny
12-22-2010, 04:42 PM
I love staying at GF. Great location (one monorail stop to MK and one boatride back to the resort), love the beds and the atmosphere and the restaurants and Room service.

luvmarypoppins
12-22-2010, 08:36 PM
So far we have stayed at:
Polynesian
Contemporary
Animal Kingdom Lodge
Beach Club
Yacht Club

Favorite: Yacht Club
Least Favorite: Animal Kingdom Lodge

larryz
12-22-2010, 10:38 PM
We've stayed at the CR, WL, Poly, YC and BC.

Our favorite if we're in a holiday mood is WL. Can't beat the theming (especially when it's cool/cold like now) and the holiday decorations are great! The boat to the MK has a bit of an exclusive feel to it (more so when you're boarding the boat at the end of the day, bypassing the hordes waiting in lines for the monorails and ferrys...).

If we're in an Epcot mood, YC. It's so easy to walk right over to Epcot, and you can also walk/boat to DHS. Stately without being stuffy, and great food options. Then there's Stormalong Bay, too... BC has most of the same amenities, but with a slightly more casual feel about it. And it's about 3 minutes closer to Epcot.

If it's just an MK visit, CR. Walking to MK is very convenient. Good food options, and I'm a sucker for the retro 70's architecture.

Pugmalion1
12-22-2010, 11:05 PM
Easily the Boardwalk.

I feel that it caters more to adult parties than to families, though, so feel free to take my opinion on the matter lightly.

Disnut4925
12-23-2010, 01:57 AM
LOVE the Beach Club! Five minute walk to the International Gateway! Of course SAB. We've always had great service there as well. Near MK, the Poly. It's just so beautiful.

Renwoman
12-23-2010, 02:22 AM
We didn't get to stay at any of the Deluxe Resorts on our trip. (We stayed at Coronado Springs.) But we absolutely fell in love with the Animal Kingdom Lodge. We loved the theming and how immersive it felt. With the savannahs and wonderful landscaping you could imagine that you were't even in America. Animal Kingdom was our favorite of the four parks because it was more immersive as well.

Boma was our favorite restaurant the entire trip for both breakfast and dinner. (If you like exotic or flavorful food it is a great place to eat!)

As far as the transportation... The location is not as convenient as others. If you were driving yourself I don't believe it would be much of a problem, but spending all that time on Disney buses might not be pleasant.

Animal Kingdom Lodge is a good place if you want to stay somewhere "exotic" and have an experience at your hotel. If you like good international food it definitely is a bonus. If you are driving yourself the transportation wouldn't be such a problem.

DrMikey2
12-23-2010, 11:22 PM
Having been a Disney visitor for the past 23 years, we have "tried them all". Our preference has always been to stay at a resort on the monorail line. It is so convenient and comfortable. It beats a motorcoach ride hands down! The Polynesian has been always been our favorite. The tropical landscaping with the fantastic pool has always been the attraction for our kids, who are now grown and still prefer that special ambience. Being walking distance to the MK certainly had its own advantages. The Contemporary is cool with the monorail traversing the concourse, but it lacks character. The GF is too sparse and lackluster compared to the Polynesian.

asdfghjkl13
12-23-2010, 11:51 PM
So far I've only stayed at Contemporary and Beach Club.
I've also visited Yacht Club, Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Boardwalk, Poly, Grand Floridian, and the Swan & Dolphin.

I LOVE BC. It's my favorite, and if i couldn't stay there, I would pick Poly. The theming & atmosphere there is amazing, and it's on the monorail.

stitch34
12-24-2010, 02:37 AM
I think they're all great for different reasons.

Our favorite, and wish we could afford it every trip, would be the Poly. Just love taking the monorail to MK, we think the resort/grounds are gorgeous, love the rooms, love the pool and zero entry and the slide, and the beach. And love coming back at night and just hanging out by the pool and seeing the castle all lit up in the distance. Love Ohana for breakfast.

Second choice would be Beach Club - for its convenience to DHS and Epcot, and of course for its pool area. Love the rooms there, too. Love Cape May for dinner - breakfast is nice, too!

WL is great, too, and for the price. Rooms are okay to us, pool area is very nice, like being close to MK. WCC we love for well, we've done all three meals there!

AKL - nice pool, really like the rooms and Boma for breakfast. I wouldn't want to stay a whole trip there, though. Just feel soooo out of the way from everything there. We do pool view when we stay there - with bunk beds, a special treat for the kids! Not interested in the money for savannah view, plus have heard some of those rooms can be quite a lonnnggg walk away.

GF - never been, never will, is totally out of my budget!
YC looks nice, may try that as a change from BC.
BW - doesn't appeal to us as much as BC/YC
CR- want try, but haven't yet.
For us, if spending money on deluxe for a night or two (bulk of trip is values/mods), then want somewhere where kids will love the pool slide and has zero entry for my son.

CR Resort Fan 4 Life
12-24-2010, 06:42 AM
My favorites is the Contemporary and Boardwalk Inn.

DizGirl20
12-24-2010, 09:41 AM
We are DVC Members, but before we were DVC we stayed at GF. My 2 all-time favorites are Grand Floridian and Beach Club Villas. Both for proximity for theme parks and they have amazing swimming pools! :thumbsup2

We are staying at Kidani in April. When we toured it, it looked amazing, although we haven't stayed there yet...

DizGirl20
12-24-2010, 09:46 AM
Oh gosh one more thing - it doesn't get a lot of attention but the Old Key West Villas are HUGE! They were the first DVC Villas built and the square footage far exceeds any other DVC Villa. Great space for a big family. And love the Old Key West vibe. Only drawback is you will need a car or have to be patient with the buses. We rented a car and it was no problem whatsoever.

Demosthenes
12-24-2010, 11:33 PM
I've had the great fortune of staying at all of the Disney Deluxe resorts for at least 7 consecutive nights. My personal favorite is the Contemporary because of the convenience to the monorail, convenience to MK and FW. It also has a great marina with good watersports options. I think it has great dining options, but the MK, GF and POLY are just a monorail ride away, and FW and WL are a short boat ride away. In those locations, you are sure to find a restaurant or two that suits your fancy. The rooms are huge in the tower (at 440 square feet they are the biggest on property). The tower balconies boast amazing views, and I am a rare person who prefers the Bay Lake view to the theme park view (I'd rather see the lake and electric light pageant each night as opposed to the rooftops of the MK and the CR parking lot..

mom of 3G's
12-25-2010, 12:53 AM
We spent a week at GF earlier this month and loved it. :lovestruc Our flight was delayed by two days because of a snowstorm back home, so then we moved over to the Poly for 2 nights. Hands down the Grand Floridian was the favorite of my family. I found the Poly resort to be confusing (I lost my way a few times coming back from the Grand Ceremonial House) and I didn't like that the guest laundry was in a separate building. At GF each building has their own laundry room. My kids are very lively and I never felt out of place at the GF -- there were lots of families with children. And the smells of GF are unbelievable. Good luck with your decision.

Mickey Gator
12-25-2010, 01:29 AM
We have stayed at Beach Club, Yacht Club and Boardwalk Inn because we love the WS at EPCOT. My son's favorite would be BC because of the pool but my wife and I really like BWI.

SnackyStacky
12-25-2010, 10:39 AM
In true type-A fashion, lists and bullet points!!! :)


Beach Club
PROS: Location! Location! Location! Not only in terms of proximity to Epcot and good dining - but it's smack in the middle of the entire property. All other destinations feel much closer.
Cons: I was sort of luke warm on the pool. It's neat but just wasn't my cup of tea. I know I'm in the vast minority on this one! ;)

The room size is a bit smaller than the monorail resorts. The trade off, though, is that they're also a bit cheaper.


Polynesian
PROS: Proximity to the Ticket and Transportation Center. An easy walk to pick up the Epcot monorail.

Room size! HUGE rooms!

The grounds are meticulously landscaped.

Cons: The room was in rough shape, and this was in 2008, after the last refurbishment. A big particle board was sticking out of the bed that my daughter tripped and hit her head on.

The shower heads are really low! I felt like Will Ferrell in Elf.

The monorail. People just love being on the monorail, but I do not. If you stay at the Magic Kingdom at park closing, because the resort loop has to make five stops instead of the two on the express loop, the resort loop line moves at a SNAIL'S pace. The bonus though is you CAN hop the express loop, get off at the Ticket and Transportation Center and walk to your room.

I do not like "college campus" style resorts (several "dorms" around the "student union" kind of thing). If I'm paying deluxe prices, I shouldn't have to take an umbrella to get a drink if there's a sudden downpour. I have gotten caught in one while running from 'Ohana to the room for ID to get a drink. NOT FUN.

Boardwalk

PROS: Location! Location! Location! Not only in terms of proximity to Epcot and good dining - but it's smack in the middle of the entire property. All other destinations feel much closer. (Sound familiar?)

Cons: The common areas of the resort, and in fact, the rooms were in DIRE need of freshening. We were in the villas, and the hallway carpets had DISGUSTING brown stains the size of a coffee table. There were spots all over the toilet in our bathroom. When we called to have it cleaned, I had to take the rag and cleanser from the housekeeper because she wouldn't bend down to look and see the stain. I had spotted it while taking a bath. The carpets were worn down and tattered. This was in 2007, and I think they may have done a refurbishment since then.

The expanse of the resort. Felt like we needed a sherpa and water reserves to walk to our room.

The room size is a bit smaller than the monorail resorts. The trade off, though, is that they're also a bit cheaper.


Animal Kingdom Lodge

PROS: Proximity to the Ticket and Transportation Center. An easy walk to pick up the Epcot monorail.

Room size! HUGE rooms!

The grounds are meticulously landscaped.

Cons: The room was in rough shape, and this was in 2008, after the last refurbishment. A big particle board was sticking out of the bed that my daughter tripped and hit her head on.

The shower heads are really low! I felt like Will Ferrell in Elf.

The monorail. People just love being on the monorail, but I do not. If you stay at the Magic Kingdom at park closing, because the resort loop has to make five stops instead of the two on the express loop, the resort loop line moves at a SNAIL'S pace. The bonus though is you CAN hop the express loop, get off at the Ticket and Transportation Center and walk to your room.

I do not like "college campus" style resorts (several "dorms" around the "student union" kind of thing). If I'm paying deluxe prices, I shouldn't have to take an umbrella to get a drink if there's a sudden downpour. I have gotten caught in one while running from 'Ohana to the room for ID to get a drink. NOT FUN.



Of the places I've stayed, my very favorite is the Beach Club. We're staying at the Contemporary for our trip this week and I'm very excited to give it a shot.

But I haven't been to the Beach Club since 2004 and I really would love to go back! :)

maxiesmom
12-25-2010, 10:50 AM
I've stayed at the Beach Club, the Poly, and the Contemporary. With young children, I don't think you can beat the Contemporary. Especially if you plan on spending a lot of time at the Magic Kingdom. You can just walk there! And at night, while everyone else is trying to cram onto a bus or monorail, you can just stroll back home.

Mary T in PA
12-25-2010, 10:29 PM
WE have stayed at CR, Poly, BW, and GF (recommended in that order).

I like CR because you can walk right over to MK. However, the Poly is almost neck and neck for our favorite monorail resort. I guess I am a sucker for the nostalgia that both of these resorts were the originals when MK opened.

When it comes to theming, I believe the Poly wins hands down.. I loved smelling the luau smells, the Poly inspired music piping thru-out the areas, and those tikis grew on me!

A few weeks ago, we did a split stay- several days at BW and then over for a week at CR. I love the Epcot area resorts. WE also stopped in at Yacht Club and the Beach club to see their decorations and liked those resorts too.

I think you need to consider your length of trip, your budget, and what you plan to do on your trip. If you aren't going to be at MK very much, then look into the Epcot resorts - the ability to walk over to Epcot and DHS really convinced me to stay over there more often!

But if you are more into MK and want to focus on that area, then consider the monorail resorts... and I lean towards CR because if someone starts to meltdown, the ability to walk right back to the resort is a huge plus... and I say this from experience!

Bottom line - go with your gut! If there is a resort you've been really wanting to try, do it! Then check out the different threads for each resort you may be interested in. Each and every time I have relied on the DIS threads and the lovers and fans of a specific resort are usually very helpful and kind to answer questions. :thumbsup2

MomtoAlexnWilliam
12-26-2010, 01:23 AM
We've stayed at AKL twice and the Poly this past trip.

AKL: We love the dark, calming theme of the resort!! Plus, seeing the animals right off your balcony can't be beat!!! If you get a room on the outer edges it can be a walk to your room -- but that is how it is at most resorts! I have read where people think it is too far away. However, we didn't find it a problem. You don't share a bus with any other resort (there are two stops at AKL) so you save time right there. The ride is about 20 minutes to MK, Epcot and HS.

Poly: We love the theme here too!!! I would give the Poly the edge because of our 8 days in the park this last year, we spent 4 in MK and 1 at Epcot. The monorail was very convenient. :) I also loved that we could walk right out of our room, head to the beach, grab a chair and watch the fireworks and electrical parade each night. FANTASTIC!