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Infamousmare 09-28-2012 09:08 PM

Thinking of BCVs or BWVs for next vacation. Your input, please!
I am planning our 4th WDW trip for September 2013. In the past we've stayed in regular rooms at WL, and in 2-bedroom villas at SSR and most recently (this month!) at BLT. We have enjoyed each of the villas; however, I have to say that getting a pin code for a theme park view villa at BLT, on the 5th floor, no less, really took the cake. I am afraid we'll never be able to replicate the ease of using the monorail (and being on the same level as Chef Mickey's/qs dining/marketplace), watching the fireworks from our balcony each evening and being able to walk to the MK. Mama can't afford to stay there without a pin code and the likelihood we'll be able to snag another villa there without being DVC is pretty unlikely.

That being said, I like the idea of being able to walk to the parks. My kids have expressed an interest in doing the Epcot passport thing by visiting each country and I like the restaurants in EC (we do dining plan). For these reasons, I think it might be good to give the BCVs or BWVs a try for our next trip. I like the villas because we travel with my in-laws and because we have a baby, so having in-room laundry is fabulous.

Now, I've been reading lots of reviews on TripAdvisor and it seems there are a lot of complaints about long walks to elevators/rooms/get food, etc., as well as issues with dated decor, things not being in good working order, long waits for buses and huge crowds trying to get on/off, etc. So here are my questions:

1. Just how easy is it to walk to EC? HS? We are fit, active people traveling with 3 kids (8, 6 and almost 2 when we go next). Is this walk comparable to the walk from BLT to the MK?

2. We tend to like to use our refillable mugs. Are we going to face a half mile hike to do this?

3. Do you feel the rooms at these resorts are actually not as nice as some of the other villas? Is one hotel better than the other in this respect?

4. Should I bite the bullet and try to get into BLT again to get monorail access, or does walking access to EC and HS make up for the bus ride to the MK/not having monorail access?

5. We do like to eat 1 qs meal (usually lunch) at our villa each day. Which offers a better qs option? Or would you recommend getting qs at EC or HS and just bringing it back with us?

6. Do all rooms with a water view offer EC views/an opportunity to see IllumiNations? Or are some levels/room numbers better than others?

If you made it this far, thanks! I appreciate your advice. :thumbsup2

maxiesmom 09-29-2012 07:17 AM

I'm afraid a lot of what I have to share from my stay at the BCVs won't make you happy.:worried:

The walk to Epcot is great! However, the bus service to both AK and MK stinks. You share with the other boardwalk area resorts, so the buses are usually packed to the brim full. And the rides to the parks long, as you make many stops. We didn't walk to the Studios, we used the boats, so I can't comment on how long a walk it is.

From the villa it is a bit of a hike to get to the main building. Enough to make it inconvenient to fill your mugs up. In addition, there is a definite lack of quick service food. Probably because they assume you will just walk onto the boardwalk or into Epcot for food.

I should share that our stay in a Beach Club Villa was the second part of a vacation that started off at the Poly. And for my family, we all regretted leaving the Poly for the Beach Club. We all love Epcot, but you still get good access to Epcot via the monorail from the Poly. And you have great access to the Magic Kingdom. At the Beach Club you get great access to Epcot, and bad access to the Magic Kingdom.

Sorry for the not so great thoughts on the Beach Club. I honestly believed it would be the best resort for us, and it wasn't.

Infamousmare 09-29-2012 04:33 PM

I actually appreciate your honesty! If we weren't traveling with a little one who requires a stroller, I might not care so much about the transportation; however, long, crowded bus rides aren't going to work out very well. Neither will massive hikes just to get a drink.

This is part of the reason we decided against SSR for now. We loved the resort, but it got to be a hassle when the baby fell asleep and we were wrestling with the stroller on the buses, hiking to get food/mug refills, etc. We'll go there again when the kids are a bit older.

I LOVED the monorail at BLT, along with super easy access to the MK; however, we were told so many times that we had MASSIVE pixie dust sprinkled on us for that. I got it on a 30% bounceback pin code and I highly doubt that will happen again. I hadn't thought about the Poly - I'm going to see if it's *possibly* close to the same price range as BCV/BWV. Thanks for your help! :goodvibes

Infamousmare 09-29-2012 04:35 PM

Uh oh...just took a peek. They don't have villas available there (at least, none show up at the WDW site). :( The kitchen/living room and washer/dryer are key for us right now. Did they ever have villas or has this always been a hotel-only resort?

aras4007 09-30-2012 08:06 PM

We just returned from BWV last week. We stayed September 18-25 in a 2 bedroom villa. We loved the Boardwalk! It was our first stay in a villa though. The hallways are VERY long. We were in rooms 4003 and 4005 which are on the complete opposite side of the elevator and main lobby...but you can request to be closer. The villa was very complaints at all. The view was awesome! Not only were we able to see Epcot fireworks every night, but we could also see the Magic Kingdom fireworks! We never had a problem with noise from our neighbors. It was very quiet. We heard some people yelling one night around 2 am. I assume they were just coming out of Jelly Rolls or the Dance Club, but it was over quick. Other then that one time, we didn't have any noise problems being right on the Boardwalk.

The walk to Epcot was very easy...I do think its comparable to the Magic Kingdom/Contemporary walk. It took up maybe 10 minutes. The walk to Hollywood Studios is more like 20 minutes...still not too bad, but its easier to take the boats. The boats will take longer, but its more relaxing and probably easier to travel with a stroller. For the boat to and from Epcot..Boardwalk is the first stop. For HS, its the last. You could get off at the Swan and Dolphin and walk the rest of the way..only about 5 minutes. We only took the busses to MK. We drove to AK and DTD. We didn't have any problems with the bus to MK. It picked us up first, then we to the Swan and Dolphin. Then on the way home, we were dropped off first. We never waited more then a couple minutes...maybe we were just lucky.

We weren't on the dining plan so I can't really comment on the refillable mugs and quick service. It would be easy to grab something at Epcot or HS and bring back. You could also go to BC and grab something. We enjoyed the pizza window on the Boardwalk. Depending on where your villa is though, it may be a hike to refill your mugs. There is also sandwiches and drinks at the pool and a food cart on the Boardwalk for quick service.

The Beach Club is a little closer to Epcot, about a 5 minute walk. Longer to go to HS. I've heard a lot of people like the pool better at Beach Club, but for us, it didn't really matter. We don't spend a huge amount of time at the pool.

We really enjoyed our stay and would definitely stay there again.

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