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GrandCanyon 11-03-2012 11:41 PM

About to Book Wilderness Lodge / Questions ???
Thank you.

Sue M 11-04-2012 12:21 AM

I haven't been during the holidays so can't comment on the boats. We've stayed at both WL and Poly late January.

The rooms at WL are smaller. Poly has the largest rooms on property along with CR. WL rooms have been recently refurbed. They had started just after our last January visit.

I would stay on property, it will be easier then staying off property. Driving to MK is a hassle, with having to park at TTC, then take parking lot tram to Then have to get on monorail or boat to MK. Not to mention traffic, And long waits. Staying on site is bound to be easier.

Mousemommy1 11-04-2012 06:53 AM


Originally Posted by GrandCanyon (Post 46622894)
I've been trying to decide between the Polynesian or Wilderness Lodge, but have a series of questions.

1. Wildnerness Lodge: On Dec 31st, Jan 1st, and 2nd, how long will it take on the boat to get to Magic Kingdom in the morning? Will it be all backed up to get there "before" rope drop? We won't be going to the park on the 31st.

2. Are the rooms at the Lodge better than the Polynesian? The only reason we're really wanting to go to the Polynesian is to watch the fireworks on Dec 31.

3. We will be staying in a private condominium on/after Jan 3, but thought it would be less of a transportation nightmare to be on property Dec 31st, Jan 1st and 2nd; HOWEVER, if we always make a point of being at the turnstiles at rope drop, will it be that necessary to stay on property?

1. Can't really predict how long the boats will take, but remember too, that you have the bus option too. The bus is a quick easy 5 minute ride to the park. We actually found it easier than the boat.

2. The rooms at WL are smaller, but newly (and beautifully) refurbished. I have not stayed at the Poly yet, and one of the reasons is the frequent complaints about the room condition, and it's need for a refurbishment (which is rumored to start in 2013)

3. I would never stay off property, but that's just my families choice, so can't really help you there.

Good luck making a decision!

mickeynut1 11-04-2012 09:08 AM

We've never been during that time and while the boat ride is usually pretty quick, it will most likely be very busy during the time you'll be there. Having stayed at both resorts, they are both great places to stay, but my choice would be the Poly. As Sue M said, the Poly rooms are much larger; plus you can't beat having the beach for watching the fireworks, with a short walk back to your room afterwards. With all of that said, I would definitely stay onsite as it would make things much easier to get around. Good luck deciding, but you really can't go wrong with either resort as they are both great places to stay.

jimim 11-04-2012 09:17 AM

I have been to the WL during new years and xmas time along with thanksgiving. I have always found the boat to pretty quick. You do have bus option also like someone else said. I like the rooms at the WL. I feel it's the most kid friendly resort also. very warm and welcoming and never felt anyone would mind if my daughter was playing in the lobby while we were waiting to meet up with people to head out or at night. I have only ever stayed on property. I would never want to put up with the traffic in and out of parks during the day. while on the buses we have always talked about the lines of cars coming in and out especially during the holiday. it gets pretty nuts. just me though. i know if u r lucky enough to get a 6th floor north wind room (corner room especially) you get a clear shot of the castle through the trees for fireworks but that's a HUGE gamble! LOL i only know that cause we stayed on the norht side and I have a few pics of the caslte throughout the trees. it was nice watching the fireworks from the room though.

I'll through this out there 2 we stayed at the GF one year for new years and spent the night at narcoosee's for their new years party (their first year doing it) and we watched the fireworks at midnight from there. that was real nice.


GrandCanyon 11-04-2012 04:10 PM

Thank you.

Missyrose 11-04-2012 05:15 PM


Originally Posted by GrandCanyon (Post 46627339)
Dec 31 - Jan 2 (can't believe we're even thinking about this time of year; lol)

I appreciate all the replies. We're regulars at WDW (three trips in the last year), with previous stays at Contemporary, Grand Floridian, and Port Orleans/Riverside ... but our preference is always our condo at Wyndham Bonnet Creek. Normally, we would have never dreamed being among the masses during the holidays; however, we're doing a Disney cruise, and just couldn't come through Orlando without a few days in the park. Our regular plan is still in place: there at rope drop, 1-5 afternoon break, 6-close preceeded by a sit-down ressie. BUT, BUT, BUT the only reason we're really considering Wilderness or Polynesian is because of the masses in the park, and even more masses trying to get in the park. We will have a rental car, but I would prefer park it at the resort and not even get it out from Dec 31 - Jan 2.

I'm probably overthinking all of this, and should just plan on staying at our condo. As regular as we are, we've never been during the holidays (what we've always recommended others "not" do; lol). Thoughts?

I think the one thing you may need to worry about on Dec. 31/Jan. 1 is what parks could close for capacity while you're at your afternoon break. I would head over to the Theme Parks board and ask some of those really knowledgeable people about their experiences with the crowds on those days.

The other thing to remember is that you could walk from CR to MK and back and not have to rely on Disney transportation at all. So that resort would get my vote for as crowded a time as New Year's.

GrandCanyon 11-04-2012 05:22 PM

Thank you.

wdwgreg 11-04-2012 05:22 PM

The added benefit of onsite, is that you can get into the parks easier on high capacity days, new years eve may be one of those days. I think they still allow resort guests in after they stop non resort guests.

Of all the MK resorts i would say CR resort would be the easiest, as you would not have to rely on any transportation as you can just walk there, just as useful when leaving the park as entering

Missyrose 11-04-2012 05:42 PM


Originally Posted by GrandCanyon (Post 46627864)
On Dec 31, we're not going in ... just watching NYE fireworks from the beach at Polynesian. On Jan 1 we made reservations for dinner at Liberty Tavern, just to ensure we get back in after our break. Are the Garden Wing rooms any better/worse than the Tower?

The Garden Wing rooms are exactly the same as the rooms in the tower, they're just in a different location (in a building behind the tower).

The problem with the Poly plan for New Year's eve is they may limit the (very crowded) beach to Poly guests. And having an ADR does not mean anything if the park is closed to capacity.

Edited to add more info on the closure procedures (from

Disney uses different closure "phases" to gradually restrict the types of guests allowed into a theme park. Closures start at Phase 1 and progress up to Phase 4, where no additional guests of any sort are allowed into the park. Phased closures do not necessarily last all day: for example, if Magic Kingdom is under a Phase 4 closure at 10:00 a.m. on Christmas, sufficient guests might leave by 7:00 p.m. that all restrictions on park entry are lifted.

Note that what is below is what we believe to be true; however, Disney does not publish its park closure procedures and may change its practices at any time.
Phase 1 Closure

Casual visitors are turned away at the automobile toll plazas. This means that people without tickets, those with one-day, single-park tickets, and those intending to use cast mamber passes will not be allowed to park.

Other guests may enter:

Those with multi-day or multi-park tickets
Those staying at a Disney Resort
Annual Passholders
Those re-entering the park that day.
Those "hopping" from another park.
Those with in-park reservations or appointments.
Those arriving via Disney transportation

Phase 2 Closure

The following guests are allowed through the turnstiles and into the parking lots:

Those staying at a Disney Resort
Annual Passholders
Those re-entering the park that day.
Those "hopping" from another park.
Those with in-park reservations or appointments.
Those arriving via Disney transportation

Phase 3 Closure

The following guests are allowed through the turnstiles and into the parking lots:

Those staying at a Disney Resort
Annual Passholders
Those with in-park reservations or appointments.

Phase 4 Closure

The park and parking lot are closed to all arriving guests.

GrandCanyon 11-04-2012 06:14 PM

Thank you.

Missyrose 11-04-2012 06:16 PM


Originally Posted by GrandCanyon (Post 46628236)
Well, we'll get through on all three through Phase 3, but may be shut out at Phase 4. I think we're covered pretty well, and won't be disappointed if we get shut out at Phase 4. I just booked Contemporary Tower Lake View for Dec 31 - Jan 2, and plan on nothing but fireworks from somewhere on the 31st. On Jan 1, we plan on MK AM for sure, but have alternate plans if it closes in the evening. If we can just get to Jan 2, I think we're good to go.

Sounds good, congrats on the decision. :thumbsup2

GrandCanyon 11-04-2012 06:20 PM

Thank you.

MulanMom 11-04-2012 07:05 PM

If you chose theme park view, you could watch the fireworks from your balcony!!! But the room rates are probably much higher. You have to decide if it's important enough. The ability to walk to and from the resort is a definite advantage. Being the first stop on the resort monorail from MK doesn't hurt either!

Sue M 11-04-2012 10:36 PM


Originally Posted by GrandCanyon (Post 46628287)
Thanks everyone ... finally settled on a Contemporary Tower Lake View, seemed to have better reviews than Tower Theme Park ... hope so. I had to book seven nights to get in the Tower, but will call in the next day or two to limit it to fewer nights. Meantime, ... lakeview better than themepark view?

Congrats on deciding :thumbsup2. The main dif. Is theme park view as mentioned gets you a view of the fireworks from your balcony. There is a deck on the Concourse, where the shops are that you can go out on to watch fireworks, and there may be another somewhere on another floor? Not sure. And have no idea how crowded they would be for the 31st.

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