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Old 01-09-2013, 12:32 AM   #1
DisneyATlast
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First trip - Value or Deluxe?

Hi Everyone!

After many years of being a student and mommy...I'm finally rewarding my kids with a MUCH deserved vacation to Disney!! I didn't get to go when I was small enough to enjoy the "magic" of it all, and since we've been on a tiiiight budget for many years, my own kids haven't been able to have a REALLY special vacation..until now!

Well, I say now, but I'm actually planning to go at the end of 2013. Probably November-December.

Anyhow, I was looking online and came across a site that says the Polynesian is the best resort for "kid appeal." My kids will be 7 and 9 years old when we go, and I'm more concerned with them loving the surroundings than I am with how large the room is, etc. The same site suggested that Art of Animation is the 2nd best (if you can't afford the Polynesian, they say).

Well, I CAN afford the Polynesian, but after looking at pictures online....it looks to me as if the Art of Animation rooms are much more appealing to kids! Granted, I only saw pics online, but the decor in the Art of Animation rooms is very child-like while the decor in the Polynesian seems grown up. Does anyone have an opinion on this? From what I saw, the Art of Animation rooms have cartoon character bedding, carpets, shower curtains, etc. while the Polynesian does not.

I would love it if the Polynesian (or any other resort that is larger/nicer) had the same cartoonish/kid feel in the rooms as what I've seen in the value rooms. However, that's not what I've seen from the pictures so I'm having a hard time justifying the expense of the "nicer" room since this is all for the kids. Thoughts?
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:17 AM   #2
WanderlustNZ
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Do your kids like animals? If so, what about the Animal Kingdom Lodge?

I have booked the AKV for my upcoming stay and I'm really excited. It's decor will really appeal to all of us, including my son.

If my son was my only consideration, I'd pick an AOA cars suite as he's Car's mad. But I figure us adults need some treating on vacation also.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:37 AM   #3
MomofDisneyLoversx3
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I vote poly!! Your kids will love it. I posted a huge reply but my phone 'ate' it. You worked hard and should enjoy. Congratulations on finishing school.

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Old 01-09-2013, 05:27 AM   #4
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Might I suggest the WL???? It is beautiful, and peaceful...a vacation from a vacation. The rooms were all redone last year. For your Disney touches, there are the most adorable Bambi themed tiles in the shower, which I LOVE!

The WL is a boat ride away from MK, and I think it would be a great first trip to Disney. Plus, you could probably even spring to stay club level and that is amazing!
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:28 AM   #5
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If you do the Art of Animation suites, you won't be disappointed. I've stayed both at Deluxe and at AoA. I took my kids to Disney for the first time this year, and they absolutely loved, loved, loved our Cars suite at the AoA. Every day they wanted to walk around and look at all the characters from the Cars movie. The Big Blue Pool was a huge hit with everyone, especially when we noticed that we could watch the Epcot fireworks while taking a dip in the evenings. Having that second bathroom and separate room for mom and dad was the clincher.

The deluxe hotels are wonderful, too, though for younger children they aren't quite as exciting as they are to adults. We visited the Poly, Contemporary, and Beach club for some dinners this trip, and the kids thought the hotels were nice, but not as "cool" as the AoA. Since we knew we were going to spend most of our time out and about at the parks, the room amenities weren't a big deal (real closets, nicer soaps, etc.)

When the kids are older, we'll go deluxe so I can get some mom time in the hot tub and get a massage and all that jazz. Right now, my kids aren't at an age where there's a lot of time for that.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:20 AM   #6
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I think the AoA or All Star Movies have the most kid appeal. Sure the pool and the overall theming at the Poly is gorgeous but I think if we are honestly talking about kid appeal.. it's a no brainer!

Now, if I were going and the budget allowed for Poly that's where I'd stay!

Have a magical time!
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:14 AM   #7
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I think the Poly is a great choice . Out of all of the resorts we've stayed at (1 moderate and all but 3 deluxes), the Poly is our favorite. We love the tropical surroundings and the volcano pool is great, not to mention the pool backs up to the beach with a view of the castle off in the distance. Captain Cooks is our favorite resort counter service and it's great for quick meals and snacks. I'm sure you will have a magical trip no matter which resort you choose, but I don't think you'd regret the Poly as it's an awesome resort and I think your kids would love the pool and being so close to MK. Good luck deciding and happy planning .
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:05 AM   #8
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I would do port orleans for a first trip.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:34 AM   #9
HerRoyalHighness
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monami7 View Post
I would do port orleans for a first trip.
I agree. Or a budget like Pop or Art of Animation.

Your kids won't give a hoot about the resort compared to the park. Save that for the next trip.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyATlast View Post
Hi Everyone!

After many years of being a student and mommy...I'm finally rewarding my kids with a MUCH deserved vacation to Disney!! I didn't get to go when I was small enough to enjoy the "magic" of it all, and since we've been on a tiiiight budget for many years, my own kids haven't been able to have a REALLY special vacation..until now!

Well, I say now, but I'm actually planning to go at the end of 2013. Probably November-December.

Anyhow, I was looking online and came across a site that says the Polynesian is the best resort for "kid appeal." My kids will be 7 and 9 years old when we go, and I'm more concerned with them loving the surroundings than I am with how large the room is, etc. The same site suggested that Art of Animation is the 2nd best (if you can't afford the Polynesian, they say).

Well, I CAN afford the Polynesian, but after looking at pictures online....it looks to me as if the Art of Animation rooms are much more appealing to kids! Granted, I only saw pics online, but the decor in the Art of Animation rooms is very child-like while the decor in the Polynesian seems grown up. Does anyone have an opinion on this? From what I saw, the Art of Animation rooms have cartoon character bedding, carpets, shower curtains, etc. while the Polynesian does not.

I would love it if the Polynesian (or any other resort that is larger/nicer) had the same cartoonish/kid feel in the rooms as what I've seen in the value rooms. However, that's not what I've seen from the pictures so I'm having a hard time justifying the expense of the "nicer" room since this is all for the kids. Thoughts?
I think that you and your kids will find the value resorts to be absolutely magical. Many people here will try to "upsell" you to a Deluxe, but you really don't need to spend twice as much on a resort to have a wonderful vacation.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:23 AM   #11
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Our first trip was AKL. That totally sold us on WDW forever. We have stayed at all levels and honestly, my kids' favorite resort is and has always been POP Century. We visited AOA last time we were at POP and the kids said that they would love to stay there, too.

Have you thought of possibly doing a split stay? We did last year and are doing it again this year. That way our kids get a POP fix and we get our AKL fix. Then you could try both resorts!
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:00 PM   #12
disneydreamfan14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robinb View Post
I think that you and your kids will find the value resorts to be absolutely magical. Many people here will try to "upsell" you to a Deluxe, but you really don't need to spend twice as much on a resort to have a wonderful vacation.
I completely agree.

The Value's are not only cheap, but they provide you with VALUABLE memories. Walking past all the life size statues and objects at each of the value resorts leaves you with great pictures and a fun experience.

If you are choosing between the Poly and AoA for a kid-centered trip, its a no-brainer for Art of Animation. AoA is the definition of a kid friendly resort. Your kids will LOVE the lifesize characters in each section. And the suites are very spacious and provide great privacy for the parents!

Some will complain to you on here about AoA being a big resort with long bus rides. It is NOT as bad as some will make it out to be: from the lobby there is a maximum 5 minute walk for a family with kids of your ages to the farthest (Little Mermaid) section. And the buses are about 20 minutes to AK and MK, about 10 minutes at MOST to EPCOT/DHS. Lines are not terrible either.

Have fun and enjoy your stay, no matter where you end up staying!
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:46 PM   #13
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You need to come strong if it's your first Disney trip for the kids. Roll Contemporary room with a Bay Lake view in the A frame like a boss. You can do value or something else every subsequent trip.

You want easy access to the MK an being able to freaking WALK to your room after Wishes is the greatest thing ever. We'd stay there every time if we could afford it with young kids.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by El Perro View Post
You need to come strong if it's your first Disney trip for the kids. Roll Contemporary room with a Bay Lake view in the A frame like a boss. You can do value or something else every subsequent trip.

You want easy access to the MK an being able to freaking WALK to your room after Wishes is the greatest thing ever. We'd stay there every time if we could afford it with young kids.
I just checked to see how much a Bay Lake room would cost after reading your post. Now, I checked just a basic room ...so not like a boss at all.

But I found a room for a week to be about $1100 by renting DVC points. Is that not reasonable?

I need to find the threads here where people talk about MONEY!
I found a package deal on the Disney official website that says a room at Art of Animation for a week, tickets for the entire week to the parks for the whole family, and a dining plan that includes 3 sit down meals, etc.....for about $2100.

That sounds like an AWESOME deal to me. At the same time, I don't want to be blowing money that's not necessary to spend. I guess if I found a $2100 package through Disney official then there are probably much cheaper ways to do things by bypassing Disney official.

This is exhausting! Plus, really hard to consider since I have no idea where things are in proximity, etc. I know there are maps, but reading a map and applying it to reality is like reading a foreign language to me!

Thanks to EVERYONE for your replies!!
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyATlast View Post
I just checked to see how much a Bay Lake room would cost after reading your post. Now, I checked just a basic room ...so not like a boss at all.

But I found a room for a week to be about $1100 by renting DVC points. Is that not reasonable?

I need to find the threads here where people talk about MONEY!
I found a package deal on the Disney official website that says a room at Art of Animation for a week, tickets for the entire week to the parks for the whole family, and a dining plan that includes 3 sit down meals, etc.....for about $2100.

That sounds like an AWESOME deal to me. At the same time, I don't want to be blowing money that's not necessary to spend. I guess if I found a $2100 package through Disney official then there are probably much cheaper ways to do things by bypassing Disney official.

This is exhausting! Plus, really hard to consider since I have no idea where things are in proximity, etc. I know there are maps, but reading a map and applying it to reality is like reading a foreign language to me!

Thanks to EVERYONE for your replies!!
okay look at the tickets because they automatically sell you tickets for travel days and you may not need that many days, expecially if you want to do a resort day

Dining plans vary. Three sit down meals a day will really cut into your park time and it's a lot of food. If it's a combination of sit downs and quick service meals that's a really good deal if you do AoA the food court is considered quick service + if both your kids are under 10 they are disney kids and the dinning plan pays off if you think you'll want to do charecter meals as they are very expensive but cheap on the dining plan. If you do breakfast at the resort then snack or qs in the parks then a table service at night you will be well fed. There are a lot of charecter breakfasts as well and those can add up with dining plan. There are some meals that can use two of your dining credits but not sure how many of those you'll do with the kids. (signature resturants and dining shows usually. The first may not appeal to the munchkins but Hoop de Doo review is usually a big hit with the kids so it's worth using more credits)

Yes it can be done cheaper outside of disney but it's the dining plan that will be your best indicator. Go to allears.net and look at some of the menus for charecter dining and table service resturants. It may be cheaper to do an disney dining package vacation.

Personally I never do the packages because the dining plan won't work for my vacation style and I get off cheaper looking for room only rates and then buying tickets and meals OOP. But with young kids you're going to have to crunch the numbers.
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