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Old 06-26-2013, 09:47 AM   #1
Disney38Girl
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Opinions? AKL, WL or POR?

I've been going over this in my head a millions times and I'm at a complete loss on where to stay! We (DBF and I) are currently booked with a bounceback offer at POR in a King Bed room for aug 26-sept 1st. This trip is for my birthday and he keeps telling me to book where I want to stay. I REALLY want to stay deluxe but the only 2 we can manage are WL and AKL. I love both resorts (and POR), but to upgrade to deluxe would be an extra $300 minimum (AKL savannah is out, too expensive. Looking at WL woods view or AKL pool view.) As far as parks go, we are taking it easy since its August and we have already had 2 commando-esque trips this year. We are doing the Wild Africa Trek and are most likely spending quite a bit more time at DAK than we usually do as a result. No dining plan, paying OOP (We're AP holders). My major concern is spending that extra money just on the hotel. We generally are Moderate/Value people, but we've stayed deluxe before and have loved it. I'm just having trouble justifying the extra cost just because I want to stay there. Thoughts? Any and all opinions are welcome! TIA!
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:00 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Disney38Girl View Post
I've been going over this in my head a millions times and I'm at a complete loss on where to stay! We (DBF and I) are currently booked with a bounceback offer at POR in a King Bed room for aug 26-sept 1st. This trip is for my birthday and he keeps telling me to book where I want to stay. I REALLY want to stay deluxe but the only 2 we can manage are WL and AKL. I love both resorts (and POR), but to upgrade to deluxe would be an extra $300 minimum (AKL savannah is out, too expensive. Looking at WL woods view or AKL pool view.) As far as parks go, we are taking it easy since its August and we have already had 2 commando-esque trips this year. We are doing the Wild Africa Trek and are most likely spending quite a bit more time at DAK than we usually do as a result. No dining plan, paying OOP (We're AP holders). My major concern is spending that extra money just on the hotel. We generally are Moderate/Value people, but we've stayed deluxe before and have loved it. I'm just having trouble justifying the extra cost just because I want to stay there. Thoughts? Any and all opinions are welcome! TIA!
Everyone's opinion is different, but for us, it would be worth the extra cost to stay deluxe. We've never stayed at POR, but we love AKL and WL. We've stayed savanna view and pool view at AKL and I loved the pool view just as much as the savanna view (I wouldn't hesitate to book pool view again). We have stayed at one mod (CBR) and while we loved the resort and had a great stay, once we stayed deluxe we were hooked and haven't stayed anything else since. I think WL and AKL are great choices for a deluxe resort without the high price tag like that of the monorail and Epcot resorts. With all of that said, you are the only one who can decide whether or not the extra cost is worth the upgrade to you. Good luck.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:28 AM   #3
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We just returned from AKL and loved it. We felt like there was a lot to do and see at the resort itself. Of course we love animals. my DS (4) is still going on about the pink backed pelicans (who knew they'd be the standouts??). The pool is very nice, although I'm sure WL's is too.

We did have a savanna view which we loved. I'd wake up in the middle of the night and see a giraffe out my balcony. Pretty amazing. I know you said the cost for savanna view is an issue but there's always the slim chance you could get an upgrade. And the pool views would be great too. Really lush vegetation around the pool.
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Old 06-26-2013, 01:02 PM   #4
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We have been faced with a similar dilemma and have been very happy with our choice to stay at WL.

Some things that make it amazing to us are its beautiful location on Bay lake, the ability to take a boat to MK (or a 5 min bus ride that's even quicker but not as pretty), and the way the location feels secluded but is actually very close to MK. Another huge advantage of WL is it is all under one roof, which is great in rainy weather and is an advantage even compared to other Deluxe resorts. For more info, be sure to check out the great WL thread here.

Another way we keep cost down is by booking a Standard View room. While some would disagree with this choice, the vast majority of rooms at WL have a nice view no matter what category they are in. We also have been very fortunate with room upgrades, and have not ended up in a room that is actually classified as Standard View. We certainly wouldn't complain if we got a regular Standard View room though, because the views are still pretty good. The "worst case" is being over a loading area, so looking down you might see trucks making deliveries, but looking out you see trees and above that a partial view of MK and Wishes. It is up to you but the cost savings are worth it to us.

You really can't go wrong though, as POR and AKL are awesome too. We walked around both last trip and would be excited to stay at any of them.

AKL has beautiful architecture, a zero entry pool, and of course the animals! The biggest downsides are not being so close to MK and having to take buses everywhere (although they aren't that bad).

POR has a similar rural feel to WL, but it is more spread out. Having the boat to DTD can be fun, but the waits can be long. For the parks you'd be relying on buses, but that's not bad.

For us WL has just enough extra nice things to make it our "home", but no matter what you'll have a great trip.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:44 PM   #5
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WL for sure
It has wonderful outdoor spaces, very relaxing when not at the Parks every minute of every day
We Like the AKL but the only place to really hangout outside is around the Pool, not so quiet and relaxing, IMHO
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:54 PM   #6
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Okay, for *us*, if we weren't staying savanna view at AKL, it would be WL woods view, hands down.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:06 PM   #7
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OK, I'm a sucker for AKL, and we loved the pool view. I much prefer the pool area and hot tubs at AKL vs the pool and hot tubs at WL- though it is quite marvelous to watch the electrical water pageant from the hot tub at WL.


Have you inquired as to the availablilty of a DVC rental. It's late notice, but there may be cancellations. I haven't done the math, but with the time frame I'd expect a standard studio at AKV to run you between $800 and $900. Wilderness lodge would be a bit more.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:52 PM   #8
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We've stayed at AKL & WL. I preferred the WL because of the theme. Still you can't go wrong with either. the boat ride to MK is nice from WL my favorite mod is CSR.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:32 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for your thoughts! I have considered and researched DVC rental, but DBF is hesitant to book through someone else (even david's, from which I have heard nothing but good things). So I think we're out on the DVC front. DBF has also said that he loved the Contemporary when he stayed there as a kid. But that was in the Tower, not the Garden Wing. The Garden Wing is not much more expensive than WL, so I suppose it is in the running as well. Oh boy, this is not easy. Seems like a very good thing to be perplexed about though It is WDW after all!
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:47 PM   #10
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Contemporary Garden Wing!

This is a 'true' deluxe hotel with the the monorail passing right through the tower. I do also like the AKL and WL, but the Contemporary has amazing rooms as well as walking distance to the MK. Although you won't be in the tower, you are just a very short walk to all that the tower has to offer with just as nice rooms for a bargain price.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:54 PM   #11
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My vote is for AKL We are staying there for our upcoming trip in a few months! We can't wait! We have never been but it looks beautiful and great for the kids. I'm sooo excited for the pool too
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:59 PM   #12
Disney38Girl
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Thanks again everyone. My siggy says it all! CR Garden wing it is! The idea of walking to MK whenever really pushed it over the edge (also DBF really pushed for it)! Can't wait til August!
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