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Old 01-21-2012, 09:44 PM   #1
Andynnj
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Suggestions for lodging/transportation

Hi everyone - I book the GD trip for me and my friends and I am stressing over where to stay again this year. There are just so many good choices!
I am hoping someone can help answer some questions:
-Can you easily get to MK on monorail if you stay at Boardwalk, Yacht, or Beach?
-If you rent a car and transportation is not an issue, which resort would you pick? Or, is transportation still an issue even with a car?
- How are the villas? Are they a lot better than the resorts?

Last year it was Grand Floridian, which was nice, but someone I met in DC told me it was nice to eat at the World Showcase when staying at Boardwalk. BW doesn't seem to have the best reviews, so I was thinking about Beach or Yacht - or going back to GF, Polynesian (never stayed), or maybe even back to Wilderness Lodge this time. Btw, is there a good reason to stay at the Contemporary? It seems kind of boring when I ride through on the monorail.

Any thoughts are appreciated.
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:36 PM   #2
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We love the Epcot resorts. Access to Epcot and DHS is great -- walking or taking the boat -- and you can get to the monorail by walking to the front of the park. There are good restaurants and dessert places on the Boardwalk, as well as Jelly Rolls for night time entertainment. We've loved Boardwalk and Beach Club. If you're going to be there during pool weather, do Beach Club or Yacht Club, because they have the best pool at WDW. Beach Club has good counter service in the store plus the buffet at Cape May. Life is good!
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:20 AM   #3
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DVC Villa versus a "regular" resort room... purely personal preference. Do you want a full kitchen (or a kitchenette?) a laundry room, a jacuzzi tub? If so go with a one bedroom villa. OKW has the largest accommodations.

We stayed at BLT for gay days two years ago now... it was nice!

BWV? Not fans at all, but BC is nice. Ease of monorail to MK? Only if you have a pass that allows you unlimited access (annual pass) as you need to go through the gates at IG and exit out the front of Future World. You'll take the monorail to the TTC and change to the MK monorail. Not so easy, but fun.

Easiest is to take a bus from a resort. They drop you directly at the gate. Or stay at BLT or the Contemporary and walk over. :yes:
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:37 AM   #4
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I prefer a villa over a resort room. I've been converted to being a DVC-aholic. Old Key West and Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge are my preferences. Beach Club was nice, but the layout of anything larger than a studio is a little odd. I think the major appeal of the Contemporary is the proximity to the Magic Kingdom. So I guess it all depends upon where you plan on spending most of your time and if you want to be able to walk/stumble/crawl back to your room or hop on a Disney Bus/rental car.
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:46 AM   #5
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Yep, yep, yep! Totally agree with you about OKW and Kidani Village.

BLT is nice for Gay days though. It's right there and of course has the best barkeep in Disney.
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Reflections of the fears I know I've left behind
I step out of the ordinary
I can feel my soul ascending
I am on my way
Can't stop me now
And you can do the same
What have you done today to make you feel proud?
It's never too late to try
What have you done today to make you feel proud?
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andynnj View Post
Hi everyone - I book the GD trip for me and my friends and I am stressing over where to stay again this year. There are just so many good choices!
I am hoping someone can help answer some questions:
-Can you easily get to MK on monorail if you stay at Boardwalk, Yacht, or Beach?
-If you rent a car and transportation is not an issue, which resort would you pick? Or, is transportation still an issue even with a car?
- How are the villas? Are they a lot better than the resorts?

Last year it was Grand Floridian, which was nice, but someone I met in DC told me it was nice to eat at the World Showcase when staying at Boardwalk. BW doesn't seem to have the best reviews, so I was thinking about Beach or Yacht - or going back to GF, Polynesian (never stayed), or maybe even back to Wilderness Lodge this time. Btw, is there a good reason to stay at the Contemporary? It seems kind of boring when I ride through on the monorail.

Any thoughts are appreciated.
Generally people do not take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom when staying at either the Boardwalk or Beach/Yacht Club. Most people opt for the easy and direct option of picking up a bus at their resort and dropping them off near the gates of the park. DVC-OKW explained what you would need to do to have the experience of taking the monorail to the Magic Kingdom. I do recommend taking a mid day break while touring the Magic Kingdom for a visit to a lounge at one of the monorail resorts (Contemporary, Polynesian, or Grand Floridian). When you exit the Magic Kingdom you can take the monorail to the resort and take the monorail back to the Magic Kingdom if you wanted to share that experience with your friends. There is nothing quite like getting your batteries recharged as you recline in air conditioning enjoying a nice, cool beverage.

If you rent a car, that solves any transportation issues. Most of the time folks enjoy a resort because a certain theme appeals to them. For me, I love the Beach Club because it is nostalgic. I grew up going to the Jersey shore every summer. The Beach Club reminds me of the homes in which we would stay. My last visit was at the Beach Club Villas and that is as close to the International Gateway as you can get. It literally was a five minute walk to enter Epcot. Add to that I had access to Stormalong Bay which is more like a mini water park as opposed to a hotel pool. Finally, the ice cream option of Beaches and Cream satisfies my sweet tooth.

In general, I believe most would prefer a villa. It definitely was handy having a washer and dryer in my room. When on vacation I don't cook. However, some like to save a little money by fixing some meals in the room, especially breakfast. If you are in a villa a kitchen or kitchenette could be handy. I've always had the impression that the villa affords more space. Who doesn't enjoy more space? Is a villa worth the money? Only you can decide that for yourself.

Don't stress over this decision making. It's a win-win for you. No matter where you will be staying you will be having the time of your life in a magical resort. If you'd like your travelling companions to have a say in the decision, why not let them surf over to allearsnet.com and look at pictures and sometimes video tours of the resorts.
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:58 PM   #7
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There's nothing like staying on the monorail line really when it comes to ease of transportation. Save the rental car and stay at the Poly or even the Conyemporary. You asked what is special, not sure really other than I've always liked it here. Our favorite is e Poly. You can take he monorail or boat to he MK or take a short walk to the TTC and catch he monorail to Epcot. You would need to take he bus o AK and the studios though. Is there a reason you don't want to stay at the Grand Floridian again?


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Old 02-02-2012, 09:31 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone

Ended up selecting WL. The two friends traveling with me have never stayed there so I thought they would enjoy the theme. I couldn't convince the snorer in the trio to take the fold-out, so no villa this time.
Still debating rental car. There is a party at one of the water parks and not sure how to get back without a car. I spend all of my time in the parks anyway, so may be too tired to bother with the party. Totally immersed in Disney for 5 days with my glbt family, who could ask for more?
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:18 AM   #9
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@ Tony: The GF is a beautiful hotel, but wanted something a little more "fun" this time, if that makes sense. Was going with the Polynesian, but the reviews on Tripadvisor are not so hot.

Last edited by Andynnj; 02-02-2012 at 10:19 AM. Reason: left out person directed to
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andynnj View Post
@ Tony: The GF is a beautiful hotel, but wanted something a little more "fun" this time, if that makes sense. Was going with the Polynesian, but the reviews on Tripadvisor are not so hot.
Everyone that I know who has ever stayed at the Poly absolutely adored it. But I've heard the same from those who have stayed at Wilderness too. The Grand however, has fallen flat in the opinions of most of my friends.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andynnj View Post
@ Tony: The GF is a beautiful hotel, but wanted something a little more "fun" this time, if that makes sense. Was going with the Polynesian, but the reviews on Tripadvisor are not so hot.
Everyone that I know who has ever stayed at the Poly absolutely adored it. But I've heard the same from those who have stayed at Wilderness too. The Grand however, has fallen flat in the opinions of most of my friends.
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Everyone that I know who has ever stayed at the Poly absolutely adored it. But I've heard the same from those who have stayed at Wilderness too. The Grand however, has fallen flat in the opinions of most of my friends.
Add me to that list. I've really enjoyed the Poly - nice relaxing place, great atmosphere especially after dark with the tiki torches lighting the way. Also love Wilderness Lodge because of the really great theming. So many wonderful details to take in. Just wish the rooms were bigger/brighter.

But at GF, I just feel out of place. Yes, here are lots of people walking around in "park attire" and mouse ears, but I just don't feel like I fit.
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andynnj View Post
Hi everyone - I book the GD trip for me and my friends and I am stressing over where to stay again this year. There are just so many good choices!
I am hoping someone can help answer some questions:
-Can you easily get to MK on monorail if you stay at Boardwalk, Yacht, or Beach?
-If you rent a car and transportation is not an issue, which resort would you pick? Or, is transportation still an issue even with a car?
- How are the villas? Are they a lot better than the resorts?

Last year it was Grand Floridian, which was nice, but someone I met in DC told me it was nice to eat at the World Showcase when staying at Boardwalk. BW doesn't seem to have the best reviews, so I was thinking about Beach or Yacht - or going back to GF, Polynesian (never stayed), or maybe even back to Wilderness Lodge this time. Btw, is there a good reason to stay at the Contemporary? It seems kind of boring when I ride through on the monorail.

Any thoughts are appreciated.
I noticed this was posted awhile ago, but here are my thoughts. I have a child who is, without doubt, Disney's biggest fan, so we have been to several resorts at WDW, including:

Swan
Dolphin
Boardwalk Villas
Beach Club Villas
Villas at the Wilderness Lodge
Port Orleans (back when it was Port Orleans)
All Star Movies
All Star Music
All Star Sports
Caribbean Beach
The old Grosvenor Resort (we spent our honeymoon there)

Our thoughts--we found the monorail resorts to be kind of overpriced, so, although we would sometimes go there to eat or "hang out", we never stayed there. I agree with you, of all of them, the Contemporary seemed the most boring.

The Swan and the Dolphin are great deals if someone in your party is a teacher, nurse, or serviceperson, however, now that WDW has DME, it's less attractive.

The Villas at the Wilderness Lodge are beautiful--really gorgeous. If you plan to spend a lot of time at the hotel, I would stay here. I don't think any other resort on the property, that I've stayed at or visited, compares.

In general, my favorite place to stay is the Beach Club Villas, and my daughter and husband prefer the Boardwalk Villas (I won't complain either way--love them both, just think the edge goes to the Beach Club). EPCOT is our favorite park, so anything on the Boardwalk goes on the list as a favorite resort. I don't know why it received bad reviews--the last time we were there, my daughter took her friend, and they LOVED the pool--thought it was the best thing ever.

As to the villas being nicer, it depends upon what is important to you. If you go the rental route (as we usually do), renting points from DVC members, it is SOOOOOO much cheaper (generally at least 50% less, and often even less than that), that sweetens the deal for us. However, you do have fewer changes of towels and sheets, and less housekeeping, so if that's a problem for you, you probably will not like them as much. However, they are very spacious, and we really like having the refrigerator and microwave--we also bring our Mickey or Cinderella waffle iron, and make our own Mickey waffles for breakfast. That's always fun, and gets us to the park fed and ready to go. We love the villas.

That said, as you mentioned, there are so many good choices--I think the fact that you are there at WDW ensures you'll make a good choice.

As to your exact questions:

On getting there via the monorail--the monorail isn't a very convenient transportation option to MK--you're better off taking the shuttle bus. On the other hand, walking to EPCOT is really easy, and walking to the Disney Studios isn't that hard--there are also the boats which will take you both places.

This said, the Monorail is not out as transportation if you have park hoppers--walk through EPCOT and catch it from EPCOT. It will take a little while, but it's not impossible.

I can't really speak to the other questions--neither my husband nor I can drive, due to medical issues, so we always take park transport (also wheelchair accessible vans are PRICY!)

Also, I've never stayed anywhere other than the villas at the more expensive resorts, so I can't really say if they're better, but I know I like the refrigerator and they've always seemed very nice to me.
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