|12-20-2012, 02:44 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jul 2011
Just finished a split stay at both resorts (our first time staying deluxe).
Better lobby: Poly. Love the vibe (and smell) of the GCH. Love the water feature (and sad that it may be removed). BC's lobby is nice (and gets the edge on Christmas decorations due to the merry-go-round) but Poly wins here.
Better grounds: Poly by a landslide. My parents, who were with us and have been to Hawaii on multiple occasions, said being at the Poly feels more like being in Hawaii than actually being in Hawaii. And the tiki torches at night just give off such a special feel. The Beach Club grounds, in contrast, are nothing to write home about.
Better rooms (excluding bathroom and bed): Poly by a slight margin, mainly because the rooms are a bit larger. The rooms in the Poly are also somewhat darker, but that didn't bother me. The quality/upkeep of the rooms and decor were, at least in our case, about even (maybe a very slight edge to BC).
Better bathroom layout: BC. At Poly, we were in Tokelou where the bathroom/vanity is together and there is only one sink. At BC, the bathroom and vanity are separate and there are two sinks.
Better beds: BC. I found the mattresses to be about equally as comfortable but the BC wins here because they beds have duvets instead of bedspreads (I understand the new Poly rooms will be upgraded to have duvets). I thought the BC pillows were also slightly more comfortable.
Better noise factor: Poly, but this is in large part due to the fact that the air conditioners at the Poly are much noisier than at BC. While it sounds counterintutive to say that this made the Poly noise factor better, I found this to be white noise that drowned out any noise in the interior hallways. In contrast, at BC, interior hallway noise was much more perceptible.
Better pool (excluding water slide): BC. While I like the Volcano Pool, it's on the smallish side for a resort of the Poly's size and just can't begin to compare to SAB. SAB also has hot tubs, which the Poly lacks (although Poly is supposed to be getting one soon).
Better waterslide: Poly. Liked the Volcano silde better than the Pirate Ship slide. Too much of a pain to walk to where you get on the Pirate Ship slide and it's bumpier.
Better location: Tie. If the Monorail never broke down, I'd go with the Poly because, IMO, being within a single Monorail ride of both MK and EP beats being within a close walk to EP and a longer walk (or boat ride) to HS. However, the Monorail seems to be an ever increasing crap shoot (I realize there are other options, such as boats, but, when paying Monorial resort prices, it's a major bummer when its down). And, in the case of BC, having a 5-10 minute walk to both World Showcase and the Boardwalk is incredibly cool (my father commented that one could stay at the BC for a week, only visit EP and the Boardwalk, and still have a great vacation).
Better restaurants: Poly, but only if you count the resort itself (if you give the BC the benefit of the YC, it becomes a virtual tie - and if you count all of the restaurants within walking distance of each resort, BC wins by a landslide).
Better CMs: Tie. Didn't notice a discernable difference here.
Better bussing: Inconclusive. Didn't ride the busses enough to make a fair comparison (part of the benefit of a split stay of this type is that you can almost get away with not using the buses at all).
Other guests: Poly. I thought the other guests, on average, seemed friendlier and more relaxed at Poly than at BC (might have had something to do with the Poly being more spread out with all of the different buildings).
Overall vibe: Poly. I like the overall theming of the Poly better. Plus, the resort, as a whole, seemed much more relaxed and much less chaotic than the BC (for example, BC marketplace & lobby in the AM = total zoo).
Overall value: Tie. Overall, I like the Poly somewhat more but the Poly is somewhat more expensive. For most, the question, "which parks do you plan to spend the most time in?", is probably the most important thing to ask when deciding between these resorts.
Final thoughts: if you don't mind changing resorts once during your vacation, doing a Monorail resort/Epcot resort split stay is, IMO, a primo way to do a Disney vacation. For example, we were able to watch Wishes on the beach twice (with a 5 minute walk to our room) and, on the same vacation, have a 5 minute walk back to our resort from Illuminations (seen on the bridge between France and England). Plus, as noted above, we hardly had to use the buses (except to go to AK). We were also very close to almost all of our ADRs.
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