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Old 01-07-2013, 06:07 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Poly vs. GF- Please help us decide!

I know it's been asked many times and it really is a matter of personal preference, but we can't decide where to stay!
Last May we stayed at the Poly with our 1 & 3yr olds. It was the best vacation ever and we loved the resort. My only "complaints" about the Poly were the worn, dated rooms. It was clean and spacious so I wouldn't let that stop me from staying there again, but it was definitely something we noticed. I also didn't love that we had a short walk to the lobby if we wanted coffee or snack but that would be the case at the GF too (can't afford main building).
The pool area was also just okay, in my opinion. It was crowded and there were never enough chairs.
We did visit the GF and when we first walked in we just felt the calm and serenity that you don't experience anywhere else in Disney. There was a sense of class and elegance that the poly doesn't have. We said we'd definitely stay here next time. We even loved the pools and grounds. All that being said, after our vacation was over we realized there is a certain energy and disney-vibe at the poly that you just don't get at GF. We also love the food options at Poly.
So... Now we're hoping to go back this May. GF is a little more money, but we're willing to splurge if it's worth it.
I'm hoping to hear feedback from anyone who has stayed at both resorts. How did the rooms compare? What about the overall experience? Do you think it's worth the extra $ to stay at GF? TIA!
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:48 AM   #2
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I have stayed at the GF for 2 girls trips and 1 family trip and while I do love the GF, the Poly is my favorite. The GF is a beautiful resort and I loved all 3 stays, but my family (me included) prefers the Poly for the tropical atmosphere, the volcano pool (we like it better than the beach pool at the GF), Captain Cooks is our preference over Gasparilla's, and we loved relaxing in a hammock on the beach while watching the fireworks. As far as the rooms, they are comparable in size, but our Poly room felt a little more spacious compared to our GF room. Not sure if it was due to the furniture and how it was arranged, but it seemed like we had a little more space at the Poly than at the GF. But with all of that said, I think you would enjoy a stay at the GF and it would give you a chance to compare it the Poly to see which one you like better. Good luck.

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Old 01-07-2013, 11:25 AM   #3
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We've stayed at both. You would get mixed opinions from us! I love the GF it's my favorite. However, my kids (6, 9, 11) would choose the Poly again. They liked the pool and beach better there. Honestly...you can't go wrong. They are both great resorts.

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Old 01-07-2013, 11:26 AM   #4
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I preferred the bright cheerfulness of GF over the Poly. But, I really prefer a resort that has all it's components in one building like WL or YC.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:34 AM   #5
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I have stayed at both. We love the Poly - there is something just very magical about it for us. I also love that you can walk to the TTC and get the Monorail directly to Epcot - I found the loop around from GF with a switch to be time consuming.

As far as rooms and the main building - the GF gets the edge for us. I light the light/airy look of the GF rooms and there is just something really special about the main building.

Not sure when you're going but there is a fair amount of construction going on at the GF - although I'm not sure where everything stands right now. When we were there last year it was ramping up with parts of the beach walled off as well as the pool with the waterslide. I think the courtyard pool was also on the docket to be worked on although I don't know the timeline on that. For me, that would detract a bit from the overall atmosphere since the courtyard pool is so central and I'm not a fan of construction walls .
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:00 PM   #6
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We stayed at both in 2012 and we would definitely pick the Polynesian.

We stayed at the Poly for 10 nights in May in Rapa Nui which we think is the best location ever in all of Disney (for us anyways). We drive down and prefer to use our car to get to AK, DHS, and water parks so Rapa Nui having a parking lot right in front was wonderful!! It's also a 5 minute walk (with 4 children that were 7, 5, 3 and 10 months) to the TTC which saves soooo much time. It also took us 5 minutes to get to the volcano pool, and the great ceremonial house. The only thing that seemed like a long walk was the boat dock but we only used it 2x so no big deal. We like Captain Cooks and Ohana and watching the fireworks from the beach as well. We also enjoy the tropical theming, it feels more like a vacation.

The last week of Nov. we stayed 5 nights at the GF. I really wanted to stay there when it was decorated for Christmas and it was pretty. I'm glad we stayed once but don't think we'd go back. The long walk to the self parking lot was a pain, especially when carrying tired children at the end of a long day. The room seemed so much smaller than our room in Rapa Nui. It was really cramped with the 6 of us whereas at the Poly we felt like we had plenty of space.

The main thing we disliked was the transportation. After getting used to walking to the TTC from our room at the Poly, having to walk to get to the main building at the GF, wait for a monorail, go all the way around to the TTC (which can take awhile depending on how often and how long they stop), walk over to the Epcot monorail and then wait for it really made me wish to be back at the Poly. The same with getting back from MK. It was so much nicer to just get off at the TTC when staying at the Poly and have the quick walk back to our room instead of going two more stops to the GF. It didn't seem like it would be a big deal when we booked but for us it was, especially considering how often the monorail takes extra stops along the way for whatever reason.

We are going back in April for 10 days and can't wait to get back to the Polynesian!
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:21 PM   #7
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Thank you - Same Decision Facing Us

Thanks for all the responses! We are just discussing a trip next January (2014) and DH wants the GF, while I really enjoyed our garden view club room 3 years ago.
I just logged on and am getting excited!
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:05 PM   #8
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We prefer the GF, I really like a calmer vibe and that is not the Poly. I will say that I think the rooms at GF need a refurb as much as the Poly. The furniture is a bit worn and the bedspreads don't get me started. We have only stayed in an outer building once and I will say I greatly prefer the main building. The GF is much quieter than any of the other resorts we frequent. Our 2nd favorite is a toss up between Boardwalk and Wilderness.

We valet so self park is not an issue. We take the monorail to MK and the boat back. We typically drive to all other parks as the monorail in the last few years has been a bit unreliable.

I prefer Capt. Cooks for QS but we just make the trip over if we need to. We greatly prefer the pools at GF but the courtyard pool is closed thru March. We find the staff more attentive at GF.

I think with the issues you mentioned it really is a toss up with the exception of noise and chaos. I just find the Poly too chaotic for me in general.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:19 PM   #9
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The GF is my favorite resort. I love the location, the grounds, the amazing staff.. Basically everything about the Grand!!

The one thing that would influence my decision is closures. If you are traveling when Courtyard pool is closed - I would go with Poly as IMHO walls in Courtyard take away from ambience.

It is just nice to have a calmer laid back place to come back to after a LONNNNNNNGGGGGG day in crowded parks..

That being said - they are both amazing resorts and you can not go wrong with either.

The extra time in the monorail was almost nothing and my son LOVES the monorail so extra time on it was a good thing for us!
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:06 AM   #10
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We've been debating the same thing for awhile now and after looking at threads for both resorts I think we would enjoy the Grand but still miss the Poly. Even though they're right beside each other, it's almost comparing apples to oranges. There's so many little things that I love about the Poly that I know I can't get at the Grand. So while I would argue that the Grand is the nicest Disney hotel, for us the ambiance of the Poly is irreplaceable. Both resorts are the best of the best but for us we'll wear out our Poly fix a little more before we try the Grand.

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