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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
AliceIn
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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
NHKristy76
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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, 08:23 AM   #8
firstwdw
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my 7year old son's one and only vacation so far was Disney this past spring. We stayed at Wilderness Lodge and let me tell you-he LOVED that place-even more so than the parks I'd say!!!! He loved the pool, geyser, boat ride to magic Kingdom, watching the fireworks from our balcony(higher ones), watching the electrical water parade on the beach. We never even got around to renting bikes or little speed boats but we wish we did! The lobby and grounds are amazing !We went over to visit the Poly since that's where I stayed when I was a kid his age and he didn't care for it at all-although the view of the castle across the lake was cool. He was just as happy taking a boat to Magic Kingdom and we rode the monorail plenty while we were there so we didn't miss out on that. I'd search the internet and look at recent photos from all the resorts.
I have read great reviews on Art of Animation and the pictures are awesome. However, it's not as close to the parks and it's a big resort with all bus transportation which may or may not matter to you.
All that said....we are going to try Port Orleans on our next visit because Wilderness Lodge just doesn't fit out budget. If we could afford it, we'd stay there every trip! They have bunk beds too so your kids would not have to share a bed!
But congratulations and have fun planning!!!!! So much to think about!
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:05 AM   #9
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I would do port orleans for a first trip.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:07 AM   #10
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Our first trip we stayed at ASMusic. The next year we did CBR/WL combo. The next year we did AKL/Poly. The next year the kids asked if we'd ever do ASMusic again (we didn't...I got used to more room). With this in mind, I'd suggest going Value on a first visit. The kids have no reference of other types of lodging so don't feel like they are missing anything, and you save a bundle.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:11 AM   #11
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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   #12
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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, 09:24 AM   #13
Asc341
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When I was a kid my mom sprung for us to stay at the Polynesian, almost every year. Looking back, this was probably more for her than for me, as I was more excited for the park than the hotel. Having said that, Polynesian is fabulous and I cherish my memories there. As a young adult, I've switched to moderates for budget restrictions, and I look forward to the day that I can stay at the deluxe resorts (especially the Poly!) again.

I say if you want to spring for the Polynesian, do it! You won't be disappointed, and even if this is for the kids, you deserve to have the best vacation you can have as well! Kids love to go back to the resort and use the pool, I'll bet you'll get a lot of use out of the hotel. As I said, it is fabulous, and a ton to do for kids.

A great option for the Poly too - they have a babysitting service, it was themed as Peter Pan and Neverland when I was a kid, I think it's still the same - I LOVED it as a kid, and my parents got to have a romantic night alone. It's totally safe, a blast for the kids and something you may want to consider!
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:43 AM   #14
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Honestly your kids are going to love ANY resort...I'd pick one that appeals more to you and DH. At 7 and 9, they almost seem too old for AoA themeing. If they are little fish, and love to swim/slide/etc...I would suggest either Beach Club/Yacht Club (look at Stormalong Bay) or Wilderness Lodge. All of thee will be a little less than Poly.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:08 AM   #15
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Wow!! Congrats on your hard work. We have stayed Value, Mod, and Deluxe. My husband and I prefer the Deluxe. We did like all the other levels too. Like the kids we are just happy to be at Disney World. From the other helpful posts you have received, the common theme is that no matter where you stay, you will have a great trip, it is Disney after all. My advice would be to stay at AoA to get that cartoonish appeal. With the savings you can do one of two things 1) spend more on character meals and extras in the parks. There are also special experiences with a Princess Tea or Pirate Adventure Cruise and so many more. 2) save the difference for your second trip. Cuz if your like any of us, you will be hooked and want to come back for more.

We did a split stay our last visit. Some people really like doing split stays. For us, not so much. Taking the time to get stuff together again, check out, and check back seemed to be a pain for us. It is worth a try if you want to experience two dif resorts.

Good luck with your planning. For me, that's when my Disney trip starts.
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