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Old 03-14-2013, 09:21 PM   #1
skatalite
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Where to stay for second trip: AK Villas, BoardWalk Villas or Bay Lake Villas?

Oy.

I'll be taking my second trip ever to WDW in late November/early December 2014 for my birthday. My wife and I were married at WDW in June 2012, so we're hankering for another trip (this will be her fourth).

Since it's for my birthday, she thinks it'd be best if I picked where we stayed. Ha! We do know we'll stay seven nights, so that much is certain.

Pros and cons of each resort, from most preferred to least preferred:

Animal Kingdom
Pros:
- It's the cheapest resort of the three (we're going to rent DVC points)
- Is visually stunning (visited there during our honeymoon stay)
- All their DVC villas seem to have awesome views

Cons:
- Far from things (my brother said it was a 30-minute bus ride to HS, Epcot and MK, though I think he was exaggerating)

Bay Lake Tower
Pros:
- Modern style, which is what the wife and I like
- Awesome looking rooms
- Close to MK, which is our second-favorite park

Cons:
- Seems the Monorail is far from the Tower? But I can't be certain based on pictures/videos
- Most expensive of the three resorts
- We might not get the best view of MK, despite selecting a Magic room (based upon what I've seen in reviews and videos)

BoardWalk
Pros:
- We like the way it's nestled in between two parks
- Has multiple options for transportation
- Is middle-of-the-road pricing of the three resorts

Cons:
- Based on reviews/YouTube videos, the view might leave much to be desired
- Annnnnd it has the clown slide, which terrifies me

I do have a question about the BoardWalk villas, though: Do any studio villas overlook Crescent Lake/the boardwalk?

What do you all recommend? Have you stayed at any of these, or all of these? Can you point out more pros and cons I'm not considering?

Thanks so much!
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:57 AM   #2
cvjw
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Have you had a DVC owner check availability for you? The time frame you are planning your trip is one of the most popular times for DVC owners to visit Disney. The value studios at AKV and the MK view studios at BLT were probably booked up by owners last Dec and January. I just checked two of the resorts where we own points (BCV and VWL) for the last week of Nov, first week of Dec, and there isn't any availability for a full week in a studio either of those weeks. You need to line up an owner (or contact David's) before you get too deeply attached to certain resorts for those two weeks of the year. It could save some disappointment.

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Old 03-15-2013, 08:12 AM   #3
DebbieB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skatalite View Post
Oy.

I'll be taking my second trip ever to WDW in late November/early December 2014 for my birthday. My wife and I were married at WDW in June 2012, so we're hankering for another trip (this will be her fourth).

Since it's for my birthday, she thinks it'd be best if I picked where we stayed. Ha! We do know we'll stay seven nights, so that much is certain.

Pros and cons of each resort, from most preferred to least preferred:

Animal Kingdom
Pros:
- It's the cheapest resort of the three (we're going to rent DVC points)
- Is visually stunning (visited there during our honeymoon stay)
- All their DVC villas seem to have awesome views

Cons:
- Far from things (my brother said it was a 30-minute bus ride to HS, Epcot and MK, though I think he was exaggerating)

Bay Lake Tower
Pros:
- Modern style, which is what the wife and I like
- Awesome looking rooms
- Close to MK, which is our second-favorite park

Cons:
- Seems the Monorail is far from the Tower? But I can't be certain based on pictures/videos
- Most expensive of the three resorts
- We might not get the best view of MK, despite selecting a Magic room (based upon what I've seen in reviews and videos)

BoardWalk
Pros:
- We like the way it's nestled in between two parks
- Has multiple options for transportation
- Is middle-of-the-road pricing of the three resorts

Cons:
- Based on reviews/YouTube videos, the view might leave much to be desired
- Annnnnd it has the clown slide, which terrifies me

I do have a question about the BoardWalk villas, though: Do any studio villas overlook Crescent Lake/the boardwalk?

What do you all recommend? Have you stayed at any of these, or all of these? Can you point out more pros and cons I'm not considering?

Thanks so much!
For AKV, 30 minutes is exaggerating. I'd say 10 or 15 minutes to Epcot & DHS, 15 or 20 to MK. Not all views are awesome. I would book savanna view at Jambo.

For BLT, I stayed there last week and got a lake view that had a MK view off to the left. Request even number room, north side. It is a long walk from the monorail if you are on the north side.

For BWV, DVC reservations are split into 3 categories: standard view, pool/garden view, boardwalk view. Boardwalk views all have a lake view. There are some studios in the pool/garden category that have a partial lake view (Village Green). Some rooms are a long walk.

Late November/early December is popular for DVC, especially BWV. Most likely is soldout for those 2 weeks at this point.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvjw View Post
Have you had a DVC owner check availability for you? The time frame you are planning your trip is one of the most popular times for DVC owners to visit Disney. The value studios at AKV and the MK view studios at BLT were probably booked up by owners last Dec and January. I just checked two of the resorts where we own points (BCV and VWL) for the last week of Nov, first week of Dec, and there isn't any availability for a full week in a studio either of those weeks. You need to line up an owner (or contact David's) before you get too deeply attached to certain resorts for those two weeks of the year. It could save some disappointment.
I own at BWV and AKV. The BWV might be a tough one to get but isn't totally impossible for some nights that week. There's a better chance of scoring AKV, but obviously not a value studio. I agree that you need to line up an owner or contact David's now, so that you can see what's even available to book. You may find out that there are no owners at the resorts you've listed who are willing to rent their points right now.

But if I were to recommend a resort, I would probably lean toward the BWV for a young couple just because I find the Boardwalk area to be more romantic than the other choices. Plus you have a lot of grown up entertainment choices along it. And you cannot beat it for easy access to both Epcot and HS. However, the standard view villas can overlook the area where luggage for DME is loaded and unloaded. It can become noisy very early in the morning. Some people also complain that the BW views can be noisy later at night.

Good luck, OP! I hope it all works out for you!
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:13 AM   #5
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ditoo what PPs said: you would need to start looking for points to rent a year out from arrival (booking at 11 months prior).

the real question is: do you want try somewhere new, or go back to where you know you liked?

if you opt to try somewhere new, both BLT and BWV have incredible views available (BLT MK view, and BWV BW view), as well as easy park access.

BLT has TOTW (for watching wishes, tho many have said that food is limited, and it can be crowded with kids - not sure if that what you are looking for).

with BWV's BW view, you can watch the upper fireworks from illuminations (amazing as they burst over the eiffel tower) from your balcony, as well the BW activity (street performers, carny games, surrey bikes, etc) with spaceship earth in the background. jellyrolls with their dueling piano players is on the BW, along with ESPN, restaurants are aplenty in the area.
fyi, there is a "quiet" pool by community hall (and barbeque) at the BWVs, as well as a gorgeous, and actually quiet pool on the BWI side.

i would suggest checking allears.net for more details and pix
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:37 AM   #6
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akv - value and maybe savannah views are gone - you might be able to get standard view - maybe?

bwv - standard and bw (and yes you can get broadwalk view) are probably gone - so you might be looking at water/garden - what most of bw is.

that say you need to decide what parks you are spending the most time at - if Epcot and studios then BWV - if MK and Epcot then - BLT or VWL

BLT standard and MK view are probably gone - so that leaves Lake view.

that say if you want late Nov or early Dec - you will probably end up in OKW or SSR - they are the biggest and might have studios.

OKW is the biggest and the only one with 2 queen beds instead of queen bed and double sleeper sofa
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiceycat View Post

that say if you want late Nov or early Dec - you will probably end up in OKW or SSR - they are the biggest and might have studios.

OKW is the biggest and the only one with 2 queen beds instead of queen bed and double sleeper sofa
We also own at OKW and SSR, they both had availability for those weeks in a studio. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:40 AM   #8
Deb & Bill
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The OP is looking for November/early December 2014 , not 2013. He just needs to get a member to book it as soon as possible in Dec 2013/Jan 2014.

You can get a studio with a BW view from what I have seen.

Good luck and enjoy your trip.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:59 AM   #9
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I'd go with BWV. It's walking distance to Epcot. When we stay there, we usually book a different Epcot/World Showcase restaurant for each night of our stay.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:16 PM   #10
skatalite
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Thanks so much for the information. I had no idea those weeks were the most popular for DVC holders, but it makes sense. The dates, honestly, are flexible. My birthday is Nov. 30, so it'd be nice to spend the actual date at a park, but I'm flexible.

One option we're now considering is split stays. Is that possible when renting DVC points?
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:35 PM   #11
Marionnette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb & Bill View Post
The OP is looking for November/early December 2014 , not 2013. He just needs to get a member to book it as soon as possible in Dec 2013/Jan 2014.

You can get a studio with a BW view from what I have seen.

Good luck and enjoy your trip.
Well, duh! I totally missed that! He has lots of time to get things together. His only concern would be finding someone who has decided they want to rent their points at the resort he wants. I don't think that David's will even take his request at this time because he is so early with his planning.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skatalite View Post
Thanks so much for the information. I had no idea those weeks were the most popular for DVC holders, but it makes sense. The dates, honestly, are flexible. My birthday is Nov. 30, so it'd be nice to spend the actual date at a park, but I'm flexible.

One option we're now considering is split stays. Is that possible when renting DVC points?
Sure, you can do a split stay. You might need two separate owners to make two separate reservations at their home resorts, though.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb & Bill View Post
The OP is looking for November/early December 2014 , not 2013. He just needs to get a member to book it as soon as possible in Dec 2013/Jan 2014.

You can get a studio with a BW view from what I have seen.

Good luck and enjoy your trip.
Deb when you are right - you are definitely right!
that will teach me to do two things at once!
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:53 PM   #14
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so now BLT

love it!!! the monorail is not far at all - it is just in another resort - CR - you walk across the skywalk - about 5 minutes

blt despite its size is not a big resort - it curves so that makes some of the MK views less than what you would think.

you would want north side. Now if you go with standard view or lake even you want north side even number rooms.

the even number is outside the C. -the odd number is inside the C - now some people like looking inside other rooms that is what the odd number rooms do.

the activity center is where you can go to do things - games, painting, other crafts, etc

outside the back is swimming pool, splash/fountains, some games don't remember and can't find, bbq grills
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:25 PM   #15
skatalite
Anybody interested in grabbing a couple of burgers and hittin' the cemetery?
 
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Thanks for all of the pointers and info!
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