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Old 04-10-2013, 04:38 PM   #1
Indecisive
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Question WLV or Split Stay (AOA/Poly) with kids and In-Laws?

This is to follow up on a question I raised yesterday about whether an AOA family suite would be comfortable for 4 adults and 2 small children. With apologies to people who already read the preliminaries in that post, I am planning a 1-week trip in early May 2014 with me, DH, our two boys (4 and 7), and DH's parents. I'm torn between two options which I estimate will be fairly close in price:

1. 2 bedroom villa at Wilderness Lodge with rented DVC points for the entire stay; or

2. Split-stay with 4 nights in AOA Family Suite (most likely Cars) and 3 nights at the Poly

WL looks lovely and relaxing, and I'm sure we would enjoy the pool with the waterslide, having a spacious villa, and not having the hassle of a mid-week move with 2 little kids and 2 older folks who might, frankly, be a little difficult to manage doing a split stay. The transportation options also seem good from WL. The dated interiors would perhaps be a bit of a disappointment, but not a deal killer.

On the other hand, my true first choice if price were no object is the Poly. The restaurants seem fabulous, the pool looks beautiful, and I love the idea of easily watching the fireworks from the beach and then just going to bed without managing late night transportation with 2 wee ones (and 2 older folk). Even if there is a spring sale next year (which I know we can't count on), I know we couldn't afford a full week at the Poly, in which case a split stay at the AOA may be the best of both worlds. I'm sure my little guys would ADORE the theming at AOA, as well as the splash pad, etc., and it sounds from the responses I got yesterday and from other research that the 6 of us could all put up with each other in a family suite for 4 nights.

I think both options could be great. This will be our first Disney trip with our little guys, and none of the rest of us have been to WDW for many, many years. We probably would not plan to go back to Disney for another 5 years, so it isn't a matter of going one route this year and one the next.

So? What would you do?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:24 PM   #2
Wood Nymph
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indecisive View Post
This is to follow up on a question I raised yesterday about whether an AOA family suite would be comfortable for 4 adults and 2 small children. With apologies to people who already read the preliminaries in that post, I am planning a 1-week trip in early May 2014 with me, DH, our two boys (4 and 7), and DH's parents. I'm torn between two options which I estimate will be fairly close in price:

1. 2 bedroom villa at Wilderness Lodge with rented DVC points for the entire stay; or

2. Split-stay with 4 nights in AOA Family Suite (most likely Cars) and 3 nights at the Poly

WL looks lovely and relaxing, and I'm sure we would enjoy the pool with the waterslide, having a spacious villa, and not having the hassle of a mid-week move with 2 little kids and 2 older folks who might, frankly, be a little difficult to manage doing a split stay. The transportation options also seem good from WL. The dated interiors would perhaps be a bit of a disappointment, but not a deal killer.

On the other hand, my true first choice if price were no object is the Poly. The restaurants seem fabulous, the pool looks beautiful, and I love the idea of easily watching the fireworks from the beach and then just going to bed without managing late night transportation with 2 wee ones (and 2 older folk). Even if there is a spring sale next year (which I know we can't count on), I know we couldn't afford a full week at the Poly, in which case a split stay at the AOA may be the best of both worlds. I'm sure my little guys would ADORE the theming at AOA, as well as the splash pad, etc., and it sounds from the responses I got yesterday and from other research that the 6 of us could all put up with each other in a family suite for 4 nights.

I think both options could be great. This will be our first Disney trip with our little guys, and none of the rest of us have been to WDW for many, many years. We probably would not plan to go back to Disney for another 5 years, so it isn't a matter of going one route this year and one the next.

So? What would you do?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
I would stay at the 2BR villa. I love a villa with the full kitchen, washer/dryer, a whirlpool tub in the master bath, and most important of all, privacy. I'm a grandparent and even though I love the little ones, it is nice to have a separate space. We've stayed in a 2Br villa with our married son and two grandchildren and it worked out extremely well.

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Old 04-11-2013, 07:43 AM   #3
Indecisive
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Thank you for your input. It is very helpful to get an opinion from someone with the same family composition as us. I think you are right about having the extra space and privacy. I think the problem is that I really want to try so many of the resorts and it's hard to pick just one!
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:06 AM   #4
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I'd go for the DVC rented points at WLV. You can always visit the poly for an afternoon and your room at the DVC is going to be a lot more comfortable.

I wish they would make a DVC at the Poly.....best of both worlds.
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:20 AM   #5
Carrie in AZ
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Would you all be staying in one room at the Poly? That for me would be a deal breaker, and I would go with the two bedroom villa.

Going to DW is pure magic, no doubt about it! The memories you will make with your family will last a lifetime and the whole experience is such a tremendous blessing. But, it is also, in my opinion, a difficult trip at times, especially for a Mom. You are the one doing the intense planning pre-trip. There is a lot of ground to cover, tons of decisions to be made: when to eat and what to choose, what attractions when, is everyone happy and comfortable. There are lots of people in your group to keep happy! This is my opinion and leading up to this: We LOVE split stays and have done them and will do them again. It's like two vacations in one! But, I haven't done them with little kids AND in-laws. I'm thinking that may put me over the edge. If you do decide to do a split stay, I would talk very openly with your in-laws on how they feel about it. For example, my own Mom is very sweet but her unnecessary comments grate on me. I can totally see her saying something like "Oh, you LIKE doing this? This seems like a lot of work to me....." I would hate for you to decide on something then have your in-laws comment sour the whole experience for you. If they are supportive and mostly keep their opinions to themselves, then it sounds like a split stay could work out well.

Having said all of that, this is YOUR vacation, too, and there is an awful lot to be said for you being to experience your dream resort and it sounds like it is the Poly. I hope everyone here gets to experience their dream resort at some point! If you do decide to go with the VWL, I hope it something you think you would really enjoy in addition to it working out well logistically.

And, finally, hopefully you and DH will get a date night on your trip since Grandma and Grandpa can watch your little ones. Talk about magical, date night at DW is it!!! LOL!!

Wishing you all the best as you make your decisions.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:54 AM   #6
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Hi Carrie in AZ! Thanks for your thoughts. That is a good clarification to make--we would have separate rooms at the Poly. I agree that would be a dealbreaker to share a regular hotel room with my in-laws.

You are right that I deserve my dream resort! However, I talked to DH about the split stay idea and he was pretty unenthusiastic and thinks it sounds like a hassle . I also showed him pics of AOA and although he agreed the kids would love it, he found a lot of negatives, too, like that it looks like that there isn't much shade on the grounds and he would feel so exposed to the sun at the pool, etc. Also, since he hasn't been doing the research and this is our first WDW trip, he doesn't understand why I am so driven to the Poly. He did say that he trusts my judgment and he acknowledged he hasn't been doing the research and he is sure we will have fun no matter what I decide, but it was obvious he was not thrilled with the idea of a split stay. I can imagine my in-laws would probably feel similarly. And you are right that after all this work and planning, I don't want people moaning and grumpy at me!

So, maybe the villas are the way to go. Although now I am second guessing VWL and thinking maybe AKV. This is why I started planning early, so I could change my mind a bunch of times before I'm locked in!


Thanks again for your advice!
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:31 AM   #7
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While I love AKV and actually own points there, I would recommend you stay at WLV.

Here is why:

- Relaxing boat ride to MK
- Food court within a reasonable distance
- Two restaurants
- Even though the rooms are a little dated at the villas, the lodge is beautiful...
- Pontoon boats and Sea Raycers rental at seven seas lagoon - You can go all the way to the MK, Grand Floridian and Poly
- Bike rental - You can ride these to Fort Wilderness and explore the campground
- You can watch the electrical water parade from the beach
- You have a Geyser!

There is something for everyone in your family Plus, the lodge while having a relaxing atmosphere is right in the middle of the magic!
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My is 5yrs old. She is very lucky little girl who Mickey as much as mommy.

May09 CSR /AKV/BWV Sep09 VWL Jan10 POP/AKV APR10 POP Jun10 AKL/BWV Sep10 BCV Jan11 POP/BWV May11 BCV/BWV Jun/Jul11 SWAN/SSR Sep11 AKV/BWV/BCV Jan12 POP/BCV Feb 12 SSR May12 POP/AKV/BCV Sep12 2012 AKV/BCV/Disney Dream Dec12 Reunion Resort/WL May/Jun13 AKV/BCV/Reunion Resort/BLT Oct13 AKL Dec/Jan14 BCV/AOA/AKV Jan BCV

Currently planning many other trips, but, Mommy is running low on DVC points
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:18 AM   #8
Indecisive
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-P-C-O-T View Post
While I love AKV and actually own points there, I would recommend you stay at WLV. Here is why:

- Relaxing boat ride to MK
- Food court within a reasonable distance
- Two restaurants
- Even though the rooms are a little dated at the villas, the lodge is beautiful...
- Pontoon boats and Sea Raycers rental at seven seas lagoon - You can go all the way to the MK, Grand Floridian and Poly
- Bike rental - You can ride these to Fort Wilderness and explore the campground
- You can watch the electrical water parade from the beach
- You have a Geyser!
E-P-C-O-T! Thank you so much for your opinion! Since I haven't been to either resort, it is so valuable to hear from someone who has been to both. All of the reasons you listed (plus a few I hadn't considered, like the boats and sea raycers) are the things that led me to "choose" (mentally) VWL in the first place. But I keep having doubts, and I wonder if it is just because I have the luxury of time to keep changing my mind, or whether there really is a better choice for my family? I think the factors drawing me more toward AKL are that the restaurants and pools at VWL sound very good and solid, but the restaurants and pools at AKL sound amazing! It's hard to decide how to weigh those factors against the other ones you listed. What do you think?

I can see why so many people on the DIS have multiple visits and resorts in their signatures! There are so many resorts I want to try! We haven't even taken our first family WDW trip together and I already feel like I need to plan the next three!
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:33 AM   #9
E-P-C-O-T
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AKL is so unique and different (by the way, we are staying there next month ) that is the sort of resort where you want to spend time absorving it all, but, it is not, in my opinion, where you want to stay during your first family trip.

You need to stay in the middle of the magic, where the first thing you see before arriving into your resort is the Magic Kingdom sign and if you are lucky enough, you will also see the monorail go by, where you can hear the whistle of the boats heading to the Magic Kingdom when you are getting ready in the morning, where you can watch a movie by the beach at night while you hear wishes fireworks going off in the MK, where you family can sit at the beach, while the kids play and watch the electrical water parade, it's so simple, yet, so special and that is the feeling you want to have during your first trip...

Just in case you were wondering, we are staying at the WL in Sept and I can't wait to experience all that I told you about, again, it is still very special to us!

Oh and it's never too early to plan your second trip...
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My is 5yrs old. She is very lucky little girl who Mickey as much as mommy.

May09 CSR /AKV/BWV Sep09 VWL Jan10 POP/AKV APR10 POP Jun10 AKL/BWV Sep10 BCV Jan11 POP/BWV May11 BCV/BWV Jun/Jul11 SWAN/SSR Sep11 AKV/BWV/BCV Jan12 POP/BCV Feb 12 SSR May12 POP/AKV/BCV Sep12 2012 AKV/BCV/Disney Dream Dec12 Reunion Resort/WL May/Jun13 AKV/BCV/Reunion Resort/BLT Oct13 AKL Dec/Jan14 BCV/AOA/AKV Jan BCV

Currently planning many other trips, but, Mommy is running low on DVC points
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:57 AM   #10
Indecisive
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Thank you so much. Your description of those intangible things like hearing the fireworks and boat whistles and feeling "in the middle of it all" are the kinds of things that are not easily susceptible to research. Since I am feeling indecisive, maybe I should just take your word for it! Some of it will be left to chance anyway since I will have to take what is available when I go to rent DVC points at the 11 month window. The only question is how I rank them in my request and the rest of it will be up to the Disney Fates! Thanks again for your thoughtful advice to this newbie!
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:47 PM   #11
Carrie in AZ
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You are welcome!

I could not agree more about wanting to be in the middle of the magic! OP is right on target with that! Good luck again and happy planning!!
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