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Old 09-10-2013, 05:36 PM   #1
hulamom
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Best resort for family with teen & older kid

My family of 4 (me, DH, DD16, and DS10) are planning a visit to WDW in June right after school is out. We've only visited WDW once over 6 years ago, stayed at the WL and really enjoyed it but would like to try a different resort. We want to enjoy the resort but will probably spend most time at one of the parks, and convenience (good tranportation) is a plus.

Right now we are considering:

AKL:
Pros - good price for a deluxe, theming, pool, restaurants (and DS10 LOVES animals)
Cons - distance to parks, transportation (how are busses? or is it better to rent a car and drive?)

Contemporary (Garden wing):
Pros - big rooms, convenience, transportation (monorail)
Cons - cost, theming is okay, pool

Polynesian:
Pros - theming, convenience, transporation, pool
Cons - expensive, possible construction in June

Any thoughts or recommendations? My 1st choice would be AKL but my husband really thinks it's so far out and thinks the busses would be a big inconvenience. He's leaning toward Poly but my fear is the cost would be way high (even for a standard garden view) and the construction would be going on then (even possibly closing the pool & beach area). CL is another option, but I don't know much about what it's like in the garden wing and if my family would still like it there.

Any help or thoughs are appreciated!
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:52 PM   #2
Joan S.
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Hi, With the ages of your children I would consider the BC or YC,for the following reasons. Storm-a long Bay,best pool on Disney property. You are within walking distance of 2 parks,so cuts down on bus transportation. And you can always walk thru Epcot and catch the monorail to the MK or surrounding resorts.Plus you have the BW nearby for nightly strolls and food/entertainment. Joan
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:57 PM   #3
mevelandry
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AKL: Never waited more than 5 min for the bus. Only 16 minutes to Magic Kingdom... That's nothing! The resort is amazing.
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hulamom View Post
My family of 4 (me, DH, DD16, and DS10) are planning a visit to WDW in June right after school is out. We've only visited WDW once over 6 years ago, stayed at the WL and really enjoyed it but would like to try a different resort. We want to enjoy the resort but will probably spend most time at one of the parks, and convenience (good tranportation) is a plus.

Right now we are considering:

AKL:
Pros - good price for a deluxe, theming, pool, restaurants (and DS10 LOVES animals)
Cons - distance to parks, transportation (how are busses? or is it better to rent a car and drive?)

Contemporary (Garden wing):
Pros - big rooms, convenience, transportation (monorail)
Cons - cost, theming is okay, pool

Polynesian:
Pros - theming, convenience, transporation, pool
Cons - expensive, possible construction in June

Any thoughts or recommendations? My 1st choice would be AKL but my husband really thinks it's so far out and thinks the busses would be a big inconvenience. He's leaning toward Poly but my fear is the cost would be way high (even for a standard garden view) and the construction would be going on then (even possibly closing the pool & beach area). CL is another option, but I don't know much about what it's like in the garden wing and if my family would still like it there.

Any help or thoughs are appreciated!
What about Yacht Club or renting points and staying at either Beach Club or Boardwalk. Yacht Club and Beach club share an amazing pool area. Boardwalk's pool is pretty cool also. I can't remember off the top of my head how these compare in price to Poly or CR, but if you rent points at either Boardwalk or Yacht Club it can be quite a savings over any sort of discount you can get otherwise. With any of those three you can walk or take a boat to both Epcot and DHS.

You could also look at staying at the Swan or Dolphin as well. They are in the same area, and have some of the same perks as staying at a Disney resort (EMH access, bus service & boat service, package delivery - I think). The restaurants are pretty good from what I've read. The rooms are lovely and cost wise, you can usually stay there for less than many of the Disney deluxe resorts. The pool there is really cool also, and you can walk to Fantasia Gardens mini golf if that is something you'd enjoy.

The downside with all these resorts is that they do share buses to the other parks, and that can be a pain. And if you choose to rent points, you are pretty much locked in to the resort and dates you choose once you sign on the dotted line. At the Swan and Dolphin you don't have access to the DDP since they are not Disney owned resorts. You have resort and parking (I think) fees to factor in as well.
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:59 PM   #5
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We just stayed at CR in the garden wing and I liked it a lot more than I thought I would because I had never been thrilled by the theme. I actually ended up booking CR again for next years BB because I loved the room size and the location/convenience. My 12 year old dd was the one who picked it because she loved the idea of walking in to MK. My dd told me her 2 favorite resorts are currently YC and CR. We stayed at AKL one year and that was an amazing resort with better buses than any mod that we've stayed at but I do love staying at a resort where you can walk to at least 1 park.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hulamom View Post
My family of 4 (me, DH, DD16, and DS10) are planning a visit to WDW in June right after school is out. We've only visited WDW once over 6 years ago, stayed at the WL and really enjoyed it but would like to try a different resort. We want to enjoy the resort but will probably spend most time at one of the parks, and convenience (good tranportation) is a plus.

Right now we are considering:

AKL:
Pros - good price for a deluxe, theming, pool, restaurants (and DS10 LOVES animals)
Cons - distance to parks, transportation (how are busses? or is it better to rent a car and drive?)

Contemporary (Garden wing):
Pros - big rooms, convenience, transportation (monorail)
Cons - cost, theming is okay, pool

Polynesian:
Pros - theming, convenience, transporation, pool
Cons - expensive, possible construction in June

Any thoughts or recommendations? My 1st choice would be AKL but my husband really thinks it's so far out and thinks the busses would be a big inconvenience. He's leaning toward Poly but my fear is the cost would be way high (even for a standard garden view) and the construction would be going on then (even possibly closing the pool & beach area). CL is another option, but I don't know much about what it's like in the garden wing and if my family would still like it there.

Any help or thoughs are appreciated!
Out of your choices, we have stayed at the Poly and AKL. The Poly is our favorite resort overall, but we did love AKL. My first choice would be the Poly, but I do understand the hesitation due to DVC construction and the possibility of the volcano pool being closed. With that said, AKL is a beautiful resort and we loved it. The resort is out away from everything, but we found the buses to be fine as it didn't take more than about 5 extra minutes to get around compared to other resorts we have stayed at. Also, the buses only go to Kidani and AKL, so there's no sharing with any other resort(s). I can't comment on the CR as we've never stayed there. Good luck deciding and happy planning.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:37 PM   #7
hulamom
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Thank you for all your great ideas and suggestions!!

We hadn't even considered BC or YC thinking for some reason they were too far away, but I like that you can walk to 2 resorts, and sort of take the monorail to MK. I'll have to check on the price.

We have a Disney premier Visa so I'm hoping to get enough points to pay for a good percentage of our trip, and hoping also for some sort of Disney Visa discount to come out for our dates.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan S. View Post
Hi, With the ages of your children I would consider the BC or YC,for the following reasons. Storm-a long Bay,best pool on Disney property. You are within walking distance of 2 parks,so cuts down on bus transportation. And you can always walk thru Epcot and catch the monorail to the MK or surrounding resorts.Plus you have the BW nearby for nightly strolls and food/entertainment. Joan
My thoughts exactly!
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:42 PM   #9
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I agree with the BC/YC suggestion! That amazing pool and proximity to two parks will come in handy in the June heat! The rooms are bigger than AKL, but smaller than Poly/CR. Cheaper than Poly, though! The easy Boardwalk access is nice too and I just think that resort area is really beautiful and relaxing in general.

I wouldn't rule out AKL since the bus transport really is very good, but you might get sick of busing back to your resort every afternoon when you might want to swim. I do think the AKL has the next best pool after BC/YC, though, and we absolutely love the resort and its restaurants! If not for this trip, give it a try next time!

We love the Poly, but the construction is probably too much of a gamble right now. The CR rooms and location are nice, but the pool is sort of blah and the resort grounds leave much to be desired in comparison to the other resorts on your list, IMO.

Have fun whatever you decide!
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:01 PM   #10
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I *love* the Poly, but with their price and construction issues, you might want to look (as others have said) at YC/BC.

The pool at YC/BC is AMAZING for all ages, the hotel is a quick walk to Epcot and has easy access to Hollywood Studios (a park which my teen nieces/nephews really love). The Boardwalk area is a lot of fun too, and I found transportation to other parks fine (took buses and walked through Epcot to reach the monorail to take to MK). In fact, YC/BC is my favorite place after Poly, and I think it's a great place for older kids and teens. On top of that, YC/BC can definitely be had at a cheaper rate than the monorail hotels.

Have fun choosing!
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan S. View Post
Hi, With the ages of your children I would consider the BC or YC,for the following reasons. Storm-a long Bay,best pool on Disney property. You are within walking distance of 2 parks,so cuts down on bus transportation. And you can always walk thru Epcot and catch the monorail to the MK or surrounding resorts.Plus you have the BW nearby for nightly strolls and food/entertainment. Joan
This is a great area for older kids and teens! Our home resort is BWV and we love walking around.
Besides the resorts mentioned, if you are entitled to a discount - teacher, gov't worker, nurser- at the Swan or Dolphin, they're great too and much cheaper. You can't get the DDP, use DME, or charge to your room but you get the other perks.
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:53 AM   #12
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Definitely the BC or YC. We love the hotel, the pool, the area. So nice to be able to walk to Epcot or HS and walk to the Boardwalk for dessert at the bakery. We went to beaches and cream for ice cream at least 5 times this past trip as well.
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