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Old 10-08-2012, 10:16 PM   #16
amym2
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We stayed at WL last year and while the outside of the building reminded me of GWL, beyond that they were nothing alike. We LOVED WL, but if you're concerned about bus service, AoA is likely to be just as good as WL just for the fact that WL shares buses with other resorts (GF, Poly, FW depending on park). We thought Roaring Forks was pretty good, but we really want to check out the food at AoA. And while the kids liked the bunk beds at WL, we definitely would prefer the AoA room set-up with some separation for us (DD had a cough while we were at WL that kept me awake). The rooms at WL are tiny. Which resort you prefer will depend on your personal preferences. Tough call, I say go with your gut.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:38 PM   #17
shells4
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I absolutely hated the GWL also! Kids loved it but I hope to never set foot in there again. I would have never picked WL on my own but my husband arranged a suprise Disney trip and that is where we stayed. I tend to lean toward beach, tropical theme but I really loved the WL. It is beautiful, peaceful, and we liked the location. Very expensive resort but we hope to stay there again someday. You can not even begin to compare the GWL and the WL, not even in the same ballpark.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:53 PM   #18
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As long as you do not mind the smaller room at the WL, it is truly a no brainer. That resort theme is perfectly suited to the holidays since it has such a cozy feel. Plus, it is great to have quick boat access to the MK and all of its decorations, as well as MVMCP. Great counter service at the WL (for a deluxe) too. I would jump on the WL fast since, like a PP stated, the WL books out quickly that time of year. Good luck!
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:22 AM   #19
Doc Goofy
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Can't REALLY go wrong IMO.

There's no way you are going to "hate" WL. Lol I'm not a rural/lodgey kinda girl in any sense of the word - In fact, I love CR. - but WL has a wonderful homey feel to it. I certainly have fave resorts, but each of them has their own unique feel. I was not crazy about POLY compared to some of the others, but there was certainly nothing to hate about it.

The theme is just a veneer. You're always going to get the Disney "feel" and attention to detail.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:21 AM   #20
kaysmommie
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Wilderness Lodge is the perfect for December! We actually just stayed there in September and we still love it. I know exactly what you're saying about the theme. We live in Knoxville and hour from the smokies and Gatlinburg. I don't want to stay anywhere that reminds me of the theme there either. We hated Wilderness of the Smokies, which is a lot like Great Wolfe lodge. But we love WL and AKL. WL is much more deluxe, well themed, nice restaurants and pool. Plus the rooms have been recently refurbished and they are very nice. The boat to MK is very enjoyable and we had no problem at all with buses our entire trip.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:30 AM   #21
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I'm going on the other side here. While WL and Great Wolf Lodge really are miles apart, their theming is very similar. If you really hated Great Wolf Lodge, WL is a very very spiffed up version of the same theme. Have you thought of AKL instead? Its also one of the less expensive deluxes and you could get a non view or pool view room.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:36 AM   #22
Sue M
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We love WL. It's a beautiful resort, love the boat to MK, and the resort boat that loops around WL, FW, & CR. very handy for ADRs.
We've stayed there 3 times, once with both my daughters so there were 3 of us. We felt there was plenty of room, wouldn't say the rooms were tiny. But if you want larger rooms look at CR or Poly.
I believe the resort is in the mist of room renos right not. I haven't seen the new ones. Soft refurb. Keeping same furniture. Putting in new bedding, drapes, carpet, tiles, etc.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:48 AM   #23
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We love, love, love WL - primarily for the following reasons:

1) The decor - DH loves the woods - so it's a no-brainer for us
2) The size of the resort - no matter where your room is, it probably isn't going to be a very far walk to anything - the bus, the food court, the lobby, the courtyard, the boat. Really a "small" resort in comparison to others (IMO)
3) It's a hotel with inside hallways - which is nice when it rains, or is really hot, or is really chilly
4) The boat - nothing calms us more than riding the boat to/from MK. My kids have fallen asleep many times on that boat! (during most peak times, it's a large boat where you don't have to fold up the stroller and make the kids get out)
5) Easy resort hopping - we love to grab a pork sandwich at Capt Cooks at the Poly - it's fun getting there via boat and transferring to the monorail, especially on arrival day
6) The lobby - we love hanging out in the lobby - my daughter learned to walk there. It just is very calming.

All that - and in December it's so charming! One evening they had handbell players - loved it!!!

Now, that said - since the birth of our 2nd child and going to one income - we've been staying at the All Stars as a way to save money on our trip and we enjoy them (especially ASMu). But...

...our last trip a few weeks ago, DS got sick and was up all night crying and stuffy - we would have LOVED to have another room for DD to get some sleep -instead all 4 of us were up most of the night each night.

So, we've decided going forward we'll go less often, and try to get a family suite at either ASMu or AoA. It's unlikely a kid will get sick again, but when you spend so much time and money on a Disney vacation, sleep is important!! The heat and humidity, mixed with the crowds and no sleep - made for a not-so-fun vacation for us. We made the most of it, but at least now while our kids are still young, we all need some sleep!!!
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:05 PM   #24
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We have stayed at WL and absolutely love it. It's gorgeous, all inclusive under one roof, and just a warm environment. We have also stayed at the ASMu family suites, as well as eaten lunch at AoA this past trip. I think the biggest thing to think about is at AoA you will have a ton more space, private bedroom for the parents, two bathrooms and a kitchenette. That is a true luxury while at Disney. However, it is far away from most parks and without a rental car you would be relying on buses the whole time, which may be hit or miss. The bus service at WL is top notch, and you have the boat to MK as well. It's so hard to compare such different resorts! Good luck!
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:45 PM   #25
KapBoy77
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Thanks to everyone for the input. I really need to sit down with DW and discuss what it is we really want out of our stay. We will certainly look at all the points discussed here.
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