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Old 01-31-2013, 09:04 PM   #1
samacita
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Choose resort based on transportation??

For our kids' 1st trip in Nov, we are still stumped on lodging. We've been leaning toward Poly due to convenience of monorail and boat transportation. With 3 young kids (DD7, DS3, D?4mos), we'll be heading back for midday breaks, and we're not wanting to tackle the buses just yet. But...then I checked out AKL and a few others and I'm back to stuck. We could get a savannah view (which looks AMAZING) for cheaper than Poly, but then we're stuck with bus service when we head to MK (HS and Epcot may or may not make it on our agenda this trip) and might make our midday breaks too much of a hassle.

I'm really torn between the convenience of Poly (among other wonderful aspects of staying there) vs the cost savings of AKL and experience of the savannah right out our window. How's the AKL bus - does it share with other resorts? Is it annoying?? (I've done offsite shuttles to/from WDW, and those buses were a PITA. I'm not wanting to re-create that experience, especially with little ones.)

Then again, I find myself going back to wondering if a family suite at AoA would be best so that we can have a separate bedroom and a night-waking baby doesn't disturb the other two kids... But those buses sound like a crowded, noisy mess. Plus, we'd really like a peaceful retreat at the end of the day, and AoA doesn't sound like it fits that bill.

Yikes!! Help!! What do you suggest?
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:09 PM   #2
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I'll suggest dumping the Poly ( too costly for our blood) and checking out Wilderness Lodge.... It's in the MK area, boat ride to the MK, all under one roof, nightly beach movies and marshmallow roasts and the EWP shows from the beach....

Best of all is the price, alot cheaper than any monorail resort and not as far out as the AKL....we've done over 10 stays there and like boating over to FW for some great buffet, plus the Hoop Dee Do is at Pioneer Hall....

Check it out, the WL theming will blow you away!!
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:11 PM   #3
samacita
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WL is booked for our dates.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:56 PM   #4
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If convenience is the priority, maybe you should consider the Contemporary. As others suggested, I am prefer WL but I realize it is full.

AKL is really far from most of the parks. POR is pretty central as well.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samacita View Post
WL is booked for our dates.
Did you call or checked online? When I checked online for our trip it was booked but when I called they had availability. WL sounds great. I agree about the buses. With the ages of your kids I would stay near MK.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:58 AM   #6
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WL is a great suggestion but Poly is my #1 so naturally I say stay there. Poly has the best of everything great theme Best location on the monorail IMHO transportation center is a 5 minute walk in most cases. If you are staying at AKL I re.commend renting a car, we did when we stayed there because we knew we couldn't handle waiting for buses for all 4 resorts. Also having the savannah view is nice but it varies on how many animals you see some days there are many some days not so much. I think it is worth trying but you can get your fill of animal viewing at animal kingdom and you also see a greater variety
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:49 AM   #7
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I hate the Disney buses. Last trip we stayed at Polynesian and really liked it but this time we are trying Yacht Club. Short walk to Epcot, boat to Hollywood Studios and I'll cab to Animal Kingdom. That leaves me with the buses for 1 park only, Magic Kingdom. We are getting a standard view club level room at Yacht Club for just a bit more than a standard room at Polynesian.

I considered one of the value resort suites but I really hate the buses.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samacita View Post
We've been leaning toward Poly due to convenience of monorail and boat transportation.
That's the answer. Plus it will allow one adult to go back with any of the kids and allow the others to stay (Epcot or MK) if so desired and relatively easily hook back up after a rest for some at the Poly.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:20 AM   #9
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With the ages of your children the majority of your time will be in the MK. I'd stay close to there if you can afford it. It's very convenient to hop on a monorail or boat and be back in your resort/room in 10-15 minutes and be able to put the kids down for a nap.

AK is very far from MK so the bus ride will be long. A car is convenient for most of the parks but I find that MK is the least convenient when driving. When you park at the other parks a tram will transport you to the entrance to the park. At MK, the tram transports you to the ticket center where you then have to take the monorail or the boat over to the MK entrance. With three children that can really be a hassle.

Is it doable - of course! Is it convenient - no. Ultimately, you know your own limitations and patience. Staying at GF, Poly, or Contemporary is extremely convenient to the MK and convenient access to the Epcot monorail at the ticket center. Direct access to HS and AK would be by bus.

BTW - I do agree that WL is a great less expensive alternative. They have boat transportation directly to MK. Keep checking for cancellations.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:28 AM   #10
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We stayed at AKL on our honeymoon, and the buses didn't bother us. That was before they started sharing with Kidani, but I can't imagine that makes THAT much of a difference.
When we took DS, when he was 3 months old, we stayed at Caribbean Beach (which is notorious for bad bus complaints) and again the buses didn't bother us, even with a stroller and a baby.
In fact, we seem to have one "bad" bus per trip. Basically, one park that should we choose to go there, the buses seem to be wonky, every time we attempt to go during that trip.
We ALWAYS take a break midday, and using the buses has never deterred us from doing so. In fact, it's usually less frustrating to take the buses in the middle of the day, when you may only share with one or two other families, rather than be stuffed in like sardines. It's the fireworks buses that are the most frustrating, and we hardly ever leave the parks around that time. We either skip the fireworks altogether (I don't think we stayed for the fireworks once when DS was 3 months, because we wanted the sleep) or hang out in the parks for a while until most of the people have filtered out.

Granted, I have never stayed at a monorail resort, but Disney transportation is less frustrating than some of the public transportation I've experienced. It was definitely better than the buses from when we stayed on Hotel Plaza Boulevard near DTD, when we stopped at several hotels, then stopped at the TTC (for the Magic Kingdom) before heading off to the Animal Kingdom. Also, I simply can't pick a favorite Disney park, so I try to spend an equal amount of time in all of them. I LOVED the fact that AKL was literally right around the corner from the Animal Kingdom.

Ultimately, you're the only one who can make the decision, but I've always had a hard time justifying the extra money for a monorail resort. For our upcoming trip in April, I tried to work out staying at even the Wilderness Lodge, and I couldn't do it, so we're staying at Port Orleans-French Quarter. Granted, it will be 3 adults against one almost 3 year old and a stroller. If/when the children outnumber the adults, we will likely end up staying off-property and driving ourselves.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:29 AM   #11
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we had no issues with the AOA busses. We had a 9, 7, and 5 year old but we also had a stroller. One day, my oldest and I took a pop bus and walked around since that bus came first.

The younger 2 often went back to the hotel for a break with my wife while I stayed with the older one at the parks. They would nap, swim, whatever. Had no issues getting back via bus to meet us.

If you are concerned about noise, ask for a cars suite by the quiet pool (we were in the mater building) and heard nothing. Not sure how noisy the nemo suites are since they are by the big pool.

And both pools are awesome, as is the theming.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samacita View Post

I'm really torn between the convenience of Poly (among other wonderful aspects of staying there) vs the cost savings of AKL and experience of the savannah right out our window. How's the AKL bus - does it share with other resorts? Is it annoying?? (I've done offsite shuttles to/from WDW, and those buses were a PITA. I'm not wanting to re-create that experience, especially with little ones.)
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The savannah view will blow your mind. It's amazing

I'm not going to sugarcoat it- you may wait for a bit for the bus... but in normal circumstances the longest you will wait for a bus is 20 minutes, and that's if you arrive at the bus stop just as the prior bus was pulling away. MUCH better than any of the offsite shuttles.

One bus serves both Kidani Village and Jambo house at AKL, but they don't share with other resorts. They pick up/drop off at Kidani first, so that might be a consideration.

Honestly, we've been content with the bus service from AKL- there was only *one* time we had to complain- we were trying to get to the beach club for a Cape May breakfast via Epcot, and we ended up being late.

If you're looking for the best value of space for your money, I'd suggest renting DVC points and getting a 2 bedroom at AKV-Kidani. You're looking at between $3200-$3800 for two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, washer and dryer. The only thing you give up is daily housekeeping.
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:18 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by bdklein

Plus it will allow one adult to go back with any of the kids and allow the others to stay (Epcot or MK) if so desired and relatively easily hook back up after a rest for some at the Poly.
Ooooh, this is such a good point!!! Thank you!!
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:53 PM   #14
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Without a doubt-WILDERNESS LODGE!
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:55 PM   #15
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The Poly and monorail resorts are great....When the monorail is working..When it isn;t it is a nightmare..FOr that reason alone I would go with the Contemporary.At least you can walk to MK
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