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Old 03-08-2013, 08:30 AM   #16
AlohaAnnie
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I agree everyone has a preference of what they like. I also agree to check out the resort before you book.

We love AKL both Kidani & Jambo. We also really like BCV & BLT. We own DVC. I am not as fond of Boardwalk other than a Boardwalk view.

We haven't stayed at any of the other Deluxe DVC resorts yet. So I do not have an opinion on them.

As far as Pop we like it but I feel spoiled by DVC, I would stay there if it was my only option but I really love the advantages of my rooms and comforts of home. I also love the pools at the DVC resorts.

POR - in my opinion is more comfortable than Pop love the hot tubs at moderate resorts and miss them when we stayed at value resorts. We really loved CSR when we stayed there. If I used up all my DVC points I would stay here.

But these are just my opinions and what our Disney vacations have evolved to.

Thank you for your review! I appreciate your opinion!
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:38 AM   #17
sjs314
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I have to admit I have never stayed at any of the Value Resorts and only two of the Mods, POFQ and CSR both of which I loved but my heart lies with Disney's Deluxe Resorts. Dark or Light I have loved everyone we stayed at. YC x1, WL x2, OKW x1, BWI x2 and AKL x 1. AKL is one of the better themed of the resorts IMO since you feel completely immersed even forgetting at times your in Disney.

Our next trip will be to the Polynesian another "dark" resort but themed excellently from all I have read. WL another "dark" resort also has the Magic of making you forget at times where you are.

I agree you should give some of the lighter, brighter Deluxes a try and see if they are more to your liking, CR, GF, YC/BC or BWI. OKW & SSR might be good options as you could stay in a 1 Bdrm?
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:45 AM   #18
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We enjoyed AKL, but it is not our favorite. We spent a small fortune to stay two weeks at Saratoga Springs, and I really disliked the place. We had to walk forever to get anywhere and our entire group thought the room was dirty, and the furniture pretty beat up. I did look at pictures before we left, noone researches more than I do, and I realized it was a large resort, but for some reason it seemed sooooo much more spread out than it needed to be. We love WL, CSR, PO, Poly. I'm just thankful they have so many to choose from!!
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:58 AM   #19
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I'm glad you found your happy place! You never know until you try other things. I keep thinking one of these trips I will fall in love and devote my heart to one resort, but I just love them all. We enjoy Pop, but we have to have two rooms. Hubby and I sleep in a king bed at home, there is no way in heck I'm sleeping in a full sized bed with him on my vacation! LOL I swear those things feel like a twin to me.

Boy oh boy I wish I could have had your kidani one-bedroom one of my favorites!!!
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:00 AM   #20
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We feel the same way; AKL is just way too dark. We much, much prefer BC or BW -- try one of those next time.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:05 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjs314 View Post
I have to admit I have never stayed at any of the Value Resorts and only two of the Mods, POFQ and CSR both of which I loved but my heart lies with Disney's Deluxe Resorts. Dark or Light I have loved everyone we stayed at. YC x1, WL x2, OKW x1, BWI x2 and AKL x 1. AKL is one of the better themed of the resorts IMO since you feel completely immersed even forgetting at times your in Disney.

Our next trip will be to the Polynesian another "dark" resort but themed excellently from all I have read. WL another "dark" resort also has the Magic of making you forget at times where you are.

I agree you should give some of the lighter, brighter Deluxes a try and see if they are more to your liking, CR, GF, YC/BC or BWI. OKW & SSR might be good options as you could stay in a 1 Bdrm?
Rooms at the Poly are being refurbed. Take a look at Tikiman's site and you can see what they are doing to the rooms. Lighter colors are being used.
I actually love the Poly. Never thought it was dark.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:08 AM   #22
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Everyone has different tastes. I abhor the over the top themes of the values. We did them twice and it was way too stimulating for me. My soul seeks peace and tranquility above all else. Just riding the monorail through the Contemporary gives me anxiety. I really loved PoFQ when we went, but, I'm really looking forward to my Poly stay this summer. Something tells me I'll fall in love.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:09 AM   #23
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Different strokes for different folks.

My parents loved AKL Club Level -- my mom says it is her favorite hotel stay of all time -- she even likes it better than GF Royal Palm Club which we have also done.

We had a savannah view room and it was hard to tear my parents away from watching the animals. My parents are usually big TV watchers and they never turned on the TV, they were so fascinated with the animals.

We loved the club level lounge that looks out on the lobby. No, the lobby is not Disney in the sense of Disney characters. But, as with many Disney things, the hotel creates a very specific place and time and immerses guests in that vision. I think the Disney imagineers realized their vision with AKL and we enjoyed our stay immensely.

But, to each his own. We have stayed at value resorts as well and they are fun and serviceable and sometimes a pretty good value, depending on time of year and the free dining promotion.

Last edited by ElizabethB; 03-08-2013 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:20 AM   #24
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Sorry you were disappointed, OP A WDW trip is a big investment of time and money, and it can be so frustrating when aspects of the trip don't live up to your expectations. But thanks for you honest and balanced review of AKL We have stayed there before, and I found it to be a mysteriously magical place. The sights and smells and general vibe of the place was intriguing for my family and it felt like we were transported to a remote, exotic outpost. However, due to limited transportation options and travel distances to parks (except AK), I have been loath to book a week long trip there. However, I would love to add on a day or two to just soak up the resort ambiance.

Disney has so many lodging options for visitors that there is room for everyone's tastes.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:24 AM   #25
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We stayed at AKL and mid way through our stay we moved to Beach Club. While AKL is nice, i agree it is dark and a bit out of the way. We LOVED Beach Club and will be going staying (at Yacht Club) in May. BC/YC has so much more to offer (except for the animals) IMO
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:26 AM   #26
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Thanks for sharing.

Our family loved AKL. I love the dark lobby, dark room and all of the brown. We had so much enjoyment staying there in 2011 and we will be back there in 20 days.

I see pics of, say, beach club rooms and all the brightness/lightness and that does not appeal to me at all.

I'm very glad Disney offers a variety of themes at their resorts.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:28 AM   #27
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Disney is many things for many people with people becoming fantics to the other end of the spectrum where people proclaim never again. Its all OK. Disney is a place of variety of rides, foods, beverages, parks, pools, lodging, budget, themes, location, etc. Information is readily available to include pictures and videos. All you need to do is pick the one that makes you feel happy/right.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:50 AM   #28
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To the OP, I'm so sorry your trip wasn't all you had hoped. I can imagine how disappointed you must be. We're firmly in the moderate camp and not considering upgrading, but we've been thinking of switching from our beloved CBR to POR next trip. Knowing how much we love CBR, I'm very worried that we'll spend a week at POR wishing we were at CBR. I think you've convinced me to stick with CBR where we know we'll be happy. Maybe we'll visit other resorts on our next trip so we can make an informed decision in the future.

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Old 03-08-2013, 10:23 AM   #29
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I am sorry to hear you didn't like the AKL but glad you had a good time anyway! I understand the feeling....on our last trip we did a split stay starting at Pop Century but then moved to BLT for the last of the week. I never in a million years wanted to stay at Pop(1st time in a value) but we ended up loving it so much more than BLT which was twice as much! In previous trips we also didn't care for POR but loved the Poly. Just goes to show you not to group any one category as "not for you". Better luck next time!
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:37 AM   #30
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OP, I am glad you have a resort that you love.

I know I wouldn't like AKL either, not for the browns (I stay at the Poly that is brown!!) but because there is no monorail or view of the castle from the pool.

I love that we can choose & stay where ever we want in or out of the world.

I was trying to get my dh to stay at the BC for part of the stay but he veto'd it.

He is not a huge Disney fan & the first time I took him, well he met m there, I was at the All Stars. He hated it. The next time we went for a few days & stayed at the WL & he wasn't impressed. He didn't like the thought of spending $200/night at the Poly (jeesh..I wish it was that now).

Then I took him again & we stayed at the Poly. Now he won't budge. But that is OK since I love the Poly...
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