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Old 04-05-2013, 02:57 PM   #1
smashndash
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Help needed to select resort

We have a Savannah room at Animal Kingdom Lodge booked this Summer. Recently found out we could stay at Grand Floridian, Garden View room or Beach Club Water view room for less than what Animal Kingdom lodge would cost.

Cost isn't factor because we had planned to stay at AKL anyway, but at the time we booked, we didn't realize that GF and BC rooms listed above we're in same price range.

We've confirmed all 3 are similar price but now aren't sure which one to go with.

Visited several times in past but stayed at moderate and value resorts. This will be our first Delux resort at WDW.

Family of 4, two boys, 18 and 11 will be with my wife and I.

Any recommendations or suggestions appreciated!
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:01 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
We have a Savannah room at Animal Kingdom Lodge booked this Summer. Recently found out we could stay at Grand Floridian, Garden View room or Beach Club Water view room for less than what Animal Kingdom lodge would cost.

Cost isn't factor because we had planned to stay at AKL anyway, but at the time we booked, we didn't realize that GF and BC rooms listed above we're in same price range.

We've confirmed all 3 are similar price but now aren't sure which one to go with.

Visited several times in past but stayed at moderate and value resorts. This will be our first Delux resort at WDW.

Family of 4, two boys, 18 and 11 will be with my wife and I.

Any recommendations or suggestions appreciated!
What about doing a split stay? That way you can get the feel of ALK and also stay a few days close to the MK and monorail.
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:19 PM   #3
pepe of ohio
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We are not for split stays, too much rigmarole ... We like to check in, move in and forget about packing up till we have too...

Resort choice, I'll get stomped on for this bug we did not care for. AKL, location mainly, food not to our taste and savannah view... Meh....

We prefer a resort close to a park, any resort in the MK area, especially the WL... any resort in the EPCOT area too.... Evening when the parks are closed, you have the activity of the Boardwalk and the MK area your have 4 resorts to play in plus FW.....personally we'd pick the WL since its a deluxe but with a lesser room rate over the rest...
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:22 PM   #4
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I have stayed @ the GF, AKL and YC (not quite the BC - but close)
GF - easy access to MK, several great restaurants there and @ Contemporary & Poly, bit of (to me) serene/adult feel, which I like (although it is kid friendly.) Pools are not the most spectacular.
BC - for me YC (which I prefer, as you are guarenteed a full balcony unlike the BC.) SAB - best resort pool on property, especially important if you are going in the warmer months and not getting water parks added on to your tickets. Super easy access to Epcot and also an easy walk/boat to DHS. Great restaurants there and accross the way @ the boardwalk, not to mention the proximity to all of the restaurants in the countries section of Epcot. No easy counter service, but there is Beaches and Cream ice cream and Hurricane Hannahs for lunch fare.
AKL A personal fav, but I am an animal nut, AK is a full day park for me and I go more than once each trip. Love both restaurants in Jambo and also Sanaa in Kidani. Newer and feels very grand. Some think the rooms are dark (but not me) and short of a trip to Africa, there's no other place where you can sit on your balcony and watch wild animals. Counter service is ok. Bus only transportation to the parks, which is a negative.
If it were me, with sons the age of yours, I'd probably opt for BC (in my case YC, due to the desire for a balcony.)
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:22 PM   #5
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AKL is my absolute fave resort and I also love the Epcot resort area BUT I think I would choose GF because of the monorail...nothing beats that fast/easy transportation to MK and Epcot. Really all 3 resorts are top notch so you can't go wrong!
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:10 PM   #6
mickeynut1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
We have a Savannah room at Animal Kingdom Lodge booked this Summer. Recently found out we could stay at Grand Floridian, Garden View room or Beach Club Water view room for less than what Animal Kingdom lodge would cost.

Cost isn't factor because we had planned to stay at AKL anyway, but at the time we booked, we didn't realize that GF and BC rooms listed above we're in same price range.

We've confirmed all 3 are similar price but now aren't sure which one to go with.

Visited several times in past but stayed at moderate and value resorts. This will be our first Delux resort at WDW.

Family of 4, two boys, 18 and 11 will be with my wife and I.

Any recommendations or suggestions appreciated!
We've stayed at all 3 resorts and views and all of them are great as they all have their advantages:

GF - 1 monorail stop from MK, large rooms, most rooms come with a daybed, convenient to CR and Poly for a variety of TS options.

AKL - theming is great, good CS/TS options, no sharing of buses with other resorts (except Kidani right next door).

BC - within walking distance to Epcot and DHS, boardwalk for nightly entertainment, rooms are slightly larger than AKL.

If I had to choose, the GF would probably be my first choice for the reasons listed above (although we have had great stays at all of them). We loved our stay at the BC, but limited CS options is an issue for us, so we haven't stayed in the Epcot area since. With all of that said, you really can't go wrong with any of them as they are all great. I would choose by which theme/decor appeals to you the most. Good luck.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:24 PM   #7
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AKL, BC or GF?

We have stayed in all 3, multiple times, and love them all. I am a big fan of AKL, but due to location and needing buses to get everywhere, I do not think I would pay more to stay there over either the GF or the BC.

I would pick the GF if you are big MK fans (plus it's not so hard to get to Epcot from there) or BC if you love Epcot and DHS. BC has the best pools, so that may be a factor, plus it lets you walk to 2 parks, which is really nice. Both GF and BC areas have lots of dining options. GF is undergoing a DVC add-on right now, so check the GF thread to find out about the construction noise if it matters to you.

Honestly, I really like all 3 and would be happy to stay at any of them.
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:26 PM   #8
clapton
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Having stayed at all three they are all beautiful. That being said we prefer GF or BC for their location. AKL a little too out of the way for us. The atmosphere at BC is great especially at night and you have the added benefit of going to the BW and also the Swan and Dolphin. Whatever you choose you will have a great time! Enjoy!
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:41 PM   #9
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IMO, AKL is beautiful, rooms are great, etc. But it is in the middle of nowhere. You spend a lot of time riding a bus. This can be a real pain in the **** if you are going during a busy time and have to wait on the bus.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Having stayed at all three they are all beautiful. That being said we prefer GF or BC for their location. AKL a little too out of the way for us. The atmosphere at BC is great especially at night and you have the added benefit of going to the BW and also the Swan and Dolphin. Whatever you choose you will have a great time! Enjoy!
I agree with clapton. Having stayed at the three, we prefer BC. Also, we appreciate SAB and that we are walking distance to both EPCOT and DHS. Oh, and you can walk to Fantasia Gardens mini golf if your family is interested. Have fun!
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
We have a Savannah room at Animal Kingdom Lodge booked this Summer. Recently found out we could stay at Grand Floridian, Garden View room or Beach Club Water view room for less than what Animal Kingdom lodge would cost.

Cost isn't factor because we had planned to stay at AKL anyway, but at the time we booked, we didn't realize that GF and BC rooms listed above we're in same price range.

We've confirmed all 3 are similar price but now aren't sure which one to go with.

Visited several times in past but stayed at moderate and value resorts. This will be our first Delux resort at WDW.

Family of 4, two boys, 18 and 11 will be with my wife and I.

Any recommendations or suggestions appreciated!
Like others, we have stayed at GF,AKL and YC (not BC). Did not care for the isolation and small room size of AKL. Love GF and YC. Going this summer, with the construction at GF, I'd pick BC/YC. if nothing else for Stormalong Bay and easy access to three parks (walk to EPCOT and HS and walk through EPCOT to the monorail for MK). GF would be my first pick, but we have girls and your boys may find it a bit frilly for them. As previously mentioned, AKL is very isolated and relies on buses to the parks. Waiting for a bus seemed to take forever in the winter, can't imagine it in the heat of summer,
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:45 PM   #12
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I've stayed at all three as well....and everyone's taste s different so really depends upon what is important to you. On this trip (if you plan to repeat). So go with your gut. My thoughts are:

GF: just not my style and so expensive. It was fine and location can't be beat. But if I am doing MK area, I will choose Contemporary or Poly all day long. Love them both, lukewarm about the GF. Too stuffy.

AKL: adore it and you are really talking about 5 more mins on a bus. So if you want a unique experience and will actually tak some Tim to spend at the resort, AKL is amazing. But if your kids are all about he parks, might not be worth the location.

BC or YC: my personal faves in the Epcot area and might be ideal for your kids ages. If travel to the MK is your only concern (and they really only want the headliners and to hop to DHS or Epcot), the location is ideal. Also a great area to give them some space to separate from you a bit if you felt comfortable with that. Lots of evening activities, close to the World Showcase at night for you and the Test Track or Rock'n'rollercoaster for them. You'll definitely want hoppers if you stay here but tat would be my recommendation based upon your kids ages. Just so much to do in the area and pool, plus the park location benefits. Seems like a good match.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:20 AM   #13
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My wife's favorite is AKL Savannah view (but the resort has only bus transportation). I favor any resort on the monorail loop and so I would favor GF. But, with your family makeup and 2 son's ages, I think I would lean towards BC or YC. The pool is the best, and this resort area is a great "in the action" kind of spot. Plus, they have Beaches and Cream which is my favorite place to get ice cream (great experience and the best ice cream around
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:35 AM   #14
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I agree with others that with the ages of your kids the Epcot/Boardwalk area will be a blast. Would be my first choice. I have heard there are some folks that do not like the lack of nearby counter service options- but this is a non-issue for us- if you don't do a lot of CS you will not notice.
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:45 AM   #15
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We've stayed at both BC and the GF.

I would pick BC for severa reasons - one is the construction going on with the DVC building, and two is there isn't any better place to be in the summer than the BC and SAB! We love being able to walk/water taxi to two parks. What could be better in the summer than ice cream from Beaches and Cream!
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