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Old 02-08-2014, 09:04 AM   #16
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As others have said, it depends on your children. On the trip we took when DS had just turned 3 and LOVES Toy Story, no resort would've made him happier than staying in the buzz lightyear building at ASMo. No matter how tired he was at night, he perked up when we entered the courtyard of "Andy's room."

When our kids were 8 and 5, however the value rooms started feeling really small. We moved to deluxe, and the kids loved it! They've loved the kids activities that the deluxes have. Great pools - especially storm along bay at the BC/YC, which is their fav. They enjoyed watching the animals and nighttime storyteller at AKL. And playing in the sand and watching MK fireworks from the beach of the Poly.

Personally, I don't care for moderates. I've only stayed at Coronado Springs and Carribean Beach, but both were so spread out. They both had nicely themed pools and nice food courts, but it was a major hike from our room to get to either! And the internal bus stops make getting to a park seem to take FOREVER!

Whatever you choose, I'm sure your family will love it and have a magical time!
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:46 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Brian Noble View Post
Around those ages, my kids had three requirements for a hotel on vacation:

1: There must be a pool.
2: The pool must have water.
3: The water must be wet.

That's about it.
These were our kids' requirements, too. They always asked to go back to the resort so that they could go swimming.

We always stayed deluxe because we wanted to enjoy our vacations. It is stressful traveling with children, and when you add WDW to the mix, it becomes even more so. We choose resorts that we, as adults, felt comfortable in.

The kids loved the deluxe resorts because of the great pools, especially the one at the BC/YC. Now that they are all grown up with children of their own, they still prefer the deluxe resorts. And all three of our children look back at their WDW vacations with many fond memories, none of which include any regrets that they didn't get to stay at a resort with a giant bowling pin outside the building.
~ Sue

Next up: WL - Jan 24 to 29, 2015; OKW - Feb 26-Mar 1, 2015; BC - April 15 - 21, 2015; BC - Oct 21 - 26, 2015
WL - Oct 22-27, 2014, YC - Sept 24-28, 2014; BC - March 19th to 25th, 2014, WL - Jan 23 - 27, 2014; WL - Nov 30 - Dec 5, 2013; WL - Feb 5 -11, 2013; BC - April 2011, BW - January 2009, BCV - 2007, 2005, 2003, Poly - 2002;
BC - 2001, 1998, 1994, 1992; YC - 1997; GF - 1989, 1988; Poly - 1987, 1986, 1985; CR - 1981, 1980; offsite - 1982, 1976, 1973
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:46 AM   #18
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If you can afford it, go deluxe.
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:20 AM   #19
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We have stayed at all the resorts and at first the requirement was just a pool... Now that they are 7 and 5 they require the hotel to have a slide,lol... So at least need to stay moderate.. Last few years AKL has been the favorite
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:21 AM   #20
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I'd say it would depend on your typical vacation accommodations. We do hotels for short stays and houses for long stays. If you are used to high end accommodations avoid the values/mods. We did a house in WDW, but the kids did activities and we ate at a wide variety of hotels. We would always walk around and check them out. We hit AoA, ASMU and the kids didn't like them. The theming is a little over the top and tacky looking and is very motel like. The pools are not very exciting, they said no. POR they liked a lot including the pool(it was kinda dirty when we were there, but the kids didn't notice) and also liked WL. Poly and GF were the biggest hits with them and the CR(one I liked) they thought was kinda boring.
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:28 AM   #21
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I have twins and they went to Disney world at all of the ages of your kids, so we have lots of experience. Our family favorite was always the Beach Club -- there was just something about being able to walk to 2 parks, they love the pool slide, they loved the enormous sandy-bottom area of the pool (though with 3 kids, you may have a more difficult time keeping everyone together -- we only have 2 kids so it was always easy for us), Beaches & Cream was an automatic stop each night for a fun ice cream treat, the character breakfast in the morning was a nice way to start the day, we even enjoyed walking thru Epcot to catch the monorail to MK (not the quickest route, but in my kids' eyes it was the most fun route), riding a surrey bike around the boardwalk especially at night during Illuminations, watching a movie on the beach and sand, walking to miniature golf.....I'm sure the list goes on.

Another favorite was the Contemporary. Hard to beat watching Wishes from your room each night, having Chef Mickeys right in the hotel, and walking to MK. If you can't afford the tower, check out the wing price. All the standard rooms in CR are larger than most standard rooms in Disney, so you'd appreciate the extra room. I just wanted to touch on one other thing -- you mentioned the values having all the Disney magic, honestly, you will find lots of Disney magic at the deluxes. Having more conveniences makes for happy parents, which in turn makes for happy kids. CR is truly a magical place to stay for kids given its location next to MK -- my kids were in awe of watching the monorail go thru the resort while eating at Chef Mickeys, and constantly seeing the Castle was always a reminder that we're at Disney!
2003 ~ AKL
2004 ~ CR & Poly
2005 ~ BC & BWI
2006 ~ YC & BC
2007 ~ Poly & BC & CR
2008 ~ POR & WL & BC
2009 ~ CBR & BC CL
2010 ~ Poly & CR / BC CL
2011 ~ BC CL & Poly CL
2012 ~ WL & BC CL / CR CL
2013 ~ BC CL & Poly CL & WL CL
2014 ~ Poly CL TPV & BC CL, Poly CL TPV again
2015 ~ BC CL
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Old 02-08-2014, 04:05 PM   #22
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We've stayed at all levels with our older two, our youngest is our "unexpected blessing" and she arrived late enough in the game that she hasn't experienced the value resorts personally, but thinks the pics online and in our family vacation scrapbooks look cool. DH has become a resort snob, and now it's BC or die. but he will agree to PO-R in a pinch. The slide is a definite bonus once your kids are of swimming age,many swim well enough not to worry about them at the splashdown as you're not allowed to catch them. I'm sure she'd miss the slide, and I know she misses the "snack room" when we don't do CL. Had to laugh at the other person who called it that too.

All that said...how much time you'll be spending at the resort may also help determine if you're willing to spend the extra for deluxe, or even a mod. We are early risers and like to return late morning for lunch and a swim, and also enjoy the pool activities and games. And here again the snack room comes into play because we grab something before heading out into the parks for the evening, and maybe a sweet treat and a nightcap when we return. So deluxe really works for us, lol.
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Old 02-08-2014, 04:33 PM   #23
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Our kids are 10, 6 and 2. Our oldest started going when he was 3. The only thing he wanted to do for years was stay at Contemp because "the monorail goes through it and you don't have to take the bus or stand in the sun."

We've always stayed deluxe or deluxe villa with the exception of one night last year at POR in a royal room. My DD (the 6 who was then 5) LOVED the royal room, but once we got to BLT, we didn't hear anything about that room. This year, they said they only thing they cared about was staying on site.

Our family is too big for most deluxe resorts, but they've seen pics of the values. It's just not their speed. They get that they look cool, but that the rooms are smaller. We all like our space, and I can't stand it when we feel like we're living on top of each other.

If you can go deluxe, go deluxe.
Wife to Scott, Mom to DS (10) DD (6) DS (2)

BLT 2013, POR 2013, Grand Californian 2010, Contemporary 2009, Polynesian 2008, Wilderness Lodge 2006, Beach Club 1996, CBR1995, Wilderness Lodge 1995, prior visits CBR, The Disney Inn, Disney Villas, plus lots of day trips back to 1982!

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Old 02-08-2014, 05:02 PM   #24
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We are on the opposite spectrum, but our kids are only 3 and 5 and we just don't have the money to stay at a deluxe. Even if we did, though, I just don't see them being worth it. We love POR. My kids like CBR because of the pirate rooms, but I was not a fan of the resort. We also have a car though so we only used Disney transport about half the time. The kids love the over the top theming at the values and I sort of do, too. The themed rooms at POR are a good middle ground for us.
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:03 PM   #25
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Have you considered a split stay? If so, start at the value and then move to the deluxe.
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:04 PM   #26
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I can totally see the appeal of the values to small kids. We have stayed deluxe with my sons favorite being the poly. He loves the pools and yes it must have wet water but also a slide. The pools at the deluxes can't be beat.

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Old 02-08-2014, 07:44 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Gracomom View Post
We're planning a trip with the family (me, DH, father-in-law, and kids: 4, 6, 8). I know for myself, the deluxe resorts would be great, especially the monorail ones. But for first-time, young travellers, do they tend to like the deluxe resorts for the amenities/pools/etc. or the more themed value? Or is it best to go in the middle at the moderate (if we could afford our choice)? The trip is really about the kids.

We haven't travelled very much with the kids (except a couple trips to Disneyland staying at basic offsite accomodations since they were old enough to remember) and a single trip to Mexico (at a 5* resort, where DS loved the 'deluxe' ammenities like ordering room service, fancy room with a big tub, etc.). So I know my DS likes to get spoiled, but he's still going to be pretty young when we go, and I'm wondering if he'd rather go to a more themed hotel with all the Disney magic, or stay somewhere with character dining breakfast, water slides, etc. ?

Do you usually book your hotel based on what the kids would like best, or do they tend to like what you do? I'm having a hard time deciding where to start.
We have never stayed at any of the values so I can't comment on those, but I think a moderate or deluxe would be the best choice as the pools have slides, which I think all kids love. We are now a deluxe family, but our first onsite stay was at CBR and our boys loved the resort and couldn't get enough of the pool (they were 7 & 9 at the time). With that said, the deluxes are great as they have great pools as well as great character dining. If your budget allows, I'd go with a deluxe; otherwise, I think the moderates are well themed with great pools. Good luck.

Country Inn & Suites LBV June 2001 - CBR July 2002 - BC December 2003 - WL CL Oct/Nov 2004 - WL September 2006 - All Star Vacation Homes March 2007 -Poly September 2007 - All Star Vacation Homes March 2008 - AKL/GF SL/WL January 2010 - AKL/GF December 2010 - GF RPC May 2011
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:05 AM   #28
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we have stayed in most of the deluxe resorts at disney world with our son and many hotels all over the US and outside of it. He appreciates a nice hotel. Would he find the theming of the values fun? sure...but that wouldn't hold his interest. He loves the monorail, boats, marshmallow toasting, movies on the beach, great pools, club lounges, and character dining. He gets excited by turn down service chocolates too although he does not even like chocolate. haha! I find that the convenience of the deluxe resorts makes for a more enjoyable trip for all at least in our family and our son would tell you that the Polynesian is his favorite if you asked him. One of his favorite things we did in december was riding the monorail around to the GF and contemporary and shopping, going to the gingerbread house and seeing all the decorations.

2015October 8 days ambassador suite June- 5 day concierge double dip dream cruise 10 days bwi deluxe room cl March- 9 days Boardwalk villas spring break January GF RPC and disney dream 2014: December: YC CL, 12/12 dream concierge, 10 days AKV-CL October 4 days GF RPC Halloween Party TripJuly: 4 days boardwalk villas/Boardwalk Inn club level June -1 day OKW, 8 days GF RPC May - 4 days GF RPC march-April - 10 days Poly cl/ 2013: Bay Lake Tower TPV, fantasy concierge, bc cl, poly cl (2x), gf sl, vero beach resort 2012 - Vero beach resort, OKW, Poly cl 2011 - Disney Dream and AKV- Kidani (our son's first disney trip) 2010 Disney's Vero Beach Resort 2009 Disney's Vero Beach Resort (our son's first vacation)
Husband, myself and 5 year old son
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:29 AM   #29
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Having a big family we can only afford values. We did stay delux at Universal for the front of the line pass. They did love the pool and spent a great deal of time in it. However the next year we tried to talk them into POR and the only place they wanted to stay was AoA.

As a teen I stayed at the Poly when it was just a few years old. I felt like a princess and never wanted to go to the parks. Back then the beach was open and my grandfather wanted to go there. We had fun but I remember thinking how great the pool looked.
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:59 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by dpswift View Post

As a teen I stayed at the Poly when it was just a few years old. I felt like a princess and never wanted to go to the parks. Back then the beach was open and my grandfather wanted to go there. We had fun but I remember thinking how great the pool looked.
I SOOO wanted to stay at the Poly as a kid, I'm jealous! We never got to stay onsite when it was just the two resorts, I remember my dad saying it was booked solid for 2 years. Oh, that pool!!! It had the most awesome slide, right? Looking back at old pics now...go look for the vintage resort pics thread for a trip down memory lane...it isn't all that impressive, but I would have loved it as a kid. And so would my own. We haven't done the Poly yet, I can't seem to catch it at a price I'm willing to pay, but maybe someday.
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