AKL vs WL vs All Other Deluxes

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by wide receiver, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. wide receiver

    wide receiver Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Messages:
    346
    Please (nicely) tell me why some (many) people think other Deluxes such as Poly…are more favored than AKL or WL. I LOVE AKL and WL. But I want (NEED!) to know what I am missing. :p
     
  2. Avatar

    DIS Sponsor The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin is located in the heart of the Walt Disney World Reosrt.

    to hide this advert.
  3. jaykorf001

    jaykorf001 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    530
    I'm curious about this too. After looking at pictures of all the deluxes these two would be my choice. BUT, no monorail. I suspect that's the major knock. Interestingly, I've seen numerous accounts that the busing from AKL is equivalent to many closer in resorts because it doesn't share buses with another resort. I'm new to Disney and admit I'm dumbfounded at the resort prices. I'm figuring $200-$400 a night more for Poly or GF from AKL. I'm paying $550 a night for AKL in June, not a high season. I'd sell my soul to the devil to go to Jackson Hole yearly and I can stay at The Four Seasons for less than some of these prices. And Jackson Hole is outrageously expensive. I'm now looking at Windsor Hills for a longer stay with my son as I don't want a mod or value.
     
  4. wide receiver

    wide receiver Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Messages:
    346
    Yes I hear you! I have some friends who stayed at Windsor Hill they enjoyed it very much. I like to be on property. Try looking at the rent/trade board. You might still find a deal on a DVC rental.
     
  5. HairyChest

    HairyChest Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Messages:
    284
    This is the same question i have for people who have stayed at the yacht and beach club, it always get high praise but through the videos and pictures, the other deluxes look better to me

    I have only stayed at the polynesian
    However i did visit the other resorts including the wilderness lodge.

    I think what the real difference is the "feel"

    This cannot be conveyed through the video pictures or words, this is what i found after staying at the poly.
    For the longest time i went back and forth between the wilderness lodge and poly but picked the poly cuz my mom said its what she wanted.

    When i got there i understood.

    The mood the place puts you in is unlike ANYTHING i felt from other hotels and vacations. Best way to describe it is "relaxed yet in the middle of the magic"

    The other hotels were very nice, lobby at WL, upscale at the grand, monorail convinience of the contemporary. BUT what was missing was the feeling of "yes im relaxed or yes this is convenient but i feel like im missing out on the disney parks and magic". At the poly i felt like this IS the magic, this is like a park
     
  6. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 1999
    Messages:
    31,464
    Two reasons that I can come up with. 1) The other resorts are either on the monorail or within walking distance to Epcot/DHS. 2) The other resorts are more expensive than AKL and WL. Some folks who stay 'deluxe' want to stay at more expensive resorts because they think they must be better.
     
  7. PHLtoMCO

    PHLtoMCO Disboards helps me cut back on Facebook.

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,069
    This year I am excited to try out 2 deluxe resorts I've never stayed in before. AKL in 2 weeks and BLT in Oct! I absolutely love the Poly and if I had unlimited funds, I would stay there every time, but as I said, I'm excited to try out 2 new resorts and speak to them first hand! Until then, I can tell you a little as to why I love the Poly as my favorite Disney resort!

    - Location (easy access to MK and Epcot via monorail)
    - Wishes on the beach at night (c'mon!!! :goodvibes)
    - Roasted Marshmallow on the beach on the beach at night!
    - Dining Options (Ohana, Kona, SOA)
    - 24 hour quick service/mug refill (Captain Cooks)
    - Electrical Water Pageant
    - Cabana Rentals by the pool (great to rent as a "homebase" for crowded pool days during peak months!)
    - Beautiful grounds/well themed with luau music playing throughout the resort)
    - Especially beautiful at night. (Is there anything more magical than swimming or sitting on your balcony with a view of the castle?)
    - Neverland Kids Club (I was obsessed as a child, now my daughter is too!)
    - Watercraft Rentals
    - You don't feel "trapped" on a rainy day! You can head to the Great Ceremonial House for Lei making and/or Hula lessons. You can even take a monorail resort tour without stepping outside except to walk to the GCH!
    - Lapu Lapu drink and DOLE WHIP!!!

    I know sometimes the Poly gets a bad rep because it isn't the newest Disney resort (they are working in that!) but for me, it's nostalgic since we stayed there when I was younger a lot and now its my daughter's favorite resort. Everyone has their preference, Poly is mine :goodvibes
     
  8. jaykorf001

    jaykorf001 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    530
    Hairy Chest, I get it -- kinda. I think I'd pick the Poly too. Fireworks on the beach et al. Obviously if i had no issues with money it'd be easy. But we are not wealthy and instead just make a nice living. Just when I've convinced myself its reasonable to spend $7,500 for 10 day at the Poly I read how I can have a condo with washer and dryer for $750 at WH. Did I mention I can go to Jackson and stay at the Four Seasons for the same price as the Poly et al? Wow. These decisions are tough
     
  9. HairyChest

    HairyChest Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Messages:
    284
    Oh yea i know what you mean. We are only going once in the year and there is 4 of us that the payments are split on (all adults). So for us the price difference per petson isnt much different. On top of that we go on free dining during fall season not peak
     
  10. CuteAsMinnie

    CuteAsMinnie DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Messages:
    1,734
    I really don't think you're missing anything. Everyone has their personal preference and it's just that.

    We love the Lodge which had the highest % of repeat visitors of all WDW resorts (so we're told). We love the feel, the size, the fact that we feel like we are a million miles away from the craziness as soon as we step onto the grounds.

    Each trip, I want (me... Not DH and certainly not DS) to try someplace different but we always return 'home.'

    The only other resort we stayed in was CBR (17 years ago) and we loved that also for very different reasons.

    ;)
     
  11. mommyrosa2

    mommyrosa2 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,903
    We loved our stay at the AKL & wouldn't hesitate to stay there again. Some folks say it's too removed from everything but we didn't think so. I've stayed BC twice now and have another trip planned for this October. We absolutely LOVE the BC for may reasons (pool, resort restaurants, Boardwalk area, pool, close proximity to DHS) but the top reason is the short walk to Epcot....Location, location, location. BUT, for us, budget will always dictate where we stay. Next year, my youngest DD wants to stay at the Poly for her sweet 16....while I too love the theming of the Poly, I have a tough time justifying the price tag that goes along with it. I just don't think it's worth the money they are charging...JMHO. My plan is to try every deluxe...probably could have already accomplished this but DH hates split stays
     
  12. brertoad

    brertoad DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    850
    I think the main difference in price is location, location, location. The distance translates as a convenience factor, the closer it is the more you pay. Most of the deluxe hotels have fairly equivalent accomodations when you are looking just at the room you sleep in. I've read that Poly has slightly larger rooms, but I don't really think about SQ FT when choosing where to stay.

    Poly, Grand, and Contemp, are on the monorail line. (also has 24 hour QS)
    Boardwalk, BC, YC are walking distance from Epcot.

    AKL is the furthest away. IMO, this is the best deluxe to stay at if paying OOP, because you can usually get an excellent deal on pool view or standard view. But, for some, this out of the way location is too inconvenient, especially if you have kids and want to be close to MK and your hotel.

    WL is gorgeous, but you have to take a boat or bus to MK, and bus to other parks. I love the theme and pool.
     
  13. chasgoose

    chasgoose Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Messages:
    470
    As others have said, the biggest difference is location and park access options. I think some other differences are smaller rooms at AKL/WL, more intense theming that seems less "luxurious" (Poly excepted), also bedspreads instead of duvet covers, which are less "deluxe" and don't look quite as nice to people accustomed to typical luxury hotels.
     
  14. mickeynut1

    mickeynut1 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Messages:
    15,291
    For us, it's has to do more with atmosphere, theme/decor, and amenities (i.e., TS restaurants, CL, etc) when choosing a resort. Our first onsite stay was at CBR and we had a great time and loved the resort. The following year we tried a deluxe and haven't stayed anything else since as we like the larger rooms and extra amenities the deluxes offer. We've stayed at both WL and AKL (love both), as well as a few other deluxes (Poly, GF, & BC). While we have loved every resort we've stayed at, the Poly is our favorite for many reasons. Being on the monorail is convenient to MK and you are a 5-7 minute walk to the TTC for catching the Epcot monorail, but we love the Poly for many other reasons. The transportation is a nice perk, but is not at the top of our list when choosing a resort. The tropical atmosphere is relaxing, the volcano pool is great as you have a view of the castle while swimming, the beach is great for relaxing in a hammock watching the fireworks, the rooms are very large and spacious, all rooms have a daybed, and Captain Cooks is great for quick CS meals/snacks (it's our favorite resort CS). We don't stay at certain deluxes just because they are more expense, but we stay at them because we like certain aspects of those particular resorts.
     
  15. Mayhem1976

    Mayhem1976 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    306
    I stayed at theBeach Club in August and loved it. The pool for that time of year was great, lots for the kids and never felt crowded.

    Also, we went with a large group and all love Epcot, so just walking there was great with 6 kids under 7 and not dealing with strollers was perfect. We also walked and took the boat to DHS. My parents liked being able to walk over to the Boardwalk at night too to watch a game at ESPN etc.

    We are looking to go back in Nov and trying to decide. We will still have a3 YO in a stroller and possibly a double for my 6 YO. Ones on the monorail appeal to me because of that.
     
  16. 2manydaves

    2manydaves Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    291
    I totally get the emotional connection to the Contemporary and the Poly. They were the first resorts built at Disney World. The history and design are all about Walt.

    I dreamed about staying at the Poly as a child. My MIL has a book she bought at the MK in 1972 with the original map of Disney World in it, and looking at it makes me want to stay there all over again.

    Those two resorts ARE Walt Disney, you know?
     
  17. magicbob

    magicbob DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Messages:
    2,500
    AKL lover here. In fact, we are very likely going to purchase DVC soon and plan on AKL for our home resort. Of course, we are animal lovers and love AK park as well... so being near AK and seeing the animals outside our window is a big plus for us. I stayed at Poly when I was a kid and it's nice, but I'd just as soon go back to Hawaii for that atmosphere. Even if staying elsewhere, we like to visit Poly... rent boats, eat at Ohana, shop, watch Wishes from the beach (pretty much everything except swimming in the volcano pool ;) ). But we're happy to just visit Poly and stay elsewhere.
     
  18. wide receiver

    wide receiver Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Messages:
    346

    I remember taking the monorail and riding past the Poly as a kid (we stayed at the Ramada Inn). I told myself I would stay there some day. I have had the chance but haven't done it yet!

    What do you mean those two ARE Walt Disney? Because he was alive during the planning and making?
     
  19. magicbob

    magicbob DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Messages:
    2,500
    I think it means that back when some of us first went to WDW, it consisted of the MK, Poly and CR. That's all there was. It WAS Walt Disney (World). I don't think PP was referring to Walt Disney the man, but WDW.
     

Share This Page