First trip - Value or Deluxe?

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by DisneyATlast, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. pamkat1820

    pamkat1820 Mouseketeer

    May 9, 2011
    This is my opinion and what I learned the hard way. Our first trip we stayed at AKL (deluxe) I thought waking up to animals out our balcony on our first disney experience for our daughter would be great. We loved as adults all that the deluxe level had to offer. Interior corridors, everything under one roof, slide, great pool, table service & counter service. Then trip 2 mod POR pretty resort, nice rooms (smaller), nice food court( crowded) but we missed the deluxe's extras.

    My problem was my daughter (son on trip2) could have cared less about the ROyal room she was just happy to be at disney. Bottom line lesson learned choose a resort u are happy with. U have to be happy also, well rested to keep up with the kids in disney. For us we let the parks be there magic and the resort for us to relax. If you can afford deluxe and stay once you might not be able to go back.

    Check out Beach club they have a great pool a little cheaper than the poly and you are close to 2 parks. When you do narrow it down the dis has threads for each resort with lots of info
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  3. married2mm

    married2mm DIS Veteran

    May 15, 2011
    hi op,

    well done on completing your studies.
    I've just had a read through other replies,no definitive answer as such.

    I agree values are more "full on Disney", and more geared towards children- however I like them too!
    as a pp said,I think it depends on how long you'll be in the room/at the resort,and if you're bothered about location.

    values were the first resorts we stayed at,and I'm very glad they were.
    whatever you decide,you will all have a fabulous time.:banana::banana:
  4. FantasiaMagic

    FantasiaMagic DIS Veteran

    Jun 11, 2012
    Go with Poly! You and your kids will not be disappointed! The location, the pool, the amenities, the restaurants, and the atmosphere is amazing!!!

    AoA may seem more kid friendly decoration wise - but Poly would be perfect for your family!

    Have a great trip
  5. Jasperann

    Jasperann DIS Veteran

    Sep 23, 2009
    On a first trip you probably will not spend a lot of time at the resort. That being said, I would pay for the value before the Deluxe. It would give you more spending money while you are there. My kids loved ASMu and wanted to go back there on this trip. I think we will end going back to a value after our once in a life time trip is done.

    (my kids are 5, 8, 9 and 16 and all of them loved the Value resort)
  6. shpdem

    shpdem Mouseketeer

    Feb 7, 2011
    I say start value bc once u go deluxe there's no going back and then ur disappointed with the amenities of less than deluxe. Jmo
  7. catherines_mama

    catherines_mama DIS Veteran

    Sep 3, 2003
    Absolutely everyone has their own favorite resort. personally, I don't love the Poly, but that's me. When we started going we stayed Value, moved our way up to Mod then rented DVC and ended up buying DVC.

    POP is still my favorite value and I'd stay again if I had to. I haven't been to AOA, but it does look really fun and the speakers in the pool thing sounds cool.

    POFQ is still my favorite MOD and DH and I are actually doing a 2 night stay there in 2014.

    I don't love the Deluxe resorts for the money they cost they aren't that much more than the mods. They give you location - that's for sure.

    Look @ all the resorts and see what you think will appeal to your kids most. Might be able to save $ and do more character dining which they will LOVE!
  8. disneydreamfan14

    disneydreamfan14 See Ya Real Soon!

    Apr 4, 2011
    I completely agree.

    The Value's are not only cheap, but they provide you with VALUABLE memories. Walking past all the life size statues and objects at each of the value resorts leaves you with great pictures and a fun experience.

    If you are choosing between the Poly and AoA for a kid-centered trip, its a no-brainer for Art of Animation. AoA is the definition of a kid friendly resort. Your kids will LOVE the lifesize characters in each section. And the suites are very spacious and provide great privacy for the parents!

    Some will complain to you on here about AoA being a big resort with long bus rides. It is NOT as bad as some will make it out to be: from the lobby there is a maximum 5 minute walk for a family with kids of your ages to the farthest (Little Mermaid) section. And the buses are about 20 minutes to AK and MK, about 10 minutes at MOST to EPCOT/DHS. Lines are not terrible either.

    Have fun and enjoy your stay, no matter where you end up staying!
  9. El Perro

    El Perro Earning My Ears

    Oct 14, 2010
    You need to come strong if it's your first Disney trip for the kids. Roll Contemporary room with a Bay Lake view in the A frame like a boss. You can do value or something else every subsequent trip.

    You want easy access to the MK an being able to freaking WALK to your room after Wishes is the greatest thing ever. We'd stay there every time if we could afford it with young kids.
  10. DisneyATlast

    DisneyATlast Mouseketeer

    Jan 8, 2013
    I just checked to see how much a Bay Lake room would cost after reading your post. Now, I checked just a basic room not like a boss at all.

    But I found a room for a week to be about $1100 by renting DVC points. Is that not reasonable?

    I need to find the threads here where people talk about MONEY! :rotfl:
    I found a package deal on the Disney official website that says a room at Art of Animation for a week, tickets for the entire week to the parks for the whole family, and a dining plan that includes 3 sit down meals, etc.....for about $2100.

    That sounds like an AWESOME deal to me. At the same time, I don't want to be blowing money that's not necessary to spend. I guess if I found a $2100 package through Disney official then there are probably much cheaper ways to do things by bypassing Disney official. :surfweb:

    This is exhausting! Plus, really hard to consider since I have no idea where things are in proximity, etc. I know there are maps, but reading a map and applying it to reality is like reading a foreign language to me!

    Thanks to EVERYONE for your replies!!
  11. bookgirl

    bookgirl DIS Veteran

    Oct 22, 2006
    okay look at the tickets because they automatically sell you tickets for travel days and you may not need that many days, expecially if you want to do a resort day

    Dining plans vary. Three sit down meals a day will really cut into your park time and it's a lot of food. If it's a combination of sit downs and quick service meals that's a really good deal if you do AoA the food court is considered quick service + if both your kids are under 10 they are disney kids and the dinning plan pays off if you think you'll want to do charecter meals as they are very expensive but cheap on the dining plan. If you do breakfast at the resort then snack or qs in the parks then a table service at night you will be well fed. There are a lot of charecter breakfasts as well and those can add up with dining plan. There are some meals that can use two of your dining credits but not sure how many of those you'll do with the kids. (signature resturants and dining shows usually. The first may not appeal to the munchkins but Hoop de Doo review is usually a big hit with the kids so it's worth using more credits)

    Yes it can be done cheaper outside of disney but it's the dining plan that will be your best indicator. Go to and look at some of the menus for charecter dining and table service resturants. It may be cheaper to do an disney dining package vacation.

    Personally I never do the packages because the dining plan won't work for my vacation style and I get off cheaper looking for room only rates and then buying tickets and meals OOP. But with young kids you're going to have to crunch the numbers.
  12. meajuly5

    meajuly5 DIS Veteran

    Nov 9, 2012
    The rooms in the poly are kind if dark. If the pool isn't going to be a big draw, your kids might not love it. The beach etc is great weather permitting. That time if year I would choose something else. I try to avoid the buses tho. Hate the waiting! Spoiled by the other modes of transport from the deluxe
  13. jperrot1

    jperrot1 Fantasmic

    Sep 2, 2011
    Your children are 7 and 9. They will totally get the tropical theme at the Poly. It's just so nice a resort. Definitely worth it if your pocket book can handle it. Think of swimming in the pool in the evening while seeing the MK castle, fireworks, water pageant. One word..... amazing! And, a room with a MK Castle view is just plain magical. But on the flip side you could use that cash for character meals and such so....... Any decision you make you"ll have a great time.
  14. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

    Aug 29, 1999
    I would say to skip renting DVC points for this trip. Your time period of early December is one of the most popular times at DVC resorts because the point values are so low and the Christmas decorations are up. My guess is that the standard view studio that you are considering may already be sold out since there are very few of them. And frankly, you don't want to get yourself into a non-refundable situation right now when you are just starting to plan for your first trip.

    I would still recommend that you resist the upsell to a Deluxe and choose a Value. I have stayed at all levels of resorts at WDW and I enjoy them all. My DD can't wait to stay at AoA as at 13 she is *still* a huge Little Mermaid fan. If your family turns out to be like most of the families here on the DIS you will be back for more than just one "trip of a lifetime", LOL. There is plenty of time for you to experience each level of resort and why not try the cheaper more kid-friendly one while your kids are still young?
  15. DisneyATlast

    DisneyATlast Mouseketeer

    Jan 8, 2013
    Right now I am leaning toward doing the basic room at AoA and booking the package through the Disney official website which looks like it includes tickets to the parks every day (well, one park each day) plus a dining package (with 3 sit down meals) for a total cost of around $2100! That seems like an awesome deal to me...

    I'm trolling through post after post right now trying to figure things out...

    Does the dining plan include the character dining? Seems like there's sooo many things to do, I don't know where to start!

    Well, I know where to start, and that's with booking the vacation! I just want to make sure before I put out that kind of $$$ that I understand what I'm paying for. I don't want to get the dining package and then find out I'm going to have to pay out of pocket every time they want to do some sort of character dining (not that I even know what that even really means either...yet!)

  16. HM

    HM My tag from the Tag Fairy is now too long to use.

    Mar 8, 2001
    I would not suggest that you do the Deluxe dining plan. You will find you spend more time in restaurants than at attractions in the park.

    Our first trip dining plans were not offered so we just made reservations for the three meals we were most excited about and the rest of the time we at at counter service. It worked great for us. If you really want a plan to prepay, I'd suggest the Basic plan with one Table Service, one Counter Service, and one snack a day. You may end up spending a bit more out of pocket money on more food, but you won't be tied down to three restaurants a day.
  17. DisneyATlast

    DisneyATlast Mouseketeer

    Jan 8, 2013

    Last night I put together the package I mentioned above with the $2100 price quote, but the site was having issues and wouldn't let me save the offer.

    So, I went back tonight, put together the EXACT same package and it's quoting over $3000....

    I honestly expected when the Disney idea first crossed my mind that it would be between 3-4k, but was soooo excited with the $2100 quote I got that has now vanished!

    Bummer :worried:
  18. Barnhill9586

    Barnhill9586 DIS Dad's Club Member #556

    Mar 1, 2010
    Why not let the kids decide. Let them look at all the pictures and tell them about the resorts. We involve ours in all of the planning and have since they were the same age as yours. Our DD loves the AKL with a savannah view and our DS prefers the BC. As parents we're happy with either.
  19. Barnhill9586

    Barnhill9586 DIS Dad's Club Member #556

    Mar 1, 2010
    Probably obvious but did you ensure you made the reservation by clicking through the special offer? I noticed when pricing ours out that if I just went straight to making reservations I did not get the discount. Just a thought.
  20. SweetMissy

    SweetMissy DIS Veteran

    Feb 18, 2006
    We've always stayed at a value but we're going to try a mod this spring (POR). IMO after looking at pics of many different resorts....the values look more appealing to the kids and anything else appeal to the adults. So I'm a bit worried about staying at a mod because it doesn't look as fun. I wanted to do AOA but that's more expensive then the mod and I'm compromising with hubby because he at least agreed to do disney again, lol. Plus, POR sleeps 5. So some videos on youtube on the resorts and pick which one is best for your family.
  21. Disneyhayes

    Disneyhayes DIS Veteran

    Jan 22, 2011
    I have not read all the reponses. For your first trip I would go value so that you could really get imersed into the Disney theming. Or maybe a split stay?

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