Need advice on Resort choice

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by kek5931, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. kek5931

    kek5931 Earning My Ears

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    My husband, 4 year old daughter, and I will be going to Disney World in March of 2009. We are booked at the Port Orleans French Quarter. With the recent "deal" Disney is offering re: getting some nights free, it is possible to upgrade to the Animal Kingdom Lodge or the Wilderness Lodge and still stay within budget. We could always just take the opportunity to keep the almost $600 we would save if we just stayed at the Port Orleans. We have never been to Disney as adults and hardly remember our childhood trips. This will be a first for our daughter.
    That all being said, I would LOVE some opinions on whether or not it would be worth it to upgrade, the pros and cons, and especially about the transportation (good, bad, and ugly) to and from the various parks from these resorts and from Port Orleans. With a 4-year old, the less hassle the better. We don't know when we'll ever do Disney again, so we want to make it memorable for all the right reasons.

    Thanks.
     
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  3. rcraw45425

    rcraw45425 <font color=darkorchid>I'm a 43 year old mom with

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    With your daughter's age, I'd suggest WL, there is a boat to the Magic Kingdom. It's enclosed so the weather doesn't affect you and is quite relaxing. It's a great resort. HAve never stayed at AKL but it a bit more isolated, with WL you can hop a different boat to the Contemporary resort and dine there or grab a monorail and dine at the Polynesian or Grand Floridian.
     
  4. scriv2

    scriv2 Mouseketeer

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    We are going in May and had originally booked POFQ also, but just got off the phone and upgraded to AKL. We stayed there before and LOVED it! It is an awesome place.
     
  5. debbiepump

    debbiepump DIS Veteran

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    Before buying into DVC, we stayed at the All Star Resorts or the Deluxe, never the moderates. Something to think about, staying at the deluxes, food is much more expensive! To be honest, I sort of miss the food courts!
    Wilderness Lodge is beautiful, out there by itself but so easy to get to the Magic Kingdom and just a short boat ride over to Fort Wilderness ((have a great buffet there). AKL is beautiful too, but isolated. Have a killer pool.
    When at WDW, we go to both resorts to eat, and I've always said I want to stay at WL but never had that feeling about AKL.

    Must warn you, once you do deluxes, you'll never want to go back!
     
  6. mickeynut1

    mickeynut1 DIS Veteran

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    I agree ;). The WL is an awesome resort and the boat transportation to/from the MK and Contemporary resort is great, IMO :thumbsup2. Have never stayed at AKL so can't comment on that.....but the WL is fabulous :). If the extra money is doable.....I'd say go for the upgrade :goodvibes. And I agree with debbiepump......once you try a deluxe resort you won't stay anywhere else :laughing:.
     
  7. KatMark

    KatMark DIS Veteran

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    If you can stay within budget, I would choose AKL in a heartbeat (the only Disney resort we still would like to try); we don't care for the WL all that much.
     
  8. johnsonet

    johnsonet DIS Veteran

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    I have stayed at AKL many, many times and WL once. Both are awesome resorts and I would recommend both to you.
    I haven't stayed at PO...
    AKL has some great activities for children that I'm sure your little girl would LOVE. WL will offer some as well. AKL has a beautiful pool area and we have almost always had very good experiences w/ the buses at AKL.
    Maybe you could show your daughter some pics of the African animals and see how interested she seems. If she's really into it, go with AKL. It is a very beautiful, unique place.
    WL would "wow" your family as well - incredible lobby, great location and wonderful details throughout the resort (like little animal footprints in the cement pathways :) )
    Good luck with your decision.
     
  9. Kmango

    Kmango Mouseketeer

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    I love AKL. I think everyone should stay there once, and since you don't know if/when you're coming back, maybe that should be now. It is a bit remote -- you'll be taking buses everywhere, but you'd be taking buses everywhere from POFQ too, so that's not the worst. If you can do, AKL, do it. It's incredible.
     
  10. johnsonet

    johnsonet DIS Veteran

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    Wanted to add some pics of AKL in case it helps you decide ;)

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  11. h518may

    h518may Mouseketeer

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    To start I have only been once, this last Sept. We loved WL. The boat rides were the best. My kids, DS 5 and DD 2, loved the boats. And after a long day at MK you will love the fact that you never have to stand on a boat.

    We enjoyed the pools, there is a large pool and a kids pool. Our DD liked being able to walk around in the pool without us right on top of her. The geyser is cool. You can see the electric light pageant at night from the dock, and from some rooms.

    Anyway we had a great trip and will return to WL on our next trip, per my DH's request.
     
  12. Lisa Rinaldi

    Lisa Rinaldi Earning My Ears

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    Although we are DVC members at AKV I would recommend WL for a first time visit. We have stayed there twice with our daughters and the proximity to the MK for a first time visitors wins in our book. You can take a 5 minute bus ride or the boat to the MK, and most young kids want to spend a lot of time at the MK. Wl was very convenient and it was a relaxing place with a homy atmosphere to return to. Also, we could watch the fireworks from our balcony and see the water pageant parade out on the lake each night. Both hotels have unique, relaxing atmospheres but for a first time we say WL.
     
  13. Nancyg56

    Nancyg56 DIS Veteran

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    You said it so beautifully.

    On our first visit with my DGD we stayed at AKL and it was the best decision we could have made. Kady was 4 years old and loved the animals. We did stay Savanna view and loved getting up in the morning to watch the animals from our balcony. There are activities that take place for children and adults so if you need to escape the parks for a time your vacation continues at your resort. AKL is really an escape from the parks, almost like you have visited another part of the world. My family loved our stay and my little DGD still talks about how much she loved it there. SHe told me she wanted to move there ;)

    Now, we also enjoy POFQ. It is Kady's current favorite resort. The amenities are not the same but this lovely little resort has a lot to offer. The food court is nice, but there is no full service restaurant. The pool is a big draw for children. It is not zero entry but there is a cool King Triton slide and some cute gates playing instruments along with a little waterfall thing. There is also a hot tub.

    This resort has a little jazz club as well. Nice thing about it is that it does not have the feeling of a bar, that is set off to the side. I saw families enjoying the music and they were not out of place with the youngsters. The resort is small and compact so getting around is not a problem either.

    If it was me and my budget allowed AKL I would take that resort because you are going to want to go back. Stay at POFQ at that time.
     
  14. IndyClown

    IndyClown If you had wings..had wings..had wings..had wings!

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    I recently went through the same quandry and here is what I concluded. My 5 and 4 year olds would be in hog heaven just staying in a Motel 6 that had a pool. They are going to have fun no matter what. What it really comes down to is what works best for mom and dad. Since we will be visiting MK the most with young children this trip, we opted to go with Wilderness Lodge. The proximity to MK is good and we (the parents) loved the theming of it.

    I have stayed at POR though and LOVED it but if you think you could afford a monorail resort near the MK, I would take it as the "hassle" factor would be lowest. Good Luck!
     

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