Poly vs. Animal Kingdom Lodge

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by LoveToTravel2001, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. LoveToTravel2001

    LoveToTravel2001 Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

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    Just got back from the World and (cheer comp at the World), and we need to go back for a real trip.
    We are trying to decide between the Polynesian and Animal Kingdom Lodge. Thoughts from anyone? Pros and cons of each?
    We generally stay at CBR with a couple stays at Shades of Green. We are traveling with our DD 11.
     
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  3. LoveToTravel2001

    LoveToTravel2001 Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

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    Thinking about the end of June, around the 20th for five or six nights.
     
  4. heidijanesmith

    heidijanesmith DIS Veteran

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    The Poly is our favorite...AKL is our second favorite

    Poly pros:
    1-Location! easy monorail ride to MK, walk to the TTC and catch EPCOT monorail and bus service is great to other locations(even though you share buses, it was quick)
    2-huge rooms with day bed in every room
    3-great theme, beautiful landscaping
    4-Wishes from the pool, beach, your balcony (TPV rooms) or GCH

    Cons:
    1-small pool, very crowded. We enjoyed the quiet pool more
    2-expensive, smaller discounts available

    AKL pros:
    1-Theme and animals, we spent a lot of time just hanging around the resort
    2-huge pool and two hot tubs
    3-buses, even though you are far away from everywhere, but AK, bus service is great. Buses only share with Kiandi and Jambo
    4-Food options are good here, we like Mara
    5-cheaper than the poly and sometimes better discounts
    6-bunk beds can be booked. Our kids do not like to share a bed and bunk beds are a great option

    Cons:
    1-smaller rooms than the poly with no day beds
    2-more isolated resort. The Poly has two other resorts a quick monorail ride away


    Both resorts are great and we love certain aspects of both of them.
     
  5. mmmears

    mmmears DIS Veteran

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    I totally agree with all of this, so I'll just add a couple of things... (My family loves both). Actually, we've done a couple split-stays between the two -- I find it hard to choose between them as well.

    Have you visited both? Or looked at lots of the photos posted here on the boards? That may help you decide.

    AKL has much better pricing, but has smaller rooms and a less-convenient location -- IMO the animals and theming help make up for that, though. When we stay at the Poly, we feel immersed in WDW -- we can see the castle from the pool, our room, etc. When we stay at AKL, we feel like we leave the crowds and the parks behind us and travel to an amazing retreat. Just depends what you prefer...

    Good luck choosing -- I think both are great!:goodvibes
     
  6. ExpatDisneyLover

    ExpatDisneyLover DIS Veteran

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    I think I would go with the theme you prefer and location if you prefer a location. Honestly AKL is my favorite resort at the moment :goodvibes- I love the theme, relaxing atmosphere, great restaurants. I don't think the theme at Poly is as well developed (may be that is just me - having lived in Hawaii for a few years) however that said, the location of the Poly can't be beat - nothing quite like sitting outside by the pool and looking out over the lagoon and the MK in the distance!

    Have a great trip whatever you choose!:)
     
  7. kerri0616

    kerri0616 DIS Veteran

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    We've stayed at both and prefer AKL. We just prefer the theming and like that it seems out of the way. Like having everything under one roof too. My family and I don't think monorail travel is "all that." We had several occasions when our wait for the resort monorail seemed endless. Another time we were stopped on the track for quite a while. Another time our monorail stopped at GF and the doors wouldn't open. They kept trying and trying. We backed up and tried to re-enter. Nope. Doors still wouldn't open. They finally sent us along to Mk and the doors opened.

    We've had much more reliable bus service!

    Love AKL! No other place like it!!

    K
     
  8. LovinPooh

    LovinPooh DIS Veteran

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  9. LovinPooh

    LovinPooh DIS Veteran

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    Love akl. I walked to the great ceremonial house from ttc and i thought it was too spread out. Anyone who had stayed there think so? The mara was just a hop skip n jump from my room. Seems like cs would b hard to get to get to at poly..?
     
  10. mmmears

    mmmears DIS Veteran

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    The CS at the Poly (Captain Cook's) is right by the pool, just like at AKL. It's actually quite conveniently located.
     
  11. kimszath

    kimszath Lover of Everything DISNEY!!!

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    We stayed in Kidani Village... I used extra points for the "Savanna View." All that means is you MIGHT see an animal. Do yourself a favor... find a map before you go. You do not want to be up on the top floor. You also don't want to be at the very ends of the building, especially if you're facing the service road or the animal pens (you can hear them but can't really see them well). We didn't know better, so when we showed up, we were at the end on top... if you leaned out over the balcony, you could see the two beautiful long-horned Ankole cows... that was IT. I complained loudly and quickly (do it before your bags show up) and got a WAY better room, second floor (there's not a first floor--that's the garage), and in the middle of the resort. Nope, they didn't charge me to move. Tipped my luggage lady extra for bearing with us and helping us argue, when she could see there were NO critters outside where we were!

    Once settled in the better room, we couldn't have been happier.

    PROS: The Breakfast Buffet at Jambo House was outstanding. Parking underneath was convenient, especially if you can swing a room near the elevators or stairs.

    CONS: You are WAY far out from the resorts and Downtown Disney. Also, if you stay at the far ends of the resort, it's a LOONNGGGGGG walk back to the main check-in area. Not much in the shops at K. Village, but Jambo House had a good shop.
     
  12. MyOtherSS

    MyOtherSS Mouseketeer

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    I personally like the Polynesian over AKL just because of the location is perfect. Monorail access to 2 parks is so much less stressful imo than taking a bus or driving. The only thing I really liked about AKL over Poly is that it's newer and the animals are awesome to watch if you choose a savannah view.
     
  13. PKT531

    PKT531 Mouseketeer

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    I've stayed at both. I like them almost equally. I'm just as happy at both. Pricing considered, I choose AKL because its much cheaper.

    You can't go wrong either way.
     
  14. mickeynut1

    mickeynut1 DIS Veteran

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    We've stayed at both and while we do love AKL, the Poly is our favorite. AKL is beautiful and we loved everything about it, but the Poly has the volcano pool that backs up to the beach with a view of the castle in the distance, Captain Cooks is great for quick CS meals/snacks, and the rooms are big and spacious. Also, with being on the monorail, the Poly is just 2 stops from MK and is very convenient to a variety of dining options at the GF and CR. With that said, AKL is a nice resort and you really can't go wrong with either one.

    Captain Cooks is conveniently located, IMO, as it's close to the pool and the GCH.
     
  15. LoveToTravel2001

    LoveToTravel2001 Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

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    Oh my... Too much fabulous info about both resorts.
    I like Poly for the location, we spend a lot of time in the parks and park hop. We also do the character meals at GF and Contemp, as well as Crystal Palace. I've visited and had several meals there. We did the character meal, the show, and Kona.
    AKL sounds great. I would plan a Savannah view. I just wasn't sure how much animal viewing there actually was. It sounds like quite a bit if you are in the right location. It being 'far and out of the feel' makes me wonder. I like price a lot more :)
    Food (we tend to do character meals and epcot) and shopping are not to important to us, nor is room size because as I mentioned, we are at the parks rope drop to bed drop.
    Keep the suggestions coming. I love it.
     
  16. ExpatDisneyLover

    ExpatDisneyLover DIS Veteran

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    As far as location goes, AKL is 5 minutes and not even that from AK. So basically your bus transportation would feel like you are going to AK - might help you decide if it would feel far out to you or not.
     
  17. Hooked On The Mouse

    Hooked On The Mouse DIS Veteran

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    We have stayed at both- AKL a bunch of times. It is our favourite of the 2. We liked Poly very much also, but we felt it was a little beat up inside the longhouses (there were some maintenance and wear and tear type issues, nothing extreme, but we didn't see anything like that at AKL). The grounds at Poly are gorgeous. What I liked best about Poly though was the ease of access to MK and Epcot-very convenient for those 2 parks.
    AKL is gorgeous inside and out. If you are travelling as a party of 3, and if you don't have a vehicle, I would recommend Jambo over Kidani. I think it depends a lot on what your vacation focus is. If you're going to spend the majority of your time in the parks and very little at the resort, Poly will get you in and out of the 2 "big" parks a lot faster. If you want some resort time to relax and look around, AKL is much more quiet and relaxing.
     
  18. mmmears

    mmmears DIS Veteran

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    We've stayed several times at AKL (CL) with a savanna view room -- there was never a time we didn't see animals -- of course sometimes there are more than others since they are allowed to wander around -- but honestly there are plenty of animals out there.

    We think AKL is great for the animal and theming (and the price is better, too). Poly is better for transportation, and also better if you want to feel like you are at WDW 24/7 (we could see the castle from our room -- all lit up in pretty colors all night long). Honestly I love them both.

    We have done several splits with AKL and the Poly -- so we got the best of both. I find it hard to choose between them.
     
  19. LoveToTravel2001

    LoveToTravel2001 Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

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    How far to the other parks? We usually only spend a half day at AK.
     
  20. ExpatDisneyLover

    ExpatDisneyLover DIS Veteran

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    Hmmmmm - off the cuff I would say you are looking at 30 minutes from AKL to MK - tops probably 45 minutes door to door. Epcot would be a little less than that and HS about the same as Epcot. DTD - I think would be 45 minutes.
     
  21. bakie21

    bakie21 Go Phins

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    I like both and intend to stay at the Poly in the near future. The polys theme I love it feels very relaxed and laid back plus the location is awesome. It seems like everytime we choose our hotel the Poly is on the list but we go with something else YC(which I would argue is the best of all), Contemp, WL, and AKL this year. Wanted to do AKL this year as we are considering buying DVC points there if we like it.
     

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