Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by SRF, Jan 6, 2013.
Lets hear it friends. Which one is best and why?!
well do you have a specific location you would like to stay at?
BLT is a MK resort and is connected to monorail.
BWV and BCV are in EPCOT area. You can walk/boat to EPCOT/HS.
I think these three are the more popular ones bc of their locations. All have great pools and restaurants.
Out of those three I have only stayed at BCV - which is one of my favorites.
I have also stayed at OKW (2) SSR (2) and Kindai (1) this past summer.
They were all very nice also. OKW/SSR has a boat to DTD and Kidani/Jambo has the animals roaming on the property which is very nice.
Have fun deciding on where to stay!!
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What park do you go to most? How much space do you need? Is a full kitchen and washer and dryer important? What other things are important to you as a family?
Thanks for the great and patient replies
This is our first time, so we're feeling a bit overwhelmed about everything and trying to gather as much info as possible. Sounds like we first need to decide where we will spend most of our time and go from there. I'm guessing we will be mostly in animal kingdom and the princess places (4 year old daughter
Kitchen would be great. But most important two things will be getting to and from since we will have young kids and also price.
For what it's worth, we will be there 7 days so should be able to enjoy and not be frantic.
For us, AK is a half day park, at most one day. If this is your first visit, I would think you would spend the most time at magic kingdom. I would recommend staying at bay lake tower. It offers the comvenience of a walkway to the MK or a monorail (walking is the way to go) and you can take the monorail to Epcot. Bus to AK and Hollywood studios.
A one bedroom villa will give you a full kitchen and washer a dryer. A separate bedroom with king bed, master bath with separate shower and jacuzzi. BLT offers 2 full bathrooms as well. One thing to understand is that studio villas are about the size of a hotel room and offer me queen bed and a full size sleeper sofa. The one bedroom villas have a king bed and a queen size sleeper. Some (BLT, OKW, and AK Kidani have a sleeper chair). OKW does have two queen beds (the ony one that does this) in the studios. It wouldn't be my first choice for your family for a first stay. We hae slept on the pullouts and have found them quite comfy.
Bay Lake Towers at the Contemporary is walking distance to the Magic Kingdom, as well as on the monorail, however you mentioned price. BLT is one of the most expensive places to stay on WDW property. You should think about renting DVC points for your stay. Mousesavers.com has good information about how to do that. Villas at Wilderness Lodge is a beautiful resort where you can also rent points. It is a boat ride away from the MK. The cabins at Fort Wilderness would also work for your family. A boat ride away from the MK, but they have an internal bus system because it is a large campground, so that isn't a great thing for transportation. Check out the DVC rental info. and decide if that appeals to you.
My sincerest gratitude for the replies. After looking at the DVC point charts, it looks like bay lake tower and wilderness would both cost about $350 total more than a week at animal kingdom. Is this extra money worth the convenience and lack of stuff "on site" for our kids?
I was thinking with a 2 1/2 and 4 year old that we would have quite a bit of downtime at the villa which might make the safari with animals one a better fit with more to do. But if its incredibly inconvenient, and will take us 30-45 min each way to get anywhere, then I'd rather stay closer.
One other note: at the time we're going, renting DVC points for a villa will cost us about the same as a value resort room.
So unless I learn otherwise, that's the direction we're headed. That is, some studio or 1 br villa over a value resort.
One thing. This is your very first trip. You basically know nothing about WDW. Why not just book a room directly with Disney for your first trip instead of trying to figure out the DVC rental thing? A DVC stay is a timeshare stay. You don't get daily cleaning. You don't just call and ask for extra towels without paying for the extra towels or shampoo or coffee or whatever.
Book a stay directly from Disney, explore a bit while you are there and then on a future trip do a DVC rental.
Deb - Great question, and certainly something I'm considering and have gotten prices on. My answer is that I am an absolute cheapskate who lives getting the most bang for his buck I've been churning credit cards for years to get miles, rewards, cruises, etc. So if I can get a deluxe resort for value cost, it's very tempting. Even if it costs me a little more time and effort.
Be sure to read up on the sleeping arrangements in each resort's villas. For instance, OKW's studios have two queen beds, but all other studios have a queen bed and a sofa bed. When the sofa bed is open, there's virtually no room to walk around. If you'd be using a pack & play, it would have to go in the entrance hallway, or over in the vanity/bathroom area.
I wouldn't even consider a BLT studio with a group of your size; they're noticeably smaller than the other studios and would really be a tight squeeze for you. My personal opinion is that the non-OKW studios were really intended for singles or couples, but that's just me.
Unless you want to go with a 1-bedroom villa or an OKW studio, I'd say the choice you'd be making is between being somewhat cramped in the room as compared to a value, vs more to do at the resort, a fancier pool w/slide, and more on-site dining options. AKL/AKV has some of the best resort dining on Disney property, IMO.
I know, lots to think about. Hope I haven't made things more confusing.
Lynne - This is great info, thank you.
Just to be clear, you are saying that a villa would be more crowded than a standard room but would have cooler stuff to do, correct? Just want to make sure I am clear.
And AKL is animal kingdom, right? That's actually what I am leaning towards right now, especially with the ages of our kids. It doesn't hurt that our 8 year old boy is an adopted son from Ghana, Africa who will have been in country about 6 months at that point and probably pining for a taste of home
I would choose AKV. We have stayed at both Jambo House and Kidani Village. I think your kids would love it there. We especially liked Kidani Village. The pool area is great for kids- almost like a mini=waterpark. Lots of free stuff to do and the animals are a great attention grabber for the kids. Yes it's off the beaten path but well worth it.
How difficult/long to get to and from the parks from AKV? We would be there in January if that matters. Could also rent a car if that makes a HUGE difference.
In January I wouldn't think you would have any problem using the bus system to any of the parks. Even though we normally have a car, we always take the bus to MK from whichever resort we are staying at. The bus drops you off at the entrance to the park. If you drive you have to park at the TTC and take the monorail or ferry over to the MK.
So, just as a reference, 10, 15, 20, 30 mins from the time we leave the villa to the different parks?
not sure how they calculated them (time spent waiting on a bus vs time spent on a bus), but here are some ball-park numbers:
staying at AKV-kidani means being the first pickup on the way to a park, so 1) it's easier to be sure to get a seat and 2) it takes a few minutes longer.
but the bus from AKV-jambo house to MK does take a while (at least 20 minutes travel time plus however long you have to wait at the bus stop). i love the atmosphere of AKV - the animals, the smells of the jambo house lobby when the boma chefs are cooking, the exotic theming and music - but it does "feel" a long way from the MK, so there are trade-offs.
First AKV is awesome i am going with my DW and DD(12) in march,,NOW bay lake is close to MK, that is a great choice too...BUt either one is good and rent points,,i do it alot and its a great way to experience a deluxe resort and do it in a much cheaper way. There are many qualified owners who do it alot and have good references, and will be glad to help you rent, make sure you look at the rent/trade board on this site and you will have many options to choose from.
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