First trip - Value or Deluxe?

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

  1. DisneyATlast

    DisneyATlast Mouseketeer

    Jan 8, 2013
    Hi Everyone!

    After many years of being a student and mommy...I'm finally rewarding my kids with a MUCH deserved vacation to Disney!! I didn't get to go when I was small enough to enjoy the "magic" of it all, and since we've been on a tiiiight budget for many years, my own kids haven't been able to have a REALLY special vacation..until now!

    Well, I say now, but I'm actually planning to go at the end of 2013. Probably November-December.

    Anyhow, I was looking online and came across a site that says the Polynesian is the best resort for "kid appeal." My kids will be 7 and 9 years old when we go, and I'm more concerned with them loving the surroundings than I am with how large the room is, etc. The same site suggested that Art of Animation is the 2nd best (if you can't afford the Polynesian, they say).

    Well, I CAN afford the Polynesian, but after looking at pictures looks to me as if the Art of Animation rooms are much more appealing to kids! Granted, I only saw pics online, but the decor in the Art of Animation rooms is very child-like while the decor in the Polynesian seems grown up. Does anyone have an opinion on this? From what I saw, the Art of Animation rooms have cartoon character bedding, carpets, shower curtains, etc. while the Polynesian does not.

    I would love it if the Polynesian (or any other resort that is larger/nicer) had the same cartoonish/kid feel in the rooms as what I've seen in the value rooms. However, that's not what I've seen from the pictures so I'm having a hard time justifying the expense of the "nicer" room since this is all for the kids. Thoughts?
  2. WanderlustNZ

    WanderlustNZ DIS Veteran

    Oct 13, 2012
    Do your kids like animals? If so, what about the Animal Kingdom Lodge?

    I have booked the AKV for my upcoming stay and I'm really excited. It's decor will really appeal to all of us, including my son.

    If my son was my only consideration, I'd pick an AOA cars suite as he's Car's mad. But I figure us adults need some treating on vacation also.
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  4. MomofDisneyLoversx3

    MomofDisneyLoversx3 DIS Veteran

    Jan 8, 2013
    I vote poly!! Your kids will love it. I posted a huge reply but my phone 'ate' it. You worked hard and should enjoy. Congratulations on finishing school.

  5. Mousemommy1

    Mousemommy1 DIS Veteran

    Dec 6, 2010
    Might I suggest the WL???? It is beautiful, and peaceful...a vacation from a vacation. The rooms were all redone last year. For your Disney touches, there are the most adorable Bambi themed tiles in the shower, which I LOVE!:love:

    The WL is a boat ride away from MK, and I think it would be a great first trip to Disney. Plus, you could probably even spring to stay club level and that is amazing! :cloud9:
  6. AliceIn

    AliceIn DIS Veteran

    Mar 9, 2012
    If you do the Art of Animation suites, you won't be disappointed. I've stayed both at Deluxe and at AoA. I took my kids to Disney for the first time this year, and they absolutely loved, loved, loved our Cars suite at the AoA. Every day they wanted to walk around and look at all the characters from the Cars movie. The Big Blue Pool was a huge hit with everyone, especially when we noticed that we could watch the Epcot fireworks while taking a dip in the evenings. Having that second bathroom and separate room for mom and dad was the clincher.

    The deluxe hotels are wonderful, too, though for younger children they aren't quite as exciting as they are to adults. We visited the Poly, Contemporary, and Beach club for some dinners this trip, and the kids thought the hotels were nice, but not as "cool" as the AoA. Since we knew we were going to spend most of our time out and about at the parks, the room amenities weren't a big deal (real closets, nicer soaps, etc.)

    When the kids are older, we'll go deluxe so I can get some mom time in the hot tub and get a massage and all that jazz. Right now, my kids aren't at an age where there's a lot of time for that.
  7. NHKristy76

    NHKristy76 Senior Mousketeer

    Jan 18, 2009
    I think the AoA or All Star Movies have the most kid appeal. Sure the pool and the overall theming at the Poly is gorgeous but I think if we are honestly talking about kid appeal.. it's a no brainer!

    Now, if I were going and the budget allowed for Poly that's where I'd stay!

    Have a magical time!
  8. mickeynut1

    mickeynut1 DIS Veteran

    Apr 16, 2007
    I think the Poly is a great choice :thumbsup2. Out of all of the resorts we've stayed at (1 moderate and all but 3 deluxes), the Poly is our favorite. We love the tropical surroundings and the volcano pool is great, not to mention the pool backs up to the beach with a view of the castle off in the distance. Captain Cooks is our favorite resort counter service and it's great for quick meals and snacks. I'm sure you will have a magical trip no matter which resort you choose, but I don't think you'd regret the Poly as it's an awesome resort and I think your kids would love the pool and being so close to MK. Good luck deciding and happy planning :wizard:.
  9. firstwdw

    firstwdw DIS Veteran

    Apr 4, 2012
    my 7year old son's one and only vacation so far was Disney this past spring. We stayed at Wilderness Lodge and let me tell you-he LOVED that place-even more so than the parks I'd say!!!! He loved the pool, geyser, boat ride to magic Kingdom, watching the fireworks from our balcony(higher ones), watching the electrical water parade on the beach. We never even got around to renting bikes or little speed boats but we wish we did! The lobby and grounds are amazing !We went over to visit the Poly since that's where I stayed when I was a kid his age and he didn't care for it at all-although the view of the castle across the lake was cool. He was just as happy taking a boat to Magic Kingdom and we rode the monorail plenty while we were there so we didn't miss out on that. I'd search the internet and look at recent photos from all the resorts.
    I have read great reviews on Art of Animation and the pictures are awesome. However, it's not as close to the parks and it's a big resort with all bus transportation which may or may not matter to you.
    All that said....we are going to try Port Orleans on our next visit because Wilderness Lodge just doesn't fit out budget. If we could afford it, we'd stay there every trip! They have bunk beds too so your kids would not have to share a bed!
    But congratulations and have fun planning!!!!! So much to think about!
  10. monami7

    monami7 DIS Veteran

    Jun 29, 2003
    I would do port orleans for a first trip.
  11. HM

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

    Mar 8, 2001
    Our first trip we stayed at ASMusic. The next year we did CBR/WL combo. The next year we did AKL/Poly. The next year the kids asked if we'd ever do ASMusic again (we didn't...I got used to more room). With this in mind, I'd suggest going Value on a first visit. The kids have no reference of other types of lodging so don't feel like they are missing anything, and you save a bundle.
  12. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

    Aug 29, 1999
    I think that you and your kids will find the value resorts to be absolutely magical. Many people here will try to "upsell" you to a Deluxe, but you really don't need to spend twice as much on a resort to have a wonderful vacation.
  13. Cap'nJack'sMum

    Cap'nJack'sMum Psycho for The Mouse

    Nov 9, 2008
    Our first trip was AKL. That totally sold us on WDW forever. We have stayed at all levels and honestly, my kids' favorite resort is and has always been POP Century. We visited AOA last time we were at POP and the kids said that they would love to stay there, too.

    Have you thought of possibly doing a split stay? We did last year and are doing it again this year. That way our kids get a POP fix and we get our AKL fix. Then you could try both resorts!
  14. Asc341

    Asc341 Mouseketeer

    Jan 3, 2013
    When I was a kid my mom sprung for us to stay at the Polynesian, almost every year. Looking back, this was probably more for her than for me, as I was more excited for the park than the hotel. Having said that, Polynesian is fabulous and I cherish my memories there. As a young adult, I've switched to moderates for budget restrictions, and I look forward to the day that I can stay at the deluxe resorts (especially the Poly!) again.

    I say if you want to spring for the Polynesian, do it! You won't be disappointed, and even if this is for the kids, you deserve to have the best vacation you can have as well! Kids love to go back to the resort and use the pool, I'll bet you'll get a lot of use out of the hotel. As I said, it is fabulous, and a ton to do for kids.

    A great option for the Poly too - they have a babysitting service, it was themed as Peter Pan and Neverland when I was a kid, I think it's still the same - I LOVED it as a kid, and my parents got to have a romantic night alone. It's totally safe, a blast for the kids and something you may want to consider!
  15. letsgoreds

    letsgoreds DIS Veteran

    Nov 2, 2011
    Honestly your kids are going to love ANY resort...I'd pick one that appeals more to you and DH. At 7 and 9, they almost seem too old for AoA themeing. If they are little fish, and love to swim/slide/etc...I would suggest either Beach Club/Yacht Club (look at Stormalong Bay) or Wilderness Lodge. All of thee will be a little less than Poly.
  16. momof4minnies

    momof4minnies Mouseketeer

    Mar 21, 2011
    Wow!! Congrats on your hard work. We have stayed Value, Mod, and Deluxe. My husband and I prefer the Deluxe. We did like all the other levels too. Like the kids we are just happy to be at Disney World. From the other helpful posts you have received, the common theme is that no matter where you stay, you will have a great trip, it is Disney after all. My advice would be to stay at AoA to get that cartoonish appeal. With the savings you can do one of two things 1) spend more on character meals and extras in the parks. There are also special experiences with a Princess Tea or Pirate Adventure Cruise and so many more. 2) save the difference for your second trip. Cuz if your like any of us, you will be hooked and want to come back for more.

    We did a split stay our last visit. Some people really like doing split stays. For us, not so much. Taking the time to get stuff together again, check out, and check back seemed to be a pain for us. It is worth a try if you want to experience two dif resorts.

    Good luck with your planning. For me, that's when my Disney trip starts.
  17. TDluvsDaisy

    TDluvsDaisy DVC Member BCV

    Dec 29, 2010
    Congrats on your accomplishments!!

    I would do AOA. Once you do deluxe it will be that much harder to do value or moderate. Also at 9 & 7 I think AOA will be exciting and bright and they will love it! I would save the Poly for another trip (although the Poly is my favorite resort :) )
  18. TJDisneymama

    TJDisneymama DIS Veteran

    Apr 2, 2012
    OP, I feel the same way as you. The Values are *much* more geared towards kids, with that in-your-face Disney appeal. We could afford to stay Deluxe, but I'm choosing AoA for our upcoming trip because I know my kids will go bananas over it. (in fact, the suites at AoA cost as much as some deluxes. It would actually be less expensive if we were to stay at AKL). I personally would love to stay at one of the Deluxes, but I'm gritting my teeth and going with what the kids will love best at this point. They're only young once and as they get older, we will try some of the other, less "over the top" resorts.

    ODS and I stayed at CBR this past spring and while I loved it and thought it was gorgeous and peaceful, ODS deemed it "boring" and said he liked ASMU way better. He did enjoy the pool slides at CBR, but he still said he would have preferred to go back to ASMU and I know what he meant about it not being so "disney-fied" as ASMU (and the other Values) are.

    I'm going to start planning some shorter, kid-free trips for myself and DH so that we can stay at some of the resorts with less kid-appeal. :thumbsup2
  19. bookgirl

    bookgirl DIS Veteran

    Oct 22, 2006
    Kids usually talk about the pool of any hotel they stay at.

    Poly will have a great pool (I'd say Beach/Yacht Club is the hands down best pool as they have more stuff to do), but that late in the year pool time might be minimal. Family suites at AoA will have a LOT of kid appeal if your kids are younger. Great movie themeing. Animals will have the best theme at Animal Kingdom Lodge so that would be a no brainer.

    But I think you need to not worry about themeing and worry more about touring style. If you have young kids and will do mainly MK then monorail/Boat resorts (Poly, Grand Floridan, Comtemp, Wilderness Lodge). If older and Epcot/Disney Hollywood Studios will be your main parks then Epcot resorts (yacht/beach club, boardwalk, swan dolphin) If you need lots of resort time then AKL, Poly, Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness)

    If you want over they top thememing but minimal pool time and basically just somewhere to sleep when you are not at the parks than the Values are your best bet as PoP, Art of Animation and the AllStars are just chockablock over the top for themeing and the Art of Animation Family suites (that run closer to Deluxe pricing then Value pricing) is probably the top of that list for a first timer looking for Disney themeing out the ears, but with probably the best food court of all the values.
  20. Mike7468

    Mike7468 Mouseketeer

    Aug 17, 2012
    Ok you didnt list if your kids where boys or girls, one of each etc.. but at Art Of Animation the Only regular rooms are in the "Little Mermaid Section" of the hotel. All the other rooms at AoA are Suites. Also at some of the Moderate Resorts there are Princess rooms, Pirate Rooms it all depends on what you are wanting. anywhere you stay at Disney will be great.
  21. ExpatDisneyLover

    ExpatDisneyLover DIS Veteran

    Jan 1, 2009
    You know I do think AOA has a whole lot of kid appeal.:goodvibes If you want something that feels a little more deluxe - may be look into AKL. If the theme is at all appealing to your kids - it has both a gorgeous deluxe feel with a lot of uniqueness that kids might really enjoy - depending on the kid of course. AKL does offer a whole lot of activities for kids throughout the day and evening - drum playing, bracelet making, marshmallow roasting, night vision goggles etc.

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