Kid appeal of PB vs. HRH?


DIS Veteran
May 9, 2000
For those of you who've stayed at PB, how would you rate its kid appeal? We are staying at WDW (AKL) in June, but I am considering switching 2 nites to one of the Universal resorts due to the great front-of-line access perk. If rooms are larger at PB, I would like that since our kids are older. How kid-friendly are the pools at PB? Is there only one pool at HRH, and if so, how big is it? Thanks for any info!!
Wish you'd given the exact age of the kids, but I would guess that the closer they are to being teenagers, the more they'll prefer HRH.

The HRH's single pool is quite large (12,000 sq ft) with beach on one side and room for volleyball. There is a water s lide (260 ft if I'm remembering correctly). There is also a way cool underwater sound system.

The PBH has three pools. One is quite small and secluded. Of the other two, the Beach Pool is probably the more kid-friendly. It has a beach side (as the name w ould suggest) and a waterslide that is themed as an old ruin. (HRH's slide too is not themed so much as concealed in a mock desert rock formation.) The other pool is a formal pool with poolside cabanas that looks like its from a luxury villa on the Rivie ra. Great for swimming laps but probably less interesting for kids, unless their into bocce. There are two bocce courts mearby.

If you have big bucks, PBH has bigger rooms overall, although you can pay for space at either hotel, in the form of kids suite s or other suites. PBH has deluxe room with 500 sq ft.

The themeing of PBH is exceptional, but I don't know how "knocked out" your kids will be by a hotel that is a near photographic reproduction of Portofino Italy. PBH is also spread out quite a bit, wi th interesting little nooks and crannies. I remember as I kid I liked this sort of thing.

HRH, on the other hand, is a very hip hotel, with not so much in the way of themeing. There is, of course, rock memorabilia scattered about but not in the same prof usion you see at the Hard Rock Cafes.

Hope this helps.ˆ

Kelly Monaghan
Author of "Universal Studios Escape: The Ultimate Guide to the Ultimate Theme Park Adventure" and
"The Other Orlando: What To Do When You've Done Disney & Universal"‡
Kelly - thanks for your great detailed reply! Our kids will be 10, 12, and 14 this summer. I think they would enjoy either hotel-maybe the HRH a little more. Now trying to figure out if the rooms are significantly bigger at PB. We usually stay in 2 rooms at WDW.
Also, I'm a little worried if the unlimited front of the line perk will exist this summer, after reading other posts on this board!
We have ressies for the AKL for the first week of June - trying to decide whether to switch the last 2 nites to PB or HRH. I'm afraid we might fall in love with the AKL and not want to leave!
Thanks for the info!
I would recommend trying out either the PBH or HRH for a couple of nights. I think you and your kids will just love it! We stayed at the Portofino in December for two nights before going on to the Dolphin for 5 nights and even though we loved the Dolphin, I (and my kids ages 10 & 11) REALLY missed the PBH and wished that we could have stayed longer there. The convenience of staying on-site at PBH is invaluable.

Just to give you an idea - I caught the stomach flu from my eldest son on the day that we checked into PBR. I was able to do the parks with them the day of check-in, but the following day, I just needed some extra R&R. My older son was also not up for the parks in the AM (recovering from the same virus himself), but my youngest (10 year old) was roaring to go. So, I let him go by himself! He did IOA by himself until we met him there mid-day and he was fine. YEs, we had walkie-talkies, but it also just felt so very safe to let him go alone, and there was no where he could have gotten lost...I just can't say enough about how I appreciated the proximity of the hotel to the parks and the simplicity of the transportation.

I would not have even considered letting either of my children run loose at Disney. Even though the Dolphin is probably the most convenient hotel on-site, everything is so spread out and there are so many buses to choose from.

FOTL was priceless!

If you do decide to spend a couple of nights at PBH or HRH I would recommend that you do it towards the end of your trip. Otherwise, FOTL access & and the proximity to the parks could spoil you for Disney! :)

Thanks, Lalalindica! That's exactly what I'm thinking - we will be staying at the AKL, and we are thinking of changing our last 2 nights ressies to PBR or HRH. Unfortunately, due to other commitments, this will be a shorter trip than usual, and normally I don't like changing resorts, but I've been wanting to try PBR and this FOTL perk sounds just awesome!
Another question - did your family eat at the resort, and if so, are there kid-friendly places to eat. We don't usually do elaborate dinners. Is there a nice poolside snack bar? Thanks!!
Grumpyandbashful--I called three days ago and got prices on rooms at HRH. They are offering a 500 square foot room for $149.00 entertainment rate. Thats a great deal (I thought) and extra space too!

The Gagnons--Bob, Tracy, Jacob, and Emily
Thanks, everyone - I'm calling them today! I have the Entertainment Book. I think this would be an awesome way to finish out the trip. The kids have voted for the HRH over PBR, so that's where we'll be. Thanks again! :D

You asked about kid friendly places to eat at the resorts...I can only speak for the Portofino, since the HRH wasn't yet open..YES - the Trattoria and Sal's Deli offers reasonable kids menus. We had lunch once at the Tratorria - I had a seafood pasta combo (cioppino with homemade pasta) and both my kids had chicken fingers. I can't rememeber exactly how much it cost, but it was not bad at all (poss around $25 with tip for the three of us with drinks, and my meal was excellent). We had Pizza as Sal's a couple of times. Delicious. They have a woodburning pizza oven. There is also Splendido Pizzeria poolside, but we didn't have the opportunity to try their food.

And of course, there are many places to eat within the parks and citywalk (Hard Rock, Margaritaville, Nascar at Citywalk all offer kid's menus).
For comparison sake does anyone know the square footage of the rooms at the Polynesian?

standard room are around 407 sq ft.



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