Poly or AoA - Help me decide!

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

  1. jrmo

    jrmo Mouseketeer

    Jan 23, 2008
    We're looking to stay 7-10 days this November. It looks like the price difference (with a pin) will be about $65/nt more at Poly. We are a family of 4 with 2 DDs, 7 and 2. Our trip is largely based around MK, with a secondary emphasis on Epcot. We will go to AK and HS probably once each.

    AoA would be great for its divided space and kitchenette. We could do some basic food prep to save a bit. It seems (perhaps I'm wrong?) that Landscape of Flavors has more variety than Captain Cook's. Both girls still nap at Disney, so a second room is nice. I've heard mixed reviews on transportation, so it's hard to say if we would be considerably worse off at AoA.

    Poly would be amazing for its transportation options. We were thinking we could request a ground floor patio and hang out there while the girls nap. We would also have the option to watch the fireworks after the girls are in bed. Many of our food prep could still be done with just a fridge, if they are decent and actually cold. (sandwiches, milk and cereal, etc) This will be the last trip before YDD will turn 3, so we'd like to do several character meals. They're obviously much more accessible at Poly.

    Thoughts or experience? Thanks so much!
  2. mmmears

    mmmears DIS Veteran

    Nov 30, 2005
    Haven't tried AoA but for a $65/nt difference I'd choose the Poly every time. It's so relaxing there, plus you can take the boat to the MK (or the monorail) and walk to the TTC to take the direct monorail to Epcot. If those are the 2 parks you plan to visit, the Poly is a great choice.

    You get the mini-fridge in your room -- so you can make plenty of meals there if you want. The rooms are also quite large and it's so nice having a patio or a balcony. And you can watch the fireworks and the EWP from the beach at night. Since you plan to spend the afternoons back at your resort, I would think that the Poly will save you time (and you wont have lots of buses to deal with).

    Also the pool area is right on the "beach" so you have sand play options as well. For me, I'd give up the extra space for the location alone, but everyone is different and if you need 2 rooms then AoA looks like a fun place to stay.
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  4. MHTeacher

    MHTeacher DIS Veteran

    Sep 28, 2005
    I've never stayed at AoA before, although I've looked at the photos, and I do think it looks cute and would be fun to stay at. However, I have stayed at the Poly several times, and for me it would be a no brainer. I love being at the Poly-swimming in the pool and looking out and seeing Cinderella's castle.:cloud9: I love hopping on the monorail to ride over to MK, or walking over to the TTC to catch the monorail over to Epcot. With young children, it's great to be able to return to your resort in 10 minutes or so.

    For a 7-10 day trip, that would cost between $455-$650. I guess you need to decide if you could find better use for that money, or you think it's worth it to spend on a resort. :)
  5. jhryb

    jhryb DIS Veteran

    Jan 13, 2007
    I too have never stayed at AoA but if you are willing to pay the upgrade and it won't take away from the rest of your vacation then there is absolutely no doubt in my mind ..... Poly all the way. The Poly is my absolute favourite Disney resort. I hope to try AoA some day but if the price difference is as small as you are saying then I just couldn't justify staying at AoA (even if AoA is a suite room)
  6. jrmo

    jrmo Mouseketeer

    Jan 23, 2008
    Thanks for your input. Something we hadn't considered was that this will be our 7 year olds first trip without a stroller. We haven't been in 3 years. Since she'll be walking all of the time, I assume there will be less of it staying at Poly than AoA, correct?
  7. figmentfrenzymommy

    figmentfrenzymommy Earning My Ears

    Feb 17, 2013
    Depends on which longhouse at poly and which buliding at aoa. We stayed on tokelau ans it was a bit of a hike for my then 6yr old and we just returned from aoa nemo building near mr. Ray statue and it was super close to everything.
  8. Neesy228

    Neesy228 DIS Veteran

    Apr 9, 2008
    I'm going to go against the grain and say AoA - purely because the age of your kids. We stayed in Nemo last fall and walking from bus to room to food court was minimal. The pool alone is a feast for the eyes. My kids LOVED everything about the resort - the theming, the pools, the sprayground, the food court options....they even loved the carpet in the hallways that was supposed to be the EAC :) i loved having two bathrooms and three different sleeping options. the kitchenette was nicely supplied and convenient. if it was an adults trip, I would vote Poly hands down....with kids, AoA is hard to beat!
  9. mickeynut1

    mickeynut1 DIS Veteran

    Apr 16, 2007
    I agree with everything here :thumbsup2. We've never stayed a AoA or any other value, but we love everything about the Poly and for $65 more a night, I would go with the Poly without hesitation. The resort is beautiful and it's so convenient to MK. I don't think you'd regret it ;).
  10. monorailsilver

    monorailsilver DIS Veteran

    Jun 20, 2002
    I have never stayed at AoA either but for $65 more for the Poly you can't beat that.

    FYI I am biased because the Poly is my favorite resort.

    The two rooms, you won't need. Really you won't. My kids ages the 3 times I have taken them (well not all have been 3 times) were:

    dd-now 11 was 15 mo, 4 1/2 & 7 1/2
    ds-now 9 was 22 mo & just shy of 5
    dd-now 7 was 2 1/2

    We stayed at the Poly every time. I had no issues with mid day breaks/naps or for that matter night time bed time.

    My kids head hit the pillow & they were fast asleep even with the lights on/curtain open/tv on (depending on time of day we were there).

    We go to the parks early & come back at lunch time and they were pooped! We have always had a balcony or the lanai so dh & I were able to sit outside if we wanted while they napped. I even opened & closed the main door to the room to do laundry multiple times & they never woke.

    Our main parks are the MK & Epcot as well. There is nothing like just taking the monorail back vs waiting for a bus at park closing or even the mid day break. Heck the boat ride back from the MK on the resort launch is a favorite as well.

    People will complain that the pool/pool area isn't too big but I can say having a 7 yo go up & down the slide for hours at a time (her legs were so sore one day from the steps!!) & not being too worried that she was off the beaten path, aka so far away from us was nice. DH & I would either sit in the chairs by the slide exit or one or both of us would sit in the pool at the slide exit. We would see her waiting in line as well.

    At the same time we spent lots of time at the quiet pool as well. I always have just because it is so big & I am able to actually swim.

    Food prep, we just brought our own breakfast. I brought bowls & spoons as well so the kids ate while dh & I showered/got ready. I kept everything in the area between the 2 closets.

    Again, I am biased but I say go for the Poly!
  11. madelyn

    madelyn DIS Veteran

    Nov 24, 2000
    I would say let your kids decide but they will probably say AOA. My kids are now 14, 11 and 6 and we have been to Disney multiple times while they were different ages. With the kids we have stayed mainly DVC - OKW, Kidani, Saratoga, BLT, BW, Dolphin and once at Coronado Springs. Hubby and I have stayed w/out kids at GF and Beach Club. I have always wanted to stay at Poly and my 11 year old son asked why we have never stayed there. But when my two youngest saw photos of AoA they begged to stay there and complained that we have never stayed there. So I am thinking we need to try to take them there before they get "too old" to enjoy AoA. But the prices for a suite there seem so high for a "value". I don't know that I can get over that. We have friends who are going to stay at AoA in a suite their first time with their two young kids and my first thought is to try to persuade them NOT to stay at AoA mainly because of location and transportation. But I kept my opinions to myself. We have stayed value long ago before kids at All Stars Music.
  12. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

    Oct 29, 2012
    My suggestion would be the Poly.
  13. kaysmommie

    kaysmommie DIS Veteran

    Feb 27, 2006
    Im making the same decision right now. We have stayed at the Poly 3 times and love it. But having 2 bathrooms and a kitchenette might be nice. Also the bigger foodcourt and pools might be a plus as well. Our kids are 13 and 8. It would be $400 more for our week to go to Poly.
  14. Megsie1000

    Megsie1000 Mouseketeer

    Oct 10, 2010
    Poly is absolutely wonderful and if you can swing it, I would say absolutely stay there. Even more so if you are mostly doing MK and Epcot. It is so convenient to both and you really cannot beat the ease of the transportation.

    We had a ground floor in Samoa facing the Volcano pool and it was awesome. The kids could nap and DH and I hung out on the patio. It was steps away from the pool, close to Cap't Cooks (which, unlike value resorts was not completely nutty at rush hour(s) and close to the monorail. A perfect stay in every way and if Poly was more reasonable we would stay there every time. Unfortunately, we are almost always priced out. But I say do it if you can.
  15. buzzmom12

    buzzmom12 Mouseketeer

    May 16, 2007
    For the transportation I would def stay at the poly. Esp since you say you will be taking naps. You will save so much time getting back and forth from the parks. My kids now 7 and 3 love the Poly and cant wait to go back in August. The slide is fun, capt cooks food is good and has kids basics. I always request ground floor and sit outside if my kids are napping. You also have a fridge so you can have milk and juices. If you are doing character meals esp breakfast it is very convenient. Overall I find the poly very relaxing.
  16. catra121

    catra121 DIS Veteran

    Feb 6, 2011
    I would go with AoA...for all the reasons you listed. The separate bedroom, two bathrooms, kitchenette, and extra space. Staying in a suite you could pick the theme and then you would have a good idea of how far you would be from the main building and transportation by looking at the map.

    Trying to pack the whole family into one room at the Poly just seems like it could get frustrating very easily. And as nice as the resort is...the kids may prefer the Disney atmosphere at AoA better. Or maybe not...depends on the kids I guess.

    All in all...it's up to you and what you feel will give YOUR family the better experience.
  17. clareita

    clareita Mouseketeer

    Aug 14, 2006
    My family of 5 will be at the Poly next month. Yes, we will all be in one room, but I love the Poly so much that I have no interest in AoA - even if it means more room. I looked at pictures and AoA just seemed visually loud. I don't want to go back to the hotel and feel like I'm in a Disney movie. It's great being in the Disney cocoon by staying on-site, but when I go back to the hotel, I want to relax. The lush landscaping, soothing decor in the rooms, as well as the ease of getting to and from two of the parks that you get at the Poly is very relaxing.
  18. jrmo

    jrmo Mouseketeer

    Jan 23, 2008
    Wow! Thanks everyone for the thoughts! Keep 'em coming! :thumbsup2
  19. kanadar

    kanadar 2015 Disbride!

    Jan 21, 2013
    My family and I have been going to Disney for a long time. I believe the first time we went I was 6 or 7 years old. We stayed at the Polynesian and have all been in love with it since then. I am 25 now so AoA was not around when I was younger BUT I don't think I would have missed it. The Polynesian is very nice and there is stuff that both kids and adults can enjoy.

    Transportation is no comparison. Like many have said you have the monorail access at both the Great Ceremonial House, or TTC. Theres the boat to MK and of course buses to the other parks. My family and I tend to drive to AK no matter where we stay just because its so far away from all the resorts its quicker in and out. Our favorite longhouse is Tahiti which is the farthest from the great ceremonial house BUT the closest to TTC so its less than a 5 minute walk. We tend to try to avoid the buses because they seem to take a while sometimes. Yes they are constantly running but if they only have 2 buses running from your hotel and you JUST missed one, your sitting there for 15 minutes waiting. At AoA your only transportation is your car or the buses.
  20. DonoMoose

    DonoMoose Mouseketeer

    Jan 28, 2013
    Oh boy! This post reminds me one of one I put up not too long ago. I was in a similar dilemma. Do I stick to what I'm familiar with Pop Century Resort (Fun, colorful, large Icons & food court?) Or do I up grade, taking advantage of the spring room discount? I looked at pictures at AKL, and thought hey the kids love animals, pool looks nice, rooms looked pretty standard. Checked the reviews on here, many rave about it so what could go wrong? I booked AKL, big learning experience for our family. On this trip we missed the variety and size of the food court, the pool, so loud full of life (some people try to avoid this but we love it, it screams Disney fun to us. Anyway, I wish I would have known that this is something we actually prefer from Disney, well now we do... I can imagine AOA, the fun bright, entirely movie themed Suits, the separate bedroom for naps like you said. AOA hands down for me all the way.. Think about what you and your family would prefer to get out of this trip. Do you want more of a dark themed, subtle and tranquil resort? Than Poly is the better choice. If you guys prefer bright colorful, roomy, high fun and energy than AOA.. Talk about it with your family, knowing what they think when they imagine this Disney vacation may help you decide. Good Luck!! :donald:
  21. *Fantasia*

    *Fantasia* <font color=royalblue>Nothing beats a nice clean-c

    Jun 3, 2000
    ...and this is why we do split. I love the the loud Disney colorful in your face themes at the value resorts and their large food court with large varieties of selection and I also love the moderate/deluxe relaxing, green lush with hot tub, pool slide resorts. Either way.. you can't go wrong, but if you want best of both world, go with the split stay. :)

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