Disney Advice - Which "deluxe" hotel?

Aug 20th, 2006, 03:46 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 799
Disney Advice - Which "deluxe" hotel?


We are thinking about a Disney Land/Sea vacation this year, as the kids are finally old enough to enjoy it, and I only want to do this trip once!

We have a 9 year old girl and 5 year old boy, and have narrowed it down to 3 resorts -Animal Kingdom Lodge, Beach Club or Polynesian.

We will of course visit Magic Kingdom, and probably Epcot and the Animal Kingdom. My kids love to swim so a really nice pool would be great and of course, we like nicer rooms. I have heard that some of the resorts are pretty run down so I want to avoid a real dud.

I would appreciate any comments (good and bad) to help me make my decision.

jamierin is offline  
Aug 20th, 2006, 04:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 327
The Polynesian is my favorite reosrt at WDW. The pool is great and has a nice waterslide & waterfalls. And it is on the monorail which is very convenient. The rooms are the biggest at WDW. Some/most? have two beds and a daybed.

The Beach Club has the best pool system at WDW, though I haven't been in the pools (we satayed here in Jan) the rooms are very nice also. But, it is on the bus system and the rooms are smaller than the Poly.

I have also stayed at Animal Kingdom and although it is great to see the animals from the resort, I found the hotel very dark.

If the pool is the most important thing, the Beach Club is probably best for you. But, I sure love the Poly!
EmilySD is offline  
Aug 20th, 2006, 04:14 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 799
We would be going in late Jan./early Feb. but are coming from a cold Canadian winter so we "Canucks" swim in January!

Thanks for your input.
jamierin is offline  
Aug 20th, 2006, 04:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,378
If you stay at the Beach Club you take the "Friendship Boat" to Epcot and MGM. YOu could also walk, but maybe not with a five year old. They have bus service to Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom. As stated before, they have a great pool area. YOu would also be right there near the Disney Boardwalk where there are fun activities.
schmerl is offline  
Aug 20th, 2006, 04:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 882
Of the 3, we've stayed at AK & BC. While I believe the room in the AK was tad better (mainly cause it's newer), I'd recommend BC. All WDW properties have nice pools and none of the rooms we've stayed at have been all that impressive. Much like hotel rooms in Vegas, they don't make them so nice you want to spend a lot of time lounging in the room. They want you out spending $$$.
Pumpy is offline  
Aug 20th, 2006, 05:29 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,968
Go to:

and take a look at all the pictures they have of the resorts you're interested in.

I love the convenience of the monorail, and really like the rooms at the Polynesian. The Beach Club has an excellent pool area. Take a look at the pictures and see what looks best to you.
dsquared is offline  
Aug 20th, 2006, 06:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,494
The Boardwalk.
wow is offline  
Aug 21st, 2006, 08:12 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 895
Here are some links with great photos:

Animal Kingdom Lodge:

Disney's Beach Club:


You are going to enjoy any of these resorts. There are each great in their own way.

The pools are absolutely awesome at Beach Club - our family loved this. We also loved the little soda shop type restaurant there called "Beaches & Cream". There are boats to Epcot and the International GAteway entrance is so much nicer than the main Epcot entrance. You're close to the Boardwalk and can enjoy the entertainment there:


The Polynesian's theming is just so fun and it is great to be able to take the Monorail or water launch to the Magic Kingdom. Ohana is a fun dining experience - I've only done dinner but we loved it. You can also see the Electric Water Pageant: http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com...erpageant.html

And the Animal Kingdom has those beautiful animals. Boma is a great restaurant and there is a storyteller in the evenings by the firepit.

Is your daughter into the Disney princesses? Here's a great link listing where you'll find princesses at the various parks:

The Campfire Sing-Along w/ Chip & Dale is a fun, free activity:

You might be able to save some money on the Beach Club by renting Disney Vacation Club (DVC) points from a member. That's what we did - we found a DVC member on the DVC forum at www.disboards.com.

ajcolorado is offline  
Aug 21st, 2006, 08:14 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 895
I think Epcot is WONDERFUL for kids your kid's ages. Mission Space is probably the only thing too intense four your son and it now has a new "no spin" option (47" / 122cm). If they’re tall enough; Soarin’ and Test Track (40" or 102cm)should be fine. Honey I Shrunk the Audience 3-D and Maelstrom might be a little scary for some but many do just fine. Spaceship Earth, The Universe of Energy (Dinosaurs & 45 blessed minutes of air conditioning), and Journey into Your Imagination with Figment are all visually interesting for kids. One of the Innovention pavilions has a lot of things geared for little ones. The Living Seas is great for kids – marine life & “Turtle Talk with Crush” are fantastic. “The Land” has a character meal and there are Princess meals at the Norway Pavillion. There are Character Meet & Greets all through Epcot. There is some great entertainment too – the Jammitors are a “Stomp” like percussion group and Kristos is a Cirque du Soliel type balancing act.

There are “Kidcot” stations throughout the World Showcase. Your kids can make a cardboard mask (free) at which ever station they stop at first. Then they can add a decoration at each additional station. The boat ride at the Mexico pavilion is similar to “It’s A Small World”. The kids may or may not enjoy the American Adventure or the Circle Vision movies in China & Canada. If I was going to choose one, I’d go with the China movie. There is a little hedge maze in the UK pavilion that is too short for adults to find challenging but I saw a bunch of kids gleefully running through. I also saw kids intrigued by the model train at the Germany pavilion. My kids loved wandering through the Morocco pavilion. There are Koi fish in the pond in Japan. Norway has a Viking boat play area. There is some fantastic entertainment that kids will enjoy: The “Serveur Amusant” (France) is a comedic balancing act. Japan has three great things for kids – “Matsuriza” is a traditional drum act; “Miyuki” is a very neat candy artist, and there is a Japanese Storyteller “Honobono Minwa” on Wed, Thurs, & Fri. Sergio (Italy) is a juggler. “OrisiRisi”, he drum circle and African Storytellers (Mon- Fri) in the Outpost get good reviews. Kids always love the Dragon Legend Acrobats (China) because they are children too. Some kids will enjoy “Off Kilter” (Canada) – bagpipe rock and “MoRockin” (Morocco) – Middle Eastern pop sounding band. IllumiNations is the evening fireworks show and it is excellent.
ajcolorado is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 01:31 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
The Beach Club has THE most popular pool and waterslide at Disney..so much so that you are given a daily wristband to wear in the pool area in order to keep guests from the other on-site hotels OUT. And there's a good reason for that popularity.

The BC is within easy walking distance of Epcot.

If you will be spending the majority of your time in the Magic Kingdom then I'd opt for the closer Polynesian.

In terms of overall luxury and SIZE of the rooms, the Grand Floridian is the one to choose IMO.
Dukey is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 06:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,449
We just returned from a week at WDW with out two young kids. I agree that the Polynesian is the best all around option.

We've stayed at there, the Animal Kingdom, and the Beach Club.

Here's my thoughts on each:

The Polynesian: Best combination of location and pool. Two easy methods to get to the Magic Kingdom and more importantly, back to the hotel for an afternoon break. The rooms are a decent size. Many are being or have been refurbished. (There look to be about 250 rooms under rebuild right now.) We ALWAYS pay for the Club level - Hawaii building rooms. More expensive but for us it is well worth it. The downside for some might be the extra cost for this property versus other WDW options.

The Animal Kingdom - We think this is also a nice hotel and like that it's less hectic than the Polynesian. The pool is usually less crowded. But, of the 3 you mentioned, the least impressive pool. If your kids like slides, this one is relatively small. The distance to the parks for some might be a negative. The rooms are far smaller than the Polynesian.

The Beach Club - A great pool area and it's nice to be able to walk to Epcot. (But, that is our least favorite park.) The Club Level here is fairly small and has less of what we look for than either the AK or Polynesian. Can't vouch for all the rooms but the Suite we had was a bit frayed, but nothing atrocious.

If the pool is your #1 priority, I'd say the Beach Club. For room size, location, and pool the Polynesian.
Ryan is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2006, 06:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,449
Geez, make that with our two young kids - not "with out..."
Ryan is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 08:37 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 19
We have gone to WDW every year for the past 17 & have stayed in all of the hotels. My favorite is the Wilderness Lodge, though not on the Monorail it is very close to the Magic Kingdom. That being said, the Animal Kingdom Lodge is beautiful. If you chose this you must upgrade to a Savannah View or you won't see the animals....the point of the hotel. It also has a great resturant, Boma. My least favoite luxury hotel is the Polynesian. I have never been to any WDW hotel that was "run down". I also like the Dolphin & Swan but, not being Disney Owned, ( they are Starwood Hotels) you cannot get the meal plan which is well worth the price. Any of the EPCOT hotels are nice, least favorite is Boardwalk, the rooms are too small for the price. For moderate price, Port Orleans wins my vote. For theleast expensive, Pop Century as it is the newest.
amarc is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 08:51 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 16,253
I've stayed at AK & BC.

Absolutely would pick BC myself, with kids or without.

Polynesian has the best location for MK, but that is not where we tend to stay at all, you might. My nine year old wanted out of MK in about 3 hours. Loved MGM and EPCOT much more. AK has beautiful appearance (but I do agree on the darkness comment)although it has by far the worst location and WDW transportation linkage. (This is the only place we have ever waited long periods of time for buses/ both directions.)

Polynesian is beautiful, and we ate at their Island Luau Dinner 3 times (now no longer held) but my family members have stay there and thought the same as I did at the dinners. That is this: all the public areas are mobbed and public bathrooms really showed this heavy traffic as well. Because it is in the midst- well, I like my WDW on the mobless side myself. Too many people makes movement, etc. all so much more difficult and less fun.

If you tend to hang out in MK for very long periods of time, I would go to Polynesian. But for all other combo's across the board, I would pick BC and the behind EPCOT location overall.
JJ5 is offline  
Aug 30th, 2006, 05:49 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 273
We stayed at the Beach Club in a club level room last October and found it to be perfect. We have 3 kids who were 10, 8 and 7 at the time. Our room had 2 queen size beds with a single daybed which I believe is the set up of all the deluxe properties. I had heard that the property was showing signs of age but we did not notice this at all and I am very picky.

1) Definitely consider a club level room as it is definitely worth the difference in price especially with kids. The different snack options through out the day can actually be meals they are so plentiful and they allow you to take food and drinks to your room so you can stock up. Some people were taking some snacks with them for the park ie bananas, muffins etc... Well worth the money considering the cost of meals in the park.

2) The meandering free-form pool is fabulous with a sandy bottom and a great waterslide through a shipwreck. The kids were just as happy here as in the parks, seriously. There is also a very quiet pool away from this exciting one.

3) The hotel is one of the most central to all the parks although transportation to each park is different. Walking to Epcot is a plus. The bus to Ak and MK are very convenient. If you decide on MGM you can walk or take a boat.

4) The hotel is just across the lagoon from the Boardwalk area (short boatride or 10 minute walk) with restaurants and activities and is very animated until all day. The view from the back of the Beach Club is across the lake to this very scenic boardwalk area all lit up at night. Very pretty and very fun. Great vacation atmosphere.

We loved the Beach Club and would definitely stay here on our next trip no questions asked.
lemidi is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 03:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 882
I'd have to agree with the others. I haven't been to Disney in quite some time however, remember what a very Hawaiian feel it had when I got off the monorail to nose around the lobby and grounds. How convenient to stay at a place that is part of a monorail stop. Just remember how inconvenient it was when we went to Orlando a few times and stayed in Kissimee and had to drive there, park and wait in line for the entrance.
Stephanie is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 03:54 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,834
Polynesian- You can't beat the convenience of the monorail to epcot and MK.
padams421 is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 05:31 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,221
Hi jamierin - I would also vote for Polynesian. Very easy access on monorail and really good on-site restaurants and shops. We opted for the conceierge floor and thought it was well worth it. Good food/snacks, happy hour and great place to unwind if you need a respite from the crowds (and who doesn't) - it also was great place to watch fireworks. Due to the freebies included, we figured the total costs was very little more than the regular rooms.
dfr4848 is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 06:25 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,874
With young kids, I'd lean toward the Poly, assuming you'll want to spend the most time at the MK. Last time I checked, however, they didn't have a hot tub.

The BC is great, although I like the decor better at the Yacht Club. (Check out the photos on allearsnet.com if you haven't already.) Note that unless your kids ar every strong swimmers, Stormalong Bay is stressful for the parents. It is huge, so mom and dad can't just plop themselves down in a chair to watch them, because they quickly go out of view. The lazy river is VERY deep. There are, however, three large hot tubs.
missypie is offline  
Aug 31st, 2006, 05:06 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 96
I have been to Disney many, many times. When my grandchildren were 8 and 6 we felt that the Polynesian was the best choice because it is on the monorail. The pool area is very nice and the rooms are larger than the other resorts. My daughter and her family stayed there again last year and said it was as great as she remembered. The other lovely resort that is on the monorail is the grand Floridian.. very beautiful. All in all you cannot go wrong with disney. Make wonderful memories and enjoy.
estravel is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:09 PM.