Recommend a hotel at Walt Disney World?

Old Jan 30th, 2012, 03:27 PM
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Recommend a hotel at Walt Disney World?

There will be a 14 yr. old, grandparents and another adult. We will probably stay 4 - 5 nights, and want to visit every park, staying at one of the resort hotels. We like nice hotels (stayed at Portofino at Universal), but it doesn't have to be the most luxurious. What is more central, and convenient to all the transportation? Thanks so much!
elsiemoo is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2012, 03:34 PM
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Hi elsiemoo! I have stayed at the Polynesian, Contemporary, and boardwalk hotels in Disney and in my opinion I loved staying in the Walt Disney resort area where you can just hop onto the Monorail at the hotel. The Contemporary and Polynesian have this and it takes you to The Magic Kingdom. It is also very easy to take the buses from the hotels to other theme parks. There are schedules for the pick ups and drop offs which is easy to follow. Hope you have a wonderful trip!
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 04:10 PM
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I prefer the hotels that are behind EPCOT. They aren't in the density of constant transport and crowds(to me and every trip it has made a difference) and they are the closest too to the best restaurant choices, IMHO.

Yacht Club, Boardwalk, Key West- all those around that point. Review the map.

Animal Kingdom Lodge is the farthest for using Disney transport. If you want to cut out that time- don't pick that one. I HATED it when I was last on the routes.

If you don't want to go that high $$$- my DD did a real study and ended up staying at Coronado Springs, just because of where it was on the route. And you don't need to be in packs of people every minute, while also having an excellent swim area "at home". Orleans is about the same too.

Avoid Caribbean Beach- too big and it's a longer commute too. Not any time close to the A.K.L. area commute time, but not the same level of pool or meals area at all, either.

I've stayed "in Disney" with both adults and kids over 20 plus years about 7 or 8 times. Behind EPCOT, for us- was the bomb. Every single park is "there"or closely in access- more full service restaurants and your watersport, if wanted. And mostly, and this was super important to me, may not be to you- all the public areas (wash rooms and other facilities and snack stops) were MUCH less constantly populated and as such in better shape and top usable condition at all times.

When I stayed at the Polynesian as soon as I left the room I felt like part of a herd- dense people and movements. I never felt like that at all at any behind EPCOT.
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 05:52 PM
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We liked the Contemporary for the ease of getting on the Monorail and the Boardwalk for the ease of walking to Epcot. Floridian is on the rail line also, but we did not like it as much as the other two
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 06:13 PM
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Hi Elisemoo! We did not stay at a D-W hotel when we just went - we ended up at the Hilton Buena Vista as they offered extra magic hours and d-w transportation - and it was right next to Downtown Disney and I thought my 14 and 18 year old might want to walk over to Downtown Disney when we were not at the parks. I looked into all the different D-w properties though and went round and round... I saw VERY bad reviews for the Contemporary - so did not do that one. Liked what I read about the Floridian but it was out of budget over Christmas time (so much money!)

Remind me, are you going to Universal at all? Harry Potter was AWESOME. And so is the Portofino... what a lovely experience we had there! (We stayed the first part at the Hilton and moved over to the Portofino for the second half)
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 06:20 PM
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Hi guys ... thanks so much for your replies! We did Universal's Portofino for three days last summer, will go back again for a couple of days, possibly to the same hotel (loved it). I really like the idea of the convenience of the monorail at DW but hate to pay such high prices (first week of August.) Will probably cave and pay them ... MomDD, what did your 14 yr. old like best at DW and Universal?
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 07:03 PM
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Elsiemoo - it was interesting - we went to Disneyland many times - as annual passholders who lived in Orange county for 14 years - so we actually did NOT go to the Magic Kingdom during our stay - it was a very crowded time - thankfully not hot like you will have in August though. So we ended up passing on Magic Kingdom! I know people thought we were crazy but we had X amount of days and were exhausted by the time it rolled around to the time we were going to go.

I loved the Fantasmic show - and it is way better than at D-land. We got some lunch that permitted us to have early entrance and reserved seating and that was really worth the little extra it cost (we were going to eat anyway!) It was cool and both girls (18 and 14 loved it)

She loved Hollywood studios - and enjoyed Animal Kingdom - and Epcot - all different things about all of them. She is glad we went, but said she was okay not going back again.

We did something sort of silly but fun at Epcot - we bought the little passport they sell in the gift shop and went country to country (the passport was about 10.00) and they have a passport station at each country and have a person from that country working, and stamping the passports and many are very friendly and talk to you and write cute things IN the passport. It was something "cute" to do. We also did get an autograph book for the characters just to be silly and got photos as well It was again, something to "do" that was a distraction from the rides and shows.

She LOVED Universal and would like to return there. The universal studios is not very nice in CA and you can really go and see and do it all in a day no issues. She LOVED Harry Potter World and they spent a good amount of time there- do get some butter beer if you go Sweet and yummy (non-alcoholic) - the Harry Potter ride was her favorite and all the more "extreme" coasters/rides at the Universal Parks. Some green monster ride - yikes. Made my head hurt just looking at it!

I know what you mean about the extra money - (for staying there) it was just too much the week after Christmas and I was too nervous about some of the reviews I read. We did use the DW transportation between parks and that was so easy - (we went to Animal Kingdom one morning and headed over to Epcot in the afternoon).
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 07:56 PM
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MomDD, this 14 yr. old GD of mine was with us at Universal/Portofino last summer. She loved everything about Harry Potter World ... the butter beer, yes! In fact, she loved being at Universal, period, and can't wait to go back and do it all again. She hasn't been to DW since she was tiny, can't remember so is looking forward to all of it. August is a CRAZY time to go, but we have no choice. That's the only time our son can get off work to go. They go to the parks at the crack of dawn, come back around lunchtime to avoid afternoon heat, don't go back until about five when others are leaving for dinner.

The kinds of things you did with your daughters at DW are the same things my DGD would love! We will definitely stay IN the resorts ... their transportation is so convenient, and I stay at the hotel mostly, as I can't run around in the heat very much. I did consider staying outside the resorts but my DH says it's worth the extra money not to have to bother with the car! Thanks again for your help ...
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 11:33 PM
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The Yacht and Beach; walk into EPCOT; boat or bus to the Studios; AND it has the BEST pool at Disney complete with water slide
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Old Jan 31st, 2012, 05:34 AM
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I agree with the Yacht and Beach Club. Anything in the Boardwalk is so convenient and doesn't feel congested like the Contemporary.
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Old Jan 31st, 2012, 05:53 AM
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One thing I meant to add - is when I was speaking to disneyworld reservations trying to figure things out - make sure your room has two queen beds and not two doubles. We had two doubles at the Hilton and I knew that going in but honestly we were just too crammed - myself, husband, 14 and 18 year old daughter..

When we moved to the Portofino with two queens it really made a difference sleeping.

your smart to go into the parks really early and take advantage of those "extra magic hours" you get for staying on property - we went to the animal kingdom at 7 am and while it was not fun getting up super early - we were able to do everything we wanted by 10:00 am - no lines, it was great - and this was the week after Christmas.

Your husband is also smart to avoid a car. I assume 1. you would be renting? I have found car rentals VERY high out of MCO and the parking at the parks, and the hassle et. just not worth it!
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Old Jan 31st, 2012, 06:08 AM
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thought this was interesting - i am sure you can get good reservations this far out - we waited too long (I think I started trying about one month out)
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Old Jan 31st, 2012, 10:01 AM
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You guys are awesome! Every little tidbit from all of you is SO appreciated. MomDD, we will be driving our own car but DH would like to use it only once, to move us beetween Disney and Universal. Great reminder on the beds ... We had two queens, waterfront, at the Portofino, and it was heavenly. The bathroom was huge, and we never felt like killing each other!!!

I'm seriously looking at the Yacht and Beach Club ... I have such problems with the heat that I am only planning to visit maybe one park, and I'm thinking to stay at the Y & B Club resort, and buy a one or two day ticket for Epcot might be a plan for ME. I would be RIGHT THERE, it seems (The others would do the 4-day pass, and go everywhere.) Is a lot of Epcot air-conditioned (maybe dumb question but I'm clueless about the place?) At the Portofino, I lived at the hotel, because, though I'd love to have seen the parks, it wasn't worth the ticket price, with the chance of my having heat problems, and I'm not going to ride any rides anyway.

Any thoughts on that plan? Thank you all!
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Old Jan 31st, 2012, 10:11 AM
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elsiemoo - No, I did not find much of Epcot air-conditioned. I liked Epcot the most, but enjoyed visiting all the different countries. We had lunch at the Restaurant Marrakesh at Epcot - and LOVED it - we enjoyed it so much dh and I said, we really must go to Morocco! The stores in each country are of course climate controlled, and if not crowed would be a way to beat the heat. SInce you like to travel I think you will like that area of the parks.
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Old Jan 31st, 2012, 10:20 AM
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Chances are this does not apply to you, but if one is either active duty or retired military (including the Commissioned Corps of PHS and NOAA) there is a hotel on the Disney grounds that is open only to you and your family - it is called "Shades of Green." Prices are on a sliding scale according to rank. DW stayed there with the kids and was impressed. You can also buy discount tickets there with a valid ID
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Old Jan 31st, 2012, 12:29 PM
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The indoor attractions/countries at Epcot are air conditioned, but you have to walk around outside to get from one to the next.
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