1st trip—Picked Poly over Beach Club and Contemporary

LaurenNYC

New Member
Original Poster
Hi, first family trip in mid-April (2 kids, 7 and 4) and I struggled sooooo much with my hotel choice. I finally picked the Poly (a Deluxe Studio Villa) but I was really torn due to the Beach club pool and its proximity to Epcot and the Contemporary (where I was gonna splurge on a theme park view). Curious if I made the right choice because I may be able to change it if there’s still availability. We had a really rough 2019 and I really want this trip to go well!

thanks!!
 

Dave Ber

Well-Known Member
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You cant go wrong, both Poly and Beach Club are amazing. Just different experiences. Poly has a great pool and views of MK and the fireworks as well as the water electrical parade, all very fun, the atmosphere is amazing as well. Obviously very easy access to MK and the TTC to get to Epcot. Beach Club is also amazing, great access to two parks, the best pool on site and a few fireworks from Epcot show, boardwalk is a lot of fun as well. Are you planning on a water parks? Are you pool people?
 

LaurenNYC

New Member
Original Poster
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You cant go wrong, both Poly and Beach Club are amazing. Just different experiences. Poly has a great pool and views of MK and the fireworks as well as the water electrical parade, all very fun, the atmosphere is amazing as well. Obviously very easy access to MK and the TTC to get to Epcot. Beach Club is also amazing, great access to two parks, the best pool on site and a few fireworks from Epcot show, boardwalk is a lot of fun as well. Are you planning on a water parks? Are you pool people?
thanks so much for the input! We do love pools but I’m not sure how much pool time we’re necessarily going to carve out on this trip. I was thinking that if I want a real pool vacation, would probably go somewhere less expensive than Disney. That being said, if the poly pool is so crowded in April it’s virtually unusable for the few times the kids do want to take a dip, that would be a big bummer! Since it’s the first trip, I figured a traditional MK resort would be good but the beach cub is so tempting! But hopefully we’ll love the Poly?
 

Dave Ber

Well-Known Member
The POLY is our favorite resort, we love the Hawaiian feeling and the atmosphere is amazing, they have other pools than the main one, but the main volcano pool is a lot of fun for the kids and they have a separate kids play/pool area you definitely made the right choice, Have fun, there is so much to do and the time saved in getting back to the hotel from MK will be amazing. You can also take the monorail to Epcot and then the skyliner to HS from Epcot, it gives you a lot of options, you will have a great time
 

Tuvalu

Premium Member
I agree with @Dave Ber. There are two good-sized pools at the Poly in addition to the kid’s water playscape. I have stayed at the Poly many times during busy seasons and have never found either pool too crowded to be enjoyable.

Stormalong Bay at Beach Club isn’t the best pool for a 7 and 4 year old unless they remain in the shallow sand play area. There are some very deep areas in the pool, plus a whirlpool, and the “feel” of the pool area is more chaotic than relaxing when you have young children.

If you plan to spend most of your time at the MK, you can’t beat the monorail. Poly also has boat transport to MK as well. And the villas are within walking distance to the TTC, making it easy to jump on the monorail to Epcot.

I say you made the right choice.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
Our very first trip to WDW years ago was spent at the Poly. Its a great resort to stay on your first time out. Its has everything going for it. Its consistently getting great reviews from guests. Its got 2 pools, a beach, marina with recreation, excellent food court, gift shop, great dining options, the resort thats themed exceptionally well, and with monorail access which is going to make your first trip easier on getting to MK and EP. The monorail also allows you to visit the other monorail line resorts. Youve got a great way to start your future off of hopefully many return trips to WDW. Hopefully youll get the opportunity to try other resorts. After doing Poly we did the Contemp and now our resort has been POFQ.
 

Kristopher Rannells

Active Member
Another Poly vote here, but that has been most of my families favorite resort and we've stayed there more than all other resorts combined. With kids your age the advantage to me is you are close enough to the MK you can go back to the resort both easy and quick for naps and breaks. The Contemporary is easier for this, but the pools, quick service food, overall eating and feel of the resort isn't nearly as good as the Poly. Tuvalu is right on with Storm Along Bay at the BC. Great for your older kid and kids older than that, but with littles it can be way too chaotic. Another advantage to Poly is quick walk to the TTC for the EPCOT monorail and Grand Floridian for more food options
 

Kingdom Konsultant

WDWMAGIC Board Sponsor
Premium Member
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With young children, chances are you will be spending most of your time in the Magic Kingdom since it has the most "kid friendly" attractions. While I love the Beach Club, I would go more with the Contemporary (walking distance) or the Poly.

Have a wonderful time!

Pam
 

helenabear

Well-Known Member
I've stayed in all three and out of those three I'd pick Polynesian so I think you made the right choice. You said a studio, so use that extra shower and enjoy it (seriously best on property). The rooms are really nice as a whole and the location is the best to me. Easy walk to the TTC for Epcot or even a ferry to MK. It will be very handy for having two young ones there. Also having the pull down bed for one so they don't have to share is super nice too.

Love the pools there and the lobby and grounds. I do think you did the right thing given the ages. Truthfully until your kids are strong swimmers, SAB is a negative. The slide is outside the pool area too so it's harder to navigate. Quite crowded too. While the slide at Polynesian is shorter, the pool is better situated for younger kids. The play area is fun too.

The Contemporary is nice, but I feel it's very concrete and not as great for smaller kids. The pool is meh to me and the walk to and from MK in lousy weather is not much fun. Yes there is the monorail but with bad weather it backs up quickly. Having to rely only on the resort line to get to and from Epcot can be trying at times.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
I think the Beach Club/Yacht Club/Boardwalk Inn have the best location of any resorts on the property, and Beach Club/Yacht Club have the best pool.

With that said, you will probably want to spend more time at the Magic Kingdom than any other park, because it's both geared the most towards younger kids and has the most attractions by far. Being able to hop on the monorail to get to/from there is a huge plus, and the Polynesian is a really cool resort on its own. I think both it and the Grand Floridian are much better than the Contemporary, and the Polynesian is probably better for kids than the Grand Floridian.
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
Welcome, @LaurenNYC! Upstate New Yorker here. :) I think you've chosen wisely.

FWIW, we ("we" being me, DH, and our then 9-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son) did a split stay in early May 2018 (3 nights at Beach Club, followed by 2 nights at the Polynesian, both in standard studios on rented DVC points -- it worked out to $250/night at BC and $410/night at Poly).

The Poly stay was one we'd fantasized about for years, and we split it with BC largely due to the high cost. It was everything I'd dreamed it would be. We loved the retro Tiki decor, and the extra-large studios and extra bathroom space (especially the deluxe shower) were fabulous. We had plenty of space in the studio to use all the sleeping spaces, and still step easily around the room and access items stored in drawers. We spent a couple of glorious mornings sipping coffee on our large balcony, which overlooked some lush greenery and a quiet walking path. The convenience of monorail transportation (and a short walk to the TTC) was cool, too.

In comparison, we were really disappointed with the Beach Club. Our studio balcony was filthy and faced a noisy roadway -- not that we could have accessed it anyway, because the BC studios are so tiny and crammed full of oversized furniture that with the sofa bed folded out, we couldn't get to the sliding balcony door. In fact, the BC studios are so small that with the Murphy bed and sofa bed folded down and the chairs, sofa cushions and coffee table occupying the rest of the floor space in the bed room, crossing the room was like an awkward game of "The Floor is Lava," because you had to crawl across or straddle all the furniture to get around. Plus, with the sleeping spaces folded out, you couldn't use the table (it folds into the Murphy bed, whereas the Poly has a separate table and chairs), nor could you open or access any of the storage drawers in the Murphy bed unit or coffee table. We ended up having to perch on our beds to eat breakfast, and store all of our clothes in and around the bathroom vanity, or inside our suitcases in the narrow entryway. Counter service dining at BC was limited and boring except for Hurricane Hanna's (in contrast to the Polynesian, which had more interesting options), and while we'd heard rave reviews about Stormalong Bay, it was a nightmare to be there with active kids. You're fenced in like a criminal (all the pools have fences now, but the one at Stormalong Bay is particularly visually intrusive and totally interrupts the flow of the area), the pool slides are across a busy walkway in a completely different fenced section, and there are so many different levels and visual obstructions that we were constantly losing sight of our children. It was the opposite of relaxing! Granted, the ability to walk to Epcot and HS was nice, but I didn't feel it made up for a room layout and resort pool complex that seemed singularly ill-designed for a typical family.

At the Polynesian, the pool was beautiful to look at, and we could see the whole thing from any lounge chair, so we could easily keep track of what our kids were up to, instead of having to chase them around. It may have been less elaborate and there was no lazy river or anything, but that was okay with us -- there are water parks for that!

Overall, despite its higher price, I'd stay at the Polynesian (for a couple of nights, anyway, whatever we could afford) again in a heartbeat. I'd never care to stay at the Beach Club again, even at the much-lower nightly rate. That's my 2 cents. ;)
 
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My wife and I have stayed at Poly a couple times and Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary on our most recent visit. The main Contemporary building isn't one I'd want to stay at because it feels like you're in a subway station to me, but Bay Lake Tower was very nice. We both said that we were torn on which one is better because there are pros and cons to each. I'd lean slightly towards Poly, but I think both are good options and wouldn't be disappointed if we had to "settle" for Bay Lake.

Poly has great theming, a great pool, and MK transportation by monorail and boat. There's also a room service option that is the same meal you would get at Ohana that we both love. The extra shower is a nice feature, too, especially if multiple people are trying to get ready at the same time. The downside is that you have to walk outside to get to and from your room, so if it's raining and you're checking in or want to grab some food then you're going out in the rain. If the weather is nice, it's not a problem since the walk isn't really that long even at the buildings further away.

Bay Lake Tower isn't themed as nice as Poly, but has great views of Magic Kingdom and the 5th Floor bridge means you don't have to walk outside in bad weather (unless the wind is really blowing the rain at you) and it's not a long walk to get to the monorail and restaurants even though you're in a separate tower. On a nice day, the walk between MK and the lobby isn't bad and makes a good alternative to waiting for the monorail if the line is long. According to my FitBit, it was ~ 3/5 of a mile from the park exit to the hotel lobby. The pool isn't as nice as the Poly pool. When we were there last week, they told us it closed at 8, which seemed really early to us. We've stayed at other deluxe resorts where we were going to the pool later than that. We really wanted to soak our tired legs in the hot tub but it was almost 10:00 at that point so we were out of luck. Maybe we could have gone down there anyway but we didn't feel like going up to our room and changing into our bathing suits just to find out that the pool gate wouldn't open.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Overall, despite its higher price, I'd stay at the Polynesian (for a couple of nights, anyway, whatever we could afford) again in a heartbeat. I'd never care to stay at the Beach Club again, even at the much-lower nightly rate. That's my 2 cents. ;)
I think the Yacht Club is supposed to be a bit nicer than the Beach Club -- but yes, I think the Boardwalk Inn is nicer than both and if money was no object that's probably where I'd stay on every Disney trip.
 

SamPR810

Member
Kona Breakfast, enough said....

actually... almost enough, I wanted to clarify it's all good; but those pancakes... those are the best pancakes
 

casuter

New Member
In my opinion, the pool at Beach Club/Yacht Club is overrated.

The Lazy River is filled to the brim, and the sand-bottom pool is very uncomfortable.
Poly is very nice. I've always dreamed of staying in one of those bungalows on the water.
 

helenabear

Well-Known Member
In my opinion, the pool at Beach Club/Yacht Club is overrated.

The Lazy River is filled to the brim, and the sand-bottom pool is very uncomfortable.
Poly is very nice. I've always dreamed of staying in one of those bungalows on the water.
My husband hates the sand. Tore up the bottom of his feet. Agree about the rest too!

But have to say if you ever can swing a bungalow stay it was worth it to me! Glad my DVC allowed it!
 

Simba’s Mom

Active Member
Minority opinion here. I'd suggest trying to switch to the BC. On my last trip, I did a split stay between the Poly and Beach Club. The Poly had a great location for visiting the MK, but otherwise the resort left me cold. It seemed so dated. On the other hand I loved BC, and I don't swim, so for me Stormalong Bay wasn't a big appeal, except that I did enjoy sitting in the rocking chairs at the Yacht Club overlooking the pool. I loved the location for Beaches and Cream, Ample Hills, and being such a short distance from Epcot (this was just before the Skyliner opened so I imagine that's a plus now).
 

mdktf

Active Member
Hi, first family trip in mid-April (2 kids, 7 and 4) and I struggled sooooo much with my hotel choice. I finally picked the Poly (a Deluxe Studio Villa) but I was really torn due to the Beach club pool and its proximity to Epcot and the Contemporary (where I was gonna splurge on a theme park view). Curious if I made the right choice because I may be able to change it if there’s still availability. We had a really rough 2019 and I really want this trip to go well!

thanks!!
Personally I’d have gone with the Contemporary. Being able to walk to MK is worth every penny, rooms are gorgeous and it just has a Disney feel.
Last time we stopped at Poly, whilst the rooms were gorgeous (we had a studio) the whole place is crowded and you just can’t enjoy the lobby as Ohana is totally and constantly over booked.
 
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