Undecided Resort Choice

Disfreak28

New Member
Original Poster
Hello everyone!

I am stuck and have not been able to decide as to what resort to stay at for our next trip to Disney (which won't be for a year or so). A little background is normally when we go, we put in two "break days" and visit Magic Kingdom twice and Animal Kingdom twice and the other two parks once. I'm not sure if that will change with having Star Wars open and us not having been there yet, along with the new stuff at EPCOT. We also normally stay at All Stars Sports because of the cost savings and us being able to use that money in the parks and / or for extra things and during our next trip, we would like to possibly stay at a more centrally located resort, and / or one that we can head back from the parks and be able to actually relax and hang out a little bit. We do go to Disney Springs often throughout the stay which is normally 2 weeks, transportation is not an issue (we do not mind busses).

This trip is almost "no money is an issue" because it would be celebrating our college graduations and a deluxe is not an issue. We are from New England and wanted to try and avoid anything that resembles home (so I think that's Beach Club, Yacht Club, and Boardwalk). I was thinking of the following resorts and just wanted some of your opinions :) (these are in no specific order)

Wilderness Lodge
Polynesian
Port Orleans (River / FQ)
Old Key West
Saratoga Springs

Thank you in advance!
 

larryz

Breathe in, breathe out...
Premium Member
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Hello everyone!

I am stuck and have not been able to decide as to what resort to stay at for our next trip to Disney (which won't be for a year or so). A little background is normally when we go, we put in two "break days" and visit Magic Kingdom twice and Animal Kingdom twice and the other two parks once. I'm not sure if that will change with having Star Wars open and us not having been there yet, along with the new stuff at EPCOT. We also normally stay at All Stars Sports because of the cost savings and us being able to use that money in the parks and / or for extra things and during our next trip, we would like to possibly stay at a more centrally located resort, and / or one that we can head back from the parks and be able to actually relax and hang out a little bit. We do go to Disney Springs often throughout the stay which is normally 2 weeks, transportation is not an issue (we do not mind busses).

This trip is almost "no money is an issue" because it would be celebrating our college graduations and a deluxe is not an issue. We are from New England and wanted to try and avoid anything that resembles home (so I think that's Beach Club, Yacht Club, and Boardwalk). I was thinking of the following resorts and just wanted some of your opinions :) (these are in no specific order)

Wilderness Lodge
Polynesian
Port Orleans (River / FQ)
Old Key West
Saratoga Springs

Thank you in advance!
Since you're going to be doing Animal Kingdom twice, why not include the Animal Kingdom Lodge in your plans? It's roughly the same sizes and prices as Wilderness Lodge.
 

Disney Experience

Well-Known Member
Wilderness Lodge - Great Lodge, fireplace, rustic and spacious feel in lobby. Stayed there a few times
Polynesian - Being updated. Stayed there a few times.
Port Orleans (River / FQ) - Not a deluxe hotel. Stayed there once.
Old Key West - Decades ago these where the first DVC, They had the feel of nice large apartments. DVC got better, but smaller designs in later projects. Being DVC member I still have never chosen to stay there.
Saratoga Springs - Stayed here a few times, somewhat like apartments, easiest place to book as a DVC member because of the large quantity of rooms. Close to Disney Springs, and Saratoga Springs is huge with lots of room spread over a large area. It is fashioned in New York (Saratoga) decor, so it may not be what you want if you do not want a North Eastern style.

Just my opinion, hope it helps.
 
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Zé_Carioca

Active Member
Given the fact that you guys don't have a budget and seem to want to visit MK and DAK most of all, I totally recommend splurging for a Monorail Resort. I stayed at the poly and loved it, it is so serene and really makes you feel like you're on vacation, plus there are so many amazing food options. The only problem would be that they are closed/renovating and might not be done by your trip depending on when it is. I recently stayed at the Contemporary and loved it. The fact that you can shortly walk to the Magic Kingdom is in itself so worth it, plus the hotel itself was nice since its pretty compact and it is cool to have the monorail going right through it.

I also second what one comment said about the Animal Kingdom Lodge, I have never stayed there but love visiting. Having the Savannah views would add to your celebration/make the trip extra special, plus the restaurants there are amazing.

But to answer the rest of your questions:

Wilderness Lodge- I stayed here twice and for sentimental reasons and due to theming it is my favorite resort, though, it is more of a winter resort in my opinion. It has the boat to the Magic Kingdom so that would be a plus for you as well.

Polynesian- see above

Port Orleans (River / FQ)- I've stayed at Riverside and love how beautiful it is. Though it is pretty big so you might have a long walk from the lobby/pool to the room. French Quarter is much more compact so I would recommend them, plus they have beignets and a nice/fun Jazz bar.

Old Key West/Saratoga Springs- I've never stayed at either but have dined at/visited both and they are similar in style (very spread out DVC resorts). I personally don't like how spread out they are, unless you have a car. But both are pretty, with Saratoga being a bit better IMO. Both also have boats to DS which is nice.
 

tanc

Active Member
OKW is a beautiful resort, family favorite. Only issue is the bus system/resort layout is really bad.
 

wlodge_man

Member
⬅️ ⬅️⬅️⬅️⬅️
See answer to your left... ;-)

I would go with a Deluxe if your budget allows. Of course I'm biased to WL, but what comes to mind when you think of a relaxing place? Northwestern Lodge, tropical setting?? I would look at photos of different Deluxe resorts to see which appeals to you and go with that. Or you could do a split stay and pick 2 Deluxe resorts and do a week at both!
 

Dog Ate Mouse

Well-Known Member
Honestly if I am planning a trip and money not being a factor ,I would stay either at the Wilderness Lodge or Animal Kingdom Lodge would be the best bet to ensure you are not feeling at home of have a little at home sense. Two beautiful themed out Stays for sure.
 

dmw

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
We love POFQ (moderate resort)! Convenient boat rides to Disney Springs are a plus. Buses to all parks are not bad. POR and POFQ share amenities, including all pools. But, I don't know when they are to re-open.

AKL is a wonderful Deluxe property. With price no problem, splurge for the savanna view - it is awesome!

The only monorail resort we have stayed at is the Poly. It is a nice property, but we prefer AKL. Keep in mind that the monorails do get very busy at peak times, even the resort loop.
 

helenabear

Well-Known Member
I've stayed in all more than once. I'm also a DVC owner and particularly know those.

Wilderness Lodge - quiet and a relatively small resort. Main lodge is close to MK boat but further from buses. Beautiful lobby.

Polynesian - we feel this is the best location being you are able to walk to the TTC as well as GF and now MK (that'd be a hike). Relatively quiet grounds. Best views of MK

Port Orleans (River / FQ) a moderate. Rooms are smaller. It's rather loud there. My least favorite of all you listed.

Old Key West - biggest and best DVC rooms. Condo style with parking right outside rooms. Large resort, but pretty quiet.

Saratoga Springs - my least favorite DVC. About twice as large as OKW really. Exterior halls are long and yet echoy. Refurbed rooms going on now and better than before.

With MK twice I pick Polynesian. One of my top choices anyway
 

figmentfan423

Well-Known Member
Poly, refurbed rooms, Poly being able to walk to TTC, GF and MK add in Contemporary if you're walkers, Poly Dole Whips and Lapu Lapus
 
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CynBeth

Member
I would go with either Poly or WL. We really love the theming at both and being so close to MK is so special. I can’t say what it is like now but used to be easy to take the monorail or boat to another MK area hotel so if you stayed at one of them would have a lot of great food choices. Whispering Canyon Cafe at WL is one of our favorite breakfasts as is Trail’s End Buffet at FW. At both you would get to see the electrical water pageant at night if they have it and possibly fireworks from MK as well at the Poly. I am not sure if you would see them from WL. As far as the Port Orleans hotels we have stayed at both FQ and Riverside and really liked them. At POR we were in a royal room with a water view and it was a short walk to the food court.
 

DisAl

Well-Known Member
Of the deluxe you mentioned we have only stayed at the WL and we loved it.
Our favorite deluxe is the Contemporary. We loved watching the MK fireworks from our balcony and loved the 10 minute walk to the MK. However, if you are looking for "atmosphere" the Poly and WL resorts will win out.
We have stayed at both POR and POFQ. Of the two we liked POFQ better.
One advantage of ANY deluxe resort is the location of the park bus stops. In general, the higher class the resort is the closer the bus stops will be.
 

Mr KK

New Member
I've always enjoyed my stays at AKL & WL. If you get a Savannah view at AKL, it is wonderful to wake up & see the animals right outside your window.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Port Orleans (River / FQ) a moderate. Rooms are smaller. It's rather loud there. My least favorite of all you listed.

Really? I think Port Orleans Riverside is the quietest resort at Disney; I absolutely love it. It's my #1 recommendation for anyone that doesn't want to pay deluxe prices because it's by far the best among the moderates/values. The boat to/from Disney Springs is a big plus if someone plans to spend a lot of time there.

It would be my top recommendation if the OP wants to save some money. If money is going to be no object at all, I'd probably go with Animal Kingdom Lodge or the Grand Floridian. AKL is remote and a bit of a hassle for getting to/from anywhere that isn't the Animal Kingdom, though, so if you're going to be at Disney Springs regularly it may not be the best choice. The Grand Floridian is not quite what it once was with the orchestra gone, but it still has the monorail and I think it's better than the Polynesian or the Contemporary. The Wilderness Lodge is probably the next best choice after those two.

Personally, I think the Boardwalk Inn is the best hotel on property for overall quality and location with the Beach/Yacht Club right behind, but you (the OP) already said you didn't want to stay there.
 

Gregbeajon2010

New Member
I second an opinion of why not the AKL if you do 2 days there. It was our first resort stay back in 2013 and we loved it. Especially the kids.

As for the others:
Wilderness Lodge - this is where we will be staying in Jan. so we can ferry over to MK. If you do MK 2 days, this resort makes sense. It is also secluded enough if you need a break from disney and why we also picked it because sometimes it can get to be "too much disney" when we want to relax.
Polynesian - We went there for spring break one time and loved it. The rooms were nice and dining was nice. I didn't get a disney break when I was there though since I could literally see the other monorail resorts and MK when walking back to my hotel room. Also, it rained alot so just going between dining and my room when it rained was a pain and something I didn't like since I was paying deluxe pricing.
Port Orleans (River / FQ) - Stayed at River in a princess room (we had two small girls) and loved it there. It had a nice ferry ride to the Springs and the theme was done well enough that it felt like I was back in Louisiana/Mississippi. It was a nice break from Disney but also had carriage rides at the time and other activities and the boys were able to fish.
Old Key West - Haven't stayed.
Saratoga Springs - We did alot of research on this one for our upcoming trip and almost went with this for a lot of reasons. The location to Springs (you could walk) made it great for dining, the redone rooms look amazing! and the fact that the rooms are the cheapest for the deluxe almost persuaded me. The only reason we didn't go here is once again, I have a preference of having a disney break and staring at the Springs from my room at night, even though beautiful, wouldn't give me an escape. When we do another trip with family and they don't want a break like I normally do, we already agreed Saratoga is our next resort. Especially since we have many different age groups going and some will want to go out until 12 ish.
 

Gregbeajon2010

New Member
You've received lots of resort input. You mentioned a two week stay ... How about a split stay? One week at one resort and a week at another. I've done this many times and enjoy it. If you don't have a car, the bellhop service will transfer your items between resorts for you. It takes a few hours but within the day.
We've done split stays before and loved them. One thing to consider is that bell services isn't offering luggage transfers right now. It may change though whenever this COVID dies down. We have a car in our Jan trip and will be doing a split stay since we can transport our own luggage.
 

MansionButler84

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
We've done split stays before and loved them. One thing to consider is that bell services isn't offering luggage transfers right now. It may change though whenever this COVID dies down. We have a car in our Jan trip and will be doing a split stay since we can transport our own luggage.
They are absolutely offering luggage transfers.
 

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