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  1. #1
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    Default Best Deluxe Resort

    Hi Everyone,

    Looking to take a family vacation next fall. We have stayed at the AKL and WL, but are considering the Poly.
    We would appreciate any ones thoughts on what Deluxe Resort is actually the best out of all of them ( not just those 3)
    We love pool time, and sitting on the deck at night

    Any and All thoughts, suggestion etec are greatly appreciated

    Thanks
    Tink7474

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  3. #2
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    I think they are all nice in their own way. Given your interests I think you'd love the Poly. I loved the pool and outdoor areas of the Poly the most. It's nice to be able to see MK and fireworks from beach. It has a very relaxing vibe. I also love the quick service and Kona Cafe. My favorite is AKL for the amazing theming, relaxing pool area, wildlife viewing and fabulous restaurants. I like Beach Club for the proximity to Epcot, boat and ambiance-and kids loved pool. I love the retro-modern feel of Contemporary and the monorail zooming through. I think it is fun to try them all!
    2017 WDW All Star Music/Universal RP
    2016 :(
    2015 Universal-Royal Pacific
    2014 :(
    2013 Fall: Wilderness Lodge
    2011-12 :(
    2010 French Quarter
    2009 Pop & AKL
    2008 Polynesian
    2007 ASM & BCR
    2006 AKL

  4. #3
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    We loved AKL, but I've got to say it's our preference to stay on the monorail loop if we can. That's just a personal preference because we feel that probably at least 2/3's of our park time is usually spent between MK and Epcot which are both easily accessible by monorail or boat.

    We've only stayed at AKL, BLT, GF and Poly at WDW (plus Aulani which gave us major AKL vibes for obvious reasons) so we may not be the best example, but we've certainly visited just about every deluxe for at least a meal to get a sense of the flavor. At the end of the day, a room is a room. However, we feel that the themeing and ambiance really add to your stay. With that said, we can't say that we have a favorite but maybe our top 3.

    BLT: Not much ambiance, love the vanilla but can't beat the walk to MK and jumping on the monorail ahead of TTC. The pool is good but not great. Its not so bad to walk to the Contemporary for quick service or snacks. A big plus if you are DVC is access to TOW lounge.

    Poly: A relatively small resort by Disney standards. Love the themeing and chill atmosphere. Like the transportation options between the boat, ability to walk to/from TTC and of course the monorail. Quick service tends to be crowded (at least whenever we've been there). The pool is small but awesome. Best place to watch fireworks on the beach.

    AKL: Loved the savannah views and animal interactions. We really like the theme of the resort, the grand lobby and that smell (whatever it is that they waft through there). The pool is awesome and huge. Quick service was fine. The rooms are dim, but that's to be expected. The only down side for us was the distance from basically everything since the resort is kind of in the southwest corner of the property. It basically takes "forever" in Disney time to get anywhere and your only option is by bus.

    GF: Was awesome for a number of the same reasons as BLT and Poly, but just didn't make our top 3 because its just a little too frou frou for us.

    Good luck! Hopefully we all get back under normal circumstances in 2021!
    Beth & David

    09/82 Treehouse Villas, 06/86 BVP, 10/95 CBR, 10/99 DI, 08/03 PORS, 10/05 POP, 11/06 AKL, 09/09 POLY, 10/10 Wonder, 05/11 Dream/PORS, 08/13 POLY, 11/13 GF, 04/15 POLY, 11/15 BLT, 11/16 Aulani, 03/17 BLT, 08/18 BLT, 07/19 AKL

  5. #4
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    I think you guys are all overlooking our favorite, the Beach Club. We've stayed at BLT, Boardwalk, Beach Club, and Wilderness Lodge. We had reservations at AKL and the Poly but were canceled due to COVID.

    But let me tell you, the Beach Club was amazing. Our room was spacious, it was super close to the Epcot back entrance, and the pool is hands down the best on property. Also as a benefit, they do the beach movies for kids, and you can walk over to Boardwalk in the evenings and enjoy the entertainment.

    The question, I suppose, is how much COVID will still be affecting all of this next fall. Will they have hired back the street performers that have been laid off? Will they still be requiring Park Reservations to just enter a park? Or will you be able to Park Hop? If you can Park Hop, then the Beach Club (or by extension the Yacht Club) just are in the best location. To be able to be back at the resort and think, "You know? I want some gelato." and then hop over to France, grab gelato, watch some fireworks on the lake, and then walk back to the room in five minutes just can't be beat.
    2002 - 2017: 20+ visits (POR, BW, All Stars, VWL, CSR, BLT, BC, SSR, CB, Dolphin, OKW, offsite x4)
    DL - 1996, 2019
    Next up - Dec 2020 OKW, May 2021 offsite

  6. #5
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    Another vote for Beach Club. It just edges out AKL. The Beach Club is wonderful because you can walk to Epcot and Hollywood Studios! The walk is lovely and you avoid the lines for buses. The resort has a relaxing and a comfy feel!

    Have fun deciding!
    First WDW Trip 1984
    30+ Trips since 1984
    Disneyland 4 Visits
    Disneyland Paris 2010
    40th Wedding Anniversary December 2013
    Disney Cruises 2: Magic 2005, Fantasy 2012
    Last Trip November 2019

  7. #6
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    We have stayed at Poly, GF DVC, Contemporary and BLT, Boulder Ridge. We loved the Poly, everything about it was wonderful. I loved rocking in the hammocks while reading a book while my guys were off in the parks having fun. We bought into the GF DVC after walking around the resort one night and realizing how relaxed we felt. I love staying on the monorail line because I find it easiest to get to Magic Kingdom and since we always have a car we just park at the others and walk into the parks.

  8. #7
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    It really is a matter of individual taste. What were your biggest pros and cons for your particular group?
    For example, if you have a lot of small children, you may want to stay on the monorail line for an easy trip to MK. If you spend most of your time at Epcot, Boardwalk, Beach Club or Yacht Club may be for you.
    I am not a water person, but Stormalong Bay at the Beach Club gets a lot of positive remarks on here. I am guessing that you can see Epcot fireworks from here if they are doing fireworks shows by the time you go.
    You can also watch MK fireworks from the Polynesian Beach if they are doing fireworks by the time you go. You will also get to see the Electrical Water Pageant on the Poly Beach.
    I loved AKL when we stayed there. I thought the Poly was really overrated, but I am an animal person, not a water person.
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinderelley View Post
    I am not a water person, but Stormalong Bay at the Beach Club gets a lot of positive remarks on here.
    Oh man, it is really the best. You wouldn't think that a sand-bottomed pool would be that different, but it just is. And it has a lazy river. And the waterslide is the best waterslide on-property. And the kiddie pool has a honest-to-goodness sandbar in the middle. There are little waterfalls into the mian pool in various locations, and the two hot tubs are just perfectly located.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cinderelley View Post
    I am guessing that you can see Epcot fireworks from here if they are doing fireworks shows by the time you go.
    You cannot see the Epcot fireworks from the Beach Club (or any of those resorts there). But it's a super short walk back to the hotel from the Epcot International Gateway (or, what my family refers to as the "back entrance"). Seriously, if I'm watching the Epcot fireworks from, say, the "front" area of the World Showcase (which is anywhere between Mexico and Canada), it is a much farther walk from there to the Epcot main entrance, where I then have to either walk all the way out to my car or wait for Disney Transportation (or a parking shuttle), than it is to watch the fireworks anywhere on the "back" area of the World Showcase, leave through the gateway, and walk to any of those three resorts. Beach Club being the closest.
    2002 - 2017: 20+ visits (POR, BW, All Stars, VWL, CSR, BLT, BC, SSR, CB, Dolphin, OKW, offsite x4)
    DL - 1996, 2019
    Next up - Dec 2020 OKW, May 2021 offsite

  10. #9
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    We have stayed at AKL, BWI, Beach Club, Boardwalk, Contemp, Poly.

    Our favorites are Poly and BWI.
    If we plan a more Epcot, Studios trip the we like BWI.
    If it’s more of an MK trip, Poly is our choice.

    If I had to choose just one of those we’ve stayed at it would be Poly by far. Atmosphere, quiet pools, beach area where you can see MK, balcony’s with often very relaxing views, monorail, Kona Cafe and ‘Ohana and Captain Cooks Counter Service is convenient and good.
    Jeff

  11. #10
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    Thanks for everyone's help and suggestions. I think we are going to look at maybe doing a few days at the Poly and then going over to the Beach Club. After looking at the resort is does look beautiful. Cant wait!!! Here is hoping 2021 will be a great year full of magic
    Tink7474

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  13. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tink7474 View Post
    Thanks for everyone's help and suggestions. I think we are going to look at maybe doing a few days at the Poly and then going over to the Beach Club. After looking at the resort is does look beautiful. Cant wait!!! Here is hoping 2021 will be a great year full of magic
    Good luck! And if I haven't mentioned it then welcome to Intercot!

    Beth & David

    09/82 Treehouse Villas, 06/86 BVP, 10/95 CBR, 10/99 DI, 08/03 PORS, 10/05 POP, 11/06 AKL, 09/09 POLY, 10/10 Wonder, 05/11 Dream/PORS, 08/13 POLY, 11/13 GF, 04/15 POLY, 11/15 BLT, 11/16 Aulani, 03/17 BLT, 08/18 BLT, 07/19 AKL

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  15. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tink7474 View Post
    Thanks for everyone's help and suggestions. I think we are going to look at maybe doing a few days at the Poly and then going over to the Beach Club. After looking at the resort is does look beautiful. Cant wait!!! Here is hoping 2021 will be a great year full of magic
    Great plan!
    Jeff

  16. #13
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    You'll have a great time. I think the Beach Club smells amazing.
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

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  18. #14
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    You will have a great time! We love the Poly and the Beach Club. Beach Club is our favorite of all we have stayed at. So relaxing and close to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. We also enjoy the variety of dining options in the area

  19. #15
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    I have stayed at the Poly and absolutely love it , the location is perfect and the atmosphere there is perfect, but just being at Disney is all you really need .

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  21. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bellhop97 View Post
    I have stayed at the Poly and absolutely love it , the location is perfect and the atmosphere there is perfect, but just being at Disney is all you really need .
    I should know, but does anyone know when the Poly is scheduled to reopen? In looking at early summer 2021 it is still listed as not available.
    Beth & David

    09/82 Treehouse Villas, 06/86 BVP, 10/95 CBR, 10/99 DI, 08/03 PORS, 10/05 POP, 11/06 AKL, 09/09 POLY, 10/10 Wonder, 05/11 Dream/PORS, 08/13 POLY, 11/13 GF, 04/15 POLY, 11/15 BLT, 11/16 Aulani, 03/17 BLT, 08/18 BLT, 07/19 AKL

  22. #17
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    I like the Poly as well for the same reasons that have been mentioned. The monorail, the dining, the view and the ambiance. I also like all of the Boardwalk resorts for the theming, the proximity to Epcot, the restaurants and shops as well as the performers (but the performers aren't there right now).

    I dislike Animal Kingdom Lodge a lot. The theming and grand hall is very cool and everyone needs to see it but that is where it stops for me. It is far away from the parks and all that and you have to wait for and take the dreadful buses to everything. One of my longest waits ever for a bus was at AKL trying to get to Disney Springs for dinner. I wrote AKL off my list that afternoon after sitting waiting on that bus for well over a half an hour. It was probably at least 45 minutes. We had at least 20 minute waits for every.......single.....bus at AKL so I won't ever stay there again.

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  24. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1DisneyNut View Post
    I dislike Animal Kingdom Lodge a lot. The theming and grand hall is very cool and everyone needs to see it but that is where it stops for me. It is far away from the parks and all that and you have to wait for and take the dreadful buses to everything. One of my longest waits ever for a bus was at AKL trying to get to Disney Springs for dinner. I wrote AKL off my list that afternoon after sitting waiting on that bus for well over a half an hour. It was probably at least 45 minutes. We had at least 20 minute waits for every.......single.....bus at AKL so I won't ever stay there again.
    This is one reason we have never stayed there, although at some point we will. Just because of it's distance from everything. Although we would have our own car. We pretty much refuse to use the busses on property.

    Also, though, this is why it probably has very low DVC point value. Seriously, the AKL is on the same point level as Old Key West.
    2002 - 2017: 20+ visits (POR, BW, All Stars, VWL, CSR, BLT, BC, SSR, CB, Dolphin, OKW, offsite x4)
    DL - 1996, 2019
    Next up - Dec 2020 OKW, May 2021 offsite

  25. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by azcavalier View Post
    This is one reason we have never stayed there, although at some point we will. Just because of it's distance from everything. Although we would have our own car. We pretty much refuse to use the busses on property.

    Also, though, this is why it probably has very low DVC point value. Seriously, the AKL is on the same point level as Old Key West.
    But its so awesome to wake up to the animals if you can spring for the savannah view room. If it was just us as a couple and we had a car then I'd definitely stay there. However you are right, with kids, and even adult kids, its just too much time on the bus.
    Beth & David

    09/82 Treehouse Villas, 06/86 BVP, 10/95 CBR, 10/99 DI, 08/03 PORS, 10/05 POP, 11/06 AKL, 09/09 POLY, 10/10 Wonder, 05/11 Dream/PORS, 08/13 POLY, 11/13 GF, 04/15 POLY, 11/15 BLT, 11/16 Aulani, 03/17 BLT, 08/18 BLT, 07/19 AKL

  26. #20
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    I didn't think I would like AKL, however, we stayed there as DVC members for a couple of nights we got Savanna view and I literally spent hours sitting on the balcony watching the animals. I didn't like the food options but it wouldn't stop me from staying there again. I absolutely loved the decor but seeing the animals was worth it. We always have a car since our son lives in Florida but if I didn't I would take taxis if need be.

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