View Full Version : Where would you stay for the "big" trip?

12-21-2007, 04:48 AM
DH and I have been to WDW a few times. We know what we like, but next year dd will be almost 6 when we go in the fall. We think it will be the trip where we get the most "magic" out of WDW. Because of that, we are planning on making it the "big" trip to WDW. I know we will go other times, but we won't be spending as much on later trips. ( I hope this makes sense to people.) So we were thinking about staying someplace nicer like Animal Kingdom Lodge. Normally, we don't waste money on the lodging because we are never in the room, but I know we will spend more time at the hotel considering her age.

Where would you stay and why?

12-21-2007, 10:01 AM
I would not stay at the AKL. Its too out of the way. For a VERY special trip, I would splurge for one of the monorail hotels. The Contemporary has the advantage of being able to actually walk to the MK.

The Boardwalk hotels, Boardwalk, Beach Club and Yacht Club are all in easy walking distance to Epcot and a bit further walk to MGM.

12-21-2007, 12:00 PM
I would stay at the Poly or Contemporary if I wanted monorail and MK access. Or BC/YC if I wanted Epcot access.

For our trip this month, we stayed at AKL, but we paid moderate rates for a standard view room (and got upgraded to savannah view). We felt like we got a good deal and we enjoy the resort theming and amenities, but it wouldn't be our choice for a splurge trip. The rooms were too small and the resort too isolated for that (unless this trip to you is more about the hotel than visiting the parks, then you'd enjoy AKL a lot).

12-21-2007, 05:23 PM
I agree with the PP - for a 'big' trip, I'd spring for one of the hotels on the monorail - we're actually taking our 'big' trip next month, and are staying at the Polynesian. The Contemporary is a bit less expensive (like, $30 per night), but DD really wanted the Polynesian.

I would definitely not pick AKL - we were there for our last trip in 2005, and while seeing the animals was neat, not spend so much time on the shuttle would have been neater. ;)

12-21-2007, 07:19 PM
My first choice for the BIG trip, money is no object, once in a lifetime is easy. The Polynesian -- gorgeous setting, monorail access to magic kingdom, lovely volcano pool, nice white sand beaches to stroll for views of the fireworks and water parade at night. It's older, so the rooms are a bit larger, and I think by now they've all been recently renovated.
Photos and reviews here: http://www.allearsnet.com/acc/faq_poly.htm

Second and third choice would probably be Contemporary and Grand Floridian (Though I've never stayed at the Contemporary and only stayed at the Floridian one night), if only for the location.

In pool-worthy weather, Beach Club is my favorite -- strolling in to Epcot or across to the Boardwalk for dinner is also a big draw.

I love Animal Kingdom Lodge. I really do, but it wouldn't be my first choice unless I was planning not to go into the parks very much. Before kids, DH and I used to "resort hop" staying only 1 or 2 nights in each hotel so we could stay in several each trip (too much of a PITA to move around with small kids, though). We stayed at AKL on a day where we didn't go into the parks at all. I've also made a point of going there for dinner at Boma or Jiko on a few trips since kids so we can walk around and see the animals before and after dinner.

Wilderness Lodge is another one that I love, but think is a little out of the way. It's a nice boat ride from the MK for a lunch at the Whispering Canyon, though.

12-21-2007, 07:31 PM
We've done the big trip... (except it was two trips, two years in a row... our honeymoon and anniversary)

I would do, and we did do, the Grand Floridian in the Royal Palm Club (Main Building) Concierge. We we totally spoiled. It was wonderful. There is something so magical about watching fireworks from your room over the castle. It is also a single stop from the Magic Kingdom; Epcot is an easy trip too.

Really, your ideal big trip is what your family enjoys. You need to be close to the attractions you like the most. We are an MK/Epcot family.

12-22-2007, 02:06 AM
I have a friend who let her two sons choose their hotel for their "trip of a lifetime". It was supposed to be all about the boys, so the boys made the call. They were beside themselves with excitement about choosing. They chose All-Star Sports! They weren't limited on budget, just told to pick what they really really wanted. I thought it was so cool of mom, and too funny of the kids to end up picking a budget resort! They loved it!

12-24-2007, 01:06 AM
Thanks everyone! I'll have to give a little more thought on what we will be doing while we are there. 'Would it be better to see the animals in the morning or watch the fireworks at night?' I'll need to decide. Having a child changes what we do at the park so much. DD was facinated by the sand outside of one of the food places at MGM. Who knew?

Last time we went we stayed at Saratoga Springs. It had nice rooms, but that was it. It was such a yawner.

12-24-2007, 03:52 PM
Another voter here. I'd stay in the Contemporary. Always been my dream. :)