Opinions needed on a few resorts...

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Joined: 06/12/2016
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Opinions needed on a few resorts...

First-time poster, just discovered the site. Have been to WDW many times, was married there, etc.

We have stayed in a lot of the various resorts, mostly the Value and Moderates. Favorites so far are Dolphin, Coronado Springs, and Art of Animation.

We have a New Year's trip planned, but don't have hotels lined up yet. We're hoping to try a DVC property for the first time. Our family is me, my wife, a 12-year-old daughter, and 10-year-old-son. Our kids loved Dolphin due to the awesome pool and boating to the parks, and didn't miss the lack of over-the-top Disney theming; on the other hand they loved Art of Animation particularly due to the theming as well as the great food court with lots of choices.

We really want to try Boardwalk, but everything seems booked for when we're going.

So the questions:

- Old Key West: Will the kids enjoy it ? Is it "fun" enough ? Central enough ?

- Animal Kingdom Village: Are there enough decent quick-food choices for picky eaters ? Is it too remote ? Is all the animal-related stuff worth paying more for ?

- If we can only get a DVC resort for a few days, and have to switch hotels once or twice, will the quality of the DVC places be worth the time-and-energy lost to switching resorts ?

- Has anyone stayed at a Universal Studios resort, and if so, do the Express Passes make the higher prices worth it ?

All opinions appreciated and thanks very much!!

MrHub's picture
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Joined: 10/29/2009
Posts: 9476

Hello Mike and welcome to WDWFG! Well, you are little late in the game to book for a New Years trip, but there are always possibilities. That's is one of the busiest times of the year and for DVC, the window opens at 11 months for home resort owners and 7 months for everyone else, you're past both of them.

Let's start with some questions.

What dates are you talking for your trip?

Were you planning on renting points for DVC or paying out of pocket?

What kind of room are you looking for ?

I can not help with the Universal questions because we have not been there for many years and never stayed at one of their resorts.

Fun enough? Well let's say Old Key West is not themed like the value resorts are, so there will not be as much kid oriented stuff there I'm sure.

Animal Kingdom Lodge and Kidani Village are awesome resorts, but yes, we do think they are remote, but others would say differently. We drive our own vehicle, so we don't have a problem getting to anywhere and don't have to wait for buses.

I'll leave it like that for now and see what others have to say. Once again, welcome!

Mark "MrHub"

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Joined: 06/12/2016
Posts: 14

Thanks for the welcome!!

Our dates start on New Year's Eve and go through the following weekend. We're trying to rent DVC points and get a studio room; we don't need a 1-bedroom and the costs are much higher.

We know that New Year's Eve and Day are super-busy. We're that the fun of being at WDW on New Year's Eve makes up for the crowds.

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Joined: 11/15/2012
Posts: 901

Hi and welcome

We are DVC at Kidani so can talk about there. We don't drive whilst there and use transport. AKL can feel like a long way from MK by bus. Advantage of Kidani is you get picked up first so always get a seat. Food options here for counter do not exsist but you can walk to Jambo where they do have it and it is a variety of food. The studio may seem cramped for 4 so possibly try for a 1 bed much better space and 2 bathrooms. Pool area has slides and small water play area. If your children love animals then yes worth the extra. Stayed as Saratoga Springs theming is a bit bland but the studio feels bigger and more pool space. Of course great for Disney Springs.

Hope this helps

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Joined: 09/01/2011
Posts: 23709

Hi Mike Welcome!!
welcome

- If we can only get a DVC resort for a few days, and have to switch hotels once or twice, will the quality of the DVC places be worth the time-and-energy lost to switching resorts ?

I think so, but I'm a sucker for a deluxe resort. My suggestion is that since you don't have your reservations yet - stay in the lower cost hotel first and then move up to the DVC Room. May I ask what sort of DVC Room you plan on getting though? If you are in either a studio or a one bedroom the kids will need to sleep on a fold out couch. It's my opinion that the stuidos feel a little small for 4 people to share.

Allie's picture
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Joined: 06/26/2012
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- Old Key West: Will the kids enjoy it ? Is it "fun" enough ? Central enough ?

If your kids were ok with the "theming" at Dolphin I would say they would be fine there. However, it doesn't have as great of a location as the Dolphin. I think Old Key West is beautiful despite not having as extravagant of theming. We have stayed at Saratoga Springs that gets the same type of feedback and we loved it.

- Animal Kingdom Village: Are there enough decent quick-food choices for picky eaters ? Is it too remote ? Is all the animal-related stuff worth paying more for ?

It is remote but it is BEAUTIFUL. Highly recommend.

- If we can only get a DVC resort for a few days, and have to switch hotels once or twice, will the quality of the DVC places be worth the time-and-energy lost to switching resorts ?

I think so. Disney will transfer the luggage for you to try and make the switch as seamless as possible. And I agree with Kristen, stay at a non-DVC first or the second half of your trip will seem like a downer when you switch to a Value laugh

senseicj's picture
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Joined: 10/29/2010
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welcome welcome welcome

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Joined: 06/12/2016
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Thanks all!!

We weren't able to get Boardwalk or Animal Kingdom, but we did end up getting a DVC Key West studio for four nights. Our trip is seven nights total so we still have to get one night at the beginning of our trip somewhere else, and two nights at the end of our trip somewhere else also.

Our kids love the Art of Animation food court, so one end of the trip will probably be there. Not sure about the other night[s] yet, would love to try Animal Kingdom lodge but the rates are likely super-high.

We're also unlikely to stay at Universal since their rates are very high as well, though we're still considering buying express passes with our Universal tickets (as the math comes out cheaper in most cases). If anyone has experience with the Express Passes and how much they help vs. how much extra they cost, I'd love to hear about that as well.

Everyone's very excited, thanks for the opinions and advice!!