favorite dvc resort and why


Member Since 2010 SS/OKW/HH/BCV/WLV/BLT/GF
Jun 17, 2011
I pretty love them all for different reasons and seasons...BC is so pretty and easy walk to Epcot for Food and Wine and close to HS, love the room size, screen porches and relaxed atmosphere of OKW, BLT walk to MK and TOTWL, AK for Samawati Springs pool, SS walk to Disney Springs, Rocking Chair patio overlooking the Boardwalk at BWV, casual elegance of the Grand Floridian and holiday gingerbread house and of course Christmas at WIlderness Lodge!


DIS Veteran
DVC Gold
Feb 26, 2008
Of the ones we've stayed at here are our picks in order of preference:

1 - BCV - Love Stormalong Bay and the shortest walk to Epcot. Walk/Boat to HS is also a huge plus. I don't find the villas or the resort noisy or chaotic. The main lobby can get busy at dinner time due to Cape May Cafe, but the Villas have their own smaller lobby and there is a solarium in the back of Beach Club (right near the villas) that is very quiet if you just want an indoor space to relax. Counter service could be better (a DVC theme).

2 - BWV - Love the location and the fun of the Boardwalk. Counter service is worse than BCV. Not of fan of the long hallways and the pool is just meh. Standard view is great for saving points.

3 - AKV Jambo if standard view - Closer to amenities than Kidani. Great pool. Counter service could be better (a DVC theme).

3 - AKV Kidani if savanna view - Love being on a lower floor in a savanna view room. Great pool. NO counter service.

5 - SSR - Would stay there if we have to but we only go to Disney Springs once/trip, maybe twice. I would not want to be there without a car. Average pool. Counter service could be better (a DVC theme).

6 - BRV (when it was still VWL) - Pool was very crowded. We had terrible luck with boats (always had to wait for the second boat cause the small boat always came first and it would fill before we got on. Probably just our timing. Counter service could be better (a DVC theme).

7 - OKW - don't like the spread out condo feel. Average pool. Counter service could be better (a DVC theme).

We're staying at PVB in a standard studio this September and looking forward to comparing to above.
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And, and, and I caught a fish this big!
Feb 5, 2008
We have two favorites, for trips when we go to the theme parks its BWV. For trips when we are not doing theme parks it would be SSR.
We try to get at least 3 trips per AP. Then we do a non theme park vacation. Then back to AP for 3 more trips.
IMHO SSR improved a lot with the improvements of DS. Though we miss that Adventures Club.
  • kboo

    DIS Veteran
    Mar 10, 2014
    Fun question! We are still all about the parks now with 2 young kids, and they love MK, so ...
    probably VGF.

    But BLT is a classic (well, the Contemporary is), and watching fireworks from your room can't be beat.

    Eagerly anticipating RIV too.

    I would like to try AUL and VGC someday - I have a feeling those could be contenders as well.


    DIS Veteran
    May 11, 2010
    We are very new to DVC, so we haven't stayed at them all... but of the ones we have stayed at here's the list.

    1. Beach Club - Love everything about this place. Wish it was my home... sigh maybe someday
    2. Animal Kingdom Lodge - My home. Love the theme, love the cast members, love the food options, LOVE the animals
    3. Old Key West - like the room size and the fact that there are 2 queen beds in the studio. It felt very relaxing and resort like.
    4. Bay Lake Tower - liked being in the middle of the action and riding the monorail to MK and Epcot, easy access to food, not spread out
    5. Saratoga Springs - it was nice but just average. Not like I wouldn't stay there again, but nothing really drawing me there. I did like all the activities and pools around the resort.


    DIS Veteran
    May 11, 2010
    Vero Beach.
    Those who have to ask will never understand.
    Those who understand will never have to ask.
    I would love to go there someday too. Right now our focus is Disney World, but maybe in the future we will spend our points vacationing here. How hard is it to get rooms 7 months out?


    Been here awhile
    Aug 27, 2004
    We've stayed at all but Aulani and Boardwalk, and each has it's advantages/disadvantages, pros/cons. I'd rank them thusly:
    Top Tier
    VWL (detailed earlier) Simply a personal, emotional attachment for a myriad of reasons; does lack good eats
    VGC - Much like VWL (for a reason) only nicer, more upscale though less sweeping in its grandeur. Rooms are gorgeous; staff exceptional; restaurants all around are better than any others outside of VGF and BLT; access to CA a nice bennie.
    HHI - Best CMs anywhere; beach; laid back vibe; nice theming; beach: lots of great local restaurants nearby; beach
    VGF - A bit opulent for my taste but undeniably nice; rooms are pretty (even if studios lack good storage); topnotch restaurants; monorail
    BLT - Location; food options; monorail; extra bathrooms in 1BR/2BR; historical nature of CR
    Middle Tier
    BCV - Great location; not our style for theming; best pool; easy eats nearby
    Poly - Pretty resort; monorail; lack of 1BRs a real issue; average restaurants; good bars
    CCV - Love the Lodge; not crazy about the rooms; ambiance is superb, especially during the holidays; lacks a good restaurant
    AKL - Gorgeous resort; good food options; long, long hallways; feels a bit remote even though it truly isn't
    Bottom Tier
    SSR - Love location near Disney Springs; generic rooms, theming; close to golfing
    OKW - Spacious rooms; bland theming; quiet
    VB - Beach is nice though not anywhere near as nice as HHI (though a lot closer); some views are exceptional if you can get them; lack of quality dining options on site; outside of quick food options, nearest restaurants are roughly 15-minute drive or farther away; late opening type resort--if you want coffee, they make some near the lobby but it's gone within minutes and no other options available on site unless you brew the weak stuff in the room; mellow experience


    I'm just a drummer in a R&R Band!!
    Mar 28, 2010
    Whatever resort we have booked next!

    But seriously folks, DW and I differ in what is our 'favorite' would be. Her knees aren't all that great, so excessive walking/stairs is always a consideration. If I had to guess of the DVC resorts we've been to:

    Me: BLT (Home), AKL-J, BCV, BWV, SSR, GFV, AKL-K, HHI, OKW, VB


    DIS Veteran
    Nov 29, 2004
    Vero Beach.
    Those who have to ask will never understand.
    Those who understand will never have to ask.
    I hope to find out about VB this coming Feb 2020. Keeping my fingers crossed, hoping for a very nice time at VB.

    I would love to go there someday too. Right now our focus is Disney World, but maybe in the future we will spend our points vacationing here. How hard is it to get rooms 7 months out?
    I was able to book 7 months out for a stay in early Feb 2020 with no issues.


    Earning My Ears
    Oct 12, 2017
    I have heard the complaints about lack of theme at BLT, but the convenience of location is unbeatable. It is our home resort and have stayed there multiple times. From BLT, can walk to MK, monorail to Epcot, and monorail / boat to other MK area resorts. Also, fun to be able to see the fireworks and boat parade from resort.


    DIS Veteran
    Nov 29, 2004
    I have heard the complaints about lack of theme at BLT, but the convenience of location is unbeatable. It is our home resort and have stayed there multiple times. From BLT, can walk to MK, monorail to Epcot, and monorail / boat to other MK area resorts. Also, fun to be able to see the fireworks and boat parade from resort.
    I agree with you, BLT is a very nice resort, the location is great! I have only stayed there one time but I would love to stay at this resort again. The location is great for MK and Epcot as well as all the wonderful dining options in the MK area and TOTWL.

    The year we stayed at BLT it was over Martin Luther King Holiday, when the monorail got to T&T they opened the doors on the wrong side of the monorail because there were so many people waiting to board going to MK. When we got to the Poly and GF the guests staying there couldn't board the monorail due to max capacity. If we hadn't been staying at BLT/Contemporary we wouldn't have been able to board the monorail. I don't think this was fair to guest staying at the Poly or GF paying a premium at both of these resorts but I guess Disney felt it was the correct thing to do. Just something to think about, hopefully this sort of thing doesn't happen very ofter.


    DIS Veteran
    Apr 28, 2001
    We've loved every resort we've stayed at for different reasons.
    BWV (our home resort) - always a favorite for sentimental reasons, proximity to EPCOT and Disney Studios is fantastic, kids loved the pool and slide, especially when they were younger, Boardwalk entertainment is fun, and we love getting ice cream sandwiches at Ample Hills Creamery. Now that our boys are 19 & 16, they want to return to BWV on our next trip as EPCOT & DS are the parks they are most interested in visiting.
    BLT - great with younger kids who want to spend a lot of time at MK. Easy walk to park. Dining options with Chef Mickey's and California Grill on property are great. Love being on the monorail loop. Park views are hard to beat.
    GFV - beautiful rooms and resort. Monorail loop and dining options are a plus. Proximity to MK is fantastic and will only improve when they complete to walkway
    AKV - Animals, unique dining, amazing theming! We also love the activities and learning opportunities at both Jambo House and Kidani Village. The cast members are amazing! Only downside for us at AKV is busing being the only transportation option to resorts. We usually add a few nights on at AKV at the end of our trips for a relaxing close to the vacation when we've already done all the parks.
    VWL - hard to fairly review our one stay at this resort as it rained constantly all three days, making the stay less than ideal. However, we loved the theming and lodge.
    One of our new favorite places to stay are the Treehouses at Saratoga Springs! We stayed in a treehouse for a week last year, and for the point value, we couldn't get a more spacious villa. We loved the layout of the treehouse. It comfortably fit my DH, two DSs(ages 17 & 15), my mother, and me. As our kids are older, they enjoyed the proximity to Disney Springs. The quiet pool wasn't exciting, but we often had it to ourselves, so it was very relaxing. The vacation was planned to be fairly park-free, so the transportation to parks being limited to buses was not an issue. We also opted for using Lyft and Uber to get to the parks and other resorts for dining.

    goofy kc

    Feb 11, 2012
    It depends on who is with us and time of year...

    POLY is great for couples, and a lake view in cooler months is perfect. This is our Thanksgiving resort! Lapu Lapu by the pool, come on!

    BWV if we have a group of adults. Walking to Epcot is a perk (hopefully Skyliner won’t wreck it). Also good when we have youngsters (teens n college) along. They like ending at HS then walking back, and the standards are great for those trips.

    AKL if we little ones (5 and under) because they are happy looking at the animals, the activities for kids are awesome and educational, and the parks are kind of out of sight out of mind. Nice lounge for the grown folks...


    DIS Veteran
    Jan 24, 2011
    Bwv- std rooms and location, location, location
    Blt- huge 1bdrms and location
    Poly - large studio with two bathrooms and location

    :) location, size and value are my biggest draws.


    DIS Veteran
    Sep 12, 2009
    BWV - saw it, bought it, and still love it. Location is the most important factor for me. When the kids were small we did the other parks by day, then Epcot for dinner and the evening. Not having to survive the exodus from Epcot and wait for a bus, was a real plus for me. I quite like the scary clown slide. Given the number of people who say they hate it, I find it interesting how hard it is to get a studio less than 11 months out.


    Jul 5, 2017
    Haven’t stayed everywhere since we’re pretty new owners, so here’s how I would rank the ones where we’ve stayed:

    1) BWV (home resort) - favorite location. Love walkability to EP/HS and location on the Boardwalk. Sunset here is just stunning. Bought a resale contract last year despite number of years remaining because I just love it that much. So far we’ve stayed in a 1BR but we have an upcoming GV stay in December and I cannot wait.

    2) VGF and CCV (home resorts) - These are my favorites during the holidays, and I can’t really choose one over the other. I think we’ll try to alternate them for Nov/Dec trips. We have VGF planned for this December and hopefully CCV for next year.

    3) VGC - Lucky to have stayed there several times and we love it. Not ranked as high because our DLR trips are often just a long weekend versus 10+ days for WDW, so we don’t spend quite as much time at the resort and it’s hard to justify the high point cost.

    4) Poly - We stayed here once with DS2 since we knew our family would be growing and we’d be primarily staying in 1 or 2 BRs in the future. We did enjoy our stay a lot, but not having larger villas besides the bungalows is a bummer for us and I’m not sure when we would stay here again.

    Looking forward to staying everywhere at some point. Haven’t stayed at our other home resorts of SSR or RIV yet, but we have a RIV stay booked and I’m planning for an SSR stay after the refurb is completed.

    Fred M

    DIS Dad #860
    Jul 1, 2019
    In no real order of preference:

    1. Old Key West

    I just love the relaxed feeling I get when I stay at OKW. Definitely the vacation from the vacation! Plus, taking the boats into Disney Springs is a great way to travel as well as the larger rooms! Best time I had during our last WDW trip was the day my wife and son were worn out. I walked over to the Hospitality House, grabbed at cocktail at the Gurgling Suitcase, got the boat to Disney Springs, went to Earl of Sandwich for a late lunch, bought extra sandwiches to go for the family, and then took the boat back to the resort. If I was retired, I could do that all day long!

    2. Boardwalk

    Even though I hate the clown with a passion, you can't beat the location! I think the lobby is fantastic and the rooms are great. Boardwalk dining is not my favorite (down votes on both ESPN and Big River Grille), but given everything else, I absolutely love the Boardwalk.

    3. Copper Creek/Wilderness Lodge

    While the rooms feel like converted hotel rooms, the Villas at the Grand Californian feel the same way to me and I'm good with it. Great resort (neck and neck with Animal Kingdom Lodge for best resort in my mind). Add to that boats to Magic Kingdom and it's a top notch place to be.

    4. Bay Lake Tower

    I love the retro look. I love the location. My wife hates it with a passion except for the Top of the World lounge. On this one we will have to agree to disagree!


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