Trip Guilt

Keep original plan or switch to a themed value resort for the kids?

  • Polynesian

    Votes: 112 80.6%
  • Art or Animation

    Votes: 25 18.0%
  • All Star Movies

    Votes: 2 1.4%

  • Total voters
    139

Tigger's ally

Segway test dummy
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
I would tack on a night at the beginning or do a split stay. Stay the first night at AoA (for the little ones) and then leave for the deluxe. We don't like the Poly ( I know that is blasphemy) and much prefer WL or Bay Lake Tower or any of the epcot resorts, but if those are your choices the remainder of the trip would be at the Poly.
 

MinnieSweetheart

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
We’ve stayed at both. The pool at Poly is leagues above the AOA pool (I think it’s being renovated so maybe it will change some). Watching fireworks over the castle while you’re in the pool is awesome. Plus there are three water slides (different levels of scary), the zero entry and the little splash area.

I’m not sure how much of a value the skyliner will be, but we really appreciate the friendship boats.
 
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MinnieSweetheart

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
We just came back from poly a few weeks ago with our 3 year old. It was great for him. They have that awesome splash area next to pool. He loved the big slide at the actual pool. There were characters pluto and Mickey! Playing with the kids outside the hotel with Games. He was thrilled! I have never seen that before. But my husband wont stay again. There was no arcade or regular play ground and for his purposes no gym. I thought it was awesome. One of the nights we planned to stay back happened to be the night there was a storm. The pool and beach were closed practically the whole night even though no rain (lightening within 6 miles) and it irked him there was nothing to do at the resort with our kid.
When we stayed they told us you can use the gym at Grand Floridian.
 

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  • scionchigirl

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 2, 2019
    Ive stayed at WL and ASMo, have stayed at GF,POFQ, POR,and Pop. I personally LOVE ASMo! I love the theming! WL was awesome,too, but your kiddos will love POLY. They can see the lighted boat parade at night (we loved that at WL) and fireworks...the pool is cool, too.
     

    mi*vida*loca

    Collect memories, not things
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2008
    Stay at the Poly. I believe in parents picking since we pay. I let my kids have an opinion but ultimately we pick the place. Last trip DD didn't want to stay at BWV because she didn't want to sleep on a sofa bed. She wanted to stay at POFQ the entire trip (I had two nights before BWV at POFQ). Well since we were paying, we picked, and did 7 nights at BWV. She got over it really fast and had no complaints about the sofa bed.

    My kids have been going since they were 2 and 3. If you ask them where we stayed during those trips they can't even name the places. They know we stay on Disney but that's about it. It becomes "the place with the palm trees" (Poly) or "the place with the great pool." (BC) My son went on his senior trip last year at stayed at ASMo. When I ask him where he stayed he has no idea and he was 18.

    I've done special things for my kids while at WDW thinking they would just LOVE it and I usually get met with "oh yea that's cool." They are so enthralled with just being at Disney that all those "extras" really don't matter. Kind of like when they were smaller and would beg to go to the pool on arrival day and we were like "we're at WDW!! Let's go to the MK!!!" And they would whine about going to the pool! lol I think if you switched to AoA you won't get the same excitement as you would when they watch the Youtube videos because they will be stimulated by everything else at Disney. And then you'll be let down.

    Your kids will see those big icons and colors in the parks. IMO you don't need Disney in your face 24/7 to have a magical trip.
     

    Mikey15

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 29, 2018
    I'd definitely consider AoA too, but to me if you're going to do Poly with a 5th sleeper, 8, 5, and 2 are the right ages to do it. You can do AoA on a trip when they're a little older and maybe you want the second bathroom or a larger third sleep surface.
     
  • bryanb

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 10, 2013
    I voted Poly, but reading through some of these threads has me feeling poor! My parents never took me to WDW at all. I had to start making my own money before I'd step foot in any of the resorts.
    Like I said before, no guilt is ever needed for even giving your kids the amazing opportunity to enjoy WDW.
     

    SharonZ

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 2, 2002
    I'm not a huge fan the Poly, but it beats AOA hands down. I think with 3 small children, it's better transporation-wise, also.
     

    Malyficent

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 1, 2017
    I was dreading AS Movies last year and thought AoA looked garish. Now I really like ASMo and we're doing AoA this year. That said, we didn't stay at ASMo more than two nights (and there were only 4 of us, not 5) before moving to POR. I find it very hard to enjoy myself all crammed together. And ASMo is noisy - the redesign is simply noisy with no carpets to absorb sound.

    If the Poly is your dream - and cost isn't a concern - do the Poly. You can always do a shorter stay at ASMo or AoA with the kids on a future trip. They are great ages for ASMo and AoA but not the expense of your desire for the Poly.

    Oh and my kids put both the Poly and Yacht Club on their Disney wish list after we did some resort hopping last year. Knowing that I still opted for AKL for one night this year. Cost difference between all three was fairly insignificant. I made the call as I'm the mom and I'm paying and I think they'll enjoy it best on this particular trip.
     
  • DisneyCowgirl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 16, 2004
    My kids were the same at that age (2 boys begging for the cars themed suite), and they LOVED the Poly. It is still their favorite resort after 10 years of trips and several different resorts.
    • You can see the castle!
    • There is something magical about a monorail pulling up on the second floor of your resort. Kids love that.
    • The resort grounds are beautiful.
    • The volcano pool is really great for kids (with a fun slide).
    • The room is much larger and more comfortable (two queen beds plus a daybed).
    • Request a ground-floor room and your patio adds extra space for the kids to play around while waiting on everyone else (or for the adults to relax after the kids go to sleep).
    • If you have a late morning one day, book the character breakfast at Ohana--we used to always schedule a late breakfast there before catching magical express back to the airport.
    • You can watch fireworks from the beach (or the pool).
    Unless my budget dictated that a value resort was the only way I could go, I would not choose a value resort (I have stayed value when that's all my budget allowed). They just cannot compare at all. (A friend who is usually not at all snobby described art of animation as "motel six with some Disney stickers thrown on the walls.")

    And just throw that guilt right out the door--this trip is for you and your husband as much as it is for the kids, and you're going to be working your behind off the whole trip to make it magical for them. So I say you get to pick where you stay! (It's easy for me to say that because I definitely believe the kids will love it anywhere.)
     

    NavyDad

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 21, 2012
    I'm having a bit of trip guilt. It is our first Disney trip, and I booked at the Polynesian... Mostly because it was the one that was most attractive to my husband and I. My kids just saw videos of Art of Animation and All Star movies and they were amazed at all of the theming. They are 8, 5, and 2 years old, and they got so excited 😬 Now I am second guessing my resort choice since they were so excited about those other ones. Is it selfish to stay at the Poly? Should I switch to one of the other ones that is animated and more fun for the kids, or is the Poly still fun for kiddos? Or is there a compromise? Wilderness lodge maybe? I am just not a motel type of person, and that is the vibe I got from the value resorts when I initially booked. My husband and I have never been to Disney before. I based our decision solely on information and opinions gathered from various websites. Everything I read about value resorts is that they are loud, rowdy, crowded, and transportation is horrible. If it makes a difference, our trip is this fall and we are staying 7 nights. We have one full day and 2 half-days planned as rest/resort days. Someone suggested a split stay to me, but I do not find that option attractive. Opinions? Advice?
    The Poly is an amazing resort - pretty much the gold standard. We have stayed at every level of resort at WDW and you can have a great time at any resort. My advice would be, with your kids that age, to do your FIRST Disney trip and stay at AoA. Even if the accommodations are not as fine as you prefer the kids will have an amazing time. As your kids get older you can "move up" to finer resorts.

    We stayed at AoA when our kids were slightly older than yours. They absolutely loved it and felt like they were inside the movies. As they got older and bigger we moved up to deluxe resorts that had more room and more grown up features.

    Win-Win
     

    NavyDad

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 21, 2012
    My kids were the same at that age (2 boys begging for the cars themed suite), and they LOVED the Poly. It is still their favorite resort after 10 years of trips and several different resorts.
    • You can see the castle!
    • There is something magical about a monorail pulling up on the second floor of your resort. Kids love that.
    • The resort grounds are beautiful.
    • The volcano pool is really great for kids (with a fun slide).
    • The room is much larger and more comfortable (two queen beds plus a daybed).
    • Request a ground-floor room and your patio adds extra space for the kids to play around while waiting on everyone else (or for the adults to relax after the kids go to sleep).
    • If you have a late morning one day, book the character breakfast at Ohana--we used to always schedule a late breakfast there before catching magical express back to the airport.
    • You can watch fireworks from the beach (or the pool).
    Unless my budget dictated that a value resort was the only way I could go, I would not choose a value resort (I have stayed value when that's all my budget allowed). They just cannot compare at all. (A friend who is usually not at all snobby described art of animation as "motel six with some Disney stickers thrown on the walls.")

    And just throw that guilt right out the door--this trip is for you and your husband as much as it is for the kids, and you're going to be working your behind off the whole trip to make it magical for them. So I say you get to pick where you stay! (It's easy for me to say that because I definitely believe the kids will love it anywhere.)
    Wow - describing AoA as a motel 6 with stickers IS 50% snobby and 50% dishonest. The resort is amazing from a theming perspective and the larger than life icons are beautiful and incredibly detailed. The family suites are nearly unmatched below the DVC level from a space and flexibility perspective.

    We have stayed at every level of WDW resort from the cheapest value room to some of the most expensive deluxe accommodations at WDW. My wife and I, along with our 3 children have had amazing experiences at each level of resort. Depending on what a family is looking for value resorts can be more than comparable to deluxe resorts. For example: we loved the pool and location of Beach Club but our tired and worn out room there did not feel nearly as bright and convenient as our Nemo Suite at AoA. For our family of five (especially when our kids were younger) the flexibility of having separate sleeping areas and two separate made our AoA family suite much more suitable to our needs. On the other hand the pools (with slides) and more grown-up dining locations have made the Grand Floridian, Poly and Beach Club more suitable for our later trips with teenagers.

    OP - either way you will have a great time. Kids can have a wonderful time at Deluxe resorts or an over the top Value. Don't let anyone make you feel bad about either choice. Also - you shouldn't feel any guilt either way. You are going to give your kids an amazing experience.

    Have fun!
     

    DisneyCowgirl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 16, 2004
    Wow - describing AoA as a motel 6 with stickers IS 50% snobby and 50% dishonest. The resort is amazing from a theming perspective and the larger than life icons are beautiful and incredibly detailed. The family suites are nearly unmatched below the DVC level from a space and flexibility perspective.

    We have stayed at every level of WDW resort from the cheapest value room to some of the most expensive deluxe accommodations at WDW. My wife and I, along with our 3 children have had amazing experiences at each level of resort. Depending on what a family is looking for value resorts can be more than comparable to deluxe resorts. For example: we loved the pool and location of Beach Club but our tired and worn out room there did not feel nearly as bright and convenient as our Nemo Suite at AoA. For our family of five (especially when our kids were younger) the flexibility of having separate sleeping areas and two separate made our AoA family suite much more suitable to our needs. On the other hand the pools (with slides) and more grown-up dining locations have made the Grand Floridian, Poly and Beach Club more suitable for our later trips with teenagers.

    OP - either way you will have a great time. Kids can have a wonderful time at Deluxe resorts or an over the top Value. Don't let anyone make you feel bad about either choice. Also - you shouldn't feel any guilt either way. You are going to give your kids an amazing experience.

    Have fun!
    You are absolutely right that the kids will love it either way. And I have loved all our trips and we have stayed in everything from All Stars to GF Club Level to DVC villas. But, as an adult, I prefer something other than the values. And I mentioned what my (now labeled as snobby 🤣) friend said because OP specifically mentioned the motel feel. That was what stood out for my friend.
     

    crzy4dsny

    Yes, I'm Grumpy
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2000
    They are only young for a little while, before you know it they will be 18-21 like my kids. They will only really enjoy the theming at All Star Movie when they are little. Don’t let it pass by, I would take them to ASM now so they get the most out of it. Our first two trips were to ASM, then we jumped to the Poly. I’m glad we did it that way.
     

    DSLRuser

    Age is a state of mind
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2009
    Uh it is Disney. At that age, your kids will be happy in any hotel. You are paying the bills.

    If Poly makes you happy, book poly. No shame or guilt in treating yourself. Kids need to learn the lesson that the world does not revolve around them. heaven forbid mom wants to spend $440 a night on a deluxe hotel instead of $250 for a basic hotel. Oh the horror.
     

    DSLRuser

    Age is a state of mind
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2009
    Wow - describing AoA as a motel 6 with stickers IS 50% snobby and 50% dishonest.
    But yet, still absolutely true. Sorry. Motel with stickers is exactly how I describe and of the values.

    . The resort is amazing from a theming perspective and the larger than life icons are beautiful and incredibly detailed. The family suites are nearly unmatched below the DVC level from a space and flexibility perspective.
    Sorry, but no. All the themeing seems like an afterthought. It could easily be stripped and converted to bugs bunny in a month.

    Real theme is Poly, when the entire resort has a feel to it. Not just "bolt ons". Port Orleans French Quarter is another great example of real theme.
     

    Mikey15

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 29, 2018
    But yet, still absolutely true. Sorry. Motel with stickers is exactly how I describe and of the values.
    Not really with AoA suites though. They don't have motel-style outside entry. They have actual windows that look outside rather than just the motel walkway. The suites are also the only way to get a second bathroom other than a larger DVC unit. They're also priced $400/night and up.

    So no, I don't consider an AoA suite the same as "any of the values." I've never been in a motel with a 565sqft 1br/2ba suite.
     

    Lacoccinelle

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2014
    No guilt! They will have all of those ooohs and aahhhs in the parks. The Poly is amazing. I completely understand the motel feel comment and I am like that, too. Wilderness Lodge is my absolute favorite and I have stayed at all deluxe except GF and SS/OKW. We tried a moderate and I didn’t like it. Your kids will love the Poly, too. You will have a great trip!
     

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