The following Walt Disney World DVC Resort reviews are provided by easyWDW.com. Many thanks to Josh for his cooperation in researching and providing this content for our readers.
The Polynesian Village Resort is perhaps the most immersive on property, transporting guests to the lushness of the South Sea Islands so long as Dole Whips are still just a step outside the lobby. As one of the first two on-site hotels, the Polynesian is even richer in history than it is in its plentiful array of amenities.
On paper, the Polynesian sports what may be the best lineup of restaurants, lounges, pools, and recreational activities of any resort on property. There’s an incredible number iof opportunities to sit back and relax on the beach or at one of the pools, in addition to options spanning from parasailing and bass fishing to all-you-care-to-enjoy buffets, luaus, and Hawaiian culture presentations. With a half-dozen stays and at least 50 visits over the years, I could still name a hundred things that I’ve yet to do here.
Today we’ll take a rare opportunity to experience a moment of the good life here at The Villas at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The grace and sophistication of the resort will follow you from the moment you set foot on property through your first step out onto your private balcony overlooking Seven Seas Lagoon and the Polynesian Village Resort in the distance.
Not even the 4000% humidity of a Floridian summer and the lens condensation that comes with it can mar the view of the sunrise over the Contemporary in the morning. It’s stunning in person.
Today the website has a special treat in store for you – a trip out to what is one of the most relaxing places your Disney Vacation Club Points can buy – Disney’s Vero Beach Resort.
Add in a quick rest stop break or a trip through the Starbucks drive-thru and Disney’s Vero Beach Resort is about a two-hour drive from the Walt Disney World property . Those heading directly from Orlando International Airport will save about 20 minutes, reducing the drive without a stop to under 90 minutes. The best way to get to Vero is undoubtedly driving yourself, whether you’re picking up a rental car on property or at the airport or driving your own vehicle. Disney doesn’t run buses and a town car or taxi ride would be prohibitively expensive for most people. The good news is that the drive is easy up 528 East and I-95 and then the roads on the way to the resort offer plenty of opportunities to stop at the grocery store for necessary supplies.
This review continues from Part 1, which introduces the resort, includes a walkthrough of a 1-bedroom villa, and covers the various resort activities like swimming and safaris.
Animal Kingdom Lodge’s culinary landscape rivals the best of Disney’s resorts. It would be hard to argue that it’s better than Grand Floridian on the high end, with Victoria & Albert’s and Citricos among the best restaurants on property, but that’s the only real exception. And when you add Sanaa over Grand Floridian Cafe, The Mara over Gasparilla Grill, and Victoria Falls over Mizner’s (arguably), you could make a real argument that Animal Kingdom Lodge offers Disney’s best overall food and beverage. Let’s take a look at what it has to offer, whether you’re staying on property or visiting from an area resort.
The Mara, AKL’s principal quick service, is located down this covered path behind the main building, and extending out toward the Uzima pool.
I’ll admit that I may have lied back in the Wilderness Lodge review when I said it was my favorite Disney resort to visit. Depending on the day and which way the wind is blowing, my favorite is sometimes Animal Kingdom Lodge (AKL). There’s just so much to see and do there – from the savanna viewing, to the fantastic restaurants and lounges, to the exquisitely detailed public spaces, there’s nothing else quite like it.
Like Wilderness Lodge, the lobby is stunning, particularly with the new flooring.
While we’ve looked at each of the previous resorts individually for the most part, our discussion of the Beach Club Villas wouldn’t be complete without also briefly discussing the resorts near it. In fact, Disney’s Beach and Yacht Clubs are so intertwined that Disney doesn’t even publish individual maps of the resorts. Many of their amenities are also shared or in such close proximity that there is virtually no way to distinguish whether they belong to the Beach or Yacht Clubs. For example, the feature pool complex, Stormalong Bay, is shared evenly between the two resorts. Yacht Club doesn’t have a traditional quick service location, so it shares with Beach Club Marketplace at the Beach Club and Hurricane Hanna’s Bar and Grill, which is located right outside Beach Club’s back entrance. On the other hand, Beach Club doesn’t have a signature restaurant. Yacht Club does in Yachtsman Steakhouse. Yacht Club doesn’t have a character breakfast. Beach Club does in Cape May Cafe. Beach Club doesn’t have a casual table service restaurant. Yacht Club does in Captain’s Grille. The point here is that the Beach Club Villas offer a lot of options in dining, recreation, and other activities, even if all of those amenities are not technically found on Beach Club grounds.
Our first two Disney Vacation Club (DVC) reviews centered around the two standalone Disney Vacation Club properties, Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and Old Key West Resort. The reviews of the properties that follow will focus on the DVC wings of the resorts they’re attached to, in addition to covering the main resorts’ numerous amenities. For example, a map of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge:
The Villas wing is detached from the rest of the resort and offers its own amenities, like a quiet pool and health club, in addition to its own lobby and leisure areas . Guests staying in the Villas wing enjoy access to all of the resort’s amenities found in and around the main building, including the lounge, feature pool, restaurants, etc.
Disney’s Old Key West Resort (OKW) is the original Disney Vacation Club (DVC) Resort, opening all the way back in 1991. According to Disney: Experience the romance of the Florida Keys at this tranquil community of Conch Flats—a sprawling island hamlet with shimmering waterways, swaying palm trees and manicured golf-course fairways. Delight in sun-soaked pools, casual dining and such amenities as fully equipped kitchens or kitchenettes. A peaceful tropical paradise, Disney’s Old Key West Resort is also just a boat ride away from the excitement of the Downtown Disney area.Continue reading…
We’ll take a moment or two to check out what Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa has to offer.
Nestled comfortably across Village Lake from Downtown Disney, the resort is “Inspired by historic Saratoga Springs—a late-1800s’ New York retreat famous for its spas and horse racing.”