For the past two years my family has stayed at the Contemporary and we love being able to walk to MK. We plan on going back around April/May 2016 and would probably be MKx3, Ex1, HSx2, AKx1. My daughter is 5 (6 when we will go back) and we usually spend several evenings at the CR pool. She loves the slide at the pool so if I switch resorts I need someplace with a good pool slide like CR. I was looking at the Beach or Yacht club for a great pool and so that we could still walk to a park. I do wonder if that slide is too big for her. She is not a strong swimmer and I usually catch her at the bottom of the CR slide. The Boardwalk looked like it had a good pool slide and we could maybe walk to Epcot but I don’t know if I want a resort without a restaurant inside. I also looked at Caribbean Beach, or Coronado Springs but then we will have to bus to all parks. Any input or opinion is appreciated!
I was all ready to heartily endorse YC/BC until the slide part. Its a big slide and you have to cross a walkway outside of the pool area to get to the stairs for it. If you went down first you could catch her, but I probably wouldnt want to let her go up to the top alone since you wouldnt be able to see her in case she got scared.
Boardwalk could be a great solution. Not sure what you mean about it not having a restaurant though… Flying Fish, Trattoria al forno, and several others are right there. My only concern about Boardwalk would be the noise. You could request a room not facing the boardwalk though and hope for the best.
For either, the ability to walk/boat to Epcot and DHS is really great and you have access to excellent food both at each resort and its an easy walk around the lake to the other.
If you usually stay deluxe, I wouldnt go mod unless you’re trying to cut down the cost. I stay moderate most of the time but its a noticeable step down from the CR for sure.
I was 100% BC until I read about the slide and getting to it. I know she would love that pool (we all would).
I thought that the Boardwalk didn’t have any restaurants inside the resort. I haven’t been to that area in a long time so I don’t remember the set up. That may not be a big deal then but the sound may be if it is louder than the CR.
The food at Flying Fish is awesome and I have heard pretty good things about Trattoria too. Boardwalk bakery gets good reviews. I know little about ESPN club but its burgers and such. I think the food options there are pretty good.
SAB is awesome aside from the slide though. And the slide dumps into a relatively small spot that is very actively monitored by life guards. She’ll be a much stronger swimmer a year from now too. I feel like 5-6 makes a big difference if she is practicing…
My daughter (who will be 5 this month) is a huge fan of the resorts that have the water playgrounds, but if walking to a resort is a must, that puts all of them out of contention. Our current favorite for a staycation is Saratoga because of the water playground and multiple splash areas in addition to the pool, plus walking distance to Downtown Disney. That said, we have our own car….if we were relying on the busses, we’d probably go bonkers.
You are right! She starts swimming lessons again in a few weeks too. I will keep BC or YC in the running for now along with Boardwalk.
She loves the slide. We I mentioned I wanted to try a new resort to my husband she said "but is there a slide at the pool? " LOL We don’t have a car and use disney transportation so it’s nice to be able to walk to a park for a change.
I would recommend Wilderness Lodge for the following reasons:
- Decent slide (but not too big/intimidating) and pool for your DD, with a nice splash pad perfect for her age.
- If you are used to the convenience of a monorail resort, and have a park schedule heavy on the MK (3 times), you will find the boat to WL less of a dramatic downgrade than the bus from BW/YC. We really like the cool, relaxing, and quick trip on the boat.
- On a related note to #2 above, there is a boat directly to the Contemporary… it’s like 3 minutes away by boat. If you’ve been going there for a couple of years, and miss it or the restaurants and want a quick visit or meal (Chef Mickey’s?), this is perfect.
- The theming of the WL, and the incredible grand lobby, has great kid appeal. To me, the great kid-appeal hotels are the Poly, AoA, AKL, and WL. WL is half the price of the Poly, a better hotel than AoA (and has a pool slide)… it’s on a par with the AKL, but is far closer to the MK.
- Whispering Canyon is a great, fun for the family Table Service restaurant. A lot of shenanigans and good sport to be had there.
- While all the fun aspects listed above are true, the Wilderness Lodge also has a sense of calm about it. Though heavily themed, it doesn’t have a hyper-charged Disney feel about it, allowing you (and your DD) to decompress from the overstimulation elsewhere in WDW.
I have no clue about slides even though ds5 is now very into them but…Having AoA as our home resort for many years we decided to try POR one year… Did not impress ds5. Then last trip we tried WL and loved it! Being a boat ride away from mk made it fun ( and easy) to get to the park! We we were nervous to try something new but it worked out great! I think you might be spoiled by the contemp (in a good way) but trying other resorts I always fun and it’s Disney so they can’t be too bad
How about a split stay? Spend your MK & resort days at CR where you’re used to, and try a new place near Epcot/HS for the other half of the trip? Unless, of course, you’re not into moving, which would be understandable.
True dat. WL is an oasis in the WDW storm!
And that is why I’m so looking forward to it in October!!
We’ve stayed at WL, BC, BW, and BLT. (Liked them all for various reasons.)
BW – the restaurants are right there, essentially attached to the hotel, but you do have to actually exit the BW and walk down the boardwalk to get to them. It’s not far (you can end up walking a lot farther INSIDE the hotel – some of those hallways are loooooong!) but it is technically not “in” the hotel.
BC – yeah, the whole “leave the pool and cross the sidewalk to get to the slide” part was kind of annoying. When we were there I believe my youngest was 5, so she didn’t do that slide. They do have two (I think) smaller slides in the pirate ship at the base of the larger slide. She did those for a while and enjoyed it. I was also kind of taken aback by the SAB pool itself. There were a couple shallow parts including a large area next to a “sandbar” type area where the kids enjoyed digging holes and building stuff with the sand. I was surprised that the lazy river part and a good portion of the pool on the side closest to the hotel was 8 ft deep! The 5 year old was in a lifejacket and wanted to float around the deep part but she wasn’t good at moving herself through the water at that point and i wasn’t comfortable treading water forever while i towed her around. We did that a little bit but it was kind of disappointing.
All in all, it’s great for different things but the way it’s laid out and broken up by bridges and walkways, it does make it hard to keep an eye on the kids without physically following them around. (Which can be tricky if there’s more than one of them and only 1 of you!)