If we can’t stay at the Poly

If we can’t stay at the Polynesian, where should we stay?

Background: We’re trying to rent DVC points for a stay at the Poly next November, but so far the DVC rental store hasn’t come through with any availability yet (sob!), and I’m getting worried we’re going to get shut out from other options if we wait too long.

This year we stayed at the YC and really loved it; the year before we stayed at the GF and liked that too. I’d want to stay somewhere new, probably — I’m intrigued by WL and AKL, especially since y’all seem to rave about both. But I’m also open to BLT, if only for the super easy access to MK, especially after the fireworks (HEA is my favorite thing at Disney, hands down).

Talk to me about the transportation from WL — Is it a pain to get to? Also, is the walk to the monorail annoying if we were to rent DVC in Bay Lake Tower? How bad is the pool, really, at the CR? Our priorities are ease of access (my travel buddy has somewhat limited energy and mobility), nice atmosphere, fun theming, and I do like a good pool. I was spoiled by YC this year…

We are obsessed with the tiki drinks at Trader Sam’s, so I think we’ll want to go there at least twice, which makes me think BLT might be the right choice… What say you, wise Disney friends??

Imagine that you had hurt me in some way. Perhaps you killed all my family and then burnt my house down. After crashing my car. While I watched. And you laughed.

You’d be a pretty bad person, right? And I’d be pretty angry with you, yes? Vengeant, even.

Yet despite these massive provocations, I still wouldn’t make you stay at the Poly. It is the worst hotel in the world. There are prisons in third world countries which are nicer places to stay.

Other people take a different view. They’re wrong, but they’re entitled to take the wrong view that they take. It’s a free country. It shouldn’t be. People like that should be locked up.

Wilderness Lodge is just magical. It’s definitively American. It’s warm and cosy and comforting and nurturing. To get to MK you have to take a (magical) boat ride. But it’s magical.

AKL has animals and whatnot. But you have to take buses everywhere. But then you have to do that at most hotels.


Bahaha oh… @profmatt you are a) delightful and b) hilarious. I’d somehow forgotten how much you disliked your stay there… I mean, fair enough. We do enjoy the kitschy theming, and love (LOVE) Trader Sam’s. So that’s a big draw for us. And we’d be renting DVC, so I hear those rooms are more recently refurbished.

But I also do enjoy a boat ride… hmm. After reading your take on WL I confess I am intrigued. And we’d be there in mid-Nov, so maybe they’d have some of their Christmas stuff up by then…?

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These are in reality very personal things. But — honestly — if someone offered me a free stay at either the Poly or WL, I’d chose WL. The theme really appeals to me in the way that the Poly’s theming doesn’t.

The location of the Poly is unarguably better, but then that kinda makes WL quieter. I like the “isolation” of it. And it has AP, which is now all kinds of fun.

Only stayed at the Poly and we loved it, very convenient for MK & EP, and it has all types of dining options. We are staying at the BC next year, mainly because of the location. I love the look of WL & AKL but location is usually our top priority. What means the most to you?

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If you stay at Bay Lake, there is a bridge across from the 5th floor to the 4th floor of the Contemporary, which is where the screening is for the monorail before going up an escalator to the platform.

The pool at Bay Lake is nice enough. It has a helter skelter slide, a kiddie one too, the whole thing is a “hidden Mickey” but not so hidden! There’s a nice splash pad, shelter, BBQ grills and a beach next to it, a bar that does the usual pool offerings food-wise and a refill station. It’s just too small really! But in November it would be fine. You can use the CR pools too. The big one is … large. And surrounded by concrete and not a lot of shade. We sometimes use the small one though, over by the lake.

You are unlikely to get a standard studio though, they go at the 11 month mark pretty quickly. I love Lake view though.

Access to MK is unbeatable. Quicker to walk than monorail, by far.

WL would be gorgeous, Christmas decorations or not. The boat ride would be fun.

You are trying to book at the peak time for DVC. Crescent Lake resorts are probably a no-go already. Do you have a second choice with the broker? I would be tempted to ask what points they do have available and take it from there.

Hmm. This is helpful. The broker said that she thought we’d be able to get Boulder Creek with little or no problem, and that we’d probably/hopefully be able to get lake view at BLT. So… it sounds like maybe we should just cut and run with the Poly and go for somewhere else. And I suppose we can visit Trader Sam’s anytime, if we’re staying nearby.

Our top priority is kind of flexible! We’ve rented a car the last two trips, so we’ve not had to rely too much on the buses. I love the idea of being on the monorail again, and I’ve never stayed at the CR… (Or WL, for that matter!)

Location is important, but so is ambience. I’m torn right down the middle of the convenience of CR vs. its not-so-cuteness, VS the gorgeousness of WL vs. the relative remoteness of it. And WL is way cheaper.

The friend I travel with gets tired easily, so the CR would be nice to have for him to go back and relax. But we are also thinking of doing a resort day, and I’d much prefer WL for that.

I just can’t decide!

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@hmbhmbhmb I’m not a fan of the Poly either…not anymore. We’ve stayed there 3 times in the past. I love the theming and being able to get a Kona coffee first thing in the AM is a huge bonus. Trader Sams is fun. The pool’s new look has great appeal as well. But I’ve stayed at Motel 6’s that are nicer. No joke. My last stay there 3 years ago was in club level. Even club level was horrible. It was dirty, noisy, old… I can’t remember the rate I paid that week - I’m quite sure I’ve blocked it out of my mind. But it’s simply not worth it. I won’t be staying there again - unless they do a complete overhaul of the rooms. Not just a surface refurbish.

I’d go with WL. The boats are magical at @profmatt suggests. The pool is incredible. Love the lounge restaurant poolside. Artist Point was our favourite restaurant on property. We’re heart broken that its now a Character meal. I’m hoping the food is still good… but I’m not holding my breath.

I’ve always wanted to stay at AKL. But I just can’t wrap my head around how far away it is from everything else. But it does have Jiko - a huge win. One day I’ll stay there. :slight_smile:

Good luck!!


Erm… yikes!! That sounds actually dreadful. I’m so sorry! This is definitely talking me out of having my heart set on the Poly.

I do like a good boat ride. Especially a magical one. And that boat is much bigger than the ones that go to the GF and Poly, if I’m remembering correctly, so maybe it’s not as terrible to get back there after HEA?

(I’d also love to stay at AKL, but agree that the convenience factor is a big one. If I were going alone, that’s probably where I’d stay. But I just don’t think it would be as practical for the person I’m going with.) (DF = Disney friend? Is that a thing?)

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This. A thousand times this.

My stay was (by far) the most expensive per-night stay of any hotel I’ve stayed in in the (actual) world. The quality of the room does not even make my Top 20. Dismal.

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Eek. Well… ok then!

I will report back to Disney friend and tell him the feedback. Dingy, sad rooms is not what we want!

In the interests of fairness, I should probably add: YMMV.

I mean, fair.

But it doesn’t sound like the Poly is getting much love from many people lately. I trust consensus, at least enough to help me make a more informed decision. I’ve planned two excellent Disney trips with the help of TP and this forum, so I’m always grateful to hear others’ perspectives!

I’ve always been curious about the love for Poly too. Full disclosure, we have visited there, but not stayed. I enjoyed the public areas and thought they were interesting to look at, but the pictures of the rooms do absolutely nothing for me. They look dark, old, and cheap. The two-toned walls are inexplicably unappealing to me. I can’t imagine paying so much for something that looks like an early 90s Holiday Inn. That said- I would definitely visit the public areas and restaurants again!

Edit- I know I just committed sacrilege. Please forgive me! If the Poly is your spirit resort, enjoy away!!


You want to book DVC, right? I ask because it seems there is a lot of feedback about regular Poly rooms. I will admit I have always enjoyed staying at the Poly. I love Captain Cook’s, the Oasis Pools is one of my favorite spots in the world, and Trader Sam’s! I am glad I have experienced CL there, but I will never do that again.

I knew when I bought DVC that Poly was a “smarter” financial decision. I knew the cost of Poly points were increasing significantly within weeks of my purchase, but I bought at Copper Creek. That does not mean I would never stay at Poly. Have you seen this?

I hope this link works. It shows that the DVC rooms are nothing like the other rooms.


Ohhh, MUCH better!!

@PrincipalTinker I love the look of the Villa’s. The prices are a bit insane. But it would be a treat to stay there! Have you stayed there?

I rented DVC vacation points and wanted the poly. Boulder Ridge was my second choice and it was enjoyable. One, you can get a boat to MK. If I went to Disney Springs, or the Boardwalk, I would take a bus to MK and boat to WL. As a rule, deluxe resorts have less frequent bus service. As an added bonus, you can stand along the lake next to the Geyser point bar and watch the fireworks. You can also fill the mugs there.

I had stayed in the lodge portion before, there is also a second pool at the vacation club area.

When we wanted to go to the poly, we took the boat, did security then got on the boat to the poly.

Good luck.


Personally, I could never get into the themeing of the Poly - it always struck me as 60’s tiki lounge fake Hawaii. Adding in the reports of poor room quality, it ends up being very low on my where should we stay list.

WL, on the other hand, is top of my list. Like everything at WDW it does have a “fake” quality to it, but it really does come remarkably close to capturing the feel of the great lodges of the Northwest. And the lobby is just - wow!

We enjoyed ALK, but its themeing struck me as being like take WL and “Africanize” it. But, the animals are really cool.