Resort Advice Needed

Doing a split stay in May, staying first at GF DVC. Stuck on where to stay for the last 2 nights and hoping you all can help. 2 adults, no kids.
Will be at MK day of check in to second hotel (possibly with an afternoon pool break and hopefully with MK extended evening hours).
Next day will be a park day (not sure which park yet, possibly HS but could be AK), also possibly an afternoon pool break.
Check out day will likely be resort/pool only, possibly a trip to DS.
Currently have 2 resorts booked:
POP standard through Disney with discount ($384 total). Would request lakeside 50’s or 70’s, one of the buildings near a quiet pool and easier access to skyliner if we decide on going to HS.
POR standard through Priceline ($452 total, only $68 more). Would be hoping for a Magnolia Bend building 85, which seems not too far from main building/lobby and has a quiet pool nearby. This would be convenient for a DS visit, and also for grabbing beinets from POFQ. Might be able to squeeze in some Yehaa Bob on the second night, too.
I’m keeping my eye out for a good Swan or Dolphin deal and that would be my first choice (or possibly a DVC rental if the price is right), but also trying to keep costs down so that likely may not happen. Was originally going to stay ASMo for the reason of cost but keep finding reasons for slight upgrades :slight_smile: :rofl: Did also look at CBR but the cost is a little higher than I’d be willing to bump up for a moderate ($159 more than POP, $91 more than POR). I tend to be frugal when it comes to Disney hotels because I typically don’t spend much time at the hotel or utilize the pools and prefer to use extra money for extra experiences.
I have stayed at POP before, but not at POR (have stayed at POFQ though). It looks pretty and like it has a ‘nicer feel’ to it but I also know that it’s much more spread out and transportation to/from parks with internal busses is not ideal so would be considering ubering/lyfting on our park morning, if necessary.
Looking for the best advice and pros/cons of both from all-knowing liners, especially those with standard POR experience, to help me with my indecision. Thanks in advance!

I will admit I love POR. Building 85 is the perfect choice. I love the quiet pools there, but the Magnolia building has a path that goes over the river by the main pool, right there.

I know the SL is a great way to get to HS, but POR is centrally located to the parks and taking the boat to DS on your check out day is always a great way to enjoy your last day.

That resort is just so beautiful.

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Thank you for that reply @PrincipalTinker! I was hoping for some POR love, but I feel like I never hear much about it.

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If I take the bus back to that resort at night I always get dropped off in the front to walk across the grounds.

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That sounds lovely!
I love getting up super early and enjoying pre-rope drop walks when nobody is around. The boardwalk, hourglass lake, and the Poly/GF walkway are just so peaceful at that time.
I’ll have to give an evening stroll a try this time!

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I like POR better than Pop for rooms and atmosphere, but I think I would save the money if you are going to be in the parks both days. Especially if you are going to start or end at Hollywood Studios as you could just take the skyliner. You really can’t go wrong though. Both are fun to stay at!

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This is what part of me says :point_up_2:
The other part of me says that having pool time on all the resort days would be nicer at POR, $68 isn’t really much extra for a better atmosphere (especially since it will be split with my traveling companion, so only $34pp), and since I don’t LOVE the theming of POP, it might be nice to try something new.
Thank you for your insight!

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I love the grounds at POR, so many peaceful spots. Lots of green too. AND don’t forget about the beignets at POFQ! You can walk or boat over from POR to FQ.

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I would do POP for the convenience of the skyliner. And if you aren’t in the room much, then Pop is an excellent choice for a nice clean room with some fun peppered in but still at a good price point.

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With the addition of Skyliner, I will always choose Pop over All Stars for a value resort.

I loved the theming at Riverside. We’ve only stayed once and were close to the walking path by the river. I’d have to do some research to see which building. The room was a bit older but this was several years back so I’m sure they have been refurbished since. No knowledge on this. If you will be spending more time at your resort and DS, Riverside is wonderful. Don’t let the walk scare you. It’s not THAT big.

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Yes, POR was renovated right before the Covid shutdown? I am not sure about the royal rooms?

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For only 2 nights and 1 park free day I would spend the extra for POR. Taking the boat to DS is great and the atmosphere is more relaxing.

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Now I have a little kink in my plans…
We decided to tack on 2 extra nights to the trip. With a PE Express deal, I can get the Dolphin for $55 more than POR for the 4 nights (total, including fees).
Our park/pool days are now up in the air.
WWYD?
And can someone remind me of the pros/cons of the Swalphin?
We would need to transfer luggage from GF to Swalphin (likely a park day), is this an issue?

Although when you call the phone operators could tell you luggage won’t be transferred, that is not what has been reported on TP chat.

I would have booked the Dolphin the second I saw that price! I love POR but nothing beats staying in the Boardwalk area. You will have access to amazing dining, great pools, and walking to to parks.

Currently buses from Dolphin go to TTC (there was a report that might be changing) but you would go to MK from GF? Also, you cannot charge to MBs.

You get early entry, deluxe hours, 7am ILLs.

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Thanks for the support @PrincipalTinker! I ended up snagging it (even though it’s non-refundable), afraid I wouldn’t catch the price again. Always a big thanks to @JJT for teaching me the Priceline/Hotwire hacks. Haven’t been wrong yet!
I do know that if we go to/from MK from the Dolphin, it’s best to hop a YC or BW bus, so I’m prepared for that.
I’ll just have to take another trip sometime to explore POR!!!

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The Hotwire circle feature can be a fun activity. Almost like a video game for - like playing Genie Plus “slots” trying to get a better return time.

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YC buses are the best.