Struggling with resort selection

Good morning,

My family and I currently have POR booked for 7 nights beginning at the end of April. A careful read of many reviews indicates that while the resort is beautiful and peaceful, issues with wear, bed comfort and thin walls are being repeatedly raised by people who have stayed there. My husband and I are torn on keeping our reservation as is. The MYW package we’ve booked is expensive- particularly when the currency exchange is factored in. We want to get value for money.

So, we’ve thought of some alternative options. One of them is an upgrade to AKL (standard) for the same amount of nights. This will add approximately $1k to the cost of our trip (in our currency). We are prepared to live with a standard room view in exchange for a better hotel experience and to keep us in the bubble. WL is not available during our dates.

The second option is to shorten our stay by one day and upgrade to a pool view room at the AKL (will add $750). We can use reward points to stay at the Waldorf Astoria or Hilton Bonnet Creek on the 7th night.

Finally, the third option is to back to the drawing board and stay at the AKL Savannah, Contemporary or Beach Club Villas for 5 night (comes out close to same price as original vacation) and then use points to stay elsewhere.

This is a first world problem, I know, but I’d be very grateful for your thoughts and input. All my best, K

Personally, if you can afford it (and that’s always the big question), I would definitely upgrade to any of the other resorts you’ve mentioned. All have significant advantages that my family appreciates. which one, and 5 or 6 nights is a tough question. Will you spend a lot of time at the resort? Do you have kids going? spending time a lot of time at MK or Epcot/HS (since you can walk from Contemporary and Beach club to the parks). We couldn’t decide between CR and BC, so are splitting our time between those two resorts on our next trip. But we have 8 days so it makes sense. 5 nights would be too short for me to want to split, but I know people do it. I don’t think standard vs pool view would be worth the upgrade to me. I’d go with the extra night in that case. Good luck!

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Ha a first world problem for sure. But you work hard for your money and you want it to work for you!!!

So I am sure I will be lambasted for this - but I am ALL ABOUT the resort. Yes some will say “you only sleep there” but I much much much prefer staying in a delux resort. It is my splurge. Also it relaxes me. There is less chaos, the rooms are nicer / bigger etc. So I GET IT!! From your other selections - I do not think POR will be to your liking and you would be more inline with the Deluxe accommodations.

ALK is wonderful - but secluded so you will wait for buses longer etc. It is a gorgeous lobby though. Friends of ours were on an African safari and they were wowed by it. I would NOT shorten stay and get the pool view. I would however upon checkin see what they can do to upgrade you - you may be able to get pool for less than $750.
CONTEMPORARY is nicely located - but I honestly don’t like the tone of the hotel. There is nothing now that really distinguishes it from any other modern hotel with atrium. But it is nice
BEACH / YACHT - not sure why you are moving to a villa as compared to a room. but both very nice and the location is great.

Of the 3 I would probably stay at BEACH just because of its location and general theaming / tone of the resort. It is understated elegance. ALK lobby has a WOW factor but the distance to elsewhere is a bit of a hassle.

The fact that you are looking at the Waldorf or Hilton indicates you have a specific level of taste and expect to vacation in such a manner (KUDOS!!!) I would probably stay there first and then move over to the disney hotel. The Waldorf is superior but the Disney hotels are “fun” depending on the age of your kids - I would make different suggestions.

If you are going to MK a lot - CONTEMPORARY
If you are going to EPCOT a lot OR they like swimming - BEACH as their pool is awesome
If they are totally into animals AKL SAVANA. I honestly don’t know how much of animals you will see etc as you will be at the parks. And I think expectations need to be tempered. They show the girrafs etc very close to the rooms - but in honesty I don’t know how much that actually happens.

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We LOVE POR and POFQ, but if we could afford it would love to stay at AKL someday. However, I don’t think I would shorten my trip to do so.

Number 1, I think beds are the luck of the draw no matter where you stay. It can vary from room to room within the same resort. What are the “water” concerns? (Hot water maybe?) On our last stay at POFQ I could have sworn we were the only people at the resort. I didn’t so much as hear a toilet flush in the morning. If quiet is important to you, you could try and request a more quiet area. (That is what we did so my son could nap.) I think that I have heard that sometimes the deluxes can seem even louder because they have corridor noise.

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Thanks! We have 7 and 3 year old girls and so I do expect to spend time at the resort- particularly with the little one who may need an escape from over-stimulation in the parks. We expect to spend most of our time at MK, with quality time at AK and EP. I appreciate your input! K

Thanks! We have a rental car (points!) so we are not hamstrung by the limitations of Disney transportation or distance. I appreciate the input on hotel choices. My DH’s holidaying philosophy is that vacation needs to better than what we have at home- the girls, on the other hand, just want to go on vacation. :slight_smile: Now, to make a decision!

Hi, Thanks for the reply! I didn’t refer to water in my post, but wear and tear. :slightly_smiling_face: I appreciate your thoughts on the PO resorts. When was your most recent visit?

I don’t have much to compare it to on property. We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside last time we were at the D and will again this time. It provides the greatest value on property currently, I believe. We didn’t notice thin walls or any of the problems you stated. The thing that’s seemingly a bit strange to get used to when staying at a “moderate” hotel is that it isn’t really a moderate hotel at all. It’s like 25 new economy motels on a very nice property with really good amenities and a great pool. It’s not a luxury hotel and in the real world it’s just a nice economy motel. That said, for us it provides an opportunity for us to have at least a Queen size or preferably king sized bed to share and for our DS to have his own bed. It allows us to save a bit on the room to spend more on other parts of the vacation. I’m not all that impressed with the theming of many of the Disney Luxury Resorts, though I would really like to stay at the Poly and Wilderness Lodge. The Fort Wilderness Cabins seem appealing as well. For me it’s a location thing. With a 4 year old, we spend a lot of time at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot for dinners.


With 3 and 7, and mostly MK time, I’d take beach club out of the equation. The pool is fantastic, but maybe better when they are older. When I was investigating, read some warnings that the spread out pool can make it hard to watch littles. My kids are a little older so will work for us. I love AKL and think it would be fantastic, esp if you aren’t stuck with disney transport. It is so beautiful and has great restaurants (Sanaa is one of my favs in all of the world). Good pool areas for little ones. If you want flexibility to walk back for nap time, maybe contemporary. Location is great but theming not as nice.


Port Orleans Riverside is nice and generally considered the best moderate option on property, although we prefer POFQ given the choice between the two. AKL is nicer and I would definitely prefer AKL if price is ignored. But $140 a night difference is a lot so it really just depends on your budget. I’m sure the kids would love the animals at AKL though and if a room request is made carefully rumor has it you can get a partial savanna view as well.

I would prefer 7 nights at POR over a shortened stay though as WDW offers so much to see and do the extra days are valuable. Good luck in the decision - the good news is you have lots of good options…


Sorry, early morning! Lol. I don’t think I felt like there was any extraordinary wear and tear on the room or resort in general.

We were at POFQ at the end of September of 2016 and POR in October of 2014. If you will have a car you are already a leg up staying at any resort. I’m happy to speak to anything specific. I really think that you would have a great vacation at POR and could put the $1000 elsewhere.

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Thanks! I appreciate your insights and feedback.

Good point about BC. Will look to other resorts instead!

Thanks for your feedback! We are really leaning toward AKL!

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Really good option. I agree with @Damavs. You’ll really be sorry you cut your trip short if you reduce it to 5 days for the nicer resort, but if you’re willing to spring for it and stay the 7 still… you should treat yourself. You deserve it. You work hard. I am sure.

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I choose hotels based on the amount of time I expect to spend in them. I am also a Hilton & Waldorf Astoria gal when I expect it to be a relaxing vacation. Disney is not a relaxing vacation for us. So, I find that at Disney, we expect it to be a clean bed and hot shower, and have a decent pool to take a dip. I would put the $1,000 to other use as well and not spend it on hotel accommodations.

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I was at POR for 6 nights in November. Never had a problem with noise, shower, or beds. CM’s were super nice and the resort was spotless. I highly recommend it! I’ve never stayed at a deluxe though… they seem amazing but we never had the money for them.


With those ages I would probably do BEACH due to the the awesome pool. If WL was available I would suggest that due to its proximity to the MK. I don’t find much “magical” about the Contemporary other than location.

I am in agreement with your Husband. When we go away - we want it to be better than our normal day to day.


I agree with you – we enjoy a lot of downtime at the resorts and I want it to be as nice as we can reasonably afford on vaca!

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I love POR (You can hear toilets flushing but not too much other noise). That being said I would pick AKL every time. We can help you request a standard view that you would have a good chance of seeing animals but definitely would see trees and grass.

I know people think the buses at AKL take a long time. They do not share buses with other resorts so usually the transportation is much quicker than many resorts. For example, Poly to HS (after a stop at GF) was over 25 minutes, AKL to HS- under 20.

POR is a large resort. I think that adds to some of the negative comments about buses and waits.

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