Trip report

The restaurants that really wowed us with great food, attentive service, and overall wonderful experiences: Tiffins, Homecoming, Skippers Canteen, and Marrekesh

Old favorites that continued to be great (but not better than top picks): CRT, Biergarten, SciFi, and Plaza

New to us (and ok/good but won’t be repeated): CaGrill for forcing a meal pace that didn’t serve us apps until 1hr in and dinner 2hrs in.


Polynesian (Tokelau) was an ideal location. Quiet and yet central. Being on that side of resort a plus as we found the TTC ferry to be the fastest and most reliable mode of transportation. The resort boat was awful- slow and infrequent. Disliked smell inside main bldg, and espresso machine at kona often down making a latte/morning drink outside brewed coffee impossible. Monorail from resort often packed and slow- as stated before found the TTC ferry to be instant transport every time!

We really liked Polynesian overall, though noticed some aspects such as sloppy painting and dirty/dusty things that are run down and not to a “deluxe” standard. The DVC studio itself was a huge hit and we liked staying there. Having trader sam’s, pork nachos, and dole whip all at my resort definitely a perk


Boardwalk Villas second half of trip- loved having a 1br and our own washing machine! Made packing lighter for a long haul easy and no time wasted on laundry room. Our room is down by the far end of community hall which (downside) makes it a long walk to the only elevator. Upside: HS nearly as close as Epcot as long as we went down 4flights of stairs to use exit next to our room.

Pros: easy walking and no need for boats- which we timed and would never have been faster to two parks. Family enjoyed boardwalk snack options (focaccia pizza/bakery goods, ample Hills, etc). Lovely and quiet resort and good food options.

VS BCVillas: BClub has better pool (and crew’s cup, and Cape May) but would be much longer walk from any room to HS would end up relying on boat.


Club Villain: over the top excellence. This is what a Disney event should be!!! Enough room to move around and enjoy, never a wait at bar or for food. From moment one it was relaxed and totally fun. 3ppl in line max for characters and we were able to meet multiple times (to redo pics that didn’t turn out) and have lengthy conversations. Staff amazing and the show? Fantastic. We loved the food. Adored the villains.

Right away they offered kids meals (mac, chicken tenders, and corn) to kids who are technically Disney adults. Nice option since food is more Cajun inspired and very flavorful though I didn’t find it spicy. Favorite was the savory bread pudding with gravy (and of course beef!) and green beans.

Entire party including surly preteens agreed this was the #1 best thing. From theming (every inch themed and amazing!) to management and all employees they made this exactly what a Disney event should be.


savor the savanna: another great extra! This is pricy but as we couldn’t do wanyama (not staying at AKL) I wanted to do it. Wow- we were all blown away and had the most amazing time. It began entering a private jeep with just one other party and off we went on the same track as Kilimanjaro. Different though, as we would pull over and check out animals, ask questions, and at one point spent 1/2 hour with animal caretaker discussing any/everything any of us could want to know. From there we went to the “Boma lookout” there on the savanna and enjoyed the sunset.

We were offered African beers and wine, enjoyed delicious (cold) tapas meals, and finished as the sky went fully dark with gormet smores that were fantastic. From this lookout we could see on one end the lions and rhinos. Other side the giraffes/more open areas and over to elephants. So beautiful and truly an experience we will treasure from this trip.


FPP is a hit in our house. We never make rope drop (well, twice we did on accident. Ha!) and it lets us pick the rides we want, when we want them in advance. On days when we had morning FPP (done by 11:30 with 2-3) at Epcot or HS, we were able to make 4-8pm “tier 1” at the other park easily. Fantasmic and Illuminations were both available though all 3 days we opted for soarin, RnR, or other ride with long wait.

We did not ever find MK 4th FP worth having except on one extended hours day (9/10p FPP found around 2pm). Trekking across park for small world, mermaid, teacups? Nah. That said visiting on party days and avoiding huge crowds paid off for us.


We utilized a combination of TiW and DVC discounts this trip and it was by far our best option. Dining plan wouldn’t have worked as we don’t eat as the plan is laid out, and it wouldn’t have saved us any cash either. We came out less expensive with paying as we did.

All table service we were seated immediately with exception of CRT which made me wait until 3 minutes prior to res time to check in (but then seated within 10m), and Biergarten which was about 15m wait. All dining (TS) was 45-65m from arrival time with exception of CG which was 2 1/2 painful hours of sitting around waiting on water or a check let alone food. Note to self: tell them you do not want a leisurely pace if you don’t want them to stretch out your experience in that way


Jingle Bell Jingle bam was a fun way to spend our final night though we found the dessert party to be the poorest managed Disney event we’ve ever done. So crowded that people constantly stomping on my feet or putting their butts in my face as they walked by. Very limited choices. Under staffed by 50% of what was needed (empty trays, garbage piled up, long waits for a drink or food…). But we managed to still have fun.
Show itself doesn’t make a ton of sense but it was cute and holiday themed. You walk out after through snow which delighted my kids.


My #1 advice? Make a plan A, B, and if all else fails. Multiple times due to sore legs, exhaustion, humidity, etc I had plans reworked including letting go of ADRs and eating at a few spots (Big River Brewery - not bad in a pinch but not recommended) for sheer convenience because moving extra just wasn’t happening. We ended up doing ALL shows/rides in Epcot even ones we hadn’t planned for. Added shows in AK due to rain.

Things happen! Be able to roll with the changes for a magical trip!


What a great report! I’ve been considering the Savor the savanna tour and your review sounds wonderful. Glad you had a great trip!

This is great advice! Thanks for the great report.

Stay positive another tip. Saw so many people fussing about the smallest things “ruining” their day. We had rides go down, plans cancelled, etc. none of it ruined the day! Because we didn’t let it. Instead we focus on all the great CM interactions and finding ones to report (for praise!) as well as just enjoying being here.

Bus service has been totally great when needed. 15m we waited @ Disney springs. Only once ever shared with another resort and we were first stop so didn’t even notice.

Only one cranky cm and we just laughed that up


Thanks for the report sounds like you had a great trip. We have seen some pretty cranky couples and families this trip, getting v upset over really small things. We just smile at one another and move on !

Great report!

Great report, thanks for sharing! We have just got home from 8 nights at the Poly! I will do my best to write a trip report soon! :slight_smile:

Loved your report! I so want to do Club Villian, i hope it’s around when we go next year.
Your #1 advice is spot on, go with the flow and enjoy, it’s great to plan but if it goes to pot, adapt and carry on…you will still have a magical time! Heat and exhaustion get my family every time, break time is all important!
Thanks for sharing :grinning:

Can you tell me about how long this event lasts? We have a 6:15 reservation for our upcoming trip, but I’m curious to know what time we’ll make it back to our room. :slight_smile: Thanks!

Just now read your trip report, somehow it came up on a list! Great report, thx Mrs.

Just want to say that I really like what you said re plan B & beyond haha! We love WDW, but the hotels & the parks will always seem to throw a curveball for sure.

One of most important parts of plan B & beyond for my fam is to be sure we’ve had enough rest, regardless of any member who wants to keep go go go.

Unfortunately had a meltdown last trip (not a child tho, my 39 yr old Ds haha!). He insisted on doing all the driving from CCod, jeesh. Oh well, meltdown was over after he had a night’s sleep @ hotel.

It occurred b/c offsite hotel (1 of my faves really) screwed up rooms, not connecting, not facing pool, as promised. Sleep deprivation & curveballs dicey combination. We all forgave him for his hissyfit, by next morn anyways haha! Spending 1st night at nice pool w ext fam & pizza delivery helped too.

Hotel remedied rooms (sort of) & we were on way to Dolphin in a few days anyways.

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