Starting to think about a possible summer trip in maybe 2 yrs. Would really go all out since we’ve missed so many travel opportunities this year. I’ve never even considered staying in a deluxe. We usually go with whatever military discount room we can get that is the cheapest, but I choose our top choices and keep trying back for the #1. Our experience is Sports, Pop, and a Cars suite at AOA. We’re a family of 5 and by the time we’d travel all the kids would be adult sized. I’m thinking split stay with Hard Rock hotel at UO and then a moderate or deluxe at WDW. I don’t think we’d choose GF, more interested in something like AK Lodge where you can see the animals from your window. Skyliner or similar easy transport would be great.
I think you may get as many opinions as there are deluxe resorts on this topic, but my favorite is the Poly for theming, convenience, and for my love of the monorail. You can walk to the TTC and take it directly to EP, or take it from GCH to MK.
BC/YC is my other go-to for ambiance, the Stormalong Bay pool, and convenience. You can’t beat being able to walk to EP and HS. It’s nice to not be dependent on Disney transportation.
Something to consider is a more compact resort. With most of the moderates it’s necessary to leave the building you’re staying in to go to the central area. That said, at least twice we’ve gotten room only military discounts at Caribbean Beach. It’s not compact, and if you’re there during a hurricane, you pretty much have to stock your room up ahead of time.
While we really like Wilderness Lodge - theming and compactness - being in the Epcot area would be optimum. Two connecting rooms at any of the three resorts there would be great. Optimum would be a 2 bedroom villa.
I just can’t recall if we had a military discount at either Yacht Club or Beach Club. I know we had a package at Wilderness Lodge and we might have at Beach Club. Pretty sure we were room only at Yacht Club.
A family of five will limit you at some of the deluxe. At AKL or WL I believe you would need to book a 1 bedroom at Kidani or a studio at BR?
Poly after the room refurbishment might be great?
If you can rent points from DVC the studio sleeps five at Boardwalk villas. It’s a full twin bed that comes out of the wall and my five foot five teen daughter was perfectly comfortable in it. Boardwalk is my favorite WDW hotel of the ones I’ve stayed at or visited theme-wise and five min walk to Epcot and 15-20 to DHS depending on where your room is. I just find the Boardwalk itself magical and I love the Inn side where the indoor bar is with the old board games. That’s my two cents for whatever it’s worth. FYI I paid $326.67/night for next summer for a garden/pool view and $190/night this past Oct for a standard view in the middle of the week. The points you have to rent depend on when you book so if you are capable of choosing when DVC points cost less you can get a really good deal. $190/night (when you factor in not paying for parking because when you rent DVC no parking fees if you plan to have a car) is like staying at value resort with regular prices. Since I’ve found I can do this I’m doing it every time. :-). Animal Kingdom villas are out there for rent too if that’s your preference. There is a DVC availability calendar and you can book 11 months out but it is non-refundable so be sure and/or buy trip insurance.
Also if you go regular hotel route both beach club/yacht club and Boardwalk have several rooms with daybeds for that fifth sleeper. The pull down beds in the moderates seem to not be twin sized so something to consider depending how big your fifth person is.