WL Club Level vs POR (family of 5)

I usually try to make my questions as pointed and specific as possible, but this one is more subjective.

Looking for some advice on where to stay next summer. As a family of 5 our choices are narrowed down for us in a lot of ways. I have been looking at Port Orleans – Riverside and Wilderness Lodge Deluxe Room (club level). POR is half the cost so that makes me lean that way but the family really wants to stay at the WL (it does look beautiful). I realize I am comparing deluxe and moderate so a bit of apples and oranges…

Looks like the Pros for WL are: nice pool (after refurbishment is complete), larger room (though awkward layout the extra space is probably a very welcome thing for a family of 5), access to concierge service (is this a benefit pre-trip with ADRs or only once I am onsite?), access to “snacks” (which the kids would be excited about), others?

But, on the flip side, there are attributes that are comparable (tougher to justify cost difference): despite deluxe/club there is still just a mini-fridge and no way to cook meals, both are dependent on shared buses (which sounds terrible), etc.

Anyone passionate about WL Club Level or POR? I see a lot of raves for other CL resorts, but WL doesn’t seem to get as much love(?)

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

Quick question…what’s the ages of the kids?

8 and 6-year old twins (all boys).

I love POR. I have a family of 5 and everyone thought it was great. Very beautiful grounds and views, great swimming pool, good CS food court and nice all around ambience. For half the price, my family doesn’t spend as much time in room. The resort matters, but I can make a lot of memories with the other 50% of what The room would cost. Also, what is your most important park for your kids? If it is not MK, then POR it is.

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WL does have the boat service to MK, so that’s a plus.

I think the tipping point would hinge on how you want to spend your days. If you plan to spend lots of time hanging out in your room, relaxing and eating at your resort, then WL CL might be worth the extra money. However, if you want to maximize your time in the parks, just swim 1 or 2 times, and plan lots of dinner ADRs, then POR is a fine choice.

The chart in the 2015 UG that lists travel time to the different parks from the resorts shows that WL and POR have very similar travel times.


Honestly, I’d save the money and stay at POR. Club level is a lot of fun, but a bit part of the cost is paying for alcohol that the kids aren’t going to drink. Looking at the rest of the food options:

Breakfast – I think kids would enjoy grabbing a Mickey waffle somewhere rather than eating the breakfast offerings at Club level. With the money you save, you could even do something like Tusker House character breakfast or Chef Mickey’s, if you wanted a splurge.

Daytime snacks – Assuming you’ll be back at the room when the mid-day snacks are out (and if you aren’t, that’s money going out the window), I still think you’ll come out ahead buying snacks in the parks, or even arranging for grocery delivery of things like chips and cookies, which is the kind of stuff that you’ll get in the mid-day.

Evening offerings – While the appetizers are yummy, there’s not enough that you can use Club level’s appetizer offerings to replace dinner. If your kids are at all picky, they might not even want to try some of the foods offered. Your kids aren’t going to be having a wine or beer before going out to dinner either, but you’re paying for that…

Desserts and cordials – Once again, your kids aren’t going to be drinking, so it comes down to the desserts. The desserts are delicious, but are similar to the “adult desserts” you’d find on a restaurant menu. If your kids are going to give you the weird look about sampling a panna cotta with wild berry compote, then they will probably just grab a brownie or two…or three. :wink:

As far as the concierge service for ADRs, go, they will help you with that….but so will a good travel agent (who will do it for free).

If you plan to go to Downtown Disney at all, staying at POR means that you can take the boat there instead of taking the bus. (And with a bunch of boys, an afternoon at DisneyQuest might be a good option!) Another great thing to do at POR is to go see Yehaa Bob.

The other thing you might consider looking at is the Cabins at Ft. Wilderness. I haven’t priced it out, but I’m willing to bet it will be less than Club Level at WL, but still give you some of the near-to-MK benefits, if location is a higher priority.

That said, I’ve stayed at POR before and would gladly do so again – it’s a lovely resort!

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I’d go with POR. We stayed there as a family of 5 in January and loved it. It was too cold to use the pools, but they did look fun and had a water slide. The resort is beautiful and the foot court was great too.

I am a huge WL lover but in this case I have to agree with others, esp, @mascardofamily. I think you will be trying to “get your money’s worth” at the WL and wind up disappointing someone. “No kids, we can’t get the Mickey bar at MK, we can have a snack at the lodge.”

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We are in the same boat, except we are a family of 4. We narrowed our choices down to these same two resorts. We’ve stayed at the pofq and found the room to be quite small for the four of us. We stayed at the poly last time and the extra space and balcony really helped. We opted for club level at wilderness lodge. Our only experience with club level was a disaster at the beach club, but from what I understand it was definitely the exception, not the rule.
As far as the cost/savings go, we found the breakfast selections perfectly fine and actually cancelled two breakfast adr’s because of it, so that saved a bundle. Also, we would grab a glass of wine (or two) before heading out to dinner and then not get alcoholic drinks with the meal. We loved grabbing a couple milks for the kids before bed and bottles of water for the parks. (I know the bottled water situation is different for each resort, but at the BC, all we had to do was ask) For us, the money was almost a wash, so all the little extras like turndown service, chocolates on the pillow, etc. were where we saw the value.

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I think what confuses me here is why it’s WL CL or POR. Why not compromise and do a standard WL room - then you get the benefits of the location and fun theme without paying double. Sure, it will still be more, but not as much more and you won’t feel the pressure to “get your money’s worth” that others have referred to. You might also want to look into renting points to stay at WLV like through dvcrentalstore and other sites like that. You might end up paying close to the same as POR.

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I’ve never stayed at either but had WL CL booked so I did some research. With a family of 5, wouldn’t you have to get a deluxe room w pull-out sofa? It was my understanding there are only rooms w 2 queens, or one queen & bunk beds. Do they allow a roll-away bed or something? Just be sure you don’t have to upgrade room size as well. Another thing: the balconies on the CL floor are not ideal if you enjoy sitting out there and enjoying the view. They’re dormer rooms and you have to stand up to see out of them. You can find pix on the web to give you an idea.

CL is how I do Disney so I will echo that CL in general is great so long as you don’t feel pressured to “get your money’s worth” (I don’t see that in OP, but in some replies.) I cringe seeing people in the lounge behave as if they’re in a food court. It’s not a meal plan (except breakfast maybe) but is great for appetizers, desserts and drinks.

Mid-day snacks are typically very light. There are posts on the web with pix of what’s offered throughout the day. It’s nice to hop back from MK mid-afternoon for a snack & drink (yes you can ask for beer or wine if it’s not out).

The Itinerary Planning Office will help CL guests with ADRs and anything else you could dream up as soon as you book. Send them an email or call with your wish list and they’ll get it done if available.

I say go WL (if they can fit 5 in a room), and if you’re not worried about justifying cost, go CL. All else equal, the boat to MK would still put WL above POR IMHO but transportation is #1 for me.

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(@anelekcam What happened at BC CL?)

With 3 kids I want the space, regardless of CL or not I’m going with WL for that. After a few days in a moderate I feel like we are on top of each other, and we don’t spend a lot of time in the room to start with.


It really depends on how you spend the day. I love WL and have also stayed at POR. POR has a better quick service restaurant (Roaring Forks is just too small) and a better pool slide. WL is closer to MK, and is all one building so that is very convenient. The tipping factor for me is the balcony. I usually get up very early in the morning to work and love being able to sit outside on the balcony with the computer to watch the sunrise over the lake. I felt very trapped in the room at POR. (Single parent so I couldn’t leave). But if you don’t spend a lot of time hanging out at the room, I think POR would be a fine choice and allow you to save money for other things.

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It was a long series of unfortunate events. It took almost an hour to check in, we almost missed our dinner reservations. When I booked, I was told that all garden view rooms had 2q+day (which is ideal for us, everyone sleeps better if the kids don’t share a bed) so I didn’t bother to fax the room request to the hotel. They “lost” all of our Reservations for child care, then called the child care center in front of us and told them that we made the mistake and they were trying to help us out. We didn’t even get to stay on the 5th floor, we stayed on the 4th floor and were promised all the “extras” that we were still paying for, turndown, robes, etc. We didn’t get any of those all three days. The room was full of cobwebs and a dirty sink, but worst of all was the attitude of the worker when our magic band reader on our room door died. We were essentially locked out. When I went to the lobby, the girl said “don’t you have your kttw card as a backup?” I said I thought that was the point of the magic band, not to have to carry around other stuff. (We were returning from the pool) So when she followed us to our room to manually open it with a master key, she had no luck and said “oh, I guess I need the other master key”. She found no humor when I said “shouldn’t you have the backup one with you?”
Not to mention I was literally hung up on when I called the front desk with these issues. There’s a difference between dropping a call and someone slamming a land line down. I was livid.
This was the second half of a split stay, the first 4 days were standard room at the Poly. Looking back, I would’ve at least done it in the reverse order, or stayed at the poly the whole trip. But hey, live & learn.

Standard rooms at WL don’t appear to accommodate all 5 of us :frowning: Otherwise, I would love the compromise approach! :smile:

Ah ok, so you were already talking about the deluxe rooms on CL. Disregard the 1st paragraph of my post. :smile:

Oh, that makes sense. I would love to see more rooms able to accommodate parties of 5. My solution is to make roll away cots available to something like $10 per night in most standard rooms. But I know that there are fire code issues, so probably not feasible.

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As a family of 5 we have stayed WL CL on our last two trips. Our previous trip we stayed AKL CL. I will admit that between DGM, me, DS5 and DD4, we are not big eaters. DH, on the other hand is a “big guy” and he usually eats/ drinks more than the four of us together. I only say that because when you consider the food situation in the lounge we usually get our meals from there.

My kids get up early (6:00 is sleeping in) we usually walk up to the lounge, and eat a full continental breakfast. They have coffees, bagels, muffins, cereals, yogurts, etc. We also usually get dinner there as well. WL has things like, pulled-pork sliders, as an appetizer. You can really eat a meal there and just get a small snack in the evening in the park. They also have a wonderful dessert and cordial selection.

All said and done, we do not pay out of pocket for breakfast and we usually get away with snacks for dinner. As was said before, we also get a few drinks in the lounge as well. Compare how much you would spend for meals and add that to the POR price. You may be closer than you think.

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We are in the very same boat!! We want to stay at WL, but the only option for a family of 5 (kids aged 3.5 yo girl, 7 yo girl and 14 yo boy, we need to have 2 queens and some other option or 1 queen, a bunk and another option. We are staying for 12 days so we don’t want to be on top of each other either and because we are not local to USA, we will have to store away lots of luggage, car seats etc as we are touring for about 8 weeks in the USA. WL CL is looking great and POR is the second option at POR even with being able to sleep 5, looks so tiny and my son won’t fit on the murphy, so one of the girls will have to sleep with their 14 yo brother (imagine the carry on LOL). S WL CL is perfect, but really i could do with out the CL bit and therefore the price tag as well :frowning: Were not talking about a couple of $100s more, we’re talking about $1000s more, espcially for 12 nights :frowning: stressing a bit!!