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Which Orlando DVC for Summer Weekend Fun?

marmite

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I currently am booked in at the end of an Orlando trip to our home resort, BCV for a Friday & Saturday night. I am thinking of trying to get something else at the 7 month booking window. I am guessing that Stormalong Bay will be a zoo, and that possibly another resort would be fun to try, perhaps even Boardwalk because of the atmosphere of the area.

Being that it is a Summer weekend, we may not actually go to any of the parks those days. That said, if you are just going to ENJOY the resort you are at, and walk to all your meals, which resort would you pick? I'd like to hear from some of you who have been-there done-that to many of the DVC resorts, please.

Narrowing it down to:

AKV, Jambo House w. Savannah View
BLT, Themepark View
SSR, Treehouse Villas
BWV, Boardwalk View
Or staying put at BCV

Things I've considered about these are:

AKV, Stayed in AKL before, and would have to eat all our meals at the resort as there is nothing else around.

BLT, Perhaps not "Disney" enough for the kids 7 and 15, is the pool actually fun?

SSR Treehouse, far away from all the pools and not enough dining options.

BWV, Older units than above, but could be fun with all the Boardwalk activity and dining options.

Of course, there are a lot of PROS to all of these places that I am not mentioning -- thoughts?


Thanks.
 

glypnirsgirl

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I have had a couple of trips to WDW without going into the parks --- it was really nice at OKW when I was cooking, but I would not want Olivia's to be my only dining option.

BWV has lots of dining options -

but my vote would be SSR - the treehouses are unique. You will be getting a 3BR for 2BR points. AND you can take the boat over to Downtown Disney where some of the best eating is at WDW. Raglan Road is one of my very favorite restaurants in Orlando. Love Puck's. Earl of Sandwich - for a quick lunch. And Ghiradellis for an ice cream sundae - YMM.
 

elaine

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I would do one of the 3 options:
1-stay put at BCV--you still have Boardwalk atmosphere, plus SB is the best pool. Many will be in the parks, so I don't see it any more crowded than other pools. Also, there will be summer beach movies.
2-THV would be fun for your ages, esp. for only 2 nights--plus they could each get their own room. The Community Hall at SSR is pretty good and they also show pm movies at SSR. There is also the new Paddock pool, which looks fun. Note, in summer, frequent thunderstorms mean boats to DTD don't run. We have been stuck waiting for a boat before. Of course, you can just hop on a bus.
3-I don't know if you have considered VWL, but my kids love taking the boat over to Ft W and renting bikes, fishing, roasting hot dogs at the fire and watching the movies. Your 7 yr old would love the Chip and Dale sign-a-long. You can also rent watercraft at FtW. They have archery lessons on Thur/Fri/Sat which are very good.
 

Pro

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There is no way you are gonna get a Boardwalk View at Boardwalk Villas at the 7th. month window. Especially in the summer. Those views are all booked by owners at the 11th. month window.

Joe
 

tomandrobin

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There is no way you are gonna get a Boardwalk View at Boardwalk Villas at the 7th. month window. Especially in the summer. Those views are all booked by owners at the 11th. month window.

Joe
I'll disagree with that....The past few years, BWV availability has gotten a lot easier to book. We have stayed Boardwalk View 3 times, each using SSR points under the 7 month window.
 

tomandrobin

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Summer weekend at a DVC WDW resort, my two choices would be AKV Kidani Village or SSR Paddock section.

During the summer, BWV, VWL and BCV pools are just too crowded.
 

Gracey

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We just had a Boardwalk View this past may. It was at the 7 month mark with my OKW points. I don't know about summer though.
 

Twinkstarr

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Over the years, I've seen people book BCV for the summer at 7 months with no problems.

I can imagine Stormalong Bay would be packed in the summer!

We stayed at BLT this past MLK weekend, the BLT pool is on the smallish size. I can't imagine what it would look like on a really warm day.
 

ocdb8r

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I'll disagree with that....The past few years, BWV availability has gotten a lot easier to book. We have stayed Boardwalk View 3 times, each using SSR points under the 7 month window.
I have to agree...when we owned at BWV it was always the standard views that went first as they are the cheaper point option.
 

MichaelColey

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Although several of the choices would be good at other times, given the OP's criteria, BCV would be my first choice.

Why?

1) It's summer. A great pool is a big plus, and it doesn't get any better than Stormalong Bay.
2) If you want to walk to a variety of meals, BCV is central to a TON of great choices -- Epcot World Showcase, Boardwalk, and Swan/Dolphin. Saratoga Springs, OKW and AKV are definitely out. BLT is okay (thanks to the Monorail), but not as good as the Epcot resort area. BWV is also good.
3) For a 7 and 15 year old, I think BCV (because of SAB, Epcot and HS) will be the best choice.

My own personal choice would probably be AKV in a Savanna view. The pool is great there, and if you have a car (which we always do), it's easy enough to get around. Plus, the units are a bit bigger and there's easy access to a ton of offsite restaurants on 192. But for the OP, I think BCV fits the bill a bit better.
 

marmite

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There is no way you are gonna get a Boardwalk View at Boardwalk Villas at the 7th. month window. Especially in the summer. Those views are all booked by owners at the 11th. month window.

Joe
Wow, that sounds like a challenge! I like a challenge.

All kidding aside, it may very well be that none of these options are available and I will have to stay at BCV (or choose to), however it is only a 2 night stay, and one of those nights are a higher point weekend night (which some people don't stay for).

I am also one of the people who call the exact day of the 7 month window, the minute before the phone lines open and know which numbers to press before listening to the choices -- if there is a remote possibility that SOMEONE gets it at 7 months, I would be that someone! ;)
 

marmite

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I would do one of the 3 options:
1-stay put at BCV--you still have Boardwalk atmosphere, plus SB is the best pool. Many will be in the parks, so I don't see it any more crowded than other pools. Also, there will be summer beach movies.
I didn't know about Summer Beach Movies (last time we went it was December). Of course we can 'get to' the boardwalk atmosphere, or maybe there is some down by BCV in summer. In winter it was dead on the boardwalk in the evening, until you got near Boardwalk Villas.

2-THV would be fun for your ages, esp. for only 2 nights--plus they could each get their own room. The Community Hall at SSR is pretty good and they also show pm movies at SSR. There is also the new Paddock pool, which looks fun. Note, in summer, frequent thunderstorms mean boats to DTD don't run. We have been stuck waiting for a boat before. Of course, you can just hop on a bus.
I will look for photos of the Paddock pool, though it is probably a good ways from the treehouses. We always have a car when we go to WDW, but I thought it would be nice to stay somewhere for 2 days that we didn't even need to take the car. Just enjoy the onsite restaurants, or those within walking distance. Of course, that puts more pressure on the resort choice as the restaurants would have to be great -- If I'm going to pay too much for a meal I want it to be a memorable one (in a good way).

3-I don't know if you have considered VWL, but my kids love taking the boat over to Ft W and renting bikes, fishing, roasting hot dogs at the fire and watching the movies. Your 7 yr old would love the Chip and Dale sign-a-long. You can also rent watercraft at FtW. They have archery lessons on Thur/Fri/Sat which are very good.
I actually hadn't considered VWL, for a bit of a lame reason -- I think my husband would be horrified by the decor of the room (the bedspread for sure). :ignore:

Some good things to consider -- thanks!
 

marmite

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BWV has lots of dining options -

but my vote would be SSR - the treehouses are unique. You will be getting a 3BR for 2BR points. AND you can take the boat over to Downtown Disney where some of the best eating is at WDW. Raglan Road is one of my very favorite restaurants in Orlando. Love Puck's. Earl of Sandwich - for a quick lunch. And Ghiradellis for an ice cream sundae - YMM.
I also like that in regards to the points, we are only staying 2 nights, so pretty much anything is an option. We only really need a 1 bedroom though to be comfortable.

Downtown Disney is also good for a non-park day. Wouldn't it be a bit of a pain though to take the boat back and forth for each meal? Or do you like some of the restaurants at SSR too?
 

marmite

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Although several of the choices would be good at other times, given the OP's criteria, BCV would be my first choice.

Why?

1) It's summer. A great pool is a big plus, and it doesn't get any better than Stormalong Bay.
2) If you want to walk to a variety of meals, BCV is central to a TON of great choices -- Epcot World Showcase, Boardwalk, and Swan/Dolphin. Saratoga Springs, OKW and AKV are definitely out. BLT is okay (thanks to the Monorail), but not as good as the Epcot resort area. BWV is also good.
3) For a 7 and 15 year old, I think BCV (because of SAB, Epcot and HS) will be the best choice.
I'm pretty certain we will not be doing Epcot this trip. Would you still feel the same way without those dining options?


My own personal choice would probably be AKV in a Savanna view. The pool is great there, and if you have a car (which we always do), it's easy enough to get around. Plus, the units are a bit bigger and there's easy access to a ton of offsite restaurants on 192. But for the OP, I think BCV fits the bill a bit better.
Yes, we will have a car, and do like it there (love Jiko too). We've only stayed in the Lodge before, not Villas. If a Savanna view is available, do you personally prefer Kidani or Jambo House (and why)? We are considering doing the park there, though my common sense is telling me not to do it on the weekend.

Thanks.
 

glypnirsgirl

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I also like that in regards to the points, we are only staying 2 nights, so pretty much anything is an option. We only really need a 1 bedroom though to be comfortable.

Downtown Disney is also good for a non-park day. Wouldn't it be a bit of a pain though to take the boat back and forth for each meal? Or do you like some of the restaurants at SSR too?
I think that Turf Club is the WORST restaurant at WDW. The servers are the only surly servers that we have had at WDW and the food was not good and it took a long time to get our food. Then the order was wrong. We tried a second time with approximately the same results. I figure twice in a row and it is an entrenched problem.

Artist's Palette is typical WDW quick serve restaurant. It works for a fast breakfast or if you are swimming at the Springs pool, it is nice for a sandwich at lunch.

We have never found it a problem to take the boat back and forth --- usually we will make only two trips --- Puck's Express is the only place that I remember that serves breakfast, anymore. And we walk around or we rent the wave runners and then eat lunch. Go back to the room and come back for dinner. Even when we have made 3 trips a day, it isn't a problem.

I hope you have a great time!

elaine
 

jlp879

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I'm going to agree with previous posters and vote for first, Beach Club and second Boardwalk villas. If you are not planning on going to the parks and want to enjoy the resorts, these resorts and their locales have the most to offer for the ages of your kids (and you). The Stormalong Bay pool is just such a great pool that we could not get our kids out of the area. Couple that with the other activities and restaurants nearby; they didn't really want to hit the parks.

Whether or not you stay at Boardwalk Villas, the atmosphere there on a summer evening would be quite lively, and still walkable from Beach Club Villas. You could just stroll along and take in all the free entertainment and boardwalk games and everyone would have a great time.

I think a busy summer weekend would draw visitors to the parks and you would still have lots of uncrowded pool time.
 

MichaelColey

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Although several of the choices would be good at other times, given the OP's criteria, BCV would be my first choice.

...

My own personal choice would probably be AKV in a Savanna view. The pool is great there, and if you have a car (which we always do), it's easy enough to get around. Plus, the units are a bit bigger and there's easy access to a ton of offsite restaurants on 192. But for the OP, I think BCV fits the bill a bit better.
Yes, we will have a car, and do like it there (love Jiko too). We've only stayed in the Lodge before, not Villas. If a Savanna view is available, do you personally prefer Kidani or Jambo House (and why)? We are considering doing the park there, though my common sense is telling me not to do it on the weekend.
I've only stayed at Kidani (2BR Savanna view), which I got as an RCI exchange. Loved it, of course. I've heard good things about Jambo as well, but I don't have any basis to make a comparison.

On the weekends, AK is generally a good park to go to. Most people go to MK, Epcot or HS then, so AK is often one of the least crowded parks on the weekends. I would suggest looking at easyWDW.com's recommendations for the days you're going to be there.

I still think BCV is probably the best choice for you, but I can tell you have the itch to try something different. Go for AKV Savanna view if you can. It's a totally unique experience, and you'll absolutely enjoy it.
 

tomandrobin

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Why Kidani over Jambo House, or SSR Paddock over the Treehouses? Just curious why you prefer them.
Well, you were looking for summer, weekend, non-park options.

The pool at Jambo is blah and crowded, the Kidani pool and associated interactive water play area is fantastic. Plus, there is a great pool bar, exotic music playing in the background and a nice open view of nothing. Very relaxing way to spend a day/weekend.

SSR Paddock over Treehouse Villas is again, all about the pool, water play area and pool bar. The THV are great, especially if you have a car. But I feel the pool over there is severely lacking.
 

marmite

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I've only stayed at Kidani (2BR Savanna view), which I got as an RCI exchange. Loved it, of course. I've heard good things about Jambo as well, but I don't have any basis to make a comparison.

On the weekends, AK is generally a good park to go to. Most people go to MK, Epcot or HS then, so AK is often one of the least crowded parks on the weekends. I would suggest looking at easyWDW.com's recommendations for the days you're going to be there.
Thanks for the website recommendation, I haven't seen that one before.

I still think BCV is probably the best choice for you, but I can tell you have the itch to try something different. Go for AKV Savanna view if you can. It's a totally unique experience, and you'll absolutely enjoy it.
I am going to make an attempt to book AKV at the 7 month mark. I was leaning towards Jambo house, but since I've already stayed in the hotel before, the villas might be a nice change, and the kids will probably love the pool. I personally like the bathroom setup (and separate bath and shower) in Kidani. I probably can't go wrong with either.

I have seen a post from someone saying they'd only stay in Jambo, but I wasn't too sure why... :ponder:

Thanks, Michael!
 

marmite

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The pool at Jambo is blah and crowded, the Kidani pool and associated interactive water play area is fantastic. Plus, there is a great pool bar, exotic music playing in the background and a nice open view of nothing. Very relaxing way to spend a day/weekend.
I think my 7 year old will be happy at either pool, but what do you think... will it be fun for a 14 year old girl too, or will she want to be heading over to Jambo?
 

janej

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We stayed at a BLT lakeview for 2 nights at the end of our beach vacation this summer. It worked out well. We went to the parks for one day. It is so easy to get to MK from there that my husband who usually skips parks decided to meet us for lunch in the park. We purchased the dinning plan. There are so many dinning options with the resort monorail system.

You get a great view of the MK from the floor to ceiling windows while you wait for the elevator. My kids loved it. The water slide was great for kids. I even enjoyed it.

We stayed at BWV, BCV, OKW, and SSR before. My kids enjoyed every one of them. But they really love to try new resorts.
 

marmite

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Just an update... at the 7 month window I had booked Kidani Savannah View, but then today (at 5 months out) changed my reservation to BLT Lake View (and wait-listed for Theme Park View).

BLT's room design will make my husband happy, kids will like seeing the fireworks each night and I think being on monorail will be really great for dining at some of the resorts (we're considering the Deluxe Dining Plan for the 2 nights at BLT, and using it over 3 days). I think this will be good for non-park days, as we won't be rushing through meals to get back to the park.

I won't miss out on Kidani though, as we decided to extend our trip through Fourth of July week, and booked Kidani for the additional nights (it was one of the few resorts with availability on the 4th).

Speaking of availability though, it was much better than I anticipated. I could have booked BWV Boardwalk View today without any problem. I love the online booking system -- I am still calling in my reservation, but like to know what my options are before I call.

Thanks for all your suggestions, it really helped a lot.
 

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but my vote would be SSR - the treehouses are unique. You will be getting a 3BR for 2BR points. AND you can take the boat over to Downtown Disney where some of the best eating is at WDW. Raglan Road is one of my very favorite restaurants in Orlando. Love Puck's. Earl of Sandwich - for a quick lunch. And Ghiradellis for an ice cream sundae - YMM.
2012 is the last year the points for the treehouses is the same as a two bedroom. :mad:

I totally agree with Raglan road. I love it! Especially the sweet guinness dip with the yummy oat bread they give you. The love the authentic bar and seating area and the Irish dancers at night. I've loved everything I've eaten there, but I don't hear it mentioned in a favorable way very often. I don't know if it is overlooked or if I have had exceptionally good luck. My kids love it, too.

And you can NEVER go wrong with Ghiradelli. If nothing else, stop by for one of the free chocolate samples they always seem to be giving out in the shop. :p
 
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