Beach Club or AKL Lodge?

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Brian845
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Beach Club or AKL Lodge?

Post by Brian845 » May Wed 22, 2013 9:33 pm

Hi All,

We're planning a trip in March 2014, and I'm wondering what everyone's opinion on AKL vs Beach Club. We've stayed at AKL before, but only for 3 days back in 2006, but have not stayed at the Beach Club yet. I think the biggest draw about the Beach Club would be Stormalong Bay, followed closely by the boat transportation to Epcot/Hollywood Studios. We're leaning towards AKL I think, since my wife would enjoy the Sunrise Safari (we are planning to do Club level wherever we stay). Our kids will be 7 and 9 for this trip.

Brian

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Re: Beach Club or AKL Lodge?

Post by Amy » May Wed 22, 2013 10:13 pm

Brian845 wrote:Hi All,

We're planning a trip in March 2014, and I'm wondering what everyone's opinion on AKL vs Beach Club. We've stayed at AKL before, but only for 3 days back in 2006, but have not stayed at the Beach Club yet. I think the biggest draw about the Beach Club would be Stormalong Bay, followed closely by the boat transportation to Epcot/Hollywood Studios. We're leaning towards AKL I think, since my wife would enjoy the Sunrise Safari (we are planning to do Club level wherever we stay). Our kids will be 7 and 9 for this trip.

Brian
I would think either would be fantastic, especially at the Club level! I think you have pointed out the big pros for each place ~ I've heard over and over how nice Stormalong Bay is, and the location near EPCOT is great. The Sunrise Safari is definitely a cool thing that is only available to those staying at AKL. You could always split your stay so you could have the best of both worlds.

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Re: Beach Club or AKL Lodge?

Post by DisneySpin » May Thu 23, 2013 3:32 am

Amy beat me to it, I was going to suggest the same exact thing, splitting your stay between the two locations. Since your kids are old enough to work with, and probably enjoy, the variety, I would think you could then experience all the perks and have some good comparisons when planning your next trip. I've done the same thing when I travel and am staying in certain cities for a time. I find it really adds a little something extra to switch up my environment.
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Re: Beach Club or AKL Lodge?

Post by Brian845 » May Thu 23, 2013 5:43 am

I've given some thought to splitting our stay in the past, but not in regards to this vacation. It would seem to me that you would lose a good part of a day in moving from one resort to the other. Anyone have any stories to share on how easy or hard it is to do this?

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Re: Beach Club or AKL Lodge?

Post by Amy » May Thu 23, 2013 8:42 am

Brian845 wrote:I've given some thought to splitting our stay in the past, but not in regards to this vacation. It would seem to me that you would lose a good part of a day in moving from one resort to the other. Anyone have any stories to share on how easy or hard it is to do this?
We haven't switched resorts personally, but know plenty of people who have. It sounds like it is relatively easy. You check out of the one hotel, have bell services pick up your luggage and they take care of transferring it to your new hotel. Not sure about how you handle checking into the next hotel, if you have to physically go there, or if you can handle it all at the first hotel, but I would imagine you need to go to the next hotel before a certain time. It would take a few hours out of your day, but you could maybe time it so you have lunch at one of the hotel restaurants, or a dip in the pool for the kids while one of you checks in.

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Re: Beach Club or AKL Lodge?

Post by theBIGyowski » May Thu 23, 2013 3:58 pm

DW and I did a split stay on our last trip...first 6 nights were at OKW and the last 2 were at BLT. We simply took our bags to bell services and told them we were transferring to BLT...and then we checked out of OKW and headed to Epcot for the day. Later that day we went to the Contemporary to check-in (you check in there instead of BLT)...they didn't have our room ready so we spent some time checking out the Contemporary and went over to the Poly for a little bit. When we came back to the Contemporary and got our room key. We then went to bell services and followed that person to our room. He made sure we had everything and that we got to our room with no problems.

Other than having to wait a few hours for our room to be ready...it was painless. DW and I will probably try another split stay if we go for more than 4-5 nights again. It gives you a chance to stay in more resorts without needing extra vacations.
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Re: Beach Club or AKL Lodge?

Post by Len90 » May Thu 23, 2013 11:35 pm

Beach Club, but I would also consider the Yacht club if I was you.

Okay I may be partial to YC/BC but the draws they offer IMO overshadow the safari at AKL. I just got back from YC lagoon view and it was the most pleasant experience. Every night around midnight I found myself sitting out on the terrace reading and enjoying the view. The pool at Yacht/Beach is probably the best resort pool on property. It holds about 750,000 gallons of water and includes a great slide, lazy river, kiddie beach pool, multiple hot tubs, and a sand bottom. To me, there really is no need to go to the water parks when you have such a great pool complex. The location is probably the best on property, besides the monorail resorts. However, EPCOT is at most a 5 minute walk from your room. DHS can also be walked to. There is that path that runs next to the Boardwalk. The friendships are nice but keep in mind they are slow and this year during Stars Wars Weekends the service was horrendous because everyone parked at the EPCOT resorts to avoid the traffic at DHS' gate and the parking fee.

Still no matter what I would go with Beach over AKL just based on the pool and location. The concierge at Beach will be amazing and when it comes time to leave you will not want to go home. I'm sure AKL will have an amazing concierge but I only talk about what I have experienced or seen first hand.
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Re: Beach Club or AKL Lodge?

Post by Brian845 » May Fri 24, 2013 7:20 am

Ok, I found some more details about split stays. It's essentially treated as two separate stays by Disney, so there are a couple of caveats. One is that you will want to buy your tickets as part of one stay (since it's cheaper to buy more days at once). This only causes a problem if you're also doing the dining plan, since those need to be purchased as part of a package. In order to get the dining plan as part of your second stay, you still need to buy a 1 day ticket as part of that stay. Here's a website with all the details:

http://www.everythingwdisneyworld.com/2 ... d.html?m=1

It doesn't sound *too* complicated, but it's important to remember that I like things simple, since there's less to go wrong. We've decided to stay at AKL the whole week. Once the kids are older (and can pack themselves) we'll think about a split stay. We'll save Beach Club for the next trip (our youngest is not a proficient swimmer yet).

Thanks for the advice:)

Brian

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Re: Beach Club or AKL Lodge?

Post by Len90 » May Fri 24, 2013 11:39 am

Either way you couldn't go wrong. I personally would never do a split stay since I feel you can lose out on almost a whole day between packing, unpacking, and switching resorts.
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Re: Beach Club or AKL Lodge?

Post by theBIGyowski » May Fri 24, 2013 3:21 pm

Len90 wrote:Either way you couldn't go wrong. I personally would never do a split stay since I feel you can lose out on almost a whole day between packing, unpacking, and switching resorts.
Yeah...I think if your vacation is going to be less than 5 nights...you are better off staying in the same resort. We really enjoyed switching on our last trip just because being in BLT the last two nights allowed us to be at MK rope drop and to enjoy the Monorail Resorts one evening without worrying about a long trip back to our resort. It's also nice if you want to spoil yourself by staying in a nice resort without the HUGE cost of staying there the entire trip.
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Re: Beach Club or AKL Lodge?

Post by Len90 » May Fri 24, 2013 4:18 pm

theBIGyowski wrote:
Len90 wrote:Either way you couldn't go wrong. I personally would never do a split stay since I feel you can lose out on almost a whole day between packing, unpacking, and switching resorts.
Yeah...I think if your vacation is going to be less than 5 nights...you are better off staying in the same resort. We really enjoyed switching on our last trip just because being in BLT the last two nights allowed us to be at MK rope drop and to enjoy the Monorail Resorts one evening without worrying about a long trip back to our resort. It's also nice if you want to spoil yourself by staying in a nice resort without the HUGE cost of staying there the entire trip.
Actually Disney Transport is pretty good for getting you to a park for rope drop. Buses start coming around about an hour before the park opens and you will have ample time to get to where you need to go. The only reason I would ever suggest the MK resorts like Contemp, Poly, or GF would be for the monorail. That is something I think everyone should also do once, but you can just as easily enjoy the monorail by visiting those resorts or hopping between EPCOT and MK.
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Re: Beach Club or AKL Lodge?

Post by theBIGyowski » May Fri 24, 2013 4:26 pm

Walking to MK is a weird and awesome experience. Definitely makes you want to stay at the Contemporary/BLT if you have young kids.
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Re: Beach Club or AKL Lodge?

Post by Wizzard419 » May Fri 24, 2013 6:42 pm

Always take into account what park you will be spending the most time in, if it's going to be Epcot, you can walk there from Beach club (it's about 300 feet away). Transport to AK/MK(for EMH) sucks though since other resorts get picked up before the beach club stop so buses may be full. The boat to DHS is nice, but kind of slow, you can actually walk to DHS as well since there is a walking path.

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Re: Beach Club or AKL Lodge?

Post by Brian845 » May Fri 24, 2013 7:48 pm

theBIGyowski wrote:Walking to MK is a weird and awesome experience. Definitely makes you want to stay at the Contemporary/BLT if you have young kids.
We did that after eating dinner one night at the California Grill.

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Re: Beach Club or AKL Lodge?

Post by Len90 » May Sat 25, 2013 1:39 am

Wizzard419 wrote:Always take into account what park you will be spending the most time in, if it's going to be Epcot, you can walk there from Beach club (it's about 300 feet away). Transport to AK/MK(for EMH) sucks though since other resorts get picked up before the beach club stop so buses may be full. The boat to DHS is nice, but kind of slow, you can actually walk to DHS as well since there is a walking path.
AK does not have EMH in the evening so eliminate that. The bus for MK is only shared between the YC/BC so there will be space on the bus. May not always get a seat, there will be plenty of space. If you are leaving MK with the mass exodus then you may have to wait a bit.
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