For this week’s Top 5 I ranked the DVC resorts. We did a podcast a while back on this, so I’m late to the game, but oh well. My family tends to be the park-commando type, so the major factors for us are location and theming. The amenities and restaurants don’t play a major role in our enjoyment of a resort as much as those 2 factors, so to keep it simple I decided to rate them based on those alone. We’ve either stayed at, or visited each of the resorts, with the exception of Saratoga Springs. So here we go;
5. BoardWalk Villas: Theme = 3, Location=4, Total 7
After carefully rating each resort, I found myself surprised that this was #5 on my list; I had assumed it would be higher. I love the BWV, and the Boardwalk itself is a pretty neat place to spend some time, but this one falls to number 5 based on theming. The theming at the other resorts just carry them above BWV for the purposes of this list. Being able to walk into World Showcase and over to DHS is tremendous though.
4. Beach Club Villas: Theme = 3.5, Location=4, Total 7.5
For me, BC is right there with BWV, and really gets the nod because of Stormalong bay and the beach. Just a really neat atmosphere and place for both adults and kids to have some fun away from the park. The location again is tremendous (as with its neighbor BWV), and might have been a 4.5/5 if my kids weren’t little and enjoyed walking as much as I do. The stroller factor came into play on these…
3. Animal Kingdom Lodge: Theme = 5, Location=3, Total 8
AKL is the runaway winner on theme alone, not surprisingly. The décor in and around the resort, coupled with the ability to sit out on your balcony and look over a savannah is just unbelievable. We’ll be staying here for the first time in January, and I am beyond excited to have a morning coffee outside watching the animals roam. The location is a tough one though. Needing to take a bus everywhere, even to the Animal Kingdom Park, is a major drawback. It’s also a bit away from MK and TTC, so going anywhere on the buses is also a bit of a drive. Unfortunately the location was enough of a setback to make it come in at #3.
2. Wilderness Lodge: Theme = 4.5, Location=3.5, Total 8
WL is an absolutely beautiful resort, and wins the tie breaker for #2 on my list based on the ability to take a boat ride to and from the Magic Kingdom and Contemporary. I thoroughly enjoy the boat ride around Bay Lake, and prerfer taking a boat over taking a bus quite a bit, which helped WL get a 3.5 for location rather than a lower rank. Throw in the closeness to the campground with all the activities they provide for families and this resort is DVC at its best.
1. Bay Lake Tower: Theme = 3.5, Location=5, Total 8.5
Disney’s newest DVC resort (until the GF) tops my list. BLT is another beautiful resort, and while it lacks the Disney theming of WL or AKL, it’s modern look and feel are really superb. BLT wins on the strength of its location, however. There’s nothing quite like watching Wishes from your balcony each night (with the music piped into channel 21 on your tv!). The walk to MK takes about 5 minutes, and is often even faster than taking the monorail. At the end of a long day, being able to go from Main Street to your room with over-tired children in less than 10 minutes is tremendous. Add in the use of the monorail, and boats to WL and the campground, and this resort is tops. (Also, this is my home-resort. Surely I wasn’t biased by that though, right? 😉