Trip Report: Location, Location, Location

VeroBeach17sLocation, location, location… it’s important for everybody. If you buy a house for yourself, buy to let or if you go on holiday. Choosing a Disney Vacation Club location is no difference. You want the best place with all the fun and good stuff Disney is known for. So how to choose one place for your trip? Not always easy, so why not pick multiple places and move around a little. You’ll get to know the places and get your favorites picked by the end of the holiday.

On our last trip we got to stay at three of Disney’s Vacation Club resorts. So I though let’s compare them and share my thoughts on these three. Why my favorite is indeed my favorite and what other DVC location I would still want to visit and could be in the running to change my favorite in the future.

While it might not be fair to compare Disney’s Vero Beach resort with Walt Disney World located resorts it might be surprising how it could affect future plans when going on a Disney holiday. I don’t own any Disney Vacation Club points at Vero Beach, but me and my family where really looking forwards visiting it and trying it out. Well, it didn’t take us very long to fall in love with the place. All it needed was the sunrise during the first morning we stayed there. That was just an amazing view, well worth getting up for. (Not difficult after jet lag kept us awake anyway). Obviously the resort helped making this love for the place grow even more. We loved the spacious room, enjoyed the most wonderful pool with the great water slide and just couldn’t get enough of this beautiful place.

On the negative side we did think that the restaurant choice was limited. The main restaurant Sonya’s wasn’t open during most of our stay. Opening hours are Thursday to Sunday from 6pm making the choice of places to eat very limited. Shutters was our only option, not counting the Green Cabin Room where you could get snacks from the same kitchen as Shutters. While food was very nice there, we would have loved to try the other place. But this would not influence our feelings for the place as there was more then enough to make up for this. Disney’s Vero Beach is an amazing place to visit. You get the full Disney feel, but without the rides. While I love the parks, at Vero Beach I didn’t miss it at all. We thought to do this as a once in a lifetime but we all fell in love with the place so we will have to come back. However, next time we will take a room with a view as the sunrise is amazing to watch. (was just a couple of points short to do so on this visit)

OldKeyWest17sWhile we didn’t want to leave the place and could have stayed even longer at this wonderful resort, we still had two places to go too. Disney’s Old Key West was next. This wasn’t my first stay there and it is my first home resort. 10 days we had to enjoy and explore it. I already know what to expect, but it is still nice to “come home”. We got to pick our room and our choice was for one next to a pool at the far end of the resort. Unfortunately the pool was closed for refurbishment and we only got to enjoy it at the end of our stay here.

We love the Old Key West resort. It doesn’t feel like a big complex or hotel. It’s as if there are little houses all over the place making this a very relaxing place to stay. Even if this place would be fully booked, it still doesn’t feel crowded at all. It really feels like a home. The main pool is nice but the slide can’t compete with the one at Vero Beach. The restaurant “Olivia’s Cafe” is a fun place to be. It might not be your typical high standard dining experience you can get at some of the other resorts, but for some reason we just seem to return there for a quick bite. I think the atmosphere is just pure fun.

If you don’t mind the shuttle bus stopping 5 times around the resort when you go to the Disney parks, but you love a quiet place with lots of open space, Old Key West should be a good option. I loved it the first time, my family loved it on their first visit and we where sad to close the door of our home behind us for the last time when we had to leave.

AKV-Kidani17sBut it didn’t take long for that little sadness to go as our next room would be at Animal Kingdom Villas Kidani. I could not wait to see our Savannah view and we would not be disappointed. Kidani feels a lot smaller that the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but this might be deceiving as it has more then enough rooms to accommodate many guests. The studios are small, very small compared to what you get at Old Key West and Vero Beach. The view however does make up for it. It’s almost impossible to get away from your balcony with all the giraffes and other animals walking around. It took us with surprise and we knew that the balcony will be visited a lot during our 5 day stay here. However, the room being so small it was less appealing once you closed the drapes. It was so small we even got the little table placed on top of the closet to have some more space to move around.

The pool was very nice, and very popular. It was even more crowded than the Vero Beach pool. It did make the pool feel very small. The slide was nice, but again it could not compete with the one in Vero Beach. We didn’t have a chance to eat at Sanaa, the restaurant in the hotel. The evening we went down to go and eat we where stopped as there was a problem in the kitchen. As far as we could understand what was happening the cooling system was broken and the foods where not being able to stay fresh making it a health hazard. Things like this can happen everywhere of course, but Disney did show they can handle this very well and tried to get other reservations at other locations for their guests. The next day everything was dealt with, but for some reason we didn’t manage to try it out after that.

As you can see we did enjoy all three of our holiday resorts on our trip, but there can only be one absolute favorite. Although we can’t say there is a looser here, it’s only one being even better than the other one. Our winner, and picked by everybody from the family, is Old Key West. It’s the most relaxing one of them all. Vero Beach coming in on a close second place. This place is pure magic. Kidani came in third place, especially the smaller room made it a little less favorable. This is still a great place and as I do have DVC points here we will be back for sure, it just can’t compete with OKW.

I do advice that if you pick Kidani as your next location to spend those extra points on Savannah view. We didn’t see a non view room from the inside, but this could be a big let down.

Three great locations, three we could compare with each other, but we know there are other DVC resorts that could endanger Old Key West. High on my list are Beach Club Villas and Boardwalk Villas. The idea of being close to Epcot is very appealing to me, especially because of Illuminations, my favorite Disney show. Also the villas at Wilderness Lodge. This is an amazing resort. I was lucky enough to have stayed there at the main hotel (love the pool), but would love to go back to the villas. I also like the idea of staying at the Treehouse Villas at Saratoga. Unfortunately this might not happen as they are a little to big for us. Maybe I’ll have to convince some friends to go with us. For some reason Bay Lake Tower isn’t appealing to me or my family. I wouldn’t say no if I had the chance, but wouldn’t give up any of the other locations in favor of it.

So, what is your number one DVC location…

Be Sociable, Share!

One Response to “Trip Report: Location, Location, Location”

  1. Kate Says:

    Thanks for the report! We stayed at both Kidani and OKW on our last trip in September as well. Funny, we liked Kidani better! We also had a 2br, so I could see how a small studio could be a bit less fun. We only had a standard view room, and we looked out of the main entrance and pool. It was actually quite nice, though I am looking forward to savanna view this August. A parking lot would be less appealing if we had been on the other side of the resort. OKW was a little less convenient b/c we had small kids. I didn’t want to walk all the way to the back of the hospitality house to fill my mug at the end of the night, dragging a stroller w/me. And b/c we had a Grand Villa with friends (also with small kids) the lack of an elevator was SO difficult! Trying to carry a sleeping kid on one arm and haul the stroller up two flights of stairs with the other got old quick! At Kidani we just wheeled from the bus, past the mug refill, up to our room and wheeled the kids up to the bed and threw them in it! This was our first DVC trip, so I can’t compare too much. We will be staying at Jambo House in August 10′. BLT dosen’t appeal to us much either, but we’d like to try Boardwalk and Beach Club, oh and Wilderness Lodge. We fell in love with Kidani though, so it might be tough for me to change my mind! Also, the bus ride from OKW to MK, and from Kidani to MK was the same!!!! for us based on the fact we had to ride all through OKW before we even left the property. Not a bad thing about OKW, but some are so concerned about AKV being so geographically far away, I don’t know that it matters as much. Thanks again for the report. Please keep posting your photos! Love them!

Leave a Reply