Resorts Top 3, Part 2

by MouseStation Crew, staff writer

MouseStation 165 - Resorts Top 3, Part 2

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Featured Topic - Resorts Top 3, Part 2

In this week's feature, Mark and Mike discussed the second of their Top 3 lists for the U.S. Disney Resorts and Downtown Disney areas.

In Part 1 last month, we talk about dining, pools and other recreation. This week in Part 2, we'll cover accommodations, theming and overall atmosphere, and nightlife. Finally, next month we'll go over our Top 3 resorts in each lodging category: Value, Moderate, Deluxe and Home Away From Home.

Top 3 accommodations

We started with accommodations, or the rooms themselves. Mike's third choice is Disney's Pop Century Resort because it's a great room, you get amenities that you don't get at other value resorts, the space is better utilized than the rooms at the other values, and it's just a good room for the price. (It probably doesn't hurt that he used to work there.)

Mark decided to go all higher-end on his list, though he stuck with resorts that he has actually stayed at. His third choice is the Boardwalk Villas. The rooms are pretty much the same as the Beach Club Villas, Villas at the Wilderness Lodge and Saratoga Springs Resort, in terms of the layout, but he hasn't stayed at Beach Club Villas or Villas at the Wilderness Lodge yet, and he only stayed in a studio at Saratoga Springs, so Boardwalk Villas wins by virtue of him having stayed in a 2-bedroom lockoff/1-bedroom unit.

Mike's runner up is the Yacht Club. He loves the room, the way that the room works with the resort (even the shape of the room), the nautical theme and it just plays to his love of cruising.

Mark's second choice is the Polynesian Resort. He's loved it ever since he stayed there on his honeymoon back in 1987, and the recent refurbishment is wonderful. The room that he stayed in during the press event last January was wonderfully decorated, and the amenities were well-organized.

Mike's favorite accommodations are at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. He loves everything from the decor to the subtle details, and it's easy to set up his laptop, as well.

Mark's favorite accommodations are at the Old Key West Resort. The rooms are the largest on property. They're huge with plenty of room to spread out, and the three-bedroom Grand Villas are enormous. He's brought many large groups to stay in the Grand Villas, and the space is wonderful for allowing groups to stay together without getting too much in each others' hair. Not to mention that the balconies are great for hanging out or having a late breakfast.

Top 3 theming/overall environment

Mark's number three resort for theming are the Port Orleans Resorts, with French Quarter just ahead of Riverside. While he loves staying at Riverside, there's something about the recreation of the New Orleans feel at French Quarter gives it an edge.

Mike's third choice is the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. He loves walking the grounds and it makes him feel likes he's back at home in Minnesota, wandering the woods in the national parks.

Mark's second choice is the Animal Kingdom Lodge and Animal Kingdom Villas. He loves the African theming, the thatched roof, the outcroppings and overlooks, and just the overall feel of the whole resort.

Mike's runner-up is the Wilderness Lodge. He just loves lounging around in the lobby, and he can do it and feel like he belongs. He feels much less comfortable when he hangs out at the Yacht Club or Grand Floridian. He doesn't feel like he has to put on airs to be there.

Mark's top choice is the Polynesian Resort. There's just something about walking into the lobby and smelling the "Polynesian Resort smell." There's just something about it that's a signature Disney smell. The longhouses, the paths, Luau Cove, the lagoon and sandy beaches all boost the resort to number 1.

Mike's number one is (surprise!) the Animal Kingdom Lodge. He loves the African theming, the overlooks, the night-vision goggles, the restaurants and everything else. Mike feels that it's the best-themed resort that Disney has ever done.

There are so many great resorts that we had to add a bunch of Honorable Mentions. Mark noted the Wilderness Lodge, Old Key West and the Grand Californian Hotel, while Mike mentioned Pop Century and Port Orleans Riverside.

Top 3 nightlife

Mike loves lounging outside of Building 1 at the Disneyland Hotel near the Neverland Pool, where the lighting, the sounds, and the atmosphere combine to make it a magical place.

Mark's third pick is JellyRolls at the Boardwalk Resort. It's a great atmosphere with great dueling piano music.

Mike's second choice is any resort lounge at a Walt Disney World resort, with the top 3 being Animal Kingdom Lodge, Pop Century Resort and Wilderness Lodge. It's just another way for him to get his Bluetini fix.

Mark's number two is the Comedy Warehouse at Pleasure Island. He loves improv comedy, and he's had fun trying to crack up the cast during the audience participation segments.

Mike and Mark actually agree on their top pick. Kungaloosh! Hands-down, it's the Adventurer's Club on Pleasure Island. We talked about some of our experiences at the Adventurer's Club and the fun that we had there. Sorry if we were a little to obscure in some of the references.

Mark also thinks that the new music under the closing makes him think of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.

What do you think about our picks? Let us know by sending an email or calling our toll-free feedback line (1-866-939-2278) and let us know what you think!

Wrapping up

On April 27, Mark will be walking to raise money for the March of Dimes for the third time. Please consider supporting him. The March of Dimes mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.


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