I booked this hotel just a little over a month before arrival. It was not actually the place I called to reserve but because I have stayed with Disney quite often, I was offered a special deal for staying here that made me change my original plans. My husband and I usually stay at at the Polynesian, but I have been curious about staying at this one or The Boardwalk for quite some time now, so I was looking forward to a new experience.
I have to say that the room we had on the 4th floor was very spacious and clean. Comfortable bed, nice sitting area and even had a small balcony with a "garden" view. There was something very strange about the design of the bathroom though. First, the sinks were very low. We wondered if possibly we somehow were given a handicapped accessible room, but the shower and tub and toilet were all normal in size and height. The thing is, the toilet is so close to the bathroom door that it is extremely tight and awkward maneuvering around in that bathroom. The door was so close to the toilet that it was oddly uncomfortable and since there was such a nice open space on the other side of that bathroom wall with a small sitting area and sink and cupboards, we thought they would have done better to knock out that bathroom wall a little to allow more room in the bathroom. Compared to the size of the room, the bathroom is just "off" in size.
We got a bit lost getting to the resort because our GPS took us to the wrong car rental location for drop off so by the time we arrived at the hotel, we were in a real hurry to get to Epcot to keep a lunch reservation at the Coral Reef Restaurant (will review that one later). They did let us leave our bags since the room was not ready and texted me immediately when the room was available. We got checked in as quickly as we could and made a beeline for Epcot and spent the rest of the day there. By the time we actually got "in" the room for the first time, it was nearly 10:00 p.m.
It was obvious from the moment we walked in that the air conditioning was not working and it was quite warm that night. The bellman said he would report it to the right people, but since nobody came within 15 minutes or so, I called to report it again and they acted like it was the first they were hearing about it. It wasn't that we felt we were their only guests, of course, but more that we didn't know how long to wait or whether we should unpack, or even take a shower, etc. When I called the second time, the front desk cast member kept asking me what the temp was set at but there was no digital readout on the thermostat - it only said "cool" with a dial for getting "cooler" which I told her. She seemed frustrated with me for not being able to tell her what the temperature was but that was out of my control. Finally said she would have someone from engineering come up to see what was wrong and wished me a magical evening. We were afraid to unpack because we didn't know if it was something they could fix or whether we'd have to move to another room, so we sat there and waited for over the next half hour to 40 mins. My husband finally got frustrated enough to place another call, but he was diplomatic about it and told them that since we had been waiting a while, he just wanted to be sure of whether or not we should bother to unpack or whether they felt it was a big enough issue that they would just go ahead and move us, and he was told someone would be up "shortly" and wished him a magical day. We were not so sure that was going to happen at this point, but I will say that about 10 minutes later, a very nice guy showed up and even brought a motor with him just in case his suspicions were correct (and they were); and he had us up and running with nice cool air in no time. After that, things were pretty good here. My husband likes a nice cool room and once they addressed the problem, it stayed cool.
We tried to eat breakfast in the restaurant the next few mornings but it was at least an hour wait so we decided to just grab a pastry and a drink and get on the with day. The little "coffee" shop, of sorts, is nice there, but the people who wait on you were not so pleasant. It's almost as if they're doing you a favor, which was not very "magical." We were only there 3 days this time but given the long wait at the Captain's Table each day, I would highly recommend making reservations there before you go if that is possible. We ate elsewhere because my husband will not wait an hour to eat anywhere, and we did have lunch and dinner reservations for the places we really did want to dine.
This was a trip where the Disney travel folks messed up my paperwork from the beginning, which is the first and only time I've ever had problems with their travel company but because of that, it meant I never received any of the discount vouchers before arrival, or the free luggage tags, etc., so it was disappointing to find that there were a few missed opportunities because of getting the vouchers too late, but that's life. It also affected our stay here because despite the fact that I had provided my flight information, twice, when I booked our stay, they still did not have me set up correctly for the Magical Express back to the airport which was one more thing I had to deal with while at the Yacht Club that should have been taken care of. I received a letter from them the day before checkout informing me that they did not have enough information to set up my transportation to the airport, so I needed to take care of it myself. Went to the front desk but they said I had to go to the concierge. Concierge said I had to call Mears, which finally worked. The cast members at the front desk were nice enough, but it was a busy place when I needed help and they seemed too quick to dismiss me rather than want to help me.
The hotel itself is gorgeous and it is very convenient to take the launch to Epcot or Hollywood Studios. You can walk to both but it's a bit of a hike to Hollywood Studios. The pools looked great but we spent so much time in the parks we never got a chance to use them. I don't know if I'd go back because though it was quite lovely, it just didn't have that same Disney feel as the Polynesian. Plus, we like being on the monorail system. It just had more of a very busy and bustling feel to it, and we like a more laid back surrounding. Lots of conventioneers were there.
Best thing about the whole stay was the magic bands. Those are awesome. But since that's not a Yacht Club thing, I won't go further regarding the bands.
There seemed to be something special about the 5th floor, but what that is I couldn't tell you. I know you needed a magic band to access it or a special card. Maybe the rooms are bigger there? Our room was really far from the elevators and we could hear our neighbors watching tv, but other than that, it wasn't too loud and we were able to sleep with little noise around us.
It's a huge property and the rooms are spread out so be prepared to walk, a lot. All in all, it's a great place to stay. I would probably stay again if the price was discounted, but for a Disney property, if we're going to splurge, we prefer to be at one of the hotels on the monorail system. The launches are great but they fill up very quickly so you cannot be in a hurry to get somewhere if you plan to use the launch. Everyone we came in contact with was very nice so I cannot fault them for that. It was just a different "feel" this time around than the Disney experiences we've had so far.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.