Are These Popular Walt Disney World Resorts Overrated?

Have you ever wondered why certain Walt Disney World Resorts have reputations for being the “cool kids”? Why do these hotels seem to get all the attention?

Let’s take a closer look at a few of these uber-popular places to stay the night at Disney World to see what all the hubbub’s about!

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is classified as a Deluxe Resort, so it’s going to cost you a pretty penny to sleep here! On the other hand, you’ll have easy access to Epcot, Magic Kingdom, and Disney’s Contemporary and Grand Floridian Resorts via a quick Monorail ride. Not to mention we really dig the airy atmosphere and south seas vibe of this tropical Disney oasis.

Polynesian Village Resort Lobby

We’ve also eaten some killer meals here at the Poly.  The best one? It might just be the Polynesian’s Twilight Feast! It’s a massive spread of items from ‘Ohana’s menu (yeah, we love ‘Ohana, too!) and even includes their famous Bread Pudding! And you can devour this massive room service meal from the comfort of your bed if you so choose! We also dig Trader Sam’s whimsical tiki drinks located right downstairs. So is the Polynesian overrated? In our humble opinion, no — but it is pricey!

Click here for more pics of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!

Guests staying in the Polynesian Resort get to enjoy this up-close view of the Electrical Water Pageant. (Walt Disney World/David Roark)

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Those iconic crisp, white buildings and bold, red-toned rooftops accented with red spires and Victorian trim work are the Grand Floridian‘s signature look.

Disney’s Grand Floridian

It’s a look that seems to scream opulence, and much like the Poly, the Grand Floridian is also a Deluxe Resort and will require a considerable chunk of change to book a room! Once again, you’ll experience unfettered access to the Magic Kingdom-area Resorts located around the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake along with the Magic Kingdom and Epcot via monorail.

Monorail at the Grand Floridian

You can enjoy delicious cuisine from its restaurants, including the five-star Victoria & Alberts’, waterside Narcoossee’s, elegant Cítricos, and character-filled 1900 Park Fare — not to mention the nightly performances of the cheerful Grand Floridian Band you’ll get to enjoy throughout the lobby. You read that right — this Resort has its own band!

And if you visit The Grand Flo during the holiday season, you’ll even get to see some over-the-top Christmas decorations including a life-size gingerbread house right in the lobby! Sure, maybe staying at the Grand Floridian is expensive, but it’s hard to not get overly excited about its jumbo-sized Christmas display and all those top-notch amenities!

Grand Floridian Gingerbread House by Harry
Grand Floridian Gingerbread House by Harry using a Nikon digital SLR camera.

Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts

We also have to discuss the phenomenon going on over at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club. If you’ve never stayed at either of these Epcot-area Deluxe Resorts (which feel more like one giant mega Resort when combined!) then you might not be privy to why this place so popular. Why can’t guests get enough of the Yacht and Beach Club? Maybe because the pool’s so fabulous, it has its own name: Stormalong Bay! And it feels sorta silly referring to Stormalong Bay as just a pool because it’s more like a private waterpark reserved only for the guests staying here!

Yacht & Beach Club’s Stormalong Bay

Click here to check out the AllEars fact sheet for Yacht Club!

We also can’t fail to mention Yacht & Beach Club has one of best ice cream spots at Disney World: Beaches & Cream! The actual Beaches & Cream restaurant is undergoing a three month long refurbishment (you can start making reservations again for later this winter!), but this place is so popular that Disney had to put up a temporary version of the shop! They have sundaes for every palette, not to mention the famous Kitchen Sink sundae to feed your entire crew! (Yeah, there’s a whole canister of whipped cream on there…)

Beaches & Cream Kitchen Sink Sundae

As far as we’re concerned, the location, amenities, and food at the Yacht and Beach Clubs mean this Resort is rated just right!

Here’s the AllEars fact sheet for Beach Club — click here to learn something new about this popular Resort!

So, yes, while there’s lots of buzz about these Disney World Resorts, we can confirm it’s not all just hype you’re hearing. Guests are genuinely excited about the unique offerings and experiences at these Resorts, and they’ve earned their high ratings and popularity!

Which Disney World resorts do you think are overrated? Let us know in the comments below!

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6 Replies to “Are These Popular Walt Disney World Resorts Overrated?”

  1. Our favorite is the Yacht & Beach Club. We’ve stayed at the Beach Club the last four years during the food & wine festival. The club level staff are fantastic! The walk to EPCOT is literally 5 minutes & the sand bottom pool is second to none! Now with the Skyliner, the proximity to the Boardwalk & Hollywood Studios, I’m finding it harder & harder to stay anywhere else!

  2. The Grand is overrated. I’ve stayed there twice, once Main Bldg Club and once Outer Bldg Club. I will take the WL/CC/BR any day over it. Is the Grand beautiful and classy? Sure. But I always feel like I don’t belong there. A guest once told me (about the Grand) “you make a bigger room, slap a ceiling fan in and suddenly you can charge $600/night”

  3. Grand Floridian is definitely overrated. But Y&B and Poly are wonderful resorts.Y&B have Stormalong Bay and are a quick walk to Epcot. Poly has huge rooms and is old world Disney like the Contemporary and Fort Wilderness.

  4. Well, they didn’t used to be, when Disney was really leading the pack in terms of offerings for what you’re paying. Now they’re doing a lot of “this is industry standard” type of things – like the parking charges. Some won’t like my comment, but aside from being right next to Magic Kingdom, they’re not giving the wow like they did in years gone by. Heck, we bought DVC years ago, but haven’t used it to stay there in quite a while. We’ve been using those points elsewhere.

  5. For me it’s more the cast members at the specific resorts more than the resort itself. Sure, the GF is nice but the cast members seem very stressed out. This points to the management at the resort and that’s true throughout WDW. The Disney Institute’s (now DSSR), cast members were awesome and I found out why after meeting their general manager. The OKW is the same and I imagine that’s why it remains virtually unchanged after all these years with a loyal following. The Wilderness Lodge fluctuates. Even though it’s my favorite for atmosphere it depends on the cast member. The club level cast members are lacking in many areas which is odd. The Poly cast members used to seem more “Disney” before the expansion. The Y&B clubs are great hotels but the cast members are very stiff nowadays. The Boardwalk, for me, offers the best service but I’m partial since one of my best friends is the GM. I had a great experience at the contemporary 20 years ago but recently ran in to the same issue as other hotels, stiff staff!
    After Eisner put his stamp on management style and Disney was no longer innovative in “guest experience” and more focused on packing bodies into spaces the decline was inevitable. It’s more up to us, the guests, to create magic by ignoring the obvious profit driven strategies of the WDW Co. This is apparent throughout with exceptions. Cast members are not what they used to be and it’s not their fault. I tell my niece, who’s 20 and loves Disney about how it was when I first went and it’s sad that she’ll never experience that. It’s more that she builds up an image and causes that to supplant the reality. I didn’t need an image even when it was changing, I had the vision of Walt and Roy to guide me through and every cast member figuratively and sometimes literally took me by the hand and made the vision into reality. No princess and character cults, specialty shops on MSUSA and in the different lands, etc. Amenities can’t replace good old Disney spirit!