Hello! I am “Grandma Jaki”, the other half of ResalesDVC.com and Kinn is my son. (You have probably seen my picture on the website). Thought I would put in my two cents worth on this discussion about home base. Because most folks trade around to all the resorts to diversify their vacation experience, the only time it becomes an issue of wanting a particular resort over another would be if the motif or “style” of one resort suits your life style so much better than the others that you would actually be extremely disappointed if you could not go there every year and you don’t want to trade to the other resorts. You would then need the 7-11 months’ pre-booking over the other resort owners so you can be more assured of reservations at your home base. If you are not able to always book 7 months in advance, then it makes no difference where you own.
A little bit about the uniqueness of each resort. Saratoga Springs is like Saratoga Springs up north. It has the northern feel. It has a golf course. It is more like a large community apartment complex and you would need transportation to get to the parks as it is the one that is the furthest away. It is near down town Disney if you like to shop and enjoy the night life.
Old Key West was the first resort built and the rooms are the largest and it is the only resort where you can park your car in front of your unit. It has mature, lush landscaping and is designed after Key West Florida and has the real Florida look with light pastel colors and brightness. Nice pools, too. It has a boat that goes to Downtown Disney. It has the neighborhood intimate family atmosphere. You would need transportation to the parks but the buses stop there all the time.
Boardwalk is near Epcot and you can catch the little boat or walk over the bridge to Epcot. You have to park in a parking lot and catch an elevator to get to your room which has an inside down the halls entrance. Nice location near shopping and night life and you can pedal a bike around the boardwalk. Little more glitzy than the other resorts and appeals greatly to teenagers and adults if they like that style.
Beach Club is just across the Boardwalk and is quieter and you can walk to Epcot and to Boardwalk. It has a nice area for swimming for children which is the appeal for that resort. You also have to park in a parking lot and walk to your room.
Wilderness Lodge is a smaller resort and has the lodge look with heavy wooden beams and a darker decor. If you like the wilderness feel, then this resort has that. There is a big lodge with fireplaces, etc. (like you need a fireplace in Fla. Ha.) You have to park your car in the parking lot and walk a little distance to your room. One thing nice about this resort is it has a boat that goes over to Magic Kingdom and has a little beach area for swimming.
Animal Kingdom is quite a distance from the rest of the parks and has the Safari look.
Beach Club, Old Key West, Boardwalk and Wilderness have a deed lease that expires in 2042. Saratoga expires in 2054 and Animal Kingdom in 2057.
To end this long essay, you are not buying a house to live in–it is a vacation –and you can change your locations any time you wish. Many people buy sight unseen and usually review Disney’s website and sites like ours that have info on each resort. You can see virtual tours on Disney’s web site. Hope this helps but the choice is yours of course. I have stayed at every resort except Animal Kingdom (been there but not overnight) and would be happy to discuss further with you.
Jaki Tutas-Apetz aka “Grandma Jaki”