preferred view

The 411: Disney World Preferred View vs. Preferred Location

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Inside this article:

In the battle of Disney World’s preferred view vs. preferred location, the old real estate adage holds true: location, location, location.

We all make mistakes in life – even us Nerds. It’s particularly frustrating when we make a Disney World mistake because we feel like we should know better; or at least that we should have thought ahead. But sometimes…things at Disney World are just plain confusing.

Enter the Preferred View rooms and the Preferred Location rooms. We are big fans of the Pop Century resort, especially since the addition of the Disney Skyliner.

preferred view
Seriously – the Skyliner is a game changer when selecting a hotel!

On a stay shortly after the Skyliner opened, we were experimenting with how to tour the parks using the new transportation system and decided on a stay at the Pop Century resort. We like renting a car upon arriving at MCO and driving to the parks. Let’s just say that after a frustrating experience with three Nerdlings in a stroller and a late night at Hollywood Studios, we vowed to never rely on Disney transportation again!

Given this, we rarely gave much thought to location at Disney World hotels and even less to preferred views because to us…why spend the money when all we do is sleep there? But the Skyliner added a new, unexpected and TOTALLY predictable twist. We did what Nerds do and booked the least expensive room type available as we find all rooms to be a close enough walk to the parking lot and, as far as parking goes, the more remote the building the better.

preferred view
Pop Century property map really highlights the distance to the Skyliner.

Okay, okay. We know you probably knew better. Your family probably likes to use the pool or dine in the main building of Walt Disney World resorts and you probably knew that room location matters. Well….we sort of knew it mattered, but location to the car to get to the rides was always our priority.

So, when we found out we were placed in the ’80s building, we thought, “Cool! That’s close to parking.”

Herein lies our mistake. We loved the Skyliner! We used it over and over and over. Given our location on the far side of the ’80s building, we had to hoof it 1/3 of a mile each time we wanted to use the Skyliner. We Nerds have been known to log 12-15 miles in a day at a Disney park, so 1/3 of a mile doesn’t sound like much. But it’s the last 1/3. It’s the 1/3 that pops up as you drag yourself, exhausted, to the Skyliner and have been sitting on your bum for 8-15 minutes. Standing is hard. Stepping off the Skyliner a chore. Walking 1/3 of a mile…ARGH!

Enough whining. You get the drift. And the Nerds? Well, the Nerds Try. Fail. Learn. Repeat. And we definitely failed and in an effort to learn, we took some extra time on our next trip and paid close attention to room location. This is actually where our next mistake started. But let’s not jump ahead!

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Preferred View AND Preferred Location of the Pop Century’s Hippy Dippy Pool.

We elected to book a Preferred Room. And then, it was only +/- $8 more to book a Preferred Pool View and given these rooms have a view of the Hippy Dippy Pool, we knew where they were located. And it was AMAZING! Our .33 mile walk to the Skyliner was reduced to about .05 miles. Our 8-10 minute walk, reduced to a minute or two. In short, it was worth every dollar (especially because it was not many dollars) and we felt like the smartest people in the world.

What Goes Up Must Come Down

Flying high on our newfound knowledge, we took advantage of renting DVC Points and spent an extra $70-100/night for Preferred View Rooms at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. I’m sure you can all see where this is going, but I will march on nonetheless.

First stop was the Polynesian, one of our favorite resorts. The pool is amazing, it is on the Magic Kingdom Monorail line and is beautifully themed. We used mobile check-in, slapped on our MagicBands and headed for our room. And we walked…and walked…and walked. Finally, we arrived at our our wonderfully appointed room and headed in to check out the view.

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Preferred View Room at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

The view was beautiful with over the water bungalows dotting the shoreline of the Seven Seas Lagoon and Space Mountain off in the distance. After getting settled, we decided to get our bearings and check out the resort. We wanted to see the pool and the main lobby, so we walked…and walked…and walked. And finally it dawned on me (yeah, it’s rough reading advice from a Nerd who didn’t see this coming), our Preferred View actually was in an un-Preferred Location. In order to gain the views, we had to exchange convenience and location.

And although the view was nice, the Nerds are at Disney World for the attractions. It is often dark when we leave and dark when we return and on those days when we come back for a mid-day nap, the shades are drawn or we are at the pool. All of these choices detract from the view, nice as it was. And then I realized my other mistake. Because I had booked a Preferred Location AND Preferred View combo at the Pop Century, I had mistakenly put those two items (Location and View) together as an intertwined selection.

They are not.

Ultimately, our Disney World adventuring does not allow for a lot of enjoying views from the hotel room – this is not to say we don’t “stop and smell the roses”, but when we do, we are generally out and about instead of in our room. In room = showering or sleeping. When we should have been focused on upgrading our location, we were distracted by a view upgrade.

The Nerdy Mistake Continues

And it didn’t stop there. If I am being truly honest, I didn’t put all of this together until we arrived at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn – half the reason we booked this hotel was it’s close proximity to Epcot.

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A Preferred View at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, a Disney World Deluxe Resort.

To be sure, the view was a good one. The buildings around the lagoon shine bright at night, though we enjoyed the views more on our walk from Epcot to our room than we did from our actual room. And the location? Near the far side of the property – far from parking, far from amenities and among the furthest from Epcot (the whole point of being there). Seriously, we just kept walking and rolling our luggage…and walking and rolling. We passed pools and amenities and just kept going because the Preferred Views are at the water’s edge and the water’s edge is the furthest location from the parking. It all makes sense, we just didn’t think it through.

Once again, we expected a Preferred View to be in a Preferred Location. Once again, we found that these are two different things!

The Conclusion

We are thrilled that we discovered the Preferred Location option at Disney World resorts. It thoroughly enhanced our Pop Century stay and it is a room category we will book time and time, again, at resorts where we think location matters. Preferred Views? Not so much. We simply don’t find ourselves looking out of our room windows very much to justify the (often hefty) upgrade cost. Additionally, we have found that we value location the most and a Preferred View is often in the furthest locations (and furthest does not mean less crowded, it just means furthest).

The short version of this entire post is:

Preferred Location = Worth It

Preferred View = Pass

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