Disney done right: Finding the right Disney resort for your family

Walt Disney World Resort

When visiting Disney, we recommend fully immersing yourself in the magic of an on-site resort, but as a family of five, we also know the frustration families of five or more experience when seeking accommodations at a reasonable rate. Below are our ways to sleep in comfort, style (and within budget) at a Walt Disney World resort as a family of five (or more):

Know your options. At first glance, you may think the only way to get a low rate at a Disney hotel is to stay at one of their ‘value’ resorts. While that may be a great option (especially with the opening of All Star Music’s family suites), it’s not your only one. Disney Vacation Club members enjoy yearly points at Disney resorts and villas, and you don’t have to join to enjoy the savings: it’s possible (and entirely ‘above board’) to buy points from a DVC member for a discounted room rate at any of Disney’s deluxe studio, one room, two room, and even three room villas.

Learn the layout. (Of each resort, that is.) Not all Disney resort rooms are created equal. For instance, Port Orleans’ Alligator Bayou rooms include an extra trundle bed, allowing five people per room. (But note that anyone over age five is going to be mighty uncomfortable on that pull-out bed.) The Grand Floridian and the Contemporary (deluxe category) both sleep five in a standard room…but the Contemporary’s room layout offers a significantly larger square footage for less money per night.

Think outside the (single room) box. Consider booking two connecting rooms at a moderate or value resort for the same price of one deluxe room. Or opt for a value resort family suite; what you’ll sacrifice in resort ambiance and amenities you’ll gain in space for your family (as well as a kitchenette!). All Stars Music currently offers such suites for as low as $190 a night in the value season, and in summer of 2012, Disney will offer families another suite option at the brand new Art of Animation. If you want to stay off the beaten path (as much as that’s possible at Disney!), Disney’s Fort Wilderness cabins sleep six.

Above all, do your research. Check our favorite source for Disney resort room discounts, and plan your trip around a Disney ‘value’ season if possible. Of course, the easiest resort solution for a family of five or more is simply to splurge: reserve a suite or connecting rooms at a deluxe hotel or deluxe villa and ignore the cost. If you can do so, by all means: be my guest! (Or rather Disney’s.) I envy you!

More Disney Done Right articles are located on our Family Vacations page.

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About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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  1. If I’m taking a road trip with my four kids from Hickory, NC to St. Paul, MN this summer. What would you suggest??

  2. Hi! I am not as familiar with that part of the country as I’d like to be, but I know someone who is: I suggest visiting Best Family Travel Advice, where you can input that precise question and receive answers from a variety of travel experts. I am on the panel there, and know someone will be able to help you. Visit http://www.bestfamilytraveladvice.com!

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