Disney World Crash Course #8 - Which Resort is Best for Your Family?
The Pink Ear Pixie cannot tell a lie. This course is going to be a challenge. Even I have to admit to wavering and flip flopping and changing my mind 100 times before finally traveling to Disney World. Choosing a Disney Resort is not nearly as simple as it may seem. There are so many elements to think about - location, price, availability, room occupancy, amenities and more! I'm going to do my best to cover some of these things to think about. Of course, if I work with you as my client I will walk you through all of these, step-by-step.
There are 4 different "categories" of Disney Resorts - Value, Moderate, Deluxe and Deluxe Villas. But what do these categories really mean when it comes to cost? (Pricing is based on 2011 rates)
- Disney Value Resorts - The Values are the most economical resorts on Disney World property. Each of these resorts have thousands of rooms and guests can expect to pay between $82-$179 per night for a standard or preferred room. If you decide that a Family Suite is more of what you need then you can expect to pay between $195-$365 per night.
- Disney Moderate Resorts - The Moderates are the next step up from a Value Resort. The rate per night will run between $154-$309 depending on the room type that you are looking for. For example, Caribbean Beach's Pirate Themed rooms will cost more than a standard view room. Also, Coronado Springs offers Junior Suites, 1 bedroom Suites and Executive Suites which will run between $355-$1320 per night.
- Disney Deluxe Resorts - If you're looking for a lot of extra amenities then the Deluxe Resorts are going to be just right for your family. Expect to pay between $345- $1170 per night based on your typical standard resort room. If you are looking for something Club Level or a suite, then the rate per night will be higher depending on the resort.
- Disney Deluxe Villas - Pricing for the Villas varies considerably. There are a lot of different Villa choices between each of the resorts as well as specific room types - studios, 1 bedrooms, 2 bedrooms and 3 bedroom Grand Villas. In a nutshell you can expect to pay $345-$2500 per night.
Location, Location, Location
When you buy a house many times the first thing you consider is the location of the neighborhood. Is it close to your kids' school? How far is the closest grocery store? The thought process for choosing a Disney Resort is similar to buying a home.
- Babies and Toddlers - For "most" families that visit Disney World with very young children they tend to spend most of their time at the Magic Kingdom. To make better use of your time it makes sense to stay at a Disney Resort that is closer to the Magic Kingdom. Resorts on the Monorail are also very convenient for families that want to go back to their resort room for a mid-day nap.
- "Disney"mooners and couples without children - Couples may to want to stay at a Disney Resort that offers direct access to Epcot. The Boardwalk resorts are great for this reason. But the resorts on the Monorail are also convenient to Epcot.
- Families with older children - The families that have school age children or even teenagers may have better flexibility when it comes to a Disney Resort than families with little kids. The travel time on the bus may not be as big of a deal with older kids. So choosing a resort that is set away from a themepark may be more of an option.
Number of Guests
If it's just the two or four of you traveling together then your choice of a Disney Resort will be easier. But if you are a family of five or more then your options are different. Let's explore your options!
- 1 to 4 guests - Your choices are unlimited! A standard or preferred room at any Value, Moderate or Deluxe Resort. A Family Suite at All-Star Music. Or even a 1 to 3 bedroom Villa at any of the Deluxe Villa Resorts.
- Family of 5 - The most economical place to stay is at Port Orleans Riverside - some of the rooms sleep the 5th traveler in a trundle bed (designed for a child no older than age 9). But there are other choices for 5 guests - All-Star Music Family Suites, the Cabins at Fort Wilderness, most Deluxe Resort standard rooms, 2 rooms at any resort and of course, the various Villas.
- Grand Gatherings - For parties of 8 or more, Disney has designated these groups as Grand Gatherings. If you are traveling with a group of people (several families together or even one large family) you have a lot of options when it comes to your Resort. Be sure to weigh your options. Sometimes TWO rooms at a Value or Moderate Resort may be just a little less than a 1 bedroom Villa or a suite at a Deluxe Resort. I work with my clients to make sure they have the best choice for their family - economically and what makes the most sense.
In a Nutshell
Your Disney Resort choice is going to be a personal one. Some families prefer a Value based on the cost. While other families would prefer to spend the extra money to stay a Monorail resort for the convenience of it. Choosing a Disney Resort for your vacation may be overwhelming but keep in mind that millions of people make this choice every year! As I have said before, I will happily help my clients choose the right resort for their situation. In future Crash Courses I will explore more about the resort options and amenities. Until then, have a Disney day!
Next up - Disney World Crash Course #9 - ????