The Most Comfortable Place to Stay at Walt Disney World: 1. The Options



By Dave Shute

This is part of The Comfortable Guide to Walt Disney World

OVERVIEW: THE MOST COMFORTABLE PLACE TO STAY AT WALT DISNEY WORLD: THE OPTIONS

This site provides precise instructions elsewhere on where to stay at Walt Disney World. These instructions are designed for typical first time family visitors who are not sure whether or not they will ever return.

This page is one of several on where to stay at Walt Disney World for a subset of first time visitors: those seeking the most comfortable visit.

It is part of the most comfortable way to visit Walt Disney World.  Its companion series is about the most inexpensive way to visit Walt Disney World,

I am publishing both series at the same time so that they also help those who are looking for bargains and deals on some things, so that they can spend more on others!!  Links to everything in these two series are at the bottom of the page.

There are two options for the most comfortable place to stay at Walt Disney World:

  • Suites, which are available at all of the Walt Disney World deluxe resorts, and
  • One-bedroom and larger villas at the Disney Vacation Club (“DVC”) resorts.  These villas are currently reservable at all Walt Disney World deluxe resorts except for the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, and Yacht Club resorts.

DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN WALT DISNEY WORLD DELUXE RESORTS SUITES AND DISNEY VACATION CLUB VILLAS

The basic differences between suites and Disney Vacation Club  villas are as follows:

  • There are many, many more villas than suites, making villas much easier to reserve
  • All suites provide concierge level services, but essentially no villas do.  (A few of the villas at the Animal Kingdom Lodge provide concierge level services, but these are usually snapped up by Disney Vacation Club members, making them unavailable to the general public.)
  • All one-bedroom and larger villas provide full kitchens; no suite (that I am aware of) has stoves or ovens, though many suites have all other kitchen gear (fridges, sinks, and microwaves).
  • Many one and two bedroom suites provide a larger and more livable non-bedroom area than the one and two-bedroom DVC villas do.
  • While there are different types of DVC villas (One bedroom, Two bedroom, Treehouses, and Grand Villas) they essentially vary by number of sleeping spaces.  There are, however, two very different kinds of suites.
    • What you might call “standard suites” provide more rooms, and more square feet, than standard rooms.
    •  “Top-level” suites provide a lot more room, and sometimes additional spaces (such as offices, or separate sitting rooms separate from the parlor) as well. 
    • These top level suites include spaces like the King Kamehameha Suite at the Polynesian, and the Royal Asante Presidential Suite at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, and others, all suitable for heads of state, potential investors in this website, and other nabobs and potentates

As I have provided elsewhere details on the accommodations of the Disney Vacation Club resorts (start here), the rest of this material focuses on suites at Walt Disney World deluxe resorts.

SUITES AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

This material continues here.

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21 comments

1 Cedric { 04.12.11 at 10:11 am }

I booked and paid for a villa just outside the WDW campus for our family vacation in June 2011 before I found your site. We are first timers to Disney, and I was wondering, is there any advantage to staying offsite? You seem to advocate being on WDW property. Thanks! Your site is a life alterning experience!

2 Dave { 04.12.11 at 11:16 am }

Hi Cedric! I’m gald I altered your life…I think!

I do recommend staying on site for first-time visits. See this page for why: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/01/26/the-disney-resorts-at-walt-disney-world/

You are trading off a richer experience and some extra convenience for higher prices…

3 Muhammad { 03.19.12 at 8:08 am }

Roz I totally agree with you. We sluhod be treated equal to a non-DVC person. We did make an investment in Disney, but at the same time they look at it as they won’t make as much on us as they will the general public. The FREE dining plan sluhod be offered to DVC members, even if they only offered it for a few of the days we book.

4 june { 09.26.12 at 12:43 pm }

Hi staying at OKW next August, 2 bed villa. 4 adults 2 teens. We would like to be top floor and quite near to main pool etc., what no`s are best and who should i make requests to is it disney or OKW. thanks

5 Dave { 09.26.12 at 12:57 pm }
6 Bonnie { 10.08.12 at 1:16 pm }

We are looking for accomodation for three adults and three young adults. We would like somewhere with not too much “character” stuff but still fun and family orientated, and two bathrooms. Close proximity so that it is easy to get everywhere. We have been to Disneyland many times, so in your opinion do we concentrate more on the other parks? Or is there no comparison. Dates are hard because of school and university but will end of August be unbearable as far as weather? Thanks so much.

7 Dave { 10.08.12 at 5:42 pm }

Hi Bonnie–some of the options that fit precisely six have some shorter beds–how tall are the three young adults?

Of the 4 WDW parks, MK and HS have the most overlap with DLR, and Epcot and AK the least. I would aim for at least a day in each of the four parks, with an extra day to return to your favorite.

Late August is typically very hot, very humid, and is also in the peak of the hurricane season. See this for more on August–it’s 2012, but the basics will be the same in 2013: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/01/22/august-2012-at-walt-disney-world/

8 April { 11.03.12 at 5:02 pm }

HELLO..WE ARE TRYING TO DESIDE IF STAY IN DISNEY IN 2 VALUE RESORT ROOMS OR OUT OF DISNEY IN A 2 BEDROOM SUITE. WE HAVE MYSELF AND HUSBAND AND 11 & 10 & 8 & 7 &7 & 4 & 1 YRS OLDS…WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST…THANKS FOR ANY HELP.

9 Dave { 11.04.12 at 8:21 am }

Hi April! It’s very hard to find reasonably priced rooms on Disney with a gang that large, and Disney won’t guarantee that your rooms are either connected or even near each other–they will of course try, but they won’t guarantee it. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/12/15/lower-priced-options-for-large-families-at-walt-disney-world/ and also this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/01/27/the-tightwads-guide-to-staying-off-site-at-walt-disney-world/

10 Nikia { 01.03.13 at 2:30 pm }

I am hoping to take the kids back to disneyworld (2nd visit) in January of 2014. We have a large family 2 adults and children (at time of travel) ages 12, 10, 9, 7, 6 and almost 3. I want to stay on site because I do not want to rent a van and deal with driving and I am hoping that they offer room only discounts or free dingin plans during the time that we go (historically they have). What do you suggest as the most economical solution to our room situation?

11 Dave { 01.03.13 at 3:15 pm }

Nikia, there’s no good lower-cost option that sleeps 7 people older than 3. Your cheapest option is probably going to be to try for two connecting rooms in one of the lower-cost hotels–but Disney won’t guarantee connecting rooms… See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/12/15/lower-priced-options-for-large-families-at-walt-disney-world/

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12 Anu { 01.07.13 at 2:08 am }

Hiii, we are first time visitors to Disney. We are from the Caribbean and really excited! My family is 3 adults and a 4 yr old, 3 year old and a 1 year old! Where would you recommend us stay if we are looking for great value, not too expensive. We do have a car to get around if that might help. Also what about meal plans etc. Thanks soo much!

13 Dave { 01.07.13 at 7:04 am }

Hi Anu! You can only buy a meal plan if you stay at a Disney hotel. For the best least expensive choice among the Disney hotels for a family the size of yours see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/12/15/lower-priced-options-for-large-families-at-walt-disney-world/ For more on the dining plan see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/how-to-eat/

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14 Linda { 03.25.13 at 2:06 am }

Wanting to bookn’either 2 or 3 rooms at Poly or might be better to book 2 berm Princess suite not sure. Have read you can book 500′days out but when I called reservations 3/24/13 was told to call back in July We are planning to be in Disney for 6 nights arriving aroun the 2 may 2014 I understand they have not determined the rates but would still like to have our rooms booked as early so we can get what we want. Any suggestions would be appreciated

15 Dave { 03.25.13 at 7:15 am }

Linda, see this–even some WDW staff don’t know about the 500 day policy…http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/02/21/how-far-in-advance-can-you-book-a-walt-disney-world-vacation/

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16 karen { 06.08.13 at 11:32 am }

I plan to visit disney july2014 with a group of twelve want to stay at value resort eit a jooning rooms.this is my thitd visit also need shuttle and free breakfast. Does any of tye resort have that. Service. And does any resorts have com servicr from amtrack.

17 Dave { 06.09.13 at 8:04 am }

Karen, no Disney hotels have free breakfast, and none have free transport from Amtrak…Otherwise, my reviews of and recommendations about the value resorts start here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/08/04/the-value-resorts-at-walt-disney-world/

Be sure to note the 6-person Family Suites (lower on the page) when you look–two of these are more expensive than three 4-person standard rooms, but there’s a lot to recommend them if you can afford them…

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18 Megan { 09.17.13 at 6:32 am }

Hi Dave, I am so over whelmed by the choices of accommodation, I really need help.
My husband and I are travelling with my 19 and 16 year old 6 foot 5 sons.
Plus my brother and his 18 year old son.
Do you recommend magic kingdom as the best park to go to, we are only there for a couple of days in January.
Plus what accommodation would be ideal for us, we have no car.
Thanks heaps megan

19 Dave { 09.17.13 at 5:34 pm }

Hi Megan! First, yes, if you have only two days I’d spend both in the Magic Kingdom.

There are no extra-long beds at WDW–the best you will do is kings, and even those are hard to find.

If you can afford it, a two bedroom villa at Bay Lake Tower or the Villas at the Wilderness Lodge is the most cost-effective way of sleeping this group. See the links in the “Disney Vacation Club Resort” section at the bottom of this page:
http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/04/26/walt-disney-world-resort-hotel-reviews/

If this is too pricey (see this for prices: http://www.mousesavers.com/2014-disney-world-resort-room-rates-season-dates/ ) then you want two rooms at a moderate with queen beds. Among them, I’d recommend Port Orleans French Quarter. (Links to reviews are on the same page you found the Bay Lake Tower reviews on…)

All the Disney resorts provide transport to and from the parks, and there’s also–if you are flying–free transport from MCO to your Disney hotel. (See http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/02/28/disneys-magical-express-at-walt-disney-world/ )

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20 Candice { 05.31.14 at 6:49 pm }

Hi! I am so thankful for you and this website!!! We are first timers. A family of 5 + my mom who is coming with us to keep the 1 year old while we spend time with the 5 and 4 year olds. I am having a hard time figuring this resort thing out for some reason. We are wanting 2 br’s 2 ba’s an ample space to “stretch out”. Especially since my mom will be at the room a lot with the baby. Please suggest the best resort to stay at, ( or better yet, your top 3 picks) regardless of price. We’d prefer monorail for convenience. Thanks a ton!!!

21 Dave { 06.01.14 at 9:38 am }

Candice, your best options will be two bedroom Disney Vacation Club villas. You top pick for a monorail resort is Bay Lake Tower — http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/09/13/review-bay-lake-tower-at-disneys-contemporary-resort/

Right now, the only other option at a monorail resort is the Villas at the Grand FLoridian, but there’s not many of them so they are hard to get, and in your circumstances, I think the ability to walk back and forth from MK to BLT trumps that.

For my overall rankings of such spaces, see this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/special-circumstances/special-circumstances-large-families/more-on-large-families-at-walt-disney-world/the-disney-vacation-club-dvc-resorts-at-walt-disney-world/

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