By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.



yourfirstvisit.net—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor







The Most Comfortable Place to Stay at Walt Disney World: 2. Recommendations



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: RECOMMENDATIONS

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 continues the discussion that begins here of where to stay at Walt Disney World for a subset of first time visitors: those seeking the most comfortable visit.

It is part of a series about 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.

MORE ON THE MOST COMFORTABLE PLACE TO STAY AT WALT DISNEY WORLD: RECOMMENDATIONS

This site suggests elsewhere a standard room at Disney’s Polynesian Resort for first time visitors who can afford it. The Polynesian is one of the three most kid-appealing Walt Disney World resorts, and is far and away the most convenient.

There are more expensive Walt Disney World resort hotel standard rooms, but not better ones for first-time family visitors.

However, for some families, even rooms as large as those at the Polynesian—and the rooms in its newer section are the largest standard Walt Disney World resort rooms—may be crowded, cramped, or short on privacy.

The two basic options—suites and Disney Vacation Club villas—are detailed in the material that begins on this page.

The most important differences are these:

  • Suites are available in small numbers at all Walt Disney World deluxe resorts, are often more spacious, do not have complete kitchens, and always come with concierge services.
  • Disney Vacation Club Villas are available in much greater numbers, are present at most, but not all, deluxe resorts, don’t* provide concierge services, and have full kitchens.

Different families will view the tradeoffs in different ways, but the essential choice is concierge service versus a full kitchen.

THE MOST COMFORTABLE WAY TO STAY IN A WALT DISNEY WORLD SUITE

If concierge service is important to you, get a suite at the Polynesian–the King Kamehameha Suite at the Polynesian Resort Resort if you can afford it, another otherwise.

Click the image for its floorplan, courtesy of  Tikimanpages.com.

You can find details of suites at Disney’s Polynesian Resort on this page.

If you are set on the most comfortable of suites and King Kamehameha is sold out, your next best high-end choices are the Royal Asante Presidential Suite at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, and the Presidential Suite at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. (The Wilderness Lodge does not have super-comfortable suites; if it did, it would be second on this list after King Kamehameha.)

If you are targeting a regular suite, and the Polynesian is sold out, try the Wilderness Lodge, then the Animal Kingdom Lodge, and then the Contemporary Resort.

You target these resorts, in this order, because they combine the highest level of kid appeal and convenience among deluxe resorts. See this for more on resort ranking by kid appeal and convenience.

THE MOST COMFORTABLE WAY TO STAY IN A DISNEY VACATION CLUB VILLA

The Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge Two-Bedroom Villa FloorplanIf a full kitchen is more important to you, or if the suites are sold out, then reserve a Disney Vacation Club villa.

Picking your villa type. Most families will be more comfortable in a Two-Bedroom villa than a One-Bedroom.

A Two-Bedroom villa—see the example Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge floorplan to the right—provides one private bedroom with either two queens or a queen and a full sleeper couch, plus a bath, for the kids, and also a private master bedroom with a king and a master bath for the parents.

Animal Kingdom Villas Jambo House Grand Villa FloorplanIf you wish for a third bedroom, your most comfortable option is a Grand Villa (see the Animal Kingdom Villas Jambo House example).  

Grand Villas double the square footage available to you in a Two-Bedroom, and add a third private bedroom and bath, with two queens.

A less comfortable three bedroom option is the Treehouses at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa. These spaces have square footage comparable to other DVC two-bedroom villas, but have two bedrooms beyond the master—one with a queen, and the other with two bunk beds.

(See this for more on beds and sleeping spaces at Walt Disney World.)

Picking Your Disney Vacation Club Resort. Based on kid appeal, and then convenience, your best choices are:

  1. The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  2. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas–Jambo House
  3. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas–Kidani Village
  4. Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

At the Animal Kingdom Villas, be sure to get a savanna view, and at Bay Lake Tower, a Magic Kingdom view.

If you are willing to put up with a bit of chaos, a particularly luxurious trip would include a split stay—beginning your visit at one of these resorts, and halfway through shifting into another.

Because of the gap between check out and check-in times (at DVC resorts, typically 11a and 4p), the most comfortable way to do this would be to be double-booked for one night—that is, to book the first resort for nights one to five, and the second resort for nights five through eight. The double booking of night five allows you to shift into your second resort without being homeless between 11a and 4p.

*A few of the villas at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo House provide concierge level services, but these are usually snapped up by Disney Vacation Club members, making them unavailable to the general public.

PUBLISHED SO FAR IN THE COMFORTABLE GUIDE TO WALT DISNEY WORLD

PUBLISHED SO FAR IN THE TIGHTWAD’S GUIDE TO WALT DISNEY WORLD

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3 comments

1 Vinod { 11.22.12 at 1:14 am }

My great grandfather was an enneiger on the Contemporary resort. We have never stayed there but when we go to Disney I make a point to take the kiddos to eat there and tell them the stories I have been told about him helping to design and construct the Contemporary.

2 Gie Gie { 02.04.13 at 11:57 am }

I have a total of 16 going to disney in November; a family of 6, a family of 5 with one child 13 months, and a family of 3, and myself and my husband. I am trying to decide between 2 two bedroom vilas at Wildnerness Lodge or 4 family suites at Art of Animation. We would like some togetherness but we don’t want to kill each other for a trip of 6 nights and 5 days. If we do not stay at the Wildnerness Villas we would like to be close to each other. Do you have any suggestions for me. I can’t make up my mind. The 9 grandchildren are 11 and under. I would love any ideas you might have. Thank you!

3 Dave { 02.05.13 at 8:12 am }

Hi Gie Gie, that’s a rough one.

WL on paper is a good choice, since it’s one of the smallest DVC resorts and so you will be close.

But limits to its floor plan makes it awkward for families bigger than 6. See this: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2011/02/07/review-the-villas-at-disneys-wilderness-lodge/ 2 AKL Villas at Jambo House (not Kidani, which is all spread out) might be a better choice…

I understand the logic of four AofA suites, but while this may cause dissension and envy, the families of 3 and 2 can fit into Little Mermaid rooms at AofA, which will save them some money. If you put the two larger families in Lion King suites at Aof A you won’t be too far apart… More on the Lil mermaid rooms–which are tiny–is here: http://yourfirstvisit.net/2012/09/23/review-standard-little-mermaid-rooms-disneys-art-animation-resort/

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