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.
By Dave Shute
News Release: June 2, 2010
Hello and thanks for a great site. My family of 9 will be going to Disney World 12/11-12/17. Most of my kids are teenagers and I have a 10 yo and 8 yo. Will also have my mom who will have to use a wheel chair as she has trouble walking. We plan on visiting all the theme parks and I was wanting to know the best place for us to stay with my mom. Wanting to make it easier for her to get to the parks where we will either rent a scooter or wheelchair. Thanks for any advice you can give me.
Hi Jackie! Your family size and structure presents a challenge.
Your best bet is a two-bedroom villa at Bay Lake Tower– see http://yourfirstvisit.net/2010/09/13/review-bay-lake-tower-at-disneys-contemporary-resort/ . These are one of only four options that sleep 9 in one space, and far and away the most convenenient of the four.
However, the sleeping arrangements may not work well–one room sleeps 4, one two, and one 3.
In contrast, The Treehouse Villas sleep 9 in 4 spaces–three bedrooms each sleeping 2, and a shared space sleeping 3. This may work better for your family, but they are pretty isloated for people with walking issues. See http://yourfirstvisit.net/2009/08/16/review-the-treehouses-at-disneys-saratoga-springs-resort-and-spa/
If you can afford more than this, I’d get both a studio and a two bedroom villa at the Beach Club villas (I don’t have a review of this posted.) This gives you a four person space (the studio) and a four person and two two person spots in the two bedroom. It is also convenient, and is a slightly better choice than a near alternatvie, the BoardWalk villas because it is much more compact, and hence more likely that the studio and the two bedroom will be near each other.
Note that you can take an air matttress and a sleeping bag and add people where they fit–so that if your mom absorbs a bedroom to herself you can stick one of the kids in the sleeping bag in another room. Disney cares that you not have more people than its official capacity; it doesn’t care if that number of people arranges itself differently.
See this for more on large families: http://yourfirstvisit.net/planning-your-first-family-trip/special-circumstances/special-circumstances-large-families/
All the Disney resorts are large and a lot of walking is involved both in them and in getting from them to the points in the parks where you can rent scooters/chairs. I’d suggest you rent a scooter for the whole trip–the rental places deliver them to your hotel. This will create the easiest trip for your mom.
Hope this helps! Dave
PS thanks for the kind words about the site, tell all your friends about it, like it on FaceBook!
Thanks for the great suggestions and different options on rooms and about the scooter rental. What do you think about us getting 3 rooms at the Polynesian or Pop Century? We would split it up so that there is at least one adult in each room (my oldest is 20). Would that still be convient and cost effective? Your advice has been very helpful.
we will be arriving on the week beginning May 15th, 2011. We know that Pirates of Carribeans new movie is coming out that month. Our question is, are there going to be any special shows, actors, or events going on during the Month of May,2011. Thank You
Walter–I have not heard about any such, but likely Disney will do something to promote the film in its parks…
Jackie–the only reason I didn’t recommend what you suggest is that your rooms may end up being very far apart.
Three rooms at Pop would be very cost effective. Rooms at the Polynesian hold 5 each– in two queens and a daybed–so you could poossibly fit into two.
Three rooms at the Poly would cost two arms and a leg…if you could afford three rooms at the Poly, I’d go for a Grand Villa at Bay Lake Tower or the BoardWalk Villas instead…about the same price, but sleeps 12, in 3 bedrooms (one for 2, two for 4) and two sleeper sofas…
Hello! This will be our second trip to Disney World with our son and we used your site HEAVILY to plan our first trip. It was indispensable for us!
Last time we went in December, but this time we are planning for January. I called Disney and they said their 2015 prices should be climbing out in the next few weeks, so we start our real planning. I was wondering if you know when they will announce the 2015 attraction closures? Their are only 4 that would affect our decision- Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story Mania, Star Tours, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Any ideas?
Thanks so much! Nicole
Hi Nicole and I’m so glad the site helped! Attraction closures are not that predictable except Splash Mountain which almost always closes, and the announcements are often low key and late. You may not know til December.
That is what I figured. Fortunately, I used this info to convince my husband we should go in December again. We are headed to Disney the second week of December 2014 and I can’t wait!
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Dedicated to my mom and dad, Evelyn Shute, 1931-2013, Howard Shute, 1930-2016