Hey everybody, there’s a new itinerary out for arrivals 8/31 through 10/26/2019. You can find it here.

By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2019, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

Available on Amazon here.





Category — k. Special Circumstances at Walt Disney World

Review: The Pools at Shades of Green Resort

(For the first page of this review of Shades of Green, see this.)

THE POOLS AT SHADES OF GREEN RESORT

The Pools at Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.netThere are two pools at Shades of Green:

  • The Magnolia pool, closer to all Palm wing rooms and about half of Magnolia Wing rooms, and
  • The Mill Pond pool, closer to the other half of Magnolia wing rooms

Each has a few distinct features–including some added recently–but either is a great choice for most visitors.

The Magnolia pool is the only one with a hot tub; the Mill Pond pools the only with a pool slide and near a playground and arcade–and right next door to Evergreens!

THE MAGNOLIA POOL AT SHADES OF GREEN

Map Shades of Green Resort at Walt Disney World1

The Magnolia pool is to the right and down as you cross from the lobby to the Magnolia wing. On the map it’s near the top, just a little left of center.

Magnolia Pool Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (2)

This U-shaped pool was extensively redeveloped in 2013. It now features a zero-entry area (at the bottom of the image) and a hot tub (at the top).

Hot Tub Magnolia Pool Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Here’s a closer view of the hot tub.

Although the Magnolia pool has a slight feel of “the pool for adults,” with its basketball hoop (on the right), pool volleyball net and other features, kids find it fun as well.

Night Magnolia Pool Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The Magnolia pool at night.

THE MILL POND POOL AT SHADES OF GREEN

Mill Pond Pool Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The Mill Pond pool is at the far end of the Magnolia wing (it’s the Mickey-head-shaped pool at left on the map), right next to Evergreens.

Mill Pond Pool Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (2)

It has two pool slides…

Slide Mill Pond Pool Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…one for bigger kids…

Junior Slide Mill Pond Pool Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…and one for littler ones that also has a splash play area.

Play Area Mill Pond Pool Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Just outside the pool fences you’ll find this playground…

Arcade Mill Pond Pool Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…and inside the building that also contains Evergreens, this arcade.

Night Mill Pond Pool Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The Mill Pond pool at night.

The arcade, playground, slides and water play area make the Mill Pond pool feel a little more like the family pool. But you will find many adults here as well.

My advice: try them both!

USING THE AMENITIES AT SHADES OF GREEN EVEN IF YOU AREN’T STAYING THERE

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March 31, 2015   No Comments

Amenities at Shades of Green Resort

(For the first page of this review of Shades of Green, see this.)

AMENITIES AT SHADES OF GREEN RESORT

Amenities at Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.netThe scope of amenities at Shades of Green is comparable to what you’ll find at a Disney deluxe resort.

You won’t find fun transport, water sports or a beach–which you will find at all Disney deluxes except the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

And there’s no fine dining.

But you will find pretty much everything else you’d find at a deluxe, and much more than what most moderates except Coronado Springs offer.

Moreover, unlike any Disney resort except Old Key West and Saratoga Springs, you are in the middle of championship-quality golf opportunities, one course (the Magnolia) with its clubhouse just minutes away.

Map Shades of Green Resort at Walt Disney World1

Shades of Green has two accommodation wings with a lobby in the middle. See the map–and as always on this site, click it to enlarge it.

Most amenities are near the lobby, and most of the rest are in the older Magnolia wing.

Check In Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

In the center area you’ll find the check in location.  There’s also a cute little area to entertain the kids or your other brother Darryl while check-in is happening.

Lobby Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The lobby decor otherwise has a nice woodsy feel…

Fireplace Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…and the fireplace was a nice touch in our cooler January/February visit.

Java Cafe Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

At the Magnolia side of the lobby you’ll find the Java Cafe.

Java Cafe Menu Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

This combines former options for coffee, ice cream and drinks.

Garden Gallery Buffet Shade sof Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Downstairs from here are two of the principal dining options at Shades, the Garden Gallery…

Manginos Shade sof Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…and Mangino’s.

Fitness Center Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Go downstairs, outside and towards the Palm wing, and you’ll find the workout area.

Express Cafe Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Also downstairs–but reached from outside the lobby entrance, near the valet parking drop off–is the bus stop. On the way to the bus stop is the Express Cafe.

Back upstairs in the lobby area, if you head towards the Magnolia wing you’ll find more services.

Exchange Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (2)

This includes a gift shop…

Exchange Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…with all kinds of stuff, from beer (alcohol can only be bought with a military ID) to souvenirs.

Attraction Ticket Sales Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Between the shops is a location where you can buy attraction tickets.

At minimum, you won’t have to pay taxes. Many tickets are heavily discounted beyond this–though typically not Disney World tickets. The best current deal for Disney tickets is the Armed Forces Salute for 5 day passes.

You never want to wait until arrival to buy Disney World tickets, anyway. FastPass+ opens for Shades guests 60 days before park use (it changed from 30 days in late 2017), and you want to book your FastPass+ as soon as you can, and well before arrival.

As Steve notes here, you can buy your tickets from Shades ahead of time and get the info needed to link your tix into your My Disney Experience account so you can book your FastPass+.

Magnolia Spa Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Further down the Palm wing you’ll find both pools (more on these later), the Magnolia spa…

Magnolia Yoga Studio Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…and the Magnolia yoga center.

Evergreen Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Keep going and you’ll find the Evergreen sport bar…

Tennis Courts Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…and these tennis courts.

DINING AT SHADES OF GREEN

The good news about dining at Shades of Green is that there’s tons of options–everything that you will find at any Disney resort except fine dining–and all are at prices better–sometimes much better– than  you’ll find elsewhere at Disney World.

Dining Options Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

There’s so many options that Shades provides a chart laying out what they are and their hours (specifics may be different on your visit).

Garden Gallery Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (2)

The bad news is that nothing is particularly special or reliable except for the breakfast buffet at the Garden Gallery.

Some observations:

Room Service Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Room service is much less expensive than you’ll find in most hotels. You won’t find room service at all in Disney’s value resorts, and only at Coronado Springs among its moderates.

The three main dining venues are

  • Evergreens, back by the Mill Pond Pool, similar to a sports bar
  • Mangino’s, a classier restaurant, but not remotely on par with the fine dining you’ll find at most of Disney’s deluxe resorts like Jiko and the California Grill
  • The Garden Grill, serving a great breakfast buffet but a weaker dinner buffet–check what’s available in the dinner buffet before you decide to eat here.  In particular it had the weakest salad bar I’ve seen outside the dining hall at Boy Scout summer camp

Beyond these, the Java Cafe (lobby) and Express Cafe (near the bus stop) are worth noting as places to get grab-and-go stuff.

For more on dining at Shades of Green, see this.

THE POOLS AT SHADES OF GREEN RESORT

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March 30, 2015   2 Comments

Photo Tour of a Standard Room at Shades of Green Resort

(For the first page of this review of Shades of Green, see this.)

PHOTO TOUR OF A SHADES OF GREEN STANDARD ROOM

Shades of Green Floor Plan from yourfirstvisit.net
Standard rooms at Shades of Green are among the largest at Walt Disney World, and are larger than those in any Disney-owned hotel.

The floor plan is of one of the newer Palm wing rooms.  Magnolia wing rooms have the same stuff, but the couch is closer to the balcony, the beds closer to the bath, and there’s short half walls separating a bit the couch/table area from the rest of the room.

Closet Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

At the entry, on one side is the connecting door, and then after that a large closet.

Door Side Closet Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Here’s the door side of the closet…

Room Side Closet Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…and the room side.

Sinks Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

On the other side of the entry is the divided bath. One part has sinks, and unlike in many Disney rooms, there’s a door between the sinks and the hall…

Tub Shower Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…then, in their own separate room, you’ll find the tub…

Bath Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net…and toilet.

Bed Side Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Further down into the room, one side has the queen beds and a table and chairs.

Bed Side from Back Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The beds and table from the other side…

bed Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…a closer view of a bed.

Bedside Table Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The bedside table, with a bit of storage. The black square object is a powerpoint with jacks for four power plugs.  If your laptop’s power cord explodes while it’s plugged into this, it may short out much of your room, including your TV, during the Super Bowl.  I’m just sayin’.

Table and Chairs Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The table and chairs.

Balcony Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

At the end of the room is two wide sliding glass doors that open to the balcony. Every room has a full-width balcony.

Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (12)

There are no bad views at Shades of Green–here’s the view from the balcony in our Palm Wing room.

TV Side Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The other side of the room has a convertible couch and a long TV/dresser/mini-fridge thingy.

TV Side from Back Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

From the other side.

Flip Down Couch Bed Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The couch flips down into this bed.  I measured the bed as 72 inches long by 32 inches wide (it sleeps long–there’s a couple of inches of clearance at the ends). I spent a night on it, and slept fine.

Dresser Thingy Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The TV/dresser/mini-fridge thingy is enormous at eight feet long. The coffee service is on top.

Dresser Storage Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

There’s plenty of storage here for the five people the room sleeps.

Mini Fridge Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The mini-fridge is typical except for the small freezer compartment, which is now rare in the Disney resorts.

AMENITIES AT SHADES OF GREEN RESORT

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March 25, 2015   No Comments

Review: Shades of Green Resort at Walt Disney World

OVERVIEW: SHADES OF GREEN RESORT FOR FIRST-TIME VISITORS

Review Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Shades of Green is a military-owned Armed Forces Recreation Center at Walt Disney World.

Located near the Magic Kingdom, it’s verdantly nestled among championship golf courses just across the street from Disney’s Polynesian Village resort.

Review ~ Shades of Green Resort at Walt Disney World from yourfirstvisit.netIt  provides really low prices on great rooms for U.S. military personnel, career military retirees, and their families and friends.

Eligible sponsors can rent three rooms, so long as one is for themselves; during much of the year, their spouse can also get another three.

So be nice to your military friends and family members and you might get invited to a room that is really inexpensive for its quality.

(More on eligibility is at Steve Bell’s Military Disney Tips here.)

Dad off the KoreanCoast on DDE 3611

My family has made a number of trips to Shades of Green. We visited most recently in late January and early February in a trip sponsored as always by my dad (above; career Navy).

Based on these visits, Shades of Green is a wonderful choice for eligible returning visitors to Walt Disney World.

However, for first time family visitors, a stay only at Shades is not the ideal choice. It does participate in several key programs Disney, especially (new in late 2017) the 60 day window for FastPass+, and Extra Magic Hours.

However, Shades of Green has little kid appeal compared to alternatives, and despite a great location across the street from Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, because of common late starts and infrequent service in its bus fleet, so-so convenience.

Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

 

Families considering Shades of Green should also check out Disney World’s Armed Forces Salute, which may give them more inexpensive lodging choices and for sure will give cheaper tickets, and should keep their eye out for Shades of Green discounts.

OVERALL LOOK AND FEEL OF SHADES OF GREEN

What is now Shades of Green opened in 1973 as the Golf Resort, and changed its name in 1986 to the Disney Inn.

Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

In 1994 it was leased to, and in 1996 purchased outright by, the US Government, to create a resort for U.S. military personnel and their families and friends at Walt Disney World.

Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (2)

It is a self-funding Armed Force Recreation Center, and is managed and staffed by federal employees.

Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (4)
Nestled among two world-class golf courses with several inner courtyards as well, it has a lovely, tranquil setting…

Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (8)

…although the older three story wings aren’t as lovely as the newer five story section.

Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (11)

You’ll find lots of wildlife here too–I saw these deer jumping while I was walking the path down to Polynesian…

O10 Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…and this bird (or perhaps an O10) deep in the resort itself.

Theming Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

As nice as it is, there’s hardly any Disney theming except for this Mickey statue in the lobby, and a Mickey-head pool. You really could be almost anywhere.

ACCOMMODATIONS AT SHADES OF GREEN RESORT

In 2004 a massive expansion was completed, and Shades of Green now offers almost 600 enormous rooms—at 480 square feet, the second largest standard rooms on Walt Disney World property (only standard rooms at the Four Seasons are larger).

Most rooms at Shades sleep five on two queens and a couch that folds down into 72×32 inch daybed.

There are also junior suites, family suites and regular suites.

Shades of Green Floor Plan from yourfirstvisit.net

Above is the floor plan of a standard room in the newer Palm wing.

Older Magnolia rooms have the same stuff, but have the couch closer to the window, the beds closer to the bath, and in the freed space a couple of partial walls that block, a bit, the couch and table area from the queens and dresser area.

Bed Side from Back Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

In terms of quality of furniture, fixtures, and other amenities, these rooms are directly comparable to Walt Disney World deluxe resorts. More on the accommodations at Shades is here.

POOLS AT SHADES OF GREEN RESORT

There’s two pools at Shades of Green, both in the Magnolia wing:

Magnolia Pool Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (2)

…the Magnolia pool…

Mill Pond Pool Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…and the Mill Pond pool.

Each has its positives, but together they are objectively too small for the 2500+ people the resort can hold. Luckily, typically people don’t fill the pools. More on these pools will come later in this review.

 DINING AT SHADES OF GREEN RESORT

Manginos Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Dining at Shades of Green is much better and more varied than that available at the Disney value resorts, but not nearly as good as that available at the typical Disney deluxe resort.

It is comparable to dining at moderates, but less expensive.

More on dining at Shades is here.

KID APPEAL AND CONVENIENCE AT SHADES OF GREEN

This site ranks resorts for first time family visitors based on their kid-appeal and then their convenience, and Shades of Green comes up short on both.

Kid Appeal. Unlike the richly kid-appealing theming of the Walt Disney World Resorts this site recommends, Shades of Green has very little evidence that you are staying within a mile of the Magic Kingdom.

Disney theming is limited to a pool shaped like Mickey Mouse’s head, and a statue of Mickey in the lobby.

Lobby Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (2)

Otherwise, Shades has more of the look and feel of a country club, or a business or convention hotel, and could be anywhere.

Bus Schedule Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Convenience. Shades of Green has its own buses, and they run too infrequently, and (especially during off-peak seasons) too late in the morning for the resort to be convenient.

  • Buses are available to the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC), Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
  • The first morning buses to the latter two theme parks arrive too late for you to follow this site’s itineraries. See the bus schedule (click it to enlarge it), where buses leave at 8.30a for these parks.  You should arrive at the turnstiles before 8.30a, not leave the hotel then
  • The bus to the TTC is not nearly as convenient for Magic Kingdom visitors as are the buses from the other Walt Disney World resorts, which drop you off just outside—and 15-30 minutes closer—to the Magic Kingdom.
  • Shades of Green visitors can walk to Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and there take advantage of its transportation options. But this walk adds another 10-20 minutes to your transportation time (depending on your pace and your room location).

Polynesian Walkway Shades of Green Resort from yourfirstvisit.net (2)

It’s better to have your own car.  But while Disney resorts offer free parking at the theme parks, Shades guests have to pay $24 per day to park at the them. (Hotel parking is $7/day–much less than Disney now charges.)

PRICING AT SHADES OF GREEN

The most remarkable thing about Shades of Green is its prices.

Shades of Green sets three basic levels of prices, increasing by military rate/rank. Standard room prices per night range from $115 through $155.  (See Steve Bell’s Military Disney Tips here for details)

This means that during most times of the year, you get a deluxe-level room for less–often much less–than what you would pay to stay in a Walt Disney World moderate resort.

Moreover, unlike other hotels in Orlando, these prices are not jacked up during the various higher-demand seasons of the year.

These rates can be shared with family and friends:

  • Eligible guests can sponsor up to three rooms for family and friends, and, during most times of the year, their spouses can sponsor three more.
  • Such guests must be checked in by the sponsor when the sponsor checks in, and check out no later than when the sponsor checks out

But do check out Disney World’s Armed Forces Salute, which may give more inexpensive lodging choices and for sure will give cheaper tickets if a four-day ticket is tolerable, and should keep your eye out for Shades of Green discounts.

BEST PLACES TO STAY AT SHADES OF GREEN

Map Shades of Green Resort at Walt Disney World

There are two wings at Shades of Green (see the map; click it to enlarge it).

  • The newer Palm wing rooms (lower right) are closer to the parking garage, and, on average, closer to the lobby where you’ll find most dining and shops, and, at a lower level, the bus stop.
  • The older Magnolia wing rooms (center left) are closer to the pools, arcade, and playground, but can be a hike to the main lobby.

If your group is such that you expect heavy use of the pools and playground, go with the Magnolia wing.  Otherwise choose Palm.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Eligible families looking for deluxe rooms at Walt Disney World at prices comparable to or well below those of a Walt Disney World moderate resort should investigate Shades of Green, after noting any deals and discounts that may bring Disney owned and operated resorts into their price range.

This is particularly the case for families returning to Walt Disney World.

First time visitors will likely have a better trip by staying at a Disney owned-and operated resort.

See also Steve Bell’s MilitaryDisneyTips.com for tons more on Shades, and also his ebook on Shades of Green!

Steve Bell is the Military Moderator on this site. And Steve’s Military Disney Tips has always been the go-to site for military families looking to make the most out of their Disney World vacations.

But like every other website (especially mine), finding exactly what you need to know, in the right order, sometimes isn’t as easy as you’d like it to be.

So the great news is that Steve has published a Disney World guidebook for military families.

With entire chapters devoted to the 2018 Armed Forces Salute, to Shades of Green, and to other deals and perks available to military families, I can’t recommend it enough!!

This book will be a great help to military families contemplating a Disney World visit in 2018!!

PHOTO TOUR OF A SHADES OF GREEN STANDARD ROOM

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March 24, 2015   7 Comments

Veterans Day 2014

(This is mostly a repeat from last year, as all my favorite vets have stayed the same…)

On this Veterans Day, just a note to thank all of those who have put their lives at risk so that the rest of us can be free.

Dad off the Korean Coast on DE 361
My favorite veteran is my dad, career Navy–that’s him above during the Korean War.

Amy Girl's Dad with 3rd Marine Division Buddies in the Pacific
Next favorite is my wife’s dad–that’s him above, on the right, during World War II. That hand was wounded on Tarawa.

After him, my next favorite is my sister’s husband, who served with the riverine Navy in Vietnam.

Steve from MilitaryDisneyTips.com

And another favorite is Steve (above) from MilitaryDisneyTips.com, a retired Air Force First Shirt who does a great job keeping military families up to date on great Disney World deals and other important info. Steve is also the Military Moderator on this site.

And all the millions of the rest of you are my favorites too!  Thank you for your service, and God bless! Wherever you are, and whatever you do, my gratitude goes with you.

Daily Flag Retreat Magic Kingdom Veterans Day 2014 from yourfirstvisit.net

LINKS FOR MILITARY FAMILIES AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

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November 11, 2014   No Comments

Large Family Deluxe Options at Walt Disney World

OVERVIEW: LARGE FAMILIES LOOKING FOR DELUXE ROOMS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

This page recommends Walt Disney World accommodations for large families seeking deluxe accommodations, sorted by family size.

(Click here for an introduction to Large Families at Walt Disney World.)

Disney World Deluxe Large Family Recommendations from yourfirstvisit.netClick the image to see the recommendations below in chart form.

The chart also includes additional information—for example, number of bathrooms, nature of any kitchen facilities, and total square feet.

As always, when more than one similar option is available, recommendations are made based on appeal to kids and transportation convenience.

All prices are for the 2015 Fall price season. See this for when to go to Walt Disney World.

Prices will be higher during most other parts of the year, but in similar proportions. See this for price seasons at Walt Disney World.

DISNEY WORLD DELUXE ROOM OPTIONS FOR LARGE FAMILIES

Floor Plan Disneys Polynesian Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Basic Recommendation for families of up to 5 people: Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Cost/ Person/ Night: $107, for families of 5.

6 people: Your best bet is a Deluxe Room at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

These concierge service rooms hold 6 in a mini-suite, with two queens in the bedroom and a queen sized sleeper sofa in a sitting room. Cost is $171/ person/ night. For a review of these rooms, click here.

Another great option, a little easier to reserve (as there are a few more such to choose from) is a Two Bedroom Villa at the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) property the Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

Floor Plan Two Bedroom Villa The Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge from yourfirstvisit.net

If you reserve through the WDW website, this will cost $173/ person/ night (but see below for renting points).

The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge are not as convenient as the Polynesian, but are even more kid appealing. A Two Bedroom Villa provides one bedroom with a king bed that sleeps two, and one with two queens that sleeps 4. In addition, you get a kitchen/dining/living room combination with a sleeper sofa that sleeps two more.

The least expensive way to get a 2 Bedroom Villa at the Wilderness Lodge is to rent points from a DVC member. If you are successful at this, you will pay $87-101/person/ night. See this for details on how to do so.

7 people: The Two Bedroom villas at the Wilderness Lodge don’t hold 7 (or 8) well.

Two Bedroom Villa Floor Plan Kidani Village from yourfirstvisit.net

A better choice for parties of these sizes is a Two Bedroom Villa at Kidani Village.

Cost of Two Bedroom Villa at Kidani Village: via Disney Website, $157/person/night; via renting points, $80-92/person/night.

8 people: Same approach as “7 people” above. Two Bedroom Villa at Kidani Village: via Disney Website, $137/person/night; via renting points, $70-81/person/night.

9 people: Same approach as “7 people” above. Two Bedroom Villa at Kidani Village: via Disney Website, $122/person/night; via renting points, $62-72/person/night.

10 People: If the group must all be in the same space only a Grand Villa will work. Grand Villas at Jambo House are the best choice for first time family visitors.

A Grand Villa has three distinct bedrooms—two sleeping 4 each in two queens, and one sleeping two in a king. Two more sleeping spaces are available in sofa-beds in the common rooms.

Disney's Jambo House Grand Villa floor plan from yourfirstvisit.net

A Grand Villa at Jambo House will cost about $236/person/night for 10 people if your reserve though the WDW website; if you can manage to rent points, the cost drops to $108-124/person/night.

Another less expensive option for a group this size is to have most of the group together but up to 4 or 5 in a nearby but not in connected space.

There are some families or parties for which this might actually be a benefit. For example, they may want to group the littlest children and their parents into an 8 person space, and reserve a 4-5 person space for childless couples, grandparents, and/or teenagers, all of which may either benefit from the privacy and/or contribute to the peace of mind of the party of up to 8 by being in a separate space.

Floor Plan Studio The Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge from yourfirstvisit.net
If this describes your group, then your best bet is both a 2 Bedroom Villa and a separate Studio at the Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

This gives 4 bays, not 6 as in a Grand Villa, and of course one of the bays will not be connected to the rest. But the price will be much lower than a Grand Villa.

This same option works for families that don’t necessarily want this separation of part of their party, but are willing to accept it because it is cheaper than a grand villa.

In cash, renting both a Two Bedroom and a Studio at the Villas at the Wilderness Lodge will be in total $149/person per night for 10 people; if you can rent points, the cost drops to $72-83/person/night.

11 People: Your basic options are a Grand Villa  at Jambo House or Studio and a Two Bedroom Villa at Kidani Village.

A Grand Villa will cost $214/person per night if you reserve through the website, and $98-113/person/night if you rent points.

A Studio and a Two Bedroom at the Villas at Kidani Village will cost (in total) $149/person/night if you reserve over the website, and $71-81/person/night if you rent DVC points.

12 People: Your basic options are a Grand Villa at Jambo House or a Studio and a Two Bedroom Villa at Kidani Village.

A Grand Villa will cost $197/person per night if you reserve through the website, and $90-103/person/night if you rent points.

A Studio and a Two Bedroom at the Villas at Kidani will cost (in total) $137/person/night if you reserve over the website, and $65-75/person/night if you rent DVC points.

MORE ON WHERE TO STAY AT DISNEY WORLD

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October 28, 2014   6 Comments