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Blogger News: Disney World Hotels for 5 or More 4.11.15

Walt Disney World Resort accommodation options for families of five or more, with tips on maximizing your budget to meet your family's unique vacation needs.

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For families of five or more, finding Walt Disney World accommodations to fit your clan's size, needs and budget can be a challenge. Standard Disney Value category resort rooms are designed to sleep a maximum of four (plus a crib sleeper under the age of three,) so in order to allow for more family members and keep your crew onsite, you'll either need to book multiple rooms or else upgrade to a suite or a higher-priced Moderate or Deluxe category standard accommodation.

Of course, if price isn't a consideration, the options are fabulous! Regardless, many families feel that compared to moving to an off-property alternative, the choice to pay more for a room upgrade to stay inside the "Disney bubble" is a smart one. In addition to enjoying many comfort and convenience-oriented amenities, like separate living areas, cooking facilities and, in some cases, multiple bathrooms, choosing a room raise at Walt Disney World means you'll also be able to access some sweet perks reserved exclusively for onsite guests.

As any parent who's toured "the World" with children under 10 can attest, these stress-saving, on-property extras -- like extended theme park hours, free resort and airport transportation, and advance dibs on popular attraction and dining reservations -- can be invaluable. These are the Walt Disney World Resort accommodation options for families of five or more, with tips on maximizing your budget to meet your family's unique vacation needs.
 

1. Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Best For: Families on a budget visiting the World the first time with elementary-age children

Family suites at Disney's newest Value category offer extra elbow room and sleep up to six family members, with two bathrooms, a kitchenette and a master bedroom with a door that closes. Measuring 560 square feet, Art of Animation Family Suites are approximately double the size of a standard Value category room, slightly more spacious than a cabin at Ft. Wilderness Resort, and are about 45 percent larger than a room at the Moderate category Port Orleans Riverside Resort.

Families can choose from "Lion King," "Cars," or "Finding Nemo"-themed suites at Disney's Art of Animation Resort. Kids will adore the colorful scene, along with lots of extra "splashes," including a "Finding Nemo"- themed sprayground and a 310,000-gallon "Big Blue Pool" with underwater speakers.


2. Disney's All-Star Music Resort

Best For: Big families on a tight budget

For large families on a small budget, six-person Family Suites at Disney's All-Star Music Resort are a great value, featuring more sleeping surfaces and lower rates than similar suites at Disney's Art of Animation Resort. Measuring 520 square feet, suites are double the size of a standard Value room and offer a kitchenette, so you can conserve cash by eating in, or warm up something from the resort food court.

Located in the Family Suite's living room, a chair, ottoman and sofa convert to sleepers, sleeping up to four. You can easily fit a Pack 'N Play in the master bedroom and close the door when your toddler needs a nap, so other family members relax without being sentenced to silence. All-Star Music Resort guests enjoy free activities at the main pool, including daily dance parties and dive-in movies.


3. Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort

Best For: Families with young children who dig a relaxed beach scene

A longtime fan favorite for its laid-back beach vibe and kid-friendly main pool complex,Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort recently debuted redesigned guestrooms, making it more attractive than ever to young families.

Newly refurbished standard rooms are the same size, but now most sleep up to five family members, compared to the former maximum occupancy of four. Full-size beds have been replaced with queen-size beds, and also new is a cleverly designed single Murphy bed, which folds out of a faux cabinet and can comfortably sleep one child ages 9 or under. Pirate-themed rooms still sleep up to four family members.


4. Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort

Best For: Budget-conscious Disney-loving families who don't mind saying "no" to extras

For families of five (which include a child age 9 or under), Port Orleans Riverside Resortis a great Moderate category option. Themed after the Old South, this popular resort offers a ton of activities that young children will enjoy, including pirate cruises, pool parties, a playground, catch and release fishing, carriage rides and nightly "Cajun" campfires.

Some resort rooms contain two queen-size beds and sleep four. However, most rooms in the Alligator Bayou section of the resort also include a Murphy bed designed to fit a child age 9 or under. At 314 square feet, these rooms are somewhat small for a family of five, but are still 20 percent larger than a standard Value category room. Book a Preferred room for an extra fee to get closer to the resort food court, bus depot and ferry dock.

If you're on a tight budget, it's a good idea to survey the resort recreation options ahead of time. While there are plenty of free options, many activities carry a fee, which can quickly add up to a major expense when you're vacationing with several children.


5. Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

Best For: Families who want a little more space and a little less "Disney"

Also in the Moderate category, Disney's Coronado Springs Resort features Junior Suites, One-Bedroom Suites and Executive Suites, all of which sleep up to six. One-Bedroom and Executive Suites are designed primarily to accommodate business guests. These lodgings feature a kitchenette, rather than a full kitchen, and carry a hefty price tag. Junior Suites are approximately the size of two standard rooms and feature a choice of one king-size bed or two queen-size beds, two bathrooms and a living room with a sleeper sofa and a kitchenette. In-room dining is available. Junior Suites at Coronado Springs Resort are 18 percent larger and 35 to 50 percent pricier than Value category suites.

Coronado Springs offers a terrific themed main pool, an arcade, and some extra amenities for business travelers. Because it's a popular convention location, the atmosphere tends to be a little more casual and a little less "Disney."


6. Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground

Best For: Families on a budget looking for a serene, themed Disney experience

Whether you're a seasoned camper or an amateur looking to save money and try your hand at the "back-to-nature" scene, Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort invites you to enjoy a unique "backwoods" experience. Set on 750 sprawling acres, the American Frontier-themed resort offers 784 private campsites and 750 air-conditioned cabins, the latter of which are 504 square feet each and sleep six.

Campsites accommodate up to 10, with many configurations and hook-up options available. Cabins feature one bathroom, a full kitchen and an outdoor grill. For families with older kids, or multi-generational families, cabin sleeping arrangements -- which include a master bedroom with a double bed and a set of bunk beds and a living room with a Murphy bed -- can be a bit tight and awkward, but for close-knit crews, Fort Wilderness is a fun, budget-stretching option. Note that cars may be parked onsite and may be used to commute to the theme parks, but cannot be driven to onsite dining and recreation. Be sure to factor optional golf cart rental (around $60 per day) into your vacation budget.


7. Disney's Beach Club Resort

Best For: Families that enjoy extra kid-friendly frills and a "beach getaway" theme

For families looking for easy access to Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios, along with a "beach getaway" theme, Disney's Beach Club Resort is a great option. Standard rooms are 400 square feet, feature two queen-size beds, a daybed and a furnished patio or balcony; they sleep five. Guests enjoy exclusive access to the popular three-acre Stormalong Bay pool complex, as well as an onsite kids' club that provides nightly supervised care for children ages 3 to 12.

Kid-friendly dining options include a beach-themed character breakfast buffet and Beaches & Cream Soda Shop, a 50's-style diner where you can get a "Kitchen Sink" -- a family-sized ice cream sundae with every conceivable topping.


8. Disney's Polynesian Resort

Best For: Families seeking extra space, a laid-back island vibe and easy access to the Magic Kingdom

If extra space in a standard accommodation is important to you, you might considerDisney's Polynesian Resort, where rooms are the largest among Disney's Deluxe Resort Hotel category options. The "Poly" is directly on the Walt Disney World monorail system, so you'll enjoy access to Magic Kingdom Park -- a little kid favorite. Plus, families love the laid-back island theming and amenities, from hula lessons, a "Lava" pool and an onsite childcare center to a Lilo and Stitch character breakfast and a nightly luau dinner show.

Standard rooms are 404 square feet and sleep up to five. A handful of one and two-bedroom suite accommodations, (which typically include a kitchenette but not a full kitchen) are also available. Suite guests enjoy concierge level service, including access to a Club Level lounge.

 

9. Disney's Old Key West Resort

Best For: Big families seeking extra elbow room, cooking facilities and the comforts of home

For families seeking additional space, plus a home-like atmosphere, Disney's Old Key West Resort is a budget-stretching option. The first property in Disney's Vacation Club (timeshare) inventory, the stand-alone resort offers an easy escape from the theme parks, by way of the Florida Keys. Villas are among the lowest priced, as well as the most spacious in the Deluxe Villa category. One-bedroom, one-bathroom villas are 942 square feet, sleep up to five family members and feature a full kitchen and a private patio. Two-bedroom, two-bathroom villas are 1,333 square feet and sleep up to 9, while harder to find two-story, 2,200 square feet Grand Villas sleep up to 12 in an expansive three-bedroom, four-bathroom layout.

In addition to a main pool with a spiral slide and organized activities, guests enjoy access to a community center with bike, game and equipment rentals and ferryboat transportation to Disney Springs.


10. The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Best For: Big families with refined tastes and deep wallets

One of the newest Disney Deluxe Villa Properties, Disney's Grand Floridian Villas offer a private and spacious option for families with refined tastes and deep wallets. Adjacent to Disney's famous Grand Floridian Resort, which is situated directly on the monorail, the resort features easy access to Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot, along with lots of extras for guests with grand expectations.

Deluxe Studios (374 square feet) and One-Bedroom Villas (844 square feet) both sleep up to five family members, but feature significantly different layouts and amenities. One-Bedroom Villas offer a state-of-the-art full kitchen, as opposed to a kitchenette featured in the Deluxe Studio, and a washer and dryer. Two-Bedroom Villas and Three-Bedroom, Four Bathroom Grand Villas sleep up to 9 and 12, respectively. Villa guests enjoy access to all amenities at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, including an onsite spa, a "beach" pool, breakfast with Mary Poppins, dinner with Cinderella and special children's tea parties with Alice in Wonderland and Sleeping Beauty.


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