Monday, December 6, 2010

WDW Value & Moderate Rooms for Six

Over the years, I’ve learned the hard way that this world is ready made for a family of 4. Prepackaged food, sets of plates, small cars, restaurant tables contest prizes and hotel rooms are always ready made for this customarily deemed perfect size. However, that leaves many of us with larger families out in the lurch, often having to buy double the amount of things we really need, or travel. Some hotel rooms can “squeeze in” and extra child or two while they are still infants, but once they start growing, what’s a parent to do? It can be particularly challenging if you’re a single parent with several children, because even booking two rooms is frequently not an option.

At Walt Disney World (WDW), most of the deluxe resorts have sleeping space for a family of five in their standard rooms, with the use of a daybed. My family, however, has that magic number that makes a do it yourself travel planner want to cry. Six. There are six of us and we simply don’t fit into a standard hotel room. It's been a challenge over the years when traveling and I've tried it all. I've made the kids squeeze into one bed, packed a camping cot, air matresses, I’ve rented two rooms had the "big" kids stay down the hall. As a mom though, I enjoy my family, and their company, I like to keep us together. Adjoining rooms in most hotels are requests that can sometimes be reserved, but can’t usually be guaranteed.

Our solution to the problem was solved when we purchased a membership in the Disney Vacation Club (DVC). The flexible point system of DVC allows you to pick a wide variety of rooms, room even for a family of 9-12. DVC isn't for everyone though, and if you're on a tight budget when you travel the following Value and Moderate options might be the key to vacation success.

AllStar_Music_Resort_LogoThe All Star Music is one of the Value Hotels on WDW property. That means that it is designed motel style with hallways on the outside. There is no sit down eatery at the hotel or room service (possibly pizza) but there is a food court. It offers the same privileges as other Disney properties - complimentary transportation throughout WDW (also a large family plus); the ability to charge purchases at most WDW locations to your room; an affordable food court; package delivery from the theme parks to your resort gift shop, and creative, well maintained pools. One additional perk is the use of Disney's Magical Express (free ground transportation from Orlando International Airport to any Disney Resort).

The All Star Music family suites are outfitted with two TVs, and pay per day high speed Internet access. There is a queen bed, a full-size sofa sleeper, and a convertible chair sleeper. The small kitchenette includes a microwave and small refrigerator (4.3 cubic feet) plus a coffee maker. A delightful addition to this room is it’s two full bathrooms. A huge plus when traveling with older girls. They are by far the most cost effective rooms for this family size. I love having a Suite of two rooms because it can be a huge sanity saver for Mom & Dad while enjoying down time at the hotel.

The All Star music family suite sleeps six and in 2010 offered a rate of $235 weekday/$265 weekend during regular season.

Coronado Springs LogoDisney's Moderate hotels offer a little more style and expanded services than do the Vales. The next room that we’re going to look at is a Jr. Suite at the Coronado Springs Resort. This resort includes one of the large Disney Convention Centers on property. As a moderate resort guests at Coronado Springs receive all the benefits of staying on property and a few more amenities such as several pools with one larger themed pool called "The Dig Site", which includes a water slide and children's area. These next level properties offer more dining options than just a food court. Table service can be enjoyed here, as well as light room service and lounges. For all of your travel needs the Coronado Springs Resort also has a gift shop, fitness center, beauty salon, and spa.

A very large property, the Coronado Springs is very spread out, so the complex offers an internal shuttle system, as well as connections to the greater WDW transportation system. You’re able to put in a personal request for the area of the resort you would most like to stay in, however no matter where you’re room is you’ll have a wonderful time. Because of it's size, unless you have a rental car, this is probably the most difficult option to get back to the hotel for a mid-day rest.

The Jr. Suite at Coronado Springs that sleeps six and is $405 weekday /$420 weekend during the regular season.

I hope that this article has offered ideas you a couple of new ideas on where a large family can stay in casual comfort and style, while visiting the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. These certainly aren’t the only rooms available for large families, but they’re a good place to start if keeping your family together is important to you.

This post is part of the Disney Blog Carnival #15! Head over there to see more great Disney-related posts and articles to make your vacation planning a breeze.

1 comment:

  1. Nice tips for traveling on a budget with a larger family or party :) Thanks!
    I'm your newest follower over from Wednesday is Friend's Day at theMamaZone. I'm a Disney lover, too! Hope you'll swing by my blog to say hello.