View Full Version : Best resort/room for traveling with toddlers . . .
10-08-2008, 01:15 PM
Hi everyone --
Starting to think about a trip next October when DS1 will be 3 and DS2 will be 1 (assuming he comes on time this year). We've previously stayed at POR, CSR, Dolphin, and CBR, but without children. We will likely plan to use our own strollers and will have a car as well. Any thoughts on which resorts would be best? Particularly, I'm interested in:
1) Pool areas: kiddie pools and/or zero entry sections
2) Ease of transportation -- I'm not adverse to using the busses, but it seems like it might be a big ole pain when toting strollers
3) Thoughts on DVC resorts? How easy is it to reserve if you don't own DVC? It might be nice to have an area to hang out in while the kiddos nap . . . (We stayed off-grounds at a Residence Inn at DL last year when DS1 was 1 -- it worked out really well to have an extra room).
I guess I'm mostly just looking for your experiences and opinions to start to build my knowledge.
10-08-2008, 01:36 PM
we stayed at AKL this past august and loved it! our DD2 loved it as well...she couldn't get enough of the animals. we also had a savannah view and whenever we went back to the room she'd ask "go see animals outside??" it was wonderful, she was fully entertained the entire trip. even if you don't get a savannah view there are plenty of places throughout the resort to see the animals. they also have a great pool. we enjoyed the zero entry area and they also have a baby/toddler wadding pool as well. i can't say enough about this resort...it was amazing! the whole feel is very warm and inviting..we are going back in december and can't wait!! it is a little farther from the parks then some over the other resorts but you don't share a bus with any other resorts (at least i dont remember any other stops) so we found the transportation system there to be quick and easy.
10-08-2008, 02:07 PM
We took our first family trip last month and stayed at the Villas of Wilderness Lodge in a 1bdrm. It was me, DH, DS (3y.o.), DD (14 months) and my Mom. Mom slept on the pull out couch, DD was in a pack n play in the walk in closet and DS slept on a blow up bed near the foot of our king bed. We loved that VWL had easy transportation to MK, we used the boats all the time. Since we went back every day for naps having the living room was a huge convenience. We also liked having a full fridge, we ordered breakfast items, milk, water, beer and snacks from garden grocer. It was also great to have a highchair in the room for DD. We loved the theming of VWL. Next time I'd like to try the Boardwalk Villas for nightlife and proximity to Epcot and HS.
We booked our room on an airline employee rate, so rooms had limited availability due to the discount, I think that at full rate or if booking very soon after a rate is released you'd have a good chance of reserving a room at a DVC. You may want to look into renting points from a DVC member.
Here are pics of where the kids slept.
DS's ready bed went where the suitcase is. We moved around a table and chair to fit it there.
10-08-2008, 03:29 PM
We've stayed at the Contemporary a couple times and will be going back in December. I can't wait to be on the monorail and under cover the whole time! Not only that, but I love that Chef Mickey is right there. When the hotel room door is closed you can't hear the music, but as soon as you step out it's fun to hear all the Disney magic. We've never had a problem there and there's plenty of room to spread out (perfect for over-packers like myself! :rotfl: )!
10-08-2008, 05:10 PM
My youngest was in a stroller for our trip in 2007 and we stayed at POR. I don't think I'd want to try any of the moderates with two little ones though - too much of a hassle with buses and strollers.
If it were me I would go for the Contemporary or for renting points at a DVC resort. You would have the monorail and the walkway to MK at CR, and lots of space and a washer/dryer in a one bedroom DVC unit. Check out the DVC rental board for more info on renting points. Have fun planning! :goodvibes
10-09-2008, 06:02 PM
Thanks everyone! I think DVC is what we really want to do -- I'm just too accustomed to Residence Inns and other suite hotels. That and I can't imagine my older guy being willing to take a nap if anyone else is in the room -- just too many distractions.
It sounds like you made up your mind re DVC, but I just wanted to add that I've been in your shoes before with 2 kids age 3 and under, and I have to agree that it's much more convenient when you can walk, monorail, or boat to parks. It's nice to leave a sleeping child/baby right in the stroller without having to unload the child plus all the supplies to fold up the stroller for a bus. So if you're looking for a DVC resort, I'd sway you towards Beach Club, Boardwalk, or the new Contemporary tower if it's done by the time you go. At both BCV and BWV, you can easily walk or boat to both Epcot and HS. If you have lots of energy and time, you can even walk through Epcot to catch the monorail over to MK. It takes extra time, but when our kids were that age, we loved strolling through Epcot and grabbing snacks along the way to the monorail. Hold it -- I see you've stayed at Dolphin, so you know how convenient and awesome this area is!
If the new CR tower is done, you can easily walk to MK in 5 or so minutes! And then of course you have the monorail for Epcot or even dinner at any of the other monorail resorts.
So.....yes, I would stick with a resort that offers more than just bus transportation. Been there done that.....we stayed at AKL when our twins were 7 months old and we had a double stroller. While we loved the resort, we weren't wild about how long it took us to unload the stroller and what a major pain in the neck it was. However, that is just our experience and opinion.
Good luck and have fun!
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