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minniemouse1
09-09-2004, 02:20 PM
I am planning to go to the parks for 2 or 3 days and will have my DH and 3 DD's with us. They are 3 1/2, 2 1/2, and 2 months. I am wondering which hotel would accomidate us the best with ease of transportation to the parks (bus or monorail), pool for the kids to swim, fridge in rooms, and places to eat that are nearby. I am new to the resort boards and usually spend all of my time on the cruise boards. I have never stayed on site at WDW and I am not familiar with the hotels.
Any suggestions or guidance to other board or, sites that could better answer my questions would be greatly appreciated.

GEM
09-09-2004, 02:51 PM
If I were you, I would try to get a one or two bedroom villa at either the Beach Club, Boardwalk, or Wilderness Lodge. All those resorts have great transportation options. Also, a one or two bedroom villa would give you a full kitchen and a washer and dryer, which would be a godsend with kids that age! All those resorts also have wonderful pools! You might want to think about renting points from a DVC member. You get a MUCH better rate on the villas doing that than you do going through Disney. Check out the DCV Rent/Trade board for more info. That is what we are doing in December. We are getting a two bedroom villa at the Wilderness Lodge for what works out to be about $277 a night, which is a GREAT deal!

micmacmissy
09-09-2004, 03:37 PM
I think it depends on how much you're willing to spend. For my kids, having their own room and a quiet place to nap/sleep is important--and that would be tough in a hotel room, unless you got a suite.

We are going in December and booked a suite at the Grand Floridian--this way everyone has a sleeping space, and we're very close to the parks. If one of us wants to come back to the room with the baby, we can easily hop on the monorail. I have heard that the bus service isn't as easy, you have to stash your stroller (and take baby out of it) and it's a longer walk to bus stops and requires more waiting than the monorail. Of course, monorail resorts are $$$ and suites even more so. But you're paying for the convenience of being close.

One other thing we did that I would recommend is to get a concierge room. This makes food and drinks and snacks available to your family throughout the day and evening in a special lounge. This service is enough to feed our kids (who don't eat a whole lot) breakfast and snack before dinner, which saves a lot of money in the parks...and they don't have to wait to eat, it's right there in the lounge outside the room whenever they need it.

Good luck!

swilphil
09-09-2004, 05:50 PM
We have stayed at the Swan and the Dolphin with our two toddlers. I like being able to walk to and from MGM/Epcot. Afternoon breaks and naps are a must with the little ones. If we were ever too tired to walk, we could just roll the stroller onto the boat. We also found the bus service to MK to be very good. On our last trip, the bus went directly to the park after picking up at the Dolphin. You also can walk through Epcot and catch the monorail to MK. S/D has great restaurants from counterservice to fine dining, and the best discounts on rooms.

dylansdad
09-09-2004, 06:02 PM
just say no to buses

but yes to monorail

4greatboys
09-09-2004, 06:18 PM
Since your a going to be using a stroller (or two....or three, lol) I would stay at a monorail resort or an Epcot resort. Staying close to the MK at a monorail resort you can take the monorail to MK or to Epcot and never have to take the kid out of the stroller.
For all the buses you must take the kid out and fold up the stroller and with 3 little ones that's going to get old.
At an Epcot resort you can either walk or take a boat to MGM and to Epcot. If you really wanted to avoid a bus ride you could also take the boat to Epcot and walk to the front and take the Monorail to the MK.
I wouldnt stay at a resort where to had to take a bus to every park.

minniemouse1
09-09-2004, 06:48 PM
If its not too much of a bother can someone list the resorts that have monorail service, boat service or are close or within walking distance to a monorail or tell me where I can find the info. Thanks alot for everyones input.
4greatboys Yes I will have probably 2 strollers. One double jogger and one for the baby so buses are out of the question.

justKim
09-09-2004, 07:13 PM
We stayed with our toddler and preschooler at the Wilderness Lodge and loved it. I believe (but I could be wrong - it was our first trip) that this is the cheapest of the resorts close to MK. We spent most of our time at the MK and used the boat everytime. It was great. We took our stroller on the boat. Once, when it was really crowded (leaving MK after the fireworks), we were asked to fold it up, but the rest of the time we didn't. I saw plenty of people take double strollers on the boat as well. We were staying off-season, so that my not be the case during peak season.

We also were able to get a discount code for the concierge and that was great. We had breakfast on our floor everyday and hit the parks early. I was also able to get a rocking chair for our room to rock my youngest to sleep. I was prepared to rock her to sleep anywhere, so I asked the concierge where to find a rocking chair. When we came back from dinner, they had moved one from the lobby into our room! I have no idea if they do that regularly, but it was a lifesaver to us and the people staying in the next room have no idea how much better they got to sleep at night!

My son loved the bunk beds, even though he was only allowed on the bottom bunk. It wasn't a big room, but we fit the crib in a corner and we were fine.

We are looking to go back to WDW next spring and I will only stay in a resort close to the MK. We did the other parks, but MK was the only one that we went to more than once.

Kim

4greatboys
09-09-2004, 09:45 PM
minniemouse1
Monorail resorts: Polynesian, Contemporary, Grand Floridian (Im not sure about GF but the Poly and CR have 2 queen beds and a daybed in each room--you can request a bedrail or crib if you need one).

Epcot Resorts: Boardwalk Inn & Villas, Yacht/Beach Club, Beach Club Villas, Swan and Dolphin.

Might be worth it to look into renting some DVC points and staying at the BWV or BCV. You can get a studio or a 1 bdrm that has a washer & dryer in it and a full kitchen. Plus the master bdrm is seperate from the living room incase you want to watch tv or whatever without disturbing the kids.

CarolinaChick
09-09-2004, 09:47 PM
Originally posted by minniemouse1
If its not too much of a bother can someone list the resorts that have monorail service, boat service or are close or within walking distance to a monorail or tell me where I can find the info. Thanks alot for everyones input.
4greatboys Yes I will have probably 2 strollers. One double jogger and one for the baby so buses are out of the question.

Resorts with Monorail service to MK:

Grand Floridian
Polynesian
Contemporary (you can walk to MK from Contemporary)

Resorts with boat service to MK:
Wilderness Lodge
Grand Floridian
Polynesian

EPCOT resorts with boat service to EPCOT and MGM (also within walking distance to EPCOT):

Boardwalk Inn
Yacht & Beach Club
Swan
Dolphin

We took our 1 year-old DD last year and stayed at the Polynesian. We thought it was ideal because we could take the monorail to MK. Also the Polynesian is in walking distance to the Transportation and Ticket Center where you get on the monorail to go to EPCOT so you actually had monorail service to the MK and EPCOT from the same resort. We also stayed concierge and had a fridge in the room. It was a great benefit because as someone mentioned before, you always had access to food, not to mention milk!!!!

I hope this helps. Have fun planning!

swimmom
09-09-2004, 10:20 PM
If the price works out for you - try the Polynesian and book two rooms. You have access to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot via Monorail and you can actually walk to the TTC from the Poly to get an express Monorail. Some poeple love concierge at Disney - I personally think its overpriced for what you get. I am a huuuuuge fan of the Ritz Carlton concierge floor and I truly think that its worth the price for the quality of the food and the luxe surroundings. The Disney service is nice - just way overpriced for Lenders Bagels and Raisin Bran I would save the extra money and get another room so you can spread out and buy your own food and store it in the other room!!

minniemouse1
09-11-2004, 07:29 AM
What does renting DVC points mean? I assume DVC points are from the disney visa is this correct? Do I need to have a Disney visa to do this?

Deb & Bill
09-11-2004, 08:16 AM
Originally posted by minniemouse1
What does renting DVC points mean? I assume DVC points are from the disney visa is this correct? Do I need to have a Disney visa to do this?

You need to go over to the Rent/Trade Board. There are some FAQs at the top of the page to give you some information about renting points. DVC members own points in Disney's version of a Timeshare (it's a real estate transaction). Occasionally, when a member can't use all their points, they will make a reservation for another person (usually non-member) and charge you about $10-15 per point used.

If you plan to go at a busy time (holidays, school breaks), plan ahead. Members can make reservations at their home resort 11 months ahead of time. They can make reservations at their non-home resorts 7 month ahead of time.

It takes a trusting soul to do this - both the member and the non-member have to have a lot of faith in the other person. Disney is not involved in any way in this transaction. Make sure the person making the reservation for you offers you a contract of sorts that you can live with. Members can lose their points if they cancel less than 30 days out. They may ask for 1/2 payment when they make the reservation and the rest 45-60 days out. Look for someone who does a lot of renting/has a lot of DIS Boards messages. Ask for references. They may ask for references from you as well.

DVC resorts are the best - very luxurious and you will never go back to an ordinary hotel room. Plus lots of renters actually go on to buy their own DVC membership.

skiwee1
09-11-2004, 09:38 AM
I would stay at the Poly and just get one room. The rooms are large and the location to MK can't be beat! You will not have to fold a stroller like you will have to if taking the smaller boats at the WL. You also can take the monorail to Epcot with the Poly location but you won't at the WL. The Poly is right next to the TTC. The WL is pretty but the transportation ease is nothing like the Poly. Also the Poly pool is wonderful for the ages of your kids. It is zero clearance so they can just walk in and splash around. The WL had a kiddie pool that was crammed with kids and adults last time we were there. My DD, now 5, has been to both resorts and much prefers the Poly to the WL any day. The Poly would be the only choice for me.

Lollipop Mom
09-11-2004, 01:42 PM
We rented DVC points (Dinsey Vacation Club -- Disney's version of a time share but rather than buying a certain week, you buy points which can be used whenever you want to go) from a fellow DISer and stayed at the Villas at the Wilderness Lodge this past spring. We had our then "just turned 2" year old and our "about to turn 4 year old" (they are 21 months apart) with us. We rented a studio and it was fine for us but I think if we had a baby with us as well I'd try for a 1 bedroom. We rolled our side by side double stroller right onto the boat everytime we went to the MK. Our kids are big monorail fans and also really liked the boat so to get to Epcot we took the boat to the Contemporary and then the monorail. No folding the stroller then. There is no resort that you can either boat, monorail or walk to ALL the parks. You'll have to take a bus to at least one park from all of them. The only way you can only need a bus to one is to stay in the Epcot area (Beach/Yacht Club, Boardwalk, Swan or Dolphin). At those resorts you can take a short walk or a boat to Epcot, a longer walk or a boat to MGM, a bus to the Animal Kingdom and to get to the Magic Kingdom you have to walk all the way through Epcot (you'll enter through the "back door" in World Showcase then have to walk all the way around and through Future World) to get to the monorail, take the monorail to the TTC, change monorails and go to the MK. Plan for this to take a minimum of 45 minutes and there is no way to do this and be there for park opening or to do this at park closing.

My opinon would be that one of the MK area resorts would be most convenient b/c of easy access to the MK without having to fold up the stroller and easy access with one change of monorail to Epcot. The exception is the Poly where you can walk to the TTC and take a direct monorail to Epcot. Resorts with busses to all parks would be all of the values, all of the moderates, AKL, Old Key West and Sarasota Springs.

minniemouse1
09-13-2004, 09:11 AM
Thank you to everyone for all the great info.