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karibritt01 03-19-2013 11:39 AM

Planning a new trip and feeling overwhelmed...
Sooo... not new to WDW or trip planning. But I am new to the planning dynamics I'm facing now, and not sure the best way to start. On previous trips, it was myself and my DH, and our 2 kids... easy peasy. Now it is myself and my 2 kids (both over 9), my fiance and his 2 kids (both under 9). I want to go for a week at the beginning of June 2014, and I'm budget minded. I have no clue where we should stay. Family suite or connecting rooms? FW cabin? Cheaper deluxe? DVC point rental? I'm hoping for FD during that time, so would we still qualify if we rent points?

Anyone that's planned for a bigger family... please advise me what worked best for you!

Harlemgirl720 03-19-2013 12:10 PM

Six people in total. I am not sure if the suites at Art of Animations hold 6. It sounds like you may have to rent point and stay in a 2 BR villa. A 1 BR is not big enough.

Go to the rental board on this site and check it out. You will not be able to rent anything as of yet. We can't book at our home resort until 11 months prior. So you can start inquiring in July. But you can always check it to get an idea of how much it would cost. Check David's Rentals too.

Good luck.

clanmcculloch 03-19-2013 12:12 PM

Wish 6 people, you'd need a DVC unit that's 2 bedrooms. Even renting points, that's going to be more expensive than a cabin, family suite or 2 value rooms.

Free dining in June 2014 is highly unlikely. I would NOT count on that when budgetting.

With that many people, especially a blended family, I would highly recommend options that have 2 bathrooms. That rules out the cabins.

How do your 2 kids feel about sharing a bed (kids under 9 usually don't mind so that's why I'm asking about the older ones)? In the AoA suites, everybody will have to share a bed. In the All Star suites, two of the kids can have their own beds while the other two share. The All Star suites are also cheaper. Both AoA and AS have a queen size bed in the bedroom and 2 bathrooms along with a kitchenette.

With connecting rooms, you're not guaranteed that you'll get them. They'll try, but there's always a possiblity that you won't get them which will mean that you and DH will have to sleep in separate rooms. With connecting rooms at a value resort you'll also be either sharing a full sized bed with DH or sleeping in separate beds, the latter requiring your older kids to share a full sized bed.

I think that the only deluxe option that will fit you other than suites ($$$$) would be a deluxe room at BWI but even with a 30% discount that'll be a lot more expensive than a value suite or 2 rooms at a value resort. Though, it is club level and if your touring style allows for you to take advantage of the food in the club lounge then it may be worthwhile for a family of 6. Our touring and dining style is to eat a light breakfast in our room (when not staying club level we order grocieries), a big lunch in the park then splitting CS dinners at our resort so when we stay club level we get breakfast in the lounge and then the hot finger foods in the lounge in the evening is more than enough so basically we only need to buy lunch. We're talking about probably a $200 per night difference to stay in a deluxe room at BWI compared to a family suite (assuming 30% discount on deluxe and 20% on values) so if you're looking for a budget trip, this isn't the way to go as you can eat breakfast and light dinner much cheaper than that when going budget.

My short answer is that budget-wise I'd say go for the family suite at All Star Music. If you can afford the extra and your older kids are ok with sharing a bed then AoA IMO is worth the extra but only if you can afford the extra. ASMu suite is perfectly fine.

Wood Nymph 03-19-2013 12:17 PM

The cabins could be fun. Two kids could sleep in the bunk beds and two in the Murphy bed in the living room. You would have a full kitchen, too. It would be an adventure. :)

I agree with the PP who said that I wouldn't count on free dining in 2014. We haven't seen it in 2013 yet, and the June discounts have already been announced.

Sue M 03-19-2013 12:34 PM

If your driving, the cabins may work, but I wouldn't stay there without a car. I wouldn't like having to take 2 busses to get to a park. But even with a car, you'd have to get in it even to get to the CS, or pool.

I would consider 2 rooms at a value. I don't know your family dynamics, or how the kids from each family get along together, but it may be good for them to have their own place to go to, unless they're good with 24/7 with each other.

karibritt01 03-19-2013 12:37 PM

Thanks for the input. My kids will be 16 and 11 when we travel, and very used to sharing a bed when we travel. His kids will be 8 and 6, so very accomodating no matter what I decide.

I am leaning more towards a cabin or the family suite at ASM or AoA. I've never been to either resort. My preferred resort has always been CSR. Opinions which we'll prefer?

karibritt01 03-19-2013 12:51 PM

Sue... we are driving, so transportation isn't an issue, although in past I generally prefer the buses. As for family dynamics, his kids live 6 hours away, so when together they get along great.

I don't hate the idea of 2 separate rooms except that there is no guarantee that they would even be close.

clanmcculloch 03-19-2013 12:59 PM

Really think about one bathroom with 6 people including a teenager. Think long and hard. Also, in the cabin you and DH will be sharing a full sized bed.

Theming-wise, CSR is just so different than any of the options you mentioned it's hard to say which you'll like best. What is it that you like about CSR? Knowing that will help us to advise you regarding which one is more likely to fit your preferences.

karibritt01 03-19-2013 01:34 PM

CSR has always felt very peaceful. I like the size of the resort because it feels less crowded. I have stayed at Pop and liked it fine, but didn't feel relaxed like I do at CSR. In the past we have used transportation a lot, and they do it well.

What I like about the cabins is the full kitchen to cook some meals, and the (semi) privacy of having a detached cabin. I think we would put all kids in the bedroom, and keep the den for ourselves. I worry about transportation and 1 bathroom.

What I like about a value resort is convenient pools, food court, and transportation. Family suite puts us all together with kitchenette, but can't fix meals. 2 bathrooms would be nice. Separate rooms gives us the best sleeping options, but will suck if my fiance and I have to split rooms since this will most likely be a honeymoon trip.

I am also considering staying off property, although that depresses me. I love being immersed in the magic!

Wood Nymph 03-19-2013 01:51 PM

I've heard that WDW will be much more likely to give you connecting rooms if you have minor children in your party. But I don't know if they guarantee it.

geckodani 03-19-2013 01:54 PM

I'm searching right now, but I thought I had read somewhere that they would guarantee connecting rooms if unaccompanied minors would be staying in one. I'm trying to find where I read that now!

ETA: Looked, and can't find it. The only thing I could think of would be to book the same class of room, like the preferred at CSR, so you know you'd at least be in the same section. Although even that isn't guaranteed I think. I wish Disney would make the connecting rooms bookable as an option! Although I suppose they want to encourage folks to book the suits etc. Le sigh.

Piglets Mommy 03-19-2013 01:56 PM

Ohhh...sounds like you have a Pickle.:lmao: (Sorry I couldn't resist!) :teeth: I think a cabin would be so much fun! Then again, the theming at AofA is awesome, so you can't go wrong there, either. Since you love CSR, how do 2 rooms there compare to the cabins or a family suite at AofA or Music? depending on if they have a room only discount going on at that time it might not me that much more. Then again, as you said, it would stink if the rooms weren't even close.Have fun planning, and congrats on your engagement!:thumbsup2

Piglets Mommy 03-19-2013 02:00 PM


Originally Posted by geckodani (Post 47846225)
I'm searching right now, but I thought I had read somewhere that they would guarantee connecting rooms if unaccompanied minors would be staying in one. I'm trying to find where I read that now!

I think that that is the case if there is only 1 adult in the party, but since they have 2 adults, it is not guaranteed. That being said, from what I have read, they are really good about being as accomodating as possible. We went with my in-laws in 2009 and asked for rooms close to each other at WL.....were pleastantly suprised to find they were connecting! (and we weren't even on the same reservation, as they only stayed 3 nights)

clanmcculloch 03-19-2013 02:03 PM

The overall feel of the cabin sounds more to your tastes. The values are in no way themed to be relaxing. They are intended to be over the top, in your face Disney. Everything in the value is close together. The cabins definitely have a much more secluded feel to them. If you want to take the boat then you'll have to either walk or take the internal bus over to the boat dock or restaurants but it sounds like you're fine with Disney transportation so I'm not sure that's a big deal. We rented a golf cart when we stayed in a cabin and wouldn't stay there without one. You can drive your car over to the pools and the bus stops that go to the parks.

Something to consider is that if this is a honeymoon trip, you want you and DH to be in the bedroom where you could close the door separating you from the kids. In the cabin, you're in the living room with the kids in the bedroom and if they need to get anything at all (water, use the bathroom, anything) then they're walking through your room.

You know, there are some rental houses that have lots of Disney theming in their decor. You might want to consider looking a little more into that option.

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