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Old 09-23-2012, 10:33 AM   #1
FreeThinker
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Best options for big families

Hi! I am new here, I have been lurking for almost a year getting tips from you all (Thanks!) We enjoyed our first Disney Vacation this summer, and had so much fun we decided to go back next summer! When we went this summer we rented a house a few miles away, and drove. It just seemed easier w/ 5 little kids (including a baby) to be able to come and go as we pleased. This year we are thinking of flying, staying on-site and using DIsney transportation. The problem is I can't figure out where to stay! Our family is me, my DH, and kids ages 10, 8, 5, 5 and a newly 2 year old (she turns 2 the week before we go)! Here are the places I am thinking of...

AoA- This is the cheapest option, and I love the decor! THe kids would love it, but I worry it will be too small and tight. Our kids usually go to bed pretty early, and I also worry about the noise. I would also like to know how long the bus waits/rides are. This is a top pick in regards to room decor and price, but not sure if it's worth the trade off if it takes a long time to get from place to place.

Beach Club- $$ but looks so nice! I would probably have to rent 2 rooms or a 2br villa w/ DVC pts. But this one I can walk to Epcot and also quick to DHS. MK is a bit farther, but still very close.

Contemporary- DH loves the idea of the monorail and being able to walk to MK. It would be $$, but we would have to get either 2 rooms or a 2BR Villa w/ DVC pts. I think it's the same price as the BC villa.

Port Orleans FQ- This one seems to get great reviews, we would do 2 rooms, the price would still be less than the BC or CR. WOndering how transportation is, and how quiet the rooms are. THe pool leaves a lot to be desired when comparing to the BC or AoA.

Do you have any other ideas on where our family should stay? Budget is not the biggest factor, convenience is. But I also don't want to spend 10K, I"m thinking somewhere in the 5-7K range. We plan to stay 7 nights, and spend 2 days at MK, probably 2 at EP, and one day at AK and HS. I don't know if we will park-hop much or not? I will have one stroller if that makes a difference. I am fine w/ eating a few meals in our rooms, but want to eat at sit-down meals at least once per day. We will probably go to the pool a few times, but not daily. It's hard to do a pool w/ 5 kids! I am open to any suggestions of other places to stay as well! We typically get up early, and will only stay out late for fireworks one or two times the entire trip. The rest of the time we will be back in our rooms sleeping by 9PM or so. I called and Disney did say they could guarantee rooms that adjoined since my kdis were all so young and it's just DH and I (if this is not correct please LMK if you think there is a chance we wouldn't have ajd. rooms!).
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:58 AM   #2
minnie mum
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The cabins at Ft. Wilderness would be another option for you and your family.

While I normally recommend staying in a family suite or getting 2 rooms, I think your family might benefit most from renting points and getting a DVC villa. That way you'll have a full kitchen to prepare breakfasts and snacks, and will have a washer and dryer for laundry. That many kids makes for a pile of dirty clothes!!

Some of the other Diser's will have more info regarding safely renting points (a lot cheaper than going thru CRO).

ETA: regarding the guaranteeing of adjoining roomss. This is NOT correct on 2 points. They can't guarantee that you will get adjoining rooms. It's in the fine print of the terms and conditions. And you don't want adjoining rooms (next door to each other). You would want CONNECTING rooms- the ones with the interior door that opens between rooms.
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:33 PM   #3
2010Disneymom
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On my last visit to Disney, we stayed at POFQ. It was Spring Break and they were at full capacity. The hotel was very quiet and the buses were great. The only time we had to stand on a bus was one morning when we had breakfast at Cape May Cafe and we took a bus from BC to AK. All I could think was, I would be pretty annoyed if I was paying that kind of money to stay at BC and had to stand on the bus all the time.
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:28 PM   #4
BuzzandWoodyMom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeThinker View Post
Hi! I am new here, I have been lurking for almost a year getting tips from you all (Thanks!) This year we are thinking of flying, staying on-site and using DIsney transportation. The problem is I can't figure out where to stay! Our family is me, my DH, and kids ages 10, 8, 5, 5 and a newly 2 year old (she turns 2 the week before we go)! Here are the places I am thinking of...

Do you have any other ideas on where our family should stay? Budget is not the biggest factor, convenience is. But I also don't want to spend 10K, I"m thinking somewhere in the 5-7K range. We plan to stay 7 nights, and spend 2 days at MK, probably 2 at EP, and one day at AK and HS. I don't know if we will park-hop much or not? I will have one stroller if that makes a difference. I am fine w/ eating a few meals in our rooms, but want to eat at sit-down meals at least once per day. We will probably go to the pool a few times, but not daily. It's hard to do a pool w/ 5 kids! I am open to any suggestions of other places to stay as well! We typically get up early, and will only stay out late for fireworks one or two times the entire trip. The rest of the time we will be back in our rooms sleeping by 9PM or so. I called and Disney did say they could guarantee rooms that adjoined since my kdis were all so young and it's just DH and I (if this is not correct please LMK if you think there is a chance we wouldn't have ajd. rooms!).
We also have a large family and we have stayed at all levels of resort at Disney. We have done 2 connecting rooms at The Poly, Port Orleans and a number of the value resorts. We don't stay deluxe or even moderate anymore, because all but one of our kids is priced out as an adult now - we almost always do 2 rooms at All-Star Movies now because it's the kid's favorite resort. This November was are staying at the new AoA resort in the Little Mermaid rooms and are getting 2 connecting rooms there. We have looked into renting points at DVC, but it's still really expensive and you can't take advantage of a free dining discount if you rent points - and with a large family, free dining is the best discount we can get. Also, after staying at different resorts at Disney over the years, I've learned that we really don't spend that much time in the resort - my family just wants to be in the parks, so we basically sleep and shower and have a couple of swims at the resort, so I don't really see a need to spend money on the more expensive resorts anymore.

So, from personal experience, I would say, try 2 connecting rooms at All-Star Movies, AOA Little Mermaid rooms or Port Orleans - you get great, fun accomodations, family friendly resort, plenty of room and still resonably priced.

You don't need the park hoppers with children that young so just save that money and get base tickets - 7 days is plenty of time and you won't need to park hop.

Also wanted to mention that connecting rooms and adjoining rooms are considered two different things in the Disney Reservations System. Connectng means a connecting door in between two rooms. Adjoining rooms means rooms next to or close to each other.

As for guaranteed rooms, we have requested and been given connecting rooms probably 15 times over the last 8 years for our large family and have never had an issue. There is always a chance that they could "run out" of connecting rooms at your resort if you are traveling at a very busy time, but I know for a fact that if all of our children are under 18, they will make every effort to accomodate you.

Last edited by BuzzandWoodyMom; 09-23-2012 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:40 PM   #5
spiceycat
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would try for BLT lake view (BLT is DVC resort next to CR) - yes it will cost more than BCV because it has higher point costs. but to me the views are worth it.

you have 6 plus one under 2 - so that means a 2-bedroom - which you knew.

the pool at BLT is small - so yes you can take all 5 kids to the pool and be able to watch them all. it also has one of the fountain things that kids love to run through. It has 2 slides one for your older child - and one that is really a wheelchair entry for the others - the pool is zero entry - so there is another way for wheelchair to get in.

this pool is really to small for the resort - but hey makes it easy to watch the kids.

you walk to the MK and ride the monorail to Epcot - so both are easy - now getting to DHS and AK is bus - so those are never on the top of my list when staying at BLT.

the mk resorts share the bus - so DHS will stop at CR/BLT first, then Polyn, then GF - then it goes to the parks. Now polyn is not a long trip - but getting to GF then back to main road is a pain.

guess I should never complaint because Disney might change the bus stops - and at least at CR/BLT you do generally get a seat on the bus.
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