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Old 04-16-2013, 05:11 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Apr 2013
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1st trip + 3 kids = where to stay?

This is my first post and I promise I did do a search before posting this question!

We are planning our first ever Disney trip (I went once before Epcot was open, DH has never been). Kids will be 9, 4 and 1 when we are planning on traveling. I was looking at end of October or early December.

I called a travel agent who suggested Bay Lake Towers (1 BD Villa) or The Villas at Wilderness Lodge (1 BD). It sounded great on the phone until she priced it for me. Sticker shock for us! DH is very very overwhelmed by that price and it is putting a vacation here out of our reach.

I am open to a mod or deluxe. Based on my research and the age of my youngest I think a value would be too far out, too much travel time etc. (I could be way off on this)

Am in need of some suggestions!

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Old 04-16-2013, 05:23 PM   #2
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If your kids were older and you were constrained by your budget, I would suggest the value resorts. In reality, you are going to have two kids under 5 years old and you will be returning to you room for naps so a larger room with added amenities are important. You might want to consider a moderate or even a deluxe resort off the monorail line. Wilderness Lodge is a favorite or ours. Check with an agent specializing in Disney and the can give you ideas of how to find the best deals. There are many good ones out there, I have had great results with mymagicaljournies.com.
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:30 PM   #3
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I have kids similar to your age when we started going to Disney, they were 1, 5, 10. We have stayed at values and moderates. With the youngest under 2 you can still stay at rooms that hold 4. We have done Port Orleans and Pop. Port Orleans gives you a bit more room and double sinks and bigger beds. You can request a pack and play for the little one. It's a toss up to us, Pop feels very Disney and Port Orleans is more relaxed. Trust me, we can't swing the deluxe rates either. We really only use the room to sleep at night, we stay at the park all day. Good luck.
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:39 PM   #4
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I think a value resort would work or any of the moderates. When my kids were little we didn't have to return to room for naps. They slept fine in their stroller. Choose a theme u like with A price dh likes!
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tink415 View Post
Choose a theme u like with A price dh likes!

Any of the mods with a pack and play would be suitable for your family. However if they all nap during the day and/or will go to bed early at night, I think you should still consider one of the value family suites. Having the kids in a separate room would be so much easier. I don't think the difference in transportation times is really a significant factor, compared to any of the mods. Look at the photos and descriptions of the various value and mod resorts and go with your gut instinct. You'll know which one is right for you when you see it.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:29 PM   #6
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Hi there,

Congrats on finding the DIS so early in your trip-planning stage
It is a wealth of useful info.

You do have a lot of options that will not give you sticker shock. Shame on that travel agent for not asking you about a budget prior to suggesting some of the most expensive options onsite. As you probably have now figured out, you can do a stay onsite for a fraction (Ok less than half) of what you were quoted.
that was perhaps unethical.

I think that the advice you were given by previous posters is something to consider. The age of your youngest gives you a lot of flexibility in that you can still stay in a value or mod. If you can swing the moderate, the Queen beds and bit of extra square footage sure is nice. For around the same price as a mod you could do a family suite at the *new* Art of Animation (which has been open for almost a year, but is still the newest resort on property). The kids would love it, you would have a kitchenette and little living area, along with a dining room table, and a separate "master" with a door that could be closed if your infant wanted to nap or go to bed early. Although I agree with previous poster about babies napping well in strollers, so you may not need that. A second bathroom sure does come in handy as well.

Planning a first trip to Disney can be very overwhelming and there is a big learning curve. I suggest contacting another TA and see if they ask you the right questions to find a package that fits your family! Dreams Unlimited sponsors this board, so many folks here patronize them. Personally, I love Lisa at As You Wish Vacations. She has helped me many times and always throws in extras to make it worth using her.

good luck in whatever you choose to do. Your family will make timeless memories regardless of where you decide to stay!
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:34 PM   #7
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another option that would be less expensive are cabins at Fort wilderness. Our family of 5 has stayed there twice for the same reason, price. they have full kitchens so you could have breakfast in your cabin to help save money as well. i would estimate a stay in the cabins would be 3-4 thousand instead of 5-6 thousand at bay lake towers.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:46 PM   #8
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The cabins are very cool but make sure you carefully consider both the bedding situation as well as the need to deal with an internal & external bus system. Not my idea of fun with a 1 yr. old plus two other kids in tow...

Picture coming back from the parks and having two of those kids asleep with a stroller and a third tired kid and navigating not one but two buses. Ugh
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:55 PM   #9
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We're going in August with our three DD's. 10, 7 and turning 5 while we're there, and are staying at the Port Orleans. It was literally cheaper than the Value resorts for us so it was a no brainer. We stayed at AKL when our youngest was about 9months old, and thought it was reasonably priced. The room had bunk beds and a queen bed, but I believe it was considered a room for 4 people because she was so young. The only concern at Port Orleans I would have for your kids' age is that I've heard transportation can be hit or miss. We're renting a car because we're doing the DxDP and have quite a few meals planned that we need to be able to get to on time. Happy planning
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:06 PM   #10
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I would stay at a value resort for your first visit. You will save lots of money and if you choose to go back with three children once your one year old is older, you will be limited as to where you can stay and it will cost you more money. good luck in your decision and have fun!
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:16 PM   #11
Earning My Ears
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I think the values are awesome. Our favorite is Pop Century. The younger kids will love the Disney characters found around the property.

The Art of Animation looks really nice too, and I think they have regular rooms that are Little Mermaid rooms. We haven't stayed there but I would like to sometime.

The food courts are really nice too.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:17 PM   #12
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If you thought you did want the extra room of a 1 bedroom villa, consider renting points from a DVC Member. Its usually half the cost or so of booking at a cash rate through Disney. Boardwalk or Beach Club puts you within walking distance of epcot and Hollywood Studios, and Bay lake tower within walking of MK. Just another thought if you wanted the extra space and convenience of being close to 1 or more parks.
ME; DH; DS5; DD2

Our next trip: A LAND and SEA Adventure!

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Old 04-16-2013, 09:20 PM   #13
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I have stayed at POP, 2 of the All stars, CBR and most recently POR. Like others have said, your youngest child allows the flexibility of staying in one room. I found it very cramped in the values even when I didn't have a pack and play.

I know some people feel it is hard to justify spending extra money just for a room But considering you will probably also have a stroller, extra baby stuff, I think it would be worth trying for Moderate. If not, you could definitely get by with a value, but it will be tight with luggage, pack and play, stroller, etc, so keeping the room organized is a must just to keep your sanity!
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:21 PM   #14
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Your family will definitely fit in a value and they are all good. We like ASMu and POP best and we got a preferred room to be closer to the pool, food and bus. If you want to spend more try the AoA suites. I would suggest you go to allears.net and look at the pictures and descriptions of all the resorts It is a great site. The Mods have water slides at the pools if the older child wants that. AoA has a zero entry pool but all the pools ar 3'-5'deep and you can get a free life jacket to use for the length of stay for each child too at any resort. You really can't go wrong...just pick the resort that you like the feel of best. Don't spend more than you feel comfortable with on the resort as you will find food, drinks and souvenirs are expensive at Disney.
1983 FW, 1985 & 1986OFFSITE, 1987 FW,1988 DL, 1990 OFFSITE, 1992 CBR, 1994 POFQ, 1995 ASSp, 2005 ASMo, 2007 & 2009 POP, 2011 ASMu, 2012 ASMo, 2013 POFQ
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:28 PM   #15
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We have rented points a few times from DVC members…its pretty easy…check out the rent/trade boards here on "Disboards". Bay Lake Tower is nice but so is Wilderness and Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge. AKL has 4 different levels of pricing with the Value View or standard View being very doable. And yes I know its farther away from the parks and OP has young children but we stayed there on our first trip with a 2 1/2 year old and were fine. And Kidani has a nice splash pad for little ones and a nice big slide for a 9 year old. OMGoodness I'm excited for you have a great trip!!!!

My son was 9 his first time at WDW!!!!
1976 WDW off property* * * * * 2008 CSR
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2005 AKL********************2011 Kidani/Wilderness
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