Welcome to the next stop on Magical Blogorail Green! Today we are discussing resort options for Larger Families (5+).
Before my husband and I had kids, we purchased ownership in the Disney Vacation Club. If you’re hearing of this for the first time, there are plenty of other sites that spell out the program better than I could. Let’s not reinvent the wheel, right? 🙂
When having a conversation about resorts for large families, though, I would be remiss if I didn’t realize (and share) how our membership has been the best choice for our family – and truly is the reason we get to travel to Walt Disney World with any frequency. As a family of five, our options are fairly limited for on-property resorts. There are a few choices that you’ll probably catch at another blogorail stop, and then there are deluxe resorts. I love each of these that we have ever visited, but do you know the rack rates? They aren’t easy to swing over and over again, at least not for us. Our DVC purchase in 2006 essentially locked in that year’s rates; after seeing the increase from one year to the next (at the same resort, during the same week) we knew that was a valid reason to look into the program.
Of course your mileage may vary, and it isn’t the best choice for everyone. If you are a DVC Member though, or are considering it, you’ll find plenty of choices for larger families —
At every Disney Vacation Club property worldwide (currently nine at WDW, one at Disneyland, 2 on east coast beaches, and one in Hawaii) you’ll find a variety of accommodations with these general occupancy rules:
- Studios: Sleep 4 plus one “infant” (child under 3 years old)
- One-Bedroom Units: Sleep 4-5 plus one infant
- Two-Bedroom Units: Sleep 8-9 plus one infant
- Three-Bedroom Grand Villas: Sleep 12 plus one infant
Up until this point – my son turns three in April – we have been able to stay mostly at Studio accommodations, and get several weeks out of our modest points contract. Some members complain that this is cramped, but the studios are far more spacious than most other non-Deluxe rooms on property and we have always found plenty of room.
The 1- and 2-bedroom units have other incredible amenities, such as full kitchens and in-room laundry, that large families are very likely to enjoy – and use. (Is it just me, or do five people make an absurd amount of laundry? It’s ridiculous, really.)
When my son turns three and is no longer a “Disney infant”, we have mentally prepared ourselves for the fact that we will have to utilize the One-Bedroom options – for the most part. They’re gorgeous, so I don’t mind…
… but I am even more thrilled to have found out a trend among new properties and those that are newly refurbished.
When we stayed at a studio in the Villas at Wilderness Lodge after a recent cruise, we noticed this awesome murphy bed tucked away under the television. As the studios have been refurbished there, they have expanded to sleep five. My son tolerates a pack n play fine still when we’re in a hotel, but whoa – this was so much cooler. And obviously, a larger “fifth occupant” probably won’t want to cram into a baby bed. 😉
I remembered reading about similar beds at the newer Grand Floridian Villas, and was so thrilled to find out that in addition to those two properties, the new Polynesian Villas will also have an official occupancy of “5 plus one infant”.
If this trend continues, then families at with these properties and any newer – or of course anyone staying at these resorts from another “home” – will be able to use their points for their maximum value for much longer. And perhaps we’ll see all of the properties, as rooms are refurbished, offering the same?
We can hope!
Have you stayed in a DVC property (or Home Away From Home Villas)? Are you (or would you be) a “splurge for the laundry and kitchen” family or a “squeeze together and travel more often” group?
Thank you for joining me today! Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Saving up for Disney. Here is the map of our loop should you happen to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:
1st Stop – Disney with Babies, Toddlers, & Preschoolers – Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
3rd Stop – For the Love of Disney – YOU ARE HERE 🙂
4th Stop – Saving Up for Disney- Disneyland Resort
2nd Stop – The Disney Chef – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Final Stop – Disney Mamas – Disney’s Contemporary Resort & Bay Lake Tower