We are planning our first Disney trip with our kiddos (twins, 5 and youngest 2). 11/8-11/15. Moderate budget ($5,000 all inclusive of accommodations, tickets and food).
The question is- where should we stay? I’ve poured over the Unofficial Guide but can’t quite wrap my head around:
- Without a car, what 1-2 properties make the most sense to stay at to get to all four parks most efficiently (including via Lyft)
- Can our family survive being in the same Studio for 7 nights? Will we all be so exhausted we fall asleep or will it feel claustrophobic?
- Is splitting the trip, say between a DVC and budget hotel a good idea? Or will the budget feel like a let down after the DVC.
Thanks for your advice in advance!
I think this budget, which will be for 2 adults and 2 kids (your 2yo will be free) for a week you’ll be looking at a value resort for all nights. I’ve just pulled up the most affordable option for those dates - ASMu, standard view, and accommodations and base tickets alone are bumping you near $4k. Add food for a week and you’re at budget. I don’t think you’ll reach DVC accommodations (a studio would be fine for you 5) even renting points with the budget you have.
I would also caution against relying on Lyft with littles who will need boosters and car seats. I would plan to use Disney transport exclusively.
One more note about the studio or single hotel room - only you know your family. It will accommodate 5 of you just fine without feeling claustrophobic. That said, my family never stayed in a standard hotel room well especially when the kids were little. We always preferred a suite that offered my kids a sleeping area separate from my husband and me.
Gotta recommend Art of Animation with a budget in that range. That was our first on property stay years ago, and we do like it. We were in a Little Mermaid room when our kids were the ages of yours. Those are too small for our family now, and probably too small for yours. But maybe consider the suites, see if that interests you?
We are headed down, in fact, to stay in a Cars suite at AoA in about 7 days!
We generally drive down, so we do have a car. However, the bus transportation has served us well in years past. We’ve often just left the car sitting. And, of course, now AoA is on the skyliner route, so that’s another option.
I do see your budget–you might be a little upside down with AoA for that length of stay with food included, especially if you do character meals, etc. Disney math is blurry though by definition…
Welcome to the forums!
In general if doing a split I would always move upwards, so the value Resort first and then the moderate or deluxe.
Adding to what @OBNurseNH said, November is a busy time for DVC, so likely only SSR, OKW and possibly Kidani are likely to be an option anyway.
So my suggestion if you could stretch your budget would be maybe do a couple of nights at the end at the Dolphin resort. Walking distance to two parks and at a price more in line with a Disney Moderate resort.
Or consider shortening the trip slightly to do that, which might bring it in budget.
But to be honest I would go with the week at a value. The kids will be happy anywhere.
And you can also order some groceries to do simple breakfasts in the room. The food courts have microwaves you can use too. Split meals between you - Flame Tree is the perfect example where two combo meals will easily feed all 4 of you.
Just keep asking questions to help you plan.
You’ve already gotten feedback from some of the best and most knowledgeable around…but I’ll add something here.
I don’t think budget will feel like a let down if you are able to secure DVC within your parameters first. My mom and I have stayed at lots of properties - DVC, Value, Moderate…all across the board. Her absolute favorite resort, hands down, no question - was Pop! She would rather stay there than AKL Savanna View, BW Villas, etc… - the resorts all have their pros and cons and it is definitely fun to stay in a variety of places - but split stays can also really eat into your trip. Moving locations, waiting for room ready, luggage transfer - especially if your kiddos need to nap in the room…switching resorts can be a day of inconvenience!
Absolutely this! The people here are wonderful and just a wealth of knowledge and real world experience.
Do you plan on flying or driving to WDW? If you will be getting in late or leaving very early, it may be worth it to look into the cost of an offsite hotel for those nights. Also parking fees or transportation from airport needed.
I just came off a trip that involved three resort transfers.
For two of them, they were park days and they worked well because we didn’t need to RD or race to the parks to accomplish our goals. Instead, we packed up and checked out, arrived at the parks later in the morning. But then we didn’t come to our hotel until late afternoon/evening, well after our room was ready and our luggage had arrived.
The remaining transfer was going to be a pool/resort day and could’ve gone ok… except we had a breakfast ADR that ending up conflicting with packing our bags. And DD7 was still wiped out from the heat so chilling in a room would’ve been much better than poolside. As it turned out, we got to check in much earlier so it all worked out.
YMMV, but my kids LOVED the values as the theming is over the top. The first time we stayed at BCV, they complained the first few days that it was too fancy and asked to go back to AoA.
I am a huge fan of eating breakfast in the room to save both money and time and second the recommendation to get groceries as well as ordering diapers and wipes (if you need them) vs having to fly with a bunch.