This is kind of a thing. We almost always wind up eating at our resort more than we planned. Much better to have more choices.
People need to be aware that Disney will not guarantee connecting rooms. The chances are they will be able to grant the request but there are occasions when they can’t.
We are a family of 5 and recently had a split stay at the cabins of ft wilderness and CBR. Although my husband and I felt more cramped, the kids absolutely LOVED CBR. If I had known how much they loved it, we would have stayed there more nights because it is half the cost. They really loved the pools and the resort activities, and that we were so close to the skyliner. The cast members that we encountered there were extraordinarily nice and helpful. The kids are begging me to stay there again. The cabins were more expensive but I loved them. They had unique activities to do on a “rest” day, and the sense of community there was pretty homey. The cost is kind of prohibitive, unless the alternative is a family suite or two connected rooms.
Art of animation is more expensive than the cabins, but with fewer amenities (no kitchen for example) so I couldn’t justify that cost for us. But the rooms themselves look really cool. Being a family of five really is a pain. All of the packages and rooms are meant for families of four, and as much as it seems like it’s as easy as adding a +1, it is never so simple!
I feel like I should add a disclaimer that my kids are pirates obsessed. Although the fifth sleeper rooms are not the pirate rooms, there was so much pirate theming all over the resort including the pool (why thy loved it so much!) so this might be why they liked the resort so much better
No DME starting in 2022, so remove that out of your equation
Family of 5 here and we have done both CBR and POR. I liked them both but I think my kids liked CBR better. They liked the pool better (2 slides) and there was a splash play area for littles. At POR you had to go over to french quarter for a splash area. I liked the access to the skyliner at CBR and access to Riviera are also nice. I preferred the food at POR though the quick service menu at CBR is good but limited. I guess it really depends on your needs.
Thank you all for taking the time to respond. I’m sure we can not go wrong with either option but at this point I think I’m leaning towards CBR but have some more research to do for sure!