Sleeps 5…. But really?

Planning incredibly in advance here, mostly to try and figure out a budget. My family is 2 parents and 2 kids (will be 9 and 6 at time of travel). We would be able to stay nearly anywhere. The wrinkle is my sister, who loves Disney and would love to join us on a trip but probably would need to stay with us. What’s the best way to search for accommodations that meet the following criteria:

  • privacy for parents
  • kids go to sleep before the grownups
  • sleeps 3 adults / 2 kids
  • is ‘on campus’
  • doesn’t cost 2 arms and 2 legs
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Much depends on who can sleep with whom.

Will the 9 and 6 yos share a bed? If not, will one share with their aunt (your sister?)

Also, need to know the going price for 2 arms and legs. Less than $500/night?

The best thing currently that I can think of is two connecting rooms at either a value or a moderate.

A moderate such as Caribbean Beach did have two connecting rooms with a king in one room, two queens and a single murphy bed. And may still currently.

We’ve also stayed in connecting rooms at Yacht Club with one room having two queens and a day bed. The other room had also 2 queens but this stay was in 2001.

A one bedroom villa really doesn’t address the parents privacy or the kids sleeping before parents as the sleeping accommodations for 3 are in the living room and the king bed is in the bedroom.


Your best bet is probably a family suite at ASMusic. It has a private bedroom/bathroom with a queen bed and then the living area has 2 pull down queens that are real standard beds (not pull out sofas). It also has the benefit of a small kitchenette that other value rooms don’t have and 2nd full bathroom. You could always put the kids to bed in the bedroom and then all the adults have the run of the remainder of the suite.


Oh yes! This is a great suggestion. The other option is an Art of Animation suite but those cost some extra arms and legs compared to All-Star Music and is probably not worth it.

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You’re definitely looking at a suite or villa situation here.

My family, though there’s only four of us, always knew that when our kids were smaller we needed a space that had a separate sleeping area for them so that we didn’t have to go to bed at 8pm. And so that everyone slept well (because none of us slept well when we all shared one room - we learned that fast!).

On our very first family trip we stayed at the All Star Music resort in a family suite. It was wonderful (and has since been refurbished). Having a separate sleep area was awesome, but that kitchnette was a life saver. And TWO FULL BATHROOMS was off the hook amazing for saving time getting everyone ready and out the door! Auntie would need to share the sleep space with the kids, but maybe she’s cool with that.

Nowadays there’s most of a whole resort dedicated to family suites - Art Of Animation - and it does tend to be a little more expensive. But, in fairness, you are on the Skyliner there so that should boost the cost a smidge. And you have a variety of themes to choose from. Otherwise those are pretty similar to the All Star Music family suites, so something else for you to consider.

I don’t think a 1BR villa will get you really what you’re after, since at least some of the people would sleep in the living area, and share that space which is not ideal for what you’re looking for in terms of privacy. You could consider a 2BR villa, whether paying direct cash or renting DVC points. But regardless, the villa option is going to be expensive. Still, you get a full kitchen and washer/dryer in unit as well as some living space to gather when you’re not in the parks. If you can swing it, the 2BR option would be my personal recommendation. It’s our favorite type of room because it offers you so much and really it feels like home.


There are three things you might want in your WDW vacation lodging:

1: To have a reasonable amount of space.
2: To spend a reasonable amount of money.
3: To be onsite.

For most people, and most definitions of “reasonable” you can have only two of those three. So, your first goal is to figure out which of those three you can live without. The closest thing that gives you all three is the All Star family suite, as mentioned.

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This is also the place where I put in a plug for being offsite. You can easily get a 2-3BR condo, plus a decently-sized rental car, within spitting distance of WDW borders, and pay for theme park parking for about what a single Moderate onsite room costs, plus or minus.

One of my favorites is Wyndham Bonnet Creek, but it’s a timeshare that has become more difficult to rent. But, it appears to be on property–technically it is not, but it is landlocked by WDW, so the only way to get in/out of the Bonnet Creek complex is via Buena Vista Drive, right next to CBR.

(husband posting from shared account)
@bnoble : Last time we stayed we got a 2 bedroom suite / condo at the Sheraton Vistana, it worked out pretty well and was “cheap” by comparison at $1900 for the week. Pool was fun and my dad stayed with us. The price difference from 1 bedroom to 2 bedroom was not a lot so it made it an easy upgrade with my dad kicking in a few hundred bucks. Kids slept in living room and the adults got their own bedrooms. Keep getting promotions from them to stay for 4 or 5 nights for $300. Plus I have Marriott status/points.

So we’re looking at the Swan/Dolphin as a Marriott property, but as this is probably the last trip we go on for several years (6-12), we really want to stay on property this time.

Yea. Ideally less than 500/ night. Been looking at renting DVC, but not really sure the best way to specify what I’m looking for/ searching for. Is it even plausible to get all these criteria at less than 500/night?

@OBNurseNH summed it up well and she is a travel advisor.

However, if - no IF you stayed at a moderate like Caribbean Beach which sometimes used to have discounts you could get two rooms, hoping they’re connecting - it’s not guaranteed - and maybe spend not a lot over $500/nt total.
There’s also which season - value being best of course but not handy if kids or adults can’t take off from school - and days of the week. Weekend per night prices go up considerably.

If someone is a teacher - check Swan or Dolphin.

If someone is retired military or active duty or DoD there is the Shades of Green resort. That requires advance booking as it’s popular.

A possibility is renting a Wilderness Home - or are they going to be called Villas? - at Fort Wilderness. New units are being brought in and will be DVC. I think it might be unclear still what the floor plan looks like. Possibly 3 sleeping surfaces in the bedroom with a queen sofa sleeper in the living room.

Another Fort Wilderness option exists and that is contacting an RV rental company to bring in an RV that you rent from them, on a FtW site you rent from Disney. Search for RV rentals and Disney. It’s my understanding that there are particular companies working with Disney.

Tickets can cost more than lodging and I think @OBNurseNH was saying there’s a substantial increase next year.

The only way to make a trip less expensive is stay fewer days. Which makes choosing what to see and experience more difficult.

In your situation I’d either check into RV/site rental or get with a travel advisor. They cost nothing and are priceless. I haven’t used one in years but I loved my TA.

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Yes - look at the all-Star music family suites - those are about $325-$450/night depending on season you are traveling. As long as your sister is okay sharing a room with your kids.


I’ve been contemplating more the possibility of staying offsite recently. I’ve been to WDW 25+ times and have always stayed on-site, but the benefits have steadily decreased over the years (…longing for the good old days of 2-3 Extra Magic Hours for on-site in the mornings and evenings).

A couple years ago, DW and I decided that renting a car to drive to and from the parks added enough convenience and time savings that it was worth the cost. So we don’t use Disney transportation anymore.

And now my kids (ages 8 and 6) like to stay at the parks late and sleep in so Early Theme Park Entry is out.

Bay Lake Tower has been our go-to since the kids were born because of the short walk to MK (plus the kitchen, separate sleeping, washer/dryer, and two bathrooms in the 1BR).

The deluxe extended evening hours are nice, but our visits don’t always fall on dates where we can take advantage of them.

So at this point, we are paying a lot of extra money for the main benefit being able to walk to and from MK (along with the unquantifiable feeling of staying in the WDW bubble). It seems crazy while I am sitting at home, but when DW and I want to get the kids out of MK and in bed at Midnight following MNSSHP, waiting for the monorail to go to the Ticket and Transportation Center will inevitably be an unpleasant experience.

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But also the convenience of all travel party members being able to come and go with the touring pack as they want. That for me is the biggest drawback to offsite: you all have to arrive and leave together.


Swolphin is the best of both worlds. It’s close enough to be on Disney property (well, it is on Disney property) and has a lot of the perks that a deluxe resort. It’s close enough to use Disney transport and it’s in walking distance of Epcot and HS.

Have you stayed at the Swan/Dolphin? To me it’s just as good as staying “on property”. It is one property, you get all the delux resort perks, and the pool is large and nice would a great poolside restaurant. We now only stay at one of those two hotels, because I can never find a reason to stay at another resort.

I’d look at two room at Pop for the convenience of the skyliner. It would be cheaper than two room at Caribbean Beach and cheaper than a suite of AoA. If sister bails on you, then you can cancel one of the rooms vs being stuck with a suite you no longer need.

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