I am planning on going to WDW in November. I cannot decide where to stay. I would like to stay in either the Art of Animation Lion King suites or Caribbean Beach Pirate room. Or should I save $1,000 and just stay in one of the All Star resorts? Is there really that much of a difference that it is worth the extra money. I have a 4 year old and a 6 year old. Will they notice the difference in resorts?
This comes down to two things
If budget is an issue and the $1,000 difference is significant for you (which hey $1,000 is significant for most) I would stay at AoA
Personally I don’t find much difference between value and moderates at WDW - not enough to justify $1,000. I find the difference between moderates and deluxe. If you aren’t a hotel snob and as you have a suite at AofA - I would just stay there and use the money for other fun stuff
I have a 3 year old and a 6 year old and we have stayed at AoA in 2012 and 2014 and will be staying there again in October. (We had Lion King Suites last time.) We love it because of the suites - the extra space and second bathroom are really important for us. The kids love the theming, the food court is great, and there are 3 pools. I have never stayed at Caribbean Beach so can’t comment on that. To us, it just isn’t worth the extra money to stay in a moderate. I have stayed in the All Star resorts and I prefer the AoA suites. For us, the extra cost is worth it for the extra space.
Between those two choices I’d take the AoA suite every time. I see so many complaints about the pirate rooms I wouldn’t even consider them for myself.
Having said that for the price of the AoA suites I’d look into renting points at Animal Kingdom Lodge. It works out to about $180 a night and the difference between either of your choices and a deluxe resort are huge. The rooms (and beds) are so much nicer and there is nothing like watching the sun come up from your balcony. DVC rental store is a great company to work with for renting points. Davids is another popular one but I’ve never used them before.
If all you are considering is cost and how much the kids will enjoy it, I would go with the cheapest option. It will be shock and awe sensory overload no matter where you stay, and you could use the “saved” money for something special like a Pirates cruise.
As an adult, you’ll probably appreciate the extra room of the suite or CBR, but the downside of the latter, from what I’ve read, is that the pirate rooms have very uncomfortable beds, and from experience I know that those room are FAR away from the main pool/food court. If you won’t have a car, I wouldn’t even consider this option.
But @Outer1 makes a very good point. The difference between value and mod is incremental; the difference between mod and deluxe is HUGE.
Thank you so much for your replies! @Outer1, what do you mean about points?
It involves buying points from a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) time share owner. Go to DVCrentalstore.com and check it out! I just booked a stay at the Polynesian for Dec 2016 by renting points, and the savings was HUGE!
as @Mwehner mentioned people who have bought into the Disney timeshare system (DVC) that won’t be using their points for the year can sell them to a broker. That broker then uses the points to book a room for one of their clients. That is a little simplified but should help understand what’s happening. The points are good at all of the DVC resorts which are considered deluxe properties. You can rent rooms at Poly, AKL, GF, BLT, OKW, SSR, etc… and the price you pay to rent the points is significantly cheaper than the price you would pay to book a similar room directly through Disney. The brokers websites will have all of the information you need and their agents will happily answer any questions you have before you put in a request to book. The two sites I mentioned are very reputable and we have lots of liners that have successfully used their services. We prefer DVC rental store just because they don’t require a deposit to check availability and they have always been really friendly and easy to work with.
The biggest difference to us between the value and moderate resorts is the pools and the fact that the moderates have water slides. The pool at CBR is especially nice. I’m sure your kids would enjoy it, but whether they’d enjoy it enough to justify $1000 is up to you.