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One of the two most worried about decisions when planning a Disney World vacation is picking which Disney World Resort Hotel to stay at. (The other is when to go.) Where to stay is based on what you plan to do at the resort, how many people can fit in the room and how easy it is to get to a park and how expensive it is.
For example – my 32 year old son and I recently went to Walt Disney World. My wife, Pat is not going. My son and my primary concerns were expense and spending as much time together in the park doing new attractions. Our choice hotel was Pop Century because the Skyliner was a big plus and the cost was inexpensive. Our concern was bathroom time (one is very slow). When discounts were announced we changed to two rooms in All Star Sports solving the bathroom issue and allowing each of us to have adult privacy at about the same cost.
When Pat and I go we have entirely different priorities. Restaurant options and in depth, adult theming are far more important. We are more likely to stay at a moderate or a deluxe resort.
We’ve accumulated a quick cheat sheet that can help you decide which resort is best for you and your family.
Picking a Disney World Resort Based on the Number of People in Your Party
The Disney standard room can accommodate four people plus one child under three in a room. King bed room in deluxe resorts can accommodate two adults and one child under 3 in a crib. While Tower Studio rooms in the Riviera can only accommodate two adults. The Disney Standard room is what this blog is based on.
However, Disney offers a variety of accommodation sizes. On the bigger end, there are Disney villas that can accommodate 12 adults and one child under three in a crib. To view the Room Occupancy Guide click here. Many of the resorts offer adjoining rooms with doors and these can be options for larger groups.
Picking a Disney World Resort Considering how to get to the Parks
Experienced Disney World fans can you that a chunk of your vacation travel to and from parks. Where your resort is located should align to what you are interested in. Generally, the more you spend, the closer you will be to the parks and the more transportation options you will have.
All resorts are on bus lines to each park, Disney Springs and the water parks and all buses are free. Buses run about every twenty minutes to each park except when the resort is connected via a Skyliner.
No Disney resort is without amenities or charm. Each resort has a pool or pools, restaurants and bus transportation. As you “Buy Up” you will get more options to eat, play and relax between park experiences. Listed below is a side by side “quick comparison”. If you want a more complete comparison go here.
Theming and Recreation
Deluxe & Villas
Grown Up Feel – Lush Landscaping
Elegant and Consistent throughout
Pool (s) – If multiple there will be one main themed pool and multiple smaller pools
Disney World uses a surge pricing system. Surge pricing anticipates the demand for a room. Therefore, room rates are more expensive on busy days than on less busy days. Detailed room rates by day can be found here (select any resorts you are interested in).
The charts below shows the average cost of the resorts throughout the year. These costs are based on the lowest price standard room (4 people plus an under 3 year old in a crib). Deluxe resorts are based on the lowest price deluxe studio. Using these charts you can compare costs for each hotel. Actual costs are based on time of year you are planning to visit.
So, what do you look at as the main priorities for when planning your Walt Disney World Resort hotel stay? Let us know your thoughts in the comments,or on Facebook or Twitter!
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We have experienced Disney World and Universal Studios in all three phases of life; before kids, with kids and as empty nesters. We look forward to continue to vacation in Disney as we get older with friends and family.