Easiest place (reasonably priced) to stay with a large family?

ZanyToes

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
I'm thinking about booking a trip for this fall. The last time we went to Disney our now 12 year old was 2. We've since added 2 kids for a total of 5 kiddos which knocks us out of all of the cheaper room options. We have a 17, 14, and 12 as well as a 2 and 3 year old so I'd like to have transportation be fairly simple which is worrying me a tad bit about the cabins.

What would you suggest for the simplest stay? I care less about luxury and more about ease. :)
 

rideswithchrist

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 7, 2014
Buy a camper!
If you pop onto the Camper forum here, you can ask loads of questions about the cabins and logistics, but we stayed in Fort Wilderness with our 4 kids last March and had no issues (They were 11, 8, 6, 2). The boat takes you straight to MK and the busses take you everywhere else. You can drive if you want, but we like busses. The only bus that was slow was the one heading to Hollywood Studios, so we might actually just drive this next time if we rope drop.
When I priced 2 values, it would be way more than a cabin, so we bought a camper since we like to camp anyway and hubs would not stay in a tent at Disney. I am frugal so our camper is 21' so we fit in the tent loop (which we loved so much with a popup). Depending on the time of year, the rate is $70 per night....but it looks like 2 Values is cheaper than the cabins in the fall because the Fort is more expensive that time of year.
2 Values at Pop Century would be our next choice if we just did not want to bring the camper.
Fort Wilderness is very relaxing though.
 
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  • Scott McDuck

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 26, 2019
    Rent a house through Airbnb/VRBO. We literally paid half as much as a hotel and got twice as much space. We never had longer than a 15-minute drive to any of the parks. We rented a car, but if that is not simple enough, you can always uber/lyft.
     

    Heather07438

    WDW Apprentice
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2015
    Homeaway is another popular site to find a house for the WDW stay. We've taken a look a few times but ended up staying onsite as it's just 3 of us. There are some 4BRs & pool within 10mls of WDW for $150/nt.

    This one is under $100/nt
     

    maxiesmom

    The Mean Squinty Eye Works
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2004
    Two value rooms. You simply cannot be a Disney resort for ease of getting around. Especially if your group will want to split up at times. The 2 year old has had enough and needs to go back to the room? One adult can hop a bus and the rest can stay in the parks. No worries about getting lost or having to schedule an Uber.
     
  • Hiitsme

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 17, 2015
    I agree with Starry_Solo and maxiesmom. The only thing I would add is to be sure to request connecting rooms. These are the ones with the door that connect the rooms. Book yourself and half the kids in 1 room and book your mate and the other half of the kids in the other. Be careful how you book the older kids because Disney charges an extra fee per "adult" per room. It's not super expensive but the extra money could be used for more Mickey icecream bars. While you're there, please have a Mickey bar for me.
     
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    Scott McDuck

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 26, 2019
    You simply cannot be a Disney resort for ease of getting around.... One adult can hop a bus and the rest can stay in the parks.
    Respectfully, I would suggest that the Disney transportation system is not the panacea that some might be led to believe. There are lines and waits for buses (while standing in bad weather). Crowded buses. Stops. Transfers involved. Look at the Rise of the Resistance thread to see how many people didn't/couldn't even use the Disney transportation in order to have a chance to obtain a boarding group.

    And while some Disney hotels are super-convenient for their nearest park, it can be a pain to get to other parks. For example, if you (can afford to) stay at the Contemporary, nothing beats that walk to the Magic Kingdom. But it takes a lot longer to get to Animal Kingdom.

    During our last trip, we were at the Magic Kingdom and had to go to the Grand Floridian. Due to monorail issues, it took us almost a full hour to get there.

    Our house was also a 5-minute drive from a dozen convenience, retail, liquor, and restaurant/grocery stores that sell anything you could possibly need for a fraction of the price that you'd pay at the parks or a hotel.

    I'm not saying driving from a house to the parks is perfect. (It's especially hassling having to use the TTP at the Magic Kingdom.) But if you are at least amenable to staying off-site, or haven't considered it, look into it. Map out how short of a drive it is from some of the places to the parks. I think it's at least competitive with using Disney transportation. And in terms of space and value, I think it's a clear winner. Not to mention the convenience of letting everyone go to bed in their own rooms at their respective times.

    Homeaway is another popular site to find a house for the WDW stay.
    Sure, I didn't mean to exclude them. Definitely check out all of the sites. There's a lot of the same listings, but you may find something unique on one.
     

    maxiesmom

    The Mean Squinty Eye Works
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2004
    Scott McDuck--There is no transferring needed with Disney buses. They drop you off closer to the parks than any parking spot. When you drive you will most likely either have a long walk to the park gate, or have to wait and take a tram in. Off site is also a hassle if you think your family will want to split up for part of the day, or make trips back and forth to the parks.

    I have stayed off site many times, and it simply is not as easy to get around as it is from a Disney resort.

    Disney bus--walk to bus stop. Wait for bus. Get on. Get dropped off close to the park.

    Off site bus--You may have to pay. You may have to book a spot. You may end up at a resort with a very limited schedule, only a few times in the morning, and a couple trips back. And you might not even get dropped off at the park you want to go to. Many have you transfer. And then when you get to that park the bus will drop you off much much farther away from the gates. In the parking lot with no shelter at all.

    Driving--I have done this many times too. If you are off site you have to pay to park. And then park where directed. If you are super lucky you can walk in (hope you enjoy your extra stroll) or you can wait for a shuttle to bring you in. You may have to wait for 2 or 3 until you can actually get on one. And then do the reverse at night. Only now you are tired and have to fight the traffic yourself, instead of having someone drive you.

    Off site resorts win on space.
     

    Scott McDuck

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 26, 2019
    There is no transferring needed with Disney buses.
    Except if you want to go from resort to resort (e.g., the Hoop-de-Do). And if you're at most of the MK resorts, you're going to have to take a monorail (after having to go through security) to get to the TTC, and then take a bus to go to a different park.

    They drop you off closer to the parks than any parking spot. When you drive you will most likely either have a long walk to the park gate, or have to wait and take a tram in.
    No doubt the bus drops you off closer than a car. I think we had one "long" walk from our car to the gate; the rest were all <5 mins. And the trams ran pretty frequently (although we found walking was often just as fast).
    Also, if the walk or tram is going to be a problem, you can always Uber instead of renting a car. That will get you just as close as the bus.


    Off site is also a hassle if you think your family will want to split up for part of the day, or make trips back and forth to the parks.
    I concede your point about splitting up (unless you're ubering--but then you're paying double fare). I don't think any of our car rides took more than 15 mins door-to-door, so unless your bus route is faster than that, making mutiple trips makes driving an even better option.

    I'm not going to attempt to say that an off-site bus is convenient.

    Driving--I have done this many times too. If you are off site you have to pay to park. And then park where directed. If you are super lucky you can walk in (hope you enjoy your extra stroll) or you can wait for a shuttle to bring you in. You may have to wait for 2 or 3 until you can actually get on one. And then do the reverse at night. Only now you are tired and have to fight the traffic yourself, instead of having someone drive you.
    No denying the parking charges (unless you uber, but then you're paying that instead). Again, I found the walk between the car and the gate to be de minimis, esp since you're walking all day anyway.
    I was SHOCKED at how fast and easy it was to drive out of the parking lot at the end of the day. I was expecting stadium-style gridlock, and it was nothing like that at all. (My sports teams could learn a lot from Disney's efficiency.) I'm telling you, I don't think we ever had more than a 15-min car ride, including traffic.
    I'll grant that if driving home is going to be tiring for you at the end of the day (or you want to drink), it's not an ideal option. Though again, you can uber instead.

    I've been talking about uber a lot. We decided to rent a car instead of ubering mainly because we had little kids and didn't want to have to deal with car seats in an uber. I think using uber would be slightly more convenient than driving, but there may be times when you have a slight wait for a pickup.
     
  • Rory607

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 10, 2016
    I would do two value rooms. This will give you the easiest transportation options. You might want to let the older kids go off on their own sometimes and Disney buses would make me the most comfortable in that situation. And if the little ones need to go take a break at the hotel you don’t all have to go back. This would trump extra space at an offsite hotel, personally.
     

    ZanyToes

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 14, 2007
    I'm pricing out a cabin and 2 adjoining rooms. I like the idea of shoving the older kids into one hotel room to give us some space lol. I've been to disney once when we stayed off the property and we are 1, bad with directions and 2- hate driving. On site is much better for us lol
     

    YesterDark

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2017
    4 is the magic number for cheap rooms ($150) (value)
    5 is the magic number for slightly more expensive rooms with 5th sleeper ($250-$350) (moderate)
    6 is the magic number for some of the family suites or cabins. ($350-$550) (value or moderate)
    6+ is the magic number for either two rooms ($300) (value) or a DVC suite ($2500-$3500 per week) (DVC point rental)

    My pricing could be off here or there, but that's basically your options. When I list value/moderate thats essentially the lowest tier available. You can obviously go up in some instances.
     

    maxiesmom

    The Mean Squinty Eye Works
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2004
    I'm pricing out a cabin and 2 adjoining rooms. I like the idea of shoving the older kids into one hotel room to give us some space lol. I've been to disney once when we stayed off the property and we are 1, bad with directions and 2- hate driving. On site is much better for us lol
    I've always been intrigued by the cabins, but for me they have 2 big negatives. One is that there is only one bathroom Two is that you have to take a bus to get to a bus stop (or rent a golf cart). I can make 4 people and 1 bathroom work. Any more than that, and oh boy.
     

    YesterDark

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2017
    I've always been intrigued by the cabins, but for me they have 2 big negatives. One is that there is only one bathroom Two is that you have to take a bus to get to a bus stop (or rent a golf cart). I can make 4 people and 1 bathroom work. Any more than that, and oh boy.
    I think you can survive the bathroom situation. What is a hassle is getting from the cabin to the bus stop. It's a hassle, and if you have to rent two golf carts (5+ people) then you're spending 500-600+ a day in carts and room rate so you might as well stay somewhere nicer unless you're a fan of that resort.
     

    Heather07438

    WDW Apprentice
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2015
    I'm pricing out a cabin and 2 adjoining rooms. I like the idea of shoving the older kids into one hotel room to give us some space lol. I've been to disney once when we stayed off the property and we are 1, bad with directions and 2- hate driving. On site is much better for us lol
    We've stayed nights at all the Values (except Sports) before the remodels. The improvements look great to me. They seem more functional, spacious and fresh now. Onsite is a bonus too with 60+ day FP, EMH, transport, and staying in the happy bubble which is a big help if your family decides to split up occasionally. 2 baths can really come in handy too.

    Have a great trip! :)
     

    Lilsia

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 17, 2018
    Back to Fort Wilderness, look into renting a camper. There are companies that you can rent from and the bring it in and set it all up and then pick it up when you are done. They have different sizes. I would price that out and see if it is a better deal. Have a great trip.
     

    mi*vida*loca

    Collect memories, not things
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2008
    With kids those ages I would do two value rooms. That way if you wanted to go back to the room with the little ones the older kids could stay at the parks if they wanted.

    Also, two bathrooms. I have two kids and only one bathroom in our home. But when on vacation, and trying to save time and everyone getting ready at the same time, two bathrooms is essential for a group that big, IMO. Especially when it’s bath time with the littles. It could get hectic.
     





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