Friday, June 4, 2010

Where should we stay?

Congratulations!  You're going to Disney World.  Now the planning begins.  And one of the biggest questions is, "Where should we stay?"  Let me see if I can help!

1.  What's your budget?  Okay, to this ranks up in the 'duh' category, but it's important.  Not only how much can you pay, but what are you willing to pay for your room?  There's three levels of resorts: Value, Moderate and Deluxe, each with their own benefits.  Price will also vary depending on what time of the year you visit, as well as available discounts.  If Disney isn't offering a deal for your travel dates, I strongly suggest going through AAA.  Discounts vary, but we've saved up to 20% off of rack rates on our room before. is a great resource for available discounts.

2.  How do you see your room?  Some people see their Disney room as a place to lay their heads and don't want to pay much even though they can.  Others see their resort as part of the Disney Experience (this would be me) and would be willing to a bit more to have a specific type of resort experience.

3.  What's important to you?  Do you want space?  Maybe a family suite in a Value resort or a villa will work best for you.  Do you want to be on the monorail?  Check out the MK area resorts.  Do you want to be close to Epcot?  Stay at Beach Club, Yacht Club or Boardwalk.  Want queen size beds?  The Deluxe resorts all have queens (or kings on request), as well as some Moderates, but not Values.

4.  Do not compare Disney resorts to outside hotels.  Doing this will ruin your mind!  It's a common complaint that Disney Deluxe resorts do not match up, dollar for dollar, with comparably priced outside hotels.  Of course not!  When I stay in a Deluxe resort, I'm not expecting the Four Seasons, even though I could often stay at a Four Seasons for the same price!  Disney resort prices are, yes, higher overall, but it's about more than just the room.  You're paying for transportation and other intangibles.  I'm okay with this, others are not.  And that's fine.  Just know that if you're paying $200+ for your room, it's going to be clean, it's going to be fun, it's going to be nice, just not the same as paying the same rate at another hotel.

Just some food for thought!