Envision your perfect day at the Parks: is it 95 degrees or 55 degrees? Love to be part of a big crowd or want to feel like you own the place? These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself when deciding what time of year to visit.
But no matter what, you will need somewhere to rest your tired body (yes, the average Guest walks about 11 miles a day!). Now the biggest decision – where to stay. Unlike other vacations, this isn’t JUST about the budget.
First – do you want to stay on property or off? For me, this is a no brainer. Staying on property means “ease”, and as a single mom, that’s what I want in a vacation. I don’t need to rent a car, I can travel easily between the Parks, I can buy the dining plan and I get the benefit of Extra Magic Hours (where the Parks open early – but only to people staying on property). Theme is also important to me – I want to be immersed in the Disney experience for my entire vacation, not leave it behind once I pass through the gates.
So with three levels of accommodations and 15 resorts, how do you decide where to stay? Think about how you plan to spend your time and the “level” at which you’re accustomed. Which group to you fall into?
Spa Time to Fine Dine: Deluxe accommodations, and heavily themed.Tons of hotel amenities, like spa, gym, golf courses, pools, fine dine restaurants.
Rope Drop to Fireworks: Mid-scale accommodations, great for people who will be out early in the morning, back late at night, and stopping back for a rest or a swim in the afternoon before heading back to the Parks for the night. Nice restaurants, strong theming.
Bed and a Shower: Planning to spend more time out of the resort than in it. Simple room with basic amenities — just clean, simple and great value.
And that’s the basic levels of the resorts: Deluxe, Moderate and Value. There’s more to it, of course. Each resort, no matter the level, has its own personality, theme, and transportation options.
Ok — now start your research! Read the reviews (TripAdvisor, Yelp), join a Facebook group for the resorts you’re considering (like Coronado Springs Resort WDW or Wilderness Lodge Tribute) but most importantly, TALK to the people in your group. Don’t forget as well, that we have lots of great info here on The Affordable Mouse (use the Search bar on the top right side) in addition to our Facebook page and group (The Affordable Mouse Vacation Planning 101). And of course, your friendly travel agent can be a tremendous help to you in determining the best option for your family.
There’s more than one vision for the “perfect vacation”, and luckily, Disney has everything you need to accommodate each one!
Alysia has always been a Disney freak. From her first visit in 1974 to her most recent visit in September, she has grown up loving the experience that Disney provides its guests. Now with two children, she can proudly say she’s raising two little Disney freaks of her own. When she’s not planning a trip, Alysia has spent the last 23 years in marketing, working at both billion dollar corporations and small non-profits. It was during her time at one of those non profits, the Wildlife Conservation Society (parent company of the Bronx Zoo), that she took a side job at the Disney Store to supplement her income. Those five years as a Cast Member convinced Alysia that she would do whatever she could to work in and around the Disney company to marry her professional expertise and her passion for the Mouse! Writing for the Affordable Mouse brings her one step closer to that goal!