Traveling with a large family to Disney comes with its own set of challenges. By Disney standards, a large family is a family with more than 5 people. So my family of 8 is downright gigantic. We have been going to Disney a couple times a year for the last 10 years and we have learned the tricks of traveling with a large pride. In this 4 part series I will tell you all our secrets for lodging, dining, tickets and enjoying the park. Big families can have an awesome time at Disney, all it takes is faith, love and a little bit of pixie dust (sorry, I couldn’t resist!).
Part one – Lodging
“I do have a map over the Cozy Cone Motel. And if you do stay,
we offer a free Lincoln Continental breakfast”- Sally, Cars
The most difficult part of planning your vacation will be finding lodging. Staying on property is an option but can be an expensive or inconvenient one. Here is the scoop. You can stay in a larger room on property, but that will cost you a pretty big chunk of money. You could stay in two separate rooms and request that they are connecting. That doesn’t always work, Disney will not “guarantee” connecting rooms, they will process your request but will not guarantee anything. We had this happen to us once and my husband and I ended up at separate ends of the hotel and it made for a not as enjoyable a trip. 9 times out of 10 Disney can accommodate your request, but we found that it was a gamble we weren’t willing to take.
The best bet in my opinion, both for price and being able to guarantee that you stay together, is staying off property. There are many hotels and resorts around Disney (most offer shuttles right to Disney) that can accommodate larger families and for a lower price. Our favorite hotels are:
Residence Inn, Lake Buena Vista – They are an official Disney World Good Neighbor hotel, they have spacious rooms that start at 109 per night in the off season. The largest room they have is a 2 bedroom suite and that goes for around $149 a night (great deal!) We have stayed here a few times and have always been very happy.
Doubletree Suites by Hilton Hotel, Lake Buena Vista – This was a favorite of our family before we had to graduate to the 2 bedroom suites at the Residence inn. These rooms are spacious and more than accommodating. A room that will easily sleep 6 starts at only $89 in the off season.
This past January was the first time that we didn’t stay in a hotel, we really went rogue and rented a house for the week. This is now my absolute favorite option! We were able to rent a 4 bedroom house (with a private pool) that was 10 minutes from Disney World, for only $750 for the entire week! We found the house on VRBO.com and it was perfect! I doubt we will go to Disney any other way now. It was great to be able to spread out after a day of crowds at the park. It was nice that the kids could play in the pool while my husband and I were able to watch from the living room. It really was ideal for our large family.
Now you know where to stay with your large family, look for the next part in the series to find out how to dine with your large family.