Disney World Hotel Options for Larger Families

by 16 Comments

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest

If you’re a family of four or fewer, you have limitless choices on where to stay during your Walt Disney World vacation. All the Disney hotels sleep four in their rooms. But if, like me, you have five or more in your family, then your choices become more limited. Here’s a run-down of your on-site lodging options at Walt Disney World.

Before I get going, let me first clarify by saying that all the WDW hotels allow the stated room capacity plus a child under the age of three sleeping in a Pack ‘n Play crib. For example, the standard value rooms at the Pop Century and All-Star resorts have a stated capacity of four guests, but they do allow five guests to stay in one room if one is a child under age three sleeping in a crib. This means that if your party of five includes a baby, then you can still stay in a single room anywhere at Walt Disney World.

The Art of Animation family suites offer a table that converts to a bed.

The Art of Animation family suites offer a table that converts to a bed.

WALT DISNEY WORLD ON-SITE LODGING OPTIONS FOR PARTIES OF FIVE OR MORE

A Murphy bed room at Port Orleans Riverside.

  • What is the stated room capacity?: Five guests, plus a child under the age of three in a crib.
  • Describe the room: Some rooms in the Alligator Bayou section of POR are equipped with two standard queen-sized beds plus a junior-sized Murphy bed that pulls down from the wall underneath the TV. Previously these rooms were outfitted with trundle beds rather than Murphy beds, so you may still hear them referred to as the trundle rooms. There is one bathroom with a double vanity.
  • Who would be most comfortable there?: The sleep surface of the Murphy bed is approximately 66″x31″. (This is smaller than a standard US twin bed, which is typically 75″x39″.) The Murphy bed is really most appropriate for an elementary-school-age child or preschooler. Anyone over 5 feet tall will be too large for the Murphy. Families of five with young children will have the best experience here.
  • Any particular pros to this set-up?: You have access to moderate resort amenities, as well as easy access to Port Orleans French Quarter and Downtown Disney.
  • Any disadvantages to this set-up?: There’s one bathroom for five people. The Murphy bed is directly under the television, making it more than usually disruptive if the parents want to sneak in a movie after the kiddos have fallen asleep. Other than the bathroom, there is no privacy for adults.

A standard room at many of the deluxe resorts.

  • What is the stated room capacity?: Five guests, plus a child under the age of three in a crib.
  • Describe the room: There are standard rooms at Beach Club, Boardwalk, Contemporary, Grand Floridian, Polynesian, and Yacht Club which have two queen size beds, plus a daybed. These rooms have one bathroom with a double vanity. Please note that the standard rooms at the Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge are smaller and typically do not include a daybed.
  • Who would be most comfortable there?: The deluxe room daybeds are larger than the Port Orleans Riverside Murphy beds. I’m a 5’6″ adult and have slept on the daybeds several times with no problem. Most women and virtually all pre-teen children would be fine on the daybed.
  • Any particular pros to this set-up?: You have access to deluxe resort amenities, as well as easy access to either the Magic Kingdom or Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, depending on where your’re staying.
  • Any disadvantages to this set-up?: There’s one bathroom for five people. Depending on the timing of your visit, the deluxe rooms can be pricey. Other than the bathroom, there is no privacy for adults.
The one, two, and three bedroom villas and the Fort Wilderness cabins all include a full kitchen.

The one, two, and three bedroom villas and the Fort Wilderness cabins all include a full kitchen.

A family suite at the Art of Animation resort.

  • What is the stated room capacity?: Six guests, plus a child under the age of three in a crib. Please note that Little Mermaid rooms at the Art of Animation are not suites. The Mermaid rooms sleep four, not six.
  • Describe the room: The AoA family suites are comprised of two rooms with a real door between them, plus two full bathrooms. The inside room includes a queen sized bed. The outside room includes a pull-out sofa which converts to a double bed and a table which converts to a double bed. There is also a kitchenette area which includes a dorm-sized refrigerator, a microwave oven, coffee maker and an extra sink.
  • Who would be most comfortable there?: Both the pull-out couch and the table bed are double size; they’ll each comfortably sleep two elementary-age or younger children, but two average-size adults would be fairly uncomfortable on each of these surfaces. If your party of six consists of mostly smallish children, you will probably be OK here.
  • Any particular pros to this set-up?: There are two real bathrooms. The kitchenette can be a help with quick food prep. The separate bedrooms means extra privacy for the adults. The resort is new, opened in 2012
  • Any disadvantages to this set-up?: The only Disney transportation is by bus. No on-site table service restaurant.

A family suite at the All-Star Music resort.

  • What is the stated room capacity?: Six guests, plus a child under the age of three in a crib. Please note that only some of the All-Star Music rooms are family suites, most are standard four-person value rooms.
  • Describe the room: The All Star Music family suites are comprised of two rooms with a real door between them, plus two full bathrooms. The inside room includes a queen sized bed. The outside room includes a pull-out sofa which converts to a double bed, plus a chair which converts to a twin-sized bed and an ottoman which converts to a twin-sized bed. There is also a kitchenette area which includes a dorm-sized refrigerator, a microwave oven, coffee maker and an extra sink.
  • Who would be most comfortable there?: The double pull-out couch will comfortably sleep two elementary-age or younger children, but two average-size adults would be fairly uncomfortable here. The chair and ottoman twin beds would comfortably sleep a teen or average-sized woman.
  • Any particular pros to this set-up?: Unlike the Port Orleans Murphy bed rooms, the deluxe standard rooms, and the Art of Animation family suites, the All Star Music family suites have four sleep surfaces rather than three. This makes it a good option for parties with more unrelated adults or for families with children who have difficulty sleeping in the same bed. There are two real bathrooms. The kitchenette can be a help with quick food prep. The separate bedrooms means extra privacy for the adults.
  • Any disadvantages to this set-up?: The only Disney transportation is by bus. No on-site table service restaurant.
The Saratoga Springs treehouse villas and the Fort Wilderness cabins include dedicated outdoor space.

The Saratoga Springs treehouse villas and the Fort Wilderness cabins include dedicated outdoor space.

A Fort Wilderness cabin.

  • What is the stated room capacity?: Six guests, plus a child under the age of three in a crib.
  • Describe the room: The Fort Wilderness cabins are comprised of two rooms with a real door between them, plus one bathroom. The outside room includes a pull-down double-sized Murphy bed. The inside room includes a double bed, plus almost-twin-sized bunk beds. There is also a full kitchen with standard refrigerator, microwave oven, coffee maker, range, oven, an extra sink, and basic cooking and eating utensils. In addition to the bed, there are tables and a small couch. The cabins include a deck with a picnic table, as well as access to the great outdoors.
  • Who would be most comfortable there?: None of the sleep surfaces are large. Both of the “big” beds are doubles, meaning that two larger adults may be uncomfortable sharing. The twin bunks are slightly shorter than standard twins, making them less comfortable for adults or teens.
  • Any particular pros to this set-up?: Unlike the Port Orleans Murphy bed rooms, the deluxe standard rooms, and the Art of Animation family suites, the Fort Wilderness cabins have four sleep surfaces rather than three. This makes it a good option for parties with more unrelated adults or for families with children who have difficulty sleeping in the same bed. The full kitchen can be a help with quick food prep. The separate bedroom means extra privacy for the adults. Outdoor space means that kids can run around close by. Boat access to the Magic Kingdom.
  • Any disadvantages to this set-up?: One bathroom for six people. Depending your location within Fort Wilderness, you may need to take an internal bus to get to theme park transportation.

A one-bedroom villa at some Disney Vacation Club resorts.

  • What is the stated room capacity?: Five guests, plus a child under the age of three in a crib. One bedroom villas which sleep five can be found at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Bay Lake Tower, Old Key West, and the Grand Floridian. The other Disney Vacation Club resorts sleep four in their one-bedroom villas.
  • Describe the room: One bedroom villas are comprised of two rooms with a real door between them. The inside room includes a queen-sized bed. The outside room has a full kitchen with standard refrigerator, microwave oven, coffee maker, range, oven, an extra sink, and basic cooking and eating utensils, plus a washer and dryer. The outside room includes a pull-out sofa which converts to a double bed, plus either a chair which converts to twin bed (at AKL, BLT, OKW) or a junior-sized Murphy bed that pulls down from the wall underneath the TV (at GF). At BLT and AKL, the five-person one-bedroom villas have two bathrooms, the others have one bathroom.
  • Who would be most comfortable there?: Disney Vacation Club members or guests who need a full kitchen.
  • Any particular pros to this set-up?: The villas have deluxe level amenities. The full kitchen can be a help with quick food prep. The separate bedrooms means extra privacy for the adults.
  • Any disadvantages to this set-up?: Someone is sleeping on a pull-out couch. These rooms tend to be pricey.
Several of the options for larger families include a sofa which pulls out into a double bed.

Several of the options for larger families include a sofa which pulls out into a double bed.

A two or three bedroom villa at any Disney Vacation Club resort.

  • What is the stated room capacity?: Eight or nine guests in a two-bedroom villa, depending on the configuration. Twelve guests in a three-bedroom villa, plus a baby in a crib.
  • Describe the room: These are like apartments. Depending on the resort you’ll find special features like a pool table in some AKL three-bedroom villas or a media room in the Grand Floridian three-bedroom villas. All three bedroom villas have at least three bathrooms. Two-bedroom villas have either two or three bathrooms. All have full kitchens with a washer/dryer. The master bedrooms feature king-sized beds. Other bedding includes queen-sized beds as well as pull-out couches and/or chairs.
  • Who would be most comfortable there?: Multi-generational parties where people need privacy and space.
  • Any particular pros to this set-up?: There’s lots of room here. Easy access to deluxe amenities.
  • Any disadvantages to this set-up?: These rooms are quite pricey. There are relatively few of these rooms on property, so availability may be an issue.

A treehouse at Disney’s Saratoga Springs resort.

  • What is the stated room capacity?: Nine guests, plus a child under the age of three in a crib.
  • Describe the room: The treehouses are similar to the Fort Wilderness cabins in that they are completely separate buildings, not rooms inside a hotel. The treehouses are comprised of four rooms with real doors between them, plus two bathrooms. The master bedroom includes a king sized bed. The second bedroom includes a queen-sized bed. The third bedroom includes twin bunk bed. The living room includes a pull-out couch that converts to a double bed, plus a chair that converts to a twin bed. There is also a full kitchen with standard refrigerator, microwave oven, coffee maker, range, oven, an extra sink, basic cooking and eating utensils, and a washer/dryer. The treehouse include a deck with a table, as well as access to the great outdoors.
  • Who would be most comfortable there?: Multi-generational parties.
  • Any particular pros to this set-up?: There’s lots of privacy, both inside the unit as well as with the outdoor space.
  • Any disadvantages to this set-up?: You’re fairly far away from the amenities at the main Saratoga Springs resort. Treehouse guests will have a much improved experience by renting a car. Treehouses may be pricey and availability can be limited.
All the WDW hotel offer connecting rooms. Be sure to request this in advance.

All the WDW hotels offer connecting rooms. Be sure to request this in advance.

Two standard connecting rooms at any Walt Disney World resort.

  • What is the stated room capacity?: With two rooms together, you’ll be able to sleep eight (at value and moderate) or ten guests (at some deluxe resorts), plus one baby in a crib per room.
  • Describe the room: Most value rooms have two double beds. Most moderate rooms have two queen beds. Most deluxe rooms have two queen beds plus a daybed. However, there are many variations on this. For example, during Christmas 2012 I stayed at the Wilderness Lodge. We had a room with two queen-sized beds connected to a room with a queen-sized bed plus two bunk beds. If you have a particular sleep surface configuration in mind, it pays to do a little research to see if your ideal bed configuration exists somewhere on property.
  • Who would be most comfortable there?: Guest who want two bathrooms. Guests who would like to have a door between adults/kids, but don’t need a kitchenette or kitchen.
  • Any particular pros to this set-up?: As I noted, there are some odd combinations of rooms out there, which may meet the needs of your family. The cost of two standard rooms may be less than the cost of a suite or villa. Connecting rooms exist at all the Walt Disney World resort hotels.
  • Any disadvantages to this set-up?: Connecting rooms are typically not guaranteed at Walt Disney World. For more information on this topic, consult our guide to the Art of the Disney World Room Request.

A suite-style room at Coronado Springs or any of the deluxe resorts.

  • What is the stated room capacity?: This varies considerably. Some junior honeymoon suites sleep only two, whereas the Presidential Suite at the Contemporary sleeps 10.
  • Describe the room: Too many variations to list.
  • Who would be most comfortable there?: Guests looking for a specific experience or sleep surface configuration.
  • Any particular pros to this set-up?: You get an experience that’s just right for your needs. Suites often include concierge service.
  • Any disadvantages to this set-up?: Costs are generally high. Some rooms are unique, so availability may be limited.

And of course, it’s possible that none of these options is exactly right for your family, or that these options are not at price points that make sense for you. In that case, there are a multitude of off-site accommodation options that may make more sense for you.

When looking at the Disney lodging situation, my family of five decided that joining the Disney Vacation Club suited our needs best. We typically use our DVC points to stay in one or two bedroom villas. But there are times when we’re out of points or find no villa availability for a spontaneous trip. In this situation, we usually get two connecting rooms.

Do you have a family of five or more? What is your preferred lodging situation at Walt Disney World? Do the cabins or family suites work for you? What about the villas? Or have you decided that off-site accommodations better meet your needs? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
Posted on October 8, 2013

16 Responses to “Disney World Hotel Options for Larger Families”

  • We’ve stayed at both Port Orleans Riverside and the Polynesian now that all of our kids are over 3 years old. I really loved the grounds at Port Orleans and with the discount they offered this year it was a great deal. The Polynesian was amazing and the size of the rooms there were awesome! Of course, now that we have everyone out of diapers, we are running into the bathroom issue. I think for our next trip we will have to stay at Art Of Animation. The only downside is that our 5 year old with Autism loved the waterslide at POR. I’m hoping getting to be in a Cars room will help him overlook the fact that there isn’t one at AOA. :)

    • While the pools at AoA don’t have slides, the Big Blue pool is exceptionally well themed, and there is a great water play area nearby – as well as standard slides in other areas of the resort. I hope this works out for your son.

  • We are a family of seven, and with the expense of tickets and food for a family this size, we have found 2 rooms at the Pop to be the most affordable. I know adjoining rooms are not guaranteed but we have never had a problem getting one. I know the rooms aren’t spacious, but we are there to spend time in the parks. So, all we need is a place to sleep and a shower. Having the two bathrooms is nice too. We even take turns at the table in the morning for a quick breakfast before heading to the parks. We prefer to stay on site so we can use the Disney bus system, enjoy extra magic hours and be surrounded by “Disney Magic” 24/7. This is what we can afford and we call the Pop our home away from home!

    • Cost is obviously a factor for many larger families, as you’ve discovered, getting adjoining rooms is often the most economic choice.

  • We like The Contemporary. We pack 5 people into 1 room which is tight quarters. However, the kids love the monorail and it is very convenient to get to Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. We tried getting a 1 bedroom at Bay Lake Tower but even trying last February for this September we couldn’t get anything at a discounted price (and I refuse to pay full price).

  • It’s worth noting the Cabins at Fort Wilderness also have a sofa. While this doesn’t pull out, it’s still an additional place to sleep!

    • Good point. This is nice fallback if a small child doesn’t want to sleep in the Pack n’ Play or is having space issues with a sibling in the double bed.

  • We will be five in a standard room at the Dolphin this February (2014). My DS13 is adept at sleeping on sofas and even chairs in hotel rooms as we always try to squeeze into one room when we can. Since this is the kids’ first time to Disney and DH and I have not been since our honeymoon in 1998 we will doubtless be in the parks almost all the time except for when the DDs 8 and 9 want pool time. I think a lot depends on your agenda and schedule in terms of what works best, as Erin has so well illustrated here! Never commented before but love your blog posts Erin!

    • Thanks so much for the kind words.

      You make a great point that your personal touring style has a big impact on all aspects of your vacation. If you’re only sleeping in the room, you may have different goals than if you plan to hang out at your resort much of the time.

  • Just skimmed this, Erin — have to have my coffee first! Great article to send to my brother, as he and his family of 6 are hoping to go to Disney next summer! You mentioned that DVC resorts are pricey. But did you mention the option of renting points through David’s? It can make a big difference! :)

  • We chose Port Orleans Riverside because of the rooms advertised to sleep 5. The preferred rooms at Alligator bayou have what is described as a Murphy Bed. This bed comes off the wall not vertically but horizontally…it’s the right size for a toddler but you might be concerned about a wild sleeper falling off of it. I loved the Gator/croc artwork inside but it might be scary for some.
    WORD OF CAUTION: despite reported recent upgrade to the extra bed, the facilities are not well-maintained. Within 90 minutes of our check-in, we discovered water leaking from the toilet into the vanity area. They responded quickly but took 3 visits and 24hrs to get it fully corrected. On our 2nd morning, there was no hot water; they responded to 9am calls, but we got unsatisfactory responses to additional calls throughout the day until hot water was restored after 7pm. Half of our party, in an adjacent room, stayed a 3rd morning and reported problems with hot water again on that 3rd morning. In retrospect, we would not have had such lovely surroundings, but would have had a better experience and value for the money, had we stayed off-property.

  • Thanks for this, we’re a family of 6 thinking of going next spring and this is really useful information up to now we’ve compared places to stay on http://www.hoteldealsbooker.com as they offer great deals on nearby hotels, we have to decide now whether to stay on-site or be located just outside, any way this info of yours really helps, many thanks.

    • Bill, I was unsatisfied enough when I got home yesterday, that needed to know how little I could have paid. Hilton Brands has about 3 hotels ranging from close to within Disney boundaries, some have transportation and one even has EMHs. Prices I saw for this weekend are as low as $99/nt plus ‘resort fee’ and the most I would have paid Hilton was $100/nt less than what I paid Disney.

  • Hi Cheryl, I sympathize with you and it does go to show that its worth having a good look around, I’m sure that transport facilities and other services provided would be reliable so therefore they become a definite possibility when considering other accommodation options, thanks for your feedback and all the best.

  • We are a family of 7 and I would love to suggest fort wilderness . Not everyone enjoys camping but Disney manages to make it seem so glamorous. Each loop has about 20 campsites and each loop has it’s owe showers,bathrooms and laundry area. Each site has soft ground that will fit 1 large tent and a smaller one. Each site offers picnic table and grill. Not to mention water electric and some even have cable hookup. My kids enjoy staying here because like every other resort there are pools gift shops but it also has campfires at night fishing horse back riding and play areas all over plus much much more. The over all coat is cheaper than most of the resorts too!!!!

  • Hi! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance
    from an established blog. Is it very difficult to set up your own blog?

    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast.

    I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to start.
    Do you have any tips or suggestions? Appreciate it

    Feel free to surf to my web blog … refrigerator (REFRIGERATORTROUBLESHOOT.COM)

Leave a reply, your thoughts are welcome!

Want a cool avatar next to your comments? Add one at Gravatar