Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Choosing A Hotel

After you have chosen your dates of travel you can begin researching where to stay. There are MANY options and this can the toughest decision that you will have to make. Many people chose to stay on property at one of the many beautiful hotels located inside the Walt Disney World property. The number one reason people chose to stay at a property within Disney is the location! The closer to the park gates you are the quicker and easier you can come and go as you please. This is especially convenient if your hotel is located on the Monorail. There are only three hotels located on the monorail: the Grand Floridian, the Polynesian and the Contemporary Resort. I have stayed at both the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian on my previous trips to Disney (look for a future blog on my peresonal reviews of these properties). However, we are on going on a budget this time and we will be staying off property. This is our first time to go as a family of 5 and my children's first visit to Disney!


There are many resources for researching hotels and planning your Disney vacation. Here are a few links that I have found useful: www.allears.net , www.mousesavers.com and of course www.disneyworld.com There are also some great discussion boards available to find many answers to questions you may have: www.disboards.com and www.wdwinfo.com. www.touringplans.com also is helpful in determing when is the best time to visit Disney along with helpful tips for planning your shcedules at the various theme parks so that you do not miss out on anything! I personally have always loved and used www.priceline.com and I have found some amazing deals for Orlando hotels this way. We are staying off property at the Embassy Suites Lake Buena Vista: http://www.embassysuiteslbv.com/


Things to consider when choosing your hotel: is there a restaurant in the hotel? Free breakfast? Free Parking? Pool? Refrigerator/microwave? Most importantly, is the hotel in a safe location? When traveling on a budget it is very important to make sure that your hotel room has a refrigerator and microwave. This allows for you to have easy access to quick meals for your children (look for a future blog on preparing quick meals in your hotel room). Being that we are a family of 5 one of our main concerns is space. We do not want a small one room hotel room for 5 people. We love Embassy Suites because their rooms are always so spacious and usually there is a door to the living room area to allow privacy for parents. Children have the option to sleep in the separate living area on the couch bed. Cribs are also available and usually a roll away bed are available if you just ask.


It is important to us to stay at a hotel that has free breakfast, this allows us to save money by not having to purchase any breakfast foods at the theme parks. We also plan to pack our own lunches everyday so that we can save money. Disney allows coolers with food and drinks to be brought into the parks which is great when traveling on a budget. However, your cooler must be a 'soft cooler' and glass is not allowed.


If your children enjoy swimming it is nice to chose a hotel that offers a good size pool with extra's for children such as baby pools, lazy rivers, beach entry, water play areas, etc. It is nice to take a day out from hitting the theme parks to just relax and enjoy the pool with your children. Remember, it is a vacation!

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