Where do you want to stay?
Where you want to stay at Disney depends on many things, onsite or offsite, how much you are willing to spend, how many is in your party, what kind of experience you want to have?
Personally unless I had family in Orlando I would choose to stay on property or at least accommodations that have dependable transportation to and from Disney I would stay onsite. Disney hotels have all that you would need, from laundry services to dining choices and offer guests many amenities such as the dining plan (sometimes FREE), extended park hours and free transportation to and from the parks.
There are lots of perks to staying onsite.
Disney offers resorts that fit any budget from Value resorts to just plain fancy! I have stayed at a moderate and value resort and I must say I love Pop Century which is a Value Resort.
You can price your stay based on time of travel and resort choice at http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/
***Paying a few extra dollars for a preferred room is worth every penny in my book! Preferred rooms are usually closer to the main building, dining and bus stops. These resorts are HUGE! Walking to a room in the back forty after a long, fun but exhausting day at the park can be a killer. I would suggest asking for a room near (but not right next to) an elevator. Each building is HUGE the elevator is usually centrally located and once you ride up or down you may have a long walk. Trust me you will get plenty of walking done in the parks!
The Value Resorts are: You can rent a fridge or get in on a *fridge swap
Pop Century~Has a theme of popular oversixed icons through the centuries
All Star Sports ~Sports Themes
All Star Movies~Disney Movies Themed
All Star Music ~Music Themed
Disney Art of Animation ( Brand New, opening in stages) ~ Disney Animated Movies Themed
The Moderate Resorts: Slightly larger rooms that have a mini fridge and pools are a little more elaborate and have slides.
Coronado Springs ~ Aztec themed
Port Orleans-French Quarter
The Cabins At Fort Wilderness
The Deluxe Resorts: larger rooms, full service restaurants, larger more elaborate pools. Some of the themes carryover to the outside with the Boardwalk and the animals you will find just outside your window at Animal Kingdom. Some are situated on the monorail or have park transportation by boat.
Animal Kingdom Lodge
Yacht Club Resort
The Deluxe Villas: Can be found at most Deluxe Resorts.
If you have a family of 5 or more you will probably need to choose a Family Suite at one of the Value Resorts and/or Port Orleans Riverside offers trundles that can accommodate a younger child.
Do the Disney Math!
Sometimes Disney offers FREE dining! Yes, you read that correctly. For the Value Resorts that usually includes counter service meals, for the Moderate and Deluxe Resorts that usually includes Table Service meals, so do the math if you are wanting table service meals it may be in your best interest to upgrade to a Moderate Resort than to pay for the upgrade for the Full Service dining plan at a value.
Please feel free to ask any questions and get a conversation started in the comment section: What has been your favorite resort? What did you like best about your resort. Did you stay offsite? What was your experience like?
*Fridge swap- A mini Fridge is not included in the price of a value room unless you have medications that require refrigeration, such as insulin or antibiotics (Disney can let you know what documentation you will need). Some forums have fridge swaps going and you may be able to get in on one, the first people pay for the fridge a few dollars each, when the first person leaves the fridge will go to storage at the resort and it will be available for the next person to pick up, return it to storage before you leave for the next arrival.
For the directory of all posts in this series go here.