As of June 2, 2020, we’ll no longer be updating content. But don’t worry - Dad’s friends can still help with all your Disney dreaming, planning, and booking needs!
Thank you for your support of Dad’s Guide to WDW for the past 11 years!
Best Disney hotel for 5 people
by Kari Cosens (Charlevoix, mi, usa)
I have stayed at the all Star movies and Pop Century Resorts in the past and thought they were nice hotels. However, I also did not have children with me on these trips. I plan to go back to Disney with my husband, mom and 2 children ages 6 and 8. My children have never been to Disney. I am between 2 hotel choices that allow 5 people. Art of Animation Family Suite or Port Orleans Riverside. Not visiting either hotel in the past, would love your advice 🙂
Do not plan on being at the hotel long, cost, bed comfort, bus system and walking distances are main factors.
Art of Animation looks so cute, love the themes and the shower in the Lion King suite looks amazing! 2 bathrooms is a plus and only one bus, suite provides extra space, but extra cost and sleeping on a sofa bed?
Port Orleans, if staying with 5 people we would be in the Alligator Bayou area, preferred location? Heard that Alligator Bayou is the only part that accommodates 5, which may help with walking distance. Do not know how many times the bus system stops, is it a long ride, any longer than stopping at the 3 All Star Resorts? Everyone can have an actual bed, instead of a sofa bed-moderate vs value hotel may be more comfortable? Lower price is great. Also would be able to experience a fun boat ride to Disney Springs!
Dad, I cannot decide. What is the shortest walking distance, less bus wait times, fun for kids, comfortable for 3 adults for the price. Thank you for your help.”
Get Dad a little help
Carey, I haven’t stayed in either of those hotels, either, the Port of Orleans Riverside or the Art of Animation, so I asked our friends over at Destinations to Travel to answer this. Katie Poulsen, one of the great agents from Destinations to Travel, sent in this answer.
She said, “Both resorts are fantastic choices, and very difficult to choose from. Port Orleans is a beautiful, peaceful rest resort with winding pathways and a southern charm. The theming is just gorgeous.
Alligator Bayou preferred rooms are closest to the main building, but can still be a walk. The rooms have two queen beds and a pull-out bed. With five people, it can be a little cramped. However, this resort feels more like a deluxe resort than the Art of Animation.
The bus system at Port Orleans can have a long transportation times, although you would be the first to be picked up if you’re at the preferred rooms and when headed to the park should be the last to be dropped off. This adds time to your commute when you’re already tired.
That being said, there’s also a boat to Disney Springs, which is a beautiful ride and, in my opinion, better than taking a bus.
The Art of Animation is a fun resort. The Lion King Suites are decorated to feel just like you’re in a movie. With a family of five, you definitely have more room to spread out. Although you will not be in your room much, the extra space is nice to have.
You would also have a kitchenette. I found this to be a great idea for children. The pull-out couch is very comfortable; I’ve slept on it. The murphy bed isn’t bad, either.
The Lion King suites are not a far walk; they’re just off to the left of the main building and the Big Blue Pool. You would have two bathrooms and would help a great deal when you’re trying to get out the door and to the parks. The bus system is better than at Port Orleans; it’s a quicker ride.
I don’t think you can go wrong with either resorts you can choose. They are both top on my list. When it comes to what’s important, my advice would be the Art of Animation. It’s a great resort with extra space to spread out in your room and has shorter bus rides. The kids will love the theme and the Big Blue Pool. Will love a shorter walk and a bus ride.”
Carey, I agree with that. You basically have the choice between quiet and serene and loud and bright, and long bus rides, shorter bus rides.
Dad’s Bottom Line
I do think the Art of Animation is probably a better choice for you and your family. I would just throw in one little hint: If you wanna save just a little bit of money, get two rooms at the Pop Century. You got more beds and I like that option just a little better than the Family Suites, but that’s just me.