Resorts that accommodate families of 5
by Jeff Mullins
"Hi Dad. We just got back from Walt Disney World and, as always, had a great trip. Ours is a family of 5, so we are somewhat limited in our options for resorts. We've stayed at Port Orleans Riverside 3 times, and we've stayed in a family suite at Art of Animation once. We love both, although the buses are not great, particularly at POR.
We plan to go back again in 2019. Are there other resorts we should consider that can accommodate a family of 5? Or should we consider getting two rooms? If we get two rooms and have kids under 18, is it true that Disney guarantees that we'll get adjoining rooms? We heard both "yes" and "no."
Thanks for all your help!"
The Resorts that will sleep 5 in a room
All of the Deluxe Resorts, like the Polynesian, will sleep 5 - Photo by Andy Sanchez
(Mrs. Mom grew up in Plano, and I had lunch there last Saturday.)
I'm glad you had a great trip. Let's see if we can figure this thing out.
So, the hotels that can sleep 5 at Walt Disney World... All of the Deluxe Resorts have rooms that can sleep 5 or more. You can always move up to one of those.
n the Moderate Resorts you have Port Orleans Riverside, the Caribbean Beach Resort (almost all rooms), and the Cabins at Fort Wilderness Campground. Fort Wilderness is not for everyone, but those cabins will sleep up to 6.
In the Value Resorts you have the Family Suites at the All Star Movies and the Art of Animation.
The two rooms thing
Don't forget the Cabins - Photo by Andy Sanchez
I love the two rooms thing. We've done that multiple times at the Pop Century. It's cheaper that a Family Suite and you get REAL beds not sleeper chairs or sofas.
The connecting room thing can be an issue. Usually it works out, but...
Nothing in life is guaranteed
Visit Mickey with 2 rooms at the Pop - Photo by Cliff Wang
The word "guarantee" is a pretty strong word. Unfortunately, it's one that gets thrown around a lot incorrectly when it comes rooms at Walt Disney World. Even by Cast Members.
There is no absolute "guarantee" that you will get connecting rooms at any resort no matter what your circumstance. Yes, Cast Members will tell you that they don't split families with kids below a certain age. They'll tell you if there are 2 parents and kids you will get connecting rooms.
For the most part, that's true, but there are lots and lots of stories where it didn't happen.
For example, let's say that on a given night that there are 500 rooms in a resort that connect and on that night there are 525 reservations that need connecting rooms (it happens a lot). Pretty obvious that 25 families aren't going to get connecting rooms.
I will say that in those situations Disney does all they can to get those families adjoining rooms. But it's just not always possible.
Disney does a great job of keeping families together, but sometimes it just doesn't work out.
Get Luxury for Less in a Vacation Home - Photo by Top Villas
One option that I'm starting to really like is staying in vacation homes near Walt Disney World. I toured a bunch a while ago and I was really impressed.
You can rent houses that sleep up to 8 for less than $100 per night. That's a lot less than even ONE room at a Value Resort, much less two. For the price of a Family Suite you can rent LUXURY houses. We're talking around 100 houses at $100 per night or less.
These houses are really close to WDW. I was able to drive in less than 15 minutes from the house to Hollywood Studios. Very convenient.
Dad's Bottom Line
Jeff, there are lots of options for families of more than 4. All of them offer some great benefits. Our family was all about the two rooms. If I had to do it over, I'd probably explore the vacation homes option.