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Disney Orlando: Hotel or Villa?

(28 Posts)
PaulaRaty Sun 16-Sep-07 22:37:07

Could MN members tell me which they prefer. We are going to Orlando next year family of 4.
I want to stay in a villa and my husband wants to stay in a resort hotel, I want to go for 3 weeks and he wants to go for 2. Advice please

oooggs Sun 16-Sep-07 22:45:33

We have done cheap motel to 5* Hotel (both pre kids) and a 4 bed villa with pool (with child).

With kids would go for a villa everytime - no contest. Otherwise what will you do when they are asleep in the evenings?

Have done 2 weeks and 3 weeks. When we did 3 weeks we did 2 in Orlando and 1 in Clearwater (for a rest, but with no kids)

If I have the cash now (and the twins were older grin) I would do 3 weeks in Orlando in a villa with a pool.

Plenty to do that is not Disney like shopping grin have a fab time I am so envy smile

PaulaRaty Mon 17-Sep-07 09:21:00


mckenzie Mon 17-Sep-07 09:28:20

I've not been yet PaulaRaty so I can't comment but if you do decide to go for the villa option, this is my friend's villa which she also rents out. It's very child friendly.

cornsilk Mon 17-Sep-07 09:29:32

We're looking to go also.I've been told villa by people who've been. Does anyone know the best time of year to go - when are the american kids not on holiday?

evenhope Mon 17-Sep-07 09:31:17

I would do resort hotel myself. We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside, which was lovely. Depends what you want to do while you are there. We didn't have a car and felt locked in.

cornsilk Mon 17-Sep-07 09:36:38

Your friends villa looks nice mckenzie - is there a discount for mumsnetters?
Please, please - when is the best time to go?

AbRoller Mon 17-Sep-07 09:48:54

Hi PR, Haven't stayed in a disney resort so I can't really compare from experience but I have been researching like mad since we decided to go next year. We stayed in a villa the last time which I thought was brilliant. Like oooggs said, what would you do when dc's asleep? It's nice to be able to cook your own food, have a swim whenever you want and we reckon because we're going for three weeks that there will be days when we just want to chill and have a B-B-Q or something.

I have 'the unofficial guide to WDW' and it has been brilliant. Lots of fabulous advice and hasn't said anything to sway me to consider a resort instead. Having said that, Disney do great offers and have some activities that only guests can avail of so we are still mulling over the idea of staying in a resort for one week just for the novelty.

Have fun smile

AbRoller Mon 17-Sep-07 09:54:00

Cornsilk that book I have gives a list of the US school breaks and recommends best times to travel re weather, queue's etc but we've been on loads of websites and have other books, unfortunately there are lots of differing opinions as to the best time to travel. You also have to keep in mind the school breaks here, as they can be very busy times too.

MegBusset Mon 17-Sep-07 09:54:14

Have been (without kids) and would say I doubt there's enough to do in Orlando for more than two weeks... we did it all in a week then went to the Gulf Coast (St Pete Beach) for a week. Although if you have a villa it's more enjoyable to spend days lazing by the pool, I guess.

As for time of year, you might want to avoid hurricane season (July-November, I think) -- we went in September 'cause it was cheaper, and got lucky with the weather, but we were there literally right between two hurricanes.

MegBusset Mon 17-Sep-07 09:56:32

Also if you did stay in Disney it's quite a trek from the other Orlando parks like Universal Studios -- so may be better basing yourself more centrally. We found WDW to actually be a bit crap, and US much better (particularly Islands Of Adventure) although I'm sure kids would love WDW.

PaulaRaty Mon 17-Sep-07 09:59:04

Thanks for all the advice, I think because DH has been before with mates he can't get out of the hotel mentality. I am trying to convince him that it will be different with kids in tow, I am looking more at the practical side of being able to put them to bed at night, do the washing etc. but he only sees having the extra time in the Disney park in the morn and evening. I think it maybe better to compromise doing the first week at the park and then move on to a villa that way if we go again we will know which was the best - hopefully my choice.

AbRoller Mon 17-Sep-07 10:03:08

Agree with Meg and Oooggs. There's lots of other things to do in orlando and US is fab. I havn't been to seaworld or discovery cove but friends have and said it was fantastic so, yes more central would be better if you plan on doing things other than disney. There's great dinner shows and the Florida mall or Millenia mall are fantastic for shopping.

AbRoller Mon 17-Sep-07 10:04:39

Best of both worlds. Hope you have a brilliant time smile

PaulaRaty Mon 17-Sep-07 10:23:58

We will see, but anymore advice would be helpful I haven't been before and only have the DH experience to go on

PaulaRaty Mon 17-Sep-07 11:50:15


chopchopbusybusy Mon 17-Sep-07 12:15:26

I'd say definitely three weeks if you can. There is plenty to keep you amused for three weeks and importantly allow some time off from the parks which to be honest can be exhausting. When we went last time with the children we had fourteen day passes for Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure/Seaworld/Busch Gardens/Wet'n'wild. We just bought individual passes for the Disney Parks as and when we wanted them. We did go most days to a park, but went first thing in the morning as they opened and went on lots of rides before it started to get busy. We then left the park for lunch/swim in the pool/relaxation/shopping etc. Occasionally, we returned to the park later in the day. This is more difficult to do at Disney because it is so far away from everything else and it takes longer to get from the car park to the parks, but you can still get there first thing in the morning before the queues become unbearable. I'd recommend having some days of relaxation too - much easier to do if you are there for three weeks. There are good beach resorts within reach for a day trip. The Kennedy Space Centre is within reach for the day too. DDs and I weren't keen on this though. Even DH grumbled that it was too busy - there was a satellite launch on the day we went and pre booking was essential.

We did have a book - I think it was The Brits Guide to Orlando and the page which recommended which days were quietest at the parks were very accurate.

Shopping is excellent. I'd set aside a day near the start of your trip and buy all your Tshirts, jeans, casual wear that you need for the holiday.

If you are going in school summer holidays then choose the last two or three weeks as American school holidays usually start in June and they go back mid August. Obviously, this is the hottest time of year, but the only other times we've been have been outside of school holidays without children.

chopchopbusybusy Mon 17-Sep-07 12:17:10

Oh, should have said we stayed in hotels. Have stayed at a disney one in the past and probably wouldn't again. If I was going again I'd choose a villa.

oooggs Mon 17-Sep-07 12:52:39

Hi again - some good advice there, we have been oct, nov, dec & jan all good months weather wise, but no idea on school hols. How old are your children?

Discovery Cove is FANTASTIC but children over 6 only and expensive

MegBusset Mon 17-Sep-07 13:27:52

Don't go to WDW on a Saturday. Was hellishly packed and we couldn't get on all the rides.

chopster Mon 17-Sep-07 13:35:54

we're going at xmas. Mostly because it is cheap to get flights, we're actually flying on xmas day. We're getting a villa, because although most nights the kids will be up late with us, it is nice to have the option to put them in bed early and sit and have a bbq or whatever. It's also good ebcause we usually pack up picnic lunches, and we can get the washing done, etc.

I'd go for three weeks if I could fit it in, but we can only manage two. We know there is no way we are going to do all the parks (dp has been twice before) but we're going to do the best ones and go shopping etc. We are also planning to drive down to miami and key west. It's really easy in america to find a motel somewhere, so we will drive to miami, spend some time there, get a motel halfway between miami and key west then on the second day do key west before driving back. The roads there are great, so it's a lot easier to drive long distances than in the UK. I also want to SEE something of america other than shops and disney!

chopster Mon 17-Sep-07 13:36:57

oh btw, I should have said that xmas is the busiest time of the year for disney! The quietest time is supposed to be the period between thanksgiving until up to xmas.

mckenzie Mon 17-Sep-07 14:14:42

I don't know cornsilk but i will ask

oooggs Mon 17-Sep-07 15:58:18

Hi chopster - your children will love it - the fake snow etc.........

we got married in the Keys and it is lovely down there, we went out there for Christamas in 2002 - those were the days [dreamy emotion]

chopster Mon 17-Sep-07 16:36:42

fake snow? shock grin

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