How to Stay at Disney's Deluxe Resorts and Luxury Hotels for a Fraction of the Cost & with a Larger Family

We have been going to Disney parks for years.  My whole life actually.  We love the magic, the fun, and how much fun we all have.  That is expensive.  Crazy expensive.  At Disneyland, it is possible to stay off property, and be within walking distance to the parks.  That isn’t the case at Disney World.  In this post, I am going to share how you too can get a suite, at a luxury resort, for less than one night in a comparable room.

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Enjoying a Dole Whip at Disney
My favorite Disney treat!

Our first experience with Disney World was great! We stayed off-property at the always family friendly Embassy Suites near Disney World.  Once we arrived at the hotel, we found it wasn’t so easy figuring out how to get back and forth between the park and the hotel with three kids.

To read more about our first visit to WDW, click here.

We decided we would stay on property for our next Disney World Florida adventure. While "on property" at Disney World still isn’t as close as "off property" at Disneyland, the monorail, the boats, and the new skyliner make Disney hotels extremely convenient.  Now for the not fun part: the price.  Especially with more than four people, family-sized accommodations can really break the bank.

I mentioned this problem to a travel agent friend of mine who mentioned that she always buys points from Disney Vacation Club members when she stays there. My mind was blown.  Don't worry, I'm going to tell you exactly how we did it!

You can stay in a Disney Resort Hotel on Property, for a lot less.

Here is the breakdown for our latest trip. You can do your own search via this link.

Looking for the best Disney Resort for a family of 5 or more?

For the five of us...check that, six of us (we are bringing my dad)... standard rooms are not an option, so we had to find one large (or two smaller) bedroom options for the cheapest price. (Though they have studio/regular room options as well.)  Here is the price at David's Vacation Club Rentals...

It isn't cheap, but that's Disney! HA!

Less than 1800 total. For our whole trip. Look at the first line.  Under Animal Kingdom, value, and two bedroom.  That is the exact one we tried to book.

Here is the price of a one bedroom (yes on club level so more amenities, but you get the idea).  I am showing you what is available for our exact dates.

This is for one night at the same hotel,with fewer beds.

Let me break that down.  The total for David is 1800 total.  It’s about 1250 PER NIGHT for a similar room at the same resort,which is arguably the most expensive hotel at Disney World.

Most of the high end properties of Disney resorts in the USA are on the list for a deep discount.

The options include Disney Deluxe Villas and I will leave some links to reviews for each of these properties:

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas at Jambo House.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas at Kidani Village.
Bay Lake Tower
Beach Club Villas
Boardwalk Villas
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian
Old Key West
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Disney’s Riviera Resort
Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa
Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Copper Creek Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa -in Anaheim at Disneyland and a personal favorite.  It has direct access into the park.
Hilton Head Island-in Hilton Head South Carolina
Vero Beach Resort in Vero Beach Florida (not near Orlando)
Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa in Ko Olina- on the island of Oahu (on the North Shore next to the Four Seasons) and this is on my bucket list.

You can find an up to date list here.

The process of renting from a DVC owner is different than a hotel, but with that savings, who cares. Let me break it down for you.

1. Find out about the rental process 
 2.Pick a property via this link.
3. Then you fill our the online form with your first choice property, send them your deposit (which is fully and immediately refundable when what you are looking for isn’t available).

Hugging Minnie Mouse
We all love Minnie!

Disney Travel Agents will still help you, and they are free.

Even though we were booking through Disney Vacation Club, I still had a planner assist me with the other aspects of travel.  Please use them. They are amazing and can really help! I used this one.  Her name is Amy, and she even dropped hidden things off at my house to help surprise the kids.  She has been fantastic.  Please tell her I sent you (though she doesn't know that I am mentioning her)!

You can still use Disney Dining.

Just let Disney or your travel agent (and yes you can and should still use a Disney travel agent to help you with the details, even if you are staying using Vacation Club Points). know after you book that you need to add dining, and they will help you with that.

The Magical Express service works too!

We will be using it for the first time, and I am so excited.  It is essentially a shuttle to the hotel from the airport, but once you check your luggage, at your home airport, it will magically arrive in your room.  No hustling through the airport with suitcases, strollers, and kids!  This is another detail that the travel agent can handle for you, along with booking your fast passes, and making dining reservations.  FYI you need to make a reservation for every sit down meal at Disney World.  At Disneyland, it is a much easier process.

You can read about my favorite Disney treats here!

Here are the negative aspects of using the DVC points.

You will need to book fairly early.  

Because of the price, these can go quickly.  We tried to book it for our latest trip to Disney World, and they didn’t have something big enough for us for the whole time we were staying.  Sadly, this trip we are staying at the Art of Animation Resort.  It will be great, but isn’t a higher end property like the one we tried to book, and is considered a Disney moderate resort.  You can see in the picture above that we tried to book the two bedroom at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  I'm pretty disappointed that they were booked.  Next time!

Payment is up front unless you have PayPal.

After the $126 deposit, unless you do the bill me later feature in PayPal, payment is due then.  Not a deal breaker for me, just unusual for a hotel stay.

 I recommend getting travel insurance.

Because you have paid up front (or in installments), I would recommend travel insurance.  Kids get sick, things happen, and you don’t want to be out the cost of your room.  There is no cancellation if something happens.  But, with travel insurance, that's not a huge deal.

There is no daily housekeeping without an extra fee.

There is trash, and towel exchange if your stay is longer than 4 days, so don’t worry about that.  You may also pay a small charge if you want to add it.  If your stay is longer than 8 days, after day 4 you will get a complete cleaning.

For more up to the minute information, and answering questions, please check via this link. The FAQ should answer your questions.  Now, are you thinking about trying it?  Let me know how I can help!

Click here to check out more! (Or just to play with the hotel costs!)

how to stay at a luxury disney resort for less pinnable image
Pinnable image

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