OlgaDavis30: WDW Wednesday - Choosing a Place to Stay

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

WDW Wednesday - Choosing a Place to Stay

Art of Animation

This week we are trying to figure out what our game plan is for lodging. In the past I have stayed both offsite and onsite at WDW. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Offsite gives you the option to shop around for lower rates at budget friendly hotels. You also get the surrounding restaurants that are usually far cheaper that those found on WDW properties. Many hotels also offer transportation to WDW at a free or nominal rate. For my family we plan on just sticking to WDW, but the rest of my family is doing their trip a little differently, where they may want to visit other theme parks with their older kids. This would probably be a better option for them as they are also driving there as where we will be flying. Disadvantages for us to stay offsite would most likely be location. It would be too much of a hassle to go back and forth to the hotel, and wait in line for the transportation, plus lugging around a stroller would not be fun.

Staying onsite gives you all the Disney perks. You get access to free Disney transportation, FastPass plus bookings up to 60 days beforehand, and 180 days beforehand for dining, (which comes in handy for those hard to get dinner with character reservations), Extra Magic Hours, the option to purchase a Disney Dining Plan. And the one I think is cool the option of charging things to your room – Which can be quite too easy and dangerous – I’ll feel like the Dole Whips are unlimited, but they’re not!

The only downside is of course is that your wallet is going to hurt a little more staying onsite. For me other than cost, I would say the location and ease of getting to hotel and parks would be most important. I’ll have a one year old and 4 year old with me and I know we’ll all need afternoon naps. So I will need something near by and stroller friendly. I’ll be taking my mom, so I’ll also need it to not be difficult for her to navigate on her own (in case the hubby and I want to venture off on our own).

Contemporary Resort

Onsite Hotel Categories:


In the end it really is up to onsite hotels for us. We think our toddler would enjoy staying at the Value – Art of Animation hotel and I think I would enjoy the closer, but tad blander Deluxe accommodations at Contemporary Resort. These two are on different sides of the price spectrum. And I think since it is our first time going as a family (and we hope to take future trips there), we will ultimately stay at the values resort. Some of the things I read and liked/disliked about the two choices are below:

Contemporary Resort

  • Can walk to Magic Kingdom
  • One of the less expensive Deluxe hotels
  • Views of Magic Kingdom fireworks
  • Can view Electrical Water Pageant from hotel
  • Monorail accessible from inside Contemporary
  • Pirate and Pals Fireworks Voyage departs from hotel
  • 50 minute specialty cruise for up to 10-12 people available at the dock
  • Large rooms
  • Salon on-site


  • Pool nothing special
  • Bland/boring rooms
  • Bus transportation is shared with other hotels
Art of Animation
  • Newest resort
  • Great themes
  • Dedicated buses
  • Most rooms are suites
  • Bigger, better food court than other Values
  • Spread out
  • Spotty cell phone service and wifi
  • Most expensive of the Value resorts

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