Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Room pricing and extra people

Since I started planning our family vacations, we have always stayed at a Disney value resort because we are a family of 4. Actually, on our first trip we were only a family of three! For our next trip we will be a party of five because we want our son's girlfriend to join us and so staying at a value resort is not an option.

I started to recently plan our next trip and that's when we decided to add our extra person. Being that we still have to have a tight budget, I was fearful of moving up to a moderate resort. Then I remembered that the family suites at the All-Star Music sleeps 6 people. I contacted my favorite Disney travel guy - Ric from Magic for Less Travel - and what he had to say surprised me.

For starters, it is cheaper to book two rooms at a value resort than to book the family suite. PLUS he said that while the suite does sleep 6, with four adults in our party, it would be really tight in there. When I saw actual photographs of the suite I had to agree. While the sofas and chairs all open up in to sleepers, they were really close together and didn't allow much room for fully grown people to move around. It's great when you are two adults with more kids, but four adults was pushing the level of comfort.

Then there was the moderate resorts. While most moderate resorts can sleep 5 people, that could be awkward for us, as well. I am unsure how comfortable his girlfriend would be with sharing a room and bathroom with the rest of us and it really lacks privacy. Price-wise, it was still up for discussion. There wasn't a great big price difference between having the two rooms and it was pretty much equal to having the suite, but again, we have to think of comfort, too.

Our friends who are going on their first trip, first thought of going to the campgrounds at Fort Wilderness because in theory, it seemed like the less expensive option. Turns out, it really wasn't. There was only a $10-$20 a night difference between getting a "tent" campsite or staying at a moderate resort! I mean, you would really have to LOVE camping to be willing to sleep on the ground, in a tent, with outdoor living and having to walk to a bathroom and using a community shower as opposed to having a private room with a bathroom and heating and air conditioning!

Bottom line, don't be afraid to explore all of your options. Had I not talked to Ric, I would have just assumed that the family suite was the way to go. Go on line, investigate, talk to a travel agent. In the end, you'll be glad you did.

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