Where to stay
The only way to 'do' Disney is to stay on property. We have stayed at all of the cheapest (Value Resorts) resorts Disney offers, all the Moderate Resorts and at three Deluxe Resorts (Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom and the Grand Floridian). Value resort rooms are usually between $85-186/night. The nice thing about booking with Disney resorts is that you can change to a better discount code as often as you find one up to a week before your stay. I usually book our stay as early as I can to begin planning.
We have started staying at the moderate resorts for a little variation to our trip. These rooms are nicer and they have MUCH better themed pools and the common areas. They range from $162-$300/night depending on time of year. Many also have a full service restaurant as well. All moderate resorts include one themed pool with a slide as well as many smaller pools and a hot tub. Every hotel we have stayed at also has a playground. Our favorite is Port Orleans French Quarter, it is very small with a boat to Downtown Disney. Another favorite moderate is Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. It has a fun pirate theme at the pool and surroundings as well as an upgrade to a pirate themed room.
Some Deluxe Resorts have the added bonus of monorail and water taxi transportation to theme parks. Disney's Grand Floridian Resort, Disney's Contemporary Resort and Disney's Polynesian Resort are all on the monorail. Disney's Wilderness Lodge has a boat bringing guests to Magic Kingdom.
Deluxe resorts have the higher end restaurants, more frequent busing, tend to be less crowded and more extraneous activities for the kids.
I have two blogs on specific resorts we recently stayed at:
Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort
Disney's Art of Animation including information on the new Suites for larger families!
If you have questions about a specific resort not listed email me today! firstname.lastname@example.org