Disney's Apartment-Style Hotel Rooms Are Its Best-Kept Secret
If your ideal Disney vacation includes breakfast on your own terms and a living room to spread out in, that fairy tale can come true. Many of Disney World's hotels are slyly housing the best rooms at the park, right under your nose. Whether you plan to watch fireworks from your room at Disney's Contemporary Resort, kick back in a whirlpool-style bathtub at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, or spot giraffes and zebras wandering an outdoor savannah from your grand villa balcony, these multi-bedroom offerings have the power to upend your typical Walt Disney World vacation.
From souped-up studios to apartment-style lodging with in-room kitchens, laundry machines and multiple bathrooms, knowing this booking loophole is key for anyone who's ever wanted a little more space while visiting the Most Magical Place On Earth.
If you've never noticed Disney's multi-bedroom villas before, it's likely because they're booked the same way as standard rooms but often priced higher. Bypass the sticker shock: The occupancy is easily double or triple of a regular room and offers lodging more comfortable and luxurious than booking multiple adjoining rooms.
Even still, it's hard to believe these large-scale rooms are hidden within some of Walt Disney World's most popular hotels. Some are in entirely separate buildings, as with Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort and Kidani Village at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, while others, like at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney's Beach Club and Disney's BoardWalk, are mixed within the property. Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and Disney's Old Key West Resort are exclusively villa-style rooms.
Walt Disney World primarily built multi-room options for Disney Vacation Club, the timeshare-like "membership" program ideal for families traveling on Disney trips annually — but regular guests often don't realize a section of each property is for anyone to stay in, usually at prices comparable to regular rooms. With bookings available for studios, 1- and 2-bedroom villas and 3-bedroom grand villas, DVC's multi-year agreement all but guarantees you'll never, ever stay in a standard room again, but vacationing families can reap some of those benefits even if they're not members.
Since Disney Vacation Club villas are intended for longer stays, they better suit the way you actually live on vacation. There are nooks for family dining, pull-out couches for useable living rooms, and small themed children's beds that magically fold out of TV credenzas.
There are washing machines and dryers in the multi-bedroom units, convenient grocery delivery options, and even eat-in kitchens hosting full-sized refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers and all the necessary pots, pans and cookware for a proper meal outside the parks.
Villas are designed with the Disney VIP in mind, and often feature upscale design and high-end furnishings, especially in bathrooms, which host gorgeous tiled showers and upgraded enhancements like jacuzzi-style bathtubs.
Even studio rooms, which are similar in size to traditional hotel bookings, offer a king-sized bed — which can be tricky to come by in a standard room — and pull-out couch for more of an apartment-style experience ideal for small families.
Disney's Wilderness Lodge just converted an entire wing of the hotel into brand new apartment-style rooms. The Copper Creek Villas, which are conveniently located just steps from the lobby, boast trend-focused furnishings with a rustic touch and subtle Disney touches throughout. (All rooms feature artwork referencing the Carolwood Pacific Railroad, Walt Disney's miniature backyard train at his Los Angeles home.)
It's the difference between living out of a hotel room and truly coming home at the end of the night — and if that includes a freezer full of Mickey-shaped delights, a couch to kick back on and a room of one's own, all the better.