Last March, my family of 5 and I decided to enjoy our first resort only stay since becoming Disney Vacation Club owners.  Aside from a Moonlight Magic in Hollywood Studios, we were going to enjoy the amenities of Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge and stay away from the parks.  I love to cook so we thought this was a great opportunity to try a one-bedroom. Oh, if I had only known the heartache that would follow.

First, the room was extraordinary. Spacious, relaxing, tastefully themed, and the galley kitchen was perfect for our needs.  We had booked a standard view room but were fortunate to receive a little extra pixie dust and lucked into having a great view of the back savanna from the corner of our balcony.  We really enjoyed sitting on our balcony and watching the animals.  Our Savannah view room came with an animal picture checklist that the kids enjoyed checking off (maybe it comes in all AK rooms?). If we were spending all our time at the parks, this would have been a missed relaxation opportunity.

Second, the kitchen!! We’ve often made meals in our studio.  We’ve done most of our breakfasts in the room and become adept at some microwave lunches.  Having a stovetop meant a hot breakfast instead of cereal or Donut King (Dizzy Dolphin is the best!!). We were able to put our dishes in the dishwasher and head out to the pool instead of trying to wash in a tiny kitchenette sink.  We even brought a crockpot to have dinner ready when we came back from a day at the pool.  Of course, we are on vacation so we took advantage of dinner at Boma – delicious!

Finally, two other things truly made it a home away from home: two full bathrooms and having a washer and dryer.  No more fighting amongst the kids as to who was next in the bathroom!  Having a washer and dryer was a new experience.  We now realize that we can pack differently and we don’t have to put on cold wet swimsuits when we go back to the pool!

We had a wonderful week. Everything went perfectly and could not have been better. It was while we were there, we realized we had a problem; we didn’t have enough points to stay in a one bedroom as often as we would like to!

By the time our third child became a real boy (turning three means he finally “counted” by Disney standards) we had outgrown a regular hotel room.  So like many, when we first bought into DVC we bought enough points to make a trip or two in studios each year.  We own at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows which we thought was perfect for us due to the accommodations being primarily studios (unless you own enough points to stay in the Bungalows). We foolishly thought we would never even want to stay anywhere larger; it’s vacation, who wants to cook?! We also spend all our time at the parks and were not very concerned with the size of the room. We were wrong, very wrong.

The one bedroom offered so much more than a kitchen for me, my wife, and our 3 kids (12, 7, and 4); the ability for us to relax and not feel on top of each other.  Sitting at the kitchen table while the kids chill in the bedroom or vice-versa was amazing! It really transformed the way I now think of our Disney vacations. The minute we got home I started searching the DVC Store for that perfect add-on contract.  Same use year, the right number of points, and most importantly, where to make our next home! 

It’s been said many times but it bears repeating.  If you think DVC is right for you, I can’t recommend the following two pieces of advice enough: 

  • Buy where you want to stay.  The eleven-month booking window is really the only way to guarantee you getting what you want for your vacation.  And, get enough points for a one bedroom!
  • Studios are great for park heavy trips!! But, the space and functionality of a one bedroom for a relaxing vacation just can’t be beaten. 

6 thoughts on “First Time Staying in a One Bedroom: How I Got Add-on-itis

  • This is so spot-on! We always do studios because there’s only 2 of us, but we had points we had to use up a couple of years ago (use em or lose em), so we did a 1 bedroom at BLT… WOW! Total game changer! After that, we decided our first trip to Aulani last year we would do a 1 bedroom instead of a studio so we could make our own meals and we’re so glad we did. We didn’t even have to pack as much since we had the washer and dryer.
    We haven’t added on more points (yet) and have since had to go back to studios as the Aulani trip ate up a lot of our points. Still, those 1-bedroom villas are pretty sweet!

  • What till you stay in a 2 bedroom. Truly luxurious! And don’t get me started on the Grand Villas. We stayed at BLT in a GV about four years ago, and my 11 year old still talks about it with stars in her eyes!

  • Oh no! We own a Poly. When we bought we thought we would only want a studio. We love Poly but when I had to do an emergency laundry trip at midnight last year (we forgot one of our suitcases and had to wash the clothes we were wearing until our luggage made it the next day) I longed for a washer/dryer in the room. Friday we check into a one bedroom at Kidani! I think I will soon be searching resale listings too!!

  • AKV is our home resort and we LOVE staying in a 1-bedroom when we can! I’m glad that you had a great experience with your family!!!!

  • During the first 10 years of our DVC ownership, my Wife & I only stayed in studios. We thought we certainly didn’t need anything more. But then on one trip, we could only stay at the Grand Californian if we we sprung for a one-bedroom.
    Wow! That really changed our outlook. Especially because we love to spend a lot of time at our Disney hotels.
    We still get studios more often than not, but never hesitate to spring for a one-bedroom when we want the next level of vacation.
    This did lead to a small case of Add-on-itis.

  • Our family didn’t buy DVC until we got to the point where we needed at least a one bedroom, and now that we’ve stayed in one, I really want to get the one bedroom even when it’s just me and my husband travelling. The living room area is so relaxing, and having a table where we can get work done (at least one of us always has to work while we’re on vacation) was a game-changer. We’re staying in a 2BR in spring 2020, and I’m afraid after that I’ll never get my kids back onto the sofa bed!

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