As a family, being DVC members is amazing. It opens up a whole world of vacation possibilities and gives the reassurance that you’ll be able to take your children to Disney regularly as they grow up. Having the ability to go to Disney every year was something I could have only dreamed of as a child, but my children are some of the very fortunate ones who are growing up in a DVC family. Whilst there’s a lot of information out there on the best resort for families as a whole, there’s very little on what children value most in a DVC resort, so I thought I’d ask my children what they think is most important at a resort. Here are the five things they agreed were most important.
If your children are anything like mine, then they’ll love an afternoon around the pool. And when it comes to pools, the bigger the better! All the DVC resorts offer kid-friendly swimming pools, slides, the option of fun activities to play with cast members, and often dedicated splash areas with smaller slides suitable for the younger travelers in your family. When it comes to child-friendly resort swimming pools there seems to be a clear winning resort. Beach Club‘s Stormalong Bay. This isn’t just a pool; it’s nearing a full-on water park. With the additions of a lazy river, and a sand-bottomed section, which none of the other Disney World Resorts offer, Stormalong Bay is definitely at the top of my children’s list of pools to go to.
Children need entertainment, pretty much 24/7. As if being on the doorstep of some of the world’s greatest theme parks isn’t enough, when they get back from a day at the parks, they don’t want the fun to stop there. Whether it’s playing games at the resort, watching a movie under the stars, or joining in activities around the pool, they really rate the resorts with the most fun things to do. All the DVC resorts offer some level of children’s activities, most often pool games, roasting marshmallows and watching movies outside in the evening. Some resorts go above and beyond this though and our particular favorite for activities is Animal Kingdom Lodge. Not only are you staying in a zoo, where you can often animal spot right from your room, there are also many free activities to take part in around the resort. The outstanding cast members here offer a number of small activities you can complete around Jambo House and Kidani Village, which you receive a bead for once you’ve completed. My kids absolutely love being able to collect things, so going around completing the activities and getting a bead for each one is a massive hit for us.
As an adult, my idea of good resort transportation is pretty much being as close to the parks as possible. Ideally, walking distance. However, my children have different ideas on this. Whilst they don’t want to spend a long time traveling to the parks, they want a variety of different ways to get there (and ideally, none of them would include any walking at all). Their ideal resort would have all the transportation options around Disney World – the Monorail, a ferry boat, the Skyliner and of course the Disney busses. Adults might see Disney transport as a means to an end, but kids see it as part of the fun. Unfortunately for them, there is no resort that offers all these options (well at least not yet!) so I think the winner here would have to be Beach Club again. From here you have the options of a boat to Hollywood Studios or Epcot, a bus that can take you to any of the parks, the Skyliner to Hollywood Studios just a short walk away and if you can convince the kids to walk a bit further you can take the Monorail from the other side of Epcot to the Magic Kingdom. This means that to every park except for Animal Kingdom you can choose a form of transport other than a bus. I have to give an honorable mention to the Polynesian though. The Monorail to the Magic Kingdom runs straight through the resort, which for a train-loving four year old can’t be beaten. You’re also right next to the Transportation and Ticket Center to get a Monorail to Epcot, and you have the option of a boat to the Magic Kingdom or a bus to any of the other parks.
Most children love fireworks. When they’re little, they often also hate loud noises. This can pose a bit of a problem when watching the fireworks in the parks. You can‘t really have the views without the noise. However, being able to see the fireworks from your resort means you get all pretty views with none of the bangs! There are a few resorts you can see fireworks from, including Boardwalk, Riviera, Polynesian, and the Grand Floridian, which all offer some stunning firework views. However, none of them can quite top Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort. If you have a theme park view room, you can see the Magic Kingdom Fireworks right from your balcony. You also have the option of going to the Top of the World Lounge. This is right at the top of Bay Lake Tower, open to DVC members, and gives arguably some of the best views of the Magic Kingdom fireworks anywhere on property.
My kids just love to snack. Especially when those snacks are in Disney World. Whilst all the DVC resorts offer some form of snacks, a few of the resorts go above and beyond the standard offering of cupcakes and rice krispie treats. For example, at the Polynesian, you can get the infamous Dole Whip at Pineapple Lanai, and at Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can get those delicious Zebra Domes from The Mara. However, one resort that really stands out here for its snack options is the Boardwalk. Here you can get a number of cakes and sweet treats at the Boardwalk Bakery. You can also pick up one of the best ice creams on Disney Property at Ample Hills Creamery. If your kids are in the mood for something savory, there’s also the Boardwalk Pizza Window, where you can pick up a slice of pizza.
The Best Resort For Children?
As you can see, there are quite a few different things my children thought were important in a DVC resort, and no one resort offers all of these. I don’t think there is one resort that could be classed as ‘the best’ for children. They all offer their own benefits, and that’s the wonderful thing about DVC. You’re not tied down to one resort; you can choose the one that best suits your needs at the time (providing you can get availability that is).
If you have children, what do they like most about DVC resorts? Do they agree with these points, or do they have different ideas? Let me know in the comments below!