Family With Medals; RunDisney 10K; Stitch Hat; Lilo and Stitch Costume
  • On Feb 23, 2014
    Krista from IL Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    We are planning our first Disney Trip for my daughter's second birthday and I am feeling a little overwhelmed finding a hotel. We want it close to Magic Kingdom for convenience and we need a suite as she naps and goes to bed early. Meal plans? Please help!

    Hi Krista!

    I understand how planning a Walt Disney World vacation can be a little overwhelming; that's why we're here to help. The closest hotel to the Magic Kingdom is Disney's Contemporary Resort. It is one of my favorites, especially due to the location. We are still a two-stroller family, so I love having the option of walking to the Magic Kingdom or taking the Monorail. If you are looking for a suite, then I would suggest a 1-bedroom villa at Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort. It will be more expensive than a hotel room, but it also includes a washer/dryer and full kitchen in your villa. Disney's Contemporary also offers table-service restaurants such as Chef Mickey's (a fun character dining restaurant to celebrate a birthday!) and California Grill (a heavenly signature dining restaurant).

    If budget is a concern, then I would suggest Disney's Art of Animation Resort. It is a Value Resort hotel with family suites. The suites have a separate bedroom and living room area, and still include two bathrooms and a small kitchenette. The rooms are decorated to the styles of The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Cars. I love the pools, because one has a zero-entry pool, which is essential for my little ones that can't swim yet. I also really enjoy the food court here, because there are some healthier options. So although this hotel is not as close to the Magic Kingdom, I think your daughter would love it. My children love the Value Resorts because of the bold colors and fun atmosphere. 

    As far as a meal plan is concerned, I think it depends how much you eat. If you are planning on eating at a lot of table-service restaurants or character-dining restaurants then I would recommend the Disney Dining Plan, especially for the convenience. However, if you are light eaters or like to have smaller, frequent meals, then I would probably skip a meal plan. 

    I hope this helps! If you have any other questions, please ask away. Have a magical vacation!
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Meet the Panelist: Tania, Virginia

I've been on numerous Walt Disney World Resort vacations, ranging from girlfriend getaways, anniversary trips, "runDisney-cations," mommy/daughter trips and family vacations with my 5 princesses in tow! Need a reason for a Disney vacation? I've got 20! Learn More About Tania

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