Family Travel Question:

Q | Disney Blogger Event

A | News (and a new perspective) from a recent Disney blogger event

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I wouldn’t say that your overnight accommodations have the potential to make or break your family’s Disney vacation…if it wasn’t true. I’ve simply heard too many horror stories: of families opting to save money at discount motel chains off-site, only to find the trudge back and forth between the parks to be unbearable, or families commuting from relatives’ homes (that would be me), making long days even longer for tired kids. This is not to say there aren’t success stories as well, but after being invited to stay at Disneyland Resort’s Disneyland Hotel last week as part of a Disney blogger event, I won’t be vacationing any other way.

aulani_minnieWhy? Because the perks (both tangible and intangible) just can’t be beat. Our overnight at the Disneyland Hotel included Extra Magic Hour entry and two extra FastPasses per guest, per night (promotion offered through September 5, 2011), saving us one of the most valuable vacation commodities: time. We loved that we could check in before the parks opened in the morning, and the hotel would both assign us key cards and hold our bags. This meant we could park at the hotel, walk to the parks, play all day, and use the cards for pool access when we needed a mid-afternoon break (worth its weight in gold!).

Most families don’t realize that many Disney hotel room rates are competitive with off-site locations (this is especially true of Walt Disney World); ours wouldn’t have broken the bank by any stretch, but was still luxurious, spacious, and accommodated a family of five (a huge plus!). Best of all are the perks that can’t be measured in dollars: the way the Disneyland Hotel is themed to keep the whole family immersed in the ‘magic’, from the twinkling, melodic castle-themed headboards to the Monorail-themed pools to the Tiki Room-themed poolside bar and lounge.

We so enjoyed our stay at the Disneyland Hotel, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to learn more about Disney’s newest resort: the Aulani Resort on the island of Oahu. Opening later this month, Aulani promises to be the best of both worlds: both an exciting family vacation destination and a peaceful Hawaiian retreat. As you can see, even Minnie is getting into the Aloha spirit!

Photo courtesy of Pit Stops for Kids.

Got your own family travel tips to share? Please leave a comment.