Which DVC Resorts Are Best for Vacationing Families
One of the best parts of the Disney Vacation Club program is how it unites families. Grandparents can join their children and their grandchildren on a trip. The multi-generational nature of DVC ensures a connection that lasts for decades.
When we visit Disney, we inevitably invite family members to join us, which leads to an obvious question. Which DVC resorts are best for vacationing families?
Copper Creek Cabins & Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
DVC members agonize over where to buy contracts. Then, we annually debate where to spend our DVC Points in a given year. There are no wrong answers, as all DVC properties possess luxurious amenities.
Still, some offer a more familial feel. For example, Disney mimicked a longstanding tradition in creating Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. The company adopted the national park lodge style of hotel, one that emphasizes log cabin aesthetics and a celebration of nature.
The older generation will love the tranquil setting while kids play at the pool and run around the outdoor trails. And everyone will adore the dining options here, especially the perennial favorite, Whispering Canyon Café, and the character meal, Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas
I didn’t rank the various entries, but if I had, people would come at me with torches and pitchforks if I ranked anything other than Animal Kingdom Villas as the best. Its reputation speaks for itself.
I don’t care how old you are. All age groups in society love animals, and there’s nothing that can match the thought of spending the night at the same place where animals do.
We call this place a hotel, but it’s just as accurately described as a zoo, a natural habitat for dozens of animals. Somehow, that’s only part of the appeal of this resort, though.
The pools here are among the largest and offer some of the best water slides to boot. Then, we have the magnificent hotel lobbies, especially the one at Jambo House, and the stores that sell unique, authentic African merchandise.
Disney’s Beach Club Villas
Speaking of pools, you’ll find the best Disney one on the planet at Beach Club. Stormalong Bay is basically a modest water park that happens to be a ten-minute walk from the International Gateway at EPCOT.
So, parents can take their kids to the pool, allow them to work off some energy, and have some time for themselves. Conveniently, there’s a terrific pool bar, Hurricane Hanna’s, at Stormalong Bay. You don’t even need to leave the pool to drink and snack, allowing you to keep watch over your kids.
That’s only part of the multi-generational appeal of Beach Club, though. It’s also right beside Disney’s BoardWalk, which opens many other entertainment options for kids. Adults can have some fun at the nightclubs after the kids go to sleep, too. Oh, and that short walk to the International Gateway is a lifesaver when you need to entertain your kids quickly.
Disney’s Riviera Resort
Families have vacationed together since long before Disney parks and resorts were a thing. That’s something I adore about Disney’s Riviera Resort.
The décor at this hotel celebrates the Disney family’s vacations during the 1930s and 1940s. Walt and Lillian Disney would travel to Europe, and they’d sometimes bring Walt’s older Brother, Roy, with them. Pictures from these trips adorn some of the hotel walls.
That bit of tone-setting elevates the Riviera, but it’s not the reason why families will love it. Again, the pool plays a significant role here, as there’s a water playground, S’il Vous Play, and a massive pool.
Still, what kids will love the most is the ability to ride the gondolas. The Disney Skyliner connects this hotel to several others at Walt Disney World. More importantly, it keeps parents from suffering through aggravating bus rides to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Kingdom. The one question you’ll never hear on a gondola is, “Are we there yet?”
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
While I’m emphasizing pools and playgrounds as popular activities for kids, let’s be serious. When children dream of Disney, they’re all about the theme parks.
For many years, the Grand Californian was the only Disneyland Resort option for DVC members. Even now, it’s still the best one for families. That’s because of its proximity to Disney California Adventure.
While The Villas at Disneyland Hotel is new and shiny, you can exit the hotel lobby at the Grand Californian and be inside Disney California Adventure in less than five minutes. Kids will love that because they can bounce in and out of the park as often as they like. Meanwhile, parents and grandparents will be thrilled that they don’t have to walk as much.
The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
The signature element is a gigantic Mad Hatter pot that fills with water. At some point, the laws of physics and gravity take over as the pot overflows. When that happens, it dumps its contents on the euphoric children below. You can often hear their laughter from hundreds of yards away.
Meanwhile, grandparents and parents can enjoy the good life with the resort’s shopping and fine dining options. M. Mouse Mercantile is a personal favorite of mine. Then, we have meals at places like Citricos, Narcoossee’s, and Victoria & Albert’s. In fact, a publication recently named Victoria & Albert’s THE best restaurant in the United States.
During a Disney vacation, grown-ups need adult time. You’ll be hard-pressed to name something better than a meal at such a luxurious restaurant.