This month in WDW Magazine, we talked about how to determine if DVC is right for your family, your travel style, and your budget. Today, Shannon Bonadurer from Special Kids & Disney and Destinations to Travel and I want to look at how Disney Vacation Club rooms can benefit families who have special needs.
First thing’s first – the DVC rooms we are talking about exclusively refer to the 1, 2, or 3 bedroom villas or any of the grand villas. The studio rooms, while still part of the DVC lineup, are no different than a regular hotel room in terms of layout and comfort. So with that in mind….
Not only are DVC rooms larger than a regular hotel room, but they are laid out more like a home. You’ll have the same kind of space you would in an apartment including different rooms and amenities like a small kitchen, and a washer/dryer. This makes it much easier for those in wheelchairs and scooters to maneuver around furniture and walls, and it results in a quieter atmosphere which can help those with sensory issues. And everyone can stretch out and have their own space.
You can bring groceries and medical supplies with you or have them delivered, which means that you can have more control over maintaining your regular routine and accomodate any dietary issues with no stress.
In the bathroom, bigger tubs and walk in showers make bath time way easier to handle. Plus a washer/dryer makes it easy to clean up accidents or simply to pack less, easing your transportation to and from WDW.
Many of the DVC resorts have zero entry pools, making it easy for those with mobility issues to get in and out of the water (we should note though, that all WDW hotels are equipped to help guests with mobility concerns access the pools). Several of the properties also have smaller quiet pools that are separated from the main pool – allowing families to enjoy a less crowded experience.
The WDW bus system also allows you to get to and from the park with ease – particularly if you are concerned about a physical disability. Disney buses are equipped to handle all types of mobility devices, and believe it or not is can be much easier to take the bus than to drive, park, and take a tram (where wheelchairs must be folded).
Our Top Picks
with special needs who travel to WDW often, buying a DVC membership may be the answer to ensuring you have a comfortable space on your vacations. But it’s not the only option. Disney allows the public to book these rooms just like regular hotel rooms after the membership priority booking window closes. And with sites like Dave’s DVC Rentals, you can actually rent points from a DVC owner for a fraction of the cost of booking the same room with Disney directly.
All that being said – any of the DVC resorts make a great choice, but our favorites for families with special needs are:
Old Key West – the original DVC property has the biggest rooms and an open concept floorplan that gives you lots of space to move.
Bay Lake Towers – you can walk to the Magic Kingdom, and the transportation options are fantastic.
Wilderness Lodge Villas – these are very quiet, and the quiet pool at this resort is our favorite (although it is under renovation currently).
If you would like to find out more about DVC, check out our January issue!
If you’re interested in booking a trip to a DVC property with your family, give Destinations to Travel a shout and they’ll be happy to answer any questions you have!
Want to learn more about DVC properties, including how to buy or rent points? See our January issue of WDW Magazine!