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  • On Feb 23, 2014
    Krista from IL Asked

    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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