Our Stay in Disney’s Smallest Hotel Room

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We aren’t any strangers to small lodge rooms. Over the years, we’ve stayed in loads of cramped quarters–particularly internationally, the place tiny lodging are extra frequent. I’m fairly positive we as soon as stayed in an Airbnb in Hiroshima that was an precise school dorm room (it’s an extended story). About the one factor now we have not carried out is a capsule lodge–however that’s on the bucket listing.

On the Disney facet, we’ve carried out every thing from Value Resorts to Grand Villas and spacious suites at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Up till this keep, our private “record” for the smallest room went to Disney’s Riviera Resort, the place we beforehand reviewed the Tower Studio and questioned whether or not it’s horrible or terrific.

Since then, the Tower Studio has been the supply of numerous controversy amongst each Disney followers and extra informal friends. We’ve stumbled throughout YouTube movies that completely eviscerate it. At first, this struck us as hyperbole–just like the reviewer purposefully booked the room with a particular conclusion and angle in thoughts. And maybe it was, however there’s additionally numerous validity to the criticism. We’ll circle again to that in a bit, however for now, we should always deal with the precise topic of this keep.

We point out the Tower Studio at Disney’s Riviera Resort as a result of our newest keep was within the new ‘remix’ of that lodging fashion–the Duo Studio on the Villas at Disneyland Hotel (VDH). Of the 344 rooms on this new Disney Vacation Club tower, there are 38 Duo Studios. Of these 38 Duo Studios, there are 4 which are within the Garden wing.

This is definitely separate from the primary tower in a two-story construction throughout from the pool. There are a grand whole of 8 rooms on this constructing, which could strike you as a “why bother?” quantity. My guess is that the backyard wing truly serves the aim of blocking out the pool space from the true world simply on the opposite facet of Walnut Street, and it was both this or an enormous wall. The small constructing was positively the fitting name–it’s a pleasant place to remain and makes the pool space really feel a bit extra cozy.

The Garden wing is dwelling to the one Deluxe and Duo Studios which have balconies or patios. Being large balcony followers and having stayed within the Tower Studio earlier than, that was crucial to us. But between there being solely 4 of those rooms and the probability that solely 1-2 of them have been declared up to now, it’s a extremely aggressive room class. Suffice to say, I used to be very happy (and fortunate) to have scored this reservation!

Before getting too deep into this, we’d refer you to our full Villas at Disneyland Hotel Review & Room Tour for every thing you could know in regards to the resort and a glance inside all the opposite room classes. That covers the professionals & cons of the brand new DVC tower as an entire, whereas this dispenses with fundamentals and background and focuses particularly on the Duo Studio Garden.

At solely 250 sq. toes in dimension, the Duo Studio Garden is the smallest model of this room in existence; it “beats” the Tower Studios at Disney’s Riviera Resort by 5 sq. toes, and that distinction positively issues in a room this dimension. The Duo Studios are meant for {couples} or solo vacationers…or in our case, a pair with a child.

The Duo Studio rooms function one queen-size pull-down convertible couch mattress, two ottoman, a flat-screen tv, 2-person bench, chair, and a kitchenette with mini-fridge, microwave, and occasional maker. They even have shelving, drawers, and a closet–there’s ample storage for a celebration of two.

The Duo Studios all function decor and themed design impressed by The Jungle Book. As with all the latest Disney Vacation Club rooms, the important thing function of the Duo Studio–which is what what makes it viable within the first place–is that the queen sized mattress folds down from the wall and transforms into the couch when not in use. It’s basically a mixed-use or convertible room consequently.

When it got here to the Villas at Disneyland Hotel, this new room kind was the one about which I used to be most excited. We had been very combined on the Tower Studios at Disney’s Riviera Resort, considering that the room class was a good suggestion, however it simply didn’t fairly “work,” with a number of perplexing makes use of of area that weren’t precisely environment friendly.

We had been desirous to see whether or not Disney discovered something and iterated upon the thought, or if the Duo Studio in VDH can be extra of the identical. So, did it stay as much as expectations? Let’s have a look…

The apparent draw back is that the primary residing space within the Duo Studio is small. That a lot needs to be obvious primarily based on the sq. footage, however in case not, these rooms are about 130 sq. toes smaller than the common rooms.

We’ve stayed in each the Deluxe Studio and Duo Studio within the Villas at Disneyland Hotel, and that distinction is totally noticeable. Don’t let anybody attempt to let you know in any other case with claims that this “feels a lot bigger” than it truly is.

To contextualize this, the area you’re dropping within the Duo Studio is basically the place the common mattress can be within the Deluxe Studio. The format is pretty comparable, however as if the common mattress had been surgically eliminated and the kitchenette condensed and grafted over to beneath the tv.

That might be why some followers contend the Duo Studio feels bigger than anticipated. If you’re not utilizing the common mattress throughout the day, it’s not likely including something to the room’s spaciousness. So there’s some validity to the purpose that the Duo Studio doesn’t really feel as small as it’s on paper.

Regardless, if it had been simply the room itself, the Duo Studio would grow to be claustrophobic with two folks after a bit. We’re smaller folks used to smaller lodging, however that’s been our expertise with the Tower Studio at Riviera Resort. This is exactly why we made the additional effort to guide the Duo Studio Garden, guaranteeing ourselves a balcony or patio.

In phrases of how the area contained in the Duo Studio Garden at VDH is utilized, it’s very environment friendly. We had been involved about this, on condition that Riviera’s Tower Studio has an enormous rest room and clumsy closet, which meant that room felt smaller than it truly is–a minimum of to us. Giving Disney the good thing about the doubt (to a point), their hand was in all probability compelled with a few of these format designs, because the Tower Studio is actually in a tower, so it’s essentially wedge-shaped.

We had been additionally anxious since we’ve added a child to the combination since our final keep within the Tower Studio. Granted, she may be very small by human requirements–like one-tenth the scale of both of us, tops–however she and her assorted belongings take up a shocking quantity of area. She burns by numerous diapers, whereas Sarah and I are totally potty-trained. Just one instance.

In any case, the Duo Studios at Disneyland Hotel have the boxy goodness of regular lodge rooms. In addition to that, each inch of the room is thoughtfully designed, proper right down to the dual ottomans that match neatly beneath the nightstands when not in use. It can be unattainable to listing all the intelligent makes use of of the area right here, however they’re apparent when you’re inside.

This shouldn’t be a shock–Disney has gotten actually good at space-maximizing designs with latest room overhauls and new designs, however we had been nonetheless anxious given the Tower Studio. If you’re approaching this from an identical perspective, we will put these fears to relaxation. Every inch of this room and each function serve a goal; nothing is wasted.

The three of us didn’t really feel too cramped in Disneyland Hotel’s Duo Studio, whereas the 2 of us did really feel that approach in Riviera’s Tower Studio.

One different criticism we had of the Tower Studio at Disney’s Riviera Resort was that the lighting is poor and that the design basically is a bit dreary and uninteresting, with scant art work and darker woods. It’s fairly the departure from different latest room designs at Walt Disney World or Disneyland, and particularly to Riviera Resort, which function considerably higher design within the Deluxe Studios.

Again, not the case with the Duo Studios at Disneyland Hotel. We each liked The Jungle Book aesthetic, which is bit on the darker facet as in comparison with the opposite rooms (virtually all of that are princess-themed) however it’s nonetheless very vibrant and enjoyable. The art work is good, and there are many pops of colour.

I additionally just like the number of lighting, which ranges from moody and atmospheric for those who simply use the sunshine behind the tv or lamps above the bedside desk to downright vibrant for those who use all the room’s lights. There’s additionally extra window protection right here than within the Tower Studio, so you possibly can have ample pure lighting, for those who’d want.

My private favourite element of the Duo Studio is the appearances by Mowgli and Baloo. I had numerous enjoyable capturing pictures of Megatron and Sarah showing as analogs to that duo. I additionally actually favored the world rug beneath the the pull-down mattress, which each provides thematically and is only a good approach of giving the room extra depth and texture. This is a good compromise between the extra sanitary laminate flooring and totally carpeted rooms.

Beyond this, the design of the Duo Studio is upscale, so it doesn’t really feel such as you’re staying in a finances lodge room or ‘value’ tier room. The finishings and decor are good and high-caliber, and there’s each bit as a lot consideration to element as within the Deluxe Studios. These are like these rooms–however with the common mattress eliminated–in just about each sense.

For those that are curious, we discovered the pull-down mattress to be comfy. I might say “surprisingly” comfy, however we’ve had fairly good success with all of those new-ish pull-down beds at Walt Disney World, too.

If you’ve used a kind of, no matter your opinion of it’s will virtually actually maintain true right here. We’re large followers of those kind of mattress versus one which folds out from contained in the sofa. Having a correct mattress is a large win.

The rest room can also be fairly good and just like the Deluxe Studios. Plenty of counter area, vibrant in-mirror lighting, and extra. There’s additionally extra Jungle Book artwork above the bathroom.

The mixture of rainfall bathe head coupled with a wand is good, as is the tile detailing and bench seating. There’s greater than sufficient area within the bathe, which is one other function that may set this room other than decrease tier rooms.

Saving the most effective for final, the balcony actually blew our minds. This is the defining function of the Duo Studio Garden, and why a few of you {couples} ought to strongly think about the Duo Studio Garden over an everyday (balcony-less) Deluxe Studio. This is the large benefit this room has over virtually another choice at Disneyland Hotel.

The balcony on the Duo Studio Garden looks like a development “goof-up” in one of the simplest ways doable. It is perhaps troublesome to inform from the pictures, however this balcony is actually bigger than the primary residing space within the Duo Studio, which instantly led me to wonder if it was a mistake.

It’s like they made the choice to do Duo Studios and Deluxe Studios on this similar construction, however didn’t account for the distinction in dimension between the 2 forms of rooms. As if somebody midway by design realized that and mentioned, “screw it, just give the Duo Studio Garden an enormous balcony.”

I’m severe. This construction and its balconies or patios are in plain view from the pool, and from what I may discern, the one distinction between the room varieties is that the Deluxe Studios have rooms that reach out additional into their balconies. It’s doable that I’m incorrect, however from I may collect, the footprint is similar–the Duo Studios simply have greater balconies and the Deluxe Studios have bigger rooms.

Technically, balcony dimension isn’t counted into sq. footage…so this being the smallest Disney lodge room is correct. But from a sensible perspective, that’s extremely doubtful. If you gave me the selection between this room and its huge balcony and the Tower Studios at Disney’s Riviera Resort or Value Resorts at Walt Disney World, I’m taking this each single time–with out hesitation.

Honestly, I’m additionally taking this over the Deluxe Studios inside the primary tower of the Villas at Disneyland Hotel. We are large indoor-outdoor residing folks, and the big balcony completely makes the totality of the Duo Studio Garden really feel bigger than these balcony-less rooms. Aside from sleeping, we simply spent 75% of our time right here out on the balcony. (The solely cause that quantity wasn’t even larger is as a result of our keep was throughout one of many coldest nights of the 12 months in Anaheim–it bought right down to 40 levels!)

This additionally labored out properly for us as we had been in a position to make use of the Duo Studio Garden to “entertainment.” We’ve been avoiding indoor actions, so it’s been a number of months since we’ve seen some mates. Being in a position to hang around on the balcony was good. There would’ve simply been area for six folks in chairs on the market, assuming we had that many chairs and mates.

We know there’s been numerous curiosity about these new room varieties since Disney Vacation Club members are frugal. No shade or disgrace there, as we’re additionally frugal. Hence or testing of the Tower and Duo Studios on the two latest resorts.

As DVC members, we attempt to use our factors as sparingly as doable–at all times reserving studios, and usually doing so with the value-friendly rooms on the BoardWalk Villas, Animal Kingdom Lodge, or Old Key West. For the “fancier” resorts, we attempt to guide low season weekday stays at any time when doable. That was a part of the motivation for doing this within the winter…however we additionally wished to attend till Megatron was a number of months outdated for her first lodge keep. There’s additionally the truth that this was once I may discover availability.

Anyway, the Duo Studio Garden is a slight premium over the usual Duo Studio. During our keep, it was an additional 2 factors, however it may be as a lot as a 5 level distinction throughout peak dates. In our view, it’s completely and unquestionably definitely worth the premium. For us, that was very true since this was a hotel-centric getaway and we spent most of our time within the room or at close by Palm Breeze.

Unless you’re park commandos who plan on doing Disneyland and Disney California Adventure from Early Entry till closing and solely want the room as a spot to crash, we predict the premium might be value it. Even utilizing that balcony for an hour or two a day–in your morning espresso or a drink to decompress on the finish of the day–makes it value it.

For {couples} who would in any other case guide a Deluxe Studio, the Duo Studio Garden is much more of a no brainer. This room is at all times cheaper (in factors) than the balcony-less Deluxe Studio, and the general footprint for this room seems to be bigger when you account for the balcony.

If you’re primarily a Walt Disney World customer and are questioning the practicality of a balcony, needless to say Florida and Southern California have very totally different climates. Whereas the Orlando space celebrates summer season 43 weeks of the 12 months with sizzling and humid climate, it’s extra more likely to be too chilly than it’s too sizzling in Anaheim.

Aside from a number of weeks in late summer season and winter, the climate is often good in Southern California. Balconies are far more helpful–which is a part of why it’s disappointing that there are so few of them connected to the rooms within the Villas at Disneyland Hotel.

The above worth proposition dialogue pertains to factors and never money charges. There has been numerous criticism in regards to the money charges for these duo rooms on each coasts being absurd, with costs beginning at round $500 per evening and going as much as over $700. No query, these costs are absurd. So too are virtually all Deluxe Villa Resort costs, particularly pre-discount.

The drawback with all Deluxe Villas is that you simply won’t be capable of discover them by way of reductions (because the stock is basically restricted on the lodge facet), so that you would possibly truly be paying these money charges. If the selection is between an everyday room on the Grand Californian (my favourite lodge at Disneyland Resort, and a powerful contender for #1 within the U.S.) and the Duo Studio–even the Garden one–for the very same value, I’m taking the Grand Californian each single time.

As a lot as we favored this room and its large ole balcony, we’d pay a premium to remain in a typical room on the Grand Californian (GCH) with a typical balcony. The Duo Studio Garden is nice and compares favorably to the Deluxe Studios at VDH, however the full package deal nonetheless isn’t pretty much as good because the GCH.

Whether the Duo Studio Garden is definitely worth the premium relative to the common Duo Studio or financial savings relative to Deluxe Studios is as much as the person or couple. Personally, I believe the worth proposition of this explicit room–on factors–is totally super. That balcony provides a lot and virtually looks like a mistake. There are only a few DVC rooms inside strolling distance of parks which are this massive, good, and low cost.

If paying money, it’s a very totally different story. I’d nonetheless favor this room over any of the common lodge rooms at Disneyland Hotel–and positively Pixar Place Hotel–however when in comparison with Grand Californian, it’s extra of an “it depends” scenario. If this room weren’t considerably cheaper and I didn’t have a use or want for the large balcony, I’m in all probability selecting GCH.

Once totally declared, I think there are sufficient frugal DVC members who will wish to benefit from the worth proposition the Duo Studio Gardens supply, making it troublesome to guide these by way of money charges, regardless. The upside coupled with low provide (solely 4 models, by my rely) goes to make these a sizzling ticket.

Honestly, that’s for the most effective. We talked about unfavourable opinions of the Tower Studios on the prime of the submit, and that’s utterly comprehensible. These rooms remind me a little bit of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser (oddly sufficient), as there’s seemingly a data hole between fervent followers and informal friends.

It’s not troublesome to think about a traditional, non-fan logging on to Disneyland.com to cost out rooms, seeing ‘Duo Studio Garden’ priced at $600 or no matter, and making the very affordable assumption primarily based on the money charge that it is a fancy lodge room. Only to reach and discover that there’s “no bed” and the room is sized like one thing within the coronary heart of New York City or Tokyo. I’m curious how usually Walt Disney World or Disneyland obtain complaints from common friends about this sort of room.

By distinction, DVC members are higher-knowledge, repeat friends who’re reserving aggressive classes as a result of that’s what they really need. I’d hope/hazard a guess that they don’t seem to be complaining in regards to the duo rooms, and likewise that they’re giving a lot larger satisfaction scores to this fashion of lodging. (A little bit of an apart, however I at all times suppose discrepancies between causal friends and diehard followers are fascinating.)

Ultimately, we went into Megatron’s first resort reservation questioning whether or not we’d made a horrible mistake and the tiny room can be worse than the Tower Studio and too tiny for 2 adults and a child. We ended up being pleasantly shocked by the format and use of area contained in the room, and blown away by the balcony. Her first keep was a enjoyable one, and we’re already in search of an excuse to guide the Duo Garden Studio once more.

Beyond {couples} with infants, the Duo Studio Garden on the Villas at Disneyland Hotel is a incredible room for some demographics and the balcony or patio is an absolute gamechanger and substantial enhancement for the slight point-premium. Even in terms of simply the inside, Disney has improved upon the Tower Studio in a number of methods, and glued virtually all the shortcomings present in that room at Riviera Resort. It is clearly nonetheless small, however that’s a function relatively than a bug–so it’s arduous to criticize that. If you guide a small room, don’t be shocked while you obtain…a small room!

As a common matter, the 2-person studio is a distinct segment class that’s solely going to work for sure vacationers. It’s robust to convey how these rooms really feel till you spend a good period of time in them. If, after studying this prolonged assessment and seeing the pictures & video, you’re nonetheless not sure of whether or not it’s best for you…it in all probability isn’t.

If you’re interested by becoming a member of DVC, you’ll want to learn our Ultimate Guide to Disney Vacation Club. This covers the professionals & cons, resale v. direct, how a lot cash you’ll save, and different necessary issues to know earlier than taking the plunge. If you continue to can’t determine whether or not membership is best for you, “try before you buy” with the suggestions in How to Save BIG on Deluxe Disney Accommodations Renting DVC Points.

YOUR THOUGHTS

What do you consider the Duo Studio Garden on the Villas at Disneyland Hotel? Will you be benefiting from the financial savings these supply and reserving, or would you relatively have a full-sized Deluxe Studio? Thoughts on the big balcony? What do you view as the best use-case for the Duo Studio? Any questions in regards to the Villas at Disneyland Hotel? Agree or disagree with our evaluation? Hearing from you is half the enjoyable, so please share your ideas within the feedback beneath!



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