Tips for Sharing a Disney Resort Hotel Room with Kids

by Shannon

Hi friend, I know why you’re here. You’re here because you’re panicking about your upcoming vacation to the Happiest Place on Earth. Why are you panicking? Because you’re afraid that you’ll be the Grumpiest Human on Earth since you have to share a hotel room with your *DUN DUN DUN* small children.

Our kiddos. Our Son (1.5) & Our Daughter (3.5). Don’t be deceived by their cuteness!

FIRST, TAKE A DEEP BREATH. YOU’RE IN THE RIGHT PLACE. Should you be panicking? Yep. We’ve all been there. Panicking about sharing a hotel room with your kids is a parent’s rite-of-passage. But have no fear! I’m dishing tons of tips and tricks from expert-traveling parents that will hopefully help make sharing a hotel room with your young children as stress-free as possible!

Control the Noise

There is so much outside noise when staying at a hotel. Doors opening and closing, conversations in the hallway, other people moving throughout the room while others are asleep. A white noise machine can really help to drown out some of those sounds so that your little ones can sleep un-interrupted!

We always bring our kid’s white noise machines from home when we stay at a resort. Not only are they used to hearing the sound of their white noise machine, they also are more likely to sleep through all of the sounds that come along with vacationing.

There are so many travel sized sound machines you could buy. We just prefer to bring our home machines (even though they’re bulky).

Another tip is to roll-up a towel and shove it under the door. Gaps in doors let in SO MUCH noise. You’ll be surprised how much less you can hear just by sealing that gap.

Darken the Room

Your little ones will be less-distracted in a room that is dark. If they can’t see all of the fun things that are around them, they’ll be more likely to give-in and fall asleep!

Disney resorts are great about having blackout curtains up on the windows. One thing I would bring though is a clip of some-sort since there always seems to be a small gap where the curtains meet. This could be as simple as a few bobby pins (I legit always have bobby pins with me!).

If you’re traveling to a hotel that does not have blackout curtains available, plan ahead! You could pin-up an extra blanket over the window or even purchase travel blackout curtains to bring with you on your trip.

Another simple item to throw in your suitcase? A plug-in nightlight. You may want to use it in the bathroom or entry area once your kiddos have fallen asleep so that you can see!

Request a Crib / Bed Rails / or Improvise!

All Disney World resorts offer complimentary pack ‘n plays. Request one when booking your room! You also could call and request an actual crib (though these cannot be guaranteed) along with toddler bed rails.

If you absolutely must have a crib and don’t want to take your chances that one will be available, you can rent one from an off-site provider and have it delivered to your resort! Most of the non-Disney stroller rental companies also rent cribs, inflatable toddler beds, bed rails, etc!

You also could improvise! I have pushed beds against the wall before and lined the bed with extra pillows to create a safe sleeping space for my toddler. You also could roll up towels and put them under the fitted sheet to keep your kiddos from rolling off the bed. Pillows can also be used to create a separation down the middle of the bed if you have two kids sharing. Basically, call the front desk and request a ton of pillows and thank me later!!

Create Separate Spaces

If you’ve ever been on a Disney cruise you’ll see where I’m going with this one. Cabins on Disney cruises have a large curtain that separates the pull-down couch from the bed; essentially creating two rooms. This is such a simple (but smart!) concept and honestly I don’t know why Disney doesn’t implement something like this at their resorts so that you could separate one bed from the other!

You could easily recreate something like this in your hotel room by bringing a large sheet from home and a few push-pins. Hang the sheet from the ceiling between the two beds and your kiddos won’t be able to see you! GENIUS! Pair this with your sound machine and you’re WINNING!

Utilize Bathrooms and Closets

Hear me out on this one. A lot of Disney World resort rooms have curtains or sliding doors that separate the large bathroom sink area from the rest of the room. We have used this space for our pack ‘n play because it allows us to close the curtain for darkness and less distractions. This is the perfect solution for naps. This usually means closing up the pack ‘n play multiple times but I think its a great use of this space!

We typically close the curtain until our little one is asleep and then open it back up once we go to bed.

You also could put your pack ‘n play in the closet alcove. This keeps it out of the way in an already crowded room and tucked into it’s own space.

Of course please be mindful of the ventilation in these space as well as objects that may be in your little one’s reach. Be smart and safe when doing this!

Maintain Routine

If you have a great bedtime routine at home, continue that at the hotel. Nothing better signals to your kiddos that its time for sleep than the routine that they’re used to. So if you always do bath, story, then bed, stick with that routine as much as you can while on vacation.

If your kids always sleep in a dark room with white noise, make sure you are duplicating that at the hotel.

Bring Comforts from Home

Similar to the above, we always pack our little one’s favorite blanket and stuffed animal with us. This way when it’s bedtime in an unfamiliar place, they have something that they know and love which makes it easier for them to relax and fall asleep.

Tire them Out

This one shouldn’t be too difficult at Disney but its worth mentioning! If your kiddos are going going going all day, chances are they will be exhausted and ready for bed by the time bedtime rolls around!

If your kiddos have a ton of energy, take them for a swim before dinner or explore the resort playgrounds. If they’re extra tired, they’ll most likely pass out once their head hits their pillow!

On the opposite note, make sure your kiddos are getting enough sleep! Nothing is worse than an overtired little one while on vacation. This may mean resting/napping at the resort during the day.

Divide and Conquer

If you have multiple kiddos of different ages, this could make hotel bedtimes easier for you!

Divide and conquer parenting and bedtimes. If you have a baby who goes to bed earlier than the older siblings, one parent can stay back at the room and work on getting the little one to sleep without the distractions of an entire family in the hotel room.

While one parent is getting the baby to bed, the other parent can take the older siblings to the pool or the playground or even just for a walk around the resort. Once the coast is clear and the baby is asleep, the rest of the family can head back to the room and get ready for bed.

This is a great example of where a room partition and white noise can come in handy! Go ahead and put baby in a corner, just this once!

Divide and conquer can also come in handy with sleeping arrangements. Maybe your kiddos are not doing well sleeping together? You could try splitting them up. Each parent sleeps with one child. 100% worth a shot if all else fails!

Hide. No really, HIDE!

You’ve got the curtains drawn, the sound machines going, you absolutely CONQUERED the bedtime routine, and the kids are tucked in bed. Soooo… now what? Well, now you get cozy while hiding in the bathroom. Call dibs on the bathtub, its much more comfortable than sitting on the potty, HA!

I am 100% serious (about the bathtub vs potty AND hiding in the bathroom). Keep out of the room — either in the bathroom or on the balcony if you have one!– until the kiddos fall asleep! This will better emulate their environment at home and hopefully they will fall asleep for you quickly!

Once they’re asleep you can sneak back in the room! Or maybe, DON’T! Enjoy a drink on the balcony while watching a show on your iPad. Thank me later!

We always bring our baby monitor with us to the hotel so that we can relax right outside of the room and still keep an eye on whats going on inside.

Book a Suite

If you’re still feeling uneasy after reading the above, it may make sense for your family to book a suite. Yes, they are more expensive. But maybe you can cut costs elsewhere and ensure that everyone gets a good night’s rest and has the space they need!

If you are not booking a Disney Vacation Club villa, you have 3 options for Walt Disney World suites. Art of Animation, All Star Music, and the Cabins at Fort Wilderness. We’ve stayed at all of these and definitely love Art of Animation and the Cabins. All Star Music is similarly priced but most definitely not on the same level as the other two — the rooms are very dated and the resort amenities are lacking.

See our Art of Animation Cars Family Suite Room Tour right here!

You also could consider booking a suite at one of the Disney Springs area hotels — a lot of which still include the Disney resort benefits like free transportation to the parks and extra magic hours!

Another option to consider for very large families is renting an entire house or apartment on Airbnb. Typically this will be less expensive than renting a suite on property. Of course keep in mind you will need transportation to the parks and you will not be able to take advantage of the benefits of staying on property.

I hope these tips have helped put your mind at ease! If all else fails, throw sleep out the window and have a giant sleepover at your resort! Your kids are only young once! ENJOY THEM & THESE MEMORIES!

Want to follow along on all of our family’s Walt Disney World adventures? Come check us out on Instagram @brbgoingtodisney! I promise you’ll like it here!

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17 comments

Taylor March 20, 2019 - 8:26 pm

Saving these for when I have kids one day! Thanks for sharing your secrets with us!

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Kristina August 19, 2019 - 11:25 am

Thanks for the great tips! We stayed at in a DVC studio at the Poly this summer, and we were able to slide the crib into the bathroom that only has a shower/sink. There was enough room to prevent my 12 month old from grabbing anything and we could slide the door shut until she fell asleep. Perfect!

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Betsy August 19, 2019 - 11:31 am

We loved putting the pack and play in the closet area of our Port Orleans French quarter room. Baby slept great !

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Kimberly Campbell August 19, 2019 - 11:49 am

Great article! I have an almost 3 year old son. Every year we go to our friends house in PA for a trip on the lake. This year, our friend group was a little bigger and included some new kiddos as our group keeps growing and growing. The room we always stay in has 2 twin size beds and in the past my son would sleep with one of us or in the pack and play, but this year he was just too big. So I ordered a child size aerobed on amazon and he slept like an angel! I put a mickey sleeping bag on it and it even came with a Mickey face mask that he actually wore and loved!! It worked out so great I’m thinking about storing it in my luggage for disney world in October. We are going to be in a AoA suite and there will be 4 adults and my son. I feel like rather than pulling out the couch every night for that 3rd bed, I’d rather just put him on the air mattress again!

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Jessica August 19, 2019 - 11:56 am

Hi there! Thank you for this! We are going in December with three under three and staying at Caribbean Beach resort. Are we able to request a standard crib in stead of a pack n play at a moderate resort? Also, are we able to request a pack and play and toddler rails? I never knew you could request toddler rails at WDw!!!

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Michele August 19, 2019 - 12:08 pm

Bringing the baby monitor is such a good idea! Definitely will be doing that next month! 😊

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Megan August 19, 2019 - 12:14 pm

Omg SUCH great tips! We struggle with this when traveling anywhere where we have to share a hotel room with the little one.

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Joyce August 19, 2019 - 1:36 pm

I love the advise to HIDE once they are in bed/crib. Balcony here we come!! Great tips as always.

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Danielle August 19, 2019 - 1:59 pm

Love that you included hiding! Ha! We’ve definitely hid on the balcony of the Poly DVC rooms a few times until our daughter was completely out. I’m definitely adding a chip clip to our luggage to keep those curtains closed; thanks for the idea. There’s nothing worse than the sliver of sunlight waking the kids up too early!

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Afton August 19, 2019 - 2:34 pm

Amazing tips, thank you for this helpful information!

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Brittany August 19, 2019 - 2:46 pm

This was literally the best advice when we went to Disney with our little! Thanks Shannon for all of your helpful advice and tips! You da best!

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Christine August 19, 2019 - 4:00 pm

Love these ideas! We’ve certainly done a few of these on many a vacation!! Great post 🙌

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Stephanie August 19, 2019 - 4:24 pm

GREAT ideas. We will be down with my 7 month old and my 16 year old sdaughter for her 16th bday! This will be super helpful!

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Nicole August 19, 2019 - 7:15 pm

on our last trip we were able to fit the pack and play provided by disney into the bathroom in the renovated room of pop century. we would put our little to sleep and be able to move around the hotel room. we would then move it back out when we were getting ready for bed

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Meghan August 19, 2019 - 7:32 pm

We used these tiles this past weekend when we went to the beach with our 7 month old and MAN, do you have it right! The sound machine and closing the blackout curtains with a clip really helped my little! When we go to Disney in December we will definitely take advantage of the curtain between the bathroom and bedroom!

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Laura August 19, 2019 - 7:34 pm

Great tips! We’ve travelled with the Baby Bjorn Tavel crib for our daughter (it worked for us at ages 9 months, 1, and 2 years) but next time she’ll be in a bed! We also rented DVC points and stayed at Bay Lake Tower in a studio. The convenience of the walk to MK and having a balcony was a huge plus over the moderates we’ve stayed at in the past, although I love POR and CBR!

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Tay August 29, 2021 - 8:07 pm

Good article, but please do not hang a sheet from the ceiling with pushpins! That’s a really good way to get kicked out of the hotel! (Speaking on behalf of a hotel manager).

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