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Our Keep in Disney’s Smallest Lodge Room


We are not any strangers to small resort rooms. Through the years, we’ve stayed in loads of cramped quarters–particularly internationally, the place tiny lodging are extra frequent. I’m fairly certain we as soon as stayed in an Airbnb in Hiroshima that was an precise faculty dorm room (it’s an extended story). About the one factor we have now not finished is a capsule resort–however that’s on the bucket record.

On the Disney facet, we’ve finished all the pieces from Worth Resorts to Grand Villas and spacious suites at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Up till this keep, our private “file” 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 plenty of controversy amongst each Disney followers and extra informal visitors. 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 selected conclusion and angle in thoughts. And maybe it was, however there’s additionally plenty of validity to the criticism. We’ll circle again to that in a bit, however for now, we must 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 type–the Duo Studio on the Villas at Disneyland Lodge (VDH). Of the 344 rooms on this new Disney Trip Membership tower, there are 38 Duo Studios. Of those 38 Duo Studios, there are 4 which can be within the Backyard wing.

That is truly separate from the principle 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 hassle?” quantity. My guess is that the backyard wing truly serves the aim of blocking out the pool space from the actual world simply on the opposite facet of Walnut Road, and it was both this or a giant wall. The small constructing was undoubtedly the correct name–it’s a pleasant place to remain and makes the pool space really feel a bit extra cozy.

The Backyard wing is residence 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. However between there being solely 4 of those rooms and the chance 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!

Earlier than getting too deep into this, we’d refer you to our full Villas at Disneyland Lodge Evaluation & Room Tour for all the pieces you have to know concerning 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 Backyard.

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

The Duo Studio rooms characteristic 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 low maker. Additionally they have shelving, drawers, and a closet–there’s enough storage for a celebration of two.

The Duo Studios all characteristic decor and themed design impressed by The Jungle E book. As with the entire current Disney Trip Membership rooms, the important thing characteristic 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 primarily a mixed-use or convertible room because of this.

When it got here to the Villas at Disneyland Lodge, 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, but it surely simply didn’t fairly “work,” with a couple of perplexing makes use of of house that weren’t precisely environment friendly.

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

The apparent draw back is that the principle 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. ft smaller than the common rooms.

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

To contextualize this, the house you’re shedding within the Duo Studio is actually 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 underneath the tv.

That’s in all probability why some followers contend the Duo Studio feels bigger than anticipated. Should you’re not utilizing the common mattress in the course of 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 have been simply the room itself, the Duo Studio would develop into claustrophobic with two individuals after a bit. We’re smaller individuals used to smaller lodging, however that’s been our expertise with the Tower Studio at Riviera Resort. That is exactly why we made the additional effort to ebook the Duo Studio Backyard, guaranteeing ourselves a balcony or patio.

By way of how the house contained in the Duo Studio Backyard at VDH is utilized, it’s very environment friendly. We have been involved about this, on condition that Riviera’s Tower Studio has a giant rest room and clumsy closet, which meant that room felt smaller than it truly is–at the least to us. Giving Disney the advantage of the doubt (to some extent), 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 have been additionally frightened 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 house. She burns via plenty of diapers, whereas Sarah and I are absolutely potty-trained. Only one instance.

In any case, the Duo Studios at Disneyland Lodge have the boxy goodness of regular resort rooms. Along with that, each inch of the room is thoughtfully designed, proper all the way down to the dual ottomans that match neatly underneath the nightstands when not in use. It will be not possible to record the entire intelligent makes use of of the house 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 current room overhauls and new designs, however we have been nonetheless frightened given the Tower Studio. Should you’re approaching this from the same perspective, we are able to put these fears to relaxation. Each inch of this room and each characteristic serve a function; nothing is wasted.

The three of us didn’t really feel too cramped in Disneyland Lodge’s Duo Studio, whereas the 2 of us did really feel that manner 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 paintings and darker woods. It’s fairly the departure from different current room designs at Walt Disney World or Disneyland, and particularly to Riviera Resort, which characteristic considerably higher design within the Deluxe Studios.

Once more, not the case with the Duo Studios at Disneyland Lodge. We each beloved The Jungle E book aesthetic, which is bit on the darker facet as in comparison with the opposite rooms (nearly all of that are princess-themed) but it surely’s nonetheless very vibrant and enjoyable. The paintings is sweet, 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 brilliant for those who use the entire room’s lights. There’s additionally extra window protection right here than within the Tower Studio, so you may have ample pure lighting, for those who’d favor.

My private favourite element of the Duo Studio is the appearances by Mowgli and Baloo. I had plenty of enjoyable capturing photographs of Megatron and Sarah showing as analogs to that duo. I additionally actually appreciated the realm rug underneath the the pull-down mattress, which each provides thematically and is only a good manner of giving the room extra depth and texture. It is a nice compromise between the extra sanitary laminate flooring and absolutely carpeted rooms.

Past this, the design of the Duo Studio is upscale, so it doesn’t really feel such as you’re staying in a price range resort room or ‘worth’ 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 individuals who are curious, we discovered the pull-down mattress to be snug. I might say “surprisingly” snug, however we’ve had fairly good success with all of those new-ish pull-down beds at Walt Disney World, too.

Should you’ve used a kind of, no matter your opinion of it’s will nearly definitely 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 lavatory can be fairly good and much like the Deluxe Studios. Loads of counter house, brilliant in-mirror lighting, and extra. There’s additionally extra Jungle E book artwork above the bathroom.

The mixture of rainfall bathe head coupled with a wand is sweet, as is the tile detailing and bench seating. There’s greater than sufficient house within the bathe, which is one other characteristic that can set this room aside from decrease tier rooms.

Saving the most effective for final, the balcony really blew our minds. That is the defining characteristic of the Duo Studio Backyard, and why a few of you {couples} ought to strongly think about the Duo Studio Backyard over a daily (balcony-less) Deluxe Studio. That is the large benefit this room has over nearly every other possibility at Disneyland Lodge.

The balcony on the Duo Studio Backyard looks like a development “goof-up” in one of the simplest ways attainable. It is perhaps troublesome to inform from the photographs, however this balcony is actually bigger than the principle 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 measurement between the 2 kinds of rooms. As if somebody midway via design realized that and mentioned, “screw it, simply give the Duo Studio Backyard an unlimited 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 sorts is that the Deluxe Studios have rooms that reach out additional into their balconies. It’s attainable that I’m unsuitable, however from I may collect, the footprint is identical–the Duo Studios simply have larger balconies and the Deluxe Studios have bigger rooms.

Technically, balcony measurement is just not counted into sq. footage…so this being the smallest Disney resort room is correct. However from a sensible perspective, that’s extremely doubtful. Should you gave me the selection between this room and its monumental balcony and the Tower Studios at Disney’s Riviera Resort or Worth Resorts at Walt Disney World, I’m taking this each single time–with out hesitation.

Truthfully, I’m additionally taking this over the Deluxe Studios inside the principle tower of the Villas at Disneyland Lodge. We’re large indoor-outdoor residing individuals, and the big balcony completely makes the totality of the Duo Studio Backyard really feel bigger than these balcony-less rooms. Other than sleeping, we simply spent 75% of our time right here out on the balcony. (The one motive that quantity wasn’t even increased is as a result of our keep was throughout one of many coldest nights of the 12 months in Anaheim–it obtained all the way down to 40 levels!)

This additionally labored out effectively for us as we have been in a position to make use of the Duo Studio Backyard to “leisure.” We’ve been avoiding indoor actions, so it’s been a couple of months since we’ve seen some mates. Having the ability to hang around on the balcony was good. There would’ve simply been house for six individuals in chairs on the market, assuming we had that many chairs and mates.

We all know there’s been plenty of curiosity about these new room sorts since Disney Trip Membership members are frugal. No shade or disgrace there, as we’re additionally frugal. Therefore 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 attainable–all the time reserving studios, and usually doing so with the value-friendly rooms on the BoardWalk Villas, Animal Kingdom Lodge, or Outdated Key West. For the “fancier” resorts, we attempt to ebook low season weekday stays at any time when attainable. That was a part of the motivation for doing this within the winter…however we additionally needed to attend till Megatron was a couple of months outdated for her first resort keep. There’s additionally the truth that this was after I may discover availability.

Anyway, the Duo Studio Backyard is a slight premium over the usual Duo Studio. Throughout 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 well 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.

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

For {couples} who would in any other case ebook a Deluxe Studio, the Duo Studio Backyard is much more of a no brainer. This room is all the time 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.

Should you’re primarily a Walt Disney World customer and are questioning the practicality of a balcony, take into account that Florida and Southern California have very completely different climates. Whereas the Orlando space celebrates summer time 43 weeks of the 12 months with scorching and humid climate, it’s extra prone to be too chilly than it’s too scorching in Anaheim.

Other than a couple of weeks in late summer time and winter, the climate is normally good in Southern California. Balconies are rather 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 Lodge.

The above worth proposition dialogue pertains to factors and never money charges. There was plenty of criticism concerning 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 nearly all Deluxe Villa Resort costs, particularly pre-discount.

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

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

Whether or not the Duo Studio Backyard is well 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 specific room–on factors–is completely super. That balcony provides a lot and nearly looks like a mistake. There are only a few DVC rooms inside strolling distance of parks which can be this massive, good, and low-cost.

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

As soon as absolutely declared, I believe there are sufficient frugal DVC members who will wish to make the most of the worth proposition the Duo Studio Gardens provide, making it troublesome to ebook these by way of money charges, regardless. The upside coupled with low provide (solely 4 items, by my rely) goes to make these a scorching ticket.

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

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

Against this, DVC members are higher-knowledge, repeat visitors who’re reserving aggressive classes as a result of that’s what they really need. I’d hope/hazard a guess that they aren’t complaining concerning the duo rooms, and in addition that they’re giving a lot increased satisfaction scores to this type of lodging. (A little bit of an apart, however I all the time assume discrepancies between causal visitors and diehard followers are fascinating.)

In the end, 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 house contained in the room, and blown away by the balcony. Her first keep was a enjoyable one, and we’re already searching for an excuse to ebook the Duo Backyard Studio once more.

Past {couples} with infants, the Duo Studio Backyard on the Villas at Disneyland Lodge is a implausible room for some demographics and the balcony or patio is an absolute gamechanger and substantial enhancement for the slight point-premium. Even with regards to simply the inside, Disney has improved upon the Tower Studio in a number of methods, and glued nearly the entire shortcomings present in that room at Riviera Resort. It’s clearly nonetheless small, however that’s a characteristic slightly than a bug–so it’s arduous to criticize that. Should you ebook a small room, don’t be shocked if you obtain…a small room!

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

Should you’re excited about becoming a member of DVC, be sure you learn our Final Information to Disney Trip Membership. This covers the professionals & cons, resale v. direct, how a lot cash you’ll save, and different vital issues to know earlier than taking the plunge. Should you nonetheless can’t resolve whether or not membership is best for you, “strive before you purchase” with the suggestions in Learn how to Save BIG on Deluxe Disney Lodging Renting DVC Factors.


What do you consider the Duo Studio Backyard on the Villas at Disneyland Lodge? Will you be profiting from the financial savings these provide and reserving, or would you slightly have a full-sized Deluxe Studio? Ideas on the large balcony? What do you view as the best use-case for the Duo Studio? Any questions concerning the Villas at Disneyland Lodge? Agree or disagree with our evaluation? Listening to from you is half the enjoyable, so please share your ideas within the feedback beneath!