We have been to Disney a few times. The first time we went, the kids were really young. The twins were 3 1/2 and Daniel was 5. I wanted it to be perfect and easy! So we splurged. We stayed on the Disney property at the Grand Floridian for many dollars (yes we do that sometimes) and yes it was very easy!
The hotel was great, right on the monorail, with a view of the Disney fireworks each night. The hotel had a sandy beach right on the lagoon, a great pool, lots of restaurants, shops, etc. A great hotel to kill a day or 2 if you want to spend some time out of the parks. I still would do it like this again for a first trip with young kids.
After that trip, we took it down a notch. Another time we went to Disney with Rob’s whole family for his parents anniversary and we stayed at The Swan on points. The Swan, and The Dolphin, right next door, are both Starwood Resorts (SPG Category 4) and can be booked for about 8,000 to 10,000 Starwood points per night.
These resorts are a short walk to the Disney Boardwalk. They are not however on the monorail, but on the Disney Lagoon and are a short boat trip to Epcot where you can then hop on a monorail for Magic Kingdom. There is also bus transportation from the hotels to get to the other parks.
Both the Swan and the Dolphin have many amenities, and in my opinion, are a good choice if you want to spend some time away from the parks and not spend a gazillion dollars (like at the Grand Floridian).
The last time we went was back in February, 2013. This is the trip where Chase basically handed us $400 to spend on our trip. You can read about that here.
We were really brave on this trip and did not even stay on the Disney property. (Huh?). We rented a car and stayed about 10 minutes from every park at the Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas, Lake Buena Vista. We had a one bedroom condo with a kitchen for 10,000 Starpoints per night. We ate a very early breakfast in our kitchen, left immediately after, and passed out in our beds at about midnight every night. (Kids were much older on this trip). It was a nice space and very convenient to the parks. Parking at the parks was not as hard as you would imagine either. If we ever go back, (Rob says No!–we will see), I think this is the way I would do it again!