Friends ask us all the time where to stay when we go to Disney World in Orlando. The answer depends on several factors including how much you want to spend, the type of room you want (also dependent on budget), and location you want. This post includes some of my tips to consider for each of those things.
There are over 25 Disney Resorts currently on property, so with that many options there is bound to be a place that is perfect for your family.
- Budget. There are three price ranges for Disney resorts. Value resorts are the least expensive, Moderate resorts are a little more expensive and have a few more amenities like a sit-down restaurant. Deluxe resorts are the most expensive and have a luxury feeling to them. Many of these have signature restaurants and even spas.
- Room Type. You can stay in rooms that are similar to hotel rooms (but with Disney touches). Some resorts have family suites which can sleep 6 people. Value and moderate resorts are usually rooms located in separate buildings with a main building that houses the front desk, gift shop, restaurants and market. These are sprawling locations with many pools. The deluxe resorts are usually one or two large buildings that have everything inside and include sit-down and signature restaurants along with the other amenities. There is usually only one pool at these resorts but they are fantastic. Villa style resorts which are available to Disney Vacation Club members are a mix of both of these styles and the rooms available are studios, one bedrooms, two bedrooms and grand villas with three bedrooms. Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground is a place where you can tent camp or bring your own RV.
- Location. Magic Kingdom Resorts- The Contemporary, The Polynesian and The Grand Floridian. These resorts also have Disney Vacation Club villas available. The monorail makes stops at these three hotels and the transportation center so staying at one of these make it easy to get to Magic Kingdom. The Contemporary is a short walk to the front gates of Magic Kingdom. Wilderness Lodge is a quick boat trip or bus ride to the park. This also where Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground is located. Shades of Green which is not open to the general public and not owned or operated by the Walt Disney Company is part of this area.
Epcot-Hollywood Studios Resort area- Beach Club, Boardwalk, Yacht Club are connected by walkways and waterways, which feature boats called Friendship water launches that can take you to the EPCOT entrance of the World Showcase known as the International Gateway, or to Hollywood studios main entrance. The Skyliner (a gondola style lift system) is being built now to connect some of these resorts with Hollywood studios. Caribbean Beach resort is in a different area and requires a bus to these two parks until the Skyliner opens in Fall, 2019. Disney’s Swan and Dolphin hotels are located in this area also they are not owned or operated by the Walt Disney Company. Guests at these resorts have some of the same benefits as guests staying at Disney owned resorts.
Animal Kingdom Resorts- Disney’s All-Star resorts, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Coronado Springs are located in this area. Disney’s All-Star Music offers family suites that sleep 6 people. These resorts are a short bus ride to Animal Kingdom Park. So, getting over to see Pandora is a breeze.
Disney Springs Resort Area- Port Orleans, Old Key West and Saratoga Springs are the resorts closer to the SHOPPING and DINING EXTRAVAGANZA known as Disney Springs. Saratoga Springs features a walkway that connects the complex to the resort. Port Orleans-Riverside offers family suits that have two queen beds and a pull-down child’s bunk.
ESPN Wide World of Sports Resort Area- Pop Century and Art of Animation resorts are located in this area which is the farthest from most of the theme parks. Art of Animation has suites that are themed like favorite Disney stories and can sleep six people. These two value hotels are connected by walkways.
All you have to decide is which park you love and visit the most and stay in that area. We hope this post is a helpful place to start when planning your next Disney World vacation.
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