Walt Disney World Resorts are an exciting option for anyone planning on spending more than one day at one of the Disney parks. While they will not let you stay in Cinderella Castle they do have a variety of resorts to choose from.
Staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel is more expensive than staying at a non-Disney owned hotel. There are perks to staying at a Walt Disney World Resort though.
The Perks of Staying at a Walt Disney World Resorts Hotel
- Disney’s Magical Express: Guests flying into Orlando International Airport receive free transportation to their Walt Disney World Resort. If you guests make the proper arrangements they can even skip baggage claim. Disney will get your luggage for you and deliver it to your room. When your vacation is over they will get you back to the airport.
- Complimentary Transportation: Travel to the theme parks, water parks and Downtown Disney (soon to become Disney Springs) free of charge. Options may include monorail, boat or bus.
- Extra Magic Hours: On select days parks may open early or close late. These hours are reserved for guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel.
- Magic Bands and FastPass+ : Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel get complimentary Magic Bands. Magic Bands replace your Key to the World Card and can be used as park tickets, room keys and credit cards. FastPass+ has replaced the traditional FastPass system. It has its Plusses and its Minuses. One of the plusses is you can get your FastPasses up to 60 days before you even arrive!
- Advanced Dining Reservations: Getting a reservation at Walt Disney World is getting harder all the time. Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel can make their dining reservations for their entire trip (unless it is over 10 days) starting 180 days before their arrival.
- Complimentary Package Pick-Up: Buy a souvenir but don’t want to haul it around. Have it shipped to your resort. Package delivery is not available on the last day of your stay.
Each resort has its own theme. They range from child friendly (and decidedly adult repulsing in some ways) themes with over-sized bowling pins and cartoon characters at the value resorts to Africa where giraffes may just peak in on you while you eat breakfast on your balcony at the Deluxe Animal Kingdom Lodge. There are a range of choices to suit both your tastes and your budget.
All of the Disney resorts have at least counter service, similar to fast food, offerings. These are offered food court style. Deluxe and Moderate resorts also have (or at least have reasonable access to) a sit down restaurant, which Disney calls Table Service. Some of these are world class so be prepared to make reservations (which can be, and in some cases should be, made up to 180 days in advance of your check in.)
All Disney resorts also have pools. Some have multiple pools ranging from heavily themed large pools with slides to small quiet pools.
Disney’s Resorts are broken into three categories, Value, Moderate and Deluxe. As you probably guessed their is a big difference in price from value to Deluxe. In any case they are all listed below. In future updates we will be giving each resort its own article.
- The Campgrounds at Fort Wilderness: Not technically a resort hotel but you can bring your own with you!
- All-Star Movies
- All-Star Music
- All-Star Sports
- Art of Animation Resort
- Pop Century Resort
- Caribbean Beach
- Coronado Springs
- Ft. Wilderness Cabins
- Port Orleans Riverside
- Port Orleans French Quarter
- Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Beach Club Resort
- Boardwalk Inn
- Contemporary Resort
- Grand Floridian Resort
- Polynesian Resort
- Wilderness Lodge
- Yacht Club Resort
- Swan and Dolphin (These twin hotels are not owned by Disney. Disney Magical Express is not available for them. They do include Extra-Magic Hours and complimentary Disney transportation to the theme parks and Downtown Disney.)
Disney Vacation Club (You do not have to be a member to rent one if it’s available!)
- Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas
- Bay Lake Tower (At the Contemporary)
- Beach Club Villas
- Boardwalk Villas
- Old Key West Resort
- Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Wilderness Lodge Villas