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3 Unique Ways to Explore the Walt Disney World Resort

The Walt Disney World Resort has so much to offer and enjoy. Actually, it can be challenging to experience it all during a Disney vacation. Striking a balance between visiting the Disney Parks and seeing everything outside them can be difficult. However, you don’t have to miss out by exploring the Disney Resort hotels and visiting Disney Springs.

It’s time to discover three unique ways to explore the Walt Disney World Resort. Over the years, we’ve tried these ways of exploring. We enjoyed them so much that they became a tradition during our Disney vacations. Let us inspire you!

Take a Staycation

Taking a staycation during a Disney vacation has become one of our favorite things. When we visit the Walt Disney World Resort using a Disney Park Hopper Pass, we prioritize spending as much time in the Disney Parks as possible. As such, we choose to stay in a Disney Value Resort or Disney Moderate Resort. We don’t see the need to stay in a Disney Deluxe Resort for the entire vacation when we spend most of our time elsewhere in Lake Buena Vista. If you sound like us, then you should consider taking a staycation.

Disney's Saratoga Springs Rooms
Credit: V Mills

Is staying in every Walt Disney World hotel on your bucket list? Then we have something else in common! However, most Disney Resort hotels are part of the Deluxe Resort category, which can be expensive to stay at for an entire Disney trip. Here’s where a staycation works. During a Disney vacation, we now plan one night in a Disney hotel we have yet to stay in. Generally, our choice is a Deluxe Resort. Here’s why we love to do this:

  • A staycation encourages you to fully immerse yourself in the Walt Disney World Resort hotel you are staying in. You want to make the most of your stay and enjoy everything available at that hotel.
  • You are guaranteed some relaxation time. A Disney vacation is busy and tiring, so it’s essential to take some time to rest. One way to do so is to spend time by the pool. We plan to arrive early on the day of check-in for our staycation. Doing so allows us to head straight to the pool area, where we spend the day as soon as it opens.
  • A staycation can feel like a vacation in a vacation. If you plan your stay in the middle of your Disney vacation, you can take all the essentials with you, leaving the rest of your things at your main hotel. You won’t be too sad when your staycation ends, as you aren’t going home yet.
  • Staying in a Disney Deluxe Resort provides you the luxury of Extended Evening Theme Park Hours. Plan to stay in one of the Deluxe hotels for extra time in the Disney Parks. It’s your opportunity to experience a Disney theme park all to yourself (well, almost!). You’ll need to stay on a Monday or Wednesday night or check out on those days to take advantage of the additional benefits from your staycation.
Disney Resort Hotel Staycation
Credit: V Mills

Take a Detour back to your Disney Hotel

Sometimes, you wish to leave the Disney Parks to escape the crowds or the heat (or both!). However, you’re not ready to return to your Disney hotel. Next time you find yourself in this position, take a detour. We love to hop on the first bus that leaves a bus station to escape the crowds.

Disney's Hollywood Studios Bus Directory
Credit: V Mills

Taking the first bus leaving provides the perfect opportunity to explore the Disney Resorts. When you arrive, you can explore the lobby and grounds of the Disney hotel and browse the shop. If you have some time, it’s worth checking at the Front Desk to see what fun activities there are. Many of the Walt Disney World hotels have their own scavenger or hidden Mickey hunts, including Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, and Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort. Depending on the time of your detour, you may also be ready for something to eat. A detour offers a great way to stop at a quick-service restaurant you are yet to eat in. Alternatively, there may be walk-in availability in a full-service restaurant at the Disney hotel.

Hidden Mickey Hunt Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Credit: V Mills

When returning to your Disney hotel, you’ll be a couple of bus rides away. We recommend getting the bus to the closest Disney theme park to your Resort. You can then transfer to your Disney Resort bus at the bus station. Alternatively, catch the bus to Disney Springs before transferring.

Park Hop via a Disney Resort

Do you plan on Park hopping during your next Disney vacation? Have you considered Park hopping via a Disney Resort? Doing so is another excellent way to see all there is to offer in Walt Disney World. Guests can Park hop from 2 p.m. However, if you plan on arriving at your first Disney theme park for Early Theme Park Entry, you may be ready to leave around midday. Passing the time by visiting a Disney hotel allows you to take a break from the sun, escape the crowds and take things a little slower for a while.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Lobby
Credit: V Mills

Disney Resorts that you may wish to visit between Park hopping are:

  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, or Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort if you are hopping between Magic Kingdom Park and EPCOT
  • If you are hopping between Magic Kingdom Park and another Disney Park, visit Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Riviera Resort if you are hopping between EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • When hopping between Disney’s Animal Kingdom and another Disney Park, visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Disney’s Coronado Springs
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort, Disney’s Old Key West Resort, and Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts if you are hopping between a Disney Park and Disney Springs
Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort
Credit: V Mills

Have fun when you decide to explore the Walt Disney World Resort in any of these ways. Maybe they’ll become a new tradition for future Disney vacations.

Victoria Mills

Victoria is a Disney-loving, tea-drinking, Math teacher from Liverpool, England. Her motto is 'work hard, Disney harder'! Having taken part in the Disney College Program back in 2010, Victoria's love and appreciation for Walt Disney World only grew, and it's the place where she feels most herself - it's home!

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