4 Walt Disney World Resorts You Should Spend an Evening At

We love to explore the Disney Parks during a Disney vacation. However, we also enjoy spending time in the many Disney Resort hotels. Evenings are a great time to visit some of the Disney Resorts and have some well-earned relaxation. For a full day of relaxation, plan to spend time at a Disney Resort hotel, following a day at a Disney water park.

We spend evenings at one of the Walt Disney World hotels to give us a break from thinking about Disney Park hours and attraction lines, escape the crowds, and rest our legs. Visiting a Disney Resort hotel doesn’t need a Park hopper pass either, so this is an excellent option if you’re taking a Disney vacation without visiting the Disney Parks. Visiting Deluxe and Moderate Resorts also makes for a magical experience if you are a Value Resort Guest.

Are you looking to spend an evening away from the Disney Parks during your next Disney vacation? Here are the four Disney Resort hotels we love to visit during the evening.

Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts

Disney’s Port Orleans consists of two Resort hotels. The smaller of the two Moderate Resorts is Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter, which is inspired by the historic French Quarter of New Orleans. Meanwhile, Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort is the larger Resort and emulates the romance of rural Louisiana. The Resort has two contrasting sections. Magnolia Bend is where you will find white-column stately mansions, whereas Alligator Bayou offers quaint backwoods cottages.

Disney's Port Orleans
Credit: V Mills

Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts are located on the Sassagoula River, just a short boat ride from Disney Springs. Take the Sassagoula River Boats to travel between the two Resort hotels, or take a stroll using the riverside path. For the whole experience, we recommend arriving at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort by taking the Sassagoula River Boat from Disney Springs, previously known as Downtown Disney.

When spending an evening at Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts, we usually begin at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort. Make your way to Ol’ Man Island to enjoy Campfire on de’ Bayou or a Front Port Freeze at Muddy Rivers. Afterward, enjoy dinner at the Riverside Mill Food Court before going to Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter. If your legs need a rest, catch the boat up the Sassagoula River to French Quarter. Otherwise, take a stroll around Riverside and then along the path to the French Quarter. This is our favorite way to travel between the Disney Resort hotels. Look out for horse-drawn carriages along the way.

We recommend spending the rest of the evening at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter. By now, your dinner should have settled so that you can enjoy a helping of Beignets. Make your way to Scat Cat’s Club Lounge, and sit in the bar area. You’ll find this spot inside the lobby of the French Quarter, to the right. If you’re visiting on a Wednesday through Sunday evening, you can enjoy your Beignets and choice of beverage to the sound of live jazz music. Stay as long as you like!

Scat Cat's Club Lounge
Credit: V Mills

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a beautiful place to relax for the evening, especially after a day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Arrive at the Deluxe Resort ahead of sunset to spend some time watching the animals on the savannah. Once you have enjoyed the view, give yourself time to admire the beautiful lobby of the Walt Disney World Resort hotel. Then head to dinner.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House
Credit: V Mills

With three restaurants to choose from, you’re spoilt for choice. We recommend securing an advance dining reservation in your choice of the restaurant ahead of your visit. Which of these restaurants will you choose:

  • Jiko – The Cooking Place – a signature restaurant in Jambo House that offers African, Mediterranean, and Indian cuisine.
  • Boma – Flavors of Africa – enjoy a mix of African flavors and American classics at this buffet restaurant.
  •  Sanaa – experience African cooking mixed with Indian flavors as you watch the animals roam the savannah outside Kidani Village.
Sanaa, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Credit: V Mills

After dinner, retire to Victoria Falls lounge. Sip on African wines or specialty cocktails while sitting by the crackling fire pit.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

After a day in Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is an excellent place to relax. Take a boat from Magic Kingdom Park across Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. Upon arrival, make your way through the grounds, enjoying the sights of the Geyser and Copper Creek Falls. Then head inside the Resort lobby to admire the stunning architecture. Look closely at the details to see if you can find a Hidden Mickey.

Disney's Wilderness Lodge Lobby
Credit: V Mills

It will soon be time for dinner, so head to the restaurant where you have secured an advance dining reservation. Prepare for lots of fun in Whispering Canyon Cafe while dining from all-you-care-to-enjoy skillets. Alternatively, enjoy eating alongside Disney characters in Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White. Guests who prefer casual dining can grab a quick-service meal from Roaring Fork. Geyser Point Bar & Grill is also known for its selection of delectable bites while dining al fresco.

Geyser Point Bar & Grill is where we always retire to after dinner anyway. We love to sit in this lakeside setting, sipping on a specialty cocktail while admiring the sunset. Stay long enough, and you’ll also catch a glimpse of the Magic Kingdom fireworks across Bay Lake. Shortly after the fireworks, the Electrical Water Pageant will light up the waters, providing the perfect ending to your relaxing evening.

Electrical Water Pageant Bay Lake
Credit: V Mills

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is an ideal Resort to visit for Guests of Disney’s Contemporary Resort or Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Guests of these Resorts can use boats to travel to and from their hotels. Similarly, Guests of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort can use the boats from Magic Kingdom Park.

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is a beautiful place to spend an evening outside a Disney theme park. Located just a short walk from EPCOT World Showcase and the Disney Skyliner station, or a boat ride from Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can stop here before returning to your Resort hotel for the night. Disney’s Beach Club Guests are just a short walk away from Disney’s BoardWalk too.

Disney's BoardWalk Inn Entrance
Credit: V Mills

There are plenty of restaurants to enjoy on Disney’s BoardWalk. We love to dine in Trattoria al Forno. After dinner, enjoy the entertainment provided by the street performers. If you’re traveling with younger Guests, why not hire a Surrey Bike and cycle around Crescent Lake? Make sure to also stop by the photo booth and take fun photos.

If your party consists of Guests who are 21 or older, we recommend spending the rest of your evening in Jellyrolls. While there is a fee to enter, this dueling piano bar provides entertainment for the rest of your evening through to 1:45 a.m. We recommend entering ahead of the Disney theme park closing times. Doing so will ensure you secure a seat inside and place your drinks order before it becomes busy. Spending the evening at Jellyrolls is an ideal way to extend your Disney evening without needing Extended Theme Park Hours. You may skip Early Theme Park Entry the following morning, though!

Jellyrolls, Disney's BoardWalk
Credit: Disney

Disney’s BoardWalk is an ideal Disney Resort hotel to visit for Guests staying at a Disney Skyliner Resort. You will have easy access to and from any of the following Resorts:

Which Walt Disney World hotel are you planning on spending time at during your next Disney vacation? Prepare for a magical Disney experience. You won’t be disappointed!

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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