Walt Disney World is a world renowned vacation destination serving millions of visitors each year. People come from all over the world to experience what has become a right of passage for American families. Officially, Walt Disney World is America’s very first resort vacation destination. So it’s no wonder that Walt Disney World offers over 20 resorts for you to choose from. But how do you know which one is right for you? Continue reading to learn more about the Top 5 Walt Disney World resorts.
5. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort (Value Category)
Opened in May of 2012, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort boast a whopping 2,000 themed suites and another 864 themed regular sized rooms. Disney recognized that more and more of their guests were traveling in larger parties and the need for more space was met with the opening of this resort. Guests can choose from suites themed after Cars, The Lion King or Finding Nemo. Standard rooms are themed after The Little Mermaid. The draw of this resort is that the suites are spacious enough to accommodate up to 6 guests. Prior to its opening, parties of larger size were forced to either book two or more rooms or opt to stay in the deluxe category as it formally was the only one that offered suites. Art of Animation offers a larger than life interactions with some of the most beloved Disney characters. It’s also home to best themed “Big Blue Pool” which is currently the largest one on property. There is only one drawback to a stay here: the resort itself is HUGE and only has a single bus stop for transportation to/from the parks and other areas. Expect to stand in line.
4. The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort (Moderate Category)
If your the out doorsie type – but require indoor plumbing, then this is your place. If you are more of an indoor kind of person but happen to be traveling with someone who loves camping; then this is your happy medium. The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort are surrounded by forest of pine and cypress trees; so its quite common to see wildlife like deer, rabbits, peacocks and even armadillos during your stay. Equipped with all the comforts of home, each cabin offers a full size refrigerator, stove, microwave and dishwasher. The beauty of the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort lies in its ability to let you connect with the nature without having to pitch a tent. Horseback rides, nightly campfires with s’mores and movies under the starts are just a few of the extra activities you’ll find during your stay. Be sure to bring your appetite and your sense of humor. You’ll need it when you sit to eat at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review; a hilarious and spirited dinner show for the whole family. This show is very popular with all guest, not just those staying at Fort Wilderness, so be sure to make your reservations early. Because the grounds of the resort is so large, Fort Wilderness has its own internal transpiration system. That’s a plus, because it could be quite a hike from your cabin to the pool or main dining hall. One point worth mentioning is that there are different bus stops dedicated to specific destinations on property. This is unique in that bus depots at other resorts service all locations. So be sure you are at the right departure post prior to boarding.
3. Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (Deluxe Category)
Can’t decide if you want to go to Walt Disney World or take a trip to the Hawaii? Guess what, you can have both! Sitting on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort occupies 40 acres and is themed as paradise in the South Pacific. The resort is dressed in lush tropical landscapes, beaches and waterfalls. There are even tiki torches which are lit each evening in a grand ceremony. The Polynesian was one of the original resorts on property when Walt Disney World first opened, but its certainly not dated. In fact, Disney has expanded the resort with the addition of Disney Vacation Club suites. The Polynesian is also home to Ohana restaurant, a favorite among Disney veterans. A trip to the South Pacific wouldn’t be complete without a traditional luau so make sure to reserve your space at the Spirit of Aloha dinner show where you can feast on all you can eat platters of island pulled pork, roasted chicken & pineapple-coconut bread. Just be sure to save room for the Dole Whip!
2. Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter (Moderate Category)
Looking to mix a bit of the Big Easy with some Disney World Magic? Then you want Disney Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter. Port Orleans actually has two sides (Riverside is the other) but there is a special charm that can only be found in the French Quarter. Fans of the French Quarter notably point to the small size of the resort as its biggest draw. You won’t have to walk far from your room the the main building or any other location for that matter. In fact, the resort is so small there is only a single bus depot that serves all locations. That’s quite the comparison when you realize that all of the other resorts in this category have 3 or more bus stops. While your there, be sure to take a dip into the double lagoon pool and enjoy a few beignets. Take a boat ride on the Sassagoula river and let your mind slip away. If you are in the mood for shopping or are looking to have a night out on the town, Port Orleans is one of four resorts that offers water taxi transportation to Disney Springs.
1. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (Deluxe Category)
The number one spot goes to the flagship of all Disney resorts; Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The resort sits on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon and occupies 40 acres of perfectly manicured gardens. Complete with red gabled roofs, stained glass ceilings and chandeliers, this turn of the century Victorian themed resort is known as the crown jewel of Walt Disney World Resorts. The nostalgic feel of the resort pays homage to Florida’s past; the architecture and elegant designs are reminiscent of the extraordinary beauty of resorts built in the early 19th century. The atmosphere of the resort exudes luxury, charm and grace. Walking the grounds you can’t help but to notice how perfect it really is. From the amazing topiary’s in the English gardens, to the various offerings of chic boutiques to the the resort pool, The Grand Floridian is simply amazing and offers the most relaxing setting after a day in the parks. One of the best perks of being a guest of the Grand Floridian is the hotels proximity to the Magic Kingdom. The Grand Floridian was designed to flow with and set the backdrop for Main Street USA, so it’s no surprise that it’s beaches offer the best unobstructed views of Cinderella’s castle. For every princess bride looking to make her dream wedding a reality, Disney’s Wedding Pavilion at The Grand Floridian provides the perfect fairy-tale venue. The Grand Floridian is also home to central Florida’s only AAA five diamond restaurant, Victoria & Albert’s; where guest ages 10 & over can dine like royalty. With so many high end offerings there’s no question why this resort is number one on our countdown. A stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian is truly a wish come true.
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