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Best Disney Resorts for First-Time Visitors

One of the toughest decisions that Guests have to make when it comes to their Walt Disney World vacation is where to stay.  Walt Disney World offers three main Resort categories to choose from so Guests and find a price and accommodations that fit their needs.

There are definitely pros and cons to each Walt Disney World Resort.  There are some that put you really close to the Disney Parks.  Amazing pools and dining options are the focus of others.  No matter which Disney World Resort you choose, you will experience the Disney magic throughout your stay.

As we look at all of the different Walt Disney World Resorts, which ones are the best for first-time visitors?  We are going to give you our top Walt Disney World Resorts for first-time visitors.

Pop Century Everything Pop Food Court
Credit: Disney

Pop Century- Value

There are many reasons why we love Disney’s Pop Century Resort and why we would recommend it to first-time visitors.

First of all, Pop Century is a value Resort.  This means that it is going to be at a lower price point than Disney Resorts.  As many first-time visitors to Walt Disney World find the Resort cost to be extreme, Pop Century offers a lower per-day cost.

We also enjoy Pop Century for first-timers because of the easy access to the Disney Skyliner.  Guests staying at Pop Century are able to hop on the skyliner and take it to both Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT.  Transportation and navigating Walt Disney World can be tricky for first-timers.  Having the ease of the skyliner can make getting around that much easier.

When it comes to dining, Everything Pop offers an outstanding food court for families.  It provides a variety of options throughout the day making it easy for Guests to find food without leaving the Resort.

The theming at Pop Century is also lots of fun.  The over-the-top icons make it fun and exciting to be around.  We enjoy the three different pools that give Guests lots of options when it comes to swimming.

Finally, the Pop Century rooms have been updated and are extremely nice.  With two queen beds and lots of storage throughout the room, Pop Century is a great option for a first-time visitor on a budget.

Disney Art of Animation Little Mermaid
Credit: Disney

Disney’s Art of Animation- Value

Next door to Pop Century is Disney’s Art of Animation.  This Resort is also considered a value Resort; however, keep in mind that the family suites that are offered for larger families can see higher price points.

For those traveling with a larger family, Art of Animation is a wonderful place for first-time visitors.  Guests that love all things Disney will feel right at home at Disney’s Art of Animation.  The theming at this Resort brings the beloved movies of Finding Nemo, Cars, Lion King, and Little Mermaid to life.  Large icons from these movies as well as beautiful playgrounds and an amazing splash pad truly show the Disney magic.

Like at Pop Century, Art of Animation’s food court, Landscape of Flavors, provides Guests with a variety of choices throughout the day.  A large dining area, mobile ordering, and a variety of options give Guests a great place to find food throughout the day.

The Big Blue Pool is the feature pool at Art of Animation.  Although it doesn’t have a slide, you can listen to music underwater.  This pool is extremely large and has lots of fun for kids of all ages.

The Disney magic truly comes to life at Art of Animation and is a great place for first-time visitors.

Gran Destino Tower
Credit: Disney

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort- Moderate

As we look at the Moderate Resorts at Walt Disney World, one of our top options for first-time visitors would be Coronado Springs Resort, specifically the Gran Destino Tower.  The Gran Destino Tower provides Guests with a deluxe, luxury feels at a moderate price point.

First-timers will be amazing that this beautiful Resort is on Walt Disney World Property.  The beautiful lobby featuring the Barcelona Lounge and gorgeous views of the water is breathtaking.

We love the ease of Gran Destino Tower as it is centrally located making access to the dining throughout the Resort as well as the pool and bus stations easy.

First-timers will appreciate the variety of food options found at Disney’s Coronado Springs.  Although there is a food court in El Mercando, there are also a number of table service locations such as Three Bridges, Rix, and the stunning Toldeos located at the top of the Gran Destino Tower.

For first-time visitors that don’t want to constantly feel like they are in Disney, Disney’s Coronado Spring’s Gran Destino Tower is a wonderful option.

Pluto and Grand Floridian
Credit: Disney

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa- Deluxe

For those first-time visitors to Walt Disney World that are looking for a little bit more out of the Disney Resort, we are going to suggest Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.  This iconic Disney Resort has a lot to offer first-time visitors.

First of all, Grand Floridian is an easy monorail ride or walk to Magic Kingdom.  As most first-time visitors spend time in Magic Kingdom, being near this Disney Park is a huge perk.  Being close to Magic Kingdom makes it super easy to head back for an afternoon swim or nap as well as makes the after-fireworks crowd easier to deal with as you can just walk back to your room.

Disney’s Grand Floridian also offers a variety of dining options for Guests as well as great pools and amazing shopping.

Being on the monorail line also makes it super easy to visit other Resorts as well as transfer to EPCOT.

There is something truly magical about staying at this iconic Disney Resort.

We love all of the Walt Disney World Resorts which can make it difficult to choose where to stay during our vacations.  If you are a first-time planner, this decision can be even harder.  We hope that providing these suggestions will help you narrow down your choices as you plan.

Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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