PlanningThe ParksTips

Big Questions to Ask Before Booking Your Walt Disney World Resort

We love staying at a Walt Disney World Resort when we visit Walt Disney World.  In fact, we wrote a whole post on the benefits of staying on property that you should check out HERE.  With that being said, we also feel that you need to ask yourself some important questions before booking a Disney Resort.

By asking yourself these questions, you will make sure you end up at the Walt Disney World Resort that is a best fit for your family during your Disney vacation.

Let’s dive in!

Walt Disney World Map
Credit: Disney

Where Is It Located?

Walt Disney World is huge with four main Theme Parks, two water parks, Disney Springs and lots of Resorts to choose from.  When determining which of the Walt Disney World Resorts you want to stay at, ask yourself where is it located within the Walt Disney World Property.

If you are planning on spending the majority of your time at Magic Kingdom, then you might want to look into staying at one of the monorail Resorts such as Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Resort or Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.  These three Resorts are right on the monorail line and give you quick and easy access to Magic Kingdom.

For those that will be spending the majority of their time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios or EPCOT, then a Resort along the skyliner route might be the best.  Pop Century, Art of Animation, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort or Disney’s Riviera give Guests skyliner access to both Theme Parks.

Take some time looking into where a Resort is located compared to where you will be spending your Park days to help determine which Resort will be the most convenient option.

Disney Skyliner
Credit: Disney

What Transportation Is Offered

A great part of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort is that you have free transportation to and from the four Theme Parks as well as throughout the Disney Property.  What type of transportation is offered will be different so make sure you look into what is offered and if it will work for you.

As we mentioned before, there are specific resorts that are on the monorail and skyliner routes giving Guests quick and easy access to those specific Disney Parks.

For those that appreciate a boat ride, there are some Resorts such as Fort Wilderness and Disney’s Wilderness Lodge that provide boat transportation to Magic Kingdom.

And for those that like to get their steps in each day, there are a handful of Resorts that provide walking paths to a Disney Park.  Now all three monorail Resorts have walking ability to Magic Kingdom (even though the Polynesian is a hike so keep that in mind).  Over around Crescent Lake, Guests staying in this area will have walking ability to both EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Having free transportation is great, but make sure you understand what is offered before booking your Resort.

Saratoga Springs
Photo Credit: Disney

How Big Is It?

As you think about what Disney Resort you want to stay at while at Disney World, think about the size of the Resort and how that might impact your vacation and experience. Resorts such as Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Saratoga Springs and Spa as well as Old Key West are extremely large Resorts making it a longer process to get to places such as bus stops as well as food and beverages.

After a long day, another long walk to your Resort room might not feel very magical. Consider what would be the most convenient for your family. If you want to be close to transportation, pools and food these larger resorts won’t be where you want to be.

Instead, consider some smaller Resorts such as Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter or Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Overall, Disney Resorts are big as they accommodate a lot of Guests each and every day. Look into how they are laid out as this might impact if it is a good choice for your family.

Credit: Disney

What Are the Rooms Like?

Not all the rooms at Walt Disney World are created equal.  Make sure you take some time to look at the layout and size of the rooms before booking.  At the value resorts such as Pop Century, the rooms are smaller at around 260 square feet.  When you get four adults and all their suitcases in there it can be a tight fit.

The moderate resorts offer a little bit more room and space for spreading out and for larger families or groups that need more room, the deluxe and deluxe villas offer a variety of different room sizes.

Even if you are looking at your Resort as only a place to sleep and shower, after a week having four adults in a value room might seem like too much.  Take time to really think about what you need regarding the room itself and how much time you will be in it before booking.

Art of Animation Big Blue Pool
Credit: Disney Tips

What Amenities Are Included?

Finally, as you look at what Resort you want to stay at for your Disney World vacation, make sure to look into what amenities are being offered at the different Resorts. As you go up in price, you also go up in amenities.

At the Value Resorts, you will find the basic amenities you would need. You will have one food court, a pool bar and basic swimming pool. At the Moderate Resorts, the main pools have slides and pool bars, but quiet pools are also offered. You can choose from a few dining options as well.

When you hit the Deluxe level, you will have the best of the best when it comes to amenities. There are outstanding pools and great dining options.

Think about if you will be spending a lot of time at your Disney Resort to help you determine what amenities are going to be a must have while visiting.

Even though we do think there is a big advantage to staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, make sure you ask these questions before booking one.  This will help make sure you find one that works for your family.

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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