PlanningThe ParksTips

How to Make Sure You Choose the Right Disney Resort

One of the great things about a Walt Disney World vacation is the amazing Walt Disney World Resorts that you can stay at during that vacation.  Walt Disney World offers over 20 property Resorts that are either value, moderate, or deluxe.  Each category offers different pricing and amenities for Guests.

So how do you make sure that you end up at the right Walt Disney World Resort for your family?  We have a few things to think about to help you determine which Disney Resort is right for your Walt Disney World vacation plans.

Credit: canva


First and foremost, make sure that you choose a Resort that fits into your budget.  All of the Walt Disney World Resorts are magical, but if you are stressed the whole time you are there about what it cost that magic will be ruined.

We also suggest taking time to look at all the categories to make sure you are aware of what the costs are for each.  Don’t assume that a deluxe is out of your budget because you have always stayed at a moderate Resort.

A lot of times with discounts you can find that the cost for a deluxe stay can be very close in cost to a moderate.

Set that budget and have a plan before you start digging into our other areas.

Caribbean Beach Resort Pool
Credit: Disney


Pools are a big part of a Walt Disney World vacation and even though all of the Walt Disney World Resorts have at least one pool (heated) they are not all created equal.

If you are looking for a basic swimming pool with no slide needed, you can find those at all of the Value Resorts.  These are all extremely well-themed to the Resort but are your basic pool.

Pools with slides can be found at both the Moderate and Deluxe Resorts around Walt Disney World.  Stormalong Bay at Beach Club and Yacht Club is known as the best pool on property with a sand bottom, lazy river, and an amazing slide.

Even though Stormalong Bay is considered the best pool, there are so many amazing ones throughout Walt Disney World.  If Beach Club and Yacht Club aren’t in your budget, take a look at some of the other options at the moderate and deluxe resorts.

Dig Site Pool Coronado Springs Resort
Credit: Disney

Both Coronado Springs Resort and Caribbean Beach Resort have two outstanding pools with great slides and fun themes that kids of all ages will love.  Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, as well as Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Polynesian Resort, are known for well-themed, beautiful, and fun pools.

When swimming is going to be an important part of your Walt Disney World vacation, you will want to make sure you choose a Walt Disney World Resort that will fit that need.

WaltDisneyWorld Bus
credit: Disney Tips


The next area you want to make sure you think about when choosing your Walt Disney World Resort is what transportation is available from the Resort.

Buses, Skyliner, monorail, boats, and walking are the different transportation options throughout Walt Disney World.

Staying at a monorail Resort (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort) is a great option if you are going to be focusing on visiting Magic Kingdom during your Walt Disney World vacation.

Disney Skyliner
Credit: Disney

For those wanting to spend more time at EPCOT or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, considering a Skyliner Resort (Art of Animation, Pop Century, Caribbean Beach Resort, or Disney’s Riviera) is an excellent option.  Guests can quickly get to these Parks via the Skyliner.

Although boats aren’t the fastest transportation method in Walt Disney World, if you have a family member that loves boats, think about staying at one of the numerous Resorts that offer boat transportation.

Boat transportation is available around the Seven Seas Lagoon as well as Cresent Lake and down the Sassogoula River.  There are a ton of Resorts at Walt Disney World will that are able to provide a fun, relaxing boat ride if that is something that is important to your vacation experience.

Finally, if you like being in charge of your own transportation, there are a few Resorts in Walt Disney World that give you walking as an option to get to a Park.

credit: Disney Tips

All three Resorts around Seven Seas Lagoon now have a walking option to Magic Kingdom.  With the opening of the path from Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Guests can now walk from both Disney’s Polynesian Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa to the Magic Kingdom.  This is in addition to the walking path from Disney’s Contemporary Resort to Magic Kingdom.

Guests can walk from Disney’s Boardwalk Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, and Disney’s Yacht Club Resort to either Disney’s Hollywood Studios or EPCOT.

Walking is a great way to control your transportation to and from the Parks while in Walt Disney World.

When choosing your Walt Disney World Resort, make sure you think about the transportation to see if what the Resort offers is something that will work for your family.

Chef Mickey's
Credit: Disney


Another big decision when it comes to choosing your Walt Disney World Resort is looking at what dining options are available.  Disney offers a variety of different dining options at their Resorts ranging from food courts to signature dining.

If your family prefers quick, fast access to food the value and moderate resorts have excellent options when it comes to quick-service options.  Pop Century and Art of Animation both have excellent food courts with numerous options each day.

For a mixture of options, moderate resorts such as Disney’s Coronado Springs or Disney’s Caribbean Beach are excellent choices.  They both have a combination of quick service, table service as well as excellent pool bars.

For more high-end dining options, the deluxe resorts throughout Walt Disney World have amazing options.  Guests can experience a nice, relaxed meal with excellent views of Walt Disney World.

Dining is so important when it comes to a great vacation so knowing what dining options are available at your Walt Disney World Resort is important.

Disney's Polynesian Resort View 2
Credit: Jennifer Retzlaff


Our final area that you should look into before determining where you want to stay is what amenities are offered at your Resort.  If working out is key to your mental health, you will want to check to make sure you have a fitness center at your Resort.  These are typically found at the deluxe resorts on the property; however, Disney’s Coronado Springs has two.

For those that drive to Walt Disney World, look into where you will Park your vehicle at the Resort.  If you plan on using your car during your vacation, you might want to say where you can Park close to your Resort room.  For those that are planning on using Disney transportation, it might not matter where you Park.

When visiting during the holidays, even though all the Walt Disney World Resorts celebrate the different holidays in their own ways, there are some Resorts that go above and beyond.  During Christmas, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort are two wonderful places to stay as they transform into a winter wonderland.

Take some time once you think about your budget, transportation, and dining to look at what other amenities are being offered at the Resorts to see what would work the best for your family.

All of the Walt Disney World Resorts are magical and special, but you want to make sure that you find the right fit for your family.  We hope that these areas will you narrow down your choices to find the best Resort.

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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