The Disney “magic” doesn’t begin and end with the theme parks, no, it is available in abundance at each and every Walt Disney World Resort. From the Deluxe to the Value, from the lobby to the room itself, you will come face to face with the very essence of what Disney embodies, setting these Resorts apart from non-Disney resorts who simply can’t add that “Disney touch.” The bottom line is, while there may be valid and enticing reasons to stay off property, nothing truly surpasses a stay at a Disney Resort. Here are our top ten reasons why we love staying at the Walt Disney World Resorts!
10. Desirable Location/Convenience
This has got to be one of the most important reasons when deciding whether your family would benefit by staying at a Walt Disney World Resort. All Disney Resorts offer some form of complimentary transportation—whether by bus, boat, or monorail—to the theme parks, water parks, and to Disney Springs, making the transportation issue not even an “issue.” Regardless whether or not you have the convenience of a personal or rental vehicle while staying at Disney, this option ensures that you can get from Point A to Point B on property rather seamlessly. And if you’ve ever stayed on Disney World property in the past, you know just how massive it is! Most non-Disney resorts—with a few exceptions (i.e. Lake Buena Vista Resorts, Hilton Bonnet Creek)—residing on the outskirts of Disney property will require additional travel time to and from your Disney Park destination. Staying at a Disney World Resort puts you in the midst of all the action, just a breath away from your next magical destination!
9. A Room for All Parties
With more than 25 Disney Resorts on property to choose from, you can rest assured that there will be a perfect room to accommodate your needs and desires. Have a large group vacationing with you? The multi-room villas and suites at the various Disney Vacation Club Resorts (i.e. Saratoga Springs, Old Key West, Wilderness Lodge, etc.) will give you plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy some “personal space” at the end of the day. Most of these even come with a fully equipped kitchen, saving you some dining out dough. There are quaint “cabins” at Disney’s Ft. Wilderness and Campgrounds or if you’d like a plot of land to pitch a tent on and “rough it” Disney-style, you can book that too! With a myriad of accommodation options, you will also find a wide range of price points. From the splurge-worthy Deluxe Disney Resorts to the just-as-fun Moderate Resorts to the perfect-for-us Value Resorts, you can go as “BIG” as you want or keep to a more budget-friendly vacation.
8. Individual Resort Theming
Let’s take a moment and appreciate all the intricately themed Disney Resorts, individually designed with such care and attention to detail that you can’t help but be “wowed” as you walk into the different lobbies and catch your first eye-full. You’ll find Victorian-era grandeur with all the dreamily classy and pristine touches of a refined and luxurious resort at Disney’s Grand Floridian and Spa. You’ll be transported to a cozy, rich, enchanted wilderness with all the rustic touches and awe-inducing details of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. The wild animals roaming the savannah beckon to immerse you in fascinating African culture at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. These are just a few of the many Disney Resorts, designed and built with a very specific theme and backstory, instantly transporting you to a land and a time each resort represents. The details are everywhere—from the Cast Member attire to the towel hooks in the bathrooms.
As a self-diagnosed semi-Germaphobe, I truly appreciate the standards of cleanliness the Disney Resorts adhere to. Though there have been a few disappointments in my past with some overlooked corners, these resort rooms typically sparkle with clean. And if they don’t, do not hesitate to call the front desk—they are quick to not only fix the situation at hand, but will more often than not go out of their way to make it right with their guests. The rooms don’t get my only praise—I can’t help but be awed by the resort grounds, including the litter-free, daily pressure-washed pool areas, the freshly cut grassy courtyards, the sparkling, hypnotically-scented lobbies, the list goes on and on. Truly impressive—Mr. Clean would be proud.
6. The Pools
Florida. It’s hot. It’s muggy. More often than not, you can almost guarantee that the sun here wants to suck the living life out of you. So, naturally, you can expect that every Disney Resort is going to come equipped with a pool to help refresh and rejuvenate their guests. But, folks, these pools are not just ANY resort pools. They are Disney Resort pools and are just as impressive as the hotel itself. There are pool bars offering fun drinks and full meals, awesome slides sure to excite the smaller members of your family, even daily games and interactive activities with enthusiastic Cast Members ready to put their magical stamp on your pool day. Some resort pools even come complete with an incredibly fun splash-pad for little kids. If you are looking for a more peaceful nap-inducing pool day experience, there are also quiet pools scattered around the Disney Resorts. But take a trip to the main pool at least once while you are vacationing—it’s just good old fashioned fun! Check out “Top 5 Disney World Resort Pools – Get Your Splash On!”
5. Disney Information Channels
Love em’ or hate em’, you’ll find some very informative Disney information channels when you switch on the in-room television at your Disney Resort. These channels include “Must-Do Disney” with host Stacy J. Aswad, the Disney Resort Guide—featuring helpful information for the specific resort you are staying at, the Disney Parks Guide—featuring Park hours and special event times, a Disney Vacation Club Channel, and a Disney Cruise Line/Adventures by Disney information channel. We love how thorough Disney is with these information channels and guides, keeping guests informed and entertained at the same time!
4. The Holidays
Visiting a Disney Resort during the holidays is an experience in and of itself. Each year around Christmas time our family resort-hops around Disney, taking in the larger-than-life gingerbread displays and gorgeous seasonal decorations. Even some of the menus at the various Disney Resort restaurants offer seasonal holiday-inspired dishes. You can find “sleigh rides” at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground and even find campsites decked out to the max by Christmas-lovin’ resort guests. The activities and decorations don’t just stop at Christmas too. Throughout the year Disney Resorts reflect the season. The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa hosts a gallery of large, intricately painted Easter eggs which is a must-see during the spring! And you don’t want to miss the festive Fourth of July activities at each resort! You may also enjoy “Disney For the Holidays! – What You Need to Know to Plan a Holiday Trip!”
3. The Restaurants
To say that I love dining at the various Disney Resort restaurants would be a vast understatement. Many of the resorts offer signature dining experiences for those nights when you just want to fine-dine yourself, and most also offer dining options for a more casual experience. Either route you take, you are sure to be impressed with the theme, the menu offerings, and your delicious dish. There are character meals with all-you-can-eat buffets. There are old-fashioned soda shops with cheeseburgers and milkshakes. There are ritzy restaurants specializing in steaks and seafood, perfect for a romantic and/or memorable night out. The Wave at Disney’s Contemporary Resort offers a feel-good menu of locally-sourced, sustainable and organic offerings. Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge houses Sanaa, an African-themed restaurant that has wild animals coming right up to your window while you dine. You can choose a restaurant that guarantees a perfect view of Magic Kingdom’s nightly fireworks show (like Narcoossee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa or California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort) or find a restaurant that guarantees a full belly of southern comfort foods (like Olivia’s at Disney’s Old Key West or Trail’s End at Ft. Wilderness Resort and Campground). Your options are seemingly endless, a restaurant for each and every palate!
Disney Resorts are unparalleled for so many reasons, including the fun, family-friendly activities that take place on a daily basis. Each night, almost every Disney Resort on property features a Movie-Under-the-Stars event, where you can sit outside and enjoy a Disney classic on a large projection screen with your family after a long, exhausting park day. Most resorts also offer a nightly complimentary marshmallow roast just before the movie too! In addition, some Disney Resorts hold a Cookie Decorating Hour, and some offer craft activities for your kids. There is nightly storytelling at Animal Kingdom Lodge as well as a daily drum practice for families. The Boardwalk Inn features performers and hilarious acts each and every day as the sun goes down. Each Disney Resort has something unique in terms of activities, so check with the front desk so you don’t miss out on all the fun they have to offer!
Disney Cast Members are the best, aren’t they? Even at the resorts—from the guard attendant’s “Welcome Home” as you enter to the “Mousekeeping” who tidy up your rooms and leave you extra coffee packets, there is a bright smile and friendly greeting everywhere you turn. If there is a problem or situation, they handle it with grace and professionalism. They are there for YOU, going out of their way to help make your family’s vacation a magical one. Between the free stickers and the little “pixie-dusted” extras we see at the restaurants and beyond, we know that there is no other place on earth that does the “magic” quite like Disney!
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!