5 Walt Disney World Resorts You Should Spend An Afternoon At

We love to explore the Disney Parks during a Disney vacation. However, we also enjoy spending time in the Walt Disney World Resort hotels on Disney property. Afternoons are a great time to visit some of the Disney Resorts and have some well-earned relaxation. The Disney Resorts are also a perfect place to retire after a morning at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon or Disney’s Blizzard Beach.

We spend afternoons at one of the Walt Disney World hotels to give us a break from thinking about Disney Park hours and attraction lines, escape the crowds, and rest our legs. Visiting a Disney Resort hotel doesn’t need a Park hopper pass, so this is an excellent option if you’re taking a Disney vacation without visiting the Disney Parks. Visiting Deluxe and Moderate Resorts is a magical experience if you are a Value Resort Guest.

Are you looking to spend an afternoon away from the Disney Parks during your next Disney vacation? It’s almost impossible to say which is the best Disney World hotel to spend time at. Instead, here are the five Disney Resort hotels we love to visit during the afternoon.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is a few Disney Skyliner stops away from Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. The Disney Value Resort is full of fun theming that celebrates Disney animation. The grounds of the Disney hotel are split into four sections, each celebrating a beloved Disney movie and its characters. We love to explore each section and stop to admire theming from Cars (2006), Finding Nemo (2003), The Lion King (1994), and The Little Mermaid (1989). We love to stop by the larger-than-life characters for a photo while exploring Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

If you plan on using the Disney Skyliner to get to the Walt Disney World hotel, we recommend turning right as you leave the bridge over Hourglass Lake. Walking the lakeside path offers you a chance to learn cool Disney trivia facts that are featured alongside. You will arrive at The Little Mermaid section first. Upon reaching the final area, Cars, you’ll rejoin the lakeside path with more Disney trivia to learn about before returning to the Disney Skyliner.

Art of Animation Cars Section
Credit: V Mills

Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort

Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort is just a short bus ride from Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Similarly, you can access the Disney Resort hotel using the Sassagoula River Boats from Disney Springs (previously known as Downtown Disney). Taking the boat from Disney Springs is our favorite way to travel to Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts.

Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort
Credit: V Mills

While at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter, we love to walk the cobbled streets and enjoy the atmosphere of New Orleans. After exploring, Scat Cat’s Club Cafe is the place to be. Mickey-shaped Beignets are an excellent afternoon snack. We always enjoy it with caramel dipping sauce. Upgrade your Beignets to the Mickey-shaped Beignets Sundae if you need to cool down. For $8.79, you can enjoy your choice of ice cream and sauce topped with Beignets and whipped cream.

Mickey Beignets, Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort
Credit: V Mills

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

After a morning in Magic Kingdom Park, you may need a rest. Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort offers an idyllic island escape to retire to. Catch a water taxi across Seven Seas Lagoon (you’ll stop at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort first) or use the Disney Monorail (passing through Disney’s Contemporary Resort and the Transportation and Ticket Center first) to travel to the Disney Resort hotel. Alternatively, travel via the Disney Monorail from EPCOT.

Take some time to admire the Walt Disney World hotel lobby, known as the Great Ceremonial House. There are plenty of seating areas to relax on in the AC. Once you’ve cooled off, make your way outside. We recommend stopping at Pineapple Lanai and treating yourself to a refreshing helping of DOLE Whip. Afterward, follow the path down to the beach area. Pull up a chair and relax with your feet in the sand. You’ll have a beautiful view of Cinderella Castle across Seven Seas Lagoon.

Disney's Polynesian Village Lobby
Credit: V Mills

Disney’s All-Stars Resort

You’ll enjoy an afternoon at Disney’s All-Stars Resorts if you appreciate larger-than-life characters. Catch the bus from Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park for a short bus ride. The Disney hotel has three sections – Disney’s All-Star Movies, Disney’s All-Star Music, and Disney’s All-Star Sports. Each Resort is themed to suit its name. Throughout each one, you’ll find brilliantly themed sections. There are plenty of excellent photo opportunities and favorite Disney characters to see. You can even pause as you explore to enjoy a chess or table tennis game. There are so many fun memories to make at the Disney Value Resorts.

Disney's All-Star Resorts
Credit: V Mills

Disney’s Riviera Resort

Would you like to admire beautiful art pieces and experience a taste of the Riviera? Then you’ll want to visit Disney’s Riviera Resort. We love to spend the afternoon admiring the many art pieces showcased around the Disney Vacation Club Resort. You can even participate in a Scavenger Hunt to find specific art pieces around the Disney Deluxe Resort. Upon completing the Scavenger Hunt, you will be rewarded for your hard work with an exclusive piece of art to take home with you. Stop by the Disney Vacation Club desk in the lobby to pick up your Scavenger Hunt map.

The lawn is a great place to retire at Disney’s Riviera Resort as the sun begins to lower. Sit on one of the swinging benches or at the water’s edge overlooking Barefoot Bay, with a view of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort across the water. There are several lawn games to also participate in at the Disney hotel. Why not challenge your family to a game of checkers or Boccia?

Disney's Riviera Resort
Credit: V Mills

Other excellent Disney Resort hotels to visit during an afternoon include:

  • Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
  • Wilderness Lodge, by taking the boat across Bay Lake from Magic Kingdom
  • Beach Club Resort
  • Yacht Club Resort
  • Coronado Springs Resort

Which Walt Disney World Resort hotels do you like exploring in the afternoon? Make time in your upcoming Disney vacation plans to travel outside of a Disney Park and enjoy a different Disney experience.

Find out which Disney Resorts we recommend you spend an evening at, here.

Victoria Mills

Victoria is a Disney-loving, tea-drinking, Math teacher from Liverpool, England. Her motto is 'work hard, Disney harder'! Having taken part in the Disney College Program back in 2010, Victoria's love and appreciation for Walt Disney World only grew, and it's the place where she feels most herself - it's home!

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