Walt Disney World History, Details & Tips

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How to Choose the Right Disney Resort

Any vacation these days requires some amount of planning, and in recent years a trip to the Walt Disney World Resort can seem overwhelming when trying to work out all the details ahead of time. One of the biggest decisions that Guests must make is choosing their Disney Resort, and with over twenty options to pick from it can seem daunting.

Luckily, considering several factors helps to narrow down the Disney Resort selection, ensuring that a Guest ends up with the best option for their wants and needs. Let’s dive into the different things to consider when planning a Walt Disney World Resort stay that will help to make the accommodation selection that much easier.

Budget

The number one factor to consider when choosing a Walt Disney World Resort is budget. The Disney Resorts vary immensely in cost depending on what price category they fall into: Deluxe, Moderate, or Value.

Deluxe Disney Resorts including Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s Riviera Resort, and Disney’s Yacht Club Resort are the most expensive of the bunch thanks to larger rooms, prime locations, access to transportation and amenities, and more.

The middle option features the Moderate Resorts which include Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. While cheaper than Deluxe Resorts, Moderate Resorts still have beautiful grounds and theming but with slightly less amenities and perks.

The cheapest cost option for Guests are the Value Resorts which include Disney’s POP Century Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, and Disney’s All-Star Resorts. These Value Resorts feature the smallest rooms and least access to amenities and more but are significantly less expensive than their Moderate and Deluxe counterparts.

By beginning the process of choosing a Disney Resort with an honest look at budget, Guests can immediately rule out price categories and subsequent Disney Resorts narrowing their focus on fewer options.

Location

Another significant factor to consider when booking a Disney Resort is the location. The Walt Disney World Resort is a massive property that spans over forty-two square miles with experiences spread out throughout. While every Disney Resort has access to complimentary Disney transportation no matter the price category, there are some that are much more conveniently located to certain experiences.

For example, Guests who are looking to spend most of their time in the Magic Kingdom or EPCOT might prioritize staying at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, or Disney’s Contemporary Resort thanks to their location on Seven Seas Lagoon with direct access to both Disney Parks via the monorail. Alternatively, those looking to be able to walk to either EPCOT or Disney’s Hollywood Studios might opt for a Disney Resort on Crescent Lake such as Disney’s Beach Club Resort or Disney’s BoardWalk Inn.

Size

Let’s face it- a long day in the Disney Parks can be downright exhausting and the last thing that many Guests want to do at the end of the day is trek ten minutes from their Disney Resort lobby to their rooms. This can absolutely be the case at some Disney Resorts that are massive in size and feature several different areas of Guests rooms that are spread out. Some of the largest Disney Resorts include Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside. It’s worth noting that Guests can still choose a large Disney Resort and avoid the long walks by upgrading their room category to a priority area or particular view which will ensure proximity to the lobby and amenities.

Guests who are looking for the smallest Disney Resort option to ensure that they have a short walk each night should check out Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter which boasts only one bus stop and the smallest footprint with easy access to the main lobby from all areas.

Transportation

While every Disney Resort features complimentary access to the expansive Disney transportation system, some boast several different types of transportation which offer convenience that is worth the higher price.

Disney’s All-Star Resorts are by far the least expensive options on property; however they only offer bus transportation as opposed to one of the Deluxe Resorts found on Seven Seas Lagoon which feature access to buses, the monorail, and boats.

Guests might also argue that access to the Disney Skyliner is a worthy perk when choosing their Disney Resort as the new transportation system offers quick and easy access to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Theming

Every Disney Resort has its own unique theme that is brought to life through everything from architecture and landscaping to décor and dining options, but some simply have more theming than others. Guests who are really looking for a true Disney experience with theming all around them can opt to stay at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort where favorite Disney animated films are brought to life, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge where animals roam the savannah just outside of Guest rooms, or Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort where every corner feels like a tropical oasis.

While there is nothing overtly wrong with Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and Disney’s Contemporary Resort, they tend to have the least “Disney” theming as they are home to large convention centers which can attraction seminars and other various corporate events.

Party Size

A very important factor that many Guests often overlook when choosing a Disney Resort is their party size. Most of the regular rooms throughout the Disney Resorts are made to accommodate up to four Guests, typically with two queen size beds. Those who are traveling with a party of five have limited options at certain Disney Resorts where the rooms feature a drop-down bed for an additional adult to sleep on.

Guests who are looking to have more room or have a larger party than four or five must consider whether they would rather book two regular rooms at a Disney Resort or look into more unique accommodations such as suites. Family suites at Disney Resorts including Disney’s Art of Animation Resort feature separate rooms, additional bathrooms, and small kitchenettes making them more conducive for families.

Guests who have large party sizes will have to do the research and figure out if their preferences and budget make multiple rooms at the same Disney Resort or a larger suite option the more appropriate choice for their vacation.

Dining

One of the biggest things that Guests look forward to for every Walt Disney World Resort is dining. There are hundreds of dining locations throughout the property, each offering their own unique menus and theming. Disney Resorts are no exception, and many locations feature an array of quick service and table service restaurants to choose from.

The Deluxe Disney Resorts typically tend to have the most dining options for Guests. For example, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa offers up table service dining at Narcoossee’s, Citricos, Victoria & Albert’s, and the Grand Floridian Café, quick service dining at Gasparilla Island Grill and Beaches Pool Bar & Grill, and lounge options at Enchanted Rose and Citricos Lounge.

Alternatively, the Moderate and Value Resorts tend to have less dining options, though their food offerings are still quality and delicious. Guests who are staying at Disney’s POP Century Resort are limited to Everything POP Shopping & Dining, a quick service restaurant that serves as the only dining option as well as the Disney Resort’s main shopping spot.

Guests who know that they are going to spend quality time at their Disney Resort should absolutely consider the dining options available there to ensure that their appetites are satisfied!

Amenities

The final thing that Guests should consider when choosing their Disney Resort is the list of available amenities. Amenities include everything from pools to recreational activities including everything from complimentary movies under the stars to bike rentals and more.

While every Disney Resort has at least one pool, there are some that just blow the rest out of the water and are the selling points to many Guests when choosing where to stay. Stormalong Bay is by far the best pool at the Walt Disney World Resort and is shared by Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and Disney’s Beach Club Resort. This aquatic area features a sand-bottomed pool, zero-depth entry, a lazy river, giant water slide that emerges from a shipwrecked pirate ship, sunning decks, multiple hot tubs, and so much more.

While Stormalong Bay is the ultimate choice for Guests who know that they are going to spend lots of time poolside, other Guests might not care so much for splashing around or even be visiting in the cooler months. The importance of amenities and access to recreation and pools is something that every Guest has to consider!

 

So, there you have some of the main factors that Guests have to consider when choosing their Disney Resort. While it can seem completely overwhelming with so many options to choose from, looking at these several factors can help to narrow down the list to a manageable number of options ensuring that Guests make the best decision for their Walt Disney World Resort vacation!

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