I have to be honest… I had a very hard time narrowing my list down to five resorts. Walt Disney World Resort is home to thirty world-renown resorts, with service as their number-one priority. Here are five of my favorite resorts that bring that Disney magic we all love to a whole new level.
5) Port Orleans Riverside:
I love the southern comfort style of the Port Orleans Riverside resort. The beautiful grounds are gorgeous and great for taking a stroll or bike ride through with your family. Speedboats are available for rent as well, and you can ride them around the rivers around the resort for a different kind of tour. In the lobby/food court, you can dine by the water wheel that looks as if it actually belongs in New Orleans! Bob Jackson performs for a full house most nights at the River Roost bar with his swinging piano and wonderfully goofy tunes. Be sure to catch his act; you won’t want to miss it! I have recently stayed in one of the renovated princess and pirate rooms at the Port Orleans Riverside, and I have to tell you, it’s magical. Aside from the regal portraits of Disney princes and princesses on the walls, there are firework buttons on the headboards of each bed. You heard me right folks, your headboard will perform its own version of Happily Ever After for you right in the comfort of your own room.
4) Disney’s Polynesian Resort:
Aloha! Disney’s Polynesian Resort is a Hawaiian paradise, set smack dab in the middle of Florida. Considered a Magic Kingdom Resort, the Polynesian sits on Bay Lake, across from the Magic Kingdom park itself. This hotel is home to multiple pools as well as a beach area for guest’s enjoyment. My personal favorite restaurant in all of Walt Disney World resort is Kona Cafe, found on the second floor of the Great Ceremonial House next to Ohana, a family-style dining experience you just have to try. A ferry boat or monorail can take you over to the Magic Kingdom and buses are available for transportation to the other three parks.
3) Disney’s Contemporary Resort:
Walt Disney world’s Contemporary Resort is one of a kind. This modern-themed resort, which is nestled to the right of the Magic Kingdom park, borders Bay Lake. Theme park and garden-view rooms are available for your stay at the hotel that literally has a monorail running right through it. Talk about a short commute to the parks! In addition, more resort amenities include the large pool area for kids and adults and ferryboats to the parks. For some extra fun, go boating, water skiing, or even parasailing on bay lake with equipment from Sammy Duvall’s Watersports Centre. My personal favorite aspect of this hotel is California Grill, a fine-dining restaurant on the fifteenth floor of the resort. Be sure to make your reservation around 9 pm to catch the best view of Happily Ever After. During your meal, you can go out onto one of the balconies of the restaurant to view the breathtaking fireworks spectacular take place over the Magic Kingdom park. A lesser-known favorite restaurant of mine is The Wave, located on the first floor in the lobby, where you can eat a healthy, locally grown meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
2) Disney’s Beach Club Resort:
Disney’s Beach Club Resort in located on Disney’s Boardwalk, near Epcot. This beautifully nautical resort is wonderful to walk around and visit even if you aren’t staying there. Your dining options include the Yachtsman Steakhouse, Cape May Cafe, and my personal favorite: Beaches and Cream. (Sorry, I’m a sucker for some good ice cream.) As far as recreation goes, the Beach Club Resort has it all. Pool areas, volleyball courts, movies under the stars, and fire pits on the beach are just a few of the amenities Disney’s Beach Club Resort has to offer. What’s the most convenient part of this resort? It’s just a short walk or boat ride away from Epcot!
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1) Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge:
When I was 8 years old, my family visited Walt Disney World for the first time. We stayed at the one-of-a-kind Animal Kingdom Lodge. I’ve never been so enthralled and amazed by a hotel before! As if the tribal African decor isn’t enough, there is an actual savannah on property! Outside your hotel room window, you’ll see zebras and giraffes roaming around. How cool is that? The walk-in pool is home to a children’s pool party, trivia, and a pool bar, which is sure to satisfy your family on a summer day. As far as dining experiences go, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to quite a few. At Boma, you can enjoy an all-you-can-eat meal that definitely won’t leave you hungry. At Sanaa, you’ll dine side-by-side with the giraffes, elephants, and zebras on the savannah through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows of the restaurant. For a wild stay on Disney property, be sure to check out the Animal Kingdom Lodge!