Walt Disney World resorts are a world all their own. They allow you to ‘stay in the magic’. They’re each unique with their own theming and they offer multiple opportunities to create memorable experiences, be it fantastic dining, fireworks viewing, or simply a great time spent at the resort pool. There’s an abundance of things to do and see at the resorts so where do you start? You can start with our list of the 10 best tips, tricks and secrets for Walt Disney’s resorts!
10. Close Proximity
Art of Animation and Pop Century resorts are very close to one another, especially if you are in a standard room at Pop Century in the 80’s or 90’s buildings. It’s a short walk over to Art of Animation where you can check out their resort shop, the food offerings there, and the great theming, and vice versa. The proximity between the resorts can also come in handy when waiting for buses at the end of the night at the parks. If one resort has a shorter line for the bus, hop into that line and get on their bus. This is only a good option if you don’t mind a 10-15 minute walk back to your resort room. But at peak times this approach can actually get you back to your resort faster than waiting for the next bus back to your home resort. You can also catch a ride on the Disney Skyliner to travel to and from Epcot and/or Hollywood Studios. A Disney Skyliner station is located between Art of Animation and Pop Century for easy access.
9. Character Wake Up Calls
Each resort room phone has a wake up call button. You can arrange for a wake up call from a Disney character. Even though this call is automated, it still adds a little pixie dust to your morning and it’s unique to Disney resorts.
8. Be the Early Bird
It pays to be the early bird not just at the parks, but also at the resorts. The quick service eating locations at the resorts get pretty busy and packed by 8am. Around 8:30am you’ll notice the lines for the buses and resort transportation start to get crowded and long lines form. By getting a bit of an early start to your morning you can enjoy a quieter breakfast and hop aboard a less busy bus or monorail and beat the crowds.
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7. Pool Hopping
If you’re staying at Riverside or French Quarter you are allowed to pool hop. These resorts are like sister resorts both belonging to the Port Orleans family. It’s a lovely walk between the two resorts along the river, and there are many shared amenities between the two resorts besides the pool that are worth checking out.
6. ‘Secret’ Path
There is a little path at the Polynesian that is a short walk from the resort to the Ticket and Transportation Center. Depending where you are staying on the resort, this is often the faster route when trying to get to Epcot on the monorail.
5. Dole Whips
The parks aren’t the only place to find a Dole Whip! You can find Dole Whips and Dole Whip Floats at Pop Century and the Polynesian. If you ever needed a reason to stay at either of these resorts, there it is!
4. Top of the World Lounge
Disney Vacation Club members, and friends who are visiting with a DVC member, can visit the Top of the World Lounge at the top of Bay Lake Tower. This lounge is known for it’s spectacular view of the Magic Kingdom and fireworks. If you want to watch fireworks from the lounge it’s best to arrive a little early to get a good spot on the observation deck or a seat in the lounge.
3. Visit During the Holidays
The resorts in general are a destination on their own, but the deluxe resorts are even more so during the holidays. If you’re visiting around or after Thanksgiving, make a point of visiting the deluxe resorts. They will have Christmas trees decorated in lobbies, and the Contemporary and the Grand Floridian will have giant gingerbread houses, which smell amazing!
2. Mardi Gras
Port Orleans French Quarter has a Mardi Gras parade every year. It’s a small, quaint parade that features decorated golf carts. The theme for 2018 was food so there was a Dole Whip golf cart, a turkey leg cart and even a popcorn cart. The parade also finished with Tiana herself making an appearance in a horse drawn carriage.
1. Bounce Back Offers
Often Walt Disney World has bounce back offers. These are special offers that are only available to you if you book them while you’re currently staying at a Disney resort. You should receive a flyer for the offer, or see it listed in your check in materials, or among the papers left by Disney in your room. These offers often include discounts on rooms for future stays, or in the past they have even included free dining. They are well worth keeping an eye out for during your stay. And we all know the best way to beat the Disney blues when it comes time to leave is to already be planning your next visit!