10 Things To See, Do, Explore, And Eat In Walt Disney World Resorts

Monorail Disney's Contemporary Resort
Credit: World of Disney

Walt Disney World is home to over twenty Disney Resorts which allow guests to have amazing vacations and be close to the magic at all times. By staying at a Disney Resort, guests can enjoy amazing themes, pools, hospitality, amenities, restaurants, and shopping locations. Each Disney Resort is unique and guests love spending time on each vacation visiting different ones to have great experiences. From amazing nightlife and scenery to phenomenal pools and eateries, there is something for every guest to enjoy at a Disney Resort. Here are ten things to see, do, explore, and eat in Walt Disney World Resorts on a Disney vacation!

10. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort invites guests to relax and feel as though they are in the South Seas with swaying palm trees, white sand beaches, and tiki décor. Nestled in the Great Ceremonial House are plenty of places to enjoy meals, drinks, and shopping as well as a unique location which serves up both drinks and small bites in a quirky way. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is a cozy location which allows guests to enjoy special effects and entertainment when certain menu items are ordered. Guests can enjoy food options like Kalua Pork Tacos, Chicken Lettuce Cups, and Pan-Fried Dumplings accompanied by tropical cocktails with fun names like the Polynesian Pearl, Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum, Uh-Oa!, and Mosquito Mojito.

9. California Grill

Disney’s Contemporary Resort features a modern theme with a massive atrium lobby and sweeping views of Seven Seas Lagoon, the Magic Kingdom, nearby Disney Resorts, and Bay Lake. Atop the Disney Resort is the California Grill restaurant which serves up traditional Californian cuisine with some of the finest views in Walt Disney World. Guests who dine there for dinner can enjoy meals like Seared Jumbo Scallions, Bison Strip Loin, and Wild Columbia River King Salmon. Those who can score reservations coinciding with Happily Ever After in the nearby Magic Kingdom can also enjoy the music from the show piped in for an unforgettable view and experience.

8. Stormalong Bay

Guests who stay at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and Disney’s Beach Club Resort have exclusive access to arguably the most amazing pool in all of Walt Disney World. Stormalong Bay is a three acre oasis of splashing fun complete with a zero depth entry sand bottomed pool, multiple water slides, a lazy river, several whirlpool spas, an elevated tanning deck, and a kiddie pool. With so many amazing ways to relax or splash in the sun, guests who enjoy Stormalong Bay will never want to leave!

7. The BoardWalk

Guests who stay in a Disney Resort along Crescent Lake or visit the location can enjoy the charm of turn of the century Atlantic City with plenty of fun entertainment and experiences. The BoardWalk features live entertainment, nightlife including Jellyrolls a dueling piano bar, and plenty of restaurants. Guests can enjoy dining at the Trattoria al Forno, Flying Fish Café, and Big River Grille & Brewing Works as well as several quick service or counter service locations. Guests are sure to have an amazing time wandering The BoardWalk, especially at night once all of the twinkling popcorn lights come on and reflect beautifully off of Crescent Lake.

6. The Sassagoula River

Guests who stay at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort, Disney’s Old Key West Resort, or Saratoga Springs are treated to wonderful themes and boast beautiful Sassagoula River views which gently bubbles past as guests enjoy walkways overlooking it. Guests can also travel down the river on complimentary boats from Disney transportation which will take them directly to and from Disney Springs.

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5. Whispering Canyon Café

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge celebrates the spirit and coziness of the lodges found in America’s national parks. Guests who visit the Disney Resort and are looking to enjoy a Full Service meal should definitely visit the quirky and delicious Whispering Canyon Café. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and serves up options like the All-You-Care-To-Enjoy-Breakfast Skillet, St. Louis-Style Pork Ribs, Slow-Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich, and the Steak-Your-Claim Char-Crusted New York Strip. Every option served up is delicious, but it is the servers who steal the show! They are hysterical and use a slapstick kind of humor to have guests involved in pony races and plenty of antics. Be sure to ask for the ketchup!

4. Doubloon Lagoon

Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort is home to a pool area which is sure to amaze guests. Doubloon Lagoon celebrates the whimsy and fun of New Orleans’ French Quarter with swinging jazz music and plenty of alligator statues playing jazz instruments. The highlight of the pool is a massive serpent who is winding his way around and is being tamed by Poseidon. Scales the serpent’s tongue is also a waterslide for guests to enjoy as they plunge into the pool below. In addition there is the nearby Mardi Grog’s Pool Bar, sweeping views of the Sassagoula River, whirlpool spas, and a kiddie pool for guests to enjoy.

3. The Big Blue Pool

Guests who stay at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort can feel as though they have become animated and stepped into classic Disney and Pixar films like The Lion King, Finding Nemo, Cars, and The Little Mermaid. The highlight of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is the Big Blue Pool found in the Finding Nemo area. The pool is the largest in Walt Disney World and allows guests to splash along with characters from the film and enjoy underwater speakers, a zero depth entry, the Schoolyard Sprayground, Squirt’s Righteous Reef, and the Drop Off Pool Bar.

2. The Savanna

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge invites guests to enter into the beauty and culture of Africa in a lodge filled with authentic artwork and décor and a unique view that is unforgettable. Guests who stay at or visit the Disney Resort can enjoy sweeping views of an African savanna with animals such as giraffes, zebras, and kudu constantly walking by. Guests will love relaxing with a view of the savanna and will truly feel as though they have traveled to Africa and experienced its beauty.

1. The Monorail and/or Skyliner

Experiences that Disney Resort guests simply must have on a Walt Disney World vacation are riding the Monorail and the Disney Skyliner. The Monorail goes through the Contemporary Resort! The Resort Loop line of the monorail runs from the Magic Kingdom through Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort. As it moves to Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the monorail actually enters directly into the lobby and silently glides past guests enjoying the resort! The Skyliner has stunning views of the Walt Disney Word property as it connects guests too and from EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Riviera Resort, Pop Century, Art of Animation and Caribbean Beach Resorts.

About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane has been visiting Walt Disney World since she was a child and has developed a deep love and appreciation of the Disney Parks with a particular interest in the small details and history that can be found all around. Visiting every chance she gets, Caitlin loves to enjoy the ambiance of the Disney Parks and try something new every time. She can often be found eating and drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, riding the Haunted Mansion, sipping on a Lapu Lapu, pretending Illuminations: Reflections of Earth was still in existence, and enjoying seeing the magic through the eyes of her children. When not in WDW, Caitlin can be found at home in New York dreaming of a ride on Living with the Land and counting down the days until her next trip.