Generally speaking, when the average Joe thinks about a Walt Disney World Vacation, he thinks about the Deluxe resort hotels on property. He probably imagines himself and his family staying in Grand Floridian, Contemporary, Polynesian Village Resort, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Of course, that’s because the Deluxe hotels are the ones shown in the commercials. The high end hotels tend to symbolize all that Walt Disney World has to offer. But many people choose the Value resorts to save a buck.
The Cast Members at Walt Disney World are amazing, and all guests will get an incredible customer service experience no matter where they stay. In addition, guests at the Disney hotels will be eligible to add the Disney Dining Plan and Memory Maker to their vacation, they will all be able to tour the parks during Extra Magic Hours, and they can use the Disney’s Magical Express. But, there are still reasons to say in a Deluxe resort instead of a Value or Moderate – these are my top six reasons to choose a Deluxe hotel!
6. Biggest Rooms
We’ve all been in a tiny, cramped hotel room. That room could have even been at one of Disney’s Value hotels. Deluxe hotels tend to have bigger rooms than the Moderates and Values. The difference is even more obvious when you book one, two, or three bedroom suites! Plus, many Deluxe rooms have balconies, which adds to your overall square footage.
5. Proximity to Parks
The Deluxe hotels are all closest to the parks. Polynesian Village, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, and Contemporary, are all a hop, skip and a jump from Magic Kingdom. Boardwalk, Yacht and Beach Clubs, and Swan and Dolphin are within walking distance of Epcot (where they have their own secret entrance!) and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge backs right up to the safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
4. Best Restaurants
Some of the absolute best restaurants at Walt Disney World are in the Deluxe Hotels. Two of my favorites are Kona Cafe (Polynesian Village) and Sanaa (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge). But don’t forget about Chef Mickey’s and California Grill (Contemporary), Jiko (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge). And, of course, there’s the big kahuna of Disney World dining, Victoria and Albert’s in Grand Floridian!
You might think a pool is a pool is a pool. You are wrong. While many amenities at Deluxe resorts are open to everyone (like restaurants and gift shops), you must be staying at that resort to use its pool. The Deluxe hotels have some pretty fantastic pools. Luna Park pool at Boardwalk has a cool circus theme with the Keister Coaster slide. Over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Uzima Pool takes up 11,000 square feet and has a zero-water, beach entry. Grand Floridian has a crazy fun Alice in Wonderland themed water playground that kids will love. But the granddaddy of Disney pools is Stormalong Bay at Beach and Yacht Club. It features a sand bottom, a lazy river, and a huge slide that goes over the walkway in front of the hotel, all with a shipwreck theme.
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2. Alternate Transportation
Buses are cool, until you’ve been on them for a while. Guests staying at Value and Moderate hotels have no other choice (although some Moderates offer boats to Disney Springs). The boats and monorail are so much cooler! Guests at Boardwalk, Yacht and Beach Clubs, and Swan and Dolphin can take the Friendship Boats to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The monorail makes stops at Polynesian, Grand Floridian and Contemporary to take guests to Magic Kingdom. It goes into the Contemporary for crying out loud! Transportation does not get cooler than that! Guests at these hotels, plus Wilderness Lodge can take resort launches over the Magic Kingdom as well.
Imagine waking up, and seeing Cinderella Castle from your hotel window? Are you still dreaming? Nope, you’re staying in Contemporary. What if you stepped onto your balcony to find a giraffe just yards away? You’re staying in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. The Deluxe hotels offer incredible vantage points that you won’t find anywhere else! Magic Kingdom area hotels have the added perk of seeing the Electric Water Pageant every night.
Bonus Reason: Christmas decorations! If you’re travelling over the holidays, you’ll find the most over-the-top decorations at the Deluxe resorts. My favorites are the tree in Wilderness Lodge, the gigantic gingerbread house in Grand Floridian, and the chocolate carousel at Beach Club.
These are my top six reasons to stay at Disney World Deluxe hotel? Did your favorite make the cut? If not, let me know what I missed!