A big part of planning the perfect Disney World vacation is choosing your home away from home. There are a number of things to take into consideration when picking which resort to stay at, so here are our 7 awesome tips to pick the perfect Walt Disney World Resort.
The first thing to look at is your budget, and which resort options fit within your budget. The Walt Disney World website is a great resource and has the price listings for each resort. Disney has a few resort categories – Value, Moderate, Deluxe, Deluxe Villas, and the Campgrounds. It’s also important to decide how much of your budget you wish to dedicate to your resort. If you plan on spending most of your time in the parks and the resort is just a place to rest your head at night, then perhaps you might want to put more of your budget towards a dining plan, or tours. If you plan on spending more time at your resort, dining there, lounging at the pool, or playing golf than it may be a wiser choice to spend more of your budget on your resort. Keep an eye out for discounts on resorts, as they tend to happen once or twice a year!
6. The Pool
It is worth checking out the pool at each resort. You can find pictures on the Walt Disney World website, so do a little research. If you spend a lot of time at the pool it may be a deciding factor for you, but if you only hop in the pool a couple of times during your vacation, it’s still nice to know what the pool, or pools, are like at each resort. Some resorts also have hot tubs, so if that is more up your alley, be sure to look at a resort that has a hot tub. Or if you are going with little ones, check out the kiddie pool.
5. Who Are You Traveling With?
It’s very important to make sure that the resort you choose will accommodate everyone in your family or party. How many people are you traveling with, and how old are they? If you have little ones, you may require a resort that offers childcare, or do you require a room that can sleep more than 4 or 5 people? Are you traveling with teens who will want to wander off and do their own thing? Is it important you are close to things that they will want to do, like miniature golf, bike rentals or fishing? Different resorts have different amenities and are definitely worth checking out before making a decision.
4. Read Reviews
There are plenty of guest reviews online and articles right here on Disney Dining about the resorts. It’s wise to read up a little on the resorts you’re considering and get a perspective from people who have stayed there. Often they are the ones who will mention things that you wouldn’t have thought of. For example, a review may tell you that it wasn’t actually a great idea to be close to the pool because the noise level was quite high. Or, you may learn from a review that the buses offered at a particular resort actually service a number of resorts at times, so it may take a little longer to travel to and from the resorts. Reviews are a great place to dig a little deeper into each resort.
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Ask yourself how important is location to you? Is it crucial that you are close to one of the theme parks? The price does increase the closer you get to the parks, so that is something to keep in mind. Take a look at a map of Disney World to see where the resorts are located. Even the resorts that are further away from the parks are not too far from the action. Disney offers complimentary transportation that is very easy to use. The longest bus ride from the Value resorts is approximately 20 minutes. It’s good to have an idea of how far or close your resort is to the places you want to visit so you can plan accordingly.
2. Have a Second Choice
It’s a good idea to have a back-up resort in mind in case your first choice isn’t available. If you aren’t able to be flexible on your vacation dates, it’s a good idea to be able to show a little flexibility with your resort. Some resorts book up quickly when there are discounts or promotions offered, or if it is a peak time of year, such as any holiday. Sometimes you can still stay at the resort of your choice, perhaps just not in the preferred section, so if you can show a little flexibility on the area within the resort, you can still stay in your first choice. It’s a good idea to have a second option in mind though, in case your first choice isn’t available.
All Disney resorts, regardless of resort category, are themed. Ask yourself what kind of theming you like and would want to be immersed in while staying on Walt Disney property? Do you like Disney theming? Do you want to be surrounded by larger than life iconic Disney characters? Are your kids huge Cars or Lion King fans? If so, look at staying at resorts that offer Disney theming, like the Value resorts, or Art of Animation. Do you like a different kind of theming, something sophisticated or more adventure themed? If so take a look at the Yacht Club resort or the Wilderness Lodge. There are so many resorts, each with their own theming, so make sure you research each resort and look at the lobby, the rooms and the restaurants to decide which resort offers the story, feel and theming that suits you best.
Picking the perfect resort for your vacation is a fun part of the planning process. No matter which resort you choose, you know that Disney will provide a wonderful experience for you at your home away from home.