Top 10 Questions To Ask When Choosing A Walt Disney World Resort

Grand Floridian Lobby
Credit: DisneyDining

Choosing which resort to stay in is one of the most critical choices for your Walt Disney World vacation. Choosing to stay on-property in a Disney resort keeps you inside the magic. This is where you will unwind after a long day in the parks, relax, and lay your head on that comfy pillow and dream about where you are going tomorrow. You don’t have to go outside and fight the traffic on I-4 or 192 heading into the parking lots each day, which gives you a few more minutes of sleep too! You can enjoy Extra Magic Hours which is extra time inside a specific park each day when it is open only to Disney resort guests. If you want to enjoy the same great theming that Disney puts into its attractions, then you want to stay at a Disney resort. I hope that this helps you in your decision-making.

10. Can my pet stay with me in the resort?

Recently, Disney has begun to allow dogs at four of their on-site resorts including Disney’s Art of Animation, Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside, Disney’s Yacht Club, and the Cabins at Disney’s Ft. Wilderness Resort. There is a pet cleaning fee that goes along with the room expense. A maximum of two dogs are allowed per guest room. If you worry about allergies, Disney has designate certain sections of each resort as the dog-friendly area. If you aren’t staying in a pet friendly resort, or bringing a pet other than a dog, you can check your pet in to the Best Friends pet resort near Port Orleans Riverside.

9. Are there any smoking rooms?

No, there are no rooms where smoking is permitted in Disney resort hotels. There are outside areas but smoking inside your room or the other buildings is forbidden.

8. Are there laundry facilities on site?

Yes, the resorts do offer laundry facilities on site and in some specific room accommodations.

7. What is the theme of the resort?

Disney resorts are themed, just as the attractions inside the parks are. Look at photographs of the resorts and get an idea of which one you think would most make you feel “on vacation” and go for it.

6. What are the amenities?

Will I have: Pool, shopping, spa service, hair salon, entertainment? You can expect that list to be in the Deluxe resorts, but in the moderate you will enjoy a great pool, some with entertainment, gift shop(s), and the Value resorts will have large themed pools and gift shops.

5. Does it have a restaurant, food court, or room service?

All of the resorts have food courts and many of them also have restaurants. Room service is available at the Deluxe resorts with pizza delivery available in-room at Moderate and Value resorts. Some of the Moderate and all of the Deluxe resorts will have a lounge.

4. Do they offer free transportation to and from the Orlando International Airport?

Yes, all Walt Disney World resort guests may take advantage of the Magic Express bus transportation that will bring them and their luggage directly to their resort. You must sign up for this ahead of your departure at home. It is easy to set it up at the time of your reservation and then add flight arrival and departure information as soon as you have it.

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3. How much does it cost?

The Walt Disney World resorts fall into three categories: Value, being the least expensive, Moderate, the one in the middle range, and Deluxe being the highest price. There are a few ways to get room discounts such as through AAA, Disney Vacation Club, Chase Disney Visa card, Annual Passholders and Florida Residents. Ask when you call what is the lowest rate I can qualify for? Keep in mind, Disney is now charging for resort parking on a per night basis.

2. How close is it to the parks, can I walk to any of them from the hotel?

The Contemporary resort is in close proximity to Magic Kingdom and you can walk directly there on paved walkways. Epcot can be reached on foot, or by boat from Yacht and Beach Club, Boardwalk resort, and the Swan and Dolphin resorts. You can also walk to Hollywood Studios from Disney’s Beach Club Resort along the canal. That walk is about 15-20 minutes. You cannot walk to Animal Kingdom from any Disney resorts as of now. There is a variety of WDW transportation choices such as the Monorail which links Contemporary, Grand Floridian, and the Polynesian resorts to Magic Kingdom and by way of the Transportation and Ticket Center-to Epcot. The Skyliner links Riviera Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, Art of Animation Resort, and Pop Century Resort to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. You can take a short boat ride to the Magic Kingdom from Fort Wilderness Lodge and Campground. You can travel by boat or Skyliner to Hollywood Studios from Epcot, Boardwalk resort, Yacht and Beach Club resorts, and Swan and Dolphin resorts. You can only reach Animal Kingdom by bus.

1. Is it available?

You will want to know the number in your party and how many rooms you would need based on your party size, and if they are available. Walt Disney World resorts are extremely popular and sometimes extremely hard to get. The more flexible you can be in your travel dates the easier it will be to get the room(s) you need. Keep trying each day as reservations open up that may not have been there at the time you called. You can also book online at the Walt Disney World official website.

About Cassie

Cassie L. I am a lifelong Disney fan. I attended Walt Disney World in 1971, and was there during the opening week of EPCOT, and have visited the Disney Parks for than 30 times. I have had the privilege of visiting Disneyland as a child, and then again with my children. My family recently moved from the northeastern United States to the Walt Disney World area. I now have cast members in my family and enjoy hearing the magical stories at the end of a shift. I love visiting all of the parks and getting to try more Disney food and being able to share it with you to help you plan your own magical day at Disney.