A vacation to Walt Disney World is supposed to be full of magic, but if you choose the wrong Disney Resort, it could be a disaster.
When planning your Disney World vacation, there are some specific resorts that you will want to avoid for various reasons. Check out our thoughts below to keep frustration away from the magic!
Walt Disney World has over twenty-five resorts for guests to choose from during their vacation. The Disney Resorts are divided into three specific categories.
Value Resorts include the All-Star Resorts, Pop Century, and Art of Animation Resort. These Disney Resorts are the most economical but also offer the fewest amenities for guests to use.
The next category is the Moderate Resorts. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside, and Port Orleans French Quarter comprise the moderate resort category. They are larger resorts that offer more amenities while having a price point, although more than the value is still “moderate.”
The last category is Deluxe Resort. A large amount of Disney resorts are found in this category. All three monorail resorts (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort) along with the EPCOT area resorts of Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Disney’s Beach & Yacht Club are all considered deluxe resorts.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Disney’s Riviera Resort are also in the deluxe category.
The deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World offer the most amenities for guests and a prime location to at least one theme park. Because they are the best of the Disney resorts, the price point reflects that as well.
When determining where you want to stay at Walt Disney World, determining which category fits your family is essential. Think about what Disney Park you will spend the most time at during your Disney vacation. Once you have made that decision, then you will want to make sure you avoid any Disney Resorts that fall into the following categories.
Resorts That Have Construction
We are grateful that Walt Disney World is constantly updating its resorts. We have seen significant improvements to the All-Star Resorts and new themed rooms at Disney’s Polynesian Resort and Disney’s Contemporary Resort. These updates improve the overall guest experience at these resorts.
To have these updates, we also have to deal with construction. Walt Disney World works extremely hard during renovations and updates to ensure that construction doesn’t impact the guests’ experience. Even with that focus, there is a chance that guests could end up near the construction.
Disney’s Polynesian Resort
Extensive construction is seen around the resort, with a new Disney Vacation Club Villa coming to Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Guests will notice that the main walkway to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is closed.
Part of the beach at Disney’s Polynesian Resort is also blocked off and closed due to construction. The work here isn’t taking place at the main resort, but guests may notice construction during their stay.
The new Disney Vacation Club Tower will bring a lot of new dining, retail, and entertainment to those staying at Disney’s Polynesian Resort and the new tower. Until then, you might want to reconsider your stay if you don’t want to have visuals of construction during your magical trip.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
The iconic Grand Floridian has been undergoing a major refurbishment and construction. Slowly, rooms throughout the resort have been updated to a new, fresh theme. The updated finishings bring a touch of the beloved movie Mary Poppins (1964).
As the resort prepares for the holiday season and the new year, scaffolding around Gasparilla Island Grill and the main lobby has been removed. With that being said, the lobby is still awaiting to be remodeled to fit the new aesthetics of the resort.
Because of this, we anticipate that the main lobby of the Grand Floridian will be under construction as we move into the new year. If you don’t care to have a main lobby full of scaffolding and construction, you might want to skip out on Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa until construction wraps up, hopefully in early 2024
Construction is part of the growing and reimagining process at Walt Disney World. It is through these updates that we are given new, fresh looks and amenities at the resorts.
That said, you also don’t want to spend your vacation in a construction zone. Avoid Disney resorts that are having significant renovations, like Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, until further notice if you don’t want scaffolding as part of your vacation.
Limited Transportation Options
We love that Walt Disney World provides guests with complimentary transportation around the Walt Disney World Property. As you choose your Disney Resort, you will want to ensure that the resort has the transportation that best fits your needs.
Being at a Disney Skyliner Resort makes getting to EPOCT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios easy. It could be a massive disappointment to arrive at your Disney Skyliner Resort only to discover it is down during your stay.
Disney’s Pop Century, Art of Animation, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Riviera Resort are all skyliner resorts. In early 2024, staying at one of these skyliner resorts might not be as advantageous.
Disney has posted that between January 16-21, 2024, the line between Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation, and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resor will be closed.
At the same time, between January 16-27, 2024, the line between Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Riviera Resort, and International Gateway at EPCOT will be closed.
Although these Disney Resorts will still offer free transportation via bus, the lack of Disney Skyliner access can make them a lot less appealing.
If you are planning on spending a lot of time at Magic Kingdom, consider a stay at one of the three monorail resorts. By staying at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Resort, or Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, you can quickly get to Magic Kingdom via the monorail.
This option is beneficial for families that have strollers. You can roll your stroller onto the monorail without unloading your little prince or princess.
Staying at one of the Walt Disney World Monorail resorts gives you quick access to EPCOT. With a fast and effortless transfer at the Ticket and Transportation Center, guests are on the EPCOT monorail line.
So, when should you avoid a monorail resort? If you don’t plan on spending time at EPCOT or Magic Kingdom, the monorail resorts aren’t the best option for transportation. Although resorts provide excellent transportation to Magic Kingdom and EPCOT, guests would take buses to the other two parks.
If you plan to spend much time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you might want to reconsider a monorail resort.
There are a handful of Disney Resorts that only offer busing to and from the Disney Parks. Although we appreciate the free transportation, if you are juggling strollers and a lot of stuff, Disney buses aren’t as convenient.
When riding a Disney bus, strollers and all the items in the strollers need to be collapsed. This can be extremely difficult following a long day in the parks with little ones who are sound asleep in the stroller.
If you have a stroller or two during your trip, you might want to avoid Disney Resorts like Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort or the All-Star Resorts that only provide Disney buses.
Take a look at resorts that offer monorails, skyliners, or walking paths that might make having a stroller much less stressful.
Transportation to and from the parks is critical during a Disney vacation. If you pick the wrong Disney Resort, you could be highly frustrated each morning as you head to the park.
Swimming is a huge part of the magic during a Walt Disney World vacation. You don’t want to book at a Disney Resort, where the main pool will be closed during your visit.
Heading into the next few years, there are a handful of Disney Resorts that should be avoided due to closed pools.
Stormalong Bay and Shipwreck Pool – Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts (Jan 2025-May 2025)
Disney has already announced a significant pool closure is coming in 2025. The beloved and extremely popular Stormalong Bay will be closed for five months at the start of 2025.
Although guests will be able to enjoy the leisure pools at both resorts, the closure of Stormalong Bay makes a stay at either Disney’s Beach Club Resort or Yacht Club less appealing.
The location of Yacht and Beach Club Resorts is fantastic, but without the incredible lazy river and fantastic slide, many guests may choose to avoid a stay here in 2025.
Fuentes del Morro – Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort (January 2024- April 2024)
Over at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, the feature pool (called Fuentes del Morro) will be closed from January through March 2024. Themed like a pirate adventure, this pool is a major draw for Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.
Although there are five other quiet pools throughout the resort, none of them offer the slides and excitement of Fuentes del Morro. With the Disney Skyliner and pool being closed at the beginning of 2024, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is one Disney resort that might be avoided by many during their Disney vacations.
Fantasia Pool – Disney’s All-Star Movies (January 2025-April 2025)
The adorable Fantasia Pool will also be closed to start in 2025. This is also for routine maintenance, and guests will still be able to experience swimming around at the Duck Pond Pool.
Doubloon Lagoon – Disney’s Port Orleans Resort- French Quarter (January 2024- April 2024)
Another moderate resort that will have a pool closed is Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter. The Doubloon Lagoon Pool will be closed to start the year; however, guests can enjoy a swim over at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside.
Ol’Man Island pool is full of fun and entertainment for those wanting to swim during their Disney vacation and stay at the smallest Disney resort, Port Orleans French Quarter.
Most pool closures are for routine maintenance, which we understand is necessary to keep them safe and looking great. Even knowing that it can be highly disappointing to arrive at your Disney Resort to discover your pool closed.
Walt Disney World does a fantastic job of letting guests know ahead of time about any closures. Before you book your Disney resort, check the official Disney site to find all the refurbishments.
Not all Disney Resorts are created of the same size. Before choosing your Disney Resort, make sure you take a look at the map of the resort. Some of the Disney Resorts are a lot larger than others.
If you don’t want to have to walk a long way to your resort after getting back from the parks, take a look at some of Disney’s smaller resorts and avoid those larger ones.
Some of the larger resorts are found in the Disney World Moderate Resort category. Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Coronado Springs all have vast campuses.
You can find yourself a ten to fifteen-minute walk from amenities at these resorts, depending on where your room ends up.
If you want a smaller Disney World hotel layout, look at Port Orleans French Quarter or Disney’s Riviera. These Disney resorts have a more compact layout, making it easy and quick to get to features such as the pool, dining, and transportation.
What to Skip
When choosing a Walt Disney World Resort, it is crucial to consider what is essential to your travel party. Because of these differences, each Disney Resort will be perfect for some and terrible for others.
Dive into what each resort offers when it comes to dining, room size, pools, transportation, and other amenities that are important to your family. Think about if a Value Resort, Moderate Resort, Deluxe Resort, or Deluxe Villa would be best for your needs. Doing this before booking will help you avoid Disney Resorts that won’t be the best fit for you.
All Walt Disney World Resorts offer amazing themes that allow guests to stay in the magic throughout their Walt Disney World vacation. We love our stays at the Walt Disney World Resort because of these fantastic resorts. They are an extension of the magic and a massive part of a Disney vacation.
Avoid resorts that have closed features or are undergoing major construction. Look for those resorts that will provide you with not only a place to sleep but additional magic as you enjoy all it has to offer.
Are there any resorts you’d add or remove from this list? Let us know in the comments!