The resorts of Walt Disney World do what Disney does best, they tell stories and immerse guests into a world of magic and wonder. There is a great deal to know about the resorts at Disney, and we couldn’t possibly cover every detail, but here is some information about the resorts at Walt Disney World to get your started.
Value, Moderate and Deluxe
There are currently more than 25 resort hotels at Walt Disney World. The Contemporary and the Polynesian are the original resorts and both opened on October 1, 1971 when the park first opened. Throughout the years other resorts have been added to Walt Disney World giving guests many options when looking for a resort hotel. There are three tiers of resorts, the Value, Moderate and Deluxe resorts. They range in cost, depth of theming and story, proximity to the parks, and amenities.
The Value resorts offer the most basic and smallest rooms, but the resorts do feature bright and colorful larger than life icons ranging in theme from sports, to music, to Disney movies. They are the perfect place to stay if you plan on spending most of your time in the parks and just want the basic amenities, with some added pixie dust of course. The Value resorts include the All-Start Resorts (Music, Movies and Sports) as well as Art of Animation and Pop Century.
The next tier is the Moderate resorts, which offer more space, more detail in décor and theming, the pools have waterslides, there are lounges, and recreational activities available to guests, such as bike rentals, fishing, horse drawn carriage rides and more. The Moderate resorts offer a little more comfort than the Value resorts. The Moderate resorts include Port Orleans (French Quarter and Riverside) Caribbean Beach Resort, the Cabins at Fort Wilderness, and Coronado Springs.
The Deluxe resorts are the most expensive resorts, they are spacious, have patios or balconies, some rooms have separate bedrooms, they also have a number of amenities, beautiful pools with slides and sometimes cabanas, and each resort has at least a couple of fantastic table service restaurants. These resorts are the most intricately themed on property, with the best views and often within walking distance to one of the parks. The Deluxe resorts include Disney’s flagship resort, the Grand Floridian, the Polynesian, the Contemporary, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Wilderness Lodge, and quite a few more. Within many of the Deluxe resorts are villas as well.
No matter the tier, all resorts are wonderfully magical in their own way. All the resorts have pools with themes that correspond to the theme of the resort, there is at the very least a quick service dining location, and a store where you can shop, to name just a few of the basic amenities offered at each resort.
Each resort has its own theme. The theming isn’t only in the décor, but in the sounds, the food, entertainment and the atmosphere created at each resort. The Value resorts are fun with larger than life icons from Toy Story and The Lion King, among others. The French Quarter is inspired by the historic area of New Orleans, and Mardi Gras, and the iconic dessert of the French Quarter is available at the resort, the beignets. The Animal Kingdom Lodge draws it’s inspiration from Africa, complete with over 30 species of African wildlife making this truly a unique resort to experience. If big statues of Disney characters or live animals don’t strike your fancy, perhaps consider somewhere like the Coronado where the theme is Southwestern and romantic, or the take a look at Old Key West if golfing and palm trees are more your style.
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There are multiple ways to travel to and from the resorts at Disney. If you’re at a Value resort the mode of transportation offered are the bus shuttles. At Port Orleans and the Cabins at Fort Wilderness, you can take a boat to Disney Springs, in addition to the bus system. And at Deluxe resorts you can take a bus from all the resorts, a boat at many, and the Monorail makes stops at the Contemporary, the Polynesian and the Grand Floridian. Taking the transportation offered at the resorts is a great way to travel around Disney World. It’s free, convenient and part of the whole Disney experience.
Some of the best places to eat at Disney are at the resorts. The Deluxe resorts each have a number of restaurants that offer guests many options in regards to menu, theming and experience. At the Grand Floridian guests can dine at 1900 Park Fare while meeting princesses, Alice and Mary Poppins. There’s Beaches and Cream Soda Shop at the Beach Club resort for decadent treats, and the California Grill on the 15th floor of the Contemporary has one of the best views of Happily Ever After. There’s also Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary, which is great for families who want to meet Mickey and his friends. Over at the Polynesian there is the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, which features a tropical feast and entertainment that includes hula and fire dancing. These are just a few of the many dining options at Disney’s resorts. Guaranteed there is a restaurant or dining experience that will appeal to everyone, and you don’t have to be a resort guest to dine there.
Extra Magic Hours
If you are a resort guest you get the added bonus of Extra Magic Hours. Each day one park either opens early or stays open later for resort guests only. This is a huge perk of staying on property. It means less time waiting for rides, and fewer people in the parks. Check park times for each day to find out which park has Magic Hours and when.
Each resort has a distinct story to tell, and has so much to offer guests. There are so many beautiful sights to be seen, fun adventures to go on and delicious food to indulge in at the resorts. Whether you’re a resort guest or not, taking time to explore the resorts will definitely be a rewarding part of your visit to Disney World.