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6 Hidden Gems You May Not Know About Walt Disney World Resorts

One way to ensure the most magic on a Walt Disney World vacation is to stay on property at a Disney Resort. With over twenty resorts to choose from guests are sure to find one that fits their personal preferences and budgets. The resorts are broken down into three price categories with deluxe being the most expensive, value being the least expensive, and moderate falling somewhere in between. While there are three distinct price categories, each Disney Resort has its own unique theme which spans everywhere from the pools to guests rooms. Rich in detail and full of interesting themes and experiences, staying at a Disney Resort is a great way to enhance a Walt Disney World vacation. With so many resorts to choose from and enjoy, there are some details and features that might be overlooked by guests. Here are six things that guests might not know about the resorts in Walt Disney World.

6. Sheet Music

The Port Orleans Resort is comprised of two different halves- Port Orleans French Quarter and Port Orleans Riverside. Riverside captures the elegance and charm of the south whereas French Quarter features the festive spirit of New Orleans’ French Quarter. When guests stay at Port Orleans French Quarter, they are surrounded by beautiful iron railings, festive jazz music, classic New Orleans foods like beignets, and a beautiful lobby featuring a massive glass atrium. While checking in at the front desk in the lobby, guests might notice the intricate mural behind the desk and see that it features some sheet music. What guests might not realize is that the sheet music is for “When the Saints Go Marching In” making for a festive and jazzy welcome.

5. Blair’s Mural

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is one of the most recognizable buildings in all of Walt Disney World and is iconic in that the monorail loop that services the Magic Kingdom and nearby resorts passes right through the lobby. Inside the massive atrium of a lobby, guests can observe a cheerful and soaring mural depicting mountains, people, and animals. The artwork is titled “Mosaic” and was done by Mary Blair who is also famous for her designs featured in the loading area of It’s A Small World in the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland. Guests should take some time to appreciate all of the amazing details in Blair’s work and see if they can spot a five legged goat!

4. Grand’s Influence

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is the flagship deluxe resort in Walt Disney World and it offers up the charm of Victorian elegance while being steps away from the Magic Kingdom. Guests who can afford to stay at the resort might recognize its architecture as being influenced by another famous hotel. The Grand Floridian’s design was greatly inspired by the Hotel del Coronado in Coronado, California which was featured in several famous Hollywood movies including Some Like It Hot.

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3. African Artifacts

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of the most spectacular resorts in Walt Disney World and its lobby overlooks a private savannah full of serenely grazing animals. The lobby of the resort is decorated with rich dark woods and features tons of amazing details and art work. Many guests might not realize that all of the artifacts and art featured throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge are authentic and were acquired in Africa before the resort opened.

2. Princess or Pirate?

Guests who choose to stay at a Disney Resort might not realize that they have the option of staying in intricately themed rooms based on either the Disney princesses or pirates. Rooms at Port Orleans Riverside feature murals of the princesses and royal details such as magic lamps as sink spigots. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort features guest rooms decked out to please even the grumpiest pirate complete with beds that look like real pirate ships.

1. Sandy Pool

Guests who stay at either Disney’s Yacht Club Resort or Disney’s Beach Club Resort are able to access Stormalong Bay, a massive pool area featuring a lazy river, water slides, and tranquil areas to relax. What some guests might not realize is that Stormalong Bay features a sand bottomed pool to make guests really feel like they are somewhere on the coast enjoying the ocean.

About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane first started visiting Walt Disney World when she was two years old, and despite spending most of that trip quarantined with the chicken pox she managed to fall in love with the place. Visiting WDW every year since, she especially loves learning all about the history and small details of the parks and eating/drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival each fall. When she's not in Disney, Caitlin lives in New York and spends her time counting down the days to her next trip.