You Haven’t Stayed in a Disney Resort if You Haven’t Done These Things!

Staying in a Walt Disney World Resort hotel is often the cherry on top of a trip to Lake Buena Vista. Regardless of which Disney hotel you choose to call ‘home’ during your Disney vacation, you are guaranteed a magical Disney experience. 

A Disney vacation is never short of adventure though. With so much to enjoy around the Walt Disney World Resort, you can sometimes forget to take advantage of what is right outside of your Resort room. This got us thinking about the things that are there for you to enjoy when being a Disney Resort Guest. 

So next time you’re staying in a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, make sure to plan these things for your Disney vacation. They are sure to add to the Disney experience and help you to create memories that will last a lifetime. Some may even become a tradition for you and your family to fit into future Disney vacations.


Every Disney Resort hotel, regardless of the category it fits into, has a campfire for Guests to enjoy each evening. Check your Resort map to locate the campfire and the time each day that it’s available. Toasting marshmallows is a great little early evening treat, that can end an afternoon by the pool, or begin the evening, before heading to a Disney Park.

Upgrade your toasted marshmallows by purchasing a s’mores kit from a Cast Member. Alternatively, buy your own s’mores ingredients ahead of your trip and take them with you to enjoy over multiple evenings.


Credit: V Mills

Movie Under The Stars

Similar to the campfire, every Walt Disney World Resort hotel hosts a Movie Under the Stars throughout each week. This is a great way to spend a slower evening, after a day exploring Disney’s Animal Kingdom or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If there’s a Disney princess movie showing, why not spend the day at Magic Kingdom before retiring for the day. Grab dinner from the quick-service restaurant at your Resort, before relaxing on the lawn watching a movie.

Check by the Resort lobby or activities board near the pool area to find out what movies are showing throughout your vacation. You can also check the activities calendar that you receive upon check-in. This is a great thing to keep with you throughout your vacation, so you can check back to see what is on offer at your Resort each day.


Credit: Disney

Spend time by the pool

You may not believe it, but time during a Disney vacation goes really quickly. Before you know it, you’ll be packing your bags ready to leave Walt Disney World once again, and you haven’t even spent time by the pool. Prioritize some downtime during your vacation, to give your feet a rest, and take things a little slower. 

Mornings are a great time to visit your Disney hotel Resort pool before the daily activities take place. Enjoy the peace and tranquility this time of day brings. Alternatively, plan to spend time by the pool after a morning at EPCOT. You’ll have racked up the miles wandering World Showcase, and after an early morning, you’ll be glad of an opportunity to take an afternoon nap. The kids can stay entertained with the games and activities in the pool area. You can even extend a day at a Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach water park with an evening by your Resort pool.

Taken a photo with a Resort icon

Each and every Disney Resort has its own icons, that you’d be silly not to stop by and get a photo. In case you need some inspiration, here are our favorite spots to stop:

  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – you’ll likely take more than one photo at this Disney hotel. We love to explore each section, and definitely get a photo with: Ursula; Timon, Pumbaa, and Simba; Crush; and not forgetting Mater in the Cars (2006) section.
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort – we love to stop by the larger-than-life statues of Baloo from The Jungle Book (1967) and Lady and Tramp from Lady and the Tramp (1955) when exploring this Value Resort. It’s also fun to seek out Mr & Mrs. Potato Head from Toy Story (1995). 
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – stop for a picturesque photo opportunity in the romantic streets of this Moderate Resort inspired by New Orleans.

Credit: V. Mills

  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – we can’t help but to stop by Maui, this Deluxe Disney Resort mascot in the stunning lobby. Make sure you’ve received your very own lei first though!

Credit: V Mills

  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge & Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resorts – both of these Resorts offer the grandest lobbies you’ll see. You have to stop and take in the view of the stunning architecture that adds to the Disney experience.
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort – you’ll find it hard not to stop by the incredible mosaic pieces paying tribute to Tangled (2010) and Peter Pan (1953) on your way to the Disney Skyliner.

Credit Disney Tips

  • Disney’s Grand Floridian – you have to stop in this Resort’s incredible lobby and gaze in wonder at its stunning features.

Credit: V Mills

  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort – take a seat on one of the beach swings, for a photo with this picturesque Resort in the background.
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort – stop by the lighthouse over Crescent Lake if you are a Guest at this Deluxe Resort.

Buy a piece of Resort merchandise

It’s a must to stop by every Disney Resort gift shop as you are passing through. Seek out a piece of Disney merchandise that is specific to the Disney Resort, to remember your vacation. Choose from a Disney pin, mug, magnet, and Christmas ornament from every Resort. If you’re staying in a Moderate Resort or Deluxe Resort, you’re likely to have the opportunity to buy Resort apparel too, and maybe even a LoungeFly bag or pair of mouse ears.

Eat something specific to that Resort

It’s only right that your Disney dining experience includes a snack or two! And snacks are not exclusive to the Disney Parks, but can be found in the Disney Resort hotels too. Complete your Resort stay by treating yourself to a snack that is exclusive to that location. Snacks even make great breakfast items too! Here are a few snacks that we recommend you try:

  • Beignets at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort

Credit: V Mills

  • Peanut Butter Pie at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Watchos at Disney’s Coronado Springs
  • Zebra Domes at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Credit: Disney Fanatic


Credit: Pinterest

Take part in a recreational activity

Participation in recreational activities can be a great way to get to know a Disney Resort. It’s also another way to make sure that you have really experienced all that a Disney Resort hotel has to offer. Why not hire a Surrey Bike for the whole family to enjoy? Or take a scavenger hunt around Riviera Resort, enjoying some of the incredible art pieces that are showcased. We also love to stop by scenic spots around the Walt Disney World Resort, and take in the view.


Credit: Disney

Find a Hidden Mickey in the Resort

Spotting Hidden Mickey’s is an absolute Guest favorite in every Disney theme park. They’re not limited to the Disney Parks though, as they also feature in Disney Springs and the Walt Disney World hotels too. Whether it’s a team effort or a competition between members of your party, you’re sure to have fun when searching for that iconic Mickey shape. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled around the Disney Resorts, and spot at least one during your stay in Walt Disney World.


Credit: Disney Tips

So there you have it – the activities to add to your to-do list when staying in a Disney Resort hotel. You could ask ‘have you really stayed in a Disney Resort if you haven’t done all of these things?’ And if you’ve already stayed in a Resort hotel but are yet to do all of these things, then you now have the perfect excuse to return during your next Disney vacation!

About Victoria Mills

Victoria is a Disney-loving, tea-drinking, Math teacher from Liverpool, England. Her motto is 'work hard, Disney harder'! Having taken part in the Disney College Program back in 2010, Victoria's love and appreciation for Walt Disney World only grew, and it's the place where she feels most herself - it's home!