So, you’re heading to Walt Disney World with a non-Disney fan in your party (maybe it’s even you).
You probably already know that there are endless ways to enjoy a Disney vacation, even if you’re not the biggest Disney fan on the planet. Disney’s legendary customer service, attention to detail, and fabulous theming are unmatched and can be appreciated by everyone, not just Guests with a penchant for Mickey Mouse, Elsa, or Gaston.
But if you have a non-Disney fan in your party, you’ll need to think carefully about the rides and restaurants you plan to enjoy. You may also want to research Disney Resort Hotels to make sure you don’t pick one that boasts larger-than-life, brightly colored Disney characters as part of its theming – that’s one sure way to send your less-than-enthusiastic Disney friend running for the hills!
Here are some fabulous Disney Resort Hotels that receive high marks for comfort, style, and amenities – all without a single Disney character in sight.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
It’s a bit of a hike to get from Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge to all Disney theme parks (except Animal Kingdom Park), but it could be worth it for the non-Disney fan in your party!
Just imagine waking up to giraffes, elephants, and zebras out your window, and reveling in the biggest collection of African art outside of Africa itself.
Disney’s Deluxe Resort Animal Kingdom Lodge will make you feel like you’re on a safari every day of your WDW vacation. Unique eateries like Boma – Flavors of Africa, Sanaa, and Jiko – The Cooking Place bring you flavors from around the African continent and the world.
You can even paint up a storm by joining the Wild About Painting class, overlooking one of the Resort’s four savannahs.
Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside
We’ve stayed at Port Orleans Resort – Riverside and its sister Resort, Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter, and loved them both! Of the two, though, Riverside boasts better non-Disney-specific, adult theming, with its gorgeous rural Louisiana vibes.
Take a stroll along the idyllic Sassagoula River, or relax in style with a horse-drawn carriage ride to take it all in.
Boatwright’s Dining Hall awaits when you’re hungry, and if you’re looking for more restaurants or a night on the town, hop on a water taxi for a relaxing cruise down the Sassagoula River to Disney Springs.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
As Disney’s flagship Resort, the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is predictably stunning. It’s full of Victorian-era opulence, including crystal chandeliers, soaring ceilings, and even its own resident pianist.
With more restaurants, bars, and lounges than you’ll probably use during your stay, The Grand Floridian Spa for pampering, and numerous shops you may not want to leave, you’d be forgiven for not even wanting to leave this Disney Deluxe Resort property!
Of course, when you do want to explore the rest of Walt Disney World, you’ll find the Grand Floridian perfectly situated on Disney’s Resort Monorail line, with quick and easy access to Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park.
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
One of our favorite Disney Moderate Resorts is the Spanish and Mexican-themed Coronado Springs Resort, beautifully situated on the shores of Lago Dorado.
This mammoth Disney Resort was constructed with conference Guests in mind, so the theming is understated and designed to appeal to everyone. Strolling along the picturesque lakeside paths is a must here, especially at night!
When you’re hungry, there are plenty of dining options to try. Three Bridges Bar and Grill is an open-air eatery in the middle of the lake, while Dahlia Lounge and Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood both occupy prime rooftop spots with excellent panoramic views.
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
There’s a lot to love about Disney’s Yacht Club Resort (and its sister, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, with which it shares amenities).
The theme here is upscale and nautical, but not remotely kitschy, with nary a cartoon character in sight. The Yacht Club enjoys a splendid location that’s within walking distance of Disney’s EPCOT and Hollywood Studios theme parks, or you can hop on a boat if you want to save your steps for the Parks!
The pool complex here, Stormalong Bay, is second to none, and you’ll need a whole day to enjoy it to the fullest. Two of our favorite table service restaurants, Ale and Compass and Yachtsman Steakhouse, are on property – but you can always head to nearby Disney BoardWalk for additional dining, shopping and entertainment options.
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
The perfect choice if you’re vacationing with a non-Disney fan, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa channels the elegance of a century gone by, with a horse-racing twist.
It’s also located within easy walking distance of Disney Springs, for convenient access to all of the dining, entertainment, and shopping opportunities there.
You’d never know you were on WDW property by taking a stroll through the peaceful grounds of Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. Book a Disney Deluxe Villa for extra space, a full kitchen, and a washer and dryer – you don’t even need to be a DVC member to stay here. Golf fans will love having Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course on site.
A trip to the most magical place on Earth can be a hard sell if you’re not a die-hard Disney fan.
But fear not, there’s something for absolutely everyone at Walt Disney World Resort! Choose one of these Disney Moderate or Deluxe Resorts for your stay, and you might even have a WDW convert on your hands by the end of your vacation.