Disney resorts are nothing short of amazing. Combined, they have countless amenities and conveniences. In most cases, the resort is your first stop once you reach Disney property and sets the tone for the start of your vacation. All of the resorts have their own unique appeal and are all quality resorts. When comparing the resorts there are several factors to be considered, so I am focusing on amenities, theming and Disney magic in how I selected my top 5 Walt Disney World Resorts:
5. Port Orleans
You may be shocked by my addition of a “moderate” resort in the top resorts, but this resort has always been a favorite of mine. It’s really two different resorts with slightly different themes. You have Port Orleans French Quarter and Port Orleans Riverside. The theming as these resorts is amazing and transports you to New Orleans. French Quarter is the smallest resort on Disney property so you get the benefit of everything being a little less spread out. There is boat access from the resorts to Disney Springs, which is super convenient. You can also go on a horse-drawn carriage ride (additional fee) around the resort, which is an experience exclusive to this resort and the Wilderness area. It’s a little easier on the pocketbook than some of the other resorts I will talk about, but still a grand resort!
4. Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
This is another beautiful resort with amenities galore. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of this resort is the amazing pool! It feels like it’s a mini-waterpark all on its own. The resort has boat transportation to Epcot (World Showcase entrance) and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which adds to the long list of amenities that the resort provides. Don’t want to wait for the boat? Well, it’s walking distance from Epcot, so you can just walk the beautiful path! This is definitely a desirable resort!
3. Animal Kingdom Lodge
If you haven’t been out to see this resort, add that to your “to do” list. The lobby at Jambo House is nothing short of amazing. Stand on the bridge a few floors up that overlooks the lobby, and watch the animals from the huge windows overlooking the savanna. The small fire pits in the lobby give that cozy comfortable feel, while you sit and enjoy the views. The resort has a few amazing restaurant experiences, including the signature dining location, Jiko. This restaurant is worth the trip! The pool here is also quite grand and there is also a pool at Kidani village that is also amazing, and as a guest of the resort you have access to both!
2. Polynesian Village Resort
I have a special place in my heart for the Poly. I feel so relaxed at this resort as soon as I walk in. Ohana is one of my favorite restaurants on property, and is not to be missed on any of my family’s vacations. (We’re guilty of going twice, for breakfast and for dinner!) It’s a true tropical paradise with access to the monorail. You can’t beat that! The Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show is held most nights, and if you can work it into your plans is worth the visit to check out.
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1. Wilderness Lodge
From the moment you walk into this resort, the impeccable theming takes you away. The resort is set in a Pacific Northwest theme, with a lobby that will leave you in awe. This resort gives you more of that quiet, cozy resort feel and less of the hustle-and-bustle feel of other resorts. The fireplaces are my favorite part of the lobby and common areas. The resort is conveniently located just a quick boat ride away from the Magic Kingdom, Fort Wilderness and the Disney Monorail resorts. Artist Point is a signature dining experience housed in the resort, and is amazing… not to mention the new character dining experience with Snow White and Dopey called Storybook Dining. If you’re looking for a fun and different kind of dining experience, check out Whispering Canyon Café. Refurbished Disney Vacation Club (DVC) accommodations now known as Cooper Creek Villas and Boulder Ridge Villas have an updated railroad theme, a new pool called Boulder Ridge Cove, and the new Geyser Point Bar & Grill. When you feel like getting away and experiencing more of the outdoors, there are walking trails and plenty to explore. You can even head over to Fort Wilderness and check out the campfire in the evenings and roast s’mores (and even sing campfire classics with our 2 favorite chipmunks!). This resort is worth a visit, and I have a feeling it will have you ready to come back for more!
All of the Disney resorts have their own appeal, and Disney always goes above and beyond when it comes to theming and making choices that create a setting unlike any other for their guests. Different interests and preferences play into resort choices and what looks the most appealing. My biggest piece of advice is to check out different resorts, including the dining experiences, because each one had something amazing to offer that you can’t get anywhere else. I’d love to hear more about your favorite Disney resort and why!