Florida Smart Guide to Disney World Resorts

Everything you need to know when choosing your Disney hotel
By
Cortney Tarell
Disney Resorts

There’s a lot to think about when you’re planning a Disney vacation, but one of the most important things is deciding where to stay. You can have a great time staying off property, but staying at the Disney resorts will take your experience to a whole new level. That still narrows your choices down only a little bit. Disney has so many resorts to choose from, so which one is right for you? FloridaSmart is here to help!

A few things you should know first:

Every Disney Resort has free bus transportation around the property, but busses are a slow way to travel. Disney World's property is HUGE, so it can take well over a half an hour to get from one place to another if busses are your only option.

Every Disney Resort has restaurants with good food that you can enjoy throughout the day

Every Disney Resort has a really amazing swimming pool as well as other amenities for both children and adults

None of these resorts is entirely inexpensive, so if you’re on a strict budget, you’re probably better off staying in an off property resort or renting an AirBNB

 

All Star Resorts

Value, Animal Kingdom Resort Area

We recommend this resort if…

  • you’re on a budget
  • you’re traveling with kids

We don’t recommend this resort if…

  • you want easy transportation
  • you’re traveling without kids
  • you want luxury

Transportation: 

Busses around property

Dining: 

Intermission Food Court - Quick service, low-cost food court at the All-Star Music Resort.

Singing Spirits Pool Bar - Pool bar at the All-Star Music Resort serving alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

World Premier Food Court - Quick service, low-cost food court at the All-Star Movies Resort.

Silver Screen Spirits Pool Bar - Pool bar at the All-Star Movies Resort serving alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

End Zone Food Court - Quick service, low-cost food court at the All-Star Sports Resort.

Grandstand Spirits - Pool bar at the All-Star Sports Resort serving alcoholic drinks.

Overview:

The All-Star Resorts include three connected resorts, the All-Star Music Resort, the All-Star Movies Resort, and the All-Star Sports Resort. These are the lowest cost resorts on property besides the campground, so they are a great way to experience the magic of a Disney hotel while on a budget. They don’t have as many of the amenities for adults that some of the higher cost hotels, but with three great pools, arcades, and other activities for kids, your kids will be just as happy as if they were at any of the more expensive hotels. Each of the individual resorts is colorful, fun, and representative to its individual theme: music, movies, and sports. If you stay at these resorts, know that you will have to plan extra time for transportation, since busses are the only transport available. They are nearest to Animal Kingdom and Blizzard Beach, so access to those parks is easiest. The dining here is standard, with basic, affordable options at their quick service locations and no sit down restaurants available.

 

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Deluxe, Animal Kingdom Resort Area

We recommend this resort if…

  • you love animals
  • you want a resort with lots of activities
  • you’re traveling with kids
  • you want delicious food
  • you want an immersive experience
  • you want to visit Animal Kingdom multiple times

We don’t recommend this resort if…

  • you’re on a budget
  • you want easy transportation

Transportation:

Busses around property

Dining:

Jiko - The Cooking Place - Fine dining South African cuisine and wine.

Boma - Flavors of Africa - All-you-can-eat buffet with African food and American classics for the whole family.

Sanaa - Sit down restaurant serving African and Indian dishes overlooking the wildlife on the savanna just outside.

Sanaa Lounge - lounge featuring appetizers, specialty cocktails, beer, and wine.

The Mara - Quick service and low-cost restaurant serving African and American classics.

Maji Pool Bar - Pool bar serving lunch, snacks, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Uzima Springs Pool Bar - Pool bar serving meals as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar - Lounge serving wines, cocktails, and other drinks.

Victoria Falls Lounge - Appetizers, specialty cocktails, and more.

Overview:

The Animal Kingdom Lodge is absolutely one of the best hotels in the world for animal lovers. Staying here is like staying at the zoo! There are over 30 species of African wildlife including giraffes and zebras that you can see from many of the hotel rooms and restaurants. Interactive animal programs, multiple playgrounds and pools, and great childcare options make this a perfect place for families with children, but adults traveling without children will also find plenty to love. The food options here are fantastic, ranging from affordable quick service to fine dining with a variety of African dishes to try as well as options for the less adventurous eaters. It’s worth noting that the Lodge is located far away from everything except Animal Kingdom, so travel time to everything else can be intensive.

 

Art of Animation Resort

Value, Wide World of Sports Resort Area

We recommend this resort if…

  • you’re on a budget
  • you love Disney animation
  • you want to experience Disney history
  • you’re traveling with kids
  • you’re traveling with pets

We don’t recommend this resort if…

  • you want an immersive experience
  • you’re traveling without kids
  • you want luxury

Transportation:

Busses around property

Skyliners to Epcot and Hollywood Studios (coming Fall 2019)

Walking to connected Pop Century Resort

Dining:

Landscape of Flavors - Quick service restaurant with lots of classic American options for the whole family.

The Drop Off Pool Bar - Pool bar featuring alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Two more options at the Pop Century Resort

Overview:

Have you ever wanted to live inside of a Disney movie? If so, the Art of Animation Resort might just be the one for you. All the rooms are themed to specific movies such as The Little Mermaid and The Lion King. The main pool is Finding Nemo themed, and it’s the largest pool on Disney property. Kids who love Disney will love staying at this resort so they can spend even more time with their favorite characters. It’s the perfect resort for the whole family, including your four-legged friends - this is one of the only resorts that allows pets. As a budget hotel, it definitely lacks some of the amenities for adults that other resorts have, but with an amazing pool, an arcade, and tons of activities, your kids will be totally happy throughout your stay. All of the dining available both here and at the connected Pop Century is quick service and inexpensive with tons of options for every taste. Right now, transportation from the Art of Animation Resort is limited to busses, but the Skyliner gondola system will be opening soon to give you quick transportation to Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

 

Boardwalk Inn

Deluxe, Epcot Resort Area

Boardwalk Inn

We recommend this resort if…

  • you want easy transportation
  • you want lots of food options
  • you enjoy a carnival atmosphere
  • you want to spend time at Epcot and Hollywood Studios

We don’t recommend this resort if…

  • you’re on a budget

Transportation:

Busses across property

Walking to Epcot, Hollywood Studios, The Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, and the Swan and Dolphin Resorts

Skyliners to Epcot and Hollywood Studios (coming Fall 2019)

Dining: 

Flying Fish - Fine dining restaurant offering upscale seafood and steak options for dinner each night.

Big River Grille & Brewing Works - casual dining sit down restaurant and microbrewery with lots of beer options and classic American pub fare.

ESPN Club - Sports bar and pub with nearly 100 satellite feeds so you can watch any game you might want while on your vacation.

Trattoria al Forno - casual Italian eatery with a character breakfast each morning. Dinner is served each night, but no characters are present for dinner.

Boardwalk Bakery - Bakery with all kinds of treats as well as salads, sandwiches, and drinks

Boardwalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas - a variety of margaritas and other drinks as well as boardwalk snacks.

Ample Hills Creamery - Lots of ice cream flavors and treats.

Funnel Cake Cart - Funnel cake with lots of toppings and other classic carnival treats. 

Pizza Window - Quick service pizza and other casual Italian foods.

The To-Go Cart - Lots of hot dogs as well as other inexpensive meals and snacks.

Belle Vue Lounge - 1930s-style sitting room with alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks as well as breakfast and coffee in the morning.

Leaping Horse Libations - Pool bar featuring snacks as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

AbracadaBar - a magic-themed social club serving alcoholic drinks.

Additional restaurants at the Yacht and Beach Club and Swan and Dolphin resorts in walking distance.

Overview:

Themed after turn-of-the-century Atlantic City, The Boardwalk Inn features an actual waterfront boardwalk for you to enjoy. There are so many food options on the boardwalk, most of which are inexpensive and accessible to even the pickiest eater. The boardwalk is an awesome place to hang out after a long day in the parks, with great night life and tons of casual hang outs. The main pool is carnival themed and perfect for children, but there aren’t many other amenities for children here aside from the food. This is one of the best resorts on property for easy access to theme parks. From here you can walk to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios, so you don’t have to worry about waiting for a bus. The inn is already connected to a couple of resorts, but once the Skyliner opens, it will be easy to get to even more, so dining options are endless.

 

Caribbean Beach Resort

Moderate, Epcot Resort Area

Caribbean Beach Resort

We recommend this resort if…

  • you love colorful Caribbean culture
  • you’re on a budget
  • you want an immersive experience

We don’t recommend this resort if…

  • you want luxury

Transportation:

Busses around property

Skyliners to Epcot and Hollywood Studios (coming Fall 2019)

Dining:

Sebastian's Bistro - Casual dining sit down restaurant serving Caribbean style surf and turf on the waterfront.

Banana Cabana - Pool bar serving food as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink specialties.

Centertown Market - Fast casual eatery with Latin and Caribbean style foods. 

Spyglass Grill - Quick service restaurant serving American dishes with a Caribbean twist

Overview:

The Caribbean Beach Resort is a great place to stay if you want to feel like you’re on a Caribbean vacation and a Disney vacation all at once. It is themed after 5 distinct islands: Barbados, Jamaica, Martinique, Trinidad, and Aruba. If you love being surrounded by color, you have a kid who’s obsessed with pirates, or you dream of a tropical life, you’re definitely going to love this resort. You can choose to stay in a pirate themed room where you’ll sleep in a pirate ship bed and go on quests for hidden treasure. If relaxation is more your speed, there are plenty of standard rooms available as well. Either way you’ll have access to plenty of food options, kid’s play areas, and an old Spanish citadel-themed pool. For now, busses are the only from of transportation available to the resort, but when the Skyliner opens this fall, you will be able to travel to Epcot and Hollywood Studios that way.

 

Contemporary Resort

Deluxe, Magic Kingdom Resort Area

Contemporary Resort

We recommend this resort if…

  • you want to spend a lot of time in Magic Kingdom
  • you want delicious food
  • you want to experience Disney history
  • you’re traveling with kids
  • you’re traveling without kids

We don’t recommend this resort if…

  • you want to spend most of your time in the parks that aren’t Magic Kingdom
  • you’re on a budget
  • you want to experience Disney’s latest

Transportation:

Busses around property 

Monorail to Magic Kingdom, the Polynesian Resort, and The Grand Floridian Resort

Walking to Magic Kingdom

Water Taxi to The Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground

Dining:

California Grill - Fine dining Californian cuisine with views of the Magic Kingdom from the 15th floor.

Outer Rim - Lounge with stunning views from the Bay Lake Tower.

The Wave… of American Flavors - Sit-down restaurant with buffet options serving contemporary American favorites.

The Wave Lounge - Lounge serving appetizers as well as alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks.

Chef Mickey’s - Buffet where you can eat with Mickey and his friends.

Contempo Cafe - Quick service with a variety of American Cuisine for the whole family

Contemporary Grounds - pastries, coffee, and other morning drinks

The Sand Bar - Pool bar with food and drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

Cove Bar - Pool bar with lots of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and a few food options.

Lots of additional restaurants at connected resorts.

Overview:

The Contemporary Resort was the first hotel on Disney property, along with the Polynesian, so if you are passionate about Disney history, this is the place to stay. At almost 50-years-old this place still has that magic of early Disney that you just can’t find anywhere else. If you’re a true Disney historian, you could spend hours admiring the giant mosaic mural designed by Mary Blair, an iconic Disney artist. The downside of all this history is that the resort can’t help but to feel dated despite its ultra modern theme. But don’t worry, there is plenty to love here besides the history for both adults and children. If you’re traveling with kids you can watch their fascination at watching monorails travel right through the hotel (and let’s be real, you’ll be pretty fascinated by it too). They can dine with Characters at Chef Mickey’s, splash around in the pool, and enjoy the best views of the Magic Kingdom fireworks you can find anywhere. If you’re traveling without kids, you will love to abundance of food and drink options both here and at the connected resorts, the easy access to the Grand Floridian Spa and nearby golf courses, and the conference center if you’re traveling for business. The whole family will love the easy access to Magic Kingdom; this is the only resort you can walk to from the park! You can also get there by monorail very quickly. It is worth noting that, like any Magic Kingdom resort, it takes awhile to get to the other parks from here, so make sure you plan extra time for travel when you visit those parks.

 

Coronado Springs Resort

Moderate, Animal Kingdom Resort Area

Coronado Springs Resort

We recommend this resort if… 

  • you’re on a budget
  • you want an immersive experience
  • you're traveling with kids
  • you're traveling without kids

We don’t recommend this resort if…

  • you want luxury
  • you want easy transportation

Transportation:

Busses around property

Dining:

Toledo (Coming Soon) - Rooftop restaurant with Spanish style Tapas, seafood, and steak.

Three Bridges Bar & Grill (Coming Soon) - Sandwiches, salads, and more at this lakefront location

Maya Grill - sit-down restaurant serving Mexican and Latin cuisine.

Cafe Rix - Quick service with snacks, pastries, coffee, and other drinks.

El Mercado de Coronado - Quick service with something for everyone including classic American and Mexican dishes.

Siestas Cantina - Poolside snacks and dishes as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks

Laguna Bar - Lakeside lounge serving margaritas, sangria, and other delicious cocktails.

Rix Sports Bar & Grill - Sports bar offering twists on classic bar food and a state-of-the-art viewing experience.

Overview:

Coronado Springs is one of Disney’s most underrated resorts. Themed after colonial Spanish and the American southwest, entering this resort is like walking into a different world with quiet communities and exciting central areas. It has one of the coolest playgrounds on property sitting next to the pool and arcade, so your kids will have tons to do. Adults will also be at home here with plenty of places to drink and hang out as well as a conference center if you’re traveling for work. Staying here gets you the immersive experience of a deluxe resort with a much lower price tag. Busses are the only for of transport available here, but it’s centralized location means that bus rides are generally short. The resort is currently undergoing refurbishments to be completed this summer. They will include a new 15 floor hotel tower and two new restaurants, one at the top of the hotel tower and one in the middle of the lake. Booking this year will make you one of the first people to experience the new updates. 

 

Fort Wilderness Resort

Campground, Magic Kingdom Resort Area

Fort Wilderness Resort

We recommend this resort if…

  • you love the outdoors
  • you’re on a budget
  • you want a resort with lots of activities 
  • you’re traveling with kids
  • you’re traveling with pets
  • you want an immersive experience
  • you want to spend a lot of time in Magic Kingdom

We don’t recommend this resort if…

  • you’re traveling without kids
  • you want luxury
  • you want to spend most of your time in the parks that aren’t Magic Kingdom

Transportation:

Busses around property

Water transportation to Magic Kingdom, the Wilderness Lodge, and the Contemporary Resort

Dining:

Trail’s End Restaurant - Classic down home American fare served buffet style.

The Chuck Wagon - Quick service wagon serving easy meals for the whole family and camp side eats.

P & J's Southern Takeout - Quick service restaurant with old west style foods including barbecue and so much more.

Meadow Snack Bar - Pool bar with food as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks

Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue - Dinner show where you can eat a country feast while taking in Wild West dancing, singing, and comedy.

Crockett's Tavern - Lounge with appetizers and specialty moonshine.

Overview:

Get some of the best benefits of a Disney resort at a fraction of the cost by staying here at the campground. It’s great way to get a camping trip on top of your Disney trip, and with Florida’s warm weather you can camp all year round. You can fit up to 10 people on a campground and you can bring your four-legged friends as well, so this is the best option for a large family. Adults without kids who aren’t big outdoors people probably won’t be as comfortable staying here. Choose between the campground and the cabins to find the perfect experience for you. There’s so much to do here that you’ll never be bored even if you never leave the campground. Archery, horseback riding, canoeing, fishing, basketball, and horse-drawn carriage rides are just a few of the fun things available. Get your entertainment from the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review. And you can rent a golf cart or bike to get around the property. From here you can get to Magic Kingdom easily by boat, but everything else will take time to get to on a bus.

 

Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Deluxe, Magic Kingdom Resort Area

Grand Floridian Resort

We recommend this resort if…

  • you want to splurge
  • you’re getting married
  • you want easy transportation
  • you want to spend a lot of time in Magic Kingdom
  • you’re traveling without kids
  • you want luxury
  • you want delicious food

We don’t recommend this resort if…

  • you’re on a budget
  • you’re traveling with kids
  • you want to spend most of your time in the parks that aren’t Magic Kingdom

Transportation:

Busses around Property

Monorail to Magic Kingdom, the Polynesian Resort, and the Contemporary Resort

Walking to the Polynesian Resort

Dining:

Cítricos - Fine Dining restaurant serving American and Mediterranean fusion flavors.

Narcoossee’s - Waterfront fine dining with coastal cuisine.

Victoria & Albert’s - elegant fine dining serving an 8 course meal that has been a AAA Five Diamond Award® recipient since 2000.

1900 Park Fare - breakfast and dinner buffets enjoyed with Disney characters.

Garden View Tea Room - Morning or afternoon tea overlooking the gardens and pool area.

Grand Floridian Cafe - Casual American dining sit-down restaurant.

Cítricos Lounge - Cozy lounge serving food as well as international wines, beers, and delicious cocktails.

Mizner's Lounge - Classic cocktails and other drinks as well as snacks served with aside musicians playing live jazz standards.

Gasparilla Island Grill - Quick service with a wide variety of cuisine available throughout the day.

Beaches Pool Bar & Grill - Pool bar with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Courtyard Pool Bar - Pool bar serving alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages as well as some food options.

More options at connecting resorts

Overview:

If you want luxury on your Disney vacation, you can’t do better than the Grand Floridian. Themed after victorian style old Florida, here you’ll find incomparable elegance and modern sophistication. You feel it as soon as you step into the lobby, with live musicians setting the mood and unparalleled holiday decor in the winter. Take advantage of the amazing spa and salon,  excellent shopping, high end dining, and quick transport to the Magic Kingdom by monorail. If you’re getting married, this is definitely the place to stay. With the wedding chapel and other great amenities, the people at the Grand Floridian know how to make your special day absolutely perfect. If you’re traveling with kids, they certainly have plenty of fun splashing around in the swimming pool and watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks from their backyard, but kids are definitely not the target market for the Grand Floridian, so we think adults traveling without kids will enjoy it the most.

 

Old Key West Resort

Deluxe, Disney Springs Resort Area

We recommend this resort if…

  • you want a quiet resort
  • you want to go golfing
  • you’re staying for a long time

We don’t recommend this resort if…

  • you want easy transportation
  • you want an immersive experience

Transportation:

Busses around property

Water transportation to Disney Springs

Dining:

Olivia's Cafe - Casual dining with Key West style home cooking.

Good's Food to Go - Quick service with a variety of food and beverage options.

Turtle Shack Poolside Snacks - Pool bar with food as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic food options.

Gurgling Suitcase - poolside lounge featuring lots of food and beverages.

Overview:

Old Key West feels tucked away, far from the excitement of Disney. On the one hand, this is great if you want a cozy, quiet place to spend some time. Old Key West will immediately feel like home, while still feeling enough like Key West to be exotic. On the other hand, if you want excitement, this isn’t the place you’ll find it. It can take some time to get anywhere besides Disney Springs. If you’re staying long term, though, there are few places that are better. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors, from golfing the connected Lake Buena Vista Golf Course to tennis, biking, and swimming.

 

Polynesian Village Resort

Deluxe, Magic Kingdom Resort Area

Polynesian Village Resort

We recommend this resort if…

  • you want easy transportation
  • you want a resort with lots of activities 
  • you want to splurge
  • you want to spend a lot of time in Magic Kingdom
  • you’re traveling with kids
  • you’re traveling without kids
  • you want an immersive experience 
  • you want delicious food

We don’t recommend this resort if…

  • you’re on a budget
  • you want to spend most of your time in the parks that aren’t Magic Kingdom

Transportation:

Busses around property

Monorail to Magic Kingdom, The Grand Floridian, and The Contemporary

Watercraft to Magic Kingdom and The Grand Floridian

Walking to The Grand Floridian

Dining:

‘Ohana - Buffet with Hawaiian-style food options and a character breakfast featuring Lilo and Stitch.

Oasis Bar & Grill - Quick service pool bar with Polynesian-style snacks, meals, and beverages.

Pineapple Lanai - The only place to get DOLE Whip at the resorts.

Trader Sam's Tiki Terrace - Outdoor lounge serving appetizers as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks

Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show - Tradition luau with Polynesian dancing and an all you can eat feast.

Kona Cafe - Casual dining with Asian/American style meals and an onstage sushi kitchen.

Tambu Lounge - Lounge with tropical drinks and appetizers.

Trader Sam's Grog Grotto - Tiki bar with food as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Capt. Cook’s - Quick service with a wide range of options including Polynesian style snacks and meals.

Kona Island - Casual dining with coffee and pastries for breakfast and made-to-order sushi for lunch and dinner.

Barefoot Pool Bar - Pool bar with several food options as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Overview:

The Polynesian has just about everything you could want from the perfect Disney Resort. It will have you completely immersed in the South Pacific environment with delicious food and tropical ambiance, plus tons of activities for the whole family. Amazing pools, boat rentals, and campfire activities are just a few of the fun things available here. Everyone will love the dining, with character breakfasts and the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show perfect ways to entertain your children while they eat. Delicious restaurants have options for the more adventurous diners in your party as well as picky eaters. You will also have access to all the amazing dining at the Contemporary and the Grand Floridian. With quick walking to the Grand Floridian, you also have very easy access to the Grand Floridian spa and nearby golf courses. The monorail and boat transportation makes getting to Magic Kingdom very easy, but other parks will take a lot more travel time. If you really want to splurge on your vacation, the villas here at the Polynesian are the most luxurious place to stay on Disney property. The Polynesian opened in 1971 with Magic Kingdom, so a stay here is a vacation into Disney history. 

 

Pop Century Resort

Value, Wide World of Sports Resort Area

We recommend this resort if…

  • you’re on a budget
  • you’re traveling with kids
  • you're feeling nostalgic

We don’t recommend this resort if…

  • you’re traveling without kids
  • you want luxury
  • you want easy transportation

Transportation:

Busses around property

Skyliners to Epcot and Hollywood Studios (coming Fall 2019)

Walking to Art of Animation Resort

Dining:

Everything POP Shopping & Dining - Quick service with lots of food options at different stations.

Petals Pool Bar - Pool Bar with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink options.

Two more options at the Art of Animation Resort.

Overview:

Travel back through the fads of history with the Pop Century Resort, themed after the period of time between the 1950s and the 1990s. There is so much for families with kids to enjoy here, especially if you grew up in those decades and you want to see your kids experience the stuff you loved as a kid. Pools, a playground, and an arcade are all available for your children to have so much fun they won’t know that they’re not staying at a more expensive resort. There are less amenities for adults here than some of the more expensive resorts, so keep that in mind if you want something for yourself. Transportation is busses only for now, but when the Skyliner opens this fall, quick transportation to Epcot and Hollywood Studios will be available.

 

Port Orleans Resort

Moderate, Disney Springs Resort Area

Port Orleans Resort

We recommend this resort if…

  • you’re on a budget
  • you’re traveling with pets
  • you want a resort with lots of activities
  • you want an immersive experience
  • you want delicious food
  • you’re staying for a long time

We don’t recommend this resort if…

  • you want easy transportation

Transportation:

Busses around property

Water Transportation to Disney Springs

Dining:

Boatwright's Dining Hall - Casual dining with southern dining classics.

Riverside Mill Food Court - Quick service restaurant inspired by Southern Louisiana cooking

River Roost - Lounge with appetizers, cocktails, beer, and live entertainment.

Muddy Rivers - Pool bar with specialty cocktails, non-alcoholic beverages, and other drinks.

Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory - Quick Service with a wide variety of Louisiana cooking and classic American fare.

Scat Cat's Club - Lounge with constant live music serving appetizers and alcoholic specialties.

Mardi Grogs - Lounge with food and drinks for both children and adults.

Overview:

Port Orleans has two different sides, Riverside and the French Quarter. Both sides have a distinct atmosphere, but both transport you to New Orleans in years past. Riverside takes you to romantic residential New Orleans on the river, with stately mansions and backwoods cottages. Take a horse-drawn carriage through the sprawling property and you’ll immediately feel at home. In the French Quarter you’ll find the Mardi Gras party energy that New Orleans is famous for. The sides are separate but connected, so if you stay at either, you can still enjoy both. Both have great casual restaurants, easy transportation to Disney Springs, and a quiet, homey feel that makes this a great place for a long term stay. And you can have your pets with you for the duration of your stay. Keep in mind that bus rides to any of the parks can be long from Port Orleans, so plan extra travel time.

 

Riviera Resort

Deluxe, Epcot Resort Area

    Riviera Resort

    We recommend this resort if…

    • you want to experience Disney’s latest

    Transportation:

    Busses around property

    Skyliners to Epcot and Hollywood Studios (coming Fall 2019)

    Dining: 

    Topolino’s Terrace - Rooftop European dining.

    Le Petit Café - cafe serving coffee, wine, and other treats.

    Bar Riva - Pool bar with food and beverages.

    Primo Piatto - Quick service with a wide range of options.

    Overview:

    The Riviera Resort is slated to open in December of 2019. It is themed after the European grandeur that has inspired so many of Disney’s greatest stories. Since it’s not open yet, we can’t tell you the best things about it yet, but it will surely represent Disney’s latest and greatest. You should stay here if you trust Disney to create something amazing and you want to be the first to experience it.

     

    Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa

    Deluxe, Disney Springs Resort Area

    We recommend this resort if…

    • you want luxury
    • you want to go golfing
    • you’re staying for a long time
    • you want to spend a lot of time in Disney Springs
    • you want to experience Disney history
    • you’re traveling without kids

    We don’t recommend this resort if…

    • you want an immersive experience

    Transportation:

    Busses around property

    Water transportation to Disney Springs

    Walking to Disney Springs and the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course 

    Dining:

    The Turf Club Bar and Grill - Casual dining restaurant based on a racetrack clubhouse serving American classics.

    Backstretch Pool Bar - Pool bar with food and drink options for everyone.

    The Artist's Palette - Quick service sandwiches, salads, soups, and tons more options.

    The Paddock Grill - Pool bar with lots of food options throughout the day as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

    On the Rocks Pool Bar - Pool bar with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

    The Turf Club Lounge - Lounge inside The Turf Club Bar and Grill serving specialty cocktails and beer as well as small food options.

    Chip 'n' Dale's Café - Snack stand inside the golf course with a variety of quick meal options and alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

    More options at Disney Springs

    Overview:

    Saratoga Springs is based upon an famous New York retreat with Victorian elegance and laid-back charm. It has one of the most interesting histories of any Disney resort, starting out as a possible housing location and eventually being home to the short-lived Disney Institute. Staying here can make you a part of that history while still allowing you to experience modern Disney amenities. There’s so much here for adults to enjoy: a world class spa, direct access to amazing golfing, yoga classes, fishing, and of course easy transportation to Disney Springs and all of its shopping and dining. Kids can have a great time here too, enjoying the pool and the many activities available for them to take part in. The whole family will feel perfectly at home here in this quiet escape. Large rooms with lots of amenities like a full kitchen and laundry room make this the absolute best location for a long term stay.

     

    Wilderness Lodge

    Deluxe, Magic Kingdom Resort Area

    Wilderness Lodge

    We recommend this resort if…

    • You love the outdoors
    • You want a quiet resort
    • you want an immersive experience
    • you’re traveling without kids
    • you want to spend a lot of time in Magic Kingdom

    We don’t recommend this resort if…

    • you’re on a budget
    • you want to spend most of your time in the parks that aren’t Magic Kingdom

    Transportation:

    Busses around property

    Watercraft transportation to Magic Kingdom

    Dining:

    Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White - Character dinner with Snow White and her dwarves.

    Whispering Canyon Cafe - Buffet-style eatery with western dishes for the whole family.

    Geyser Point Bar & Grill - Quick service pool bar with rustic food and drinks perfect for every explorer.

    Roaring Fork - Quick service with a wide variety of options the whole day.

    Territory Lounge - Lounge with snacks, sweets, specialty cocktails, and other drinks.

    Overview:

    The Wilderness Lodge is any outdoor lovers dream resort. Inspired by classic national park lodges in the Northwest, it will make you feel like you’re right in the center of nature while still being only a quick boat ride away from Magic Kingdom. You can enjoy the swimming pools, take a hike through the untamed nature, and witness an artificial geyser and hot springs. With all of this going on, you’ll never want to be inside. Keep the Disney Magic alive for your kids when you get dinner with the Snow White characters or enjoy one of the other many great food options. The lodge has a quiet atmosphere far from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the property. Traveling by bus can take a long time, though, so keep that in mind if you want to spend a lot of time at the parks besides Magic Kingdom.

     

    Yacht and Beach Club Resort

    Deluxe, Epcot Resort Area

    Yacht and Beach Club

    We recommend this resort if…

    • you’re here during an Epcot festival
    • you want easy transportation
    • you’re traveling with kids
    • you want a resort with lots of activities

    We don’t recommend this resort if…

    • you’re on a budget
    • you want an immersive experience

    Transportation:

    Busses around property

    Walking to Epcot, Hollywood Studios, The Boardwalk Inn, and the Swan and Dolphin Resorts

    Skyliners to Epcot and Hollywood Studios (coming Fall 2019)

    Dining:

    Ale & Compass Restaurant - Casual restaurant with New England comfort food and classic seafood dishes.

    Yachtsman Steakhouse - Fine dining New England steakhouse serving steak, seafood, and more.

    Cape May Cafe - Casual dining restaurant with a character breakfast and a seafood dinner buffet

    Beaches & Cream Soda Shop - Casual dining soda fountain and restaurant featuring classic American eats.

    Ale & Compass Lounge - Nautical-style lounge with appetizers as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

    Crew's Cup Lounge - lounge serving select appetizers and meals as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

    Martha's Vineyard - lounge with a full bar, appetizers, and non-alcoholic options. 

    The Market at Ale & Compass - Quick service with sandwiches and other easy to grab items.

    Beach Club Marketplace - Quick service with a variety of snack and meal options.

    Hurricane Hanna's Waterside Bar and Grill - Pool bar with some food options as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

    More options at the Boardwalk Inn and the Swan and Dolphin Resorts.

    Overview:

    The Yacht and Beach Clubs are connected resorts with shared amenities inspired by the Yacht and Beach clubs of New England. With the two connected resorts there are so many fun things for the whole family to enjoy. Visit the spa and fitness center for a relaxing day or rent some watercraft for an exciting day out on the lake. The Stormalong Bay here is one of the coolest pools on property, with 3 acres to explore and one of the tallest waterslides in any Disney resort. On the rare chance that you get bored here, there’s so much to do within walking distance. Not only can you walk to Epcot and Hollywood Studios, you can also enjoy all the fun and nightlife at the Boardwalk Inn, only a few steps away. The Beach Club Resort is the closest you can stay to Epcot, so if you’re here during an Epcot festival you can walk right into the middle of it from your front door.