Walt Disney World Hotels

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Are you thinking of staying in a Walt Disney World hotel but are not sure of the benefits? Or you know that you definitely want to stay at a Disney World Resort but are not sure which one to choose? Then here is a guide to give you an overview of all the Disney World hotels.

Disney's Grand Floridian
Photos used under Creative Commons from joepennistone

What are the benefits of staying at a Disney World Resort?

There are certain benefits which are only given to Disney resort guests. Some are very valuable.

Extra Magic Hours

This is perhaps the best benefit. We all know that the parks are busy for much of the year and so Disney decided to give this extra benefit exclusively to guests of it’s hotels.

Disney resort guests are allowed access to select parks for one hour earlier in the morning and up to 3 hours later in the evening. These Extra Magic Hours are available only on selected days – so check before you plan your visit.

Disney Dining Plan

Another great benefit and one which can save you a considerable amount of money – according to Disney up to 40% on dining.

The Disney Dining Plan lets guests pre purchase meals. There are a number of different plans available ranging from snacks and counter service meals, right up to 3 full service restaurant meals per day. When you check in your are given a number of ‘credits’ according to the plan that you purchased and you use these throughout your stay. It can take some working out to get the best value – but overall it does save you money and the majority of guests are very positive about it.

A Disney resort guest must purchase it as part of a Magic Your Way Package. This must consist of an hotel room stay and at least one day’s Disney ticket. So even if you have tickets already (say an annual pass or unexpired days from your last vacation) you still have to purchase at least a one day ticket.

Disney World Monorail System
Photos used under Creative Commons from auntie_rain

Disney Transportation System

Of course anyone with a Disney park entrance ticket can use the transportation system. But there is added convenience of location if you are staying on Disney property. Some of the Magic Kingdom resorts are particularly convenient as they are on the monorail system.

If you stay on Disney property you may be able to enjoy your vacation without the need to rent a vehicle. So this can mean considerable savings.

Disney’s Magical Express

An excellent free bus service from Orlando International Airport. But more that this it takes care of your bags if you are a domestic passenger without you having to go to bag clain. Simply check your bag at your departure airport and it will find it’s way to your Disney hotel room without you having to handle it in between. International airline guests can also use the service but they do have to collect their bags at bag claim.

When it is time to go home you can bypass the lines at the airport again by checking in your baggage and printing out your boarding pass at your Disney resort hotel. This facility is only available for domestic passengers on select airlines.

Disney's Magical Express
Photos used under Creative Commons from auntie_rain

Disney’s Magical Express is a great benefit for guests. The usual Disney efficiency means that your bags are waiting for you in your room, and you will also save on the hassle and cost of airport transfers.

Free Parking in Disney Theme Parks

All Disney resort guests are entitled to use the parking lots for free. This can add up to a considerable saving.

Package Delivery

Disney resort guests can have all items which they have purchased on Disney property delivered direct to their hotel room. Not that much of a perk but nonetheless it can be useful sometimes.

Which Disney Resort Hotel Should I Choose?

This is obviously a question of budget first. Prices vary by dates and resorts but range from $80 a night up to over $1000 for suites in the Deluxe Hotels.

Once you have decided on a budget you need to consider location and theme. Disney is known for it’s amazing hospitality and wonderful themes in it’s resorts. So browse though the choices and discover which one is best for you.

Disney World Deluxe Hotels

The Lobby at Disney's Wilderness Resort
Photos used under Creative Commons from auntie_rain

The very best hotel resorts which Disney has to offer. Excellent locations and these Disney resorts include some of the finest hotels in the world!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

One of my very favorites. Be transported to another world with Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort Hotel. The resort is built around a savanna filled with free roaming animals.

Choose a savanna view room and you will enjoy an amazing view of the animals. Yes you really will see a giraffe from your balcony.

The only downside? The location is not the best. It is next to Disney’s Animal Kingdom so a little remote from the other parks – and the bus system may leave you wishing you had rented a car. Other than this it is an exceptional hotel.

Disney’s Beach Club Resort

This is another one of my personal favorites. The location is excellent. You can walk to Epcot’s World Showcase entrance. This luxury hotel has the ambience of a seaside resort at the turn of the century.

The Beach Club also has what is considered the very best Disney resort swimming pool – Stormalong Bay.

Disney's Beach Club
Photos used under Creative Commons from auntie_rain

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

The Boardwalk Inn is located just steps away from Disney’s Boardwalk entertainment and restaurant area. It is a short stroll from Epcot, and just a short boat ride away from Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Very convenient for everything.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort Hotel

There really can’t be many hotels in the world with a monorail running through the lobby. You can’t get much closer to Disney’s Magic Kingdom in this innovative A Frame design hotel. Take the monorail or walk to the Magic Kingdom.

The Contemporary Resort has recently undergone a huge refurbishment to bring the rooms up to date (it was a little stuck in the 70s a while ago)! Altogether a great choice.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

The Disney World Grand Floridian is Disney’s flagship resort. Located on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon, the Magic Kingdom is just a short walk, boat or monorail ride away. The perfect location. The rooms are beautiful and well appointed. But of course you pay for the luxury and this is the most expensive hotel on Disney property.

Disney World Grand Floridian
Photos used under Creative Commons from joepennistone

Disney’s Polynesian Resort Hotel

A tropical theme awaits you at this excellent Disney deluxe hotel. Conveniently located on Seven Seas Lagoon just a short boat or monorail ride away from Magic Kingdom. Lush tropical landscaping and a South Pacific theme make this a popular choice with Disney resort guests.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Disneys Wilderness Lodge Resort
Photos used under Creative Commons from mrkathika

Along with Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge this resort is worth a visit even if you are not a guest just to see the wonderful theme and attention to detail. You will feel as though you are in the middle of a National Park instead of just a short boat ride away from Magic Kingdom.

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort Hotel

Located next to Disney’s Beach Club this hotel is a beautiful resort in an excellent location. Just short walk from Epcot and a relaxing boat ride to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It also shares Stormalong Bay swimming pool with the Beach Club

Disney’s Moderate Resorts

The reasonably priced Disney moderate resorts are a great choice for your vacation. They are all nicely themed. The locations are not as great as the Deluxe hotels nor are the rooms as large and luxurious. But you get excellent value for money.

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Hotel

This Caribbean tropical themed hotel has over 2000 guest rooms. Disney’s Caribbean Beach hotel has a good location as it is pretty centrally located for access to the parks. It has a fun Caribbean theme which the kids will particularly enjoy.

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort Hotel

Disney's Coronado Resort HotelPhotos used under Creative Commons from mrkathika

This is my favorite Disney moderate resort hotel. The Coronado Springs has a American Southwest theme. The resort itself is huge – it can be a long trek to your room! The resort is planned around 15 acre Lago Dorado and has a laid back atmosphere which is quieter than many resorts.

To some people the drawback is that it is a Conference Hotel and lacks the Disney ‘feel’ about it. But if you want a relatively quiet hotel with good facilities this could be a good choice.

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground

This is a great option for everyone. It is particularly good for larger families as the Fort Wilderness Cabins sleep up to 6 guests and each has a full kitchen.

The grounds are beautiful. You really do feel as though you are in the middle of the Wilderness. It is amazing to believe that you are so close to all the parks.

If you want to bring your own tent or RV then Fort Wilderness is the perfect place for you to stay. There are 788 campsites – but book early as they do fill up quickly.

Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter

This resort used to be called Disney’s Port Orleans. Themed around Mardi Gras and New Orleans this resort is an excellent choice.

Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside

Formerly known as Dixie Landings. It has a Old South feel to it. The resort is of course the sister resort to Port Orleans French Quarter.

Both Riverside and French Quarter share a bus transportation system to the Disney theme parks.

Disney Value Resorts

Disney World Pop Century value Resort
Photos used under Creative Commons from auntie_rain

A great choice for families and guests on a budget. Disney has created a wonderful fun atmosphere in these budget Disney resort hotels. All are linked to the Disney theme parks by the bus transportation system.

The All Star Complex

This group of 3 hotels is located on a huge complex close to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Blizzard Beach. Each of the rooms on the resorts are motel style and the smallest on Disney property at just 260 square feet. So expect a tight fit for a family of 4. But also a lot of fun in a good location for a great price.

1. Disney’s All Star Movies Resort.

This movie themed Disney resort is a lot of fun. Here you will find a 35 foot tall Buzz Lightyear and a 25 foot Woody. Everything is larger than life at this resort!

2. Disney’s All Star Music Resort

It doesn’t matter if you prefer Country,Rock,Broadway,Calypso or Jazz there is something here for everyone. The All Star Music resort now offers family suites which are a great choice for families of 5. Most Disney resort hotel rooms only sleep 4 so this is a good choice to avoid the need to book 2 rooms for a larger family.

3. Disney’s All Star Sports Resort

This was the very first of the Disney All Star Resorts. The concept was so successful that Disney expanded it to build the other two resorts.

Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Disney’s Pop Century resort is located close to Disney Hollywood Studios. There are 2,880 rooms available on this huge Disney Value Resort. Each has a pop music theme from either the 1950s,1960s,1970s or 1980s. You can express a preference for which building you want when you reserve your room.

Disney Vacation Club Villas

Disney Vacation Club

Many people don’t realize that you do not need to be a member of Disney Vacation Club to reserve these villas. They can be an excellent choice for all guests.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas

Available are studio,one bedroom,two bedroom and Grand Villa accommodations. The Animal Kingdom Villas are located inside the main Hotel building – The Jambo House. They have the same room categories as the hotel – value,standard,savanna and concierge. Always pick a savanna view room for the complete Animal Kingdom resort experience. It really is worth the extra cost.

Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge

This is a new building located on Animal Kingdom Lodge property. It is separate from the main hotel building. Kidani Village has one and two bedroom units, and 3-bedroom Grand Villas.

Kidani Village opened in May 2009 and construction is due to be completed on all phases in September 2009. It has it’s own savannas so guests can enjoy amazing views of the animals. Another great choice – the only downside of this resort is the location. Often guests prefer to rent a car rather than use the transportation system which can prove to be slow.

Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Due to open in August 2009. The Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort will offer studio,one and two bedroom villas and three bedroom Grand Villas. The villas have some of the best views of any Disney Vacation Club resort as they are located next to the Contemporary Resort on the Seven Seas Lagoon. Some will have wonderful Magic Kingdom views – and of course you can take the monorail or walk to the park.

Disney Contemporary Bay Lake Tower
Photos used under Creative Commons from auntie_rain

Disney’s Beach Club Villas

Disney’s Beach Club Resort has studio, one and two bedroom villas. The location is excellent. A short walk away from Epcot and Disney’s Boardwalk, and a boat ride from Hollywood Studios.

Disney’s Boardwalk Resort Villas

The Boardwalk Resort Villas offer studios, one and two bedroom and three bedroom Grand Villas. Conveniently located on Disney’s Boardwalk and a short stroll from Epcot. Or take the boat to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Disney's Boardwalk Villas

Disney’s Old Key West Resort

Disney’s Old Key West Resort has studios, one and two bedroom and tree bedroom Grand Villas.

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa

This has a great location overlooking the lakeside of Downtown Disney. Saratoga Springs offers studios, one and two bedroom and tree bedroom Grand Villas.

Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa

The Treehouse Villas at Satartoga Springs were opened in June 2009. There are 60 three bedroom homes which are built 10 feet of the ground are designed to give the ultimate luxury and style in tree house living.

The picture shown here is of one of the tree houses and was actually taken by one of my favorite Disney photographers and fellow Disney addict auntie_rain She was lucky enough to be chosen to cut the ribbon at the Treehouse Villas opening ceremony.

Disney Vacation Club Resort

Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

This was the third DVC Resort and is located in a separate building on Disney’s Wilderness Lodge hotel site – so has a wonderful location and setting. There are 136 Wilderness Lodge Villas. You can choose from studiio,one and two bedroom villas.

Other Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

There are three other hotels which are located on Disney World. They are not owned by Disney but they offer the same Disney resort privileges.

Shades of Green

Shades of Green used to be owned by Disney but was sold to the Department of Defense in 2004 . It has excellent accommodation at great rates for active and retired members of the military.

Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel Resort

Walt Disney World Dolphin
Photos used under Creative Commons from afagen

The Dolphin is owned by Westin. It has a very good location located within walking distance of Epcot. Or you can take the boat to Disney Hollywood Studios, The Boardwalk and Epcot.

This hotel is largely a conference hotel but you will also find many Disney guests there. It has a huge choice of restaurants and great swimming pools.

Walt Disney World Swan Hotel Resort

This Swan right next to the Dolphin so it too has a great location close to Epcot. Like the Dolphin it is a Westin Hotel.

The rooms are large and there is plenty to keep you occupied at the resort. It has numerous restaurants and bars. One of the best features is the swimming pool area – the 3 acre Grotto water playground.

Whichever Disney World resort hotel you choose you are sure to have a wonderful vacation. Just take some time to explore all your choices before deciding which one to book.