We’re the kind of people who love to stay on property at a Disney Resort.
Walt Disney World has 33 resorts on their property and range in levels: value, moderate, deluxe, deluxe villas, and campgrounds.
We’re Canadian so the exchange rate makes trips a lot more expense, and we’re a middle class family so we typically stay at the value resorts. The great thing is that you can go to any resort just to check it out, no matter where you’re staying. So we always spend one day of our trip “resort hopping”. It’s actually one of our favourite days! Even if you can’t afford to stay at a deluxe resort, there are lots of reasons to still go to one.
Our Favourite Disney Resorts:
1. Pop Century
This is our “home” resort. It’s the first Disney hotel we ever stayed at so it has sentimental value and we know it very well. We’ve stayed here five times since 2006.
- The theme is different decades – from the 50s to the 90s – so each building at the resort has different decor to match it’s decade (flowers in the 60s, Walkman in the 80s, a computer in the 90s). This makes it a great option for people who don’t want an overly Disney hotel too
- Value resort – so there is usually a decent price
- Recently renovated – no carpet and a Murphy bed, more modern
- Best part about value resorts is that the buildings are closer together so the walking distance from your room to the lobby, restaurant, and buses isn’t too far. (After a long park day, this is important)
2. Art of Animation
Opposite to Pop Century, this resort is very Disney – which is one reason I LOVE it. This resort is a neighbour hotel to POP and they share a skyliner station.
- It has four themed areas which your room could be in (from left to right on property): The Little Mermaid (on the end), The Lion King (family suites and indoor style building), Finding Nemo (family suites), and Cars (family suites and on the end)
- A great choice if you love to be immersed in Disney
- A value resort but more expensive than POP, rooms aren’t too far to walk to
- I was lucky to get to stay in The Little Mermaid section (which you choose when you book) for my 28th Birthday and it was a dream come true
3. Grand Floridian
This is a dream resort stay for us. It is a deluxe hotel so we’ve never stayed here but we visit it every trip.
- It has the most beautiful and grand lobby which I love to spend time in listening to the music and people watching (Sadly the live orchestra was retired during the pandemic)
- It has a dozen dining options which is a great reason to go here. We enjoy the character dining at 1900 Park Fare, and The Floridian Cafe has a beautiful Victorian ambiance
- Overall I love the beautiful design of the hotel and the view since it’s on the Seven Seas Lagoon and across from Magic Kingdom
4. BoardWalk Resort Area
This is a great resort area to spend time in especially when you want some time out of the parks but at Disney.
- Located between EPCOT and Hollywood Studios so you can either take the boat or walk from the parks to this resort area
- The BoardWalk has many great restaurants and activities like: BoardWalk Bakery, Trattoria al Forno Restaurant, ESPN Club (currently closed during the pandemic), and Surrey Bikes (not currently available during the pandemic)
- There are multiple resorts in this area. You can walk the full BoardWalk loop from Hollywood Studios to the BoardWalk resort, to EPCOT, then to the Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, to the Swan and Dolphin
5. Animal Kingdom Lodge
Animal Kingdom Lodge (AKL) is another bucket list stay for us.
- One of the most incredible parts is that it has African animals on property. With multiple savannahs, you can see giraffes, zebras, and gazelles among dozens of other species
- This resort has some amazing dining options including favourites Boma – Flavours of Africa, and Sanaa
- As always for me, the design and atmosphere of the resort is really what makes it a favourite. The decor and style here is beautiful and there is such a tranquil feel, especially at sunset
Choosing which resort to stay at really comes down to what type of trip you’re taking:
- How many days are you there?
- Who are you there with?
- How many days are you going to the parks?
- Do you like to spend a lot of time at your resort?
These are all things to consider to help you plan your trip.
Which Disney hotel is your favourite? Let us know in the comments!
Wish. Dream. Believe.