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Dad's Simple, Fun, Magic, Guide to
Disney Hotels

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Staying in one of the Disney Hotels can take a good vacation and turn it into a GREAT vacation. It seems like there is a little bit of extra Magic built into the walls of each room.

 

No, I'm not kidding...

 

The Boardwalk Area has beautiful hotels and lots of fun - Photo by WDW Shutterbug

 

The hotels at Walt Disney World range from Simple to extravagant. There really is something for everyone.

 

Let's have some Fun as we take a Simple look at the Magical Hotels at Walt Disney World.

The Value Resorts

The inside of an Art of Animation Family SuiteInside an Art of Animation Family Suite - Photo Brett Svenson

 

The Value Resorts are the coolest of the Disney Hotels. Of course, they are the cheapest too, but they are just cool. I love the look of the Value's. From the fun of the All Stars, to the beauty of the Pop and Art of Animation, what's not to love.

 

These are budget accommodations. There's not a lot of fancy extras like you see over on the monorail or in the Deluxe Resorts. Still they are great rooms and have everything you need for a Perfect vacation.

 

Here's what to expect -

  • Outside entrances - you enter rooms from outside
  • Smaller rooms - maximum of 4 occupants around 212 square feet
  • Food Courts - no Table Service Restaurants
  • Family Suites - The Art of Animation and the All Star Movies Resorts have suites that can accommodate up to 6 guests
  • One central bus stop at the Main Building

Dad's Guide to Value Resorts

 

I want to go to Disney World

All Star Movies

Herbie, the Love Bug at the All Star Movies ResortThe Love Bug himself - Photo by Andy Sanchez

 

Disney All Star Movies Resort is all about Disney's classic movies. Each section of the resort is from a different movie.

 

There is the Fantasia Section with dancing broomsticks, the Toy Story section with all the characters from Toy Story. In the Herbie the Love Bug section Herbie is all over the place. The Mighty Ducks and 101 Dalmatians round out the other two sections.

Dad's All Star Movies main page

All Star Music

The music wall of Fame in the All Star MusicThe Music Hall of Fame in the All Star Music Resort - Photo by Cliff Wang

 

The All Star Music Resort celebrates music of all styles. Each of the 5 sections of the hotels highlights a different genre of music. There is a Country Music section, a Jazz section, a Broadway Musicals section, a Calypso section and of course a Rock and Roll section.

 

The All Star Music Resort is the original home of the Family Suite rooms. Family Suites are two connecting rooms with a refrigerator added. Check one out at ...

Dad's All Star Music main page

All Star Sports

Mickey at the 50 yard line at the All Star SportsMickey sits at the 50 in the All Star Sports - Photo by Andy Sanchez

 

For kids that love sports, this place is paradise. Each part of this hotel is devoted to a different sport. There is a football section, a baseball section, a tennis section, a basketball section and a soccer section. Each has icons of the sport that can be as much as 60 feet tall.

 

You just never know when a football game is going to break out on the almost full sized (concrete) football field. (That hurts just thinking about it.)

Dad's Disney All Star Sports page

Art of Animation Resort

The Radiator Springs area of the Art of AnimationEverywhere at the Art of Animation is something incredible - Photo by Brett Svenson

 

The Art of Animation is Disney's newest hotel and boy is it just beautiful. Located next to the Pop Century this hotel celebrates some of the newer Disney movies.

 

The AoA also has the biggest rooms available in a Value Resort. The Family Suites are pretty special.

 

There is something here for everyone. The Little Mermaid, Cars, The Lion King and Finding Nemo sections are amazing. The themes here are just incredible.

Dad's Art of Animation page

Pop Century

The computer at the Pop CenturyNow that brings back memories - Photo by Judd Helms

 

Dad likes the Pop Century a lot. Uncle Walt would be proud of the colors and theming of this very unique Resort.

 

The Pop Century is truly a unique Resort and is Dad's favorite hotels. Disney or not. It's a great value. Check it out.

 

The Pop Century is all about the history of the last century. You'll get an overview of the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and the 90's. From the sayings of the days to some of the "pop icons" (pardon the pun).

Dad's Pop Century Page

Moderate Resorts

The Royal Quarters at Port OrleansA Royal Quarters at the Port Orleans Riverside - Photo by Andy Sanchez

 

In the early 80's Michael Eisner had an epiphany. Disney was growing, but something was missing. Mr. Eisner and the rest of Uncle Walt's boys noticed that hotels were springing up outside of the main gates and this spawned an idea.

 

What would happen if Disney World had some affordable, for the masses, Disney Hotels? Yeah, the Contemporary and the Polynesian Resorts were beautiful, but expensive, could Disney actually compete with Motel 6?

 

Disney started their hotel building campaign with the Moderate Resorts, then, when that was successful, progressed to the Value Resorts.

 

Here's what to expect -

  • Outside entrances - you enter rooms from outside
  • Moderate size rooms - maximum of 5 occupants around 250 square feet
  • Two queen beds, some rooms also have a roll-away available
  • Food Courts and one Table Service Restaurant
  • Bus Stops at each section of the resort

 

I want to go to Disney World

Caribbean Beach Resort

The entrance to the Caribbean Beach ResortEven the entrance has has a Caribbean feel - Photo by Mike Billick

 

The Caribbean Beach Resort takes you right to the islands mon. Sit back and feel the tropical breezes as you sip your favorite beverage by the pool. The colors in the hotel are amazing. It's the most colorful hotel in all of Disney World.

 

This is also the home of Pirate Suites. Let loose your inner pirate (but please no plundering). The Pirate Suites are decked out in dark woods and Jolly Rogers. Arrgh!

Dad's Disney Caribbean Beach Resort page

Coronado Springs

The colors of Coronado SpringsThe colors of Coronado Springs at sunset - Photo by Andy Sanchez

 

The Coronado Springs Resort is one of Disney's convention resorts. This sprawling moderate resort is decked out with Southwestern flair.

 

This hotel has more room options than any other of the Disney hotels. From the standard moderate room to huge suites there is something for just about any taste.

The Coronado Springs hosts lots of conventions during the year. Maybe you can go to one.

Dad's Coronado Springs main page

Fort Wilderness Campground

The Trading Post at Fort WildernessCome enjoy nature at Fort Wilderness Campgrounds - Photo by Andy Sanchez

 

You can pitch your tent right in the shadow of the Magic Kingdom. What a concept. The Fort Wilderness Campgrounds are just a short boat ride away from the most magical place on earth. You'll find RV parking, cabins and yes, even campgrounds where you can put up a tent.

 

The Campgrounds are considered a Moderate Resort even though you can rent a camping space for much less than even the Value Resorts. The Cabins are what make it Moderate because their price range is in the Moderate category.


Camping at WDW?

Dad's Disney Fort Wilderness Campgrounds page

Port Orleans

The lobby of the Port Orleans RiversideJourney to New Orleans - Photo by Andy Sanchez

 

The Port Orleans is really two Disney hotels in one. The Riverside section has old manor homes modeled after the plantation homes of the deep south. (Riverside was originally the Dixie Landings.)

 

The French Quarter part of the hotel makes you feel like your right down in the French Quarter in New Orleans. (But totally family friendly.)

Dad's Disney Port Orleans page

Disney Deluxe Resorts

Inside a room at the Contemporary ResortThe Deluxe Resorts have big spacious rooms - Photo by Brett Svenson

 

The top of the line Disney hotels fall into the Deluxe Resort category. The Deluxe Resorts are the most expensive, starting at around $300.00 per night. They have the largest standard rooms on the property and the best amenities. Most of the rooms include 2 queen beds and a day bed and sleep 5.

 

Yes, Disney hotels and especially the Deluxe Resorts cost a ton of money. If you can't afford to stay at one, at least walk through them. The Deluxe Resorts are truly some of the most interesting hotels in the world.

 

Here's what to expect -

  • Inside entrances - you enter rooms from a hall inside the building
  • Larger size rooms - maximum of up to 6 occupants up to 450 square feet
  • Two queen beds, some rooms day beds or bunk beds
  • A combination of Quick Service and nice Table Service restaurants
  • A central bus stop plus extra forms of transportation (monorails and boats)

 

I want to go to Disney World

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Looking out the window to the Savannah at the Animal Kingdom LodgeA view of the Savannah at the Animal Kingdom Lodge - Photo by Cliff Wang

 

The Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of the most unique Disney Hotels anywhere. In the Jambo House, you can see all kinds of animals right outside of your room. There are over 30 species that roam the resort day and night.

 

The Animal Kingdom Lodge has 2 Savannah's with live animals roaming all day (and night) long. For any animal lover this is paradise. It's also a typically beautiful place to spend a few days.

Dad's Animal Kingdom Lodge page

Beach Club

The entrance to the Beach ClubThe entrance to the Beach Club - Photo by Brett Svenson

 

The Beach Club is the closest resort to Epcot. It's located just off of Crescent Lake (on the beach) and right next to it's sister resort the Yacht Club.

 

It's a very relaxing place to enjoy some time at the beach ... oops, I mean at Walt Disney World. The Beach and Yacht Clubs also have the best pool in the park. A great place to spend some relaxing time.

Disney Beach Club Resort

Boardwalk Inn

The Boardwalk Inn entrance at nightThe Boardwalk Inn Resort shines at night - Photo by Mike Billick

 

Disney's Boardwalk is a unique area. There is food, fun and drinks during the day and night.

 

The Boardwalk Inn sits right on the Boardwalk which is the center of all kinds of nightlife. From Jellyrolls with the dueling pianos to just sitting on the Boardwalk and munching on some really good pizza. This is a great place to spend a vacation.

Disney Boardwalk Hotel

The Contemporary Resort

The Monorail going through the ContemporaryThe monorail runs right through the Contemporary - Photo by Judd Helms

 

The Contemporary is one of the most unique structures anywhere. The giant A-frame main building has a monorail running right through it.

 

This hotel is the closest you can get to the Magic Kingdom without a ticket. You can literally walk to the park in 5 minutes and some of the views are amazing.

Dad's Contemporary Resort page

Grand Floridian

The lobby to the Grand Floridian Resort and SpaThe Grand Floridian is just opulent - Photo by Andy Sanchez

 

The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is the flagship of the Disney Hotels. It's the granddaddy of them all and it's proud to show Disney at its finest.

 

Beautiful, classy style and elegance is the hallmark of this resort. It even has high tea in the afternoon and the top restaurant in all of Orlando. There is even an orchestra in the lobby. Opulent and classy. Just look at the pictures, opulent and classy.

Dad's Grand Floridian page

Polynesian Village Resort

The new lobby at the Polynesian Village ResortThe new lobby at the Polynesian Village Resort - Photo by Andy Sanchez

 

The Polynesian Village Resort is Dad's favorite hotel anywhere. What's not to like. The whole hotel is a tropical island paradise and it has the best, most convenient transportation to just about anywhere at Disney World. Grab a monorail and be in the Magic Kingdom in no time.

 

The Polynesian Village is one of the original, Uncle Walt designed hotels. That Uncle Walt was something special. Kinda like the beach. White sand that goes on forever and ever makes you feel like you have died and gone to the tropics.

Dad's Polynesian Village Resort main page

Wilderness Lodge

The Wilderness Lodge is just beautiful - Photo by Andy Sanchez

 

The Wilderness Lodge is one of the most beautiful hotels anywhere. Behind the hotel is a real geyser (OK, maybe it's man made) and there's even a stream that runs right through the atrium.

 

When you step inside this resort you'll feel like you've been transported clear across the country to the great Northwest. Don't miss this.

Dad's Wilderness Lodge page

Yacht Club

Dawn breaks behind the lighthouse at the Yacht Club ResortDawn at the Yacht Club - Photo by Matthew Cooper

 

The Yacht Club is between the Beach Club and the Swan and Dolphin Resorts. It is also located on a beach (that happens a lot at Disney World. This Disney Hotel is filled with boaty decorations and has a wonderful nautical theme.

 

The Yacht Club shares the best pool of the Disney hotels with the Beach Club. It's a great place to relax and enjoy the wonderful days at WDW.

 

The Beach Club is probably the most conveniently located resort. It's only a short walk from the Beach Club to the International entrance at Epcot.

Dad's Yacht Club page

Disney Deluxe Villas

In 1986, Disney started the Disney Vacation Club. In fact the first resort was named the Disney Vacation Club Resort (it's was renamed in 1991 to Old Key West Resort and Spa). Over the last 10 years, the DVC has had explosive growth. The Vacation Club hotels offer condo rooms.

 

Here's what to expect -

  • Villa size rooms - rooms range from Studio Villas at 400 or so square feet to Grand Villas that can sleep up to 12 and are over 2,000 square feet
  • At least 2 beds plus sleeper chairs and sofas
  • A combination of Quick Service and nice Table Service restaurants
  • Transportation varies depending on the resort, but boats, monorails and/or buses are available at all resorts

Dad's Disney Vacation Club page

 

I want to go to Disney World

Animal Kingdom Villas

Step out on your balcony and see animals. What a concept. Wake up to a zebra looking in your window (not literally). This is one of the best loved hotels anywhere. Both the Kidani Village and Jambo house (the two parts of the resort) have suites for rent.

 

Look around anywhere and you'd think you were right on the African Savannah.

Dad's Animal Kingdom Villas page

Bay Lake Tower

Bay Lake TowerThe Contemporary in the Round - Photo by Mike Billick

 

This is the newest Disney Vacation Club resort. It's located behind the Contemporary Resort. The all suite hotel is tied to the Contemporary via a walkway where all of the amenities for this resort are located.

 

The Bay Lake Tower of the best views of the Magic Kingdom which you can easily walk to.

Dad's Bay Lake Tower page

Beach Club Villas

The Beach Club VillasThe Beach Club Villas are right on the water - Photo by Brett Svenson

 

The Beach Club Villas are located on the Crescent Lake beach in the Disney Boardwalk area. The Villas are modeled after resorts in the Cape May New Jersey (which explains why there is a Jersey Week at Disney World) area from the early 1900's.

 

The Beach Club is located just behind Epcot and it's an easy 5 minute walk to the park and a 10 minute boat ride to Disney Hollywood Studios.

Dad's Beach Club Villas page

Boardwalk Villas

Trent watching the ducks with the Boardwalk in the backgroundThe Boardwalk Villas run the length of the Boardwalk - Photo by Brett Svenson

 

The Boardwalk. The home of evening entertainment at Disney World. The Boardwalk Villas are right in the heart of the action. The Boardwalk is just a quick walk or boat ride to Epcot and from Disney Hollywood Studios.

 

The Villas offer nice big rooms for larger families or just for guests that like a little space.

Dad's Disney Boardwalk Villas page

Grand Floridian Villas

Playful and elegant - Photo by Andy Sanchez

 

The Grand Floridian. The signature resort at Walt Disney World now has a full Disney Vacation Club section.

 

Disney's Grand Floridian Villas are the most upscale of the DVC properties. If you like the feel of the Grand Floridian, you'll really want to try out the villas.

Dad's Grand Floridian Villas page

Old Key West

A boat passing the lighthouse at Old Key WestThe Lighthouse is the symbol of the Old Key West Resort - Photo by Andy Sanchez

 

The Old Key West Resort is the original Disney Vacation Club property. In fact it was initially called the Disney Vacation Club. Old Key West has the biggest rooms on the property are located in a highly relaxing atmosphere.

 

Old Key West is a great name for the feel of this area. It just screams laid back. (It doesn't literally scream, but you get the idea.) It even has a golf course running right through it.

Dad's Disney Old Key West page

Polynesian Villas and Bungalows

A Bungalow at the Polynesian Village Resort with the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom in the backgroundWow. Just wow. It doesn't get any better than this - Photo by Andy Sanchez

 

The Polynesian Village Resort was the last of the monorail resorts to become part of the Disney Vacation Club. But boy, did they ever do something special. The Polynesian Villas and Bungalows are spectacular.

 

You can sleep right on the water with a great view of the Magic Kingdom right out your window. These are some of the most coveted reservations at Walt Disney World.

Dad's Polynesian Villas and Bungalows page

Saratoga Springs Resort

The Winners Circle area at Saratoga Springs ResortGo to the Winners Circle at Saratoga Springs Resort - Photo by Laurie Sapp

 

Saratoga Springs is a northern styled racetrack Resort. You'd almost expect a jockey walking his horse to appear. All it lacks is the racetrack.

 

Also in Saratoga Springs are the most innovative villas around. If you stay in Disney's Treehouse Villas you actually sleep 14 feet above the ground.

Dad's Saratoga Springs page

Disney Villas at Wilderness Lodge

The check in area at the Wilderness Lodge and VillasThe lobby to the Wilderness Lodge and Villas - Photo by Cliff Wang

 

Set in the quiet, serene woods just a short boat ride from the Magic Kingdom , Disney Villas at Wilderness Lodge may be the most serene place to stay in all of Walt Disney World The Lodge has a Northwest US look and feel.

 

Inside the Lodge you'll find a 60 foot tall fireplace and totem poles all around.

Disney Villas at Wilderness Lodge

Dad's Favorites - Simple, Fun, Magic


This is cute. Come see why you should stay at a Disney Hotel.

 

To make things Simple, Dad has boiled it down for you to my favorites. We will talk about all of them, but these are the hotels I go back to and don't have any problem recommending to all my friends.

 

Like I said, these really are my favorite Hotels at Walt Disney World.

Click on the link to get a better look at Dad's Favorites.

Dad's Blog Post about Dad Picks:Disney Hotels

Making it Simple

Montage of Disney HotelsSo many to choose from. Which one works for me?

 

Choosing a Disney Hotel can be a daunting task. There's so much conflicting information. Jack likes this hotel. Jill thinks it stinks. (When Jack and Jill are married it can cause a problem. Lol.) So, who is right? (Guys if you don't know the answer to that question...)

 

Actually both could be right. We're all different. We like different things. So the real question is, which Disney Hotel is right for you?

Check out 25 Reasons why Dad Loves Disney Hotels

 

I want to go to Disney World

Should you should stay at a Disney Hotel?

Maybe.

 

Dad gives you a rundown on who should stay at one of the Disney Hotels, and who shouldn't (yes, Uncle Walt, there are people that should stay somewhere else).

Staying at Disney Resorts vs. non - Disney Hotels

Christmas in the Disney World Hotels

Christmas is a really special time at Walt Disney World. See how the different Disney Hotels celebrate "The Most Wonderful Time of the year." From the 1,000 foot gingerbread house in the Grand Floridian to the tree in the Pop Century, the hotels really dress up in holiday finery.

Dad's Disney World at Christmas in the Hotels

Book Yours Today

Are you ready? It's never a bad time to book a Disney World Resort. Dad would like to help. Dad and his friends over at Destinations to Travel are ready to help you choose one of the Disney Hotels that will be Perfect for your vacation.

 

The Disney Vacation Planners at Destinations to Travel know almost about Disney World as Dad does and they are hotel specialists. Give them a shout today.

Dad's Destinations to Travel page

 

I want to go to Disney World

Dad's Bottom Line

Dad prefers Disney Hotels or Disney Resorts or whatever you want to call them. If you are focusing on Disney during your vacation, make it a point to stay at one of the Walt Disney World Hotels. You won't regret it.