As of June 2, 2020, we’ll no longer be updating content. But don’t worry - Dad’s friends can still help with all your Disney dreaming, planning, and booking needs!
Thank you for your support of Dad’s Guide to WDW for the past 11 years!
Where can I stay and walk to a Disney World Theme Park?
by Marybeth (Ny)
Where is the best place to stay so you can walk most everywhere with a 3 yr. old and have a full kitchen (want to cook because of food allergies) Don’t feel comfortable eating out though we know Disney accommodates people with food allergies.
Thank you for the kind words – I can’t take all the credit for my family (Mrs. Mom had a hand in it too) but I agree, they’re just lovely (usually). I’m also glad you’re enjoying the site and I hope I can be of some help in selecting the best Walt Disney World resort hotel to stay at in order to accommodate your family. Allergies, cooking, walking, and toddlers – that’s a tall order but Dad has just the resort in mind for you.
Keep in mind that Walt Disney World is 27 square miles, so there aren’t a lot of Walt Disney World resort hotels that are located with walking distance of the parks. In fact, there are only 6 resorts where this is possible. There are no resorts within walking distance to Animal Kingdom. It’s kinda stuck off by itself.
For a full kitchen you are going to need a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resort. These hotels have “villas” that have a full kitchen and multiple rooms. There are only 3 Disney Vacation Club Villas where you can actually walk to a Theme Park.
The Contemporary Resort is the only hotel you can walk to the Magic Kingdom from, and with the recent addition of their Bay Lake Towers, (a DVC resort) staying here would allow you to cook for yourself, but why walk to one park when you could walk to two?
If you choose to stay at one of the “EPCOT area” hotels located near Disney’s BoardWalk, you’ll have 2 theme parks within walking distance (EPCOT and Disney Hollywood Studios), plus you’ll be able to access the shopping, dining, and activities Disney’s BoardWalk has to offer. If that isn’t enough, you can also walk to the Fantasia Garden’s Miniature Golf course from these hotels too!
There are 5 hotels in the “EPCOT area” but only two of them are Disney Vacation Club Resorts – Disney’s BoardWalk Villas and Disney’s Beach Club Villas. Now, a stay here isn’t cheap but it does meet all of your requirements. If it were up to me, I’d pick the Beach Club Villas, where you’d have access to Stormalong Bay – a pool complex that is practically a mini water park!
I understand your concern about allergies, and if doing all of your own cooking will help you have the Perfect Vacation, then by all means cook ‘till your heart’s content. But I do have to say that the accommodations for allergies in the parks and hotels at Walt Disney World are outstanding. You can speak to a manager or chef at every counter service or table service location, and chefs will sometimes whip up something custom for guests on the spot!
One more quick thing, I would recommend you check out David’s Vacation Rentals. They can save you a ton of money on renting a villa at the Beach Club or any other Disney Vacation Club property. Of course, you could just call up my travel partners and let them book your whole trip for you. They’ll be happy to help you choose the perfect hotel and work with you to make your vacation just about perfect.
Marybeth, look into the Disney Vacation Club Villas at the “EPCOT area” hotels – they’re your best bet to walk for walking to the parks, plus be able to cook your own meals. If you do decide to try something created by a Disney chef, might I suggest the allergy free Mickey waffles?