Resort Review

Resort Areas

Walt Disney World is so much more than it’s 4 theme parks, 2 water parks and shopping district, Disney Springs. They also have beautiful resorts. Each one has its own unique theme which is reflected in every aspect of the resort. I love that they term them resorts because they are so much more than hotels. As you can see in my review of Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort you can have a vacation at one of these stupendous places without even going to a park. There are many things you should consider when you’re choosing which of these resorts is right for your vacation. A big one is price, of course. But another major one is location.

There are 5 resort areas on the Walt Disney World property. They each have their own pros and cons. Choosing the right location for your vacation can enhance your enjoyment. I’ll break down the areas for you, along with the list of resorts you can find in those areas. From there you should be able to narrow down your choice and make the right decision for your next Disney vacation.

Magic Kingdom Resort Area

Epcot Resort Area

Disney Springs Resort Area

Animal Kingdom Resort Area

Wide World of Sports Area

Magic Kingdom Resort Area

*The picture above is the Grand Floridian Resort*

All of these resorts are very close to the Magic Kingdom. Allowing you quick and easy access to the most popular park on property. There are 5 resorts in this area which gives you a number of close options for restaurants, shops and galleries. Allowing you an abundance of things to do on non-park days. These resorts are also very close to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. So transportation from these resorts is very quick. The 5 resorts have a small amount of rooms so you’ll have less people on your buses. Each has only one drop off and pick up zone creating less wait time on your bus. They are far away from Animal Kingdom and Typhoon Lagoon. If you plan on doing a couple of days at the Magic Kingdom or maybe Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party these resorts are great. They each have a number of ways to get to and from the Magic Kingdom. For my fellow runners out there, all of these resorts have fabulous running routes. If you’re looking to run anywhere between 5k to 10k you can get those distances in here without stepping on a treadmill. All of these resorts are Deluxe resorts, with the exception of Fort Wilderness. Here they are arranged by price:

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. $574-2050 per night

The Villa’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. $539-1320 per night

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. $452-1141 per night

Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows. $470-2272 per night

Disney’s Contemporary Resort. $378-2006 per night

Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. $458-1065 per night

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. $307-654 per night

Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. $391-878 per night

Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. $414-1932 per night

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

The Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort. $309 per night

The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. $53-90 per night

Epcot Resort Area

These resorts are termed Epcot Resorts but they are also close to Hollywood Studios. These two parks are only a mile or so apart. There are 5 resorts pinned for this area. From 3 of them you can actually walk to Epcot and walk to Hollywood Studios. No wait times for a bus! You’re all packed up and ready for your day at Hollywood Studios? Great, walk out of the doors of your resort and walk to the park entrance. This resort area is a lot of fun. Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and Villas is one of the resorts and they have entertainment on the Boardwalk every evening. There are midway games and magicians performing. There’s also the dance hall and a dueling piano bar, if you’re looking for some adult fun. Even just walking around the lake is a lovely way to spend an evening. Having this many resorts so close together gives you a lot of options for meals without park admission. There are 4 sit down restaurants at Disney’s Boardwalk, 2 sit down restaurants at Disney’s Beach Club Resort and 2 sit down restaurants at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is lumped into this group of resorts. It’s really it’s own separate entity. It’s a moderate level resort, which means it has multiple separate buildings, each with it’s own bus stop. You can not walk to the parks from this particular resort but it does have the Skyliner, giving you easy and fun access to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. This resort area is far from the Magic Kingdom. Be sure to head to the bus stop very early on the morning you plan to go there to account for travel time. They are closer to the Animal Kingdom than the Magic Kingdom resorts as well as Disney Springs. If you have tweens or teens who can go to the parks on their own this location is ideal! And considering it’s so close to both parks it’s quiet. For my runners, these resorts have great running routes. You can stick to the resort or you can run the roads which have sidewalks on them. Not seen in any other part of Walt Disney World property. I’ve even run hill repeats around the corner from the Disney’s Beach Club resort. This area gets a thumbs up from me. 3 of these resorts are Deluxe resorts and as mentioned above the Caribbean Beach resort is a Moderate resort. Here they are arranged by cost:

Disney’s Riviera Resort $700-2,700 per night

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn $408-752 per night

Disney’s Boardwalk Villas. $417-852 per night

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.$374-1587 per night

Disney’s Beach Club Resort. $374-1452 per night

Disney’s Beach Club Villas. $417-852 per night

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. $191-263 per night

Disney Springs Resort Area

*The resort pictured is Saratoga Springs*

This area of Walt Disney World has 4 resorts. Each has a very large piece of property. They are removed from the parks, making it ideal for a Walt Disney World vacation that doesn’t include the parks. Maybe you’re going down for a RunDisney event or doing some golfing, these are great resorts for those occasions. They are secluded. That being said each of these resorts have a lot of people staying at them, with a lot of separate buildings. Therefore there are a lot of bus stops, causing a lot of waiting. Waiting for the bus, waiting on the bus. These resorts are fairly close to Epcot and Hollywood Studios, giving you quick turn around for those 2 parks. All of these resorts have bus transportation to all parks and water parks. Saratoga Springs is walking distance to Disney Springs and each resort has access to the boat transportation to Disney Springs. These resorts are not great locations. Staying around here adds a lot of extra waiting for a vacation that probably has a lot of that as it is. 2 of these resorts are Deluxe Villas and 2 are Moderate level resorts. Runners, these resorts are perfect for longer distances. If you’re in the middle of a training cycle these resorts are ideal. We were able to cover 15k on one vacation without repeating our path once. Below the resorts are listed by price:

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa. $330-777 per night

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Treehouse Villas. $794 per night

Disney’s Old Key West Resort. $330-645 per night

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort- Riverside. $206-274 per night

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort- French Quarter. $206-231 per night

Animal Kingdom Resort Area

*The resort in the picture is Animal Kingdom Lodge*

This resort area is the largest area on Walt Disney World property. Some of these resorts are closer to Hollywood Studios than they are to Animal Kingdom. But where the entrance is to Hollywood Studios makes these resorts technically closer to the Animal Kingdom. There are 5 resorts in this area. 3 are the All-Star resorts which are an entity all on their own. The other 2 are Animal Kingdom Lodge and Coronado Springs. Both of these resorts are also all on their own. None of these resorts are close to anything else. This really limits your restaurant choices and the ability to go back to your resort mid day. I would recommend staying at the park all day if you plan on staying at one of these resorts, with the exception of Animal Kingdom. The only transportation to and from these resorts is by bus. Leaving you at the mercy of the bus schedule. These are all beautiful resorts but the location is not ideal. They are listed from highest to lowest in price:

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas- Kidani Village. $376-952 per night

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas- Jambo House. $318-801 per night

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. $319-1509 per night

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. $191-1109 per night

Disney’s All-Star Music Resort. $100-234 per night

Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort. $100-116 per night

Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort. $100-116 per night

Wide World of Sports Resort Area

*The resort pictured is Art of Animation*

There are 2 resorts in this area of Walt Disney World. They are very close to the ESPN Wide World of Sports, making it an ideal choice for those heading to Walt Disney World for RunDisney events or any sporting event. There’s a lot of parking lots on this piece of the property. It’s not very appealing to the eye. The two resorts are interconnected so you have a little more variety for food. These are large hotels so the buses are packed with people, especially in the morning before parks open and after the parks close. They are close to Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Disney Springs. So although your only transportation is by bus, the bus ride is not very long. Both of these resorts are Value resorts, so what you may lack in close proximity you make up for with savings.

Disney’s Pop Century Resort. $117-142 per night

Disney’s Art of Animation. $143-331 per night

In closing, take some time to think about where you’ll be spending the majority of your vacation. If you’re really excited about all the new things going on at Animal Kingdom then maybe one of those resorts is best for you. Planning on going to Magic Kingdom one day and then going back for the Halloween party? Then one of the Magic Kingdom resorts would work best. For those who have never been to Walt Disney World before, the bus system is fabulous but you will spend a lot of time waiting for it to arrive at the bus stop and then on the bus getting to your destination. Make an informed decision, best suited to your vacation.

Happy Planning.