Disney World Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Grand Floridian, MGM Studios

      Disney Resorts

My Favorite Resorts at Disney World

The Disney World Resorts are vacations within themselves. Frequent visitors to Disney World often try out different resorts for each is unique. You don't have to be a guest to visit the different resorts properties. You can get to the resorts by Disney bus, your car, or to some resorts by monorail from the park. You might go for a drink or meal, or just a walk around the resorts different areas. These are my favorite Disney Resorts in the four categories:

Disney All Star Movies ResortsAll Star Movies (Value Resorts)
Located in the Disney Animal Kingdom Area
1900 units
Accommodates up to 4 guests + infant

This is a 3-star budget hotel that appeals to families with young children. The rooms are small, but adequate and clean; bathrooms are tiny. We expected the rooms to be noisy with so many children around, but ours was quiet. Each resort building has a different theme. My boys love Toy Story so we reserved our room in the Toy Story building. From wallpaper to bedspreads and carpet, the motif is carried out, and outside the building are a gigantic Woody and Buzz Lightyear. As you pass the windows of the rooms, children have arranged their favorite Disney characters on the windowsills. Other movie themes are 101 Dalmatians, Fantasia, Mighty Ducks, and Herbie the Lovebug. Two large pools are available, the Fantasia and the Mighty Ducks. A playground is located between the Fantasia and Toy Story buildings.

Most rooms have two double beds; there are a few with king-size beds. Refrigerators can be rented. Nonsmoking rooms are available. For eats, go to the World Premiere Food Court with four fast food venues plus deli-style market. Pizza Hut delivery is available also.

A regularly scheduled Disney bus takes you to and from the parks from the Value Resorts.

Disney Port Orleans ResortsPort Orleans Riverside (Moderate Resorts)
Located in the Downtown Disney area
2048 rooms
Accommodates up to 4 guests + infant

The Riverside and French Quarter are two quite different resorts that make up the Port Orleans Disney Resort. Riverside is casual, comfy, and woodsy, reminiscent of old towns along the Mississippi River or Bayou, while French Quarter is elegant, romantic, and full of southern charm. A riverboat runs between the two resorts. Explore the picturesque landscape by bike (or surrey bike for several riders) or a horse-drawn buggy. Spend some time on the water in a kayak, Sea Raycer, or pontoon boat; jog or walk the scenic trail along the Sassagoula River. Children won't want to leave the playground at Ol' Man Island with its rustic lookouts, climbers, slides, and passageways. Go for a swim down by the levee or in one of the five resort pools at Alligator Bayou and Magnolia Bend.

Rooms have either two double beds or a king-size bed. Nonsmoking rooms are available. Rooms have refrigerators and in-room safes. For eats, there is the Boatwright's Dining Hall with southern style home cooking (book ahead) or the Riverside Mill Food Court with Cajun specialties.

Take the complimentary boat or bus to get to the parks from this resort.

Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge ResortsAnimal Kingdom Lodge (Deluxe Resorts)
Located in the Disney Animal Kingdom Area
1293 rooms or suites
Accommodates 4-8 guests + infant

Located on 33 acres of secluded African-style savanna, the Animal Kingdom Lodge overlooks the park's Kilimanjaro Safari wildlife habitat. The Lodge itself brings the feel of Africa to life through its use of native materials and artwork. Step into the main reception area with its thatched roof and feel like you took refuge in a cool jungle oasis; you'll see school-age children absorbed in making rubbings from an African art work embedded in the floor. From the habitat side of the resort, you can watch for giraffes, zebras, ostriches, and wildebeests from your balcony, or view from along the fence bordering the savanna area. You'll find all the animal programs you would expect: cultural safari, night vision of the animals at play, junior researcher, animal feedings. Kids will like the 67-foot-long water slide at Pool Uzima; a playground is next to the resorts pool. Children ages 4-12 can go to Simba's Clubhouse for dinner and activities, while the parents have a night out or enjoy a Zahanati massage at the Fitness Center. This resort could best be described as upscale and quiet.

Nonsmoking and handicapped accessible rooms are offered. There is no charge for coffee makers and refrigerators. Rooms have safes. Club Concierge-level Guests enjoy additional privileges and activities such as the Sunrise Safari Breakfast and vacation planning.

For dining, the resorts two restaurants offer unique and savory flavors of Africa, India, Europe and the Mediterranean coast: Boma's Family Buffet and Jiko's. Make priority seatings ahead. For counter service and more traditional foods, go to The Mara Food Court.

Travel to Disney parks via complimentary bus service or to other parks for a fee.

Disney Epcot Boardwalk Resorts AreaDisney's Boardwalk Villas (Home Away From Home)
Located in the Disney Epcot Area
Accommodates 4-12 guests
520 units

You'll have all the comforts of home with kitchen and living area, private balconies and patios, at this lakeside resort with Atlantic Boardwalk charm of the 1920s and 30s. Stroll or ride the BoardWalk, listen to ragtime, buy saltwater taffy. For fun, rent a bike or bike surrey, take a fishing trip (catch and release), cruise the lake, play video games, work out at the Health Club, or speed down the 200-foot long Keister Coaster water slide at Luna Park. A 24-hour playground is located near Luna Park Pool. Children's activities are planned, and babysitting is available.

The Villas are timeshares which also rent to guests. This is a great choice for a family reunion vacation. Studios have kitchenettes and do not have a washer/dryer. Each unit has a safe.

Disney Signature Dining is right on the BoardWalk at the Flying Fish Cafe (book ahead). Or go to Spoodles on the BoardWalk for Mediterranean favorites (also call ahead). For casual dining, there is the Big River Grille & Brewing Works and ESPN sports club restaurant. For a quick snack, fresh baked treats can be snatched at the BoardWalk Bakery.

This location has appeal for business meetings where you bring the family along. There is ample flexible meeting rooms, boardroom, outdoor pavilions, and ballroom,

Complimentary transportation is provided to Disney parks and to non-Disney parks for a fee.