Choose The Best Location For Your Stay
You can find an awesome room at one of the many resorts, so I recommend choosing where to stay in Orlando based on what you plan to do during your stay. If you do not plan to rent a car, it is also good to consider Uber costs or free transportation options.
A rental car is great, though, because it lets you get out for a day and explore my favorite excursions around the greater Orlando area.
Need a Rental Car? Travel Lemming recommends searching with the excellent Discover Cars search engine. It lets you easily compare prices and ratings for many different agencies.
Wheelchairs Strollers And Evc Access
If you are new to Disney you might not realize that just because a resort has lift access to most of their rooms, doesnt mean it makes life much easier. Your proximity to the closest elevator may be a lot further than expected.
Most of us would assume that all buildings in each resort have elevator access to each floor to start with, however, often this isnt the case. Some resorts have stair-only access in certain areas, so be sure to know what you are booking.
If you have any questions, ask your travel agent or call Disney directly to make sure that you have the access you need where you are staying.
So Is It Worth It To Stay At A Disney World Resort
Right now with Disney World COVID policies and reduced offerings for resort guests, staying on-site at Disney World isnt always worth the extra money.
If leaving the Disney World bubble sounds awful, you want extra park time, and youve got the budget, I recommend booking an on-site stay at Disney World. We love Disney resorts and will continue mostly on-site stays at Disney World despite the reduced offerings. The on-site resorts and experience of being in the Disney World bubble are more enjoyable even though it is more expensive.
For those will a limited budget hoping to visit the parks, but save money, an off-site Disney World stay can be a great choice. Staying off-site for Disney World can also provide flexibility in visiting other places like Universal Orlando or Gatorland. I expected to feel disappointed in our off-site Disney World vacation, but the extra space, saved money, and comfort of staying in a home was a surprising treat.
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Polynesian Village Resort Ambassador Suite
The Polynesian Village Resort is one of Disneys original opening day hotels, and its delivered a bit of South Seas ambiance to the Orlando resort for 50 years. The Polynesian has received upgrades over the decades, but recently underwent a major renovation that brought the magic of Disneys Moana to the resort. Its also super close to Magic Kingdom, has one of the best pools on property and serves up copious amounts of Dole Whip .
The Polynesians Ambassador Suite was pixie-dusted with the same Moana touches as the rest of the resort, but its subtle. Think Maui as part of a lampshade pattern and characters hidden in colorful paintings on the wall. Youll also find wood floors, natural wood furnishings and pops of tropical colors and patterns.
There are two bedrooms one with a king bed and one with two queens and each has a full bath with a separate tub and shower. Up to eight adults can stay in this suite if you use the convertible sleeper sofa in the living area. The living space also houses a kitchenette with Nespresso coffee maker. What really blew me away about this suite was all the storage . The beds were elevated for suitcase stowage and there were ample closets and shelving. It was an overpacking moms dream.
Disneys Port Orleans Resort French Quarter
Two Port Orleans properties are available at Disney World, but its the smaller propertymodeled after New Orleans French Quarterthat wins with families. Disneys Port Orleans Resort French Quarter has 1,008 accommodations, most of which sleep up to four or five guests. Guests have access to bikes, boats, carriage rides, cane pole fishing and a pool, at this property that feel worlds away from the theme parks.
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How To Decide Where To Stay At Walt Disney World
By Zoë Wood – DIS Contributor
When it comes to most of my travels in foreign cities, the decision of where to stay comes down to several factors. As most people would agree, pricing plays a considerable role in the final choice however, so do the little things like safety, location and bed configurations for the kids with a preference for a large enough space where you can lock yourself in the bathroom with a book in case you need an escape from your travel party.
Choosing where to stay at Walt Disney World can be a little more complicated. Unlike in many other tourist destinations around the world, we are all basically staying at Disney for the same reason. You may have a few people that just want to take in the local resort-life, but the rest of us are heading to the Parks. If you compare that to say Manhattan or San Francisco, being similarly sized areas as Walt Disney World, visitors scatter to all ends of the city limits as the draw is different for everyone different interests, different intentions, different agendas. At Disney, we all have the mouse on our minds.
Today we are going to cover a few of the crucial factors in deciding which Disney World Resort is right for you and take a more in-depth look at a few common scenarios that might feel less than straightforward.
Why Staying On Disney World Property Matters
First of all, staying at a Disney World Resort hotel means that you have access to Early Theme Park Entry as well as Extended Evening Hours if youre staying at a Deluxe Resort. Youll also get free transportation from your Resort to and from the theme parks.
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Four Seasons Resort Orlando At Walt Disney World Resort
Tucked away in a picturesque residential setting, yet just a short drive from the Disney World theme parks, the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort offers five-star luxury with upscale accommodations, an outstanding food and beverage program, and incredible amenities. The AAA Five Diamond resort has a beautifully landscaped family pool complex with waterslides and a lazy river, plus an adults-only pool oasis . From the calming spa to the Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Orlando to the rooftop Capa steakhouse and lounge, adults will love the luxe amenities. Plus, the Kids for All Seasons program offers supervised children’s activities, so parents can enjoy some much-needed alone time. And there’s plenty on property for Disney fans, too, including a character breakfast, rooms with views of the theme parks and nightly fireworks, and perks like early entry to the Disney parks.
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Worst Disney Value Resorts
Disneys All-Star Sports Resort
Disneys All-Star Sports Resorts niche theming and poor location make it the worst Disney World resort. While it is the one of most affordable resorts, it really doesnt feel like Disney, so the question becomes, is it even worth it?
If Im being honest, the only real upside to Disneys All-Star Sports Resort is the fact that its affordable. A standard room that sleeps four people costs just $99 per night. Compared to the other Disney World Resorts, thats definitely the cheapest .
The sports theme is very limited, so, unless everyone in your group is into sports, it wont be enjoyable for everyone. As a matter of fact, its so sports-focused that it actually doesnt seem to have that much of a connection to Disney. That said, if you are a sports fan, all of the sports-themed décor throughout the resort will definitely get you into the competitive spirit.
Another downside to Disneys All-Star Sports Resort is the fact that its very far from the parks. While you can get to Animal Kingdom pretty easily using the Disney bus system, the other three parks require a rather complicated route.
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How To Increase Your Chances On Getting A Davids Rental
Owners are restricted to how many reservations they can make each year on other peoples behalf, so most owners look for large point reservations to use up these points.
You may have a difficult time if you are trying to rent with a reservation valued less than 44 points. Valued at about $700, most owners want bigger reservations to sell as many points as possible within their year.
If an owner has 100 points and makes a big reservation the costs 80 points, thats a scenario where there is an owner ready to make a much smaller DVC request for you of 20 points.
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Best Family Hotels Near Disney World
If youre traveling to Orlando with several kids in tow, you may be searching for the best FAMILY hotels near Disney World.
The resorts on this list feature separate living and sleeping spaces. They also include full kitchens for those families looking to save money on food while on vacation.
This is our list of best suites near Disney World.
Before You Travel To The United States
With specific exceptions, noncitizens who have been in certain countries during the past 14 days may not enter the United States, either as immigrants or nonimmigrants. For more information, visit Travelers Prohibited from Entry to the United States.
For information about COVID-19 requirements for land travel, visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Securitys Fact Sheet: Guidance for Travelers to Enter the U.S. at Land Ports of Entry and Ferry Terminals.external icon
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Four Seasons Resort Orlando Grand Suite
The Four Seasons Resort Orlando isnt technically a Disney-owned hotel, but it is on Disney property and it is the pinnacle of Central Florida luxury, so it easily earned a spot on this list. The property is hidden in plain sight near The Campsites at Disneys Fort Wilderness and has its own spa, water park, golf course, fine dining and even a character breakfast. According to rumors, Four Seasons may have their own loyalty program on the way for points-savvy fans of the VIP hotel chain, too.
Four Seasons has a variety of suite types to choose from, including the option to buy out the entire top floor. I chose to highlight the slightly less palatial Grand Suite here because most travelers dont need nine bedrooms on vacation .
The Grand Suite is 1,700 square feet in size, with one bedroom, a large living and dining area with kitchenette, one full bathroom, and a powder room for visitors. There is a queen sofa bed in the living room, but you also have the option of adding on additional connected bedrooms for larger travel parties.
The decor is mostly white with touches of soft color and a few dark accents, giving the suite an airy, ethereal feel. The furnished balcony spans 250 feet and, thanks to its location on one of the hotels top floors, provides impressive views of the resorts pools, surrounding woodlands and Disneys fireworks.
Grand Villas At Bay Lake Tower
Disneys Contemporary Resort is as iconic to those whove grown up on Walt Disney World as Big Thunder Mountain or Space Mountain. Nostalgia aside, theres a reason the resort remains one of the most coveted on property: location, location, location. Bay Lake Tower , a Disney Vacation Club property is a newer high-rise structure connected to the Contemporary via an elevated walkway. BLT shares the Contemporarys easy access to Magic Kingdom, a five-minute walk where you breeze through a separate security checkpoint. The monorail runs through the interior of the Contemporary and will whisk you off to Epcot in a flash.
Youd be hard-pressed to find a better space to accommodate a multi-family or multigenerational family trip than BLTs three-bedroom Grand Villa. It sleeps 12 and provides not only that easy access, but also a quick escape from the Magic Kingdom for tired toddlers and other maxed-out family members. A giant laundry room and dining-table seating for 12 just might make this place more comfortable than your own home for a holiday family gathering. If that werent enough, BLT is also home to some of the most jaw-dropping views to be found anywhere at Walt Disney World.
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Before You Book A Non Disney Hotel
The Disney name is a worldwide symbol for family fun and excitement. Its only natural that many parents want to be as close as possible to the magic of Disney when they travel.
Many families assume that staying at an off site Disney World hotel is the cheapest option for their vacation. However, this is not always the case. You can typically secure a reservation at one of Disneys value or moderate resorts for a similar price to an off site hotel.
If the budget-friendly value and moderate resorts do not include the extra amenities you are looking for, I recommend renting Disney Vacation Club points.
Disney Vacation Club members own timeshare points at the Deluxe Disney Villas. As the name implies, the Deluxe Disney Villas are the most luxurious hotels on Disney property. They are full of amazing dining options, family friendly amenities, and high-quality accommodations.
Furthermore, the Disney Deluxe Villas boast prime locations near the four main theme parks. These are the deluxe villas you will find at Disney World:
- The Villas at Disneys Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
- Bay Lake Tower at Disneys Contemporary Resort
- Disneys Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa
- Disneys Old Key West Resort
If you are interested in staying in a deluxe Disney hotel, I highly recommend you start your hotel search with these Deluxe Disney Villas. You can easily rent Disney Vacation Club points through Davids Vacation Club Rentals.
A Family That Travels With Their Dog
Personally, I dont get it. When I go to Disney, the last thing I would want to be thinking about is the needs of my over-excitable Labrador in all his beautiful stupidity. Traveling with service animals is one thing, but vacationing with the family pet makes me wonder why on earth youd choose Disney as your destination. That said, I know you are out there somewhere and if you are going to bring your pooch to visit the mouse then you might as well know where to start.
Thanks to the introduction of an ongoing pilot program, there are now four Disney Resorts that have fancy dog-friendly accommodations:
These rooms are specially allocated to have easy access to the outdoors for walks or to get your business done in a timely manner. The Disney website also goes on to mention a cute little welcome kit for the pilot program participants.
Upon arrival, dogs and their owners will be greeted with a complimentary Plutos Welcome Kit.
As of when this was written, dogs are the only pets allowed and only a maximum of two per room. I feel it is important to stress this so that someone doesnt turn up with their eight cats ready to get their Disney on. Only dogs no more than two.
It is important to also note the following message from Disney about allocated resort areas for your furry friend.
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Best Disney Value Resorts
Value resorts can be wait for it a way to get exceptional value with Disney resort perks, close proximity to the parks and the free Magical Express Bus to and from Orlando International Airport until the end of 2021. They can also be a big disappointment.
Your mileage will vary, but if youre on a serious budget for your Disney World vacation, they should be a consideration. Prices start a little over $100 per night and go up to nearly $300 per night on peak dates. But, for most of the year, rooms typically sell for under $200 per night.
You Can Take Breaks As Needed
Frankly, it took us years to realize we needed an afternoon break during our Walt Disney World park days. You know, the time of day when the parks are the busiest, from 12-4 pm? When youre wondering why every single ride has a huge line, there are people everywhere and you cant find a place to get food, without a line, to save your life. If staying within walking distance of Walt Disney World your time is your own. You can just choose to leave the parks, without wondering how long it will take for your resort bus to show up. In fact, you can even plan these breaks as part of your Disney fun. Perhaps grab lunch on the way back to your room, or a snack, or a beverage to sip as you take in the sights. Or plan to try one of the restaurants at your resort for a lunch or dinner break, before heading back to the parks. The Disney Resort Restaurants are some of the best on Disney Property.
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