For close to 50 years, Disney has been using what they know about making theme parks to design incredible resorts with their own immersive theming. Guests enjoy visiting these resorts almost as much as the parks. Resort Hopping is a popular pastime for those taking a break from the crowds. Here are the best Walt Disney World resorts you should pay a visit to, even if you are not staying there.
Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside
One of the most charming, even intoxicating resorts in Walt Disney World is Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside. This moderate resort inspired by rural Louisiana is a counterpart to Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter. Both are actually well worth a visit! It ‘s sprawled out across a river that leads straight to the docks of Disney Springs. The laid back country vibe is augmented by the warm, balmy nights. You can take in the sleepy countryside resort in a romantic horse drawn carriage and even visit the local fishing hole. Inside the main building is a variety of themed dining and entertainment. Boatwright’s Dining Hall is a personal favorite and a true hidden gem. YeHaa Bob Jackson at the River’s Roost Lounge is a must see when you visit this resort.
Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Resort
The theming here is so classic. It’s upscale and fun at the same time. Inspired by boardwalks of the early 20th century, the hotel has boundless sophistication and elegance as well as whimsy. Disney’s Boardwalk Resort has an actual boardwalk with some fabulous shops and dining. You can get hand scooped ice cream, eat at top rated restaurants, play carnival games, and go to a dueling pianos bar. Boardwalk is also home to Abracadabar and Trattoria Al Forno, a wonderful Italian restaurant with one of the best Character breakfasts in Disney World.
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground is the ultimate getaway right in the middle of Walt Disney World. When you are at Fort Wilderness you really feel like a camper. That may not be for everybody, but if camping and wilderness are your style there is great stuff here, just a boat ride away from the Magic Kingdom. Tri-Circle-D Ranch is one attraction not to miss. This is where you can see horses, learn about different horses at the ranch and take a riding trail on horseback. Carriage rides are also available and the Trails End Buffet is a hidden gem. Finally, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, the longest running show at Walt Disney World is here. The show still packs them in and offers hilarious hi-jinks with a side of all you care to enjoy comfort food with soft drinks and beer included.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Few resorts are as transportive as the Polynesian. The moment you pull up to the driveway you feel as though you’ve arrived at a tropical paradise. The lush atrium of the hotel lobby further reinforces the feeling of vacationing in Hawaii. Every quarter inch of the place preserves the essence of Polynesian design and even when you step outside, the illusion is never broken. The food here is fantastic with Tonga Toast right at the top of the must have breakfast items list. You can also get Dole Whips at the Pineapple Lanai and drink in the intricate and fun atmosphere of Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
A destination in its own right is Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. It’s famous for its positioning right on the savannah. You don’t have to be a guest at the hotel to go to the viewing areas to watch the animals, but there is so much more to this lodge. For Starters, it is one of the most beautifully designed hotels in Walt Disney World. It’s also home to some of the top restaurants on Disney property, Sanaa and Jiko. The Dining and the animals are major attractions for this lodge, which is situated far apart from the rest of Wlt Disney World. Finally, the hotel offers cultural immersion in the form of free activities and tours daily from morning until evening.
Which Walt Disney World resort do you like to visit even if you are staying somewhere else?