Walt Disney World Area Resorts – November 14, 2016 October 6, 2022 Savannah Sanders 9 Comments Boma, Boulder Ridge Villas, Chef Mickey’s, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Monora Resort, Vacations, Pineapple Lanai, Roaring Fork, Rasa Spa, Victoria & Albert’s, Zebra Domes
Resort Hopping is one of my favorite things to do at Walt Disney World! Visits to the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Polynesian Village are on my to-do list like Pirates of the Caribbean or premium Mickey bar dinners. That said, I feel that guests who skip resorts or don’t know they can visit resorts are not getting the full Walt Disney World experience. So for those who don’t know, anyone can visit Walt Disney World Resorts even if they are not a resort guest or a resort on property. But why should you? That’s what I intend to address in the five Disney World Resorts I see on your vacation!
Walt Disney World Area Resorts
Let’s start with Walt Disney World’s flagship resort, shall we? Boasting a Victorian Florida theme, the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa represents the luxury and sophistication of Disney. However, you should not worry that you will feel uncomfortable or that you will have a child together. While the Grand Floridian Resort is like stepping into an old postcard, this is a Disney World Resort after all!
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If you are traveling by car or rental car, the Grand Floridian Resort is located at 4401 Floridian Road in Orlando, Florida, just off Seven Seas Drive.
Free transportation to and from the Resort consists of Disney buses, ferries, and Disney’s most famous mode of transportation, the monorail! There is also a 1 mile trail between the Resort and the Polynesian Village with views of the Seven Seas Lagoon, the Wedding Pavilion and Magic Kingdom Park in the distance.
Several Walt Disney World resorts boast amazing lobbies, and the Grand Floridian lobby is at the top of the list! In addition to the grand staircase, cage elevator and charming Disney-inspired tiles under your feet, the Grand Floridian’s 5-story lobby is topped with stained glass domes and massive chandeliers. Tip: A life-size gingerbread house with a towering Victorian Christmas tree occupying the lobby during the holidays is a must-see!
Throughout the afternoon and into the evening, a live pianist and the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra take turns playing turn-of-the-century favorites and Disney tunes!
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The Grand Floridian Resort offers more shopping than any other Walt Disney World resort, making it one of my favorite places to find exclusive resort merchandise, Disney Dooney and Bourke bags, and perfect souvenirs to take home.
The Grand Floridian Resort is known for its gourmet destinations. Winner of AAA’s Five-Diamond Award, Victoria and Albert is the ultimate splurge and special event venue. Other options include Citricos, Narcoosees and Grand Floridian Café. For families with children, 1900 Park Fare offers a buffet and character interactions, and the Garden View Tea Room offers traditional English tea every afternoon.
Ways to recover from a long day at the park with options and packages from facials to massages, body treatments to nails and even baby services! Find out more about Senses packages and pricing here.
Polynesian Village Resort offers guests a South Pacific paradise in the middle of Central Florida! Polynesian Village, the original Walt Disney World Resort, is a fan favorite and is located across from the Magic Kingdom’s Seven Seas Lagoon.
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If you are driving or renting a car, Polynesian Village Resort is located at 1600 Seven Seas Drive in Orlando, Florida.
Complimentary transportation to and from the resort consists of Disney buses, ferries, and monorails. The transportation and ticket center is located right next to the resort and is accessible by footpath.
Place for you hungry. You simply can’t go wrong with the resort’s luau, Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show or ‘Ohana, Captain Cook’s, or the oft-underrated Kona Cafe. Polynesian Village Resort is also home to the visually stimulating and interactive Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, modeled after the original Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel in California.
Polynesian Village Resort offers a fabulous view of the tower of Cinderella’s Castle, making its beautiful beach one of the best places to watch Wishes outside the Magic Kingdom!
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Dole Whips are one of Walt Disney World’s most famous treats and can only be found in certain locations. If you don’t want to wait in long, long lines to satisfy your Dole Whip cravings, head to Polynesian Village Resort’s Pineapple Lanai. This is a walk-up counter right off the lobby that offers Dole Whips and Dole Whips Floats with little or no waiting!
Perhaps one of the most unique tourist attractions in the world, Animal Kingdom Lodge is so close that you can stay in an African game reserve without leaving the United States. Animal Kingdom Lodge consists of two areas: Jambo House and Kidani Village. Jambo House is the main building of the Resort, while Kidani Village is the DVC Villas. Both buildings feature amazing African architecture, views of living African wildlife, and more!
Animal Kingdom Lodge is further away from other Walt Disney World resorts, but it is located near Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park.
If you are traveling by car or by car, Animal Kingdom Lodge is located at 2901 Osceola Parkway in Bay Lake, Florida.
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Disney buses are the only form of free transportation offered to and from the resort. However, there is a walking route and a free shuttle service for those traveling between Jambo House and Kidani Village.
Animal Kingdom Lodge is famous for its live African wildlife displays. If you can’t stay in one of the resort’s Savanna View rooms, Arusha Rock Jambo House, located just off the lobby, offers fantastic views of animals and cast members are often nearby to answer any questions you have. There are many animal viewing spots throughout the resort. If you don’t visit Animal Kingdom Park during your vacation, Animal Kingdom Lodge is the perfect alternative and it’s free!
While both resorts are impressive, Jambo House is big and one of Disney’s best! Why? In addition to its size and wall of windows overlooking the savannah, Jambo House’s lobby features a foot gable chandelier, thatched ceiling, mud fireplace, and a waterfall system that flows down to the resort’s lower level.
Animal Kingdom Lodge’s restaurant offers a cultural dining experience with an African-inspired menu and some traditional dishes. Boma – The Flavors of Africa is one of the most popular buffet restaurants at Walt Disney World, and Sanaa and Jiko – The Cooking Place consistently receive rave reviews and are considered some of the best at Disney.
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One of them! Zebra Domes are one of the best desserts ever and exclusive to Animal Kingdom Lodge. It consists of Amarula Cream Liquor foam in a light white chocolate shell on a thin sheet of cake. The dessert buffet at Boma – The Flavors of Africa is pretty unlimited, but anyone can grab a bag of Zebra Domes at The Mara, which I’ve done a time or two or three…
The A-Frame Contemporary Resort’s design is iconic and its location is perfect right next to Magic Kingdom Park! This is one of Walt Disney World’s original resorts, hosting guests since 1971, but it still looks and feels sleek and modern.
If you are driving or renting a car, the contemporary resort is located at 4600 North World Drive in Orlando, Florida.
Complimentary transportation to and from the Contemporary Resort consists of the Disney bus, ferry, and monorail. Because the resort is right next to Magic Raya, guests can walk to and from the park a short distance away.
Disney World Resorts
The coolest thing about the contemporary is that the monorail runs through the middle of the resort building! Guests are picked up and dropped off at the resort and it’s a lot of fun to see the various monorails gliding overhead.
The contemporary resort has several fine dining options such as Chef Mickey’s and California Grill. Mickey’s Chef is one of the most popular character eateries in the property and the California Grill is known for its fine dining at the top of the resort overlooking the park and Wishes!
Due to its proximity to the Contemporary and the Magic Kingdom, it offers a spectacular view of the park. Some guests visit the Contemporary just to watch Wishes from a different perspective, or if they want to experience the magic of Disney for free!
Showcasing the Resort’s Contemporary lobby is a 90-foot-tall mural by Mary Blair, the Imagineer behind the attraction’s iconic “it’s a small world” look and style. However, this mural focuses on an area of our own little world, the Grand Canyon
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