Planning is going along nicely for my next trip to Walt Disney World. Some of my initial vacation planning panic has subsided. Next it will be time to choose which restaurants we will dine at on our vacation. (I always laugh that when planning a trip to Disney I know where we will eating in 6 months, but I can’t decide what to eat for dinner tonight.) But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s take a step back to resorts and the decisions you have to consider before booking at Walt Disney World.
On-property or Off-property – There are MANY, MANY resorts in the Orlando area. And, let’s be honest, most are less expensive than the resorts at Walt Disney World. Even still, we always stay on property. Disney takes extra special care of its resort guests with free transportation, access to the Disney Dining plan and a guaranteed magical stay. You “feel” Disney from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave.
Transportation – While every resort at Walt Disney World offers it’s guests free transportation, the ease of that transportation varies greatly based on resort. For example, guests staying at Disney’s Beach Club can walk or take a boat to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Talk about convenient! It’s pretty nice not having to get on a bus after Illuminations. On the other hand, guests staying at Disney’s Art of Animation will take buses everywhere on property. Still convenient, but not quite the same.
Now, you’ll pay a decent amount more for the luxury of walking or boating or “monorailing” to your favorite park. You’ll have to decide how important this convenience is for your trip. If you have a toddler who naps, it’s certainly nice to walk back to the resort for a rest.
On our last trip, we decided rent a car which made this debate less important for our planning. I loved that we could stay at any resort and not have to worry about buses taking us everywhere.
Themes – As you know, every resort has a different theme at Walt Disney World. It’s great to be able to choose a different resort every time you visit. From the African feel of the Animal Kingdom Lodge to the beach feel at the Beach Club (and everything in between), the possibilities seem endless. Take some time to look at all of your options and choose someplace fun to stay!
Room Layouts – This is a big decision for many families. Not everyone wants to share two beds for four or five people. There are great suites and villas available for larger groups, but they are also nice for smaller families who want to spread out and give everyone a little space. We have loved staying in villas on our trips and especially loved the suites at the Art of Animation on our last trip.
Pricing – Obviously one of the most important things to consider when choosing a hotel is the price and Disney gives you a wide range of pricing options. The value resorts are a great options for people who want to stay on property without breaking the bank.
There is a lot to consider when you choose your Disney vacation home. We decided, after much obsessing, to try the Animal Kingdom Lodge on our next trip. We’ve never been before and we can’t wait to check it out!
What is your favorite Disney resort?
More articles from Amy’s Disney Vacation Planning series:
How do you begin planning for Disney World?