By Monica Pinto

You’ve decided you’re going to Disney!  Yay!!!  How exciting!  Especially if it’s your first trip.  In this series, I’m walking you through the 1, 2, 3’s of planning your Disney trip.

Steps 1 and 2 walked you through deciding whether or not to use a travel agent and when to travel to Walt Disney World.  Step 3 addressed making the decision of staying on property or off.

So, now that you’ve tackled those decisions, it’s time to make another big decision about your trip:  Choosing where to stay.

Close your eyes.  Take a deep breath.  Now, say to yourself:

“I will not feel overwhelmed. I will not get overwhelmed. I will not be overwhelmed.”

Now, open your eyes.  Smile – you’re going to Disney!!!

Come on – let’s go through the 1, 2, 3’s of planning your Disney trip together.

Step 4:  Choosing Where to Stay On Property (Part 1)

Now that you’ve made a decision as to whether you’re staying on property or off (and remember this all depends on your own family’s needs), let’s take a look at your options.

Orlando offers many options with wonderful accommodations.  If you’ve decided to stay off property, here is a helpful website for additional information regarding Orlando-area accommodations.

http://hotelguides.com/florida/walt-disney-world-resort-fl-hotels.html

If you’ve decided to stay on property at one of the Disney resorts, it’s time to decide which one.

Disney offers three categories of on-property resorts – Deluxe, Moderate, and Value – so I’ve separated Step 4 into three separate parts.

In Part 1, we’ll take a look at the deluxe resorts and what they have to offer.

Disney’s deluxe resorts are extravagant and all are distinctly themed.  Most of them offer at least one excellent restaurant, whether signature dining or table service, with the Grand Floridian Resort offering three signature dining restaurants.

The deluxe resorts generally have the best dining options of the resort classes.  Keep in mind that you’re close to other deluxe resorts and one of the theme parks, except if staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Deluxe Resorts –

Disney’s Contemporary Resort
https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/contemporary-resort/

Contemporary monorailThe Contemporary Resort is located on the monorail loop and is an A-frame structure.  It is famous for having the monorail run directly through it every few minutes, as well as for its lack of decoration and theming which some people thing is a little bland.  However, the Tower rooms offer spectacular Magic Kingdom and Bay Lake views that make a stay there magical.  In addition, it is the only resort where you can walk to the Magic Kingdom.  It also offers boat service to the Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness Cabins, as well as monorail service to the Magic Kingdom, Transportation & Ticket Center, the Polynesian, and the Grand Floridian.

This resort offers the following restaurants:

  • The California Grill – Signature Dining
  • Chef Mickey’s – Table Dining/Character Dining
  • The Wave – Table Service
  • Contempo Café – Quick Service

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/grand-floridian-resort-and-spa/

Grand FloridianThe Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is Disney’s flagship resort on the monorail loop with beautiful architecture, a Victorian-themed lobby, and white sand beaches.

This resort is also on the monorail loop and offers boat service to the Magic Kingdom and Polynesian Resort, as well as bus service to all of the other theme parks.

This resort offers the following restaurants:

  • Victoria and Albert’s – Signature Dining
  • Citricos – Signature Dining
  • Narcoosee’s – Signature Dining
  • 1900 Park Fare – Table Service/Character Dining available
  • Gasparilla Grill – Quick Service

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/polynesian-resort/

The Polynesian Village Resort, also on the monorail loop, has beautiful grounds, a Great Ceremonial House, a volcano pool, and white sand beaches overlooking the Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom.  It also offers bus service to all of the theme parks and service to the express monorail line to Epcot, as well as boat service to the Magic Kingdom and Grand Floridian.

This resort offers the following restaurants:

  • ‘Ohana – Table Service/Character Dining available
  • Kona Café – Table Service
  • Spirit of Aloha Polynesian Dinner Show – Table Service
  • Captain Cook’s – Quick Service

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/wilderness-lodge-resort/

The Wilderness Lodge overlooks the Seven Seas Lagoon, and has a Pacific Northwest flavor.  The spring located inside the lobby has water tricking down into the pool below through different waterfalls.

This resort offers boat service to the Magic Kingdom, and bus service to all of the other theme parks.

This resort offers the following restaurants:

  • Artist Point – Signature Dining
  • Whispering Canyon – Table Service
  • Roaring Fork – Quick Service

Disney’s Beach Club Resort

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/beach-club-resort/

The Beach Club Resort is located in the Epcot area and boasts a New England seaside vibe and a soft color palette.  It shares amenities, including Stormalong Bay (their pool) and a quick service restaurant with The Yacht Club Resort.

This resort offers boat transportation to Epcot and Hollywood Studios, and the Boardwalk, as well as the Swan and Dolphin Resorts, which although on Disney property, are not Disney-owned resorts.

This resort offers the following restaurant:

  • Cape May – Table Service

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/yacht-club-resort/

The Yacht Club Resort is an upscale resort also in the Epcot area which is very similar to the Beach Club with which it shares many amenities, including Stormalong Bay (their pool) and table service restaurants.

Like the Beach Club, this resort offers boat transportation to Epcot and Hollywood Studios, and the Boardwalk, as well as the Swan and Dolphin Resorts, which although on Disney property, are not Disney-owned resorts.

This resort offers the following restaurants:

  • Yachtsman Steakhouse – Signature Dining
  • Beaches And Cream – Table Service
  • Captain’s Grille – Table Service
  • Hurricane Hanna’s Grille – Quick Service

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/boardwalk-inn/

Boardwalk Inn is situated in the Epcot area and is themed like an elegant 1940s Atlantic City resort which is surrounded by a boardwalk area where all of its restaurants are located.

This resort is the closest to Epcot and is also within walking distance of Hollywood Studios.  It offers boat service to the Yacht Club, Beach Club, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, as well as the Swan and Dolphin Resorts, which although on Disney property, are not Disney-owned resorts.

This resort offers the following restaurants:

  • Flying Fish Café – Signature Dining
  • Big River Grille And Brewing Works – Table Service
  • ESPN Club – Table Service
  • Trattoria Al Forno – Table Service
  • Boardwalk Bakery – Quick Service
  • Boardwalk Pizza Window – Quick Service

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/animal-kingdom-lodge/

The Animal Kingdom Lodge is wildly popular for many reasons, including being in the middle of 40+ acres of African savanna which showcases grazing animals and birds, all of which you would find on safari.

This resort only offers bus service to all of the theme parks, and is the furthest from all of them other than the Animal Kingdom.

This resort offers the following restaurants:

  • Jiko The Cooking Place – Signature Dining
  • Boma – Table Service
  • Sanaa – Table Service
  • Mara – Quick Service

 

So, now that I’ve walked you through Part 1 of Step 4, let’s do this once more:

Close your eyes.  Take a deep breath.  Now, say to yourself:

“I will not feel overwhelmed.  I will not get overwhelmed.  I will not be overwhelmed.”

Open your eyes.  Smile – you’re going to Disney!!!

Now, one step at a time, let’s continue planning your trip.

~ Monica

I am a wife and mother and passionate about Walt Disney World. I love preparing for our Disney trips and am constantly reading up on all things Disney, listening to Disney podcasts, and am a member of various Disney Facebook groups. In addition to my website,www.themouseinourhouse.com, I am also a blogger for The Mouse For Less (www.themouseforless.com).

You can catch me on:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/themouseinourhouse

Monica PintpBlogspot: www.themouseinourhouse.blogspot.com

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Email: themouseinourhouse [at] yahoo [dot] com

Come along with me to celebrate and explore all things Disney from my perspective.