Five Best Disney Resorts to Visit

Did you know that you can visit any Walt Disney World Resort, even if you are not staying at them?  YES!  Today, I have a list of the five best Disney Resorts to visit!  This makes a fun, magical “no park day” activity for you and your family!

My Walt Disney World Resort is one of the most important parts of my trip planning.  I research the resorts before deciding on which one I want to book, and over time, have come to love some more than others.  I have stayed at well over half of the Walt Disney World Resorts, and have liked every one of them for various reasons

Best Disney Resorts to Visit

But, did you know that you can visit a Walt Disney World resort, even if you are not staying there?  And, with the introduction of the Skyliner, as well as the other modes of Disney transportation, getting to the resorts is so easy.

Each of the Disney Resorts has unique theming, and something to offer any day guest.  However, there are five that I feel are the best Disney resorts to visit. 

Why Visit a Walt Disney World Resort?

First, it gives you a change of scenery!  You have chosen your resort to call “home” for your trip, but there is so much to see outside of that resort.  

Also, it gives you a fun, “no park day” activity.  Swimming, mini golf, and Disney Springs are so fun! Should you find yourself in proximity to other resorts, why not visit a few?  Each resort has unique drink offerings, cupcakes, and theming.  Not only does it gives you a “non park day” activity, visiting a Disney resort is also a great way to take a break from the parks.  All four Disney theme parks are in easy proximity to at least one, if not more Disney resorts.  

Best Walt Disney World Resorts to Visit:

#1.  Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.  This very DISNEY resort is located on the Skyliner.  To access this resort, you can take a Disney motorcoach to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and transfer to the Skyliner.  If you are already staying at a Skyliner Resort or visiting Hollywood Studios or EPCOT, just hop on the Skyliner and off you go!

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is Disney animation come to life.  In my opinion, it is the most unique Walt Disney World resort in terms of theming.  The giant Disney/PIXAR icons are so much fun.  Visit the Cars area to see the Cozy Cone Pool, and the Cozy Cone cabanas!  So fun!  Also, the Landscape of Flavors has the most wide selection of any “food court” on Disney property.  

The four main areas of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort are Cars, Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Little Mermaid.  Each area has larger than life icons and stylized scenes from your favorite movies. 

#2.  Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and Gran Destino Tower.  Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is sort of a “hidden gem”.  It is a moderate resort, with a Deluxe feel to it.  And, it is home to some of the best dining and lounges on Disney property. Hello, Sangria University!  Yes, you can learn about and sample various Sangrias at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.  It is a thing!

The Spanish Colonial theming of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort makes it so so gorgeous.  The resort has undergone a huge refurbishment, and added several new dining and lounge options.  Not to mention the addition of the Gran Destino Tower.  Here you will find Toledo-Tapas, Steaks and Seafood, as well as the Dahlia Lounge.  If you are looking for a “foodie” experience at a Walt Disney World Resort, you will want to make a visit to Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. 

To access this resort, you will need to take a Disney motorcoach from the nearest Walt Disney World theme park to Coronado Springs.

#3.  Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.  I would be remiss if I did not include Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge on this list of best Disney resorts to visit.  From the lobby area, you can see wild animals on the savannah from the observation areas.  The lobby often houses a wood carver or African drummers, and the lobby itself is stunning.  I could sit in the massive lobby of Jambo House all day, taking in the atmosphere of this exquisite resort.  

The main draw to this resort is the opportunity for animal observation.  Over 200 birds and animals live at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, and you do not need a savanna view room to see them! This resort sits on the back side of the Kilimanjaro Safari attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Another activity to consider is to book a dining reservation at Sanaa.  This experience is one of the absolute best on Disney property.  Since Animal Kingdom Lodge is rather remote, it’s easiest to visit this Disney Resort on an Animal Kingdom day.

#4.  Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.  We need to have a monorail option in here! And of the monorail resorts, the Polynesian is my forever favorite.  First, it is so easy to access.  Guests can take a Disney motorcoach to the Magic Kingdom.   From there, take the monorail or a ferry over to the Polynesian.  I really like to visit the Polynesian for an afternoon break from Magic Kingdom.  

One of the most popular visits to the Polynesian involves getting a drink at Trader Sam’s, or a Dole Whip at Pineapple Lanai.  Not to mention the Tonga Toast at Kona or dinner at ‘Ohana.  The Polynesian is FULL of fantastic food.  The Polynesian also makes for a great photo spot if you want some nice family photos on the beach area.  Or, if you are lucky, you may be able to catch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the Poly beach as well.  While the Polynesian is not a HUGE resort, the lobby is beautiful, and the shops are great.  

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#5.  Disney’s Boardwalk Inn.  The Boardwalk Inn is located on the Boardwalk, just outside the International Gateway entrance in EPCOT.  The Boardwalk is just retro, classic turn of the century theming.  Plus, it gives you access to the Boardwalk area to get ice cream, treats, and see the EPCOT fireworks. We love the carousels in the lobby, and the shops are great as well.  One of favorite times to visit the Boardwalk is at night.  It is so pretty when it is lit up.  And in the evening, guests can catch street performers.  

You can easily access the Boardwalk from both Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT.  You can walk, take a boat, or the Skyliner! Some of our favorite memories are from getting pizza at the pizza window and people watching on the Boardwalk.  

Visiting a Walt Disney World Resort, or several, during your trip is easier than you think!  Which of these will you add to your list?

Carrie Hurst

Married to my high school sweetheart, we are raising two pirates and a princess. A lifelong Disney fan, lover of good food, and all things creative, I hope you will join me in sharing joy and making memories everyday.