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All About the Disney Deluxe Resorts

If you decide to stay on property at Walt Disney World in Florida, you’ll find that there are a number of different lodging options available to you in several different price ranges. The Disney Deluxe Resorts, which are the most expensive resorts on property, include some of the most iconic and popular resorts. With the extra cost, you’ll get some additional amenities that can really make your Walt Disney World vacation extra special. If you are considering a stay at a Disney deluxe resort, here’s everything you need to know.

I am a former member of the Disney Parks Moms Panel and have been on some complimentary press trips at Walt Disney World (with stays at Disney resorts), but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. A purchase/click through one of these links may result in a commission paid to us.

All about the Disney Deluxe Resorts, including resorts near the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.

All About the Disney Deluxe Resorts

Disney Deluxe Resorts all offer special amenities beyond what the Disney value resorts and the Disney moderate resorts offer. In addition to the standard amenities that all of the resorts offer, like access to Extra Magic Hours, Disney’s Magical Express, and complimentary MagicBands, you’ll also find that these resorts may have large feature pools, more dining options, and fitness centers/spas.

In general, I think the Disney Deluxe Resorts can be worth the extra money if you plan to take advantage of the various amenities and activities offered, and if you prefer the more convenient locations to the theme parks.

Monorail Resorts

Many guests to Walt Disney World are interested in staying at a resort that is located on the monorail loop. These resorts can be extremely convenient if you are planning to spend most of your time at the Magic Kingdom and/or Epcot. To get to the Magic Kingdom, you can take the monorail right to the entrance of the park, and to get to Epcot, you’ll need to transfer at the Ticket and Transportation Center.

Transportation options to the other parks are somewhat limited – you’ll need to take a bus to Disney Springs, the water parks, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Disney Grand Floridian

The Grand Floridian is the grandest of the Disney resorts. While all of the resorts are kid-friendly, I find the theming at the Grand Floridian to be less exciting for kids. Its design is inspired by Victorian era beach hotels, namely the Hotel Coronado in San Diego. Amenities at the Grand Floridian include:

  • The Senses Spa, which offers body treatments, massages, as well as a fitness center
  • Motorized boat rentals (additional fee applies)
  • Movies Under the Stars on select nights
  • Jogging trails and basketball courts
  • Campfire activities
  • An arcade
  • Viewing location of the Electrical Water Pageant
  • The Beach Pool and the Courtyard Pool
  • Lots of dining options including Victoria and Albert’s, 1900 Park Fare, Citricos, Narcoossee’s, the Grand Floridian Cafe and more.

Disney's Contemporary Lodge

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is within walking distance of the Magic Kingdom, making it one of the most convenient resorts if you are planning on spending most of your time at that park. It’s a modern resort, and the monorail runs right through the middle of the main tower (rooms are still very quiet). Amenities include:

  • The Olympiad Fitness Center
  • Main pool with water slide
  • The Bay Lake Pool
  • Hot tubs
  • Basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts
  • Jogging trails
  • Catch and release fishing (additional fee)
  • Motorized boat rentals
  • Movies Under the Stars
  • Campfire activities
  • An arcade
  • Restaurants including the Contempo Cafe, Chef Mickey (one of my favorite Disney character meals), the Wave, and the California Grill

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

The Polynesian is my favorite kid-friendly monorail resort, because we love the restaurants and the theme of the resort. Even if you haven’t visited Hawaii or the other Polynesian islands, you’ll appreciate the theme. Here are some of the amenities you’ll find there.

  • Access to the Senses Spa at the Grand Floridian
  • The Lava and Oasis Pools
  • Volleyball courts and jogging trails
  • Catch and release fishing (an additional fee applies)
  • Campfire activities
  • Movies Under the Stars
  • The Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show (must be booked separately)
  • Dining options including ‘Ohana, Kona Cafe, Kona Island, and Captain Cook’s. Even if you aren’t staying at the Polynesian, you’ll probably want to book a meal at ‘Ohana. It’s so much fun!

Other Deluxe Resorts

Disney's Boardwalk

Disney’s Boardwalk

Disney’s Boardwalk Inn is a resort located right on the Disney Boardwalk. This can be such a fun place to stay, because you’ll be right near the Boardwalk restaurants and activities. During the one time I stayed there, I didn’t find noise to be an issue at all – although I thought it might be. One negative about the resort, however, is the lack of good quick service options.

To get to Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Epcot, you can walk or take the boat. Bus service is offered to Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom.

The theme is reminiscent of the Atlantic City Boardwalk, with Boardwalk entertainment, midway games, shops, bakeries, bars, and food. Amenities include:

  • An arcade
  • Surrey bike rentals (for an additional fee)
  • The Muscles & Bustles Health Club
  • Tennis courts
  • Campfire activities
  • Movies Under the Stars
  • A playground
  • Catch and release fishing for an additional fee
  • The Luna Park Pool with a waterslide, as well as two leisure pools
  • Dining options include the restaurants on the Boardwalk including the Flying Fish, ESPN Club, and Trattoria al Forno

The Yacht Club Resort at Walt Disney World

Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort

My favorite of the Disney resorts is the Beach Club Resort, which is the sister resort to the Yacht Club Resort. While the themes of these hotels are slightly different, they share amenities. I find the Beach Club theme to be a little more kid-friendly than the yacht club, but they are both family friendly.

To get to Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Epcot, you can walk or take the boat. Bus service is offered to Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom.  It’s definitely easier to walk to Epcot rather than take the boat. From the Beach Club, it’s only a few minute walk. Amenities at the resorts include:

  • Movies Under the Stars
  • Stormalong Bay, a three acre water park complex with a lazy river, sandy bottom pool, jacuzzis, and a water slide
  • Ship Shape Massage Salon Fitness, located between the two resorts
  • Three separate, quieter pools
  • An arcade
  • Motorized boat rentals (available for an additional fee)
  • Tennis and volleyball courts, as well as jogging trails
  • Campfire activities
  • Lots of restaurant options including Beaches and Cream, the Cape May Cafe, the Yachtsman Steakhouse, and the Ale & Compass Restaurant

The Exterior of Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

I absolutely love Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. It’s located near the Magic Kingdom resort area, and feels like a completely different place. It’s modeled after the national park lodges of the Pacific Northwest, and is rustic and quaint. The resort recently added the new Copper Creek Villas and Cabins, which are luxurious and beautiful.

From the Wilderness Lodge, you’ll be able to take a boat to the Magic Kingdom, and buses to the other theme parks.

Amenities include:

  • The Sturdy Branches Health Club
  • Salon by the Springs beauty salon with nail and hair services
  • The Copper Creek Springs Pool and the Boulder Ridge Cove Pool
  • Arcade
  • Campfire activities
  • Bike rentals
  • Motorized boat rentals (additional fee)
  • Fishing excursions and catch and release fishing (additional fee)
  • Restaurants including the new Geyser Point Bar and Grill, Artist Point, Whispering Canyon Cafe, and the Roaring Fork

Giraffes at the Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

If your kids love animals, you may consider staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. My family first stayed there when my kids were 2 and 3, and they absolutely loved seeing animals from our savanna view room. If you don’t get a room with a savanna view, however, there are still plenty of viewing areas scattered throughout the resort.

There are two separate sections to the resort – Jambo House is the original area, and Kidani Village is the new area especially for the Disney Vacation Club. There is no boat or monorail access from this resort – you’ll need to take the buses to all of the theme parks.

Amenities include:

  • Zahanati Massage & Fitness Center
  • Playground
  • Arcade
  • Movies Under the Stars
  • The Uzima Springs Pool (located at Jambo House) and the Samawati Springs Pool (located at Kidani Village)
  • Restaurants including Boma, Jiko, and Sanaa (three of my favorite table service restaurants at Walt Disney World)

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa

This resort, located in the Disney Springs area of the park, is modeled after the New York town. It’s a Disney Vacation Club property and includes the following amenities:

  • A health club
  • The High Rock Spring Pool with waterslide, and the Paddock Pool with waterslide, as well as three leisure pools
  • Surrey bike rentals (an extra fee applies)
  • Playground
  • Jogging trails, basketball and tennis courts
  • An arcade
  • Campfire activities
  • Restaurants including the Artist’s Palette, Turf Club Bar and Grill, and the Paddock Grill

Disney’s Old Key West Resort

This Disney Vacation Club property offers bus service to the four theme parks and two water parks and boat service to Disney Springs. Amenities include:

  • The Old Key West Exercise Room
  • Bike rentals
  • Tennis, volleyball, and basketball courts
  • Movies Under the Stars
  • The Sandcastle Pool with a waterslide
  • Three leisure pools
  • Playgrounds
  • Arcades
  • Olivia’s Cafe offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner

A new resort, Disney’s Riviera Resort, is opening in December 2019. It will offer Skyliner access to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a pool, a rooftop restaurant, and so much more.

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