One of the first steps to planning a Walt Disney World visit is picking which resort you will be staying at throughout your vacation. There are many factors that go into picking which resort you want to stay at, for example, pricing, theming, proximity to the parks, transportation, and dining. Each traveler has different wants and needs for their stay; as for me, I need good food. I tend to view a hotel as the place I sleep, but as I’ve gotten older, I have started wanting to actually experience the resorts and explore. I guess you can say I value theming and dining the most, and of course, price is a deciding factor as well.
First up in my number three spot, I have Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. If you want to come to Orlando but feel like you are nowhere near Orlando, this is the resort for you. This resort is gorgeous and extremely immersive which is why I love it so much. I love when resorts can make you feel like you have been transported somewhere else. Wilderness Lodge has several dining locations including Whispering Canyon Cafe, Geyser Point Bar and Grill, Roaring Fork, and Artist Point (which is currently not open). This resort is broken up into a few sections: Copper Creek Villas, the Boulder Ridge Villas, and the non-DVC section of the resort. Yes, this resort has Disney Vacation Club villas. This resort also has cabins on the water similar to the bungalows at the Polynesian Resort. Wilderness Lodge has two pools: the Copper Creek Springs and the Boulder Ridge Cove pools. When I visited this resort as a kid, I loved the Copper Creek Springs pool area because I could see the geyser go off; oh yeah, there is a geyser here too! As for transportation, they have boats that go to the Magic Kingdom, and of course, they have buses as well.
Number two on my list is Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The true reason why this resort is number two on my list is because of the theme of the resort; it makes me feel like I’m in a tropical paradise. The Polynesian Village Resort has plenty of places to eat like ‘Ohana, Capt. Cook’s, Kona Cafe, Kona Island, Oasis Bar and Grill, Tambu Lounge, and if you want cocktails with snacks there’s Trader Sam’s. When I stayed at this resort, I wasn’t very convinced with the food options but I did enjoy Capt. Cook’s, and unfortunately when I stayed here last, I was not old enough to partake in Trader Sam’s. The main reason this resort is number two on my list is that it is on the monorail loop which makes it so easy to get to the Magic Kingdom. There are two pools at this resort, and the main pool has a volcano, which is pretty cool. What is not cool is how expensive it is to stay here. To stay at the Polynesian Resort you have to be ready for a hefty price tag but it’s a lovely place to stay if you and your family or significant other are celebrating something special. Other than the monorail, there is also boat transportation located by the bungalows. I think one of the biggest perks is having the beach. I love the beach area because it makes for a nice picnic and this is also a spot where fireworks can be seen.
Number one on my list; drum roll, please: Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and Villas. This resort has my whole heart. I grew up going to this resort and I just have so many memories there. Other than memories there are plenty of other reasons why this resort is my number one. The Boardwalk has many food options along the water, bike rentals, movies on the lawn, boat transportation to two parks, and walking paths to both parks. The two parks located on either side of the Boardwalk are Epcot and Hollywood Studios. You can reach both parks by boat or walking paths. The different food options available are Big River Grille and Brewing Works, BoardWalk Bakery, the Pizza Window, Trattoria al Forno, Flying Fish (currently closed), ESPN Club (currently closed), and AbracadaBar. One of my favorite places to eat on Disney property is Big River Grille and Brewing Works. I have never had a bad experience at that restaurant and the service has always been wonderful. The bakery is my favorite spot to grab a quick breakfast before heading into the parks when I stay there. There are three pools at this resort; the main one is more so for families and the other two pools are much quieter. I also love that there are several resorts in the Boardwalk area like Yacht and Beach Club because that means there’s more to explore and there are more food options. Like I said, there is boat transportation, but this resort also has access to the Skyliner and buses. So much transportation.
I do have two honorable mentions: Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside. I love the Port Orleans Resorts because of the theming, the walking paths, and their proximity to Disney Springs. The other big thing I love is that these resorts are on the more affordable side.
What are your top three Disney World resorts?
Hi, I'm Erica, and I write about all things Disney. Before working for The DIS, I was a theme park performer at SeaWorld, but I also performed at Disney. I have such an immense love for theme parks to the point I studied them in college.