6 Walt Disney World Resorts Worth a Visit Even if You’re Not Staying There
When it comes to accommodation at Walt Disney World, some of the incredible properties are destinations unto themselves. No matter where you stay on Walt Disney World property if you have some time to spare, schedule in a visit to one of the incredible resorts listed below. With delicious dining options and a range of fun activities, we promise you won’t be disappointed!
1. Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
Disney’s massive camping area is like a world unto itself. Visitors of all ages could easily spend a day here. The property offers a range of fun outdoor activities including archery, fishing, kayaking, Segway tours, horseback riding, carriage rides and so much more. One activity you won’t want to miss is Chip ‘N Dale’s Campfire Sing-Along where you can roast marshmallows and have a hoedown with this lovable chipmunk duo! There’s also the Hoop De Doo Musical Revue an awesome dinner show complete with finger-licking fried chicken. Trails End Restaurant has also developed a bit of a cult following for their awesome breakfast and brunch buffets complete with breakfast pizza! Getting to Fort Wilderness is easy. SImply hop the boat from Magic Kingdom.
2. Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Just a quick monorail ride from the Magic Kingdom this deluxe property is big on island vibes and is the perfect place to spend some time! There’s the amazing Ohana restaurant featuring breakfast with Lilo & Stitch and a delicious Hawaiian-style dinner. We are also fans of the Kona Cafe where you can order up some guava juice and a heaping portion of Tonga Toast. Those looking for a nightcap need look no further than Trader Sam’s where you can indulge in incredible tiki cocktails complete with kitschy souvenir mugs. Book a reservation for the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show and you’ll feel like you’ve escaped to the islands for this delicious feast. You can even get a Dole Whip without having to visit the theme parks. Pineapple Lanai right in the Main Ceremonial House serves them up throughout the day. In addition, this is one of the resorts where you can catch the Electric Water Pageant as well as the Magic Kingdom fireworks right of the sandy beaches. We promise you it’s magical!
3. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
As the Grand Dame of Disney World properties, this deluxe monorail resort has it all. You’ll find incredible shops on the first or second levels where you can get everything from luxury goods, bath and body products to the latest souvenirs. Ladies looking for a makeover with character can book one of the character couture packages at the Ivy Trellis Salon and in case you haven’t heard, Princesses will soon be able to get Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Makeovers right at the resort. The Grand Floridian is also a foodies paradise. Those looking to dine with characters have an opportunity at 1900 Park Fare. For a special celebration, you can also book High Tea with Princess Aurora or pop by for a kids-only tea with Alice and the Mad Hatter. You’ll also find three of Disney’s most esteemed Signature eateries: Narcoossee’s, Citricos and Victoria & Alberts. This property is also big on ambiance and features piano player and a string ensemble playing tunes throughout the day!
4. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
During your Disney visit, it’s definitely worth setting aside some time to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. It may be off the slightly beaten path but its a great place to spend some time. Visitors can head out to the savanna observation areas to watch the Giraffes, Zebras, Kudu and more. The property hosts a wide range of cultural activities throughout the day from drum circles to stone rubbings. Animal experts are also on hand to teach you a thing or two. You’ll also find one of my favorite resort gift shops. The Zawadi Marketplace is brimming with standard Disney souvenirs but also traditional African crafts which are breathtaking. And don’t get us started on the food. Sit down to an incredible African-inspired buffet at Boma. Enjoy exotic flavors and expertly prepared dishes at Jiko or head over to Kidani Village for a meal at Sanaa where their incredible bread course will have you rubbing your tummy in delight!
5. Disney’s Contemporary Resort
This is the only Walt Disney World resort you can walk to from the Magic Kingdom. We think it’s definitely worth a visit. From the incredible Mary Blair Wall Mural to the wow-factor of seeing the monorail make stops directly inside the resort, its a fun place to pass the time. Definitely make a reservation to Chef Mickey’s one of Disney World’s most popular character dining experiences. Head over to Contempo Cafe to satisfy your sweet tooth with an astounding array of cupcakes. For a fine dining experience California Grill constantly comes out tops in our book and if you’re lucky enough to be dining there during Magic Kingdom’s nightly fireworks display you can watch the fireworks from the restaurant’s private viewing deck. Swashbucklers can also enjoy a bountiful feast with Captain Hook and Mr Smee before charting a course for adventure with the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage!
6. Disney’s Boardwalk Resort
Disney’s Boardwalk is a world onto itself. This turn-of-the-century Atlantic City-style playground has something to offer kids of all ages. You can rent Surrey Bikes, go for ice cream and maybe even catch a magician! There’s midway games, amazing margaritas, a pizza window a dance hall and so much more. Those looking for a lovely evening meal will want to make a reservation at Flying Fish. Tangled fans can enjoy breakfast with Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Ariel and Prince Eric at the Bon Voyage Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno and sports fans can catch a game at the ESPN Club! The property is just a short walk from the International Gateway exit at Epcot.
This is but a small taste of some of the amazing experiences you can have without visiting the theme parks. All of the resorts on our list are not only wonderful places to stay but perfect for a day visit!
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