Answering Your Questions about Walt Disney World Resorts
MickeyBlog loves to help, and that’s why we’ve spent some time replying to frequent Disney-related questions.
Thus far, we’ve primarily focused on Disney parks, but there’s an equally important second part to your visit. This one will take some time, too.
Today, I’ll start answering your most frequent questions about Walt Disney World resorts.
However, this one will be a two-parter since there’s so much to cover.
Are Disney Resorts Better?
First of all, I’m writing this article in late-October of 2020, in the midst of a pandemic.
I’m saying this because some of the answers come down to timing. Disney has altered some hotel amenities and is yet to reopen some properties.
Even allowing for the Coronavirus disruption, Disney resorts are just plain better than other options.
I’m speaking exclusively about Walt Disney World hotels. Still, this argument applies to ones at Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, and other Disney parks, too.
Imagineers plan hotels carefully, and Disney hires the best architects on the planet to bring these ideas to life.
When you enter a Disney hotel, you’ll immediately feel safely snuggled within the Disney Bubble.
You’ll know that you’re at Disney by exploring the hotel lobby.
Places like Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge will dazzle you with immaculate theming and homey interiors.
When you walk the grounds, you’ll notice subtle reminders that you’re at Disney.
The pools will highlight Disney characters, and classic Disney movies sometimes play in the courtyards at night.
Disney loves for customers to spend lots of time at its hotels. So, the company pays a great deal of money perfecting each property.
Which Disney Resorts Are Open?
Again, I’m only speaking about Walt Disney World today.
While all four theme parks reopened in July, Disney hasn’t brought back all its resorts.
The reason why makes perfect sense. The parks have limited capacity to 25 percent. So, the resorts host fewer guests during the pandemic.
Thankfully, Disney is operating many of its best facilities. Here’s the full list:
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campgrounds
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
All Disney Vacation Club properties have also reopened, but that booking discussion would take much longer.
Do You Need Disney Hotel Reservations?
This question briefly caused me to wonder what year it was. Do people still walk up to a hotel lobby desk clerk and ask for a room?
I mean, that was rare back when I worked in the hospitality industry in the 1990s.
If you haven’t guessed, the answer is YES! Walt Disney World stakes a claim as the most popular paid tourist destination on the planet.
Entire hotels sell out frequently. Disney earnings reports suggest that overall occupancy crosses 90 percent much of the time.
So, you’re not getting a room unless you book ahead of time, preferably several months early.
Your best bet is to contact an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. These professionals will know the best times to book to guarantee availability at low prices.
I love Authorized Disney Vacation Planners like MickeyTravels because their services are entirely free to you, the customer.
Can You Do Anything at Disney Resorts?
Again, yes. Frankly, anything I say here might undersell the greatness of Disney resorts.
As I mentioned, Disney would love for guests to spend much of their vacation at the resort. It frees up space at the parks.
You’ll still visit the parks a lot, of course, but Disney incentivizes you to stay at the hotel some.
The amenities include scenic walking paths, majestic lobbies, high-quality restaurants, grab-and-go counter meals, bars and lounges, and shopping.
Some hotels even offer unique amenities, as we’ll discuss in a bit. However, virtually all Disney resorts come with shops, pools, and restaurants.
You’ll never lack for things to do when you spend time at your Disney resort.
Do Any Resorts Have Family Suites?
Again, virtually all Disney resorts feature suites as a room upgrade option. Some of them border on decadent.
In fact, some of Disney’s finest suites have hosted royalty, celebrities, and other luminaries.
Princess Diana famously spent time at a family suite at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
Also, John Lennon hung out in one at Disney’s Polynesian Village on the day he signed the papers to break up the Beatles.
Of course, you may not have the budget of a music star or real-life Princess.
Well, I’m happy to say that some properties like Disney’s Art of Animation Resort sell affordable family suites that also feature incredible theming.
You can stay in a room that celebrates Cars, Finding Nemo, The Lion King, or The Little Mermaid! It will make you a vacation hero to your kids for sure!
What Are Monorail Resorts?
When Walt Disney World opened in 1971, it came with an amenity nobody had ever seen before.
Imagineers constructed an entire monorail line, with stations at the original Disney hotels.
Later, another property opened, and the trio became affectionately known as the monorail resorts.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, and Disney’s Polynesian Resort all operate monorail stations.
So, when you stay at one of these three hotels, you can take the monorail straight to Magic Kingdom.
Also, you (usually) have the option of switching monorails at the Transportation and Ticket Center.
From there, you can ride a monorail tram directly to EPCOT.
Obviously, these monorail resorts provide some of the best logistics at Walt Disney World. They’re also impeccable hotels.
Which Resort Has the Best Pool?
Part two of this Q&A session will cover the ‘Best of’ lists in better detail.
However, I wanted to answer this one since it’s among the most frequent Disney questions.
Vacationers care a great deal about the quality of hotel pools and, I recently learned on a podcast, waterslides.
Obviously, personal choice matters significantly in determining which one is best.
I included the second list to show a different point of view.
Still, I feel pretty comfortable saying that most Disney fans would vote for one pool over all the rest.
Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Beach Club Resort covers more space than any other Disney pool. Also, it features sand-bottom floors, making it feel beachier in nature.
All of this feels like an exercise in semantics, though. You’ll love the pool at any official Disney resort. They’re incredible.
Do I Get Magical Express When I Stay?
The simple description is that when you fly into Orlando International Airport (MCO), Disney will take care of all your needs.
The company will mail you luggage tags that identify your bags are traveling to a Disney hotel.
Ordinarily, you don’t have to do anything else. You drop off your luggage at the airport, and it magically arrives at your hotel when you check-in.
When you reach MCO, you’ll walk to the Magical Express section of the airport. It’s impossible to miss since Disney has posted signs everywhere.
There, you’ll board a Magical Express bus that will drop you off at your hotel.
The process is ridiculously simple and totally free to all guests staying at official Disney resorts.
The point you should be getting by now is that you should ALWAYS stay at an official Disney resort.
Feature Image Rights: Disney