Walt Disney World is just that, a world within our world. Planning a trip to Walt Disney World takes some careful and thorough planning. Staying on-site at Walt Disney World is a must due to all the great perks you receive. Here are our best Walt Disney World Resort tips to make the most out of your stay!
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1. Pick a Resort Closest to The Theme Park of Your Choice
Take into consideration that Walt Disney World has over 30 Resort Hotels onsite to choose from, so it is important to consider where you and your family want to play the most. But also keep in mind that highly popular locations, like those closest to Magic Kingdom, may also come with a higher price tag.
Here is our thorough list of Walt Disney World Resort Hotels and their proximity to each theme park. For reference, see our list below to get an idea of which hotels are nearest each major theme park and area at Walt Disney World.
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
- Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Disney’s Beach Club
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas
- Disney’s Yacht Club
- Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
- Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and Villas
- Disney’s Boardwalk Villas
- Disney’s Riviera Resort
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach and Resort
Wide World of Sports Area:
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park:
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Knowing where you want to be is one of our most overlooked Walt Disney World Resort tips- you'll thank yourself later for taking the time to research it now!
2. Take Advantage of Disney’s Complimentary Transportation System
Disney’s complimentary transportation system is a great perk when staying onsite. Just steps away from any resort hotel room is a free, (yes, free!) mode of transportation to get guests staying onsite where they want to be. Disney offers transportation in the form of watercraft, bus, monorail, or Disney Skyliner.
As with all Disney World musts, plan your adventure, do your research ahead of time, and arrive early! Not all transportation options are direct to every location so know where you want to go! Complimentary Resort transportation begins 45 minutes prior to Park openings and up to 1 hour after Park closure. It’s always a good idea to double check with Cast Members at any Resort’s front desk regarding routes and transportation hours.
If you happen to drive into the Resort, Guests staying at any Resort Hotel can park for free at all Disney Theme Parks, Disney Water Parks, and Disney Springs Area.
3. Download the Disney World App
The Walt Disney World My Experience App is not just for attraction wait times! This handy app gives guests transportation routes, up-to-the-minute wait times for buses, monorails, water taxis, and Disney Skyliner, not to mention all the fun and exciting events that take place right in or around the Resort Hotels!
4. Use Early Morning Magic
Early Morning Entry is by far the best perk of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel! Granted, there are a lot of others with the same plan in mind but the crowds still remain low.
Use this extra hour to experience as many attractions as you can fit in before the official park opening! And don’t forget to account for travel time and entrance into the park, so get a very early start!
5. Ship Your Souvenirs Back to Your Room
If you are a Disney shopper, like myself, you tend to collect bags full of must-have-at-the-moment souvenirs throughout the entire day.
There is no need to lug these bags around with you because when staying at select Disney Resort Hotels, guests can have their souvenirs shipped to their hotel lobby for free!
6. Take the Time to Enjoy Your Hotel
Resort amenities, at times, can feel as if they are just as wondrous as what is offered in each park. I am here to tell you that these amenities are a vacation within a vacation.
All Disney Resort Hotels offer an abundance of free activities that are worth experiencing when you have some downtime from the parks. Everything from arts and crafts, poolside trivia, movies under the stars, and more are offered at each individual Resort.
Since these activities frequently change, Disney does not post these activities on their website. You can always do a web search with “Resort Experience Guides” to find third-party guides. Or just wait until you check-in to get a look at the guides that can be found waiting for you in your Disney Resort Hotel room!
The pools alone are worth spending an entire day at! So take a day off from the parks and get familiar with not only your specific resort, but maybe all of them!
7. Select Crowd-Free Places to Watch the Magic Kingdom Fireworks Show
The Magic Kingdom’s Happily Ever After fireworks show is said to be the best nighttime experience at WDW. If you are staying at any one of these Resorts (even if you are not), choose to enjoy the show at our list of top viewing spots outside of the Park:
- Polynesian Village Resort Beaches
- Disney’s Grand Floridian – Marina area
- Contemporary Resort – Observation deck of the California Grill – 15th floor – You must be dining at the restaurant or a customer of the bar and lounge.
- Transportation and Ticket Center
Put Our Walt Disney World Resort Tips to Use!
Start planning your Walt Disney World vacation with the help of our informative FREE newsletter. The best part of receiving our newsletter is all the valuable information we fill it with. You’ll find helpful planning information, exclusive Disney deals, and access to the lowest priced Disney tickets anywhere. You can find more information on planning your vacation here:
- Discount Disney World Tickets
- Walt Disney World Planning Guide
- Tips and Tricks on How to Navigate through Walt Disney World Crowds
- Exploring All the Magic of Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in One Day
- 15 Overlooked Details of Disney History and Imagination at Walt Disney World
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