A tripto Walt Disney World can be the vacation of a lifetime for many families. One of the first questions that must be answered is where to stay. If you have young children, the most convenient place to stay would be in one of the Magic Kingdom Resort Hotels. Wouldn’t you love to wake up each morning to the sights and sounds of the Happiest Place on Earth?
1) Contemporary – When Disney World opened in 1971, the Contemporary, along with the Polynesian Village Resort, were the only Disney hotels. Walt Disney wanted his new hotel to have a modern look, so it was temporarily named “Contemporary” during construction. The name stuck! This A-framed building is unique in that the Disney World monorail passes right through the middle of the hotel! There are two good reasons to stay here on your Disney vacation. One is the view. If you reserve a room in the main tower building, you can have a direct look at the Magic Kingdom, or on the opposite side, the picturesque Bay Lake. Both are beautiful! The other, and probably more important advantage for young families, is the location. The Contemporary is just a short walk or monorail ride away from the front gates of the Magic Kingdom. Nightly rates start at $325.
2) Polynesian Village Resort – For many years, this resort has simply been called the Polynesian or Poly for short. Recently, the hotel has gone through a major upgrade, and the name was changed back to the original Polynesian Village Resort. Sporting a South Seas theme, the Poly is a favorite of repeat guests to Disney World. The Great Ceremonial House serves as the lobby and center of the resort, surrounded by several buildings called “longhouses”. The Poly sits on the opposite side of Seven Seas Lagoon from the Magic Kingdom. Views from this resort, including Cinderella Castle and the nightly fireworks show, are stunning! Another advantage of staying here is the short walk to the Transportation and Ticket Center, where you can catch a direct monorail to Epcot. One of Disney’s most popular family restaurants resides here, ‘Ohana. For breakfast, ‘Ohana serves up a fun Character Meal featuring Lilo and Stitch. Nightly rates start at $429.
3) Grand Floridian – This turn-of-the-20th-century Victorian themed hotel is the flagship resort at Walt Disney World. It sits on the shores of the beautiful Seven Seas Lagoon, just one monorail stop from the Magic Kingdom. The “Grand” sports one of the most stunning lobbies you will ever see, topped with a stained glass ceiling and chandeliers. Several room views are available, including pool, lagoon, and Magic Kingdom. Don’t worry that this hotel is only for the rich and famous. It is pricey, but families with children will not feel out of place. Something fun to do here is the Wonderland Tea Party for young girls, and the Pirate Cruise for boys (and girls). Nightly rates start at $488.
4) Wilderness Lodge – Your jaw will drop when you enter this hotel’s lobby, modeled on the historic Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone National Park. It includes an 80 foot tall fireplace, rocking chairs, totem poles, wood carvings, teepee chandeliers, and more. Unlike the other Magic Kingdom resorts, the Wilderness Lodge is not located on the monorail. Don’t let that dissuade you! Magic Kingdom access is by a short, but fun and beautiful boat ride. Transportation to Disney’s other theme parks is via the Disney bus system. A unique feature here, perfect for families, are bunk beds in many of the rooms. Possible views include woods and the hotel courtyard. If you decide to stay here, be sure and enjoy a meal at the western-themed Whispering Canyon Café. Tip: Get dad to ask your waiter for ketchup, then watch the hilarity ensue! Located just a short walk away is Disney’s Wilderness Campgrounds, where you can enjoy guided horseback rides at the Tri-Circle D Livery and the Hoop-de-Doo Musical Revue, an all-you-can-eat dinner show, held nightly at Pioneer Hall. Nightly rates start at $289.
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