5. Fantastic Food Courts
All of the Disney World Resorts have the most excellent dining choices. You can choose a table service restaurant, or take advantage of the ever popular food court. Usually, these large dining areas can accommodate small to large to extra large groups. There are always plenty of cashiers ready to check you out, and the dining room attendants keep those tables and chairs clean for the next occupants. Although each Resort has its own themed food court, there are also similar advantages:
- Availability all day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and in between meal snacks.
- Variety of food choices—bakery, ice cream, pasta, pizza, carved meats, soups, omelets, pancakes, waffles,etc.
- “Grab n Go” refrigerators filled with pre-packaged items, including salads, yogurt, fruit cups, bottled beverages, and much more.
- A central island providing plastic cutlery, condiments, dispensed drinks, coffee, tea, etc.
Food courts are a great way to begin or end your day, and in most Disney Resorts, they are located near the entrance, close to the bus depots. So, have a good meal, board your bus, relax for a few minutes, and prepare for a magical day at Walt Disney World.
4. Nightly Entertainment/Game Rooms
Many of the Disney Resort Hotels offer special activities for the children, and nightly entertainment for the adults: Here are a few examples:
- Midway games — games of chance with stuffed animals and other prizes
- Albatross Treasure Cruise — children wear bandanas and take a short cruise around Crescent Lake & Epcot looking for treasure
- Atlantic Dance — for Mom and Dad—a DJ dance party
- Jellyrolls — also for Mom and Dad—a sing-a-long bar with dueling piano players
- Nightly luau — all you can eat tropical feast, followed by a spectacular stage show highlighting hula dancers, dynamic drummers, and an amazing fire-knife performer. This is breathtaking entertainment for the whole family
- Club Disney — ages 3-12—children can enjoy magical activities inspired by Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and more. The fun begins when the special guests enter through a library into a world of magic and make-believe. Activities include dress-up, crafts, games and more; all supervised by caring and qualified Disney cast members
Port Orleans Riverside
- Bayou Pirate Adventure — children can become pirates for a day sailing down the Sassagoula River,
while hearing the story of Capt. Jean Lafitte, one of the most notorious pirates to haunt the waters of New Orleans.
- YeHaa Bob Jackson — River Roost Lounge—This is one the most family friendly entertainers in all of Walt Disney World. YeHaa Bob Jackson has been entertaining here for many years, delighting audiences of all ages with his amusing boogie-woogie sing-a-long, while playing his rollicking, wacky piano. You can always tell when Bob is “in the house”, because the music and singing can be heard all through the front lobby. Bob’s schedule is Tuesday through Saturday nights from 8:30pm-midnight. Stop by and join the fun; you’ll be so glad you did!
*Most Disney Resort Hotels are equipped with the most up-to-date, innovative game rooms, with many unique and exciting games to choose from. Watch out, though, you may have to bribe them with a treat or special souvenir to get them to leave.*
3. General Store/Gift Shop
One great advantage of staying at a Disney Resort Hotel is having a gift shop right on the property. Actually, it’s more than just a gift shop. These handy on-site stores are fully stocked with a sampling of Disney themed toys, apparel, kitchen accessories, trading pins, etc. Here you will also find a mini mart providing grocery items, like bread, peanut butter, popcorn, candy, bottled beverages, health & beauty products, and other common necessities. So, if you’re in need of hairspray, band-aids, an extra pair of socks, or last minute souvenirs for “Uncle Donald” or “Aunt Daisy”, this is the place to find whatever you may need or want.
Another advantage of most Disney gift shops is the Package Pickup and Shipment department. If you are not aware of it, you can have any souvenirs you purchase at any Disney theme park sent back to your Resort, and a Package Pickup cast member will leave a message on your room telephone when your packages have arrived. If you have gifts you want to send home, they can do that too.
Some of the cast members who work at these gift shops have been with the Disney Company for many years. I know we have seen the same cast members year after year, and it is always such a pleasant reunion. We share some memories and get the latest happenings at the Parks. A majority of the “cast members” at Disney Resort Hotels do their best to make the guests feel at home.
2. Disney’s Magical Express Service
If you are staying at a Disney Resort Hotel, this service provides the following:
- Special Disney Magical Express luggage tags alert the airport personnel so they can identify which bags belong to passengers using the Magical Express.
- Upon arriving at the Orlando International Airport, you go directly to the Magical Express area; no need to wait for your luggage.
- Complimentary airport shuttle bus to and from the Disney Resorts
- Luggage delivery from your home airport directly to your Disney resort hotel room.
- You can get your return boarding pass and check in your luggage right at your Resort Hotel.
This is a great service for those guests who are arriving by airplane. Once you check your luggage in at your home airport, you don’t see it again until you enter your Disney Resort Hotel room. The cost is very reasonable—it’s Free!.
1. Disney Resort Hotel Transportation
Whether you have reached Walt Disney World by plane, train, or automobile, if you are staying at a Disney Resort Hotel, your transportation is now in the hands of Disney. The Resort buses are the most popular mode of transportation, running about every 5 minutes, with destinations to all the theme parks, Downtown Disney(soon to become Disney Springs), Typhoon Lagoon, and Blizzard Beach. There are also watercraft available at several of the resorts that will transport guests to loading docks located at Epcot(World Showcase), Hollywood Studios, the Magic Kingdom, or Downtown Disney.
The most unique transport is the majestic monorail, with its sleek appearance and quiet running. Gliding along on the elevated rail gives guests a bird’s eye view of several areas of Walt Disney World. The monorail is available to only a few Resort Hotels, namely, The Contemporary Resort, Polynesian, and the Grand Floridian. It also runs a route from the Magic Kingdom to Epcot, or the Ticket and Transportation Center located at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom.
Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel can make your Disney vacation even more memorable. Whether you are staying few days or a few weeks, the time you spend at your Resort Hotel can be just as magical as your visit to the theme parks. It becomes your “home away from home”, and all the cast members treat you and your family like very special guests. It may cost a bit more, but it is so worth it, and I can just about guarantee once you stay at a Disney Resort, you will never want to stay off property again.
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