5. The buzzing BoardWalk - BoardWalk
The location, theming, and overall plethora of resort-wide amenities you will experience here work in conjunction to make this place another famed favorite of ours. Serving as both a Deluxe Hotel Resort and Deluxe Villa Resort, guests have the option to stay in a traditional hotel room or experience the grandeur of a one-bedroom, two-bedroom, or studio villa accommodation. Whichever option you choose, rest assured that all the same onsite perks in dining, recreation, and of course the ever-popular entertainment hub Disney’s BoardWalk is perhaps most known for will all be yours.
As for the theming, Disney’s BoardWalk Resort reflects on the old-fashioned carnival amusements and entertainments of the early 1900s, putting one in mind of turn-of-the-20th-century Atlantic City Boardwalk fun and classic Coney Island enjoyments. Three onsite pools add to the fun, with the main attraction being the Luna Park Pool—a carnival-themed wet wonder featuring a 200-foot-long waterslide. And let’s not forget about the other recreations here, like the playground, arcade, surrey bike rentals, jogging trails, tennis courts, nighttime movies, campfires, and so much more. Being in close proximity to Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf is another added bonus of staying here as well as at other Epcot Area Resorts. And on that note, did you know that when you stay at an Epcot Area hotel you can take convenient walking paths to and from both Epcot and Hollywood Studios?
On a nice, leisurely day this makes for a great scenic alternative to traveling via boat. But now let’s talk about the buzzing entertainment and dining scene, as Disney’s BoardWalk is home to an immense collaborative makeup of possibilities. Some of the most renowned Disney dining destinations are located right here, with some favorites being Flying Fish, ESPN Club, Big River Grille & Brew Works, Ample Hills Creamery, BoardWalk Bakery, Trattoria al Forno, and so many others. And don’t forget about the ongoing live entertainment, from musicians to magicians, and everything else you can imagine, including the popular Atlantic Dance Hall where there’s always something going on.
6. Wild, untamed beauty - Wilderness Lodge
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is another favorite of ours, and one that combines the serene and peaceful tranquility of rustic nature, calming relaxation, and first-rate amenities with untamed beauty and the elegance you’ve come to know and expect of any Deluxe Disney World Resort. Who knew being in such close proximity to Magic Kingdom Park, where all the action is, could feel such a world away? But that’s just what you get when you stay in this beautiful bucolic oasis, inspired by the style and décor of the turn-of-the-20th-century National Park lodges of the Great American Northwest.
From the stately wooden grandeur of the buildings to the surrounding arboreal scenery, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is a unique representation and blending of rural and regality. And with onsite villa options here in addition to traditional hotel rooms, guests have their pick from standard rooms, deluxe rooms via Club Level access, Boulder Ridge Villas, or Copper Creek Villas and Cabins. But whichever accommodation you choose, keep in mind that you will still have access to all the same great resort-wide amenities, dining, and recreation.
And as far as recreations go, your options are pretty profuse, with pools, bike and boat rentals, fishing excursions, an onsite arcade, tennis and basketball courts, campfire activities, nighttime movies, Spitfire Flats family cookouts, and much, much more. And don’t forget about Sturdy Branches Health Club, where you can tackle all the latest state-of-the-art fitness and training equipment 24 hours a day. Another somewhat lesser-known onsite activity that takes place at select times is free cookie decorating with Magic Cookie Hour.
Open to guests of all ages, Magic Cookie Hour (also referred to as Magic Cookie Corner) is held onsite at the resort’s notable quick service fan favorite restaurant Roaring Fork. Check with the front desk for details. In addition to Roaring Fork, other delightful resort dining spots here include Geyser Point Bar & Grill, Whispering Canyon Café, bar service at Territory Lounge, and fine dining at Artist Point, which is marking the launch of a new Storybook Dining experience featuring Snow White, the Evil Queen, and other characters from the beloved classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, effective as of Dec. 16, 2018. As mentioned before, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is surprisingly close and in convenient range to the Magic Kingdom, which is just a short boat ride away. Easy access to other parks is made possible through ongoing shuttle service.
7. A “Grand” gesture - Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is the very essence of excellence and exquisiteness, with a stately standing among the Magic Kingdom Area Deluxe Resorts. The grandeur of the overall style and décor here rings true to the classy Victorian era, as the resort itself personifies Florida’s late 19thcentury/early 20thcentury golden age scene of tourism and tycoons. As one of the most top-notch, and admittedly, most expensive resorts money can afford on a Walt Disney World vacation, you’ll find seemingly unending and impeccable services and amenities here that are all definitely worth the extra money. And with villas, suites, and deluxe rooms available to guests in addition to standard, yet still stellar guest rooms, you and your family have even more options to choose from on how to stay. But remember, whichever designation you decide on still allots you all the same great onsite benefits and amenities.
In fact, as its name implies, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa even features its own full-service resident spa—Senses Spa, delivering the best in massages, body treatments, and other wellness regimes. A little hair and makeover pampering can also be yours at the Ivy Trellis Salon, which offers everything from haircuts to hair dressing, and other grooming services for men, women, and children alike. They even specialize in Character Couture Packages too. Additional onsite endeavors to pursue while staying at this resort include swimming in one of two great swimming pools, basketball courts, motorized boat rentals, specialty cruise options, guided fishing excursions, arcade amusements, jogging trails, nighttime movies, campfire activities, and plenty more. But perhaps the resort’s biggest claim to fame is its several distinguished dining offerings.
Indulge in a host of different styles and tastes, ranging from casual, quick, and kid-friendly to more upscale and refined. It is home to the renowned Victoria & Albert’s AAA Five Diamond Award recipient, after all. Two other elite culinary undertakings here include mouthwatering Mediterranean-inspired fare at Cítricos and masterfully prepared seafood and land specialties at Narcoossee’s, which also boasts unbeatable waterfront views perfect for viewing Magic Kingdom fireworks or Seven Seas Lagoon’s nightly Electrical Water Pageant.
Another top choice, 1900 Park Fare, is an outstanding family-friendly buffet that features character dining at both breakfast and dinner. The first takes the form of the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast and the latter is Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner. The Grand Floridian is also home to many unique teatime happenings as well, including kid-exclusive engagements. The list goes on and on. And just when you thought you couldn’t score any higher than staying here, keep in mind that you are just a short monorail ride away from Disney World’s famed Magic Kingdom Park. Of course, there’s also the option of a layback calming boat ride toward your destination, if you so choose. And ongoing bus services are also there to take you to and from other Disney Parks and destinations throughout the day as well.