Disney Vacation Planning Pt 5: Resort Considerations

Welcome back ladies and gents for this week’s installment in the Disney World Vacation Planning series! One of my favorite things about Disney World is the vast number of resort options. Other Disney parks around the world have really limited options when it comes to where to stay, but Disney World ups the ante with nearly 20 different options! As wonderful as it is to have options though, it can be tough to narrow down which will work best for you! Last week we talked all about resort pricing tiers and resort areas, which should have narrowed it down a bit. This week we’re going to take a look at the different amenities, accommodations, and all the details that set each resort apart.

In Case You Missed it

Here’s a look back on the Vacation Planing Series so far!

Pt 1 – When to Visit

Pt 2 – How Long to Stay

Pt 3 – Setting a Budget

Pt 4 – Resort Areas and Pricing Tiers

Consideration Factors

Cost Range

For a lot of people, myself included, cost is a HUGE consideration when booking your vacation. If you missed last week’s post you can read all about the different pricing tiers HERE. I won’t go over it in too much detail here, but the price tiers are included in this week’s FREE PRINTABLE.

Resort Area Importance

The resort area, to me, is the second most important factor. As they say in real estate, location, location, location. Here’s that link again to last week’s post, where we looked at all of the different areas in detail. Again, I won’t beat a dead horse but the info is included in the HOTEL COMPARISON CHART.



Maximum Room Capacity

Room capacity will be an important piece of the decision, especially if you are traveling with a large group. Most of the resorts accommodate a minimum of (5) people, assuming (2) persons will share each Queen size mattress. But, what if you’re group doesn’t want to share beds or if there are (9) people in your party? There are still plenty of options! I’ve included the number of beds in each room on the hotel chart.

Transportation Options

Disney World is HUGE!! And one of the best perks to staying on site is the free transportation Disney offers. That’s right something for FREE at DISNEY! There are (4) free modes of transportation currently, with a fifth currently in progress.

Walking

Tried but true. While both the parks and resorts are well spread out across the world, there are some resorts close enough to walk to at least (1) theme park. Sure, you are going to be doing a ton of walking inside the parks – but adding a few more steps to your day is totally worth it! There are other ways to get around, but they require you to relay on an established schedule and can get really crowded.

Bus

Every resort offers free bus transportation to and from the parks all day. Buses generally pick-up about every 15 minutes, but this can vary based on crowd density. (Grab your FREE Crowd Index Calendar HERE). This is the easiest way to get around the parks, there are tons of buses and there are clear signs denoting which bus is going where. However, keep in mind that everyone in your resort is there for the same reason. There are several parks, so that breaks up the crowd a bit – but the buses get very crowded.

Monorail

I always think of the monorail as the first ride of the day, and it’s available at a few select resorts. One great perk to staying at a monorail resort is that you can easily hop over and tour other monorail resorts. (and resort hopping is a fun day just by itself!) Again though, you’ve got to think about how many people will be trying to cram themselves into the monorail each morning. Also, the monorail doesn’t go to all of the parks.

Water Way

By far my favorite (though personally most terrifying) mode of transportation to the parks. A few of the resorts have boat shuttles to one or more of the parks, and it’s basically a first ride of the day as well. I’m totally freaked out by the idea of being in a boat, but it’s a short ride so it’s not too bad. The boats are large and I haven’t experienced the same kind of crowding as there is on the buses.

Skyway Gondolas

Sadly, this is still being built – but I am SO excited!!! I think it’s such a neat call back to the Skyway that used to be in Disneyland, I can’t wait for this project to be completed.



 

Dining Options

Let’s be real. Half the fun of Disney World is the food. Dole Whip, Turkey Legs, and (omg!) Mickey Bars – the stuff of dreams. But what about outside of the parks? You can use any of those transportation methods above to bounce around resorts and find some great dining options, but isn’t it much more convenient to have some options in the same building as your bed?! There are so many reviews out there about Disney restaurants,  and too many restaurants to review in this post. One of the most important considerations is the availability of the dining plan; you don’t want to be stuck in a hotel that only has deluxe options if you are on the quick service plan. The dining plan tier is noted on the freebie, but I can’t recommend enough checking out restaurant reviews before making your final decision.

Pools

Hello! This is a vacation after all and not all pools were created equal! Now – if you’re planning a short trip, the pool may have no bearing on your decision. But you may find yourself taking breaks by the pool during the day, even if you didn’t plan on it – so why not have an awesome pool to take a break by?



 

 

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