An Overview of Walt Disney World’s Deluxe Resorts

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Our view from the Polynesian Village Resort

Walt Disney World’s Deluxe resorts are perfect for those who want the best of what Disney has to offer. The Deluxe Resorts offer large, spacious, well appointment rooms, enviable locations, sophisticated theming, and fine dining. Once you’ve decided that this is the resort category you’re looking for, you need to decide which resort is right for you. Hopefully this brief overview will help!

ANIMAL KINGDOM LODGE

a standard room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge

This majestic resort, themed to the safari lodges of Africa, offers rooms that average 344 square feet. A variety of views are available, the most coveted being views of the gorgeous savanna, complete with live animals. That’s right – from these rooms, you can have coffee on your balcony or patio and watch African animals going about their business. Rooms sleep 4, either with two queen sized beds or one queen sized bed and bunk beds.

Dining options include Boma, a buffet restaurant, Jiko: The Cooking Place, an upscale table service restaurant, a quick service location known as The Mara, a couple of bars, and room service. At nearby Kidani Village, which hosts the resort’s Villas, you can find Sanaa, a table service restaurant.

A pool with a slide, children’s area and whirlpools, an arcade, and a playground are onsite. However, many guests find themselves spending most of their time viewing the savanna and the giraffes, zebra, and other animals that roam here.

Complimentary bus transportation throughout Walt Disney World is offered at this resort.

BEACH CLUB

The lobby of the Beach Club at Christmas time

The Beach Club is themed to seaside resorts of yesteryear. Rooms average 400 square feet and offer two queen beds plus a daybed, or one double bed, a daybed, and a twin sleeper.

Dining options include Cape May Café, a seafood buffet, Beaches and Cream Soda Shop, a casual table service restaurant, the Beach Club Marketplace, a quick service eatery which doubles as the resort’s gift and sundries shop, a few bars, and room service. If this wasn’t enough, the Yacht Club and Boardwalk resorts are in walking distance, and offer many other dining options.

Stormalong Bay, a massive pool area, shared by the Beach Club and the Yacht Club, is a major reason to stay here. If you’re not in the mood for swimming, a children’s playground and arcade are onsite.

Transportation is available by bus to the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs, and both water parks. Epcot is only a five minute walk away, which makes this place a great place to stay during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. You can walk to Hollywood Studios in twenty minutes, but if that seems like too much after a full day of park going, a boat will take you there as well.

BOARDWALK INN

A standard room at the Boardwalk Inn

The Boardwalk Inn is themed to the boardwalks so popular at the turn of the twentieth century. Rooms average 434 square feet and feature two queen beds and a day bed, and a limited number of rooms with a king sized bed is available.

Dining options on the Boardwalk are plentiful. A few casual table service restaurant, the signature Flying Fish, bars and lounges, a Bakery, a Pizzeria, and room service are all available. Is this isn’t enough variety for you, the Beach Club and Yacht Club are a short walk away.

The Boardwalk has a lively nightlife scene, and in addition to the bars and lounges, you can swim in a pool themed towards an old fashioned amusement park, or enjoy one of two quiet pools and whirlpools.

Transportation is available by bus to the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs, and both water parks. Epcot is only a 10 minute stroll away, or you can enjoy a fifteen minute boat ride there. A walking path will get you to Hollywood Studios in about 18 minutes, or you can take a boat there as well.

CONTEMPORARY RESORT

Standard room at the Contemporary

The Contemporary Resort is a Walt Disney World original and was in operation on opening day. This resort is themed to be futuristic and modern. Rooms average 437 square feet and feature two queen sized beds and a day bed.

Dining options here include a coffee bar, a quick service location known as the Contempo Café, the signature California Grill which offers spectacular views from the top floor, a character buffet known as Chef Mickey’s, and a table service restaurant called The Wave. Room service is also available.

There are two pools, an interactive water fountain, 2 whirlpools, an arcade, and a playground. A variety of sports, including tennis, shuffleboard and bocce ball can be enjoyed here, and a marina offers boat rentals, cruises around Walt Disney World, and water sports.

You can walk to the Magic Kingdom in about 12 minutes, or take the monorail directly from the hotel’s lobby. Epcot is also reachable by monorail. Buses will take you to the remaining theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs.

GRAND FLORIDIAN

A view of the Grand Floridian from across the Lagoon

Known as Walt Disney World’s flagship resort, the Grand Floridian is themed towards the luxurious resorts which popped up on Florida’s coasts in the Victorian era. Rooms average 448 square feet and feature two queen beds with a day bed or one king sized bed and one queen sized sleeper sofa.

Dining options are plentiful here. 1900 Park Fare offers a character buffet, and three table service restaurants are available. In addition, there is the Garden View Tea Room for afternoon tea, the award winning signature restaurant Victoria and Albert’s, and a 24 hour quick service location known as Gasparilla Island Grill.

There are two pools, a children’s water play area based on Alice in Wonderland, a marina that offers boat rentals, and an arcade. You can also book a water cruise, a fishing excursion, enjoy the beach, and play both volleyball and tennis.

You can reach the Magic Kingdom by either monorail or boat. Epcot can be reached by either monorail or bus. Buses will take you to the remaining theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs.

POLYNESIAN VILLAGE

View of the Polynesian Village from across the Lagoon

The Polynesian Village is themed after a tropical paradise, with guest rooms located in longhouses named after various Polynesian Islands. Rooms average 404 square feet and feature two queen beds and a daybed, with a limited number of king sized beds available.

Dining includes Captain Cook’s, a quick service location, two table service restaurants, a sushi bar, a character breakfast, a full all-you-care-to-eat luau with entertainment, lounges and bars (including the insanely popular Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto), Pineapple Lanai, serving the Disney cult classic Dole Whip, and room service.

The pool area includes a volcano slide and a children’s splash zone. There is an arcade, and a marina offers boat rentals and water cruises. Fishing, a beach area, volleyball and a jogging trail are located on the property.

The monorail will take you to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. The Magic Kingdom is also accessible by boat. Buses take you to the remaining theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs.

WILDERNESS LODGE

A standard room at Wildness Lodge

Wilderness Lodge is themed after the lodges of our National Parks. Rooms average 340 square feet and feature two queen beds or one queen bed and bunk beds. Views of the woods and the hotel’s courtyard are available.

Dining includes the signature restaurant Artists Point, the casual table service restaurant Whispering Canyon Café, Geyser Point Bar and Grill, a couple of bars, and a quick service location known as Roaring Forks. Room service is also available.

The main pool features a water slide and a quiet pool is also available. There are two whirlpools, a children’s pool, a playground, and an arcade. A marina offers boat rentals, fishing, and a beach area. Bikes are available to rent and there is a jogging trail.

The Magic Kingdom can be reached on a lovely boat ride, and buses take you to the remaining theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs.

YACHT CLUB

Deluxe Resorts

A standard room at the Yacht Club

The Yacht Club is themed after New England seaside retreats. Rooms average 400 square feet and feature either two queen beds and a day bed or one queen bed and a twin sleeper.

Dining includes the Captain’s Grille, a table service location, (Editor’s Note: Captain’s Grille is under refurbishment and will be a new concept when it reopens, called Ale & Compass), to the signature restaurant called The Yachtman Steakhouse, and a trio of bars and lounges. Room service is also available, and the Beach Club and Boardwalk Inn, both within walking distance, have additional dining options.

Stormalong Bay, the massive pool area shared with the Beach Club, includes water slides and a sand bottom. A quiet pool is also available, as are seven whirlpools, a children’s playground, and an arcade.

Buses take you to the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs, and the water parks. It takes about 8 minutes to walk to Epcot, or you can enjoy a boat ride. It’s a 20 minute walk to Hollywood Studios, which is also accessible by boat.

Which of the Disney Deluxe Resorts is your favorite? Share why in the comments.

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