When taking a trip to Walt Disney World, your days spent within the parks can be rather full-on and sometimes it’s nice to take a day out to explore some of the other fantastic experiences that the mouse has to offer. Resort hopping is perhaps one of the best options when looking to take a slower day, while still keeping that Disney magic going.
For those who aren’t familiar, resort hopping is simply when you visit multiple resort hotels within Walt Disney World, exploring what they each individually offer, no ticket needed. Resort hopping allows you to stay within the Disney bubble, without having to enter a park and best of all it can be as cheap or expensive as you make it.
Visiting the resorts is free, so it simply comes down to whether you enjoy some sweet treats while you're there or whether you want to have a little splurge in the gift shops. With more than 25 resorts to choose from when planning where to visit, a day resort hopping can be truly tailored to you and your party - so without further ado, here are five reasons why you should spend a day experiencing the magic of the Walt Disney World resorts.
1. Take time to scope out your next stay...
Whether you’re a seasoned Walt Disney World pro or you’re embarking on your very first trip to the magic, resort hopping gives you the chance to, in a way, “try-before-you-buy” and will likely give you some great inspiration for your next trip. While you won’t be able to enter any of the rooms, you’ll be able to explore the resort grounds, check out the quick service dining locations and scope out the amenities, so that you’re well prepared and know exactly which resort is right for you when it comes round to booking that next exciting vacation. (It’s also worth noting that pool hopping is not permitted, but there is still plenty to see and do around the resorts!)
2. There’s extra magic that you won’t get in the parks…
Depending on what time of year you’re visiting, the Walt Disney World resorts often play host to their own unique events and activities that are open to all visitors. The Grand Floridian, for example, has seasonal experiences going on within their resort throughout the year. Easter time sees a number of beautifully intricate chocolate eggs on display for guests to gander at, while christmas time sees the iconic (and totally edible) giant gingerbread house stand proud within the lobby.
Animal Kingdom Lodge boasts its own private savannah so be on the lookout for some of your favorite animals, while the spooky season sees guests staying at Fort Wilderness go all-out with their unique halloween decorations (or you might prefer one of their fantastic golf-cart parades!)
3. …but there's also some additional magic on top of the things you DO get in the parks!
In addition to these little bits of extra magic, the resorts also offer their own extensions of a number of park-centric activities as well, such as surprise character meet and greets and pin-trading! Each resort also boasts their own gift shop, where you can sometimes even nab some of the more highly-coveted items that you can’t find in the parks, plus a lot of Walt Disney World resorts even have their own individual lines of merchandise, which can range from bathrobes to photo frames to tumblers and mugs.
4. The resorts have some of the best dining on property...
While the parks themselves may offer some fantastic dining opportunities, the Disney resorts actually boast some of the most popular dining spots on Disney property that come highly recommended by foodies everywhere. Whether you’re looking to go all out and try one of Disney’s signature locations, or whether you simply want to grab a light lunch while soaking up the atmosphere, you can guarantee that the resort restaurants will offer fantastic food with a side of incredible theming. (While a lot of the Disney resort restaurants offer mobile walk-up availability on the day that you visit, you’re best to try and nab a reservation if there is a specific restaurant that you’re keen to try.)
5. A day out of the parks doesn’t mean you have to miss the fireworks...
The three monorail resorts’ individual vantage points for Magic Kingdom’s fireworks are another fantastic perk of resort-hopping. Be sure to incorporate a visit to either Grand Floridian, Polynesian Village or Contemporary towards the end of your day and catch the fireworks from a different location - it may just wind up being your new favorite spot to view them! These resorts offer a unique, magical, and much less crowded experience, plus they even pump the music into a variety of locations around the grounds so you can truly experience the magic of the Disney’s Enchantment fireworks like never before.
Will you be spending a day resort-hopping on your next trip? Which Walt Disney World resorts do you want to visit?