Home » Thinking About Staying at a Walt Disney World Deluxe Resort? Read This First!

    Thinking About Staying at a Walt Disney World Deluxe Resort? Read This First!

    Animal Kingdom Lodge

    Whether you exclusively stay at deluxe resorts or you are looking to splurge on your next visit to Walt Disney World, the options for where to stay within this category can be overwhelming. With so many things to consider when making the decision, between cost, theming, amenities, and more, it never hurts to do some research into which resort is right for you. 

    The solo-traveler: Animal Kingdom Lodge

    Animal Kingdom Lodge

    Image: Disney

    Solo trips to Walt Disney World are vastly underrated. Visiting the resort by yourself allows you to take all the time you like to really take in all of the details and enjoy spending time at your resort. Animal Kingdom Lodge is full of detail in its design making it an excellent choice for spending time alone. You will not feel like you need to constantly hold a conversation or find some other distraction while in the resort, as the lobby alone offers to many elements to look at including not only décor but also authentic artifacts.

    The resort’s recreational offerings include educational opportunities with cultural representatives, where guests can learn about various countries in Africa as well as the animals that live on the savannah. Other events include jewelry making and tours of other parts of the resort like Boma, where guests can learn about how design elements in the restaurant are inspired by authentic African architecture and history.

    All about the kids: Contemporary or BoardWalk Inn

    Disney's BoardWalk Inn

    Image: Brittany DiCologero

    Each Disney resort as you’d imagine has so much to offer families vacationing together. For the most “classic” family Disney trip on a deluxe resort budget however, staying at the Contemporary is a must. From Chef Mickey’s to the short walk to the Magic Kingdom, the Contemporary appeals to families visiting with kids by combining the convenience in location to the park with quintessential “Disney” experiences.

    Another excellent choice while visiting with the kids is Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. The BoardWalk is adjacent to Epcot’s International Gateway, and is accessible via a short walking path or by boat. And while at the BoardWalk, families can take part in recreational offerings like surrey rides, and enjoy family-friendly dining with the character breakfast at Trattoria al Forno. 

    For the honeymooners: Polynesian Village or Grand Floridian 

    Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

    Image: Brittany DiCologero

    Any deluxe resort can really be a perfect choice for a honeymoon stay, but two stand out in particular. For that classic Hawaiian beach vibe while still spending time at Walt Disney World, you can’t go wrong with the Polynesian Village Resort. Although you may not actually be spending the honeymoon at the beach, you’ll definitely get a feel for the islands. Learn how to dance the hula in the resort’s lobby, attend a luau, or splurge on a stay in one of the resort’s bungalow to enhance that Polynesian honeymoon feel.

    Speaking of splurging, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is really the ultimate splurge. If your honeymoon has been a long time coming or you are just looking to splurge a little extra to celebrate you and that someone special this may be the resort for you. The luxurious Victorian setting comes with all the modern amenities you’d crave while on your honeymoon while still retaining the elegant theming. The resort comes with an array of dining, shopping, and recreational experiences, as well as a full service spa for the ultimate post-wedding escape.

    Grandparent getaways: Yacht Club or Beach Club Resorts

    Yacht and Beach Club

    Image: Disney

    Both Disney’s Yacht Club and Beach Club Resorts can easily turn your average Disney trip into the perfect grandparent getaway. The themes of the resorts are classic yet intricately detailed allowing them to appeal to any guests who stay there. They are also within a short walking distance or boat ride to Epcot’s World Showcase, which is a favorite hangout spot for those grandparents getaway trips, especially during Epcot’s festival seasons like the International Food and Wine or Flower and Garden Festival. For the grandparents who don’t want to over-do it in the theme parks, the two resorts share Stormalong bay, which is arguably one of if not best pool complex on Walt Disney World property.

    For the budget-conscious: Wilderness Lodge/Animal Kingdom Lodge

    Wilderness Lodge

    Image: Disney

    “Deluxe” and “budget-conscious” are really not phrases that go together when choosing this level of resort at Walt Disney World. While there are some less expensive options, it probably is not best to think of these resorts as “budget-friendly” but more that they are the least expensive of the resorts in this category.

    Animal Kingdom Lodge is not necessarily always going to be the least expensive because it really depends on what kind of room you book. A savannah-view room at Animal Kingdom Lodge will be no bargain, and while a standard view room is by no means “cheap” it is one of the least expensive ways to stay at a deluxe resort. If you have your heart set on staying at a deluxe resort and can deal with missing out on a savannah view from your room, Animal Kingdom Lodge may be an excellent choice.

    The other “less expensive” option will be Wilderness Lodge, although mileage varies here based on a number of factors like the type of room and time of year that you visit. Occasionally room-only discounts are offered that make a stay in a standard room at the Wilderness Lodge somewhat more affordable, creating the time when you fill likely find the rates to be at their cheapest. A stay here will always come with deluxe prices, but with a deep enough room-only discount for a standard room you may find yourself taking advantage of a great deal for a resort that is nearby to the Magic Kingdom.

    For the family that needs more space: Deluxe Villas

    Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

    While only a few suites are offered in the other resort categories, Disney’s deluxe resorts (and Vacation Club resorts) offer full villas, complete with multiple bedrooms and kitchens. If you have the whole family coming with you, or you just want to be able to enjoy the extra space, narrow down your resort options based on location, price, and your interest in theming and go from there. Nearly all of the deluxe resorts offer some alternative for guests who need more space, and you are sure to find just the resort to suit your needs.