Here at Disney Addicts we’re always sharing tips and trips to help you get the most out of your days at the theme parks. But, what about visitors who are escaping to Orlando for a relaxing stay that doesn’t involve a visit to the Magic Kingdom or Epcot? Walt Disney World Resort can still be the perfect destination. Several of Disney’s properties are so choc-a-bloc with amenities and wonderful features that you can happily enjoy a resort only vacation brimming with Disney magic without hitting the parks.
With that in mind, we thought we’d share our 5 Favorite Resorts for resort only stays!
1. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – Whether your passing through town and looking for a place to stay for a night or are looking for a bit of Disney magic without the cost of the park tickets, Art of Animation can be the perfect retreat. Of all of Disney World’s onsite properties, its the biggest on Disney theming. The rooms are split into four sections themed after your favorite Disney and Pixar films including The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, The Lion King and Cars. This is a versatile property offering both single rooms (The Little Mermaid themed), as well as family suites which are perfect for larger families. Coming in at 565 square feet, the suites offer two bathrooms and a kitchenette making it perfect for those planning on spending a lot of time on property. Another highlight of the resort is the Big Blue Pool which holds over 308,527 gallons of water making it the largest hotel pool on Disney property. The resort also has a gift shop, playground, and a very popular food court called Landscapes of Flavor which serves up a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Costs for Standard Rooms usually come in at around $160 and Family Suites at $350 and up depending on the season.
2. Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground – The thing I love about Fort Wilderness is that it is a little world unto itself. It has lots of Disney magic throughout without feeling like your smack bang in the middle of Walt Disney World. This property offers campsites as well as RV hook-ups or for those that want to rough it (but only a little bit) there are the Cabins at Fort Wilderness which offer full kitchens and sleep up to 6 people. When it comes to amenities, this resort definitely comes out tops. There are amazing eateries like Trails End or the family favorite Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue dinner show. Guests can also opt to attend a BBQ with Mickey or roast marshmallows over a campfire with Chip and Dale. The Tri-Circle D Ranch is the home for many of the fantastic horses you see throughout the theme parks. Trail Rides and Carriage Tours are on offer. Guests can take a dip in the pool or book a Wilderness tour aboard your very own Segway. Cabins are upwards of $300 a night rack rate.
3. Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort – A stay at this Epcot Deluxe resort means you have everything you need right at your doorstep. This gorgeous sea-side themed property has an amazing outdoor pool area know as Stormalong Bay. The pool provides over 3 acres of water fun for the whole family including a sand-bottomed pool as well as a giant shipwreck replica with a 230-foot long waterslide. There’s also a lazy river and three Whirlpool spas found in the Bay. But that’s not all, you’re right across from Disney’s Boardwalk which is filled with shops, eateries and nighttime entertainment. You also have fun character dining options right at your doorstep and even a classic Soda Fountain that serves up the most amazing ice cream sundaes and floats. There’s so much to do at this waterfront playground that you won’t even miss the theme parks! Non-discounted rooms here usually start at $450 and up.
4. Disney’s Old Key West Resort – In my opinion, this original Disney World Disney Vacation Club Property is a hidden gem! You don’t need to be a timeshare member to stay here and you get to take advantage of all of the incredible facilities and activities that this property has to offer. From the lush surroundings and tropical elegance of this amazing resort to some of the largest villas you’ll find at Walt Disney World, there is a lot to love. Many of the villas come with delightful amenities like full kitchens, jacuzzi baths, and washers and dryers. There’s a fantastic watering hole called the Gurgling Suitcase where you can enjoy a Mai Tai. For those looking for a relaxing sit-down meal, Olivia’s is a fan favorite. The resort also offers a ferry to Disney Springs for those looking to do a bit of shopping and there’s also a Community Hall which offers an eclectic array of crafts, games and other fun activities throughout the day. The whole resort almost has a country club or gated community vibe to it and for golf lovers, Lake Buena Vista Golf Course also goes directly through the property. Studios at Old Key West typically start at around $500 increasing as you go into the 1 and 2 bedroom villa properties. However, Old Key West does tend to be one of the most affordable DVC properties and discounts are common.
5. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – I’ve often considered Animal Kingdom Lodge to be a destination in itself. At this remarkable deluxe property, you can actually see animals like giraffes and zebras stroll by your guestroom windows. Where else can you sunbathe next to a flamboyance of flamingos, learn about life in Africa from a cultural representative or watch animals being fed from one of the amazing lookout areas you’ll find here. That’s not all, the resort has incredible eateries from the Mara which offers quick bites on the go to Jiko which is one of Disney’s most-popular fine-dining restaurants. There’s also an incredible pool area complete with waterslide and a fun gift shop selling an amazing combination of Disney souvenirs and African goods. The resort activity calendar is also one of the busiest out of all Walt Disney World’s resorts. Kids can join an African drum circle, make brass rubbings or create their own Mickey Tie-dyed t-shirts. You never know what wonderful enriching experience is just around the corner. Finally, because the park sits on a wildlife reserve, it is far removed from the Disney hustle and bustle making you feel like your on an African retreat and not in the heart of Orlando. Rates here can start as low as $350 but usually, sit around the $500 a night mark for Savanna view rooms.
So next time you’re looking for a fun place to stay without the theme parks, don’t rule out some of these amazing Walt Disney World properties which in our opinion are destinations in themselves! Happy planning.
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If you find tips like these helpful, why not consider working with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I can help you find your perfect package, nab those hard to get dining and FastPass reservations and share my tips and tricks for helping you plan out your days at the parks. Best of all my services are absolutely FREE. There are no hidden costs and you’d pay the same as if you were to book through Disney. Get in touch at 1.800.801.4025, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow along on Facebook.
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