This week, we here at Disney Addicts have given you a look at our favorite Walt Disney World Value and Moderate properties. To round out the series, we thought we’d help you get over hump day by turning our attention to Disney’s Deluxe properties. The creme de la creme of Disney World accommodation each of these incredible properties offers upscale accommodation, plentiful amenities, incredible dining experiences and more. That’s what made ranking this category so tricky. For first time Disney visitors considering a stay at a deluxe property we don’t think you can go wrong with any of the resorts on our list. However, in all our many travels, we have some clear frontrunners. You can check them out below.
7. Disney’s Contemporary Resort – Even though this classic Disney World monorail resort comes in at the bottom of our list, it does have an awful lot going for it. The monorail runs directly to the hotel making access to Magic Kingdom, Epcot and the other monorail properties a breeze. This is also the only park within walking distance of Magic Kingdom. The Contemporary also boasts incredible eateries whether it’s enjoying the theme park views from the California Grill or dining with your favorite Disney pals at Chef Mickey’s. However, a comment I frequently hear from guests staying here for the first time is that doesn’t seem to have that magical theming you get at some of the other properties. Rates can be expensive $600+ a night if opting to stay in the main building which means many guests go for the Garden Wing which is a separate annex. This can further add to that feeling of being slightly removed from the center of it all. However, rates for the Contemporary are frequently the most affordable of the monorail resorts making it more practical than the Grand Floridian or the Polynesian.
6. Disney’s Boardwalk Inn – One of three Epcot are resorts, the Boardwalk Inn offers at turn-of-the-century Atlantic City Boardwalk theme that is largely lost on families with small children. For this reason, I tend to recommend this property more for adults coming in for one of Epcot’s amazing festivals. Boardwalk does have a playful pool area with a circus theme but it doesn’t quite hold a candle to the excitement going on at Yacht and Beach Club’s Stormalong Bay. That being said, Boardwalk Inn can be a great place for adults looking for easy access to the theme parks with both Epcot and Hollywood Studios in close proximity. Its also a nice option for those who also appreciate a bit of nightlife. You have Jellyrolls duelling piano bar as well as the Atlantic Dance Hall just steps away. Rates here start at about $500 a night which is similar to what you’ll find at Epcot’s other Deluxe properties.
For more information on Disney’s Boardwalk Inn check out this article.
5. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa- There’s no doubt that this is Disney World’s most luxurious resort and that the property offers a pretty impressive array of dining, shopping and optional activities for families. Whether it’s indulging in a spa treatment at Senses, having breakfast with Mary Poppins, or treating yourself to a gourmet meal at Victoria & Alberts, a visit here is absolutely packed with magic. However, the biggest downside when it comes to a stay at the Grand Floridian is the expense which is why it ranked further down on our list. It’s not rare to spend in excess of $700 a night to call this property your home away from home. Another frequent complaint I hear about the Grand Floridian is that it is also a very spread out and with outer buildings providing the more affordable stay you can feel a bit removed from it all. For that once and a lifetime Disney splurge it’s the place to be but for those on a budget, it’s much better to hop the monorail and visit this property for an hour or two!
For more information on the Grand Floridian check out this article.
4. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – This incredible property styled after the great lodges of the Pacific Northwest is one of my family’s go-to Disney resorts. From the moment you walk into the rustic lobby with a roaring fireplace and towering totem poles you know you are somewhere truly special. Rooms are top-notch, the resort always has fun activities happening for kids of all ages and guests can also enjoy the new Geyser Point area of which offers beautiful views and tasty dishes. There’s a geyser that erupts every 20 minutes to the delight of kids and the Lodge is just a short boat ride away from the Magic Kingdom. It is also one of the most affordable of all Deluxe properties with rates starting in the $400 a night range. However, unlike the Epcot and Monorail properties, transportation to the other three theme parks is by bus only. This means you have to be willing to sacrifice a bit of convenience if opting to stay here.
3. Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts – These are technically two resorts that interconnect but for the purposes of our countdown, we find them to offer the same level of comfort, convenience and they share many of the same amenities. Either of these resorts offers a great introduction to Disney’s deluxe level of accommodation. There’s an amazing water play area dubbed Stormalong Bay where guests can take a dip in the sand-bottomed pool or float along on the lazy river. There is character dining with Daisy and friends at Cape May Cafe and you’ll fall in love with the traditional soda fountain Beaches & Cream. The resort is just a short walk or water taxi ride to Epcot and as well as Hollywood Studios so you also have the feeling of being in the heart of it all. Some guests may find the decor a bit sedate but what it lacks in theming it makes up for in amenities and convenience. Stays here typically start at around $500 a night.
2. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – This is hands down our favorite place to stay in all of Walt Disney World. Where else can you watch a giraffe pass by your bedroom window, scan the savannah during a night vision goggle demonstration or join an African drum circle for a bit of afternoon fun? Not only is this property absolutely breathtaking but its educational as visitors young and old and learn about the many animals that call this property home. The property also offers incredible dining from the African-inspired buffet at Boma to fine dining at Jiko. Animal Kingdom also has an incredible gift shop offering a range of Disney souvenir staples as well as some African arts and crafts. The only reason this property gets a bad rap is that it’s much further away from the theme parks than the other deluxes and transportation to all of the theme parks is by bus. However, that’s a small price to pay for staying in the heart of a beautiful wildlife preserve and we wish more first-time visitors would give it a try. The costs for a standard room here typically starts around $400 with rates getting closer to $550 for those looking for savannah views.
1.Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – When it comes to Disney deluxe accommodation, this property has it all. It’s on the monorail line making getting to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot a breeze. It offers incredible character dining at Ohana, delicious bites at Kona Cafe as well as the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show. Guests can also indulge in a tasty Dole Whip without having to head to the theme parks and Trader Sam’s serves up a mean cocktail and has to be our favorite bar in all of Disney World. Kids absolutely love the Volcano themed pool and adults love the fact you can watch Magic Kingdom’s fireworks from the resort’s sandy shores. The island theme is carried throughout the rooms making you feel like you are on a tropical island getaway. The guests rooms are housed in separate buildings but unlike the Contemporary and the Grand Floridian, you don’t feel so far away from the action. Though rooms typically start in the $600 range, this is a nice splurge for those looking for the Disney property that really has it all.
We hope we’ve managed to provide you with a bit of a taste of what each of Disney’s deluxe properties has to offer. As always, we want to remind you that our list is subjective and that you should always go with options that feel right for your family!
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