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Beyond Fantasy: A Practical Guide to Disney World’s Deluxe Resorts

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Disney World’s deluxe resorts grace the upper tier of the resort list, offering first-class amenities inside graceful theming. If you like the idea of swimming with a magically cascading teapot, watching animals on an African savannah from your room, or riding the Disney monorail, a deluxe resort might be the sprinkling of Disney magic you’re looking for.

But is the extra sprinkling of magic really worth the cost? Use our ultimate guide to Disney World deluxe resorts to decide.

Table of contents

What Is a Deluxe Resort at Disney World?

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To truly understand the magic of a deluxe hotel at Disney World, it’s important to understand a concept known as resort categories. Disney’s resorts are offered in three pricing levels.

  • The value tier holds some of the most Disney-inspired theming as well as the best rates.
  • Moderate resorts are a step up from their value cousins and offer more expansively themed grounds and slightly larger rooms.
  • Disney deluxe resorts offer Disney’s take on a luxury hotel. As such, they grace the upper echelon of pricing and may run you more than double the cost of a value or moderate room.

Disney World Deluxe Resort Amenities

What do you get for the upgraded cost of a deluxe resort at Disney World? A bigger room to start.

Disney deluxe resorts feature some of the largest hotel rooms on Disney World property. You’ll find queen beds are standard with most room types. Many resorts even offer an additional pullout twin bed.

Deluxe resorts are also the only Disney-owned accommodation to offer a true hotel experience with rooms that open into an enclosed hallway instead of an outside sidewalk or landing. To make it easier at the end of a long day in the parks, elevator service is standard across most Disney deluxe resorts as well.

Disney World Deluxe Resorts List

Like all Disney hotels, you’ll find inspired theming at Disney World deluxe resorts. Most accommodations are dedicated to a historical time period and geography, such as the Disney Fort Wilderness Lodge.

Disney Fort Wilderness Lodge takes its inspiration from the grand accommodations of our National Parks system, giving a particular nod to the soaring log structure near Old Faithful at Yellowstone. You’ll even find a replica of the world’s once most predictable geyser on the grounds. Other resorts, such as Disney’s Polynesian Village, bring the feel and culture of distant lands to your vacation experience, with lighted tiki torches and Hawaiian music.

The goal at a Disney deluxe resort is immersion. Disney aims to take you out of ordinary life and into a different time or setting. Despite the intrusion of modern conveniences, Disney meets this intention.

The grounds at each deluxe resort are meticulously manicured. Plants native to the time and era add to the theming as do the costumed cast members who do their best to stay in character.

What Is a Disney World Deluxe Villa?

A Disney World villa is a room inside one of Disney’s Vacation Club properties, often referred to as DVC. These studio, one- and two-bedroom units are available to Disney Vacation Club members, who purchase an ownership share in exchange for points. Points can then be utilized to book a stay at a deluxe villa resort.

Disney World deluxe villas occupy a space on the deluxe hotel tier because many rooms are available to general public for booking. In many cases, these properties share acreage with the Disney World deluxe resorts listed below, although 3 hotels are distinct and have their own grounds.

Deluxe Resorts List and Theming

  • Animal Kingdom Lodge: If you ever wanted to go on safari without leaving American shores, then Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge can deliver. Taking inspiration from the culture of Africa, this elaborately themed hotel offers intricately carved woodwork, a soaring lobby and rooms that face the plains where African animals actually live.
  • The Contemporary Resort: This is Walt’s view of the future, and fifty years later, The Contemporary Resort still delivers that modern vibe. This futuristic structure remains one of a kind with a monorail line running through the lobby.
  • Beach Club: Disney’s Beach Club Resort gives a nod to the grand New England coastal resorts that were prevalent around the turn of the last century. Nestled into the white sand beach of Crescent Lake, it’s the perfect place to relax and unwind.
  • Boardwalk Inn: Located across Crescent Bay from the Beach Club, the Boardwalk Inn shares the coastal vibe, this time taking you into the North Atlantic coast where boardwalks come alive at night with entertainment and a roller coaster-themed waterslide transports you to the Jersey shore.
  • Grand Floridian Resort: White clapboard siding topped by red roofs, this gingerbread village brings to life the finer side of Florida. If you enjoy the upscale living, complete with a pianist in the lobby, then you’ll love a stay at the Grand Floridian, one of Disney’s Flagship resorts.
  • Polynesian Village Resort: Travel to the islands of the south seas when you visit the Poynesian. This is one of Disney’s most immersively themed resorts, so exect to be treated like a cousin as all Polynesians do and soak up the Pacific sun.
  • Wilderness Lodge: Taking inspiration from the National Parks system, and Yellowstone in particular, this Disney resort transports you elegantly into the wild west, celebrating the old-world feel of the great lodges of the American Parks system.
  • Yacht Club: Located next to the Beach Club resort, this sister property kicks it up a notch on the ambiance, immersing you into the world of topsiders and polos. Expect to see the majority of the guests in shorts and t-shirts, however, as this boating-club inspired theming shares some of the more relaxed Beach Club vibe.

List of Disney World Deluxe Villas

  • Animal Kingdom Lodge and Kidani Village: Guests who want to experience the majesty of the Animal Kingdom Lodge Savanna can do so by also booking DVC rooms at Jambo House, the main lodge, or in a separate DVC resort located on the property: Kidani Village.
  • Bay Lake Towers: Sleek and modern, Bay Lake Towers joins Disney’s Contemporary Resort in delivering a modern twist to a Disney resort stay. Bay Lake Towers is located next door to the Contemporary and shares amenities with this original Disney resort.
  • Beach Club: Anyone seeking the historic vibes of Disney’s Beach Club resort can bunk in a one- or two-bedroom villa on the same property. Deluxe suites are also available.
  • Boardwalk Inn: Step back into the early 20th century New Jersey boardwalk and share amenities with the original Boardwalk Inn hotel at this Disney DVC property.
  • Boulder Ridge Villas: Disney’s Boulder Ridge Villas at Wilderness Lodge transport guests back to the 1860s railroad hotels of the American West, offering rustic charm with cozy, cabin-like accommodations
  • Copper Creek Villas: Located on the same property as Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Copper Creek Villas offer a blend of rustic elegance and modern comforts, featuring beautifully appointed accommodations with a nod to the Pacific Northwest’s rich heritage and natural beauty. Copper Creek shares grounds with Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
  • Grand Floridian Resort: Disney’s flagship Grand Floridian resort also offers DVC accommodations that exude the same Victorian elegance with rooms that are arguably more upscale than the original hotel.
  • Old Key West Resort: Old Key West is Disney’s first vacation club property built at Disney World, encapsulating the romance of the Florida Keys with spacious, light-filled villas and a tropical, laid-back vibe
  • Polynesian Village: Located right in the heart of the original Polynesian Village hotel are the Polynesian Villas. In fact, former long houses were revamped to create the Polynesian Villas. Three-bedroom overwater villas were also added to the lakshore.
  • Treehouse Villas: Technically considered part of Disney’s Old Key West resort, the Treehouse Villas tuck guests away inside a secluded retreat in the trees, with elevated octagonal homes that easily blend a rustic charm with modern amenities. These are rarely available for guest bookings.
  • Riviera Resort: Disney’s Riviera Resort is located directly across from the Caribbean Resort (moderate resort) and draws inspiration from the Mediterranean coast, delivering elegant accomodations with touches of European flair.
  • Saratoga Springs Resort: Inspired by historic Saratoga Springs—a renowned New York retreat famous for horse racing and restorative mineral springs, this Disney DVC resort is based on the affluent horse culture of the early 20th century.

Disney Deluxe Resort Room Types

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Standard rooms at Disney’s deluxe hotels can be separated into multiple categories based on room view:

  • Resort View: Rooms in this category can offer a range of views, from parking areas and rooftops to gardens and grassy areas.
  • Water View Rooms: Where resorts are located on or near water, rooms in this category feature lake views or pool views. Where no water feature is available, guest rooms will look out over resort pools.
  • Theme Park View: Some resorts are located close enough to a Disney World Park that guests may see elements of the park from rooms in this category. For instance, guests staying in a theme park room at Disney’s Grand Floridian or Polynesian Village, will see Cinderella’s Castle and the train station from across the lake.
  • Savanna View: Available only at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House and Kidani Village, these rooms offer views of the animals who live on the resort’s savannas.

Standard rooms at Disney’s deluxe hotels offer the following space and bed configuration options:

  • One king bed
  • 2 queen beds
  • 2 queen beds with a pull down or day bed

Aside from room views, Disney further differentiates room types by amenity level. Rooms in the categories below may come as a stadard room view, but will usually feature peaks at Disney’s elaborate grounds over parking areas.

  • Club Level Room: Guests who opt for club level rooms are treated to added amenities, such as a lounge that offers a comprehensive snack spread at breakfast and dinner, as well as concierge service for all you park hopping needs.
  • Suites provide more room for guests to spread out, often offering at least one additional room beyond the bedroom.

Disney Deluxe Villa Room Types

Rooms located at Disney’s deluxe villas may offer the same room views as Disney’s deluxe resorts when located on the same property as such. However, when operated as standalone property, such as Disney’s Old Key West and Saratoga springs, you may find that all rooms face water or landscaping. Regardless of the views available, all DVC resort offer the same space and bed configurations.

  • Deluxe studios feature a queen bed with a pull down bed
  • One Bedroom Villa features a king bed in a separate bedroom with a separate unified living room kitchen combo. The main area usually affords a pull out sofa or pull down bed and often a twin size sleeper chair.
  • 2 Bedroom Villa offers the same room configuration as the one-bedroom villa with an extra room attached. This room will usually feature 2 queen beds.
  • 3 Bedroom Grand Villas may differ slightly from one resort to another, but usually offer 3 bedrooms in addition to a separate living/kitchen area.

Disney World Deluxe Resorts Swimming Pools Ranked

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is availableas a package to Walt Disney World
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Similar to the mid-level moderate resorts, Disney World’s deluxe resorts offer a number of pools for guest enjoyment. One is richly themed to coordinate with the overall resort vibe, and the others offer a more peaceful place to rest and enjoy the water. In fact, they were once called “quiet pools” though Disney seems to be stepping away from this moniker.

The formerly named quiet pools may or may not have a lifeguard presence, but all will offer pool side towels. Some even offer a bath and shower house for changing into dry clothes, a nice amenity if you plan to spend some time pool side on your departure day after checking out of your room.

Since most “quiet pools” are similar, we’re ranking swimming pools at the Deluxe resorts according to the feature pool. Here’s what you can expect.

  1. Our first pick for Disney World deluxe resorts swimming pools would be Storm Along Bay shared by both the Beach Club and Yacht Club. This mini water park offers a lazy river, sandy beaches, a mild whirlpool and the chance to depart a pirate ship via a long and twisty waterslide.
  2. The Lava Pool at Polynesian Village takes our pick for the second best Disney World deluxe resort pool. Featuring a tiki-themed water play area and a water slide through a bubbling volcano, this vast themed area could only be enhanced by views of the Magic Kingdom across the Seven Seas Lagoon, with spectacular poolside views of the nightly fireworks displays.
  3. The Luna Park Pool at Boardwalk Inn has a slight edge over our next pick, but wins its place at number 3 for a few reasons. One is the overall theming, carrying through the Jersey shore feel to include the carnival themed feature pool area. Swim through the spouting trunks of spitting elephants, careen down the roller coaster slide or enjoy your favorite libations from a carousel-themed lounge. It’s always a fun and rousing time at Luna Park Pool.
  4. While we’re included to rank the pools at the Grand Floridian higher because of the beautiful surroundings, the feature pool here has a harder time keeping up with some of the entries above. However, the Beach Pool does incorporate a cascading teapot splash pad into picturesque theming featuring waterfalls and a walking bridge, perfect for snapping photos of your little ones (and big ones too) as they careen down the 181-foot waterslide. Cabanas are also available for rent if you plan to spend the day, offering a shady place to rest as you soak in views of the Seven-Seas Lagoon.
  5. The Uzima feature pool at Animal Kingdom Lodge is rich in detail, but offers a far more tranquil atmosphere than the entries ranked above. A 67-foot waterslide and natural beach area set this pool apart, but the real gem is the view of the Uzima savannah, featuring giraffes among other animals.
  6. Last on our list of Disney World deluxe resorts pools is the “Feature Pool” at the Contemporary. While this swimming hole once sported the iconic Mickey Mouse shape, a redesign expanded the area for more water access. You’ll have plenty of places to lounge in the sun or the shade and soak in the views of white sand beaches. For a bigger thrill, take a spin down the 17-foot high curving waterslide or visit the nearby splash pad. Cabanas are also available for rent. While you won’t find much in the way of elaborate theming, the Contemporary pool offers a nice respite from the hustle and bustle of the parks.

Dining at a Disney World Deluxe Resorts

Shrimp and grits, a specialty at Olivia's Cafe, located in Disney's Old Key West resort.
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Dining at Disney World’s deluxe resorts can be a magical experience in and of itself. In fact, we’ve found that some of the best restaurants in all of Mouse World call a deluxe resort home.

However, you won’t find a wide variety of quick service food at deluxe resorts. Most take-out dining is limited to one location, which usually offers refill drink mug stations and a refrigerator section for grab and go. Here is what you can expect for dining at each of the Disney World deluxe resorts.

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Quick Service Restaurants

Restaurant Name

The Mara

Sanaa (Kidani Village)

Pool Bars at Main resort pools

Food type

Classic breakfast dishes, traditional American fare spiced with flavors of Africa

Casual quick service breakfast

Table Service Dining

Boma

Sanaa

Jiko the Cooking Place

Sanaa (Kidani Village)

Buffet dining for breakfast and dinner spiced with flavors of Africa

A table-service experience for lunch and dinner, featuring African cooking with Indian flavors

Breakfast lunch and dinner featuring East African cuisine overlooking the savannah

Fragrantly spiced-food cooked in wood-burning ovens

Beach/Yacht Club

Quick Service Restaurants

Restaurant Name

Marketplace

Hurricane Hanna’s

The Market Ale & Compass

Food type

Classic breakfast dishes, traditional American sandwiches, grab and go items

Located poolside, featuring traditional sandwiches and snacks for lunch and dinner

Traditional breakfast, sandwiches and paninis

Table Service Dining

Ale & Compass

Beaches and Cream Soda Shop

Cape May Cafe

Yachtsman Steakhouse

New England comfort food and classic seafood dishes

Traditional burgers, dogs and ice cream served in a 1950s soda shop

Family-style breakfast or surf and turf dinner

Premium steakhouse also featuring seafood dishes

Boardwalk Inn and Villas

Quick Service Restaurants

Restaurant Name

Boardwalk Deli

Boardwalk Ice Cream

Pizza Window

Leaping Horse Libations

Food type

House-specialty salads, sandwiches, and baked goods

Ice cream shop located on Disney’s Boardwalk

Takeout pizza on the boardwalk

Sandwiches, snacks and cocktails served poolside

Table Service Dining

Big River Grille & Brewing Works

Trattoria al Forno

Flying Fish

Award-winning beers and fresh twists on American pub favorites

Regional Italian specialties and crowd-pleasing classics

Premium sustainable seafood and prime steaks 

Contemporary Resort & Bay Lake Tower

Quick Service Restaurants

Restaurant Name

Contempo Cafe

Contemporary Grounds

The Cove Bar and Sand Bar

Food type

Classic takeout for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Gourmet coffees, iced tea, hot chocolate, smoothies and assorted artisan baked goods

Poolside sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs

Table Service Dining

California Grill

Chef Mickey’s

Steakhouse 71

California inspired cuisine overlooking Seven Seas Lagoon

Character dining featuring traditional dishes served family style

Some of Walt’s favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes, including prime rib hash or dry-aged bone in pork chop

Grand Floridian & Villas at Grand Floridian

Quick Service Restaurants

Restaurant Name

Gasparilla Island Grill

Courtyard pool bar

Food type

Traditional breakfast, artisan burgers, sandwiches, and pizza

Smattering of sandwiches with cocktails and drinks

Table Service Dining

1900 Park Fare

Citrico’s

Chef’s Table at Victoria & Albert’s

Dining Room at Victoria & Albert’s

Grand Floridian Cafe

Narcoossee’s

Queen Victoria’s Room at Victoria & Albert’s

Breakfast and dinner buffets inspired by Disney characters

Florida cuisine with a Mediterranean influence

Disney’s world-class culinary team iersonally prepares your one-of-a-kind feast

Indulge in 2 tasting menus prepared by artisan chefs

Casual mix of breakfast and lunch favorite, addition of steak, chicken and fish at dinner

Seafood, steak and more in a waterfront hideaway

Dine on conteporary American cuisine in the tradition of the bygone Victorian era

Burgers, salads, desserts, snacks and beverages grab and go style

Pizza, sandwiches, salads and sweet treats served poolside

Table Service Dining

Olivia’s Cafe

Hearty home cooking with a taste of the Florida Keys

Polynesian Village & Villas

Quick Service Restaurants

Restaurant Name

Barefoot Pool Bar

Captain Cook’s

Kona Island

Oasis Bar and Grill

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

Food type

Traditional lounge appetizers served poolside

Adventurous assortment of sandwiches, salads and breakfast items

Grab and go pastries and sushi

Traditional lounge appetizers served poolside

Specialty cocktails and no-booze brews served up with Polynesian inspired appetizers

Table Service Dining

Kona Cafe

O’hana

Traditional American meals infused with Asian zest; sushi

Traditional breakfast or Polynesian wood-fire cooked dinner

Quick Service Restaurants

Bar Riva

Le Petit Cafe

Primo Piatto

Poolside snacks and sandwiches

Coffee and baked goods

Quick snack or casual meal of sandwiches, salads, beer, wine and more

Table Service Dining

Topolino’s Terrace

French and Italian cuisine at dinner/character breakfast

Quick Service

The Artist’s Palette

Backstretch Pool Bar

Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Cafe

On the Rocks Pool Bar

The Paddock Grill

gourmet sandwiches, salads and grab ’n’ go items with traditional breakfast fare

Poolside snacks including ice cream, pretzels and nachos with beer and wine

Deli-style sandwiches, snacks and refreshing beverages—combos available

frozen or on-the-rocks cocktails, draft beer, sangria or wine, non-alcoholic beverages

classic breakfast fare ot savor American favorites like the Saratoga Burger, cobb salad and sandwiches got lunch and dinner

Table Service Dining

The Turf Club Bar and Grill

Classic American cuisine in a racetrack clubhouse setting

Quick Service Restaurants

Geyser Point Bar & Grill

Roaring Fork

Pub fare, sandwiches and beverages served poolside

Traditional breakfast dishes/burgers, sandwiches and barbecue for lunch and dinner

Table Service Dining

Storybook Dining at Artist Point

Whispering Canyon Cafe

Individual plated entrees with shared starters and desserts, punctuated by Snow White, Dopey and Grumpy

Hearty western fare served up chuckwagon style and all-you-care-to-eat

Should I Book a Deluxe Resort? Advantages and Disadvantages of a Disney World Deluxe Resort Stay

view of Bay Lake from the upper floor of a Grand Floridian room, a Disney deluxe resort
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When it comes to your Disney World budget, deluxe resorts are on the high end of the scale for certain but do offer some of the best in Disney deals, by the way of larger discounts. It’s common to see rack rates at Disney World deluxe resorts discounted as much as 30% compared to the 20% discounts associated with value and moderate resorts.

If you’re still on the fence about whether a Disney deluxe resort is worth the extra cost, here are some questions to ask:

  • Do I need or want to be on the monorail line? If so, you’ll have to stay at a deluxe resort.
  • Do any members of my party plan to spend significant time at the resort? If so, the grounds of a deluxe resort can offer a nice area for exploration. Most resorts also offer small balconies for enjoying the outdoors from your room.
  • Do I need a variety of quick-service options or do I plan to take most of my meals from table service restaurants? Most deluxe resorts offer a variety of table service restaurants but are limited in their quick-service fare.
  • How many beds do I need? Most Disney deluxe resorts sleep five.
  • How fond am I of special touches? If you like the feel and allure of a little pampering, a Disney deluxe resort offers the finest amenities of all Disney accommodations. Disney’s Grand Floridian, for example, provides bath robes and an in-mirror television in the bathroom. A spa is also located on the grounds for a nice respite from the crowds and noise.
  • What’s my Disney World vacation budget? Deluxe resorts can come in at 2 times the cost or more of a moderate resort stay.

Disney resort collection 2

The Absolute Biggest Perk of a Disney World Deluxe Resorts Stay

So far, we’ve covered the extra sprinkling of magic you might enjoy with a deluxe resorts stay. We certainly appreciate the bigger rooms and special amenities, but there is now a really big reason for choosing a deluxe resort over a moderate or value, and it’s called Extended Evening Theme Park Hours.

Beginning with the opening of the 50th Anniversary Celebration in October 2021, Disney began offering deluxe resort guests this special perk. Several days a week, guests staying at one of the following resorts will have the opportunity to enter or stay at a select theme park for 2 extra hours.

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

Other Select Hotels

  • Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
  • Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
  • Walt Disney World Swan Reserve
  • Shades of Green® on Walt Disney World®

Disney Vacation Club properties are also included in this list.

Currently, Extended Evening Theme Park Hours are only being offered at EPCOT and Magic Kingdom, but as you can imagine, narrowing park entry to this select group of individuals has the power to drastically reduce waits on popular lines. In fact, early reports indicate that waits at Epcot were 20 minutes or less, and that includes headliner attractions, such as Test Track and Frozen.

Selecting the Right Disney Deluxe Resort – A Deluxe resort guide

Directional sign pointing the way to Boardwalk Inn, a Disney deluxe resort, and Disney Studios
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Disney World’s deluxe resorts offer a variety of theming, so each has a different look and feel. Room sizes can also vary as do in-room amenities.

Most Disney World Deluxe resorts offer two room types: regular and club level. By booking a regular room stay, you’ll have access to all resort amenities as well as the room features included in our guide below. However, by upgrading the cost of your room to include club level accommodations, you’ll be raising the experience bar, so it’s necessary to add a note about club level rooms before diving into our complete Disney World Deluxe resort guide.

Understanding Club Level Accommodations

If special touches and services are really important, you may want to consider booking a club level room at one of the deluxe resorts. At club level, your room is on a floor with restricted access. You’ll receive special concierge service in booking everything from advanced dining reservations, shows, tours and special attractions.

There is also a small food service area that offers a daily continental breakfast as well as beverages and snacks throughout the day. Each evening, appetizers and drinks are served, including a selection of alcoholic beverages.

Most room amenities are on par with non-club level rooms at the resort. You’ll find the same number of beds and room configurations, but in some cases, spaces will be larger. Nightly turn-down service is also part of the bargain.

Disney World Deluxe Resort Room Guide

Selecting the Disney World deluxe resort that’s right for you depends upon your preferences and your budget. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to give you the quick run-down on Disney’s deluxe resorts, including floor plans for the most popular room types, pictures and information to help you make the right choice for your visit. Before we di

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

A Christmas tree on display at Animal Kingdom lodge Jambo House Lobby
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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge takes you from the ordinary cares of the day straight into the heart of an African savannah. Accommodations are split between Jambo house and Kidani village.

At Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House, individual buildings are connected in a horseshoe shape resembling an African kraal. In Africa, a kraal is an enclosure for cattle or livestock, but you’ll find that Animal Kingdom Lodge is no stock pen.

The three-story open lobby is richly inspired by African design. It could take you your entire vacation to notice all of the intricate touches that bring warmth and charm to this foreign world.

Expansive “log” columns look to be bound together by rope, holding up the wood paneled ceiling and decorative fretwork. Leaping animals highlight the balcony railings and native artwork add to the old-world African feel.

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If, after walking through the lobby, you still don’t feel like you’re in Africa, look outside the floor-to-ceiling windows to the savannah beyond. According to Disney, it’s home to 200 hoofed animals and birds.

The lodge is one of Disney’s most immersive theming experiences. For an additional charge, you can book a savannah view room and watch the animals directly from your private balcony.

Animal Kingdom Lodge – Deluxe Resort Room Types

Room category

Standard view

Pool view

Savannah view

Room view

Parking lot or roof top views

Views of pool or garden waterways

View onto one of the resort’s savannahs where animals live

Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House Room Stats and Configurations

Floor plan of a typical Animal Kingdom Jambo House room, a Disney deluxe resort.
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Average Room size: 334 square feet

Rack rates start at $434/night

Standard View (parking lot) Room configurations

  • 2 queen size beds
  • 1 king bed

Pool View Room Configurations

  • 2 queen beds
  • 1 king bed
  • 1 queen, 1 bunk bed

Savannah View Room Configurations

  • 2 queen size beds
  • 1 queen, 1 bunk bed

All rooms accommodate 2-4 people depending on type. For an upgraded charge, guests can book a Club Level room (see above for full explanation).

Animal Kingdom Lodge also features DVC rooms. These accommodations offer the same views as the regular rooms but come in different configurations. 

For more detailed information on staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, read the review of our stay at Animal Kingdom Kidani Village.

Disney Transportation Options Animal Kingdom Lodge

Animal Kingdom offers complimentary transportation to all Disney World parks:

  • Animal Kingdom: Bus
  • Disney Studios: Bus
  • EPCOT: Bus
  • Magic Kingdom: Bus

Disney Minnie Vans may also be acquired for an additional fee-TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED.

Advantages of Animal Kingdom Lodge

  • Savannah view rooms allow you to watch animals from your own private balcony
  • Rich theming and abundant recreation opportunities

Disadvantages

  • Remote location at the southern most edge of Disney property
  • Little in the way of quick service dining options, particularly at Kidani Village
  • Rooms are not as luxurious-feeling as other deluxe resorts, though the public areas are above par

Disney’s Beach Club Deluxe Resort

Pastel blue building at the Beach Club, a Disney deluxe resort.
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Photo courtesy of Christian Lambert Photography

The Beach Club is one of our favorite resorts. Located on the white-sand shores of Crescent Lake, the Beach Club replicates the grand hotels that used to dot the New England seaboard around the turn-of-the-last century. Sadly, many are gone now, lost to the ravages of time or fire, so the Beach Club is a particularly welcome addition to the Disney World deluxe resorts lineup as it brings back the nostalgia of days gone by.

Decked in shades of white, blue and grey, the Beach Club exudes calm after a busy day traversing the parks. Rooms are comfortably appointed and a pleasant size, easily accommodating a family of 5.

The Beach Club, and its sister resort The Yacht Club, are the only accommodations featuring a water park. Access is fortunately restricted to hotel guests, as young children can easily spend a day there, making it a crowded place during peak travel seasons.

If drier pursuits are your forte, an easy stroll around the lake affords pleasant breezes. For those looking for something more active, rent a surrey bike or boat from the marina.

Rooms at the beach club are plainer than some other accommodations in this range, most notably Animal Kingdom, but are pleasantly decorated, keeping with an upscale beachy theme.

Beach Club Room Category

Standard

Garden

Water

Beach Club Room View

Parking lot or rooftop views. Some will feature grass or greenery up front with parking lots beyond. Others, overlook the busy bag check area and can be quite noisy.

Peaceful views of landscaping or woods

Rooms overlook pools or offer views of Crescent Lake

If you plan to spend any time in your room enjoying the scenery, by all means, upgrade at least to a garden view room.  Here, you will be able to enjoy some native plant life from both Florida and the northeast as well as any wildlife that calls the resort home. Ducks are common.

For the best in scenery, go ahead and splurge on the water view rooms. Your room will overlook one of the pools or the lake and many provide glimpses of EPCOT.

Advantages of the Beach Club

  • Peaceful Lakeside ambiance
  • Easy walking distance to EPCOT and the Skyliner
  • Moderate walking distance to Disney Studios
  • Stormalong Bay, a private water park for resort guests

Disadvantages of the Beach Club

  • Some garden view rooms overlook ugly roof tops
  • Not all rooms have balconies
  • Boat service to and from Disney Studios can be crowded at opening and closings with long waits
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The Beach Club is a throwback to turn-of-the century charm on the East Coast.

Beach Club Room Stats and Configurations

Beach Club Disney deluxe resort floor plan
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Average Room size: 381 square feet

Rack rates start at $504/night

Standard, Garden and Water View Room configurations

Option 1:

  • 2 queen beds
  • 1 day bed

Option 2:            2 queen beds

Option 3:            1 king bed

Option 4:           

  •  1 king bed
  • 1 daybed

Deluxe Room Configurations

  • 2 queen size beds
  • 1 queen sleeper sofa with daybed

Deluxe rooms are larger than standard room types and can be reserved with either standard, garden or water views. All rooms accommodate 5-6 people depending on type.

For an upgraded charge, guests can book a Club Level room (see above for full explanation).

Disney Transportation Options from the Beach Club

  • Animal Kingdom: bus
  • Disney Studios: Boat or 20-minute walk. Skyliner coming fall 2019.
  • EPCOT: Boat or 10-minute walk
  • Magic Kingdom: Bus
  • Disney Springs and water parks: Bus

Disney Minnie Vans may also be acquired for an additional fee.


Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Deluxe Resort

While charming and quaint, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn is a confusing jumble of buildings designed to evoke the feel of the turn-of-the-century Atlantic City boardwalk. The resort is located on Crescent Lake adjacent to the Beach and Yacht Club. It carriers a similar style and appeal. When on the boardwalk surrounding the lake, you’ll feel the electricity of the carnival-like atmosphere. Several restaurants line the board walk and keep this area hopping well into the night. It’s great for night owls and party-goers, but if you like your quiet after a long day in the park, opt for a room at the back side of the resort. This is where life winds down and peaceful gardens soothe you into pleasant summer evenings.

Exterior of the Boardwalk Inn, a Deluxe hotel on the Disney World resorts list
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Many rooms at the Boardwalk Inn overlook the boardwalk area that gives the resort its name

It isn’t easy to find your way around the Boardwalk, which may be one of the reasons for its lack of popularity. The Boardwalk is usually the last of Disney’s deluxe resorts to hit full vacancy, so if you arrive late to book a Disney hotel deal, this may be where you wind up staying. That’s not a bad thing once you find your way around. The grounds are beautiful, and the rooms pleasantly appointed.  Just make sure to keep your map handy for the first few days.

Advantages of the Boardwalk Inn

  • Peaceful Lakeside ambiance
  • Easy walking distance to EPCOT, and in fall 2019, the Skyliner
  • Moderate walking distance to Disney Studios
  • Lively boardwalk atmosphere and access to several restaurant options

Disadvantages of the Boardwalk Inn

  • Confusing, rambling design makes it hard to navigate
  • Rooms overlooking the boardwalk can be loud at night

Boardwalk Inn Room Stats and Configurations

Boardwalk Inn floor plan, a Disney deluxe resort
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Average Room
size: 381 square feet

Rack rates start at $555/night

Standard, Garden and Water View Room configurations

Option 1:

  • 2 queen beds
  • 1 day bed

Option 2:

  • 2 queen beds

Option 3:

  • 1 king bed

Option 4:

  • 1 king bed
  • 1 daybed

Deluxe Room Configurations

  • 2 queen size beds
  • 1 queen sleeper sofa

Deluxe rooms are larger than standard room types and can be reserved with either standard, garden or water views. All rooms accommodate 5-6 people depending on type.

For an upgraded charge, guests can book a Club Level room (see above for full explanation).

Disney Transportation Options from the Boardwalk Inn

The Boardwalk Inn offers complimentary transportation to all Disney World parks:

  • Animal Kingdom: Bus
  • Disney Studios: Boat or 15-minute walk. Skyliner coming fall 2019.
  • EPCOT: boat or 5-minute walk
  • Magic Kingdom: Bust

Disney Minnie Vans may also be acquired for an additional fee.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Exterior shot of Disney Contemporary resort at night.
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Image courtesy of Christian Lambert, one of our favorite Disney World photographers

The Contemporary Resort, situated on the shores of Crescent Lake, is one of Disney’s original hotels. Opened in 1971, the Contemporary proudly displays its pioneering status as a white alabaster concourse for the Magic Kingdom monorail line.

Inside, expect rooms to live up to the institution’s name. Sleek, cool and modern are the words of the day, making a relaxing and hospitable environment after trekking through the parks.

You’ll find that great care has gone into the 2013 redesign of the Contemporary interior. Pull down day beds add extra sleeping space at night but fold out of the way to make room for daily activities. A small kitchenette makes a convenient place for storing bottled beverages or even brushing teeth if the bathroom is in use.

On the downside, the grounds at the contemporary are nearly non-existent. While neighboring properties, such as the Grand Floridian, feature extensively groomed landscapes and pleasant walking paths, much of the Contemporary’s terrain was consumed by Bay Lake Towers, a recent addition to the DVC lineup.

It leaves the Contemporary feeling a bit of a leftover instead of the icon of Disney innovation that it is. Rooms are still sought after, however, thanks to the resort’s location on the beach and access to the monorail line from inside the Grand Concourse, the Contemporary remains in demand.

Rooms are situated in either the iconic A-frame structure or in one of the outlying buildings, known as Garden Wings, and offer standard, garden, water or theme park views. You can expect to pay a couple hundred dollars more a night for the latter over the cost of a standard view room.

One major drawback to this resort is the noise. More than one guest who has stayed in the main building has been kept awake or awoken early by either the monorail, or the party-like atmosphere of Chef Mickey’s restaurant, a character meal offered in the open portion of the resort.

On the up side, water view rooms have a magnificent view, particularly from the upper floors. Rooms with views of Magic Kingdom are also available.

Advantages of Disney’s Contemporary Resort

  • On the monorail line – A monorail runs through it!
  • Great views from lakeside rooms
  • Walking distance to Magic Kingdom
  • Historical resort as one of Disney World’s originals
  • Theme park view rooms available

Disadvantages of the Disney’s Contemporary Resort

  • Rooms in the main building can be loud thanks to the monorail and Chef Mickeys
  • Limited exterior grounds

Disney Contemporary Room Stats and Configurations

Floor plan of a typical room at the Contemporary, a Disney deluxe resort.
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Average Room size: 394 square feet

Rack rates start at $518/night

Garden Wing Room Configurations

Option 1:

  • 2 queen beds
  • 1 day bed

Option 2:

  • 1 king bed
  • 1 daybed

Garden Wing Deluxe Room Configurations

  • 1 king bed
  • 1 queen sleeper sofa

Deluxe rooms
are larger than standard room types and can be reserved with either standard, garden or water views.

Main Tower Room

  • 2 queen beds
  • 1 day bed

Option 2:

  • 1 king bed
  • 1 queen sleeper sofa

All rooms accommodate
5-6 people depending on type. For an
upgraded charge, guests can book a Club Level room (see above for full explanation).

Disney Transportation Options from the Contemporary

The Contemporary offers complimentary transportation to all Disney World parks:

  • Animal Kingdom: Bus
  • Disney Studios: Bus
  • EPCOT: Monorail
  • Magic Kingdom: Monorail or 5-minute walk

Disney Minnie Vans may also be available for an additional fee.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

The Grand Floridian as viewed from the walkway leading to the Polynesian Resort.
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The Grand Floridian is one of our favorite resorts by far. If you’ve come to be pampered, you’ve come to the right place. Disney considers the Grand Floridian to be its flagship resort, and doing so, has pulled out all of the stops. Similar to other resorts in this class, the construction is patterned after a time and place.  In this case, that’s Victorian era Palm Beach, a heyday of jazz and upscale elegance.

You’ll find a similar atmosphere inside the lobby where live music is performed nightly, and at night, men and women push aside casual attire for more formal garb.

If you’re afraid you’ll stand out in your tennis shoes and shorts, don’t be. You’ll find plenty of vacation-goers returning from a day in the park as well.

Sparkle and splendor aside, the Grand Floridian offers a down-home charm. It’s Disney the way Disney used to be before growing crowds pushed aside individual niceties. Expect cast members to smile and greet you in passing and to be treated with partiality.

Rooms at the Grand Floridian are nicely appointed, but not a grand step up from other resorts, considering the increase in price. You’re paying for atmosphere at the Grand Floridian, and you’ll receive it, with plenty of special touches. You’ll also revel in plenty of space with some of the largest rooms on Disney property.

Rooms are situated in either the main lobby building or in one of the outer buildings. They offer garden, water and theme park views.

Advantages of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

  • Friendly, helpful cast members, including a lobby greeter
  • Beautiful grounds and jogging path to the Polynesian
  • On the monorail line
  • Ample restaurant options
  • Theme park view rooms available

Disadvantages of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

  • Cost – highest nightly charge but not much trade off compared to other Disney deluxe resorts

Disney Grand Floridian Resort and Spa Room Stats and Configurations

Interior shot of a Grand Floridian dormer room
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Floor plan for a queen bed room at the Grand Floridian, a Disney deluxe resort
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Average Room size: 440 square feet

Rack rates start at $737/night

Three room configurations are offered for all Grand Floridian rooms

Option 1:

  • 2 queen size beds
  • 1 day bed/sofa bed

Option 2:

  • 1 king bed
  • 1 daybed

Option 3:

  • 2 queen beds

All rooms accommodate up to 5 people depending on type.

For an upgraded charge, guests can book a Club Level room (see above for full explanation).

Disney Transportation Options from the Grand Floridian

The Grand Floridian offers complimentary transportation to all Disney World parks:

  • Animal Kingdom: Bus
  • Disney Studios: Bus
  • EPCOT: Bus
  • Magic Kingdom: Monorail or boat

Disney Minnie Vans may also be acquired for an additional fee.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Polynesian village
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We’ve stayed at the Polynesian many times. Its location on the monorail makes it a convenient destination at a more affordable price than the Grand Floridian. Its South Seas flavor also appeals to many.

Grounds at the Polynesian are some of the most pleasant of Disney’s deluxe resorts. Expect to find much in the way of flora and fauna native to the Polynesian Islands as well as distinctive décor designed to evoke the easy, laid back feel of a Hawaiian vacation.

A favorite with the kids, the poolside volcano plummets you through the depths of a rumbling caldera via a friendly waterslide. It’s also one of two places on Disney property where you can see the backside of water. Speaking of the pool, it’s also a great place to catch the nightly fireworks over Magic Kingdom, but if quiet and seclusion is more your style, consider renting a cabana at the
smaller pool.

Another advantage to the Polynesian is its close access to the Transportation Ticket Center.  If your room is situated on the east side of the resort, you’ll have quick access to both the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT monorail lines via the TTC.

Resort rooms are housed in buildings known as long houses, furthering the Polynesian feel. Regular rooms are spacious and bright but expect to lose some of that space if you’re nested in a DVC deluxe studio.

Recent renovations adding DVC amenities to the resort doubled up on bathrooms and doubled down on living space. It’s a fair trade-off but can leave you feeling a bit cramped if you’re trying to house 4 people in a room.

Rooms at the Polynesian offer garden, lagoon or theme park views.

Advantages of Disney Polynesian Village

  • Large, spacious rooms
  • DVC deluxe suites have two bathrooms
  • Extensive grounds and beach area
  • Magic Kingdom fireworks can be viewed poolside
  • On the monorail line
  • Easy access to Transportation Ticket Center

Disadvantages of Disney Polynesian Village

  • Cost – rack rates are the second highest of any Disney deluxe resort

Disney Polynesian Village Room Stats and Configurations

Floor plan for a standard room at the Polynesian Village, a Disney deluxe resort
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Average Room size: 409-422 square feet

Rack rates start at $618/night depending on travel dates

Rooms at the Polynesian offer the following configuration:

  • 2 queen size beds
  • 1 day bed

All rooms accommodate up to 5 people.

For an upgraded charge, guests can book a Club Level room (see above for full explanation).

Disney Transportation Options for Polynesian Village

The Polynesia offers complimentary transportation to all Disney World parks:

  • Animal Kingdom: Bus
  • Disney Studios: Bus
  • EPCOT: Monorail
  • Magic Kingdom: Monorail

Disney Minnie Vans may also be available for an additional fee.


Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Wilderness Lodge
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The Wilderness Lodge transports guests to the great Northwest, where timber towers tall and nights are star-studded. While you may not experience either at Wilderness Lodge, imagineers have done a pretty good job of making you feel like you will.

Wilderness Lodge Lobby
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The towering lobby is the most impressive part about the resort. Lodgepole pine imported from Oregon stretches 8 floors to the ceiling where remarkable post and beam construction really makes the space feel like the old west.

One of the most alluring features is the 82-foot fireplace where guests can relax and recharge or warm up on some of those cooler Florida days. Totem poles as tall as 55 feet and old-west themed amenities round out the score. Outside, the grounds inspire relaxation. Water plays a major role in the ambiance, from the lapping shores of bay lake to the beautiful Silver Creek which feeds the resorts own predictable
geyser.

Rooms are on the smaller size for Disney deluxe resorts, but that hasn’t stopped Wilderness Lodge from receiving its own fan-formed website as well as a strong following of repeat visitors. Perhaps because it has one of the lowest rack rates of any Disney deluxe resort.

Advantages Disney Wilderness Lodge

  • Remote and Peaceful atmosphere lakeside
  • Old Faithful geyser replica
  • Two cars from Walt Disney’s personal train are on display

Disadvantages Disney Wilderness Lodge

  • Small room size – Most rooms accommodate only four people

Wilderness LodgeRoom Stats and Configurations

Floor plan for a typical queen-bed room at Wilderness Lodge, a Disney deluxe resort
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Average Room size: 344 square feet

Rack rates start at $424/night depending on travel dates

Rooms at the Wilderness Lodge offer the following configuration: Option 1: 2 queen size beds

Option 2: 1 king bed

Option 3: 1 queen bed and 1 bunk bed

All rooms accommodate up to 5 people.

For an upgraded charge, guests can book a Club Level room (see above for full explanation).


Disney Transportation Options for Wilderness Lodge

Wilderness Lodge offers complimentary transportation to all Disney World parks:

  • Animal Kingdom: Bus
  • Disney Studios: Bus
  • EPCOT: Bus
  • Magic Kingdom: Boat

Disney Minnie Vans may also be acquired for an additional fee.


Disney’s Yacht Club

Exterior view of the Yacht Club, a Disney deluxe resort
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Image courtesy of Christian Lambert Photography

Considered the sister site to Disney’s Beach Club, many find little to differentiate the more staid Yacht Club from its lighthearted neighbor. But therein lies the difference.

Though the construction is similar to the Beach Club, the Yacht Club’s inner ambiance evokes seersucker and boat shoes. Stepping outside, you expect to see a regatta underway and tall sails lifted to the wind.

That attitude is further enhanced by the in-residence Yachtsman Steakhouse, one of only a handful of restaurants on Disney property with a dress code. While jackets are optional, collared shirts for men and capris, dresses or dress shorts for women are required attire.

Guests of the Yacht Club also have access to Stormalong Bay, the outdoor water park shared with the Beach Club. Another perk of this resort, and one it can lord over its more well-known sister Beach Club, is its closer proximity to the water taxi station. It’s an amenity you’ll really appreciate after a long day at Disney Studios or EPCOT.

Overall, you’ll find a nautical theme throughout the resort, including the ample-sized rooms. You’ll also find this resort pet friendly, with special accommodations for Fido. That’s always a win in our books, though keep in mind that your friendly pooch is not permitted in the parks.

Disney Yacht Club Advantages:

  • Peaceful lakeside ambiance
  • Pet-friendly accommodations
  • Walking distance to EPCOT’s international gateway and Disney Studios
  • Stormalong Bay, a private water park reserved for resort guests
  • All rooms have balconies

Disney Yacht Club Disadvantages:

  • Some guests find the decor and ambiance stuffy
  • You’ll need to trek over to the Beach Club for quick service meals or to get a refill on your refillable mug

Disney Yacht Club Room Stats and Configurations

yacht Club 1
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Rooms are available with standard, garden or water views. Average Room size: 381 square feet Rack rates start at $504/night
depending on travel dates

Rooms at the Yacht Club offer the following configurations:

Option 1:

  • 2 queen size beds
  • 1 day bed

Option 2:

  • 1 king bed

Option 3:

  • 1 queen bed
  • 1 twin-sized sleeper chair
  • 1 day bed

Option 4:

  • 1 king bed
  • 1 day bed

All rooms accommodate up to 5 people depending upon configuration.

For an upgraded charge, guests can book a Club Level room (see above for full explanation).


Disney Transportation Options from the Yacht Club

Yacht Club
offers complimentary transportation to all Disney World parks:

  • Animal Kingdom: Bus
  • Disney Studios Boat or 20-minute walk. Skyliner coming fall 2019
  • EPCOT: Boat or 10-minute walk
  • Magic Kingdom: Bus

Disney Minnie Vans may also be available for an additional fee.

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Mother daughter travel bloggers exploring the U.S.

We're Kat and Ali, a pair of mother-daughter travel bloggers exploring the U.S. We're sharing our experiences, tips and insights to help you more easily get out and explore the beautiful landscapes and places of this nation.

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Kathleen Hesketh

Kathleen is a travel agent with Mickey World Travel, a platinum level Authorized Disney vacation planner, where she helps people discover the magic of a Disney vacation and other travel destinations. She is also the chief author and editor for Seconds to Go - a travel blog where she shares experiences from traveling the U.S. with her daughters. Kathleen has been a professional writer for more than a decade, helping businesses craft compelling content to advance organizational goals.

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