Between planning dining reservations, Lightning Lanes, and binging park strategies, it’s easy to forget Walt Disney World is a resort.
It isn’t just four world-famous theme parks, either.
There are more than 25 resort hotels on Disney property, most of them offering fun and often inexpensive (or even free!) things to do outside the parks.
And many of these are accessible to all guests, regardless of where you’re staying.
Whether looking for ways to fill up a rest day or taking a midday break from the parks, “resort hopping” is a great way to get a taste of what the other resorts offer.
And since you can’t stay at all of ‘em simultaneously, we put together a list of some of our favorite things to do or see at each resort on Disney property!
Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
Ok, so… we’ve gotta be honest.
There isn’t much going on at All-Star Movies. LOL.
But we can always appreciate a moment for a cute photo op with the larger-than-life Toy Story props (among others)!
Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
Speaking of photo ops, the “Broadway” buildings at All-Star Music are so freaking cute.
Note: Value-tier resorts tend to attract a lot of families with younger children, so the exterior decor is half the fun!
Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
Along with more great photo ops at almost every building, grab yourself a beverage from the pool bar and then let your kids run wild and expend some of that extra energy on the giant “football field” outside.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
The Art of Animation Resort is well known for its Little Mermaid rooms and new(er) Finding Nemo suites.
But we like it for the Big Blue Pool, a.k.a. the largest resort pool at Disney!
Disney’s Pop Century Resort
On top of being the only Value resort with a dedicated bus line, Pop also boasts the best (biggest) arcade on property.
And we love it.
Space Invaders after a long park day? Yes plz.
Parents: While your kids are arcading, spring for the massage chair. It’s actually pretty intense and can help those new Disney muscles you didn’t know you had!
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Honestly, this one might be our least favorite of the moderates (it’s very spread out, and we find it way too much of a cheap motel vibe for the price), but…
The Caribbean Cay playground on the island in the middle of the resort is fantastic for kids.
And Banana Cabana gets our award for the best pool bar on property.
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
The entire resort is stunning, but both Three Bridges Bar & Grill and the Dahlia Lounge are foodie spots that deserve more recognition.
Try the warm cheese dip appetizer at Three Bridges, then hit Dahlia Lounge for a nightcap!
The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
This one has enough going on to qualify for a separate blog post because there is too much to list.
Older or more adventurous kids might enjoy kayaking, Segway tours, or horseback riding.
Those with little ones or who prefer a more stationary approach to outdoor activities (guilty!) will probably relish campfire singalongs and s’mores.
Our favorite is renting a golf cart and driving around the entire grounds!
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
A much-loved staple at Disney World, we have gone out of our way before to visit Yehaa Bob Jackson at the River Roost Lounge.
His wild and wacky piano + singing act starts a bit later in the evening, but kids are very welcome, and we’re telling ya, it’s SO much fun.
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
Do we have to say more?
We’ll say one more thing: we also love to take the (free) boat ride that connects the French Quarter to Disney Springs.
DELUXE (AND DVC VILLAS)
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
We strongly recommend a visit here for the ambiance alone.
After enjoying dinner at one of the three incredible restaurants (may we suggest trying the bread service at Sanaa?), walk through the main lobby and step out onto the Savanna to watch the animals at night.
Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Being near Disney’s BoardWalk is already a perk, but so is Stormalong Bay (i.e., the best pool in all of Disney).
If you are planning a trip in the hotter months, we love to recommend splurging on a comfortable resort with a great pool so you can really rest and enjoy those sweltering midday breaks!
Bonus points if you get a sundae from the Beaches & Cream walk-up window.
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
Ugh, please don’t make us pick a favorite here! There are SO many things to choose from.
Like having cocktails or craft beers at one of the many lounges, grabbing an ice cream, or letting the kids play classic midway games!
But okay, if we have to pick a favorite, it’s renting Surrey bikes.
Take our word for it. Make sure to visit on your next Hollywood Studios or EPCOT day! Just being here is the best feeling.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort & Bay Lake Tower
The Contemporary might be less kid-friendly than most resorts, but the proximity to Magic Kingdom wins out for many visitors.
So does ordering a Macaroni & Cheese or Stack Burger from the Steakhouse 71 lounge and taking the kids out to watch the fireworks from the viewing deck.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
While we love to visit to soak in Victorian-era elegance, we also enjoy hearing the pianist play the grand piano in the lobby.
If you can spare extra time, try a Beauty and the Beast-inspired cocktail at the Enchanted Rose.
Disney’s Old Key West
Embrace your inner athleticism and partake in a game of shuffleboard, Florida’s state sport.
We also love to visit Olivia’s for brunch (offered daily!).
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
One of our favorite places to visit on the Monorail Loop; we love resort-hopping to the Polynesian from Magic Kingdom!
Grab Dole Whips at Pineapple Lanai while waiting for your spot at Trader Sam’s (obvi).
A beautiful resort located on the Skyliner route, our favorite thing to do is check out the pastry case at Le Petit Cafe for treats.
If you can visit in the morning, check out Primo Piatto for (quick-service) breakfast. It’s the best menu as far as resort “fast food” goes, in our humble opinion.
Then, if you aren’t stuffed full of food, play some bocce ball on the lovely outdoor green.
Disney’s Saratoga Springs
Our favorite thing to do here is straightforward: walking the resort at sunset or nighttime. Especially over the main bridge to the Paddock!
If you’re staying here, the waterslide at the Paddock pool is EPIC.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Accessible by either boat (novelty!) or bus (faster, but only if you don’t have to wait for one), getting to Wilderness Lodge is half the fun.
Ask the front desk for the Hidden Mickey tour (and then do it!).
Then, every hour on the hour, head outside and watch the geyser erupt. It’s also entertaining to watch the little ones watching!
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Much like its sister resort, Beach Club, the proximity to the activities and dining on Disney’s BoardWalk makes the Yacht Club a fun pick.
Also, like Beach Club, our favorite thing to do here include swimming, sliding, and splashing in Stormalong Bay.
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