Resort hopping at Walt Disney World is one of my favorite things to do. Be sure to check out these Best Disney Hotels to Visit While Resort Hopping in Walt Disney World. Experience the theming, food and so much more.
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The hotels at Walt Disney World – you need a vacation on top of your vacation just to visit them all. Walt Disney World uses elaborate themes to dress up their variety of hotels. These unique themes create immersive environments for guests even when they are not visiting the parks.
Among the many resorts are a few that are big draws to guests who aren’t actually staying there.
When you take the day off from the busy parks one popular activity is resort hopping. Resort hopping is when guests use the various Disney transportation networks to jump from one hotel to another. They do this to take in multiple environments and enjoy new places to eat.
Now don’t get upset because frankly, ALL the Disney resorts are great. And it really isn’t fair to narrow it down to the “5 best”. In terms of theming, food and scenery, these five reign supreme and are the best Disney hotels to visit for the theming, good food and more.
Wilderness Lodge combines the ultimate retreat with the convenience of a ten-minute boat ride to Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Like its neighbor Fort Wilderness, it has a rustic woodsy environment and is nestled away from the surrounding resorts and transportation services.
However, the resort features deluxe amenities and it has a lovely lobby and walking trails to enjoy. While at Wilderness Lodge you can participate in a hidden mickey scavenger hunt, enjoy a bison burger, or wait for the geyser to burst while enjoying a signature cocktail at Geyser Pointe.
Animal Kingdom Lodge
Similar in design but worlds apart in inspiration is Animal Kingdom Lodge. This lodge is far from everything considering it’s a Deluxe resort. While deluxe resorts usually feature convenience in location and transportation, Animal Kingdom Lodge has neither. Even so, it’s one of the best Disney hotels to visit in Disney World.
The resort does have a lot of reasons to stay on the premises, including live animals to view from walking trails and observation areas. Animal Kingdom Lodge also offers some of the best food at Walt Disney World from Sanaa to Jiko. Another reason to spend some time at this immersive resort is the numerous cultural learning activities for all ages to participate in.
Some of the best Disney hotels to visit are the sprawling and immaculately themed moderate resorts. They have a lot of walking areas and plenty of scenic atmospheres. Even if you don’t want to stay in a standard moderate resort guest room, it’s worth touring the grounds and taking in the themed environments.
Coronado Springs takes things up a notch with the new Gran Destino Tower. Named for the animated short inspired by the art of Salvador Dali, Gran Destino features Spanish Surrealism and architectural nods to Antoni Gaudi. The rooftop restaurant Toledo offers tapas while the neighboring lounge Dahlia Lounge showcases a more Dali inspired atmosphere.
Lots of Disney World resorts have restaurants and eateries that attract an audience, but only one resort in Disney World offers an attraction like Disney’s Boardwalk. It’s almost an isolated little Disney Springs with shopping, dining and entertainment unlike anywhere else in Walt Disney World.
Even better is the location between EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Disney’s Boardwalk is easily accessed by Skyliner or boat and it’s conveniently located right next to Disney’s Yacht and Beach Clubs.
Enjoy the nightlife and the waterfront views under carnival-like lighting that harkens back to a Victorian-era Atlantic City style Boardwalk.
Here you can listen to dealing pianos at Jellyroll, go to the Dance Hall, have a drink at the Magician-themed Abracadabar, or indulge your sweet tooth and have a signature meal at the restaurants and eateries that line the gorgeous property overlooking Crescent Lake. It’s all at the foot of the Boardwalk Inn, which has plenty to offer inside the hotel as well.
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When it comes to Disney, Victorian theming is common because it’s an era the Walt Disney was nostalgic about. When it comes to tie-ins with the Walt Disney Company’s namesake, it’s the most frequent go-to style.
However, we are lucky enough to have a few mid-century modern references to Walt Disney in his heyday. Aside from these, there are few references to Walt Disney’s own life. So anywhere you can find thematic inspiration that springs from Walt Disney’s personal experiences you should go. Such is the case with Disney’s Riviera Resort.
This French/Italian-themed Vacation Club resort credits its origins to Walt and Lilian’s tour of Europe in the 1930s. The things Disney saw on that trip inspired much of Disneyland as well as future films. Having a new resort at Walt Disney World that taps into this important historical event that so shaped Walt Disney Studios at the time is priceless.
The story alone solidifies it as one of the best Disney hotels to visit. Around the resort, you will find impressive eateries and lots of Disney artwork that lends itself nicely to the theme.
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Do you like to resort hop? What are some of your favorite Disney resorts to visit?