10 Walt Disney World Resorts to Book When You Don’t Want to Go JUST to the Parks

Walt Disney World has about 30 different resorts that you can book when visiting. Some guests treat their resorts as just a place with a bed and space to stash their souvenirs.

For others, their resorts are an escape from the hustle and bustle of the parks.

If your resort is an oasis and your trip isn’t all about the parks, then we have the best resort options for you.


Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground

Fort Wilderness is one of those resorts that is often overlooked by guests, but if you’ve stayed there it is probably your favorite. Fort Wilderness offers a camping and cabin experience but with convenient shuttles to the parks. This is the only resort in Disney where you can actually bring your own accommodations. You can set up your family RV or rent one of the resort’s cabins. (Rental companies in the area offer RVs and more as well, if that’s something you want.) The resort has tons of fun outdoor activities including horseback riding and archery. You can also catch dinner and a show at the Hoop Dee Doo Revue.

Fort Wilderness

Beach and Yacht Club

The Beach Club and Yacht Club Resorts are next to each other and share many of the same facilities. Beach and Yacht Club really dive into their beachy resort themes, though they take different approaches and thus have a different feel from one another. But both have access to a man-made beach and arguably the best pool (or mini water park!) in the World: Stormalong Bay! You can book boats for water activities and even go fishing at both resorts. From the resorts you also can easily walk to the BoardWalk Resort area where there is shopping and restaurants. At Beach Club Resort you can find the iconic Kitchen Sink Sundae at Beaches and Cream ice cream shop.

Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club

BoardWalk Inn

The BoardWalk Inn and Villas is modeled after historic northeastern boardwalks like the one at Coney Island. Below the resort and along the boardwalk there are shops, restaurants, and fun activities for everyone. You can stop for a drink at the AbracadaBar, listen to the dueling pianos at Jellyrolls, or dance the night away at the Atlantic Dance Hall. Kids will appreciate the newly-redesigned pool. From the BoardWalk and its neighboring resorts, Beach and Yacht Club, you can walk over to EPCOT for breakfast or hoof it to Hollywood Studios for rope drop.

BoardWalk Inn & Villas

Old Key West

Old Key West feels exactly as it sounds: like a leisurely island vacation. With a large area, Old Key West feels like a resort away from everything else. The accommodations are villa style, so you really have space to breath. Old Key West is home to Olivia’s Cafe which is a solid resort dining option. And the resort as direct access to Disney Springs via Sassagoula River water taxi. If you love the food and shopping at Disney Springs, this resort might be the relaxing oasis you need.

Olivia’s Cafe at Old Key West

Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Springs is another resort that offers larger villa style accommodations. This is also the only place in Disney World where you can stay in a treehouse. With spacious rooms and a relatively secluded setting, it is another resort that feels like it is outside of Disney World. You can take a boat or walk from Saratoga Springs to Disney Springs. This is an easy way to get to some great shopping and restaurants without having to find a parking space or wait for a Disney bus.

Saratoga Springs Resort Treehouse Villa
Treehouse Villa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of our favorite resorts in Disney World. It is the only resort where you can look out your window and see exotic animals wandering the savanna. Imagine your alarm going off, opening the curtains, and saying good morning to a giraffe. The resort has the added bonus of some of the best restaurants anywhere in Disney World. The resort and its restaurants are African themed, with the main lobby of Jambo House soaring six stories high and packed full of traditional African artwork and crafts. If you love food and animals, this is the resort in which to get lost exploring.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Lobby

Monorail Resorts

There are three resorts on the Monorail loop in Disney World: the Polynesian Village Resort, the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and the Contemporary Resort. They are three different resorts with very different aesthetics, but if you stay at one you have easy access to the other two. All three have great restaurants, and because of the ease of journeying from one resort to another, you can feasibly dine in all three resorts in a single day! If you want to explore multiple resorts and enjoy a variety of dining options as part of your relaxing vacation, consider a Monorail resort.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Lobby

What are some of your favorite resorts to stay at when you aren’t just going to the parks? Let us know in the comments.

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