Six Surprising Facts About Walt Disney World’s Resort Hotels

Between immersive theming, impressive pools, and tasty eats, Walt Disney World’s resorts are constantly coming out with more to see and do. 

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

But believe it or not, they also seem to be chock-full of secrets! And if you’re planning a stay on-property, some of these tidbits can really help you enhance your visit.

So today, we’re bringing you some surprising facts about Disney World’s Resort hotels!

There Are Nighttime Safaris

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has one of the best themes of all the Disney World Resorts; after all, it overlooks a savanna! And depending on what room you’re in (or where the animals are roaming), you could get some great views.

Many hotel rooms overlook the savanna in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge!

You can wander the trails around the property to take a look at the giraffes, zebras, and other wildlife in your backyard. But if you want an extra-special, up-close peek at these animals, why not try a nighttime safari?

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

This safari experience is exclusive to guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, so you’ll have to be staying there to participate. You’ll board an open-air safari vehicle after dark (think Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom) and see what you can find!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Starlight Safari costs $74.14 per person, and guests must be at least eight-years-old to attend. If you’re really into seeing all the animals on property, this may be worth the splurge!

Check Out Our Readers’ Thoughts on the Starlight Safari!

Some Rooms Have an Extra Special Theme

Sure, each Disney hotel has a unique theme: you can take a trip back in time at Disney’s Pop Century Resort, visit Atlantic City at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, or stop by the lakes of the American Southwest at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. But did you know some ROOMS have an extra special touch?

Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

For example, at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, you can opt to stay in a Pirate Room. How cool is that?! You’ll sleep in a ship and have a barrel for a mini-fridge — and don’t forget the skull curtains and nautical paintings! It’s a fun way to commit even more to whatever theme that hotel has to offer.

Pirate Rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

There are a few other options around property! You can stay in a treehouse at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa, a bungalow (on the water!) at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, rooms themed after The Lion King, CarsThe Little Mermaid, and Finding Nemo at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort…the list goes on.

Polynesian Village Resort Bungalows

Do keep in mind that, in general, these “special” rooms cost a bit more than your standard room, but you may want to look into them for your next trip!

Check Out More Awesome Hotel Rooms!

Two Historic Moments Happened at Disney World Hotels

Believe it or not, The Beatles broke up at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort! John Lennon was staying at the Polynesian when he received the paperwork to make the breakup official — and he was the last Beatle to sign it. He signed on Christmas Eve in 1974, with Seven Seas Lagoon behind him.

©AP

Just a year before, in 1973, President Richard Nixon held a press conference in the Ballroom of the Americas at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. He was facing some pretty hefty accusations due to the Watergate Scandal, and he replied with the now-famous line, “I’m not a crook.”

Richard Nixon at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

That’s TWO history-defining events that happened on Disney property! 

Here Are More Historic Events That Happened on Disney Property!

There’s a Hidden Water Park

You may have heard of Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, but did you know there’s a third “water park” on property? That’s Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts!

Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club

This thing is massive: Disney describes it as a “3-acre water wonderland!” You’ve got a sand-bottomed pool, a 230-foot waterslide, a lazy river, a tanning deck, and three whirlpool spas. That all totals to 795,000 gallons of water!

Stormalong Bay

Keep in mind that you do have to be a guest at Disney’s Yacht or Beach Club Resorts to get access to this awesome set-up. It’s a major perk for those staying there!

Learn More About Stormalong Bay!

Some of the Decorations Have Names

While we’re in the EPCOT resort area, we’re popping over to Disney’s BoardWalk Inn for a look at some interesting decorations. Of course, we’re talking about the Nanny Chairs!

Disney’s BoardWalk Inn

These are replicas of the chairs that used to be on carousels in the 19th century — nannies would sit on them to rest while the kids rode. And yes, they’re just a little bit creepy. Not to mention, they have names! You’ll find chairs labeled Todd, Paul, Alex, and Carrie.

Nanny Chair

Perhaps the most eerie part about these Nanny Chairs is that they move around! You’ll usually spot one or two of them in the lobby at any given time — but you never know which chair is in there until you investigate for yourself.

Check Out More Creepy Disney Stories!

You Can Watch a Parade from Your Hotel

Parades may be temporarily suspended in the Disney parks (although guests DO have some fun character cavalcades to replace them), but that’s not the case at the hotels! Because you can still catch the Electrical Water Pageant on its route around Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake.

Electrical Water Pageant

The aquatic parade is set to Disney music (think “Under the Sea” and the crocodile’s theme song from Peter Pan), and it’s visible from the Magic Kingdom area hotels! That’s Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness Resort and Campgrounds, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Electrical Water Pageant

The pageant tends to kick off at around 8:40PM at the Polynesian before making its way to the rest of the resorts. However, you’ll want to check with your Front Desk to make sure that time is accurate for the day you want to watch in case that time changes. 

Learn More About the Electrical Water Pageant!

Let us know in the comments how many of these cool facts YOU knew! And stay tuned to AllEars for more Disney news.

Check Out More Disney Hotel Secrets!

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