How to Get the Most Out of Disney World’s Most Expensive Hotels

Walt Disney World’s Deluxe Resorts feature extensive theming, extra amenities, and some of the most spacious rooms on Disney property. And all that fabulousness comes at a price. 

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

If you’re hoping to get the most bang for your buck during your Deluxe stay, you’ll want to plan ahead for a few things that don’t involve visiting the parks and that do involve taking advantage of Resort offerings. After all, with all that they have to offer, these hotels are basically attractions in and of themselves! 

Here’s how to get the MOST out of your stay at Disney World’s Deluxe Resorts!

Plan to Spend More Time at the Resort 

It is no secret that these resorts are pretty pricey and that you’ll be spending a lot of money per night, so skip some time in the Disney Parks and spend it enjoying your hotel.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Lobby

Disney spared no detail in these hotels, and you’ll want to take it all in, so order room service, sit on the patio, hang out in the lobby, and take a walk around the resort area!

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Lobby

Some Deluxe Resorts even have views that you won’t be able to experience if you’re not a guest at the hotel. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, for example, you can sit on your patio and watch the animals graze on the Savannah (just be sure you have a room with a Savannah view).

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

And Disney’s Monorail Resorts (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and Disney’s Contemporary Resort), all have fantastic views of Magic Kingdom fireworks at night — and they even pump in the music to the viewing area!

When fireworks are running, California Grill in Disney’s Contemporary Resort offers spectacular views of the show!
All in all, you can really be missing out on all the details that make these resorts worth the extra cost if you’re spending all your time in the parks.

The Best and Worst Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts According to You!

Enjoy ALL the Dining Options

Another big perk of staying at a Disney World Deluxe Resort is that you have many more dining options than those staying at lower-cost resorts. These hotels typically have a Quick Service restaurant, two or more Table Service Restaurants, and lounges that are highly themed and immersive. You should definitely plan to take advantage of them — they’re only a short walk from your room!

Enjoy a character breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace in Disney’s Riviera Resort!

When you’re planning your vacation, make Advanced Dining Reservations for some of the restaurants in your hotel, hang out in the lounges in the evening and take in the ambiance, and try the specialty items from the Quick Service restaurants. There’s a lot of exploring to do when it comes to all the food at these expensive hotels!

Enchanted Rose Lounge in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

At Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa you can dine in Belle’s Library at the Enchanted Rose, you can grab one of the most iconic Disney snacks (Dole Whip) from Pineapple Lanai at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Get a tasty cup of Dole Whip from Pineapple Lanai in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort!

…enjoy a delicious meal with characters at Topolino’s Terrace in Disney’s Riviera Resort or travel to a remote island with tons of punny jokes in Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort! There are so many unique dining experiences in the Deluxe Resorts to explore!

The Best Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Food According to YOU

Do the Scavenger Hunts

Select Disney Deluxe hotels also offer free resort scavenger hunts, so you and your family can test your skills and win a prize in the end!

Wilderness New Year’s Scavenger Hunt

These can be found at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. All you have to do is pick up a sheet with the clues at the front desk and return it when you’re finished to claim your prize! There’s nothing like a fun free activity in Disney World, right?! (If you’re Resort isn’t listed above, you can always check with the front desk to see if one’s available — even at Value and Moderate resorts.)

Is Anything Actually FREE at Walt Disney World?

Take Advantage of Specialty Tours & Activities

There are also quite a few other special activities at Disney’s Deluxe Resorts that can be worth paying a little extra to take advantage of.

Many offer specialty tours that give you an extra elevated experience. For example, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can register for the Wanyama Safari which includes dinner at Jiko and a safari tour following your meal for $209 per person. (Note: This experience has not yet returned to the hotel)

Jiko — The Cooking Place

There are also quite a few fun interactive activities during the day that can keep you busy including things like painting your own storybook at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

Paint your own storybook in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

And though many of the specialty tours and activities are currently unavailable due to the pandemic, these are a great thing to add to your stay when they do come back.

Learn more about all the guided tours in Disney World here!

Plan a Pool Day

The last way to take get the most out of your stay at Disney’s most expensive resorts is to plan a day (or at least an afternoon) dedicated to swimming! Most of the Deluxe Resorts have two pools with one focused more on kiddos and another that is a bit quieter, so you can find a pool that you and your family are sure to enjoy!

Lava Pool at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

If you’re staying at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club, you have even more of a reason to plan a pool day!  Stormalong Bay, the pool that is shared by the resorts, is basically a mini water park with a slide, a lazy river, and a sand-bottomed pool. This pool is exclusively for those staying at the resorts, so you won’t want to miss out!

Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club

Plus, many of the Deluxe Resorts even feature cabana rentals, which can be a fun way to make your pool day extra special!

Ranking Walt Disney World Resort Hotels By Their Pools

If you’re thinking about shelling out the money to stay at Disney World’s most expensive resorts, you might want to plan your vacation just a bit differently! After all, you’ll have access to so many amenities and unique activities! And, you can learn more about each of the Deluxe Resorts in our video below!

Stay tuned for more Disney vacation planning tips and tricks!

What Makes a Deluxe, Deluxe? Learn more about the Disney World resort categories here!

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Have you ever stayed at a Disney World Deluxe Resort? Let us know in the comments!

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One Reply to “How to Get the Most Out of Disney World’s Most Expensive Hotels”

  1. Pool days are some of the best days. Great way to give the legs a day off! Love the quiet pool at Boardwalk Resort. You can hear the France music from Epcot while you work on your tan and relax