Five Problems to Know About Before Booking Your Disney World Hotel

There are dozens of hotels located on Disney World property, so if your goal is to be as close to the magic as possible while on vacation, there are plenty of options to choose from!

Not only are there many options to choose from, but there’s a wide variety of hotels with ranges of price points, amenities, locations, and more!

There’s a Disney World hotel for just about everybody, but if you don’t do any research before you book your reservation, you may run into some big problems, as our readers have pointed out in some Resort hotel reviews!

Being far away from the parks

Disney World is HUGE. In fact, Disney World property is roughly the same size as San Francisco, and twice the size of Manhattan!

Google Map of Disney World

You may be surprised to find just how far some of the resort hotels can be from the theme parks. You may think you’re making a good move selecting a Monorail Resort like Disney’s Contemporary Resort since it’s so close to Magic Kingdom, but you’ll quickly discover that it’s far from the other three parks.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort is just steps away from Magic Kingdom!

Conversely, a resort like Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge that’s very close to Animal Kingdom is quite the hike from Magic Kingdom.

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Be aware that, depending on where you’re staying, travel time to some of the parks can take longer in the morning and in the evening as well as the afternoon if you want to head back to your room for a break.

Some bus rides will be longer than others, depending on the hotel you’re staying in!

If there’s a park you plan on visiting multiple times, take a look at each of the resort’s areas to see how far away you’ll be — Disney World’s website categorizes parks into the area to which they’re closest!

Limited or crowded transportation options

Speaking of getting to and from the theme parks, not all Disney World hotels are created equal in terms of transportation options! No matter where you stay, all Disney World hotels offer complimentary bus transportation to the parks as well as Disney Springs.

Quick! Catch that bus!

Beyond that, additional transportation options may be available, depending on where you are staying — and some hotels only offer the buses, leaving you with few alternatives if the buses aren’t your cup of tea!

Disney Bus

Keep in mind that bigger resort hotels that only offer one or very few bus stops (like Disney’s All Star Resorts) could lead to longer lines, especially at those peak hours in the morning and at night.

Bus stops at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Crowded buses are common at most resorts, however, so it may be a good idea to take a look and see which hotels offer alternative options, like the Monorail, Skyliner, or boats.

Some resorts have massive, sprawling layouts

Another headache guests often cite occurs when you stay at a resort that sits on a huge piece of land. These massive resorts have sprawling layouts with dozens of guest room buildings, often leading to long walks and bus rides.

A boat passes by the many guest buildings at Disney’s Old Key West Resort

These large resorts, like Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Old Key West Resort, and Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, are just a few examples of these sprawling hotels that come with multiple bus stops and long walks to pools and other amenities.

Caribbean Beach is huge!

Some guests, however, see this feature as a plus — a sprawling layout often means quieter resort grounds since you aren’t stacked on top of as many guests in your building. After a long day in the parks, it’s nice to head back to a hotel that isn’t as noisy!

Rooms can feel small and crammed

Disney World hotel rooms can accommodate four guests, but some rooms will feel a little tighter than others. Smaller rooms, especially rooms found at the Value Resorts (they measure around 260 square feet in size), can feel crammed for families or parties of more than two adults.

Standard guest room at Pop Century

To avoid this, look into family suites in the Value Resorts (Disney’s All Star Music Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort), which sleep up to six guests comfortably. Rooms at the Moderate and Deluxe Resorts are often a bit roomier, too.

Limited amenities and dining options

Finally, as the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” Every Disney World resort hotel offers certain amenities, including at least one pool, some dining options, shopping, and complimentary transportation. But as you move up in hotel levels (Value, Moderate, and Deluxe), you’ll find that your money goes towards more perks.

Big Blue Pool at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Value resorts may offer the best monetary value (hence the name), but they only come with Quick Service dining — you won’t find any Table Service restaurants at these hotels.

Everything Pop

Deluxe Resort guests can also take advantage of Disney World’s extended evening park hours — a perk that used to be offered to all guests staying on-property but is now reserved for those paying top dollar on their hotel stay.

Grand Floridian

Before booking your next Disney World vacation, be sure to read through the many wonderful hotel reviews left by our readers! They offer a ton of insight on the pros and cons of each of the Disney World hotels (like we said, there’s a hotel for everybody!) and you’ll be able to make a more informed decision on where to stay on your next trip!

Click here to read about more mistakes you may run into when you plan your Disney World vacation!

What is your favorite Disney World hotel? Let us know in the comments!

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2 Replies to “Five Problems to Know About Before Booking Your Disney World Hotel”

  1. Boardwalk is my favorite! Location, location, location. Walk or boat to Epcot and Hollywood. Yacht, Beach clubs are also there as are Swan/ Dolphin so lots of dining options and places to walk to. Yet not crowded. You will never feel confined to your room. Pre-covid (and hopefully again) with a park hopper you could walk through Epcot to catch the monorail to MK if you didn’t want to take a bus.

  2. You have to really analyze all the resorts to tailor them to your needs and budget. We want to stay on the monorail line so we don’t spend a lot of time waiting on buses. In my experience, the less money you spend the more time you spend in a bus.