People Spent $812 on a Disney World Hotel…and It Was a Total Disaster

Disney World hotels vary in cost, theme, and extravagance. They are broken down into three different categories — Value, Moderate, and Deluxe.

Grand Floridian

Deluxe hotels are the most expensive and typically offer extra perks such as Extended Evening Hours, whereas Value resorts are the least expensive and offer fewer amenities and perks. Moderate resorts fall somewhere in the middle but have the same perks as Value resorts. However, even the Deluxe hotels have varying prices based on the room you select. Have you ever found yourself booking a room but found it wasn’t what you were expecting when you arrived? Yep, that can happen, especially for the view you were expecting when you paid so much!

When you book a Disney World hotel, you’ll find several options for room types and views, each with a different price point. We’ve noticed that some of Disney’s descriptions for their views (which cost more for nicer views) can be a little misleading. So we picked out a few of the most iconic and best views from Disney World resorts that seemed a little tricky so we could explain the differences.

Note: We’re going through four hotels here, but similar situations may apply at many other Disney World hotels.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort Hotel

The Grand Floridian is one of the (if not, the) most expensive Deluxe hotels in Disney World. It’s super fancy, boasts some of the most high-end restaurants on property, and is right next to Magic Kingdom.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Many people like to stay here because of its easy access to the theme park. The monorail stops at this resort, or there’s a walking path that will take you directly there. You can also get “Theme Park View” rooms that give you an amazing view of Cinderella Castle and the rest of Magic Kingdom. However, when you book this room, don’t be confused by the rooms that say “Water View!”

Grand Floridian Resort

Since the hotel is right on the Seven Seas Lagoon, and spans some distance along its shore, you may get a lake view that is NOT a view of the theme park. There is a difference between “Water View” and “Theme Park View,” so if you’re hoping to wake up to views of the castle, be sure to pay close attention to the verbiage.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

This same scenario can be said for the Polynesian Resort. This hotel is also nestled on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon, directly across from Magic Kingdom. The monorail stops at this hotel for easy access to the park.

Disney’s Polynesian Resort

But just like at The Grand Floridian, the Polynesian offers “Water View” and “Theme Park View” room options. While it might be easy to think that a water view will also give you a view of Magic Kingdom, that may not be the case, and that is why Disney lists it as a different option for a different price. The website states that a “Water View” room may have a view of the pools, marina, or Seven Seas Lagoon.

Polynesian Village Resort

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

We’re going to stick to the Magic Kingdom resort area one more time. The Contemporary is often sought after due to its very close proximity to the park. Its walk is roughly 10 minutes to the gates including a pass through security, or you can hop on the monorail. The resort features three buildings, the Main Tower, the Garden Wing, and Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort (DVC villas).

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

If you’ve never stayed at or been to the Contemporary Hotel, booking a room in the Main Tower and Garden Wing might be a little difficult to distinguish. Upon first look, you might not even realize there is another building apart from the two towers. The Garden Wing is off to the side and much shorter than either of the other two buildings. This might make it confusing when you book your room because if you don’t know a building exists, you likely wouldn’t expect to stay in it.

The Garden Wing is the small building on the left side of this picture

When you book the Garden Wing, you are NOT booking the lake side of the Main Tower. You are booking the small building off to the side of the Main Tower. If you hope to be in the building with the monorail, make sure the room you’re booking says “Main Tower” not “Garden Wing.” And remember, “Water View” does not mean the same thing as “Theme Park View.”

Also, if you want to stay in Bay Lake Tower, you either have to be a DVC member, rent DVC points, or pay a high price for the villas on the DVC website.

Contemporary Resort monorail

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Okay, we’re leaving the Magic Kingdom resort area and headed to the Animal Kingdom Lodge! Animal Kingdom Lodge is BEAUTIFUL. The theming here is wonderful, plus you can see lots of African animals on the Savanna.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

At Animal Kingdom Lodge, you have three view options — Water View, Resort View, or Savanna View. “Water View” means you’ll be looking at one of the hotel’s pool areas (which are very nice!), “Resort View” means you’ll have a view of either a rooftop or a parking lot, and “Savanna View” indicates you’ll have a room overlooking one of the Savannas.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge lobby

It’s important to know the difference between each of these views, especially if you’re expecting to get beautiful views of the Savanna and the animals throughout the day. It can be a big letdown if you’re expecting to see beautiful views of zebras and giraffes and instead, you find yourself staring at a Jaguar in the parking lot. 😉

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Like we said, many other Disney World hotels can have similar phrasing when you’re booking rooms, so it’s important to look closely and read that fine print. If you ever have questions, Cast Members are available to chat with, or feel free to reach out to us on social media!

For more Disney tips, keep following AllEars!

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