Ahh, the deluxe hotels. They are all beautiful, with different theming and different benefits, so if they are in your price range, you should be able to find one that fits your desires and needs. Unlike the moderates and value resorts, these have interior corridors – what Brits traditionally expect from a hotel. They all offer luxury, are situated close to one of the parks, often with an additional mode of transport and really are Disney at its best.
The real advantage to the Deluxe hotels is their locations and transport. With all of them, you will get to at least one of the parks much quicker than if you took regular Disney transport or drove yourself. Those that are on the monorail system are just a few minutes from the Magic Kingdom and not much further from Epcot. If you stay at one of the resorts on the Boardwalk you can get a quick boat to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and you can even stroll to Epcot from some. With young children, this is a particular advantage. It gets you there quicker when they’re excited to go, but gets you back quicker when they need naps – and with the amount of activity and the hot Florida sun, they (and you!) will need naps.
If you plan to spend a lot of time at the resorts, it may also be worth the upgrade to Deluxe. Many choose to return to the hotel in the hot afternoons to use the pool etc, and get some rest, before returning to the parks again in the evening. If that’s the case, you may want a bigger room and better amenities, and the Deluxe hotels will give you that.
There are 8 Disney Deluxe hotels:
The Magic Kingdom area Disney Deluxe hotels
Three of the Magic Kingdom area hotels are also known as monorail loop hotels because they sit on the monorail loop that travels around the Seven Seas Lagoon. Riding the monorail is a magical experience stopping at the Contemporary, Polynesian, Grand Floridian and of course, the Magic Kingdom. Wilderness Lodge, the fourth Deluxe Disney hotel in the Magic Kingdom area doesn’t have a monorail stop but instead, guests can travel by boat to the entrance of the Magic Kingdom.
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa – located across the Seven Seas Lagoon from the Magic Kingdom, this has a Victorian feel and is the ultimate in luxury.
- Disney’s Polynesian Resort – also located across the seven seas lagoon from the Magic Kingdom, this has a South Pacific theme and is relaxed and family orientated.
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort – a modern resort just ten minutes walk from the gates of the Magic Kingdom – the only hotel within walking distance.
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – based on Old Faithful, this is a short boat ride away from the Magic Kingdom.
Animal Kingdom area Disney Deluxe hotels
The Animal Kingdom area only has one Deluxe hotel, but it’s one of the best.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – situated among the savannas, with animals within view, this is a truly unique hotel.
BoardWalk area Disney Deluxe hotels
Located between Epcot and Hollywood Studios, the Boardwalk is also a destination in its own right, with restaurants and minor attractions. Both these great parks are within walking distance and perfect for getting to the parks early to catch a ride or getting home late after a great meal and fireworks show. These hotels will become hugely popular once the new Star Wars land at Hollywood Studios and Guardians of the Galaxy ride at Epcot open.
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort – themed as a New England seaside it is a 5 minute walk or boat ride from Epcot and a short boat trip to Hollywood Studios
- Disney’s BoardWalk Inn – based on a 40′s mid-Atlantic boardwalk, this hotel is about centre – a walk or boat ride from both Epcot and Hollywood Studios
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort – connected to the Beach Club, with a nautical feel, this is a short walk or boat ride from Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
The Walt Disney World Swan and Walt Disney World Dolphin are sister hotels also located in this area, but not operated by Disney. They are beautiful hotels and unlike other non-Disney hotels, they do offer the Disney transport and give you access to Extra Magic hours and free parking at the parks. However, they do not offer all the Disney benefits, such as access to the Disney Dining Plan, the ability to charge back to your room from the parks or package delivery and they are not themed (which could be a good thing or bad, depending on your view).