If you are looking to stay in Disney World, you will find that there are many different types of hotels to choose from. It can be confusing to figure out which one is right for you. Here are some tips to help you narrow down your choices.
Animal Kingdom Lodge
The Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of the most unique hotels in Walt Disney World. Not only is it located next to Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, but it is also in the center of a 74-acre animal reserve. It’s also a cultural experience that you won’t want to miss.
While the Animal Kingdom Lodge is not located in the park itself, it does offer access to early theme park entry and extended evening hours. For those that wish to take in the majesty of the African wilds, the resort offers a number of savanna overlooks.
The Animal Kingdom Lodge also has a nice swimming pool that is suitable for guests. In addition to the pool, you can enjoy the spa, fitness center, and salon services. The hotel also offers 24-hour self-service laundry facilities. Aside from the usual room amenities, some rooms are outfitted with mini-refrigerators and USB ports.
There are a number of other activities you can enjoy while staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. One of the more interesting is a daily pool party that features live music, DJs, and a DJ contest. You can also try your luck at a game table or two. Another great perk is that Animal Kingdom Lodge has complimentary transportation to the Disney theme parks.
Other notable features include the African art that adorns the building, as well as the 4,000 pieces of African art in the guest rooms. Of course, you can view the animals from most of the rooms, but it’s not really worth the cost to do so.
Among the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s other features are an impressively themed six-story lobby and a savanna. On top of that, there are three savanna overlooks at Jambo House, and two savannas at Kidani Village.
The Animal Kingdom Lodge also has savannas, a swimming pool, and a game room. If you’re into African culture, you can learn more about it at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, and you’ll be able to take in the sights as you visit the savannas.
When it comes to other activities, the animal-themed resort has the most impressive list. They’ve got an arcade, a spa, a fitness center, and even massages. Plus, you’ve got a free shuttle to the park and to Disney Springs.
Although the Animal Kingdom Lodge does not have the best pool in town, the perks of its water slide and zero-depth entry point make it a worthwhile stay. However, it’s not a good place to see nighttime spectaculars like the fireworks. Also, the pool’s not quiet, so you may want to stick with your car or the bus.
Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of the more affordable Deluxe resorts in the Disney line-up. This is a good option for those on a budget, but who still want to experience the Magic Kingdom.
The Contemporary resorts in Disney World are situated close to Magic Kingdom, and offer convenient amenities to guests. They are also just a quick boat ride away from Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. This resort has a little something for everyone, and there are plenty of activities and restaurants to choose from.
One of the highlights of the Contemporary Resort is the Observation Deck. This observation deck has a great view of the Magic Kingdom. It also has some pretty geometric patterns that make for a nice aesthetic. If you’re looking for something to do after you leave the park, this may be just the ticket.
The Contemporary resort also has a number of different pools. Two of them are indoor, and the other is located outdoors, on Bay Lake. There are also two restaurants and one pool bar in the main tower. However, the newest addition to the Contemporary resort is Steakhouse 71, which pays tribute to the original opening year of the resort.
Although there are many similarities to the previous Steakhouse 55 in Anaheim, CA, the new one has a more modern vibe. Formerly the Fiesta Fun Center arcade, this full service restaurant offers excellent food and service. While it isn’t the most extravagant meal you’ll find at the Contemporary, it’s definitely worth a visit.
Another notable item at the Contemporary is the atrium. For fans of Disney, this atrium is the bucket list item. Though it doesn’t have the flashiest of features, it has the requisite three tiers. Guests can check in at the second level of the tower, which also houses some of the rooms. Elevators will take you to the fourth level.
Aside from the atrium, the Contemporary has two swimming pools. One of the pools is a more traditional in size, while the other is smaller and has a hot tub by the waterslide. Guests can also find a couple of daybeds to lounge by.
The Contemporary has a number of other restaurants as well. Some of these include the California Grill, which is a full service dining establishment that has excellent ambiance and food. Also, the Contempo Cafe has a few options for those looking to grab a quick bite. You can even order through the Disney Experience app.
Finally, the Contemporary Resort has its own coffee shop. Just like most other Disney resorts, the Contemporary is equipped with a Keurig coffee maker. To enjoy some free hot chocolate or coffee, you can drop by the resort’s lobby. Alternatively, you can go for a cup of Joffrey’s coffee.
Overall, the Contemporary resort is a wonderful place to stay for anyone interested in exploring the theme parks. However, it’s best to rent a car or use the Monorail for a more scenic route.
Although the Contemporary resorts have improved in recent years, it’s still far from a budget-friendly option for families with kids. You can find better deals at other Disney hotels.
Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
The Port Orleans Resort is a moderate resort located in Walt Disney World. It offers guests the charm of New Orleans’ French Quarter combined with the energy of Mardi Gras. This quaint resort is perfect for families with children, and features ample amenities to keep you busy.
Port Orleans offers a variety of dining options. You can dine at the Boatwright’s Dining Hall, a casual southern restaurant, or at the River Roost Lounge, a bar that’s located just outside of the Boatwright’s. If you’re looking for something quick, check out the Riverside Mill Food Court. Or you can stop by the Muddy Rivers Pool Bar, which is located on Ol’ Man Island. There are also plenty of other food and beverage choices to choose from, including an arcade, a jazz club, and a coffee shop.
For more recreation, the French Quarter offers a splash pad for kids. It’s enclosed and fenced, so you can be sure your kids are safe. They’ll love the kiddie pool, spa, and slide, and it’s a great way to cool off. Another fun activity is the beignet fun run, a 1.5 mile race around the French Quarter.
Other activities to enjoy at the French Quarter include goofy bingo, and the “Name that WDW” game. You can also participate in the weekly Painting on de’ Bayou, an instructor-led paint class at Sassagoula Floatworks. Kids can also enjoy the Movies Under the Stars, a program for children 6 months to 12 years old.
Port Orleans also offers guests the option of taking a ride on a water taxi, which is a fun way to get from the hotel to the parks. You can also hire a surrey bike to explore the area, or you can rent a horse and carriage to take you around. Depending on the time of year, you may not have access to all of these activities.
In addition to the resort’s amenities, you’ll have access to free Disney World shuttle service and bus rides to and from the parks. There are also a boat launch and a marina at the nearby Port Orleans – Riverside. Some of the other attractions near the French Quarter are the Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Court, which has a Creole-themed restaurant.
In addition to the pool and splash pad, the French Quarter is home to a Mardi Gras-themed waterslide, called the “Scales the Sea Serpent.” It’s a large, 225,000-US-gallon (850 kL) pool that features a water spouting alligator band, a spa, and a kiddie pool.
Other amenities at the French Quarter are an arcade room, a jazz club, a coffee shop, and a gift shop. You’ll find plenty of parking, and rooms are clean and comfortable.
The rooms at the French Quarter offer a variety of room types. They range in size, from queen-size beds to king-size beds, and can accommodate up to four adults. Each room has a flat screen television, two sinks, and an audio input. As you’d expect, the rooms are decorated in the same theme as the rest of the resort.