Ahh, the deluxe hotels. They are all beautiful, with different theming and different feels, 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 we 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.
We actually tend not to stay at the Deluxe resorts, because we spend very little time at our hotel and I want to spend the extra money on other things – mainly meals and shopping! But if I was to plan my dream Disney holiday, it would definitely involve a Deluxe hotel.
I think the real advantage to the Deluxe hotels is their locations and transport. With all of them, you will get to 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 of them! 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. Again, this may be the case if you have children. Many also 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 Hotels:
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa – located across the Seven Seas Lagoon from the Magic Kingdom, this had 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 form the gates of the Magic Kingdom
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – based on Old Faithful, this is a short boat ride away from the Magic Kingdom
Animal Kingdom Hotel
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – situated among the savannas, with animals within view, this is a truly unique hotel
BoardWalk Hotels – near to Epcot and Hollywood Studios
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort – themed as a New England seaside it is a 5 minute walk or boat ride from Epcot and
- Disney’s BoardWalk Inn – based on a 40′s mid-Atlantic boardwalk, this hotel is a short walk or boat ride from Epcot
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort – connected to the Beach club, with a nautical feel, this is a short walk or boat ride form Epcot
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). To learn more, see their official website.