Where to stay in Orlando: The Disney hotel guide
Walt Disney World Florida offers a number of different hotels spanning wilderness lodges and lagoon view villas. With so much choice, how do you even begin to decide where to stay when visiting Orlando? From foodie escapes to Savannah-style retreats, take a look at our Disney Hotel guide to find your perfect fit.
Those who put food centre stage on holiday will want to anchor their stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Home to the legendary Victoria & Albert’s restaurant, this red-roofed, Victorian-style resort offers stellar firework views plus a slew of unequalled dining experiences. With its 10-course feast, served in a private space adjacent to the kitchen, the Chef’s Table at Victoria & Albert’s offers an extravagant gourmet adventure. If it’s booked (it’s usually sold out up to six months in advance), consider instead the lesser-known Chef’s Domain dinner inside Citricos, also at the resort. You’ll find three different Disney character dining experiences onsite, too.
The Wild at Heart
If having a gigantic giraffe wander by your room sounds like a blast, then Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is for you. Home to more than 200 animals and birds, the resort’s sprawling Savannah-esque space allows zebras, giraffes, gazelles and kudu to roam freely in full view of guests, who can opt for an up-close safari dinner experience while staying at the property. Inside, an African-inspired aesthetic splashes the resort with colour throughout the lobbies and award-winning restaurants.
The Sun Soaker
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is known for its blissful South Pacific vibe and island ambiance. Tropical flora, swaying palms and a white, sandy beaches transport guests to the islands, where sipping cocktails from coconuts and luau-style dining make every day feel entirely tropical. The resort also features movies under the stars, boat and sailboat rentals, and evening campfires.
The Night Owl
Travellers who want to maximize every minute of their trip should check out Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, an Atlantic City-style, 45-acre resort that’s just steps from Disney’s BoardWalk entertainment zone. When the sun goes down, this waterfront district comes alive, thanks to a slew of great restaurants as well a dance hall and duelling piano bar. You’ll also find ESPN Club, where sports enthusiasts can catch virtually any televised game on the bar’s 90+ video monitors.
The Style Seeker
Four Seasons Orlando is one of the most luxurious properties within the Walt Disney World Resort and wider Orlando area. Located on 26.5 lakeside acres, the sprawling hotel houses 443 chic rooms and suites, many with views of Magic Kingdom’s spectacular fireworks display. There’s also the five-acre Explorer Island, a recreation space with a 7,590 square-foot family pool, a splash zone, lazy river, and fully supervised Kids for All Seasons program, which occupies younger guests aged between four and twelve from 10am to 6pm daily. Add into the mix a lavish spa, 18-hole golf course and a handful of terrific restaurants, and you might be tempted to forgo the theme parks altogether.
Written by Kristen Manieri