Walt Disney World has a resort for every personality and every budget. While there are plenty of do’s and don’ts for the newbie Disney guest, first things first. Where to stay?
But what is the best resort for the first timer?
In the huge scheme of things, any resort is going to be a winner. Some, however, are better than others. They all offer great theme-ing. Transportation and parking is free for every park. All are stroller friendly and now, some are even pet friendly. But, some resorts are HUGE and after walking all day in the parks, your child who is too big for a stroller but not too big for dad’s shoulders is going to have quite a hike at the end of the day. And we don’t need dad going to a chiropractor mid-trip.
Disney has three categories: Deluxe, Moderate and Value. Depending on the season these rooms can run anywhere from a little over $100 to well over $2,000 a night. So, truly an option for ANY budget. Pick your budget then pick your resort. It’s that simple!
Your best bet in the deluxe category is the Polynesian. While not the cheapest in the deluxe category, its price is worth the convenience. Transportation is key with monorail service to Magic Kingdom and EPCOT, boat service to Magic Kingdom and bus service to everything else. The decor and immersion into the tropical atmosphere is quintessential Disney. Dining choices are amazing, with a character meal experience offered right on the premises. Especially if you have little ones, the proximity to Magic Kingdom alone is worth the expense.
Port Orleans Riverside or French Quarter are great choices. Bus transportation is provided for all parks and Disney Springs. Speaking of Disney Springs, you can take a bus but the boat offered is a relaxing transportation choice. My son considered the boat ride an attraction reserved just for him at the resort. Counter Service dining options are affordable with plenty of menu options. Try the beignets with dipping sauces. Yum! For the slightly larger family, Port Orleans Riverside is a great place to stay. It’s the only moderate resort that sleeps 5.
Try Pop Century Resort if you’re looking for value. Although Art of Animation is a newer resort, it’s pricing is typically the highest of all the Value resorts, often pricing closer to the Moderate level. Maintenance at Disney resorts is stellar, so even at its older birth date, Pop Century is a great choice. Bus transportation is dedicated to this resort alone. No sharing! (which lengthens your commute) While a little further from the parks, dedicated bus service is key. The food court offers plentiful seating and food choices. And if you’re staying out from dawn to midnight anyway, it’s the perfect place to lay your head at night.
A place to lay your head at night and good food options are available at all of the above mentioned resorts. But ease of transportation is so important for the first timer. Walt Disney World is a big place. Getting you to where you need to go as easily and efficiently as possible will make your vacation that much more magical. The Polynesian, Port Orleans resorts and Pop Century are the perfect options for the first time Disney guest!