Essential Guide to Visiting Disney World Resort Hopping (2023)

When it comes to Disney World fun, the theme parks can take all the credit (water parksEmini golftoo), but there are many othersActivities at Disney that don't require park admission. One of my favorites is the resort jump.

Disney World resort hotels are filled with design details, restaurants and activities that are as magical as what you'll find behind the theme park turnstiles - and best of all, you can enjoy many of them completely free or very cheaply.

But how do you get to the various Disney World hotels? And when you're there, what can you do? Learn the ins and outs of this underrated Disney activity in this comprehensive guide to Disney World resort tours.

Disney Resort Hopping 101

I'll let you in on a little secret: I love hotels. Don't just stay at home, although that's great too. I'm talking about the design, the thoughtful amenities most people take for granted, the infectious energy that floods you when you walk through the doors. You just feel like an adventure (or a well-deserved break) is about to begin.

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This fascination started early. I remember stopping at hotels on vacation with my mom and brothers. Not to stay, but to walk around, experience and, for me, imagine what it would be like to stay there.

So it's no wonder I worked in the hospitality industry or that resorts are one of my favorite things to do at Disney World. “What is resort hopping?”, you might ask. Well, it's basically what I started with my family all those years ago - visiting Disney hotels for the ambiance (and maybe acocktailor two), appreciate the details and enjoy the benefits they offer.

Then go back to where you are. Not only does this allow you to enjoy other parts of Disney World that you might not normally enjoy and save some money in the process by not having to book one of Disney's most expensive hotel rooms, but it's also a great way to add a resort test. that you might be interested in in the future.

Resort hopping no Walt Disney World em 2021

Due to Covid-19, you might be wondering, “Can you go to Disney resorts without staying there in 2021?” And the answer is yes, but it will take a little more planning than in the past.

With numerous health and safety measures in place due to the pandemic, access to the resorts is a little more difficult than in the past. If you are driving, you must present a valid room reservation or meal reservation in advance when checking in at the hotel guard opposite the car park.

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However, this has basically been Disney's policy in the past, when resorts and theme parks are particularly busy and parking is tight. If you don't have a reservation, the only real way to get to the resort in 2021 is by using Disney World's free transportation options, i.e. the Disney Skyliner, monorail, water taxis or buses.

Additionally, upon arriving at the resorts, you may find that some of the typical amenities and recreational activities are currently unavailable, especially offerings that may require many close interactions between guests and performers. Some restaurants may also temporarily pause. I strongly recommend that you check out the Disney website or theMy Disney ExperienceApp for the latest information.

How to get there

Resort hopping gives you a variety of options to actually get to the hotels you visit.

Driving is the easiest and fastest of all. At the station you will be asked the reason for your presence and you will have to identify yourself. During busy periods, a valid reservation may also be required to be admitted. But during the slower times of the year, you can often just tell them you want to check it out or have a drink in the hotel lounge (somewhere that doesn't take reservations).

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If you don't want to drive, it's best to use Disney transportation. All Disney resorts have buses that connect them to the theme parksDisney Springs. However, Disney buses do not connect to the various Disney resorts. In other words, you must return to a transportation hub like the parksFirstbefore stepping on anotherBusfor a new Disney World Hotel. The only exceptions to this are a bus that runs between Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness and the occasional bus share during slower times of the day aroundDisney All-Star-Resortsou Port Orleans – French Quarter e Riverside.

Similar to Disney buses, free water taxis are also available at select Disney World resorts, connecting hotels to places like Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Disney Springs. Keep in mind that this is one of the slower options, as the boats often make a big loop between a theme park and several hotels.

(Video) Two EASY Ways to Go Resort Hopping at Disney World - Disney World Resort Hopping Guide!

However, my absolute favorite ways to get around during resort tours are themonorailor Disney Skyliners. These sky highways connecting resorts in the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios areas to these parks not only provide aerial views and ease of travel, but the novelty of it all makes them attractions in their own right and a lot of fun.

Here are the different ways to get to each resort, ranked according to which part of Walt Disney World they're in:

Área do Magic Kingdom Resort

All resorts in the Magic Kingdom area are also accessible by bus.

Accessible by boat:Acampamento Fort Wilderness, Wilderness Lodge

Accessible by boat and monorail:Greater Florida Contemporary Polynesian Village

Epcot and Hollywood Studios Recreation Area

All resorts in Epcot and the Hollywood studio area are also accessible by bus.

Accessible by boat:BoardWalk Inn, Yacht & Beach Club

Accessible with Skyliner:Animated Art, Caribbean Beach, Pop Century, Riviera

Animal kingdom play area

Accessible only by bus:All-Star-Filme, All-Star-Musik, All-Star-Sport, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Coronado Springs

Disney Springs Recreation Area

All resorts in the Disney Springs area are also accessible by bus.

Accessible by boat:Port Orleans – French Quarter, Port Orleans – Riverside, Saratoga Springs

Accessible only by bus:Altes Key West

Resort hopping, Disney World's best free activity

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Okay, you know you want to go to a Disney World resort, but when should you do it? You have a few different options depending on your priorities and how much time you have, from dining at Disney hotel restaurants to half a day or more just exploring the resorts. Best of all, if you wish, the tour of the resorts can be completedfrei.

End your day with breakfast or dinner at one of theDisney World-Resortsor take a break from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks with a lunchtime tour. This works best if you're visiting the Magic Kingdom or Epcot for the day, as several resorts are a monorail ride away or a short walk showcaseor, for a little Disney magic the day you arrive or depart, sprinkle a little resort before you check in or after you check out.

If you decide to spend a full day at resorts, I wholeheartedly encourage and support you. In fact, for the best experience, I recommend you plan at least half a day to really discover and enjoy your chosen corner of Walt Disney World. Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint.

Take some time to walk around and admire all the magic of the Disney Imagineers. Even if you don't have time for extended activities, you can still soak up the details, enjoy a snack or drink, or go on a scavenger hunt or tour, if available.

What to do when skipping a resort?

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Since time is a priority, research and planning are your best friends when it comes to resort tours. Disney World hotels are numerous and unique, each offering a different theme, atmosphere, dining and recreation.

(Video) A Guide to Disney World Resort Hopping Transportation | Part 1 | Dream It and Do It

To narrow down which resorts you want to visit, you first need to decide what you want to do locally. Get inspiration from the Disney website, blogs like this one, or social media posts and let them guide you wherever you go.

The holidays are by far the most popular and arguably the best time for resort tours. OChristmas decorationsstand there are cozy seasonal snacks to try and it's absolutely adorable. You can even make an extra festive stop at Disney Springs to check out everyone's favorite tree walk.

EUIf you're not into tinsel and gingerbread, or if you can't make it to Disney World in November or December, don't worry - there's plenty to see and do at Disney hotels year-round.Some of Disney World's best restaurants are at the resorts, so take a break from your walk for a bite to eat, a bite to eat or a bite to eat in the lounge. Or turn resort hopping into a culinary adventure with a self-guided food tour or dine around. Better yet, plan your visit around them.disneyworld fireworksand watch the show with a drink in hand, with no parking fines.

Do you have an eye for design? If you're anything like me, simply walking around and enjoying the carefully designed eye candy might be more than enough to keep you happy. And beware, all aspiring (and real) influencers! This sophisticated theme can also provide memorable backgrounds for your social media posts.

Looking for something more substantial? Many resorts at Walt Disney World offer a range of unique fun activities (painting and gulping lessons, carriage rides or architectural tours, anyone?), some free and some for a fee, while all hotels host Movies Under the Stars and maybe a bonfire. . Always looking for the perfect Disney souvenir or collectible? Browse resort product locations or look for the next addition to your Disney pin collection.

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Finally, if you're hoping to check out some of theseBest Hotel Pools at Disney World Resorts, I hate to burst your bubble, but the pool is not allowed for most Disney guests. A magic band orDisney MagicMobile-Passon your NFC-enabled smartphone with a valid resort reservation is required to enter most hotel pools, so you can only take a dip in the same hotel where you'll be resting tonight.

The only exception to this is Disney Vacation Club members. This DVC benefit gives guests free access toselect poolat various DVC Resorts and Disney Resort Hotels. Capacity is limited and blackout dates apply.

Where Resort Hop at Disney World

With so many Disney World hotels to choose from, figuring out which ones to visit can be a challenge. For a hassle-free, resort-hopping experience without sacrificing activities and sights, choose resorts that are either side-by-side or directly connected by some form of Disney transportation.

Magic KingdomResorts in the area, particularly along the monorail, are a popular choice, although it's also worth taking the water taxi between Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness. If you prefer to stay close to Epcot and Hollywood Studios, check out the resorts along the wayDisney-Skylineit's as convenient as it is fun.

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Or take a moonlit walk around Crescent LakeDisney's BoardWalk, complete with a fireworks finale. For even more nostalgia, walk among the magnolias and Spanish moss along the Sassagoula River and exploreDisney's Port Orleans Resorts.

In all honesty, we could probably argue for a resort leap for all Walt Disney World resort hotels. However, if we had to choose, our favorite Disney World resorts are:

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Featuring a design and layout inspired by a traditional South African village, bushland teeming with wildlife, one of the largest collections of African art outside Africa and some of the finest dining at Disney resorts.Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodgetransports guests away from the marshes ofCentral Florida.

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Animal watching is completely free, or you can get a closer look at animal encounters at Sense of Africa or Starlight Safari (for a fee, of course). If you prefer to admire it from afar with an alcoholic drink in hand and even take a souvenir home, embrace your inner artist at Wild About Painting. You can even participate in cultural and culinary tours led by the resort's cultural representatives from African countries.

Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Ideally located on a Disney Skyliner route,Disney's Art of Animation Resortuses larger-than-life themes to immerse guests in popular Disney and Pixar movies, making it a dream come true for Disney geeks and social media professionals alike. Come here for a colorful selfie or discover each section during a free scavenger hunt, available at reception.

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When not exploring the many movie-themed areas, visit the Animation Hall and bring classic sketches to life with Stories of the Enchanted GalleryPlay at Disney Parksapartment If you're lucky, there might even be a Mickey tie-dye class.

(Video) ☆ walt disney world resort hopping guide ☆

Disney's Boardwalk Inn

Disney's Boardwalk Innit is a real gem when it comes to resort tours. In addition to its saltwater buildings that exude turn-of-the-century charm, this Disney hotel offers an unrivaled location in the heart of Disney's BoardWalk. This quirky entertainment district is best explored after sunset, when street performers take to the pavement and fireworks shoot into the sky.

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Sip on a classic cocktail and play some board games in the Belle Vue Lounge. Then head out to explore the sparkling shores of Crescent Lake. Pedal along the promenade on a Surrey bike or try your hand at some carnival games. And don't miss the fun piano duel at Jellyrolls.

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort

Disney's Caribbean Beach ResortIt may not have as much to do or see as previous hotels on our list, but what it lacks in notable activities it more than makes up for in ambiance. This Easter egg-colored confection from a resort that makes this list largely for its position along Disney's skyline is made for laid-back walks reminiscent of lazy days on the Caribbean islands.

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Grab something delicious and usable at the Centertown Market, then walk the plank (AKA across the bridge) to the hotel's private island, Caribbean Cay, where you'll have a picnic followed by a nap in one of the island's hammocks.

Disney's contemporary resort

An essential stop on the Magic Kingdom Monorail Loop, Disney's Contemporary Resort offers some of Disney World's most iconic dining experiences. In addition to the stunning murals designed by Disney legend Mary Blair, I love coming here for the equally stunning views.Magic kingdom fireworks. Be sure to get there early to claim at the California Grill Lounge.

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

Disney's Coronado Springs Resortit's a little out of the way compared to some of the other hotels on our list, but this quaint resort is definitely worth a spot on your resort tour. From the Salvador Dali-inspired details of the Gran Destino Tower to the Pueblo-style villas throughout the resort, you'll feel a far cry from humid Orlando.

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As Disney World's flagship convention resort, you'll find a variety of restaurants here - Three Bridges Bar & Grill in Villa del Lago and Toledo - Tapas, Steak & Seafood are two of my favourites. Or try the Colors of Coronado Painting Experience for a snack and drink with an artsy side. this is also the bestFitnessSo consider starting one of your mornings with The Running of Coronado Fun Run and a Spanish-style lemon pasta.

Disneys Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

When it comes to resort tours, Disney World Campgrounds are theFort Wilderness Resort, is almost unbeatable. A rustic retreat from the chaos of the theme parks, Fort Wilderness is spread across 750 acres of pine and cypress forest. Unsurprisingly, many of the best things to see and do at this resort are outdoors.

The Tri-Circle-D Ranch is home to the Walt Disney World horses and is free to visit. If you want to be up close, horseback riding, covered wagon rides, and carriage rides are also offered for a fee. For a chance to see some of the hotel's other residents, rent a canoe, kayak or bike, or hop on a Segway and join the Wilderness Back Trail Adventure and go in search of critters like deer and armadillos.

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For a different kind of animal encounter, don't miss Chip 'n' Dale's Campfire Sing-A-Long, Disney World's absolute best campfire and one of the few free ways to see Disney characters outside of the theme parks. Or connect with your inner Merida or Katniss Everdeen at the Fort Wilderness Experience.

But wait, there's more! Disney Fort Wilderness Campground is also home to some amazing restaurants. Trail's End Restaurant and Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, the originalDisney-Dinnershow, are some of the best Disney World has to offer.

Disney's Grand Florida Resort & Spa

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is another major stop along the Magic Kingdom Monorail. A vision of Victorian elegance, the Grand Floridian is Disney World's flagship resort. Featuring some of the finest dining at Disney resorts - including the AAA Five Diamond award-winning Victoria & Albert's, the newly renovated Citricos and the inspired Enchanted Rose LoungeBeauty and the Beast– is a foodie's dream. You can also watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks or the Electrical Water Pageant from the beach here.

Disneys Polynesian Village Resort

Another stop on the Magic Kingdom monorail,Disneys Polynesian Village Resortit's a romantic stop on your resort route. This dream hotel is inspired by South Pacific architecture and culture - there's even a luau.

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The Polynesian resort is island time, so I suggest you head over to Trader Sam's Grog Grotto, Trader Sam's showpieceDisney-Bars. Afterward, grab a DOLE Whip from Pineapple Lanai and head down to the beach for one of the best views of the Magic Kingdom fireworks outside the park.

(Video) Disney World Resort Hopping Guide 2022!

Pop Century Resort da Disney

Located on the Skyliner route, Disney's Pop Century Resort is often second fiddle to its neighborvalue resort, animation artwork. With major icons celebrating the fads of the 1950s-1990s, Pop Century's serious kitsch is charming, to say the least. Take a trip down memory lane as you use oversized versions of yo-yos, big wheels and more for whimsical, highly instagrammable backgrounds.

Disney's Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter

go throughDisney Port Orleans - French Quarterit feels like stepping out of sultry central Florida and into the streets of The Big Easy. Wrought-iron balconies and old-fashioned gas lamps add a touch of romance, making it a great option for a Disney date night. Just add a carriage ride or Painting on de' Bayou for a truly unforgettable evening.

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What's a date without dinner? Believe it or not, this moderate resort has some impressive dining options. Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory offers Louisiana favorites like shrimp and grits, while next door, Scat Cat's Club serves live jazz and liquor-infused beignets.

Disneys Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

The French Quarter's sister resort,Disney Port Orleans - Riverfrontdripping with southern hospitality and Spanish moss. Hiring a bicycle or bike in Surrey is a fun way to explore the lushly wooded terrain, dotted with plantation-like properties and bucolic bays. Ol' Man Island is the heart of Riverside and a must visit. Enjoy healthy rod fishing at The Fishin' Hole, then relax at Campfire on de Bayou for the three Ss (Stories, Singalongs and S'mores).

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Before you depart, be sure to try some of the resort's delicious restaurants. Boatwright's Dining Hall is a must to feel goodsoul foodand don't miss Yehaa Bob's musical antics at the River Roost Lounge.

Disney's Riviera Resort

Long on style but short on things to doDisney's Riviera Resortit's worth taking a quick look at the path of the Disney Skyliner. This elegantly understated resort is modeled on the European Riviera, a favorite vacation spot of Walt Disney and his wife, Lillian.

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Take a look at the ornate mosaics inspired bytangleEPeter Pan, then enjoy some of Disney's best dining outside the parks. Topolino's Terrace - Flavors of the Riviera is home to one of Disney's best character breakfasts, while Primo Piatto is a great spot for a quick lunch.

Disney's Wilderness Lodge

As a former receptionist atDisney's Wilderness Lodge, I'm a little open minded when it comes to this rustic retreat. This Disney luxury resort is themed after the majestic turn-of-the-century lodges found in some national parks, with rich handcrafted details, effortlessly blending natural beauty with Pacific Northwest splendor. There is even a creek that runs from the lobby to the outdoor pool area.

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You'll find a surprising amount of things to do here, including Hidden Mickeytreasure huntand the (free!) Wonders of the Wilderness Lodge tour, led by a resort ranger. The Carolwood Pacific Railway Room at the Boulder Ridge Villas DVC Resort houses one of Walt's backyard railcars, making it a must-see for Disney nerds and train lovers alike. Don't miss the resort's Fire Rock Geyser, which erupts every hour between 7 am and 10 pm.

The Wilderness Lodge is also home to some of Disney World's best resort restaurants. With an unmissable lakefront outdoor loungeDinner with Disney Characterswith Snow White and more, there really is something for everyone.

Disneys Yacht & Beach Club Resorts

Across the street from the BoardWalk Inn, Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts are a convenient diversion when exploring the shores of Crescent Lake. WhileYachtclub-Resortis all refined sophistication that DisneyStrandclub-Resortoffers a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of Epcot. Along with some great views of the nightly fireworks, these resorts are must-visit spots for the beaches and creamy soda shop. A Disney World mainstay, Beaches and Cream is famous for its giant Kitchen Sink Sundae.

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Well, to all my hotel lovers, I hope I convinced you to get out there and explore Disney World Resorts. Whether you're partaking in unique activities or just taking in the sights, resort hopping is an easy and affordable way to experience all that Disney has to offer.

Want even more tour time at the resort? Make the most of your time with our 1-day plans forMagic Kingdom,Epcot,hollywood-studios, Eanimal Kingdom. So save money on your hotel adventures by booking ourWalt Disney World Discount Tickets.

Are you a fan of resort heels? What are your favorite places and activities at Disney World Resorts? Is there something I forgot? Let us know in the comments!

(Video) Resort Hopping From Disney Springs! How To Utilize Disney's Free Transportation By Bus Or Water Taxi

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