What We Love Most About Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

What We Love Most About Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

Today the Walt Disney World Resort officially reopens as many of its Resort Hotels welcome DVC guests. We’re using this great occasion to talk about what we love most about visiting the Walt Disney World Resort hotels. We cover our favorite places to visit, stay, swim, dine and park hop. Join us and compare which hotels and experiences you enjoy most!

You can find our podcast here on PodbeaniTunesSpotifyMyTuner, and ListenNotes. If you’re not familiar with all of the resort hotel options at Walt Disney World, please check out our overview.

Also, at the end of this section, take our survey by June 30th and enter to win a Disney at Play Prize Package!

Getting Ready for Disney

How do you get excited for your next Walt Disney World vacation?

  • How do you decided which resort to stay in?
  • Who figures out the FastPass plan?
  • Do you watch movies tied to the parks? If so, which one?
  • Do you create a chain of Magic Bands like the Zanolla’s?
Zanolla children with their Magic Band chain. Photo from Zanollas.

There are many factors in deciding where to stay during your visit to Walt Disney World. A special birthday trip to the royal guest rooms at Riverside is perfect if you have a little princess like the Zanollas.

A perfect princess birthday vacation. Photo from Zanollas.

The Scali’s divide their trips up between big family gatherings like the one below…

Scali’s at Tony’s. A perfect Italian moment. Photo from Scali’s.

…to just the two of them as a couple. For them, where to stay depends a lot on room availability.

John and Lori enjoying Disney as a couple. Photo from Scali’s.

Getting Around

How does getting around the parks factor in your choice of which resort you will stay at? The new big thing is Disney’s Skyliner, and it’s a big favorite for the Zanollas.

Disney Skyliner. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

A long-time favorite is the monorail, shown here moving into Disney’s Contemporary Resort hotel. This shot is taken from the BVL towers. The Scali’s note how easy it is to also walk to Magic Kingdom from here.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

I mention the fun of pargos at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. But I have to say that taking this boat across Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon is exceptional–especially this time of day. The Scali’s mentioned taking this boat between Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Grand Floridian and Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

On Bay Lake at Evening Time. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Pool & Recreation

Bay Lake Towers has its own pool complex, but looking out from that tower, you’ll see a larger pool complex on the hotel side of the Contemporary.

Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Of course the Scali’s when they come as family don’t just visit the Bay Lake Tower’s pool, they occupy it!

Scali’s pool party. Photo from Scali’s.

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort Hotel is another absolute favorite for those who enjoy swimming.

Pool at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

I put my vote for Storm Along Bay at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts. This is an impressive, sprawling pool complex.

Storm Along Bay. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Not mentioned in the podcast, but also impressive are the pool complexes at the Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Pools at Jambo House, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


I’m a big fan of the breakfast buffet at Boma, found at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Boma at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

A favorite for all of us is Captain Cook’s over at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. The Zanollas love the pulled pork nachos.

Pulled Pork Nachos

I love the Tonga Toast myself. Definitely check that out both. And I love the poster art of the island on the walls.

Captain Cook’s Dining Area. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Ohana’s is everyone’s favorite with the Zanolla family. The Scali’s are known for ordering their food as part of room service.

The Zanolla family at O’Hana. Photo from Zanollas.

David mentioned the beignets at Disney’s French Quarter, Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory.

Dining area at Sassagoula. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

I mentioned in the podcast Sebastian’s at Disney’s Caribbean Beach, but I love the whole vibe of that place and now that it’s in the middle of the Disney Skyliner system, it’s the best deal in moderate resorts.

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

We mentioned Jiko, but not mentioned was Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Here you can watch the animals graze outside the windows.

Sanaa. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

In the podcast I mentioned Roaring Forks, but it’s really Geyser Point. There was a whole change with the additions made to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort. Definitely check this out!

Geyser Point. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Leah Zanolla mentioned the restaurants at Disney’s Swan & Dolphin, to include Il Mulino, a top-notch Italian restaurant.

Il Mulino. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Top Resorts

Where would you stay at Disney, if you were not going to the parks. Some of the photos below are suggestions of how beautiful the experience is just staying at the resort.

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Mary Poppins Penguins at Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Jambo House at Disneys’ Animal Kingdom Resort. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Disney’s Riviera Resort. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Disney’s Pop Century Resort. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.


My big thanks to the Zanollas and the Scali’s for joining us on this podcast.

The Zanolla family at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Photo from Zanollas.
Scalis at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort during the Christmas Holidays. Photo from Scali’s.

Share Your Opinion–You Might Win!

We need your input about our podcasts, posts, videos and more. Please take the time to share with us your insights and opinions about Disney at Work and Play. It will only take about 8-10 minutes and it will offer us important feedback about how we could provide you a better experience. Take our survey by June 30th. One lucky individual will win a Disney at Play Prize Package to include:

  • Copy of The Walt Disney Studios: A Lot to Remember
  • Copy of The Imagineering Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom of Walt Disney World
  • Copy of The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney
  • Copy of Everything I need to Know I Learned From a Disney Little Golden Book
  • Disney Animal Kingdom Cast Member Carry Bag
  • 2005 Walt Disney Company Annual Report with Disneyland 50th Anniversary Cover
  • Character Stickers
  • Book Marks
  • Bumper Stickers
  • Park Brochures
  • So Much More!

We assure you that you’ll have fun plowing through this Disney at Play Prize Package. So please share with us your input! Visit us below:

Start Survey NOW!

Is it Time to Go to Walt Disney World?

Is it time to book your next trip to Disney? The best person to answer that question is David Zanolla, owner and agent of of Out The Door Travel, LLC. There’s no cost–but it could save you a lot of time–and even money–especially when you put it in the hands of someone who really knows Disney and travel. Call today at 309-863-5469 or reach out to him via zanolla@otdtravel.com

J. Jeff Kober

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