Balcony at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge; sunset
  • On Feb 19, 2024
    Abida from MO Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hiya, planDisney! I am heading to Walt Disney World for a day, but instead of going to the parks, I want to resort hop and try their specialties. Which resorts should I DEFINITELY go to and what is each of the resorts known for? Thanks!

    Hello Abida!

    Resort hopping is one of my favorite non-park activities at Walt Disney World Resort so I'm glad to share my favorites. I'm not sure if you'll have your own vehicle available, so I'll base my guidance on utilizing complimentary transportation around the resort. Let's hop into the details!

    I recently stayed at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge and loved waking up to the animals roaming by each day. I'd recommend starting your day there to soak up the serene atmosphere. You can take the bus to Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park from your Disney Resort Collection hotel and then transfer to the Lodge. We stayed at Kidani Village and loved sitting in the rocking chairs overlooking the Sunset Savanna. You can plan to enjoy the casual quick-service Kuamsha Breakfast at Sanaa (no reservation needed) and watch the animals right from your table, or pick up one of the grab-and-go items to enjoy outside. I opted for the banana bread which came with a side of Nutella. It was extra delicious with a view of the roaming giraffes. Zebra Domes are also a great option and often available in the refrigerated cases of the the lobby gift shop.

    Once you've fueled up hop back on the bus to Disney's Hollywood Studios and then enjoy a relaxed walk or a ride on the Friendship Boats to Disney's BoardWalk. I love this area for people-watching and soaking up the gentle breezes off Crescent Lake. If you're up for a bit of a workout rent a Surrey Bike and cruise a few loops around the water. The bridge near Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel is a slight challenge, but the downhill is worth it! Be sure to reward yourself with a cone from BoardWalk Ice Cream, or a sweet or savory option from BoardWalk Deli.

    Next, walk to the Disney Skyliner entrance near EPCOT International Gateway and board a gondola to Disney's Riviera Resort. The resort grounds and gorgeous tile mosaics are sure to take your breath away. Play a game of life-size chess on the greens near the pool and take time to explore stunning black-and-white photography of Walt's travels in the halls. Grab a coffee from Le Petit Café before heading out to the front door toward the buses. I love the lavender lattes but you're sure to find your favorite beverage.

    Board a bus to Magic Kingdom Park and walk the path to Disney's Contemporary Resort. You won't want to miss the stunning Mary Blair mural in the lobby, but I also love snapping a picture with the silver Mickey ear sculpture near the rear of the building. Next, hop on the Monorail to Disney's Polynesian Village Resort. I love picking up an order of Pulled Pork Nachos from Capt. Cook's and dining al fresco near the pool. You can also visit Pineapple Lanai for a DOLE Whip and enjoy on the beach with a view of Cinderella Castle.

    Once you've filled up on tropical island vibes head to Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa via the Monorail. Inhale the lovely lobby aroma and listen to the live pianist. If you arrive after 3:30 p.m. be sure to visit Enchanted Rose, my favorite lounge on property, for a cocktail or mocktail in the beautifully adorned Beauty and the Beast-inspired space. Keep an eye out for Mrs. Potts, Chip, Cogsworth, and Lumiere. End your evening with a viewing of Happily Ever After near the marina just past Gasparilla Island Grill, or reserve dinner at Narcoossee's and watch as you dine on fresh coastal fare.

    I hope this helps you plan your perfect day, Abida! Please come back and see us again with more questions.

    Magic and memories,
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Meet the Panelist: Amy, North Carolina

Hi, I'm Amy- a proud wife, mom, and Disney adult. I'm a natural planner with a flair for the creative, always looking for ways to add a little magical sparkle to our family's day-to-day happenings and once-in-a lifetime moments. You'll find me and my crew visiting the parks from rope drop to close and packing in as much magic as possible to each day of our Walt Disney World Resort vacation. From dining to photo spots and all the details in between, you've got a friend in me! Learn More About Amy

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