Sunday, March 9, 2014

Choosing Your Deluxe Resort

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You know you want to stay in the best of the best for your Walt Disney World vacation, but aren't sure which of the 8 deluxe resorts fits your trip the best?  Are you all about the lavish vacation, or are you in it to maximize fun?  Either way, I have you covered!

I'll be going back to breaking things down Spender vs. Saver, Planner vs. Impulsive, and Romantic vs. Fun for this post!  For a more comprehensive approach overall picks from each category (deluxe, moderate, and value), check out my post The Right Resort for You.

Spender vs. Saver
Of course, if you plan on going to a deluxe resort, you are going to be spending a lot of money either way.  But which is the most expensive, and which will save you a little bit extra?

The most expensive resort on property is the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.  Not only does it cost the most on average per night, but the amentities available only add to the possibility of spending a lot of money here.  Consider spending a day solely at the resort, checking out the pool or getting a massage!  Why is the right for the spender?:
  • Average per night: $530
  • Main Spa and Health Club at Disney World located here
  • Numerous dining options, including signature restaurants such as Narcoossee's, Citricos, and the famous Victoria and Alberts!  Other dining options as well.
  • View of Wishes fireworks in Magic Kingdom from the resort
  • Monorail, buses, and boat transportation available.

The Wilderness Lodge is the least expensive, on average, of the deluxe resorts.  However, this does not mean that ameneties suffer here.  With a huge, heated pool, signature dining options, and beautiful theming, this option is great for those wanting the deluxe experience, but also wanting to spend the money you'll save elsewhere.  Here's why:
  • Average per night: $348
  • Signature dining option, Artist Point, and fun table-service restaurant, Whispering Canyon Cafe, located here
  • Bus and boat transportation available
  • Beautiful scenery to recreate the Pacific Northwest

Planner vs. Impulsive
Many of the resorts in the Deluxe category are great for the impulsive because of their close proximity to many of the parks.  This transportation availability is also great for the planner, because it allows much ground to be covered over the course of the vacation.  Here, though, are my favorite picks for both!

The BoardWalk Inn is a great place to stay regardless of what your plans are for the trip.  It is placed on the water, and the proximity to the Disney's Boardwalk make it a great place to plan meals and entertainment outside of the parks.  Here's some more things that make it great for the planner:
  • Average per night: $436
  • Location is in walking distance from both Hollywood Studios and Epcot
  • Also, location on Disney's Boardwalk opens up great dining and entertainment options (Jellyrolls dueling piano bar, anyone?), as well as different activities, like bike rentals to cruise the boardwalk with
  • Boat and bus transportation options

As mentioned in the original The Right Resort for You post, the Contemporary resort is great for the Impulsive.  Here's a few reasons why:
  • Average per night: $380
  • The monorail runs right through this building, giving you easy access to Magic Kingdom and Epcot.  Also, it is a quick walk from the resort to Magic Kingdom as well!  Though it's really hard with new Fastpass+ to be impulsive, this resort gives you the best opportunity to park hop
  • The resort, like the other deluxe resorts, has great dining options, including the California Grill

Romantic vs. Fun
The last category encompasses those who want to have fun, who might be going with family or friends, and romantic, those couples that was a get-away while on vacation.  Each of these categories includes two choices!

1st Option: Polynesian
The Polynesian is truly a tropical getaway in the middle of Florida. The theming is so immersive that when you enter, you feel like you've been transported miles and miles away.  This feeling of paradise makes me believe that the Polynesian is a great option for couples.
  • Average per night: $484
  • The transportation includes the monorail, buses, and boats
  • View of the Wishes! fireworks from the beach at the resort, as well as many places inside the resort
  • Tropical and delicious dining options and lounges, as well as round-the-clock Dole Whip availability
  • Again, the atmosphere is amazing

2nd Option: Animal Kingdom Lodge
The Animal Kingdom Lodge is a great option for couples looking to get away in Disney.  Though it isn't tropical like the Polynesian, it is equally as well-themed, immersing you in the African culture, and offering rooms and views right on the savannah in Animal Kingdom park.  And though it might not be the most conveniently placed, the seclusion might be enjoyable for couples to spend time together.
  • Average per night: $343
  • Really delicious and interesting dining options, including both signature dining (Jiko) as well as many other dining options that are hugely flavorful
  • View of the savannah from the resort, including many rooms
  • Atmosphere around the resort is beautiful

Though the Fun option includes two different resorts, these resorts share many amenities, and are basically attached, so I will talk about them as if they are one.  The are both within walking distance of Disney's Boardwalk, as well as Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
  • Average per night (the same for both): $417
  • Proximity to the Boardwalk means late night options for some fun, and ability to walk to Epcot means you can go pick a new country (and maybe have a few drinks there) every night if you want!
  • Great pool area
  • Between the two resorts, there are very casual dining options as well as great signature dining options
  • Massage and workout center at the Ship Shape Health Club

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