Have you tried… Spending a whole day resort hopping?
by Katey McGregor
Many of us know exactly how to spend an entire day in the parks. Some know how to do all four parks in one day and still hit all the best stuff. You know where to eat, where to play, and exactly how to get there. And, many of us have even resort hopped or at least spent a day at the resort instead of hitting a park. But, with over twenty different resorts at Walt Disney World,how in the world do you spent a whole day resort hopping without missing something? Well, the truth is, you can’t, but here’s a guide to show you how to hit all of the greatest must-dos that the Walt Disney World resorts have to offer in one day.
Good morning! Since it’s a resort day, the best way to start off is with a good lie-in. Make sure you’re well rested because you’re going to be running around to different resorts all day! My favorite place to start in the early morning is at the Grand Floridian for breakfast at the Grand Floridian Café. I feel like this restaurant is sorely underrated and serves an exceptional omelet and fruit plate. This feels like the brunch you always wanted to have but could never find back home, and it’s such a relaxed way to start the day.
After breakfast, head outside to the marina where you can rent watercraft by the hour. Boating around the Seven Seas Lagoon is a unique way to explore the Magic Kingdom area, and the perfect time to do this is in the morning when the heat of the day hasn’t quite set in.
After boating around the lagoon for a couple hours, hop over to the Beach Club Resort for some lunch and dessert indulgence. Beaches & Cream Soda Shop is one of my favorite go-to locations at Walt Disney World (in case you didn’t know from my previous article about it), and it shouldn’t be missed on any resort-hopping checklist. You can’t go wrong with the cheeseburger and a good old fashioned Kitchen Sink. For those who are a little wary,or are on their own, the No Way Jose sundae is also delectable.
After stuffing your face at Beaches & Cream, work off some of the calories with a bike ride! Traditional and surrey bikes are available across the lagoon at the BoardWalk Inn Resort, which is about a ten-minute walk away. For those who don’t want to walk, however, a ferry is available that comes about every 15-20 minutes. I highly suggest the surrey bike;it’s great for families or groups. Ringing the bell as you ride around the Epcot resort area is a gas, and it’s a great way to explore the resorts that surround the lagoon.
Once you’re done bicycling, it’s time to relax. Head over to Port Orleans-French Quarter and enjoy some beignets from the food court. If you haven’t tried them already, you’re missing out. This powdered sugar confection will have you addicted from your first bite, and the “streets of New Orleans” out the back doors of the Sassagoula Float Works will enchant you. While enjoying your afternoon treat, take a walk along the Sassagoula River towards Port Orleans-Riverside. It’s about a five to ten minute walk, and the view of the old south is charming. Port Orleans is a sprawling property that is just begging to be explored; a horse-drawn carriage ride is the perfect option. The carriage rides depart from Riverside about every half hour from about 5 PM and run through both Riverside and French Quarter. After a long day of boating and biking, taking a load off on a carriage ride is a great way to watch the sun set.
After enjoying a relaxing carriage ride at Port Orleans, head to the Art of Animation Resort for dinner. Landscape of Flavors, the food court, is by far one of the best quick service locations I have ever eaten at, and it cannot be missed. The surf ‘n surf burger is a favorite of mine. However, there’s a “Landscape of Flavors” that is appealing to even the most picky of eaters. Plus, this is a great opportunity to explore the new resort and its immersive environment.
After eating and taking lots of pictures with Lightning McQueen and Crush, hop back over to the Magic Kingdom area to the Polynesian Resort where you can relax on the beach with a Dole Whip from Captain Cook’s and enjoy Wishes! from afar. If you’ve never watched Wishes! from the Polynesian’s beach, you’re really missing out on one of the best Disney experiences. It’s separated from the hectic crowds of Main Street, U.S.A. and offers a more intimate viewing experience.
After the fireworks, if you still have energy to spare, head back to the BoardWalk Inn Resort where Jellyrolls is just coming to life. This over-21-only piano bar is one of the best-kept secrets of nightlife at Walt Disney World. Exuberant and overly talented piano players play both old and new tunes, to which everyone in the audience is encouraged to sing along, and they always take requests. Jellyrolls offers a great refuge for adults who still want to enjoy some good, clean fun- but without the kids.
Of course, this is just a taste of everything the resorts at Walt Disney World have to offer, but I think it’s the best place to start. Even though the focus of every Disney vacation is the parks, the resorts cannot be overlooked. So, have you ever spent an entire day resort hopping? If so, what did you do? Do you think I missed anything big? Let me know, and until next time, aloha!
Katey is a 22-year-old student at BYU-Hawaii from Woodstock, Illinois. Her favorite spot in the whole world is standing on the man-hole in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Katey has dreamed of being a part of the magic since she was young. Today, she is proud to call Walt Disney World her true home and takes deep pride in being a part of that heritage as a Cast Member.