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claybrim 11-27-2012 01:05 AM

best resort to get a disney experience
G'day guys, my wife and i are hitting DW in aug 2013 and looking to stay in a DW resort. One of the big factors is my wife wants the room to be more than just a generic hotel room. She stayed last year in Cali and the rooms had mickey everything and a light up headboard and shes looking for a similar room and experence in the room and in many ways the resort - money isnt our motivator, we dont have kids.

What would you guys recommend and why. We are that interested in themed rooms and such, we still want a upscale customer service experience, but obviously in a room that offers more than just a bed

Kimberle 11-27-2012 06:11 AM

Welcome to the Dis!

Since you're not concerned with money, you should look at the Deluxe resorts. They'll all give you a Disney experience. Each one is themed different and in a different location. It's a matter of what decore you enjoy and what location you desire.

The MK resorts are the CR, Poly, GF (all on the monorail), and WL. The Epcot resorts are the BC, YC, and BWI. These are nice because you can walk to Epcot and the Studios. There is also the AKL. Can I tell you how cool it is to see Zebras, etc. right outside your window?

If you don't want deluxe, there are Moderate and Value resorts. Nicely themed, but not as many amenities as the deluxes.

patty57 11-27-2012 06:44 AM

Welcome! I don't think there is the "one" resort for a Disney experience. People favor the various resorts for their own reasons. I would begin with checking out the lobby and theme for each, then taking a look at the rooms to see if one appeals to you more than the others. You might also consider if one has dining options that you particularly like. has good descriptions and pictures of the different resorts.
Another factor is which park will you spend most of your time in. You might want to think about a resort with easy access to that park. We are huge fans of the Epcot resorts because we love the ability to walk to Epcot and DHS.
Have fun exploring!

magicaldisney 11-27-2012 07:22 AM

To help you start narrowing it down, you should decide which category you want to be in price wise. Deluxe, moderate, or value? Once that decision is made the decision process will be easier.

aaarcher86 11-27-2012 08:07 AM

If theming and feeling like your at Disney when in the room is the biggest factor Id go with Art of Animation or a theme park view room in one of the deluxe resorts.

reiella 11-27-2012 08:12 AM

I'd suggest looking at the resort pics available at Disney Website [and here and other websites] to get an idea.

I'd also suggest taking a look at the Royal Rooms at Port Orleans in addition to the deluxes others suggested because they do have some effects going on.

For me, the CR is the iconic Disney World hotel/resort, but I can definitely see folks being underwhelmed by its theming, so I'd definitely suggest taking a look at the pictures to find what looks spiffy to you :).

HM 11-27-2012 09:40 AM

I agree that Art of Animation is the most Disney themed of the resorts. Most of the other resorts, including Deluxe resort rooms are subtle in their addition of Disney elements (Hidden Mickeys in soft goods mostly). The new Royal Rooms in Port Orleans Riverside are another good choice with light-up headboards and princess pictures on the walls.

dis_guy 11-27-2012 09:49 AM

While not really a "Disney" theme, don't forget the pirate themed rooms over at Caribbean Beach Resort. :)

claybrim 11-27-2012 10:12 AM

Thanks for the imput - there is so much to consider - location value etc - all i really know is the wife still raves over her disney headboard at the cali parks hotel. we are considering even splitting the trip into 2 hotels to get a little of both, we are definately keen on the AKL but the other is harder - i like the idea of the poly, but can see why the PO hotels are a good option. DW is so overwhelming to start with, and the accronyms you all use will take some getting used to, but im glad ot have found such a site to help with sorting the info out and getting feedback.

TDC Nala 11-27-2012 10:20 AM

Art of Animation has very heavy theming inside the rooms. They are not Mickey themed though - they are themed to different Disney movies. It is also a value, not a deluxe resort, and mostly family suites.

GusGus77 11-27-2012 10:34 AM

I think that the deluxe hotels are very subtle in their disney theming but overall they look like hotel rooms (nice ones, but hotels non the less. It is not in your face Disney.) To feel immersed in Disney, you would want to look at pirate rooms at Caribbean beach, royal guest rooms at port Orleans riverside, or a family suite at art of animation. I think Disney has some beautiful resorts, but to me they don't shout out Disney and if they weren't on Disney property they could be anywhere in the U.S. but that is only my opinion and a lot of people feel differently. That being said, I don't think anything would be better than a deluxe with a magic kingdom view, but that is WAY too pricey for my budget!

Melodious 11-27-2012 10:41 AM

If you look for Disney, you will find it. We recently stayed at the GF, not the most over the top Disney-ish place perhaps, but there were characters on the wallpaper, hidden in the carpet, and a mickey head in the lamp. Pick the theme that appeals to you

kanderson89 11-27-2012 10:51 AM

Greetings! I agree with a lot of previous comments. Although we have only stayed in 2 different resorts, we tend to wander around a lot of them to see decor, eat in different restaurants, etc. I agree that a lot of the resorts that "reek" Disney (in a good way) tend also to be the ones that appeal to kids, and other posters have given examples of those. We don't have kids so tend to want a Deluxe to have a bit more quiet time when back in the hotels.

In terms of Deluxes, we found the Contemporary (CR) to be the least interesting. It looks like your basic upscale conference hotel (yawn). Others love it, tho. We like Wilderness Lodge (WL), and if you like nature and the environment, it's a gem. Also loved Animal Kingdom Lodge (AKL). It does feel a bit "British Colonial/Dark Continent" but we loved seeing animals and the food options were terrific. Individual rooms at both of them, however, are themed to the resort but not terribly "Mickey."

Lots to think about...location, food options, price, ambience. Half the fun is the planning. Enjoy!

Lynne M 11-27-2012 10:55 AM

If you're looking for in-your-face Disney theming, with characters everywhere, you'll find that at the value resorts. It sounds, though, as if you'd be more interested in a deluxe resort.

The deluxes each have a strong, consistent theme, with more subtle Disney touches. For instance, the Wilderness Lodge is inspired by the park lodges of the pacific Northwest, and the Animal Kingdom Lodge is themed as a safari lodge, with its own savannahs full of animals. You won't find Mickey headboards at either of these resorts, but you will find hidden Mickeys in the carpet pattern, and many, many other Disney-inspired design features.

I'd recommend checking out our guide to the Disney resorts. Have a look through the resort photos, you'll get a good idea of the theming at each one.

wishing4PA 11-27-2012 11:44 AM

Not speaking from direct experience here, as money has been a factor for me so far, but I think your best options are:

For overall resort immersion (but at the value level, not deluxe at all): Art of Animation

For the room, the royal rooms at POR

For the pure outlandish Disneyishness of having a monorail run through your resort, the Contemporary -- with a theme park view, because it doesn't look like the rooms themselves are as Disneyfied as your DW may want (she would probably be disappointed in that) -- but with theme park view, she can just look outside and feel there, perhaps. Plus, Chef Mickey's is right downstairs. Can't get much more Disney than that. :) (I would go for this in a heartbeat as it was my teenage dream resort when WDW first opened.)

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