Questions of the Week

Question of the Week (10/22/18)

Every few weeks our writers get together and answer a Disney related question, here is this week’s edition.

Question of the Week: Disney World has been making news lately for adding hotels and refurbishing existing ones. What do you look for in a Disney hotel to help enhance your vacation?

Leslie – Animals, the “welcome home” sign. Animal Kingdom Lodge. That’s what I’m looking for.
OK to be fair, I have stayed in three different Disney resorts. Animal Kingdom Lodge, POP Century, and Aulani are all places I’ve stayed and honestly they all have their perks and what a guest would want from them. For a stay at the parks I want something that looks nice, has a nice sit down restaurant and even has activities I might want to do on property as we typically eat a few meals on property including room service and want the whole resort feel. The pool is not quite important since I can swim at home and I’m mostly at the parks for, well, the parks. Disney offers service no matter where you stay but there is definitely a difference between a deluxe level and a value resort.

AKL lobby

Now Hawaii is another beast to tackle, I’ve stayed in several hotels there and hands down would choose Aulani again if given the option. The amenities made all the difference and the level of customer service still goes above and beyond other hotels we have stayed at. The theming is also spot on, bringing Hawaiian culture and Disney flair together without being in your face for either one. There is also plenty for kids to do which parents love. Disney truly makes all the difference no matter where you stay.

Andrew – There are obviously a few standard things most people will look for – nice rooms, restaurants, pools etc. I think all of those are important and make for an excellent experience. Once in a while a hotel will have a standard amenity that is so good (like the pool at the Yacht and Beach Club) that it trumps other factors. Setting those aside, what I like in a hotel is location and theming.

Boardwalk

The location of a hotel is somewhat dependent on where you are going at Disney World. For example, Animal Kingdom Lodge is great if you are going to Animal Kingdom and a little annoying if you are going to a different park. At Disneyland I will gladly pay a little extra or stay at a worse hotel to be right across the street from the park. For what it’s worth, one of the hotels on Disney World’s Boardwalk (Boardwalk, Beach and Yacht Club) is my favorite location along with the Grand Californian in Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland Hotel or Hotel MiraCosta in Tokyo.
As for theming, this is more of a personal preference. For the most part, I prefer themes that are inspired from real world place. Wilderness Lodge holds a soft spot because of its national park, northwest feel. The Polynesian and Hotel MiraCosta, among others, both fit that mold too. On the other end, Contemporary Resort, Animal Kingdom Lodge and a few others have a broader theme but are still interesting enough to be immersive. This is all a long-winded way of saying that I want actual theme and immersion in a hotel at Disney World as opposed to decorations on a wall that masquerade as decorations.

Matthew – Honestly, price is always the first consideration. Money doesn’t grow on trees! After that, my criteria is hard to pin down. I always want something nice enough to make me feel comfortable after a long day at parks. One doesn’t spend a lot of time in the hotel room on a Disney vacation, but I want to be able to relax and feel at home when I do. Location is important at Disneyland, although I’d rather ride the shuttle for a few minutes for a hotel upgrade. At Disney World, I prefer a hotel that feels a little more grown up and luxurious, when possible. After that, it’s just about where you can find a little Disney magic, which is hard to know going in. Cool lobbies, restaurants and pools are a big plus. I don’t care about location so much, except if it’s a great spot, like the Boardwalk or something similar. Basically, I want somewhere pretty, clean, and cool, with fun things to look at and more fun things I can walk to.

Wilderness Lodge inside

Melissa – I honestly don’t look for much when looking for a hotel to say at. Most of the time I’m all about the vibe and look of the hotel. They need to have great pictures and look like a lot of fun. I also like the size of the hotel room. If it’s just Andrew and I going, I don’t care as much, but if there are four of you sharing one room, I like to have a little bit of extra room so I’d choose a moderate resort over a value. I also want my resort to feel fun, relaxing, and like I’m transported into a different part of the world. Having a great pool is another fun thing to factor into your hotel choice. Planning to spend a lot of time by the pool? Make sure to choose a fun one!

Stormalong Bay chairs

What do you look for in a Disney hotel?  Let us know, along with any questions you might have, down below in the comments!  You can read more Questions of the Week here and can find our hotel reviews here.  If you enjoy what you’re reading please subscribe to the blog and like our social media pages, all of which you can find on the right side of this page.  Have a great day!

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