For my thoughts on the re-opening of Walt Disney World, see this.


By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

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Walt Disney World Resorts Ranked by Convenience

By Dave Shute

OVERVIEW: DISNEY WORLD RESORTS RANKED BY CONVENIENCE

The Walt Disney World Resorts are ranked below by convenience (as defined here) in carrying out the Basic Itinerary.

They are coded by price category (see this for what you get by price category): D for Deluxe, M for Moderate, V for Value, and DVC for the stand-alone DVC properties. (The DVC properties that are not stand-alone, but rather are associated with another resort (the “Villas”) have the same convenience as that resort.)

VERY CONVENIENT

1. Disney’s Polynesian Resort (D): Far and away the most convenient resort, especially if you get a room in Rapa Nui or Tahiti.

The resort monorail to the Magic Kingdom makes only one additional stop before getting there; to return, you can take the express monorail to TTC, get off at TTC—the first stop—and walk from TTC back to your room–saving up to 10-30 minutes compared to the Grand Floridian.

Moreover, the Epcot monorail is also in walking distance, saving even more time.

Shares buses to other destinations with other Magic Kingdom resorts. (~3000 rooms served/bus).

2. Disney’s Contemporary Resort (D). As convenient as the Polynesian for the Magic Kingdom, as you can walk to the Magic Kingdom, and be the first stop on the resort monorail trip from the Magic Kingdom back to the resort.

Less convenient for Epcot than the Polynesian, as you must first take the resort monorail to TTC, get off, change platforms, and wait for the Epcot monorail. Shares buses to other destinations with other Magic Kingdom resorts. (~3000 rooms served/bus)

3.  Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Villas (D). Convenient only to the Magic Kingdom, which is the first stop on the resort monorail for Grand Floridian guests.

Returning to Grand Floridian from the Magic Kingdom takes 4 stops and sometimes as long as half an hour.  Use the boat instead, if the line is not too long.

Epcot requires three stops to TTC, changing platforms, and waiting for the Epcot monorail. Shares buses to other destinations with other Magic Kingdom resorts. (~3000 rooms served/bus.)

CONVENIENT

4. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Villas (D). No monorail access to Magic Kingdom—bus or boat instead. Shares buses with other Magic Kingdom resorts and Fort Wilderness for other destinations. (~2200 rooms served/bus)

5. Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and Villas (D). Walk or boat to Epcot back entrance; long walk or slow boat to Hollywood Studios. Shortest walks of Epcot resorts. Typically shares buses with Yacht Club and Beach Club to Magic Kingdom, and these and Swan and Dolphin to Animal Kingdom. (~2400 rooms served/bus)

6. Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Villas (D). Walk or boat to Epcot back entrance; long walk or slow boat to Hollywood Studios. Typically shares buses with Yacht Club and Boardwalk to Magic Kingdom, and these and Swan and Dolphin to Animal Kingdom. (~2400 rooms served/bus)

7. Disney’s Yacht Club Resort (D). Walk or boat to Epcot back entrance; long walk or slow boat to Hollywood Studios. Longest walks of Epcot resorts. Typically shares buses with Beach Club and Boardwalk to Magic Kingdom, and these and Swan and Dolphin to Animal Kingdom. (~2400 rooms served/bus)

8. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (D). Distance from parks other than the Animal Kingdom partially compensated for by the fact that buses are not shared with other resorts. Two stops. (1700 rooms served/bus)

9. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort (V). Slightly more convenient than Pop Century below. Somewhat distant, but with Pop one of only two resorts with no shared buses, and only one stop. (~2100 rooms served/bus). Note that standard 4 person rooms are about a 5 minute walk further than other Art of Animation rooms

10. Disney’s Pop Century Resort (V). Somewhat distant, but one of only two resorts with no shared buses, and only one stop. (~2900 rooms served/bus)

SOMEWHAT CONVENIENT

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42 comments

1 Shannon { 09.27.21 at 11:10 am }

Hi, Dave!
Thanks for all your work on this site! My family (83, 80, 48, 46, 44, 28, 4) will be visiting WDW the week of Jan 30th. We rescheduled because of covid, and had originally booked Contemporary. The price has since jumped (the cheaper rooms are all booked I guess), so we’re trying to find an alternative. We’ve stayed at Poly and GF before, but want to try a new resort. We value convenience of location, so we were looking at Beach Club or Boardwalk. The 80 y.o. can walk fine, but we don’t want to be on crowded buses all day. Any thoughts on the resorts? Also, do you have any experience with the possibility that rooms will open back up at Contemporary? It’s still our first choice, but it’s tough to justify the cost.

2 Dave { 09.27.21 at 1:06 pm }

Hi Shannon. I am guessing–there’s no official announcement on this–that as the main tower rooms at the Contemporary come out of refurbishment, that the lower-priced Garden Wing rooms will be next. If true, this would explain the absence of lower-cost rooms there.

If you have not stayed since the Skyliner opened, the Beach Club is worth a second look, as you can now take the Skyliner to the Studios, avoiding the walk or boat there. Also worth a look–though very pricey–is Riviera, with Skyliner service to both Epcot and HS. Lastly, worth noting is that Poly rooms have a new Moana theme, and there is now a walkway between Grand Floridian and Magic Kingdom

3 Shannon { 10.08.21 at 8:42 pm }

Thank you very much for the insight, Dave! I’ll take a look at the other resorts and keep checking back to see if the other rooms open up at Contemporary.

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