Disney resort hopping is one of my favorite things to do at Disney, especially when I can’t go to the parks. Resort hopping and exploring Disney Springs are a couple of my favorite non-park things to do. Here are some Disney World resort hopping tips to have a magical budget-friendly day.
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10 Disney Resort Hopping Tips
Park at Disney Springs. The buses will take you to any of the resorts you want to visit. Park close to the buses in the Lime garage. Disney Springs also has boats that will take you to the Port Orleans resorts, Old Key West, and Saratoga Springs. Once you are at one resort you can go to the resort’s bus station and go to any park and then transfer to your next resort.
Make a Schedule. This can be a loose schedule just listing out the resorts you would like to visit and what activities you would like to do. Some activities are just at selected times like the animation classes at the Art of Animation resort.
Grab a Resort Schedule. At each Resort there is a schedule of activities at the front desk, you can get a copy of it even if you are not a resort guest. Some of the activities may be for resort guests only but many are for anyone. There are movies under the stars, arts & crafts, and lots of other activities. During holidays there may be special events and/or character greetings.
Visit the Monorail Resorts in the evening. There are quite a few reasons I suggest visiting the Monorail Resorts in the evening. First, if you are into Disney Pin Trading, the pinboards come out at the monorail resorts in the evening. Second, you can see the fireworks in the evening with piped in sound from the Monorail Resort beaches.
Plan your Meals. From the budget-friendly secret menu at the Art of Animation Resort to an elegant dinner at Grand Floridian’s Citricos there are dining options for every budget. Don’t forget about all the lovely snacks like Dole Whips, Zebra Domes, Beignets, and delicious cupcakes which can all be obtained at the resorts. There are so many options. If you choose a table service, make your reservations as soon as possible.
Look for Hidden Mickeys. Use the Hidden Mickey Field Guide for clues. Want some tips to find Hidden Mickeys get the book. Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World’s Best Kept Secrets.
Know the Rules. While resort hopping is encouraged by Disney and very fun, there are a couple of rules. One is that the resort pools and gyms are for resort guests only. Some pools have Magic Band only entry to help enforce this.
Window shop in the gift shops. Each resort has themed gifts as well as the usual Disney vacation souvenirs. The Grand Floridian has 2 floors of gift shops! Some of the value resorts have fun trivia, scavenger hunts, and other fun things going on too. You never know what fun you will find. I have learned that each time I have gone, the experience is different.
Take Lots of Photos. Get photos in front of the main icons of each resort and all inside the resort. There are so many photo opportunities. Many times, especially during the holiday season there are Photopass Photographers available as well.
Don’t rush. You won’t get to each resort in one day. I would extend this out between several days or trips. You will love the details of each resort, even the bathrooms are amazing in some of them.
Make sure to include the following resorts in your hopping schedule!
- Grand Floridian
- Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Beach Club
- Polynesian Resort
- Art of Animation Resort
- Contemporary Resort
- Wilderness Lodge
What is your favorite resort to visit while resort hopping?