Obviously when planning a trip to Walt Disney World your main priority is to figure out which parks you’re going to when. You consider your restaurant options, your FastPasses, and your best show times. One thing a lot of people tend to overlook is taking time out of their vacation to explore the many resorts Walt Disney World has to offer. Each resort has such a vastly different theme and feel, and it’s actually a lot easier than you would think to get around from one to the other! Here are a few of the easiest routes for resort-hopping throughout WDW.
Perhaps the most well-known resort-hopping route is around the Seven Seas Lagoon by Magic Kingdom, or the “Monorail Route.” The resorts located in this area are Contemporary, Polynesian Village, and Grand Floridian Resorts, Wilderness Lodge, and Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. You can easily pop into Contemporary, the Poly, and the Grand just by hopping on the Resort Monorail and riding it around its loop (in addition to these three resorts it also stops at the Transportation and Ticket Center and Magic Kingdom). To get to Wilderness Lodge or Fort Wilderness, simply get off the monorail at Magic Kingdom and take a boat across the Lagoon. You can also get a boat to any of the resorts on the monorail loop as well. This route is great if you’re hoping to lounge hop, and is also really beautiful during the holidays.
Another great option for knocking out several resorts in a timely manner is visiting the EPCOT resorts. You can reach Beach Club, Yacht Club, Boardwalk, and Swan and Dolphin Resorts fairly easily, either by walking or taking a boat from EPCOT’s International Gateway, or by catching a boat from Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’s a relatively short walk from EPCOT to Beach Club, so if you’re not feeling too tired it’s a lot faster than waiting for the boat, and it’s a nice, peaceful walk too! There is also a walkway from Hollywood Studios over to these resorts, but it is considerably longer. If you have the time, however, it is a very peaceful walk along the water. There is a ton to explore at these resorts, including a variety of shops, restaurants, and places to get a sweet treat.
The All-Star Resorts are some of the easiest resorts to get to from one another. Since they’re all lined up right next to each other, you can easily walk from one to the next without wearing out too easily. There are three in total—Sports, Music, and Movies—and they are all very unique with a lot of fun things to see in an upbeat atmosphere. I have stayed at Sports and Music and have visited Movies, and all three are filled with so much detail, really making you feel as though you’ve stepped into a larger-than-life sporting event, or music video, or movie scene. Giant character statues and themed play areas make for a nice route to experience.
Disney Springs Route
A route that may not usually be thought of is the Disney Springs resort area. While they are a little more spread out than those mentioned previously, all of the resorts over here have a very relaxed vibe to them, and provide a calm atmosphere for some exploring. This area includes Saratoga Springs, Old Key West, and Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside. You will do a fair amount of walking on this route, so pack some good shoes! You can easily see both sides of Port Orleans fairly quickly, as both French Quarter and Riverside are relatively small. From there, you can take a 20ish-minute boat ride to Disney Springs, where you can then take a footpath to Saratoga Springs. Finally, using the walking path from Saratoga, you are able to take a 20ish minute walk over to Old Key West. If you’re looking for a leisurely, quiet route to discover, this one is definitely for you!
If you’re short on time and are looking to cross only a couple of resorts off of your hopping list, check out Pop Century and Art of Animation. They are a short walk away from each other, since Art of Animation was originally supposed to be a second portion of Pop (the project was stopped after the events of 9/11, and was reimagined into Art several years later—fun fact!). Both are home to some really cool décor and memorabilia, and provide some fun photo ops with their larger-than-life building markers.
These are the easiest routes for hitting multiple resorts at once. There are a few I have overlooked—namely, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Coronado Springs, and Caribbean Beach—that don’t have a nice, clean way to traverse between them. These complexes are all in the same vicinity of one another, so if you’re hoping to see any of them, your best bet is to head to the park closest to your resort of choice and then take a bus from there to the resort.
If you know of any routes that are even quicker and easier than the ones I’ve mentioned, please feel free to let us know in the comments below—I love finding new ways to explore the Walt Disney World resort hotels!