Disney operate around 20 resort hotels and villa complexes (with more than 23,000 rooms) within the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.
There are also about nine other non-Disney hotels (with an additional 6,000 rooms) situated within the Walt Disney World Resort.
Starting June 1, 2007, all Walt Disney World Resort hotels and Disney Vacation Club resorts will be non smoking in all guest rooms, all indoor public areas and balconies
Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel has a number of advantages (see sidebars) but prices are generally higher than similar non-Disney properties elsewhere in the Greater Orlando area.
Walt Disney World Resort hotels are classified into several broad bands:
- Disney's Value Resorts (from $77 per night, plus tax) are budget 'motel' style hotels. The Pop Century Resort is in the Disney-MGM Studios Resort Area and the All-Star Sports Resort, All-Star Music Resort and All-Star Movies Resorts are all in Disney's Animal Kingdom Resort Area.
- Disney's Moderate Resorts (from $134 per night, plus tax) are mid-ranged hotels. The Caribbean Beach Resort is in the Epcot Resort Area, the Coronado Springs Resort is in Disney's Animal Kingdom Resort Area and the Port Orleans French Quarter Resort and Port Orleans Riverside Resort are both in the Downtown Disney Resort Area.
- Disney's Deluxe Resorts (from $199 per night, plus tax) are top end hotels. The Animal Kingdom Lodge is in Disney's Animal Kingdom Resort Area, the Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, BoardWalk Inn, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin are all in the Epcot Resort Area, the Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Polynesian Resort and Wilderness Lodge are all in the Magic Kingdom Resort Area.
- Disney's Vacation Club Resorts (from $259 per night, plus tax) offer suite and villa style accommodation. The Old Key West Resort is in the Downtown Disney Resort Area, the Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa is close to the Downtown Disney Resort Area, the Beach Club Villas are in the Epcot Resort Area, the BoardWalk Villas are close to Epcot and The Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge are in the Magic Kingdom Resort Area. There is also Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground in the Magic Kingdom Resort Area.
There are also a number of non-Disney hotels in the Downtown Disney Resort Area; namely the Holiday Inn at Walt Disney World, the Hotel Royal Plaza, the Doubletree Guest Suites Resort, the Hilton in the Walt Disney World Resort and the Wyndham Palace Resort and Spa.
As well as all the benefits mentioned below, if you stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel you you can also charge meals, shopping etc. to your hotel room, eat Disney character meals in the hotels and of course you get 24 hours a day Disney magic. Plus from May 2005, you can take the Magical Express which gives you free transport from Orlando International Airport to and from your Disney Resort.
Note that from June 1, 2007, all Disney Resort hotels are non-smoking. Guests are not permitted to smoke in the hotels or in their rooms or on their balconies or patios. Special outside designated smoking areas are provided.
Benefits of staying at a Disney Resort
You can buy exclusive E-Ride tickets which lets you ride certain attractions in the Magic Kingdom after the park has closed.
You are close to the parks which means it is easier to take time out to recharge the batteries and then return to the parks refreshed.
You have unlimited access to all of the Disney transportation services including motor coaches, monorails and ferries.
You can purchase an Unlimited pass for the entire duration of your stay and you get complimentary. delivery of any shopping purchased in the parks back to your hotel
You can purchase a Disney Dining Plan for the duration of your stay.
You get free parking at each of the parks.
You can gain early entry to the parks on certain days which generally means less queuing and more time in the attractions. The Extra Magic Hour means some days one of the parks opens one hour early and one park stays open three hours later for Disney Resort guests.
You are guaranteed admission to the parks even when the parks are turning other guests away because they are full. Very useful if you visit during some of the busier holiday seasons.