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5 Reasons Why You Should Do a Walt Disney World Staycation

When you think of a trip to Walt Disney World, you think of the theme parks, right? But what if you wanted some Disney magic and some Florida sun, but without the stress of the theme parks? Of course, you could do a Disney Cruise, and I would 100% recommend that. However, there is something else you could do. You could do a staycation at Walt Disney World!

Animal Kingdom Lodge Pool View Room

What’s a staycation I hear you ask? Well a staycation specifically at Walt Disney World would see you stay on property in one of the many amazing hotels and resorts but instead of visiting the parks, you’d simply enjoy what the resorts have to offer. Trust me, there is something for all ages, you will not be bored! Here are five of my favourite reasons why you should be doing a staycation at Walt Disney World:

1. You Can Take Things at a Slower Pace

There is no denying that a visit to Walt Disney World can be a stressful affair these days, in fact, a visit to any Disney park can feel a little stressful and overwhelming. This is especially true for people who love Disney but hate theme parks. If that is you, a staycation at a Disney resort is something you should be considering. A staycation means you wouldn’t need to get up early to secure Disney Genie+ or Lightning Lane reservations, you wouldn’t need to rope drop to avoid the lines before it gets too hot. You could get up when you want, eat a leisurely breakfast, and then hit the pool. It would just be like any other holiday in the sun, but with a Disney twist. No pressure to pre-plan days or book theme park reservations months in advance either.

But don’t worry, you will 100% know you’re still in the Disney bubble. The cast members at the resort will welcome you home. You’ll be surrounded by the same Disney smells and little reminders to let you know you’re still in the heart of the magic. And yes, there will still be so many Mickey-shaped foods for you to enjoy! Just get on the plane and you can enjoy some Florida heat and some Disney fun.

2. The Pools are Amazing

Florida is known for it’s heat and it’s (almost) all year-round sunshine. So having a fantastic pool area is important. If you won’t be spending time visiting the theme parks instead you’ll probably want to spend your time sitting around the pool. Thankfully, the pools at all the Disney resorts (yes, all) are amazing, and every one has its own unique selling point.

You’ll typically find that the value resorts don’t have slides, but they will have a shallow pool area, or splash pads for little kids as well as the main themed pool. Many of them also have a small quieter pool area away from the main pool if you don’t like the hustle and bustle. The moderate resorts are where the slides start and then the deluxe pools have whole water playgrounds and splash zones. Along with hot tubs for the adults!

There is an abundance of sunbeds in and around the pool areas as well as towels and a bar for you to get drinks from (including themed Disney drinks!). And this is even at the value resorts.

Menu at Jiko The Cooking Place at Animal Kingdom Lodge

3. So Many Fantastic Places to Eat

Prior to visiting Walt Disney World as an adult, I didn’t even consider the restaurants at the resorts. In fact, I’d never even visited the resorts as I’m pretty sure my parents thought they were for guests only. I know they’re not alone in this! The restaurants at the resorts are available for anyone to book and you should as there are so many fantastic places to eat from character dining to signature experiences you should not miss out! My personal favourites are Jiko at Animal Kingdom Lodge (great for Vegans!), Trattoria al Forno at Boardwalk, Grand Floridian Cafe at The Grand Floridian, and Olivia’s Cafe at Old Key West.

Oh, and don’t forget the food courts and the quick service counters! The cheesecake at Everything Pop at Pop Century is delicious and I always have to visit Capt Cooks at the Polynesian. But my personal favourite is paying a visit to Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory at Port Orleans French Quarter for some beignets! Unlike Disneyland in California where you can grab beignets in the main park, French Quarter is one of the only places you can get them at Walt Disney World!

Minnie at All Star Movies Resort at Walt Disney World Playing with Two Girls

4. The Kids Will be Entertained

I know a few of you will be thinking, how can you possibly go to Walt Disney World and not go to the theme parks? Especially if you have kids? Well, you can. I promise you, your kids will not be bored. There is so much to do at the resorts that could keep your kids busy. As I have mentioned above, the pools are amazing. If you have a water baby like I do, they would spend 24/7 in the pool anyway. But the pools often have a cast member leading games so make sure your little one is highly entertained. While we stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge, the wonderful cast member was still out entertaining until 10pm!

Let’s not forget movies under the stars. Each resort on certain nights of the week will host a movie on a screen outside for you to sit and enjoy. Each resort also usually has a playground and an arcade. Some resorts have a campfire where you can roast marshmallows (we did this at Old Key West and it’s so much fun!)

Games room at Disney's Pop Century Resort

As I also mentioned above, some resorts offer character dining, and on special occasions, there will even be character meets. We have met Minnie and Donald at Value Resorts so don’t think this is something only those paying for deluxe get to enjoy. So if your kid loves their characters they don’t have to miss out on that.

Finally, all the resorts have a schedule of activities offered for kids throughout the day. Most of these are specific to the resort, for example, my daughter took part in tie dying at Pop Century and I saw there was a chance to make African masks at Animal Kingdom. I know some resorts do things like cupcake decorating and even water fights!

5. New and Different Disney Experiences

When you go to Walt Disney World your main focus is usually on the parks, right? You’re paying for the tickets after all so you’ll want to make the most of your time there. But because of this, so many of us miss out on just how fantastic the resorts at Walt Disney World are. While I’ve listed a lot of the free experiences (aside from dining) above, there are a few magical extras you can pay for that are only available from the resorts. These include wine tasting, spas, special kids activities, boat rentals, and animal experiences. Not all of them are available yet but they’re slowly returning as restrictions lift. These are experiences you probably wouldn’t ordinarily consider on a fast-paced theme park trip, but they’re amazing and not to be missed.

You haven’t lived until you experience Magic Kingdom’s fireworks from the Polynesian beach with a cocktail in hand. I loved our slower Walt Disney World staycation and if you’re looking for a different kind of Disney trip, I cannot recommend doing one enough!

If you'd like to learn more and receive a quote for a Disney staycation, simply get in touch here.


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