One of the first things you do when planning your Disney vacation is deciding where to stay. Disney has some of the best resorts in the world. Each one is themed to reflect its name, contains state of the art upgrades, amazing restaurants, and bars, as well as endless activities. I will take you through my list of the top 10 Disney World Resorts that adults will love.
There are three resorts that are on the monorail system. These are definitely some of the best resorts due to convenience, experience, and atmosphere. These three resorts at Disney’s Contemporary, Grand Floridian, and Polynesian.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
This is one of Disney World’s original resorts. It is known for its modern shape and amazing feature that the monorail travels within the main atrium. Although the lobby itself might not be anything special all its features make it a great place to stay.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort is the one resort where you can walk to the Magic Kingdom. This is ideal when you don’t want to wait for the monorail or boat at the end of the night.
Another great feature is you can pay to stay in the park view room to enjoy panoramic views of the Magic Kingdom and it’s a grand firework display. However, if you don’t have a view from your room you can still watch the fireworks from the outdoor observatory. This spot is never too crowded so you can sit back and watch the show and even listen to the music as the resort projects it on the loudspeakers. Another way to watch the fireworks is at California Grill. It is located on the top floor and has excellent food and is a nice place to getaway. Another highlight is you are also able to watch the Electrical Water Pageant from any lakeshore location at the resort.
The Contemporary Resort also is home to many other restaurants. One that is great for adults is The Wave. This restaurant is a great option for any meal especially breakfast. I seriously cannot get enough of the breakfast buffet here but there is also a menu you can order off of if a buffet isn’t your speed in the morning. It is known for its healthy, yet delicious meals.
If you are looking for a resort to kick back and enjoy the pool, Contemporary Resort might not be your best bet. The pool is more geared towards younger children and is not as up to date as some of the other resorts. However, since it rests on the shores of Bay Lake you are able to rent multiple water items such as boats and fishing equipment.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
When you think upscale and grand only one resort soars into your mind, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. As you enter the lobby you are greeted by high balconies, and live music such as piano players and the memorable jazz ensemble in the evening. The décor alone is more for the adults than for the children. It is also equipped with a full-service spa which adults find very tranquil and a great place to find peace and relaxation. Additionally, there are tennis courts, boat rentals, and jogging trails for you to enjoy while not at the parks.
This resort is home to the most elegant and sought over restaurant called Victoria & Albert’s. It is known for its timeless elegance, impeccable services, and first class culinary meals. It is the only restaurant to earn an AAA Five Diamond rating for the last 20 years. One of the best features is it offers guests the chance to dine at what Disney calls the “Chief’s Table”. When you dine at this one of a kind experience you sit in the heart of the kitchen and the culinary team prepares a unique menu just for your family.
Another great location for adults is the bar, Enchanted Rose. It is a Beauty and the Beast inspired lounge that exhibits the realm of elegance. Adults love the bar appetizers such as the Truffle Fries and the infused drinks There is also an outdoor terrace that resembles the Beast’s garden that is very romantic.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
The Polynesian will have you thinking you just jumped into the hot sandy beaches of the most amazing tropical islands on Earth. This resort sits on Seven Seas Lagoon and reflects a 1970s tiki culture. As you enter the resort you are greeted with a strong aroma of hibiscus as you receive a grand aloha greeting which includes a lei for each quest.
People of any age love all the dining options such as the poolside Pineapple Lanai that is home to the most mouthwatering treat, Dole Whip. Kona Café is also a great option and is known for its Tonga Toast. This Resort is also home to the Spirit of Aloha diner show which is fun for all ages.
I can’t forget Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is also located here. It is the perfect spot for adults to grab a delicious drink.
The Polynesian has great pools and sandy beaches to enjoy. It is a great break from all the hustle and bustle of your Disney vacation.
Disney’s BoardWalk Resort is a great option for adults to enjoy as it is orientated more to adults and less to kids. The resort is modeled after Atlantic City. The theme is amazing although some, myself included, might get scared of items such as the giant clown slide in the pool area. The resort is within walking distance of Epcot and Hollywood Studios. You can also take a nice boat ride to the parks as well.
Although the Resort offers no restaurants inside the resort, there are ample places to grab a bite as you stroll out the front doors onto the Boardwalk. Visitors can enjoy a quarter-mile promenade with exciting shops, restaurants, and nightlife. Adults love being able to take a river stroll or bike ride as well.
Trattoria al Forno is one of the most popular restaurants on the BoardWalk. It has authentic Italian foods but in a more casual atmosphere. There is also a Dance Club called the Atlantic Dance Hall that is open to those 21 and older and a dueling piano bar called Jellyrolls that will get everyone laughing by the end of the evening.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
If animals are a passion of yours you might want to stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge where you can wake up to giraffes and zebras grazing outside your windows. The hotel lobby also has many viewing areas where you can sit and enjoy all the animals in case your room does not look out onto the savanna.
The moment you step into the lobby African culture will completely surround you. The amazing architecture, African art, and paintings, as well as high ceilings, make you feel like you entered a new world. Animal Kingdom Lodge has two separate Resorts within it, Jambo House and Kidani (DVC section).
Each is slightly different in style and is within walking distance of each other which is great since you can then explore each Resort and have more options, like pools and tours, to do during your day.
This Resort has many restaurant options. Jiko is a great stop for adults who can enjoy blended African, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisine as well as wines from South African. Boma is another great option, especially for breakfast. It is known for a special juice called Jungle Juice. If nighttime is more you’re speed than there are also many lounges and other African inspired cuisines that will indulge your taste buds.
The pools are also very relaxing as you still get the African vibe even while catching some rays lounging at the pool. There are certain areas in the pool that are geared to more children while other areas more so for adults which is a great feature.
Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Yacht Club
Although these are two separate resorts they share many amenities such as a pool so I decided to keep them together on my list. Disney’s Yacht Club is more sophisticated so it is slightly geared more towards adult clientele then Beach Club though.
Disney’s Yacht Club is themed after the New England style yacht club. Nautical touches surround the lobby and within each guestroom. Disney’s Beach Club also is modeled after New England beach life but it is slightly less elegant.
Beach club is known to have the best pools out of all the Disney Resorts. The pools are shared between the two resorts. There are ample water areas for children which leaves some of the other pools and lagoons for the adults. Stormalong Bay is a 3 acre water beach area that is a tranquil experience. It is filled with warm sand, a lazy river, and water slides. There are 3 other leisure pools that are very quiet which is great for adults who want to get away.
One of the best aspects of the Beach Club is Beaches & Cream which is a fun and upbeat restaurant. Famous for its outrageous ice cream concussions such as their gigantic dessert called the Kitchen Sink. Yachtsman Steakhouse resides within the Yacht Club and is one of my favorites. You can savor steaks and seafood in this sophisticated dining experience. This restaurant is also known for its wine tasting. Due to its classy nature, you don’t often see children present at meals.
Another good point to stay at one of these resorts is they are a quick stroll to Epcot and a boat ride away from Hollywood Studios.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is a great place to stay if you’re looking to get that Disney feel but connect with nature and its simplicity. It is close to Magic Kingdom but due to its secluded nature you feel very at peace and removed. The grand lobby is log framed and has a gigantic stone fireplace with totem poles. You get an overwhelming feeling of warmth and home. It is a sight you have to see to believe.
There are tall pine forests that are perfect to take a hike through. If your quiet you can even catch a glimpse of grazing deer.
There are two pools for one to enjoy on their trip. Boulder Ridge Cove Pool is much more laid-back and is nestled within the boulders of the resort. There are also cabanas you can relax under to get out of the sun. Cooper Creek Springs Pool is also great, yet it is often the pool more kids tend to swim in since it has a waterslide and water play area.
Wilderness Lodge has some great restaurant options. Whispering Canyon, although a little wild and crazy, is a fun experience you have to try at least once. Geyser Point Bar & Grill is the perfect spot for adults to unwind after a long day. It is located near the lagoon where you can enjoy the Electrical Water Pageant as you savor a refreshing drink. Another spot is called Territory Lounge. It is only open from 5:00-10:00 pm which means it is another great spot for adults to enjoy some snacks, small plates, and cocktails.
A great feature is you can take a boat to Magic Kingdom which is relaxing and not as crowded as other Disney transportation avenues.
Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Hotel
Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Hotel are two separate hotels but reside right next to one another and also share amenities so I can keeping them together for this list. If you want to enjoy Disney but don’t necessarily need it’s over the top theming and décor within your hotel these hotels are for you.
There is not many Mickey Mouse inspired décor in these hotels. Instead, they are inspired by modern architectural silhouettes and Renaissance pieces. You can see the big stone dolphin and swan residing on the roof of the hotels. The lobby resembles much of what you would see in any typical hotel. It is clean, crisp, and has beautiful fountains.
A great element to this resort is that the pools have sandy beaches and are never overly crowded. You can sink your toes in the sand or lay in one of their giant hammocks enjoying the breeze.
The Dolphin has a delicious restaurant called Shula’s Steak House. It is a very elegant dining experience with its wood paneling and is also award-winning. Another cool aspect is the restaurants honors the NFL Miami Dolphins and has framed pictures of the players on its walls. At the Swan, Il Mulino is their upscale restaurant and features traditional Italian cuisine that brings together the old and new world of Italian cooking. The décor is very modern and industrial and a perfect spot for adults to relax after a long day.
The Dolphin Hotel is also home to the Mandara Spa. You won’t find many children here so it is a great escape to relax your muscles for a day of pampering.
One excellent feature you will have staying at one of these hotels is their amazing walking trails. You are about a 15 minute walk to Disney’s BoardWalk so you can enjoy all of the fun restaurants, games, and nightlife. Also, you are able to walk to Disney’s Yacht Club and Beach Club.
To get to the parks you can either walk to Epcot although it is a slightly longer walk, or take the watercraft transportation to either Epcot to Hollywood Studios. A good perk is by walking or using the watercraft you are dropped off on Epcot’s country location entrance which is greatly less crowded so you get into the park much faster.
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort- French Quarters
This Resort is cheaper than the other options, yet still has a romantic design that is hard to compete with it. You will see gas lamps lighting up the cobblestone pathways and amazing fountains. The lobby screams Mardi Gras as you embrace the wrought iron elements and stain glass. This resort is definitely much quieter than the other resorts previously mentioned. So if you hope to slow the pace down while on vacation this is your stop.
French Quarters is known for its delicious Mickey shaped beignets. They are a must have while staying at this resort. Scat Cat’s Club is another must do. It is a fabulous lounge that plays live jazz music on the weekends.
The pools are much less grand at French Quarters, yet still offer a fun experience. Doubloon Lagoon is the only pool on the property which means it can get crowded with younger children which might be a downside. You can stroll along the Sassagoula River and end up at Disney’s Port Orleans-Riverside to enjoy their pool called Ol’ Man Island which is slightly more geared towards adults. While there you could also enjoy a horse drawn carriage ride.
I have a background in elementary education, biology, and travel. Disney has always been a passion of mine since I was first there with my family when I was three years old. The joy and happiness it brings to people is just magical. As a result, we became Disney Vacation Club Members which has allowed us to visit often and with our large extended family. I hope to pass on my knowledge and experience of Disney World to others in order to make their trip flawless and one they will never forget.